Artistic Endeavors – Enlightenment and Entertainment

Photo Sources

From Gratisgraphy

New York Quilt Project Being Digitized

Influence of Women Artists

Ruth Asawa

Songs and Geography

Song Map of Texas

Free Art Books Published by the Getty 

The Getty Center

Artistic Maps

Susan Stockwell Colonial Dress

Japanese Book of Wave Patterns

If A City Looked Like An Artist



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Cornering My Scraps

As I have noted before, I have a thriving scrap fabric collection. Some are even already sewn together. I like to pet these pre-made quilt beginnings in hopes of inspiration. Some time in October I decided to sew a group of hectically colored scraps together.

I sliced lengths of multi fabric strips in half and inserted narrow strings. I added to and lopped off bits to even up my rounds. Eventually I came up with the following.

Beginning of “Turning The Corner”

I liked the effect but wanted to give more weight to the left side and bottom. So, I added wider lengths of Marcia Derse fabric and more angled strips.

I finally quilted the top at the beginning of November. I used 30 weight variegated cotton thread, and extended some of the strips into the Marcia Derse fabric with quilting lines.

detail

I find the colors cheerful as I catch drifting snowflakes out of the corner of my eye. If I can’t go to the heat, I’ll try to bring the heat to me.

I’m linking this to Off The Wall Friday.




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Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

Artistic Endeavors – Individual Artists

Each week since January I’ve been featuring websites related to art and the art world. I have four more weeks in 2018 and way more possible websites I want to feature. So, I plan to present groups of websites for the remaining posts in this series. Individual artists are up this week. I think there’s something for everyone, even my husband.

Fiona Richardson – landscape embroidery

Ruby Silvious – teabag miniature art

teabag kimono

Isobel Currie – threads 3D art

Rogan Brown – paper sculptures

Chris Perani – photography of butterfly wings, other microphotography

Barbara Takenaga – paintings and installations




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Help Me Shed Light On My Work

I mean that quite literally. My husband has proposed some lighting upgrades to make it easier for me to see what I’m doing in my studio. It is a former bedroom with the obligatory middle of the ceiling dim light. New energy efficient bulbs haven’t helped much. The two windows are on the same wall and either bring in too little or too much light from their western exposure.

So far I’ve done online searches, which have given me general guidelines but not enough specifics as to products to use/avoid and costs. Some of the studios pictured have tons of ceiling lights, but visions of large price tags for fixtures and electricians dance through my head when I look at them.

Drop lights and wall sconces

Track lighting. (I want that cabinet to the right.)

Rows of track lighting. My fabric doesn’t look like that.
I like the idea of adjustable height lights.

I have task lights at my work table and on my sewing machine, but there are dark areas by the ironing board and design wall. I know changes are needed, but I’m befuddled about where to begin. This is where you come in.

What lighting solutions have worked for you? What kind of budget did you have? Are there resources I haven’t yet tapped to help guide me?

Thanks.


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Artistic Endeavors – Quilts And Real World Issues

Quilts often seek to evoke warm, cozy feelings associated with rainbows, puppies, and holidays; but some are deliberately different. They are meant to make the viewer question assumptions and possibly feel uncomfortable.

Most recently the Threads of Resistance show has been exciting reactions, but quilters were making social and political statements in the 19th century about topics like war, temperance, and women’s suffrage. The tradition has continued through civil rights, environmental issues, AIDs, refugees, gun control and other contemporary concerns.

AIDs quilt

Women’s Christian Temperance Union Bear Paw quilt

I addressed the social commentary quilts shown at 2018’s QuiltCon earlier. Here’s my favorite one, a tribute to Heather Heyer, the activist killed during the white supremacist march in Charlottesville last August.

Juli Smith B4U

I viewed the Threads of Resistance exhibit at the 2018 Sewing Expo in Cleveland, Ohio, after reading the printed warning about the graphic nature of some of the work. The exhibit was cordoned off, with only one entry point. I took photos of ones I thought combined a message and artistry. See all the entries here.

Get Woke – Julie Parrish

Seeking Refuge – Do Palma

Patriotism – Amy Sullivan

My Body, My Rules – Sue Bleiweiss
Nevertheless, They Persisted – Do Palma

The societal/political aspects of quilts are stronger than you’d think if you went only by what’s exhibited at many quilt shows. Part of the International Quilt Study Center’s website, World Quilts: The American Story, is devoted to engagement. Thomas Knauer posted an impassioned editorial about what he calls the whitewashing of quilts’ context

I looked over my work and found almost no topical subjects. I just don’t do what I call message quilts. But maybe I should. Let me end with a quilt I think, and others agree, epitomizes the use of quilting skills in service of a message.

Freedom quilt by Jessie Telfair, 1983




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Sticking The Finish

I love having boring but necessary finish work to fall back on when I get stuck on new stuff. My deep purple project (no, you haven’t seen it) needs wall time, so I turned to binding two projects.

Neither is especially original, though I like to think I’ve put my own spin on them. “Church Windows” is a smaller version of a Victoria Findlay Wolfe project, and “Twinkle, Twinkle” is my riff on the “Rock Star” quilt I spotted on Pinterest.

I wrote about “Church Windows” before I quilted it. The quilting was a bit tricky as I went with a wool batting. My reasoning was it would make for a warmer, lighter lap quilt. The batting became an issue after I washed it half way through the quilting process and the quilt puffed up like a startled cat.

Oh, why did I wash it? I sprayed what I assumed were water erasable blue pen marks with water after I did part of the quilting. Turns out I assumed wrong. I used many kinds of pens to trace around templates for the pieces in order to see my lines, and one/some of those bled horribly with water. The bleeding came out with a wash, but the batting really fluffed up in the dryer. Then I had to tamp it down for the second round of quilting.


“Church Windows” 39 by 57″

You can see how puffy it got.

Luckily, quilting “Twinkle, Twinkle” went smoothly, however boring a one inch diagonal grid is to quilt.


“Twinkle, Twinkle” 40 by 47″


“Twinkle, Twinkle” detail

I used up many, many scraps on this one, but I fear my scrap boxes are gearing up for the winter breeding season.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.


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Artistic Endeavors – Tokyo at Night by Liam Wong

If you’re a fan of the movie “Blade Runner” you’ll love the neon colored  photography of Liam Wong. Wong is a Scottish (I didn’t see that coming) graphic designer who works for a video game company in Canada. On a trip to Tokyo he set out to capture the city in all its nighttime neon glory.

Memories of Green


Tokyo Night Train

Walking The Nocturnal Streets of Shinjuku



Purple Rain

Minutes to Midnight


I’m drawn especially to the rainy night scenes. Wong has an Instagram feed for his work, @liamwon9. You can also buy merch printed with his photos. See his website for details.


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