Friday, August 30, 2013

SAQA Benefit Auction 2013

Once again Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) is hosting an auction of member quilts. The auction is their largest fundraiser and SAQA's biggest income source after membership dues. For the 2013 auction, 421 artworks have been donated by generous members.

This year the auction will have two phases. The main auction will be held online beginning September 9. Groups of quilts will be released for bidding for a period of three weeks. You can find detailed instructions on the process here. The second phase will be an auction held in conjunction with the International Quilt Festival in Houston in late October.

We were asked to create our own Dream collection of six pieces on a theme from the 421 pieces submitted. Not an easy project! I came up with a set that I called 'Luscious Greenery' as they would remind me of warm, green summer days during our long dark winters:

I haven't mentioned my own contribution to the auction. I did create a piece and it was selected for the second phase of the SAQA auction at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in late October. I will be writing more on that auction in October. Here is a peak at my contribution:
Zen Moment

Friday, August 23, 2013

Arctic Norway -- June 2013

I finally have some photos to share from my Arctic adventures in June. If you would like to see my Flickr collection, you can find it here. You will find photos of polar bears, reindeer, arctic fox, sweeping landscapes and colorful tiny flowers. A sampling follows here. Please enjoy!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Halfway there!

Well, Serenity is a long haul anyway you look at it.........pre-naming a piece as such probably ordained that it would be long in coming and less than serene as it grew. This was the week when I decided that all possible quilting would be done. The top half of the piece had been fused but there were sections that I just didn't seem to be finding the time to quilt. Remember, I am exploring an approach of fusing directly onto batting and back fabric and quilting as I go. Finally, yesterday, the last stitches were made on the non-pond half of the quilt.

Here is a photo of mostly the top half:

Everything above the actual bridge and along the shoreline and above is now quilted. I have a large rock with reflection and bridge reflection pinned on the base pond fabric to remind me of where they will go. Reflections of the other rocks still remain to be cut and then the challenging part - shading of the pond and reflection of the forest. I have some ideas to cut sheer organza for pond shadowing. In addition to the light green I have pinned up there now, I have some brown that will add some good shading that is needed on the left.

Next week is granddaughter week so this will now sit a bit - which is good. I need some perspective. I won't mention how many times while working on this piece, I was less than serene. :) I have decided that letting something sit while I contemplate next steps is an excellent method. I envy those that can plan an entire piece before turning on their machine!

Since this is Friday, I will be linking this to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday site. Be sure to check out what other artists have been doing!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Main Street Arts - New Upstate New York Art Gallery!

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, my husband and I went exploring and visited Main Street Arts, a new art gallery in Clifton Spring, NY. The gallery opened this summer and is currently displaying an exhibition called "Locality." The exhibit includes the works of 30 artists with ties to upstate New York.

The gallery is a beautiful place to display art. There are two rooms downstairs and another series of rooms upstairs.
Main floor exhibition space

Upstairs room

Additional upstairs rooms
"Locality" is a diverse exhibition as evidenced by the subject matter of two of our 'favorites'.

Maria Galen: "Self Portrait with Cats"
Acryllic on Canvas
Jan Romeiser: "Littleville Falls"
Oil on Canvas
Main Street Arts is located at 20 West Main Street, Clifton Springs, NY and is open Wed - Sun., 11 am - 7 pm. Their website is Their next exhibit, "Landscape", opens September 4. They are a wonderful addition to the Clifton Springs area.  I hope that you will be able to support them with a visit soon!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Art That Lifts Our Spirits Competition

Manhattan Arts International  currently has a Call for Entries for an online exhibition, Celebrate the Healing Power of ART. I am pleased that as one of the early respondents to the call, one of my works, Journey, is currently being featured on their blog, Celebrate The Healing Power of ART.

I hope you will stop by their blog and check out the other featured artists and perhaps enter the competition also!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sketch Week!

Last week I was out with my beautiful granddaughter and her wonderful parents. I treasure these visits and am gradually learning to adjust my creative work for 'weeks without sewing machine'. This time I did a lot of sketching. Alisa Burke had a great post earlier in July about sketching on the go. It struck a chord with me, possibly because I recently started following Dawn Giddings' blog. I met Dawn a few years back at a SAQA Conference and have been in awe of her sketching abilities ever since. She is posting her drawings regularly on her blog and that is enough to inspire anyone!

For my trip out west, I took that handy portfolio that I had made earlier this year and had been sitting empty in my closet and filled it with some of the supplies that Alisa suggested.

Every morning I took some time to sketch a bit and found myself really enjoying the process. Typically I would start with a sketch of an object within sight and then elaborate.

These were some rocks outside my window that evolved into the start of greater landscape.

Would you believe this started as the side of a running shoe?

This carried the same idea in a different direction:

While I thoroughly enjoyed my week of sketching and hope to continue the practice at home, I can't say it was the highlight of my week. Someone else definitely took that spot:

Grandmama reading a bedtime story