Saturday, December 23, 2006

Here's another view of Kathy H.'s Rollercoaster Heart quilt. Pictures just don't do it justice!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Thanks to Cynthia and Kathy for sharing information and photos of our last meeting. And yes, it was much better than a two day conference in Riverton. I would like to thank all the members of WAV for your encouragement and inspiration this past year. It has meant a lot to me.
I thought I would share a scarf that I dyed. I asked for help and information about dying scarves during our meeting and got tons of help and information--thanks! We talked about the process of dying silk and rayon at the same time with two different colors and this was my first attempt at using the product.
The members of WAV were presented with a year-long challenge at the 2005 Christmas party. The goal was to pick a word and then to create four quilts - one each quarter of 2006 - by interpreting the word in different ways. The first quilt, due in March was to be thematic, or the literal interpretation of the word. The June quilt was to be an allegorical interpretation, meaning the quilt was to tell a story or convey a feeling. The story did not necessarily have to be obvious to viewers but should be clear to the artist. The third quilt was canonical or based on rules created by the artist before they began the piece. The rules could be whatever made sense to the artist but should be followed once made. The fourth quilt was to be a compilation of things learned in making the first three pieces. Three members of the group were successful in creating four quilts by the December 2006 meeting. Two of us only managed to eke out the first three and the rest of the members elected not to participate. I will use my quilts to explain the concept further since I have individual photos of them and I will follow with photos of the other participants taken at yesterday's Christmas party.

My word was "Island" and my first quilt was my attempt at a literal interpretation of the word through the use of a palm tree, sand, shells, angelina sea gulls and a driftwood hanger.

"Island 2" was the allegorical quilt and I chose to portray an isolated person signifying lonliness, sadness and depression. The people at the beginning of the quilt are in the light, colorful and joyful. They are connected in a number of ways. The person at the end of the quilt is hidden in the tattered edges, alone and dark, a human island.

"Island 3" was based on rules I made before I started work on the piece. My rules were created based on the Island I know best - Prince Edward Island where I was born and bred. The number 4 was significant, I wanted to include isolated elements and each element had to be composed of three parts. Once I had my rules established I could forget everything else and work just with them. This piece is therefore the most abstract of the quilts.

I still hope to add "Island 4" to this collection even though the deadline has come and gone and we are about to start on a new challenge for 2007.

Quilts from the rest of the participating members:

Wanda Nelson with her four pieces created using the word "Earth". This photo was emailed to me and I am not sure why it is so yellow. I hope someone else from the group has a better image they can post to replace this one. Wanda's pieces are spectacular and this image doesn't do them justice!
Cynthia St. Charles - Her quilts representing the word "Baby" are the four above her head. A new grandchild has played a very significant role in Cindy's life this year. The first quilt contains numerous images of babies, some known to Cindy, some from other sources. Her second quilt has silk screens of Michelangelo's sketches of a child in the womb. The screenswere then transferred onto hand-dyed organza. The third piece is made from painted baby wipes and safety pins and the fourth quilt combines many elements from the first three as well as others.

Linda Jackson with her quilts created using the word "Chaos". Linda's pieces were also amazing and I hope she will post more information about her thought process as she created them.
Kathy Hammond's word was "Adoption". Kathy became a grandmother this year when her son and daughter-in-law adopted a beautiful baby boy from Guatemala. Her first quilt is on the wall behind her and is a wonderful fabric representation of a photo of her grandson. Her allegorical quilt is seen in both photos - it is a rollercoaster decorated with many hearts chronicalling the various stages of the adoption and Kathy's third, canonical quilt is the tree hanging on the wall to the right of the portrait.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Women of Artistic Vision Christmas Party and Challenge Gift Exchange

Our small art quilt group met as usual at the Yellowstone Art Museum Education Room. Everyone brought finger food to share, and we had a nice light feast.

We had a very full meeting with the food, scheduling the 2007 calendar, the Bottle Challenge, the Year Long Challenge, Show and Tell and the Gift Exchange Challenge.

This is the fourth time our group has had a gift exchange at the December meeting. Each year, we have had a challenge with some kind of theme. The theme for this year was


Each participant was to create something related to the theme. These were gift wrapped and exchanged in a random drawing.

This is the wallhanging made by Cynthia St Charles. Linda Jackson took this piece home.
The "elbows" are screenprinted images of a Leonardo da Vinci drawing of the movements of
the arm. It shows the skeleton and muscle tissue.

This is the gift made by Wanda Nelson. The figure is missing her "elbows" in this piece.
She picked up this scarf at the International Quilt Festival last fall, and added the border, then added beading and machine quilting.

This is the gift made by Kathy Hammond - Kathy Lichtendahl took it home.
There are two pictures of this two sided gift. Kathy asked her fourth graders
to brainstorm for ideas about elbows. These were added to one side of this piece.
(top picture). The picture below shows a series of recipes using elbow macaroni.

Jeanne Knudsen with the gift she received from Kathy Lichtendahl
(sitting next to her).
Kathy created a block that looked like an elbow, then put 16 of them together
to make this wall hanging.

Kathy Hammond holding the gift she received from Kathy Lichtendahl.
Kathy created a framework using plumbers "elbows", then made a fabric box with sleeves that fit into the pipe. There are places to insert pictures on all four sides, and Kathy inserted pictures of her elbows, her hubby's elbows and her cat's elbows.

Brooke Atherton shows off the gift she received - made by Cheryl Wittmayer.
Linda Jackson is seated to Brooke's left. Cheryl hand quilted this piece in big stitch.
There are many "elbows" in the lines of the stitching on this colorful quilt.

Brooke Atherton explains the details of her gift to Cheryl Wittmayer. Brooke included
a photocopy of her elbow on the back of the long white sheet of paper. This is lined with fabric (organza?) and painted on the opposite side, with stitching added. The elbow piece hangs over the stick on the quilted background (at the bend of the elbow). The quilted foundation will be embellished with a calendar. Brooke will add objects that Cheryl provides to be sewn into pockets
on the quilted background.

*I failed to get a photograph of the gift Linda Jackson made, that Wanda Nelson took home. Does anyone have a picture we can add to make this post complete?
Thanks, Cynthia

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It has been a week for working in the studio. The timing is good as it is far too windy to do much of anything outside. We have had numerous gusts in Clark topping 100mph and the forecasters are saying the worst is still to come tomorrow! We were trying to wean two of our baby llamas but decided to let them stay with their mamas for another few days until the worst of the wind is past. Most of what I have accomplished over the last few days has to stay veiled until after the WAV party on Sunday but I thought I would post a small photo of my latest Secret Sister bag. This has been a fun year-long project as I have made a different fabric bag each month. I wish I had been taking pictures all along as each one is an original design and each has some unique feature such as funky embellishments or an original closure. The Christmas bag is quite a bit bigger than the others and features a closure with two finished button holes allowing the gold ribbon to thread through and be tied in the front in a big bow. It also has a fabric handle. Above all else, this has been a great way to use up some of those fabrics in my stash that otherwise would be there forever!

I attended the Christmas Open House at Stone Soup Studios in Cody on Tuesday night. It was good to see Megan M and all her quilts on display amongst all the other artwork.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Greetings! I just got back from Riverton where I spent two days listening to two people try to be interesting. I truly feel like I could have been doing something more positive, like working with my kids or even better--quilting. I really look forward to this Sunday-food, new friends, the opportunity to see what people think about when they think of elbows, and the beginning of the last week of working with wiggly fourth graders who would rather be counting presents under their trees at home.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Yesterday was a great day. Not only was it beautiful and warm, but I got a lot done in my studio. My day started off by finding out that the "Fabled Fibers" quilts will be on exhibit at IQF in Houston next fall. This is the second time I have participated in a challenge managed by Ann Flaherty and both times she has pulled off something amazing. I will gladly participate in anything she wants to set up in the future. I spent quite a few hours in the studio working on my two "Elbows" projects for the WAV Christmas party next Sunday. I finished one and have the other one down to about an hour's worth of work left. I am really happy with them both but I am not sure what it says about me that I have spent hours (days) working on two silly little projects that I will give away and that will probably be put at the back of someone's closet and never looked at again. On second thought, I don't think I want to know. I also spent some time working on my fabric bottle for Brooke A. She will use them as centerpieces at the quilt show in Billings this summer. I will post photos of all the above once the party is over December 17. I also took some time yesterday to sign up for an art class at NorthWest College next semester. It is called "Art in the Wild" and is a little different because the entire class is done over four days in April at the field campus in the Beartooth Mountains. I will probably be 30 years older than most of the participants but I am looking forward to it anyway. The instructor let me sign up despite the fact that I have not taken the required prerequisite courses based on the agreement that he can change his mind if he wants to after he gets to examine my sketchbook. I am not worried. Since the Robert Bateman retreat in Yellowstone in October I have been drawing pretty much everyday and my sketchbook is getting full of images of flora and fauna of the area. So today's agenda includes finishing my second "elbow", finishing my bottle, working on my third "Island" piece, creating blocks for the Christmas exchange at the Cody Guild (the day after the WAV meeting) and making a present for my Guild Secret Sister. I think I will be glad when Christmas is over.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Wow, this really is easy!

Here's my fat cat Gracie Lou modeling the felted kitty bed I made for her last winter.

I know it's not really art quilt related, it's just a picture I had on my computer and I wanted to see if I could actually post a picture ;)

This is too fun!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

So here are the photos of my coat. Once I realized the problem with posting photos was an issue with the administrator, the solution was easy -just wait until they got things fixed! I am pleased with the way the coat turned out and I now have all sorts of ideas running through my head for more painted clothing!
This is my first post to a blog and I am sure I will learn as I go. I wanted to participate in this WAV site, kindly set up by Cindy St Charles, because I often have things I would like to share with friends and family and no easy way to do it. For example, I just finished my full-length, hand-painted coat and I am very pleased with the way it turned out. I am not sure where I will ever wear it but I am sure no one else will be wearing the same thing!
Today I am up to my elbows in elbows as I finish off two projects for our WAV Christmas party with the rather odd theme of elbows chosen by Cheryl W. I am making two because I am taking a guest to the party and I don't want her to feel left out at the gift exchange. The funny thing is the two pieces are dramatically different with one falling in the "mad inventor/art quilter" category and the other being squarely (pun intended) traditional. I will post photos of the results later this week.

Monday, December 4, 2006

This is the introduction of our small group - Women of Artistic Vision - also known as WAV to an internet presence.

Our group came together over three years ago in Billings, Montana. We have a number of members spread across southern Montana and northern Wyoming. Our group meets monthly at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings. Our group is very informal but our meetings include show and tell, and general discussions related to art quilting and textile art.
We have an annual gift exchange in December and enjoy ongoing challenges. We've done one gallery show since our group was founded.

This forum is being established in order to provide a format for members to share their work with each other and the larger community of textile art enthusiasts.