Wordless — almost.

My trillium is coming up as though it were spring.


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Artist Reception at Firehouse Arts Center

I attended the artist reception at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton last night. It was the opening day for exhibits including the California Watercolor Association  — 75 artists had work hung — photo montage and collage artist, Deborah Griffin, and me.

01-15-15-Artist-reception-5Yes, the center is a former firehouse, ca. 1888. Today, this state-of-the-art building is a 20,000 sq. ft. cultural arts center featuring a 227-seat theater, a 2,000 sq. ft. fine arts gallery, an 1,800 sq. ft. classroom space, and an hourglass shaped grand lobby that links downtown Pleasanton to the center’s Parkside patio and an adjacent park.

I was thrilled to have my work featured in the grand lobby with 5 art quilts

01-15-15 Artist reception 1and an alcove upstairs with another 5 art quilts. A bridge walkway is the final entrance to this alcove (note the pole).

01-15 Firehouse Artist reception-7

01-15-15-upstairsThe evening was buzzing with energy. There were many questions about my fiber art.

01-15-15-Firehouse-Artist-reception-6And I was happy to answer every one of them.

01-15-15-Artist-reception-4I was glad to receive a copy of a newspaper article about the exhibit from the gallery curator.

01-15 The Independent article about ehxibitThe arts are alive and well in Pleasanton.


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Pumpkin Sketch

This is the last squash from our weekly box of vegetables. I loved the big bold stem on this small pumpkin.

pumpkinI did, in fact, use it in a pumpkin-chicken curry dish. Yum!

Posted in In the Kitchen, Sketch/Watercolor | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

If Ginkgos Could Talk for The 100

If Ginkgos Could Talk, 8" x 8" matted 12" x 12"If Ginkgos Could Talk is ready to go to its new home. This is my contribution to Virginia Spiegel’s ACS Fundraiser The 100. This one-day event happens on February 4th. It’s not too early to mark your calendar because the first 100 patrons to sign up and contribute $100 will receive a randomly selected original artwork, made and donated by an invited artist.  When they’re gone, they’re gone. The money raised from this one day will push the total for Fiberart for a Cause to a cool quarter million dollars.  For a preview of the outstanding work made to date, check the Pinterest page being curated by Deborah Boschert here.

If Ginkgos Could Talk is 8″ x 8″ matted to 12″ x 12″, ready to be framed. (Pictures enlarge when clicked.) A description of the piece is attached to the back. The ginkgo is thread painted and surrounded by dense quilting. A simple line of beads and bold outline stitching at the corners frame and finish this piece.

If Ginkgos Could Talk, detailI have long been enthralled with the ginkgo leaf. Every time I use this simple leaf as a design element in a quilt, I fall more deeply in love with it. The order to which the ginkgo belongs first appeared 250 million years ago. The rate of evolution within the genus has been slow, and almost all its species had become extinct by the end of the Pliocene (5.3-2.5 million years ago); the exception is the sole living species, Ginkgo biloba, which is only found in the wild in China, but is cultivated across the world. Imagine the stories the ginkgo could tell!

FFAC2015logoGreat art donated for a great cause — another win/win situation you could be a part of. Mark your calendar now so you can add to your art collection.

This posting is linked to Off the Wall Friday.







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It was chilly today, just right for a cup of pumpkin-spice tea. I could tell — painfully — that I had not been sketching since early October when I set about sketching this teacup.

teacup The shape of the cup is not round but isn’t quite as square as my rendition would make you think, and the saucer, while not round, does not mimic the cup. The background color is very white, and just two colors of green decorate the clover with a final touch of gold trim for the lip, handle and saucer edge. You can revisit what the teacup really looks like here. The tea was a nice reward for my efforts.

The last sketch I did occurred when I was in Ashland, Oregon, attending the Shakespeare Festival. There was a charming house across the street from our hotel having its roof replaced. I couldn’t resist sitting down with my traveling art supplies to record this.

Finish of Ashland FixerThis is a white house with the exception of the green trim on the windows and the brown of the roof.

I’m looking forward to each successive sketch being easier! What are you hoping will be easier this year?

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Happy Creative New Year

My last posting was on Christmas Day. From there daily events took over and I missed my usual schedule of posting. It happens. I’m over it.

I’m on to the new year now. I know it’s official because I just took the first images of 2015 and created a folder for them. Here is a peek at what is moving and shaking in my world.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned the revision that I made to Hand of the Artist. I’m a member of a critique group which meets monthly. I shared this piece with them and one of the members suggested a slight change in arranging some of the beads. I played with the idea and liked it a lot.

Hand of the artist, changesThe change is rather subtle: a number of the turquoise beads have been moved to form small clusters. You can see the original design by clicking on the link above.

I put the final touches on Black Oak and printed a label for it.

Black Oak label

And just in time, too, because it goes to the photographer tomorrow (along with Hand of the Artist).

I’m working on a piece that was begun in Lorie McCown‘s class in Tahoe. I removed the original straight-line stitching (you can see the white marking line which is not permanent) and stitched large free-motion loops over the surface. Then I started cutting out circles.

Work in progressRight now I don’t know which end is up on this piece — literally. I’m simply putting down one thing, then the next, making decisions as I go about color and stitches. I’m enjoying hand stitching and the go-with-the-flow approach I’ve adopted for this small piece. I’m keeping the stitches simple

Work in progress, detail 2 and will let the work tell me what it needs.

Work in progress, detail 1I have been seriously missing sketching and watercolor work. Somehow I let the time for that creative pleasure vanish. I’m resuming the on-line class with Val Webb for sketching cats and dogs later this month (I had to drop out of it because I was over committed. I know that doesn’t happen to you!). I’m so looking forward to her instruction and getting back into a regular habit of sketching.

I have also signed up for an on-line class on blogging with WordPress. Yes, I’ve been doing this for a while but I know that I’ll learn from the class and it will also help me get back into the swing of regularly writing.

Some of the artists that I follow have a practice of adopting a single word as a mantra for the year — an interesting prompt. I’m not sure that I’m ready to do that, but if I did, my word (at least for now) would be DAILY. I am a person who thrives on order and schedules. The kind of habit I seek is not only good for my psychic well-being, it means that I am productive in the creative areas I choose.

New lessons don’t begin for a few days though, but there is no reason not to pick up a pencil and paint brush now. This charming teacup was a gift from a dear friend many years ago.

teacupI’m off to sketch!

What are you doing to get 2015 off to its creative start?

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Merry Christmas

These small boxes were folded from last year’s holiday cards.  They measure 1 3/4″ square x 3/4″ deep. Each contains one piece of chocolate candy. They will be favors for our holiday table.

12-24-14 table favorsI’m wishing everyone small wonders and a sweet new year.

This posting has been linked to Off the Wall Friday.


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I love using Setacolor paints to create sunprints, however, during cold or rainy periods it can be more of a challenge than I’m willing to endure. I’ve done it once and it was not very much fun. So I went to my local art store and gifted myself with a gel printing plate from Gelli Arts. Their site is very informative and contains a number of tutorials.

The plate is a firm clear substance that has a gooey, tacky texture, just right for grabbing the paint on the surface. I used some Jacquard textile paint to experiment with a poinsettia leaf.

Getting ready And here are the first 3 prints I got from a single leaf.

3 prints from one poinsettia leafI appreciate the fact that the process is simple, not messy, provides instant gratification and is easy to clean up with running tap water. When printing is done, the best place to store the plate is in the container it came in. Done.

I’ll be looking more closely at my yard and the neighborhood to continue experimenting. Using Setacolor paints is next.

What are you experimenting with now?

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December Reflections: Water

After the rain, nature provides mushrooms to drink from.

WaterThis post has been linked to Off the Wall Fridays.

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Ginkgos in the Round Accepted for VAM Exhibit

I am thrilled to share the news that Ginkgos in the Round will be part of Visions Art Museum’s website exhibit Stories.

Ginkgos in the Round, 12" x 12", 2014, For Sale

Ginkgos in the Round, 12″ x 12″, 2014, For Sale

VAM invited its artist-level members to submit their work for on-line exhibits this year. See the first two exhibits — Wild Thing! and Up/Down – here. I applaud their continuing and creative ways of getting the word out about the relevance of contemporary fiber art.

Stories is scheduled to be live January 1, 2015. Be sure to check it out — I’m bound to be in great company!

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