It Isn’t Easy Being Green

I’m thrilled to announce that a new venue has been secured for the exhibit “It Isn’t Easy Being Green” which features my work Forget Me Not: Collaboration with Grandma. Click on image for larger view.

December 15, 2017 – February 11, 2018

Coos Art Museum
235 Anderson Avenue
Coos Bay, OR 97420
Artist Reception: December 15, 5-7 p.m.

This will be the final showing of this exhibit which has been traveling since September 2016. If you are in the area, I hope you stop by to see this exhibit. And if you’re on the fence about making the trip, here’s a bonus to entice you: A second exhibit of fiber art entitled “Heat Wave” will be on view at the same time. That’s called doubling your pleasure!

The Coos Art Museum advertises itself as “the cornerstone of visual arts on Oregon’s Southern Coast.” I am looking forward to visiting the museum.

Lovely Littles Exhibit

I am pleased to say that my work will be among a group of artists showing small works of art, all for sale, at Creative Framing & Gallery in Oakland, CA. All works will be 12″ or less on any side. All media will be represented.

My works will include 14  fabric postcards, each mounted on 8″ x 10″ archival, museum-quality matt, ready to frame. Here are a few of the postcards that will be there:

In addition, I will have several 12″ x 12″ art quilts there including 3 of my newest pieces — Sumac, Oakleaf Hydrangea and Maples — created using botanical prints.  Here is Maples

Here are the details:

Lovely Littles
Holiday Group Art Exhibit
November 1 – December 23, 2017

Creative Framing & Gallery
Art Receptions:
November 3rd, 6 – 9 pm
December 1st, 6 – 9 pm
2700 Park Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94606

Check the website (above) for regular gallery hours. If you are in the area, I hope that you will plan to stop by to see the wonderful art that will be there.

Accepted into Art Quilts

I am  thrilled to announce that two of my works have been accepted for Art Quilts, a juried exhibit of the  California and Nevada regions of Studio Art Quilt Associates. The call for this exhibit simply stated that “Art Quilts…seeks to display outstanding contemporary textiles created by SAQA regional members from both the Southern CA/Southern NV region and Northern CA/Northern NV region. There is no specific theme to interpret for this exhibit.” I don’t know how many art quilts were entered for the exhibit but 64 pieces by 49 artists were accepted. (Update: 296 pieces were entered for this exhibition.)

The two selected pieces for the exhibit are Broken Ginkgos IV

and Precious Metals II.

 

You may wonder how an Oregon resident is able to participate in such an exhibit. As a member of SAQA, I am able to align myself with two regions: the region I live in and a second region of my choice. I chose to retain my membership in the Northern California/Northern Nevada region.

The exhibit will be featured first at the

California Heritage Museum
December 8, 2017 – March 18, 2018
Opening Reception: December 9, 2017
2612 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405

The California Heritage Museum  is committed to promoting the diversity and rich history of California’s heritage through exhibitions, lectures, publications and community events.

The second venue is the

Carnegie Arts Center
April 4 – May 27, 2018
Opening Reception: April 5, 2018 6 – 8 p.m.
250 North Broadway
Turlock, CA 95380

The Carnegie Arts Center in the city of Turlock is an arts center that is both local and regional in its perspective.  It operates according to core values and in keeping with its mission of bringing diverse community and regional audiences together to experience and celebrate art in all its forms. The Carnegie’s programs include exhibitions, education classes and programs, lectures, and activities in artistic genres as diverse as dance, music, theater and more.

I hope that you will be able to attend one of these exhibits.

Sumac

Sumac is such a stately, regal plant and I think that certainly shows here in this print. I started this piece before I started Maples which I shared here. I dove back into my supply of fabrics that I created and added two silk pieces that I painted with acrylic paints in a surface design class in 2015. I am loving how these fabrics are finding their way together.

Again I turned to some hand-dyed variegated thread I purchased from Elin Noble many years ago.

I like to create one step at a time, making decisions about what I will use and how I’ll use it as each new step presents itself.  Here is thread painting done. Now — how to quilt the background surrounding the sumac.

I’ve been doing this a while. I have a lot of thread. And yet, I did not have the thread I wanted for this portion of the project.  It just arrived this week. Stay tuned.

Maples Done

The work in progress I shared here is now complete. It measures 12″ x 12″. Click on image for a larger view.

I quilted the bottom section using the marks left by the twine used to wrap the fabric bundles during the printing process. They made for a simple, effective design. Then I fussed and dithered about how to quilt the silk screened piece on the right side. Ultimately I decided that simplicity was in order. I had enough quilting design in the other two sections and the silk screened design was quite enough for the right side. So, simple lines is what I did. A detail:

I couldn’t resist adding the beads. And, interestingly enough, this work is created entirely with silk fabrics. The botanical print fabrics are silk noil, the screen printed fabric is a very light-weight silk and the binding is a raw silk. Each has its own signature look and texture. I am very pleased with the way they play off one another while creating harmony.

On to the next! I have a lovely sumac print that is waiting for me. What do you have waiting for you that has your creative juices running?

Maples

Cutting into a strip of the botanical prints turned out to be quite liberating. I’m certain there is a psychological term for it but I’ll just stick with ‘progress’ and be happy for it.

I love the shape of a maple leaf and isn’t it wonderful that there are many varieties? Here is a small grouping of very delicate leaves. I have joined them with the last scrap of silk fabric that reveals the twine markings from the cochineal dye bath — see this posting for more explanation — and, on the right side, a piece of silk that I silk screened ten years ago.  Click on the image for a larger view.

Note that these sections are not pieced in the traditional way with a quarter-inch seam. Instead, I overlapped the fabrics by one quarter inch (or less) and used a very narrow zigzag stitch to attach them. This allowed for maximum use of each of the fabrics.

I auditioned quite a few threads for thread painting the leaves and decided on using another variegated hand-dyed pearl cotton that I purchased from Elin Noble. I’m quite happy with the results.

The thread painting went a long way in brightening the leaves. To continue with that idea and bring more balance to the bright silk strip on the right, I chose one of the Nature Colors collection from Superior Threads.

Things are coming together so I am back to work. There are a lot more circles to stitch before this small piece is done. It will measure 12″ x 12″ when completed. Stay tuned.

Oakleaf Hydrangea III

In early July I took a 4-day class with Kristy Kun on botanical printing/dyeing. I got some amazing prints that I am just delving into now. Part of my conundrum was having so many choices. I finally decided to work small and use one of the prints from our last day of work. I share some details on this printing here.

As a refresher, here is the portion of the particular piece that I chose to cut a print from.

I also trimmed off the end of the fabric that was not covered during the immersion in the cochineal dye bath. I will use every scrap of this fabric!

The oakleaf hydrangea is such a beautiful plant. This leaf is 10″ tall and 9″ wide. The crisp print and detail of the veining is just so exciting. Even in this simple state, I love it. The silk noil strip is just 11″ tall so having the gradation of cochineal on weld was perfect for adding some interest. On the right side I placed the beginning of the color change and the bottom has the next few inches which was more openly exposed to the cochineal bath. The bottom right corner is a square to complete the piece. I stabilized the fabric with Pellon featherweight interfacing by arranging the 4 pieces of fabric on top and pressing them into place — I didn’t waste a morsel by piecing it. Click on images to enlarge the view.

I used a hand-dyed pearl cotton thread that I purchased from Elin Noble many years ago. It has a bold weight and presence for this large-veined leaf that I really like.

I couldn’t wait to enhance the markings created by the twine wrap. Simple stitches with cotton embroidery floss worked well for the bottom and a variegated pearl cotton was perfect for the side. Here I am auditioning embroidery floss and 3 different beads.

A good studio assistant is never far from creative activity. Here is Cooper keeping an eye on my progress.

And here is the finished piece. It measures 12 3/4″ x 12 3/4″.

and a detail.

If you are new here, you can see my posts about the botanical printing class here and here, as well as the link above.

Thanks for reading. Please share your comments about this new work — I’d love to hear from you.

1000 Quilt Inspirations

I am honored to have my work published in Sandra Sider’s 1000 Quilt Inspirations, Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern, and Art Quilts.  From the cover and the turn of each page, this book delivers on its title. Click on image for a larger view.

I even like the size of the book, a table-top friendly 9 1/8″ square.

I submitted samples of my work for this book in 2014 and wrote about it here and here. The book was published by Quarry Books in 2015, the year that I moved from California to Oregon. I  didn’t learn which of my works had been selected for the book until I purchased it. Five of my works were selected for the Pictorial Art Quilt Designs section. Here are three of my Broken Ginkgo series.

And the last two, more play with one of my favorite subjects.

Works here represent every imaginable technique created by artists from around the world. There is truly something here for anyone who is interested in creating or simply appreciating the art of quilting. I find myself browsing this book, finding something new each time I do.

How do you stay inspired?

Eucalyptus and Fig

I’ve just completed a piece that I’m quite happy with. This piece is a very satisfying combination of old, new and hand made: my old cyanotype print on silk of a eucalyptus branch and new cyanotype prints on hand-dyed cotton of young fig leaves; some of my hand-painted fabric and hand-made fabrics from Africa. I met Janet Rothermel last year in a class at Oregon College of Art and Craft. Janet is a local pastel artist focusing on landscapes — check out her work here. Janet has a thriving garden filled with endless possibilities for printing and she was gracious in sharing some young dried fig leaves with me. The small size and great detail of these leaves are very inspiring.

After the concept for this piece was formed, the fabric was pulled for audition. Click on an image for a larger view.

I don’t expect to use every fabric; I do want enough choices to put pieces on the design wall and see how they work together. Here I’ve begun to cut strips and place them in possible layouts.

Possibilities include the direction of the cyanotype prints.

This step takes patience but is well worth the experimentation. While I was still considering a variety of possibilities, I became eager to begin the thread painting process. So, off I went to the machine.

I truly enjoy each step in the creation process, but the thread-painting step is probably my favorite. A little side note about the print: The eucalyptus trees that were near my home in California are the variety with long, slim leaves and beautiful acorn-hard capsules. The print above was created using a variety I found just outside Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward. The leaves of this variety are shorter and wider, have a lighter grey-green color and, at the stage I took a branch, have clusters of tiny buds that will eventually open with white flowers. I enjoyed rethinking my process for defining the leaves and blossom buds. I began the process with a variegated green trilobal polyester thread. Next I went back with an olive-green polyester thread and finally I did some shading with a brown 50-weight cotton. Once the thread-painting was complete, I stitched together the fabric strips for the quilt top.

I spray-baste my quilt layers. Yes, sometimes I get a bit heavy handed with spray and that can lead to a sticky build up on the needle. It always cleans off easily and I move on. I am less annoyed by this than the process of removing pins or other stabilizers while I am quilting. I began by quilting the eucalyptus and the fig cyanotype prints using blue 100-weight silk thread. Next I marked the remainder of the quilt with guide lines.

See those vertical white lines? Those are my guides. I use just two marking pens. The pen on the top of this picture leaves white lines on dark fabric. These lines will disappear with heat from the iron when I block the quilt.

The blue pen creates blue lines on light fabric and is removed with water.  Now the quilting can continue.

When the quilting was done, I blocked the quilt, trimmed the sides and top and put it back on the design wall to determine how long I wanted the bottom panel.

I decided to trim 3 1/2 inches from the bottom. Next came binding and the hand work.

My studio assistant aka Cooper was more than happy to stay close while I was busy stitching Colonial knots in each of the bud areas. This art quilt measures 48″ x 19″.

 

 

 

 

Threads of Resistance — Final Word

I received word from the curators and jurors earlier this week and my piece was not selected for the Threads of Resistance exhibition. Four Hundred artists from around the world responded to this call for entry with 550 artworks submitted for consideration. The ten curators and jurors of the exhibit have their work in the exhibit leaving just 49 pieces selected from the 550 entries. Now that’s stiff competition!

I am confident that the exhibit will be exceptional. I know seven of the artists who had their work selected and their work never disappoints. If you haven’t viewed all of the work submitted yet, I encourage you to do so. I shared information about an on-line viewing that is available and provided the link here. You can view the schedule for this traveling exhibit by clicking on the ‘schedule’ tab.

I will be keeping my eye open for other opportunities to share my work. My resistance to the Trump administration doesn’t stop here.

Threads of Resistance Update

I don’t anticipate hearing from the Threads of Resistance jury team until the end of this month but I think an update on where they are in their process is in order.

The call to submit generated over 500 entries — not a surprise to me at all. There are 17 categories which group the submitted art. I have no idea how many submissions will be selected for the traveling exhibit. I can only guess that it will be well under 100. I’m glad I don’t have to make the decisions on this because there is some incredible art to choose from.

I originally posted about my entry here. I’ll be sure to let you know if I made the cut as soon as I know.

If you would like to see all of the art that has been submitted for this exhibit, go to the Threads of Resistance site here and click on ‘The Artwork.’ Enjoy!

Awards

I always feel that gaining entry to a judged and juried exhibit is a reward in itself. So I could not be more happy about having three entries accepted for Best of the Valley 2017 and having all three come home with a ribbon. BOTV 2017 was held in Lindsay, CA, April 7-9. Click on images for larger viewing.

Going in Circles received an Honorable Mention ribbon. My artist statement for this piece read:
I find myself seeking more opportunity to create design with hand stitching. This quilt’s background was constructed by arranging pieces of torn fabric onto a background fabric, topping that with tulle, then layering with batting and backing before machine quilting. All surface work on the quilt is done by hand using a variety of materials and techniques.

Broken Tulips received a Third Place ribbon. My artist statement for this piece read:

This quilt was inspired by a stunning bunch of tulips that brightened my home in the spring of 2016. The pattern was created using a photograph of the flowers.

Precious Metals II received a Third Place ribbon. My artist statement for this piece read:

The lure of the ginkgo leaf is still very strong for me. This piece is a riff on Precious Metals created in 2012. Again, the leaf sparkles with copper, silver and gold, the precious metals, and the circle is emphasized with beading.

 

 

Threads of Resistance Entry 

Within minutes of reading the Threads of Resistance call for entry — a juried exhibition of work created to protest the Trump administration’s actions and policies — a lightening bolt of inspiration hit me. I knew the subject I had to address and what I wanted to create. As always, the technical issues were resolved in the process of construction.

Though not a color I enjoy working with, the choice was clear — pink. I pulled fabrics from my stack and then went shopping. Click on images to reveal a larger view.

I was happy to sign Cecile Richards’ on-line letter thanking the staffs of Planned Parenthood centers across the United States for their stalwart support of their communities. I printed the letter on twelve different fabrics. Next I started experimenting with the layout of the letters on the background fabric.


It took several layouts

to find the one that worked the best.

Here’s the final layout.

Next came the message. I used one of my alphabet stencils, drew out the message and enlarged it to the appropriate size. After reversing the image, I printed it on WonderUnder.

Marking and thread selection were up next. That’s 110-wt. silk from Superior Threads. I love the way it quilts, almost melting into the fabrics.

And here it is quilted and blocked. I still get a kick out of how both the water soluble marker (blue lines) and the heat sensitive marker (white lines) disappear during the blocking process. It’s my kind of ‘magic’!

Now to get the placement of the wire hanger right. After pinning a hanger to several spots I settled on this arrangement.

Here’s the completed piece.

And a detail image:

My artist statement for this entry reads:  In a 7-2 decision on January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court stuck down an 1857 Texas statute that made abortion illegal except where the life of the mother was in danger. In its ruling, the court recognized for the first time that the constitutional right to privacy “is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” Immediately after Roe was decided, opponents of safe and legal abortion urged state and federal lawmakers to pass laws stripping away at or banning abortion. We must not step back 160 years by allowing this right to be taken away.

Threads of Resistance will premiere at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA, on July 11th and will travel throughout the United States. See the current confirmed venues here. The organizers continue to seek more venues and will be updating their website as they are added. I have every confidence that this will be a very powerful exhibit, encouraging conversation on many topics.

Accepted for Best of the Valley

I’m pleased to say that my three entries for the Best of the Valley exhibit have been accepted. Broken Tulips (click on an image for a larger view)

Going in Circles

and Precious Metals II

will be on display

April 7 – 9, 2017

McDermont Field House

365 North Sweet Brier

Lindsay, CA 93247

See this link for more details about Best of the Valley.

I had work in this annual exhibit in 2012 and 2015.

 

Precious Metals II

At last — I have completed Precious Metals II. Like the work that inspired it — Precious Metals — this piece is 12″ x 12″. Click on image for a larger view.

Precious Metals II, 12" x 12"

This color pallet is especially nice to work with during the Fall season and I thoroughly enjoyed the meditative work of beading.

Precious Metals II detail

Precious Metals received quite an honor at the Best of the Valley show in 2012. Shortly after that it was sold. I hope to have this piece to enjoy for a while.

The leaves are dropping, decorating the sidewalks and gutters, inspiring more play with this beautiful shape.

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I hope that you are enjoying this season in your neighborhood.

Precious Metals II

It’s not a secret that I’m drawn to the ginkgo leaf. I love seeing them on and off trees. Click on an image for a larger view.

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Nature has a beautiful way of shedding and arranging the leaves.

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I’ve enjoyed using these photographs for some fun sketching.

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In 2011 I created a small piece called Precious Metals. It won an award and sold almost immediately, leaving me little time to enjoy it.

Franki Kohler, Precious Metals, 12" x 12", 2011

As the season changes to fall, I’m reminded again of the beauty of this leaf as it changes color and falls from the trees lining my street. I was thinking of Precious Metals and decided to create another version of it. It didn’t take long before I had formed an idea. I started by bringing out possible materials to use. Then I created a design directly on the background fabric using a water erasable fabric marking pen. Once my machine was cleaned and oiled, I started the thread sketching using a gold thread over gold organza.

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This organza has tiny bits of sparkle attached to the surface — perfect. When the thread work is done I carefully trim away the excess organza fabric. Here are the gold leaves finished. I am doing this thread sketching through all three layers of the quilt. Because of that — and the added layer of organza for each leaf — there is no need to use an embroidery hoop or pins to stabilize the fabric while I stitch.

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Next I used silver metallic thread over a silver organza. It’s difficult to see the organza against the light oatmeal fabric, but it lends just the extra sparkle I was looking for.

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Copper was next up — here is the orange tulle in place:

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With the thread sketching complete, I turned to auditioning possibilities for quilting and beading. I was thrilled to see a bit of the fabric I had used on Precious Metals for the binding. It is so perfect for this combination of gold, silver and copper.

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I liked the idea of using Superior’s variegated metallic thread to quilt the background. I had a good start on quilting but quickly decided I didn’t like the look — it was too distracting, stealing the thunder from the central design of the ginkgo leaves. So I spent some quiet time taking out the quilting. Instead, I used YLI 100-weight silk thread, color 239 on the top and the same thread, color 242, for the bobbin.

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I love the way silk thread loses itself in the thick pile of this fabric. It creates a subtle overall texture on top of a heavier texture already there.

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And the bobbin thread accomplished the same goal on the back.

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And the beading has begun.

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I am loving this quiet, meditative hand work. Stay tuned for the finish. And oh! Happy Fall.

Added Venue for It’s Not Easy Being Green

In addition to the venues I told you about here, the exhibit will appear

September 20 – October 27, 2016
Visual Arts Center Gallery
Mt. Hood Community College
26000 SE Stark Street
Gresham, OR 97030

Artist Reception:
Thursday, October 6th
11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the artist reception. I will check out the exhibit though. Click on the link above to see when the gallery is open.

Accepted For It’s Not Easy Being Green

I recently learned that my work Forget Me Not: Collaboration with Grandma has been accepted into the High Fiber Diet exhibit It’s Not Easy Being Green.  Three jurors selected 31 fiber creations, each including at least 25% recycled, repurposed or organic materials while expressing a struggle, whether personal or universal. (Click on image for a larger view.)

Forget Me Not - Collaboration with Grandma, 54 1/2" x 20", 2012, Not For Sale

The 3 jurors, Pat Bognar, accomplished photographer and teacher, Trisha Hassler, a superb mixed media artist and Columbia FiberArts Guild member, and Bonnie Meltzer, a transformative mixed media artist, contemplated 44 submitted fiber artworks to select 31 dynamic fiber creations for the exhibition.

High Fiber Diet is a sub-group of the Columbia FiberArts Guild, and is comprised of a group of artists located in southwestern Washington and western Oregon who choose to work with fiber to express their interpretation of the world and themselves. The members are committed to understanding the academic principles of art, integrating them into their individual creative processes, and applying their understanding of composition and design. I am thrilled to belong to a group who is committed to high standards of artistry and professionalism and who has for over twenty years successfully produced juried exhibits of fiber art, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional, and wearable art.

Three confirmed venues for 2017 include: La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum in La Conner, Washington, February 1, – March 30, 2017; The World Forestry Center Gallery in Portland, May 12,  – July 23, 2017; and Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon, September 1  – October 30, 2017. Negotiations for more venues are underway now. Watch for details in the near future.

Read about the work of my grandmother Hilda Elizabeth Packer Preston, its inclusion in this piece and awards that it has already won here, here, here and here.