Pence Gallery Exhibit: By Hand

When I dropped off my quilt Forget Me Not, Collaboration with Grandma at the Pence Gallery last week I was given postcards to promote the exhibit. It was a very nice surprise to see that the gallery chose a detail photo of my piece for the postcard (bottom right).

Franki Kohler, By Hand Postcard

The Pence presents its first juried exhibit of fine craft by artists and craftspeople residing in California, as selected by Julie M. Muñiz, Associate Curator, Design and Decorative Arts, Oakland Museum of California.

Selected artists: Marlene Bloomberg, Susan Brady, Beverly Crist, Dede deGraffenried, Alex Friedman, Tricia Goldberg, Mark Goudy, Bill Heiderich, Franki Kohler, Barbetta Lockart, Emma Luna, Chris Motley, Kathy Pallie, Liza Riddle, Jan Schachter, Louise Schiele, Jeff Snell, Matt Trethric, Melissa Woodburn, and Carolyn Zeitler.

The exhibit opens February 8 and ends April 4, 2013. Artist reception:  Friday, February 8, 6 – 9 p.m.

There are several nice restaurants and shops near the gallery. I’ll be meeting friends for dinner before the opening reception.  I can’t wait to see the exhibit!


I’m thrilled to share that Forget Me Not: Collaboration with Grandma has been juried into By Hand: Extraordinary Craft in California which will open at the Pence Gallery in Davis, CA, on February 8, 2013.

This is the first juried exhibit of fine craft that the Pence will host. Their definition of the term ‘fine craft’ is “…work that is cutting-edge and has the highest standard of workmanship; and work that is innovative in its use of materials and aesthetic vision.” Media for this exhibit may include metal, wood,clay, textiles, paper, stone or mixed media.

Juror Julie M. Muñiz is the Imogene Gieling Curator of Decorative Arts at the Oakland Museum of California where she oversees the collection of historical and contemporary craft and design objects.

The opening reception is Friday, February 8 from 6 – 9 p.m. If you are in the area, I hope you’ll stop by to see the exhibit and say hello.

Read about the creation of this piece here.

Art Reception

The reception for my solo show at Creative Framing & Gallery was Saturday, October 20 from 6 – 9 pm. People came and went almost as if they had a time-stamped ticket which meant that the gallery was never over crowded and I had an opportunity to talk with everyone who came — a real treat.

The back wall here shows Ginkgo Dust Up with 8 journal page quilts.

Nature’s Fractal came home in late September after two years of travel with the SAQA Art Meets Science exhibit — just in time to be included in the show!

The Sunflower Scrap series was a hit.

And there were plenty of questions about how the broken ginkgo series was created.

The blackbirds always create a stir.

Here I am with gallery owner Heather Piazza.

The exhibit is up through October 31. If you stop by, be sure to sign the guest book and let me know what you thought.

Back to the O’Hanlon Exhibit

Fellow artist and on-line friend Sharon Benton has temporarily moved from the Seattle area to San Jose for a few months and we are getting to know each other in person — so fun! Sharon was a charter member of Postmark’d Art so we have been chatting on-line and swapping art since 2004. Last week we finally met in person at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles and took in the Second International TECHstyle Art Biennial (ITAB). Photography is not permitted so you’ll just have to make the trip. The exhibit will be up through October 14, 2012, so you still have time to see this worthwhile exhibit.

Sharon drove up to Oakland yesterday and we went to the Bay Area Women Artists exhibit at the O’Hanlon Gallery in Mill Valley. I was there earlier this month and shared some of the art with you then, but I was happy for an excuse for a second visit. This time I took a few images of pieces that I particularly liked. Here is Barbara Crow’s acrylic Skara Brae.

Sharon and I agreed that we could each welcome Christine Boone’s Lines #1 into our home. The energy and light of this mixed media work really drew us in and made us want to linger.

Mitsuko Baum created an utterly charming fold-up map of Paris based on a trip taken there in 2002.

And here is the box that Paris is kept safe in.

I shared a full view of Marie Bergstedt‘s Summer here but you couldn’t really appreciate her fully. Here’s a close up of Summer’s face.

Marie stitched layer upon layer of buttons to create depth, contour and color. We couldn’t resist learning about the base that she used.

Here’s Sharon standing with Marie’s salty character Mikey of Mallory.

Susan Press had a unique way of reminiscing with her mixed media piece called Slices of the Past.

Black and white photographs have been sliced apart to create the skirt of this doll which is suspended by thread from the top of a simple glass enclosure.

This exhibit closes August 29, 2012 — today! — so time is running out.

O’Hanlon Gallery Visit

Heather Piazza joined me for a visit to the O’Hanlon Gallery to see their current exhibit Bay Area Women Artists. The art center is located in bucolic Mill Valley, just north of San Francisco.

Of the 56 pieces Donna Seager selected for this exhibit only four are textiles. I continue to be impressed by the hanging of the exhibits. They always show that the curator has an artful eye. Here is Ginkgo Dust Up.

Just a few steps away is Jean Jurgenson’s Tangaroa, inspired by Rey Jonsson’s 40′ wooden sailboat built in New Zealand in 1939. The three dimensionality Jean brought to this piece is quite stunning.

A few other pieces quite caught my eye as well. Such as this pair of figures created with buttons and hand-knit clothing by Marie Bergstedt.

Marie has quite a way with creating all the shading, coloring and depth with these every-day objects.

Kathy Seward created this fun textile with a collection of feed sacks that she and her brother collected. I particularly liked its irregular shape and wide binding using two different fabrics — a perfect stripe plus a small piece of chickens marching toward the left (top left corner). The Sun Bonnet Sue block is of the same vintage as the fabrics and feed sacks.

Driving away from the gallery we had to stop for six deer to clear the intersection. We managed to capture the doe with fawn — so sweet.

Just getting to the gallery is a real treat and the exhibit is quite worth the effort. Bay Area Women Artists will be on view through August 29th.

Ginkgo Dust Up at the O’Hanlon Gallery

Ginkgo Dust Up has been accepted for Bay Area Women Artists, an exhibit that just opened at the O’Hanlon Center Gallery in Mill Valley. The O’Hanlon Center for the Arts provides programs, studio space and exhibits as part of its mission for fostering creativity and building community.

Juror Donna Seager of Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley selected 54 pieces for this exhibit including works in oil, acrylic, ink, mixed media, photography, graphite, textile, monoprint, ceramic, book arts, pastel and digital print. It’s always exciting to have ones work accepted for an exhibit, but an exhibit which features this wide range of art is a particular honor to be a part of.

This exhibit will be on view through August 29. If you’re in the area, make the effort — it will be worth your while. Find the gallery address through the link above or in the right column here.

Broken Ginkgos Headed to Houston

Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) just announced some exciting news to members:

In 2012, we have received 394 donated art quilts.  Most will be sold through SAQA’s online Benefit Auction.  A special group of 106 will be sold in the SAQA booth at International Quilt Festival – Houston. Warren and Nancy Brakensiek selected the works for the SAQA Houston Auction Sale.

My Broken Ginkgos art quilt is one of the 106 selected for the Houston Auction Sale in November 2012.  To see all of the quilts headed for Houston click here.

To learn all the details on how the on-line auction works and view the 288 foot-square quilts that be a part of that auction beginning September 10, click here.

Mark your calendar now so you don’t miss this great opportunity to own some incredible art at very affordable prices.

Artist in Residence Wrap Up

My experience at Asilomar Conference Grounds has been exciting for so many reasons. Just being at this jewel-in-the-crown California state park is a wonderful experience. Here are just a few reasons why.

This is the sunset view from my room. (Click on photos for a larger view.)

Walking on the boardwalk. . .

Interesting stumps!

Notice the three new plantings that will replace the decaying tree.

Since my last visit to Asilomar in 2010 the kitchen has been remodeled. Can you see that the sign is hanging by wire whisks?

So, back to the primary reason I was there. Because my work area was the first spot with quilts people saw as they entered Merrill Hall, my brother-in-law Marshall commented that I was like a store greeter. Well, not a bad observation. As Artist in Residence I was the only art quilter who wasn’t taking a class, so I had the opportunity to interact with everyone who entered Merrill Hall and there were plenty. Empty Spools Seminars was just one of many conferences scheduled for the same week. (Their 2013 schedule of classes is available now.) And we had many day-tripping folks wandering in to see the Julia Morgan building we were in as well.  I was working on two different projects during my stay so I could demonstrate a variety of techniques that I use often during my creative process. I did not finish the broken ginkgo piece I took, but I got a very good start.

The fact that I used dryer lint as a background for this project always drew a smile. I needle felted the lint directly to a fast2fuse backing, hand-stitched sea grass cotton thread for the outline of the leaf shape and beaded like crazy.

You can see other projects that used dryer lint for needle felting projects here, here, here, here, and here.

My friend Heather Piazza came by to share lunch and the excitement of my week.

And exciting it was! Many of my fabric postcards have found new homes, my book will inspire new projects for others and Precious Metals went home with Carol to Naperville, Illinois.

My experience as an artist in residence for Empty Spools Seminars has been a dream come true. Owners Gayle Wells and Suzanne Cox went out of their to make me feel welcome and comfortable. The warm reception I felt by everyone — students, teachers and general public alike — was truly heart warming. And the genuine interest in my work was, at times, overwhelming.  I felt acceptance as an artist and energized to jump back into work as soon as I unpack. It doesn’t get any better than that in my book.  Unless it is to say that . . . of course . . . Christy finished the socks for Oliver!

At Asilomar — Artist in Residence

I was invited in 2010 to be the Artist in Residence during one of the five sessions that Empty Spools Seminars holds classes at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. I was thrilled to sign the contract and here I am today.

Arrival day was Sunday, June 17. My sister Christy met me here (she is taking class) and was invaluable in helping me to hang my work and set up my work space in Merrill Hall, a stunning Julia Morgan designed building.  The size of the hall allows for ample space.  The free-standing wall behind my space holds Princess Bliss who came along to keep me company and display more postcards for sale.

And here is the opposite side of that free-standing wall. This also captures a portion of the balcony where we hung my Christmas quilt. It is so fun to see the work together in this large, important space!

Across from my work space Carolie Hensley, owner of Cotton Patch in Lafayette, sets up a pop-up quilt shop. Carolie has been doing this for over 12 years now. What a job! But what a necessary luxury it is for the attendees to have those supplies just steps away from the class room.

I wasn’t kidding — it really is a pop-up quilt shop!

The first evening during the conference involves a gathering in Merrill Hall to introduce all of the instructors and the resident artist. A bit of anxiety here, of course.  I spoke about the events that took me from being one who makes bed quilts to becoming a fiber artist, complete with Power Point images. The first minute or so of speaking the tension was high, then I settled down and began to enjoy it. Whew! It seemed to go well — no one walked out of the hall while I was talking.

Here’s the stage, taken from the balcony.

Following the introductions there was a buzz at my work space with lots of questions about the fabric postcards, my book, how I work. Lots of fun! Janine bought a postcard for herself and her friend who wasn’t able to attend this session.

And Thera took away a couple of things for herself.

What a day this was! Time for a glass of wine with friends. Never idle, Christy finished the first of a pair of socks for her 10-month-old grandson, Oliver.

Life is more than good.

184 Art Quilts

That’s how many 12-inch square beauties are already available for viewing on the Studio Art Quilt Associates auction page. Be sure to click on the What You Can’t See on the Computer link to get more information about the quilts. The auction begins Monday, September 10 at 2 p.m. Eastern time and at this pace I’m betting that we see more than the 309 quilts that last year’s auction sold. This year, a special group of quilts will be selected for sale at the International Quilt Festival — Houston rather than on-line. Contemporary quilt collectors Warren and Nancy Brakensiek will be selecting the quilts for the Houston sale.

I wrote about the quilt that I donated (page 1b of the auction) here and here.

Review how the auction works here and then mark your calendar. I’m sure marking mine!

The competition for these little collectible jewels is pretty intense. So good luck!

Ribbon Excitement!

I’m thrilled! The three quilts accepted for the Best of the Valley 2012 show each earned a ribbon. Precious Metals received 1st Place honors in the Mini Quilts, Art category.  Oakleaf Hydrangea was pinned with a 3rd Place ribbon and Fall Ginkgos was recognized with an Honorable Mention ribbon.  These are the first ribbons my work has received. I can’t wipe the smile from my face.

Best of the Valley Quilt Show

Oakleaf Hydrangea, Fall Ginkgos and Precious Metals were juried into this year’s The Best of the Valley show which opens tomorrow, Friday, April 13, in Lindsay, CA. I am always thrilled to have my work accepted by judges who are seeing art works from some of the best in the art quilt community. Acceptance is prize enough — no cash prize or ribbon is necessary.

If you’re in the area, or you just want to take a ride, stop by the McDermont Field house in Lindsay and take in the show.

SAQA Donation Quilt

I learned a technique that Denise Miller calls broken color (after a water-color technique) earlier this month and I shared progress on a small art quilt. I’ve completed the quilt now and have decided to call it Broken Ginkgos. This quilt will be donated to Studio Art Quilts Associates (SAQA) for their 2012 fund-raiser.

SAQA’s Benefit Auction is their largest fundraiser and SAQA’s biggest income source after membership dues. For the 2011 auction, 309 artworks were donated and they raised $52,925. To see all the quilts donated in 2011, click on the NEWS & EVENTS tab on the site, then click on SAQA BENEFIT AUCTION. The 2012 donations will be on the site starting in July 2012. I’ll give you plenty of notice!

Visions Art Museum and More!

I simply had to go! The traveling SAQA exhibit Art Meets Science opened on February 3rd at Visions Art Museum in San Diego, CA. My quilt Nature’s Fractal is a part of this traveling exhibition and this is the only West Coast venue.  (See the sidebar for an explanation of the exhibit and where it goes next.)

Fellow Postmark’d Art buddy Kay Laboda laid out and hung the exhibit and invited me to stay with her during my visit. I hopped on a plane Tuesday morning and Kay met me at the airport. Here’s how I spotted Kay

We drove straight to the museum

I wish I could have been there February 3rd when the museum was buzzing for the opening of the current exhibits. The announcement of the naming of their large gallery space as the Del Thomas Gallery also occurred during the opening celebration. Del is an avid collector of art quilts who established the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection in 1985. I lingered over two exhibits hung as you enter the museum. The first features 40 twelve-inch square quilts from the TCQC. A return engagement for TCQC is scheduled for the summer of 2013 as New Quilts from the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection and will feature works acquired since a summer 2007 exhibit at the Museum.

The other exhibit features fourteen-inch-square quilts from the Canyon Quilters Guild challenge Magical Mystery Tour: Homage to the Beatles. Here is Kay with her entry Baby, You Can Drive My Car (top, left)

Next I took in the Art Meets Science exhibit which filled the rest of the museum. Here I am with Nature’s Fractal

This is a sun print of two woodwardia fern leaves on cotton fabric. It is heavily quilted using silk, metallic and rayon threads; painted and hand beaded. The woodwardia fern is one example of the quasi-self-similar fractal as defined by mathematicians. Leaves repeat — though not exactly — in ever-smaller forms.

I completed this work in 2009 and almost immediately sent it off for this traveling tour which will be completed late this year. Everyone I spoke with at the VAM indicated that the exhibit has been very popular and they received lots of positive comments. They sold out of the exhibit catalogue within the first week. It was quite a thrill to see the entire exhibit.

This is the first time Kay and I have met in person, though we’ve communicated on-line for several years now. We enjoyed the opportunity to get to know one another more intimately. Kay is an avid giraffe collector. I had a hint of that before I even entered her home.

Her golden lab Casey made me feel right at home.

On Wednesday Kay shared a few of her favorite places with me. We drove to La Jolla to enjoy the Bay. First stop: Seal Beach.

I don’t have to tell you that it was a day far more beautiful than most expect during the winter! It was the stuff picture postcards are made of. We walked a large circle around a beautiful park following the water and animals. There seemed to be something interesting and fun every few feet — I couldn’t stop clicking the camera!

We encountered wildlife at our feet, in the air and in the water. Brown Pelicans are native to California. They are an endangered species so it was wonderful to see so many in one place. On the sides of cliffs

and in flight

Then there was Tristan, the seven-year-old Toy Pomeranian. He and his human companion enjoy a walk by the water every day. She told us that Tristan would soon have his own page on Facebook.

The lifeguard box, tightly locked, was intriguing

For lunch we drove near the airport with its spectacular views.

We still had about an hour before I needed to be at the airport so we went back to the VAM. Just down the hall from the Visions exhibits is the home of the San Diego Watercolor Society. We toured their current exhibit A Match Made in Heaven. It was wonderful.

In the hallway between the two exhibit venues were some incredible benches

Just outside the museum, in a covered walkway were more benches

So much art . . . so little time. Thank you Kay for sharing your beautiful city with me!

Gallery Visit and Quilt Critiques with Sandra Sider

I’m a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) and I share the role of Representative for the Northern California/Nevada region with Sandy Wagner. I had the pleasure of hosting Sandra Sider, President of SAQA, at my home earlier this month. She was in town for other business and graciously offered to conduct a session of critiques for members in our region during her visit.  Sandra is also Consulting Curator for the Texas Quilt Museum, currently teaches undergraduate courses online in art history for the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, has been published extensively and is a working quilt artist. I was thrilled to coordinate this opportunity!

The day of the critique session Sandra and I met five more SAQA members at a nearby restaurant for lunch, then we went to Creative Framing & Gallery to see my solo show. Pictured are (from left to right):  Kris Sazaki (SAQA VP), Deb Cashatt (SAQA Exhibits Coordinator), Paula Chung , Jenny Lyon, me, Sandra Sider and Sandy Wagner.

I was pleasantly surprised when Sandra began speaking about the pricing of my work and her assessment of the saleability of individual pieces. She felt that Fall Ginkgos would be the most saleable quilt because of its size (the viewer could easily see it hanging their home), use of color and perceived complexity.

Leaves II, which entailed much more work and variety of techniques, she felt would be perceived as less complex.

The few minutes we spent at the gallery were fun and educational! We all thanked Heather Piazza, herself an artist and strong supporter of the arts, who opened her gallery especially for our visit.

The critique session was next. In addition to those who had quilts to be critiqued, 15 observers were there. Sandra led each critique touching on history,  principles of art and how saleable each piece was. Viewers were encouraged to share their thoughts as well. She did a thorough job with 11 quilts in just 2 hours. We were in awe of her knowledge and the depth that she shared with us. I was in awe of her stamina!

Here is Sandy Wagner sharing details of the work in progress she brought. Sandy creates a lot of her own fabric with dye and applique work. She creates wearable art regularly so she is completely fearless. The section she is pointing to was created by hand appliqueing the red-orange fabric strips over the mottled yellow. There was much discussion about the central orange feature. Whatever she does, this will be gorgeous when it’s done.

This is the second time that Robin Cowley has hosted the same event at her home. She and her husband are uber gracious hosts and their home and garden are simply incredible works of art. Here are just two of the fabulous art installations in their back yard:

This is what I wanted to do when I got home from such an exciting day!

Borrowed From Nature – Artist Reception

The reception for my solo exhibit Borrowed From Nature, was held on Saturday, October 22, from 6 – 8 p.m. One of the nice things about the artist receptions at Creative Framing & Gallery is that they are held several weeks after the exhibit opens — it acts more as a closing reception. Some of the people who come for the reception have already seen the exhibit and they’ve had a chance to think about what they liked or didn’t like.

I especially like the paper tree that Heather created to frame the left side of the wall. She tucked many of my fabric postcards — all with leaves or nests on them — into the tree. It is quite charming.

People arrived in a very staggered way, almost like someone had scheduled it. Because of that, I had a chance to actually visit with just about everyone who came.

It was relaxed, intimate and fun. Here’s a glimpse of Woodwardia Ferns, the piece I completed in September, just in time for the exhibit.

And several of my pieces sold. Nice. After the reception a group of us went out to dinner.

Quilting the ferns

I’m back working on the Woodwardia fern quilt and am reminded once more how much I truly enjoy each step in the process of creating an art quilt. Right down to the final hand stitching of the binding, I’m enjoying the work.

Having just completed smaller pieces with much smaller quilting patterns, this takes focus, focus, focus to be sure I am stitching an appropriate size for this large quilt. After thirty minutes or so the new size will be in my body and I’ll be in a more zen mode — a happy state to be in. I’m satisfied with the pace of my progress. Don’t fret about the blue lines — those are made with a water-soluble pen and will disappear easily when I block the quilt. I have another pen that creates white marks to show easily on dark fabric and those marks are removed with heat. Perfect tools for the task.

I’ll be at the artist reception for Textiles and Tastings 2011 at the Shenandoah Gallery in Plymouth tomorrow afternoon. I hope to see you there!

Textiles and Tastings 2011

I was invited to join eight other artists for the Textiles and Tastings 2011 exhibit opening September 1 at the Shenandoah Gallery in Plymouth, CA. This will be the first time my work has been exhibited at a winery and I’m quite excited about the potential. I will have 4 pieces in the exhibit.

One-Color Landscape is the smallest, just 4″ x 6″ it is a fabric postcard mounted on 8-ply archival rag mat and professionally framed with the perfect frame. I sell my postcards matted without frame, however, I felt that this venue called for framing.

Orange was completed as a challenge by a group I belong to called Fiber on the Wall. It measures 37 1/4″ x 20″, includes photographs I took of fuyu persimmons and is densely quilted.

Blackbirds, 17 1/4″ x 21 1/4″, was inspired by another challenge, this time through SAQA, the professional quilt organization I belong to.  Based upon the children’s game of “Telephone,” in this challenge the first person makes a quilt based on a photograph and sends the quilt to the next person in line. That person makes a quilt based on the quilt they received, and so on. Only the first person in the group sees the original photograph, while the other participants see only the quilt they receive. The idea is not to duplicate the quilt you receive but to be inspired by it and then create your own.  The August/September 2009 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine published “The Whisper Challenge: A New Take on an Old Game” and featured the original photograph and the 6 quilts created, including mine.

Sweet 100, 22″ x 17″, started with a sun print of Sweet 100 tomato leaves.

The Artist Reception will be September 10 from 1 – 4 p.m. If you are able, please stop by and say hello. The exhibit will be open to the public through January 5, 2012. I know there will be some wonderful art based on the artists exhibiting.