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Woodwardia Wonder accepted for The Consilience of Art & Science

I am happy to announce that Woodwardia Wonder has been accepted for The Consilience of Art & Science, a Pence Gallery and UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Juried Exhibition opening at the Pence Gallery January 10 and running through February 28, 2014. All mediums were considered for this exhibit. (Hover cursor over images for more details.)

Woodwardia Wonder, 60"x24", 2013, For SaleThe statement on the call to artists and scientists is:

The goals of the exhibition are to show creative work that explores the intersection between art and science; to foster communication between the arts and sciences; and to spark new ways of viewing the world and ourselves.

The woodwardia fern has captured my attention for some time now. The structure of the fern is one example of the quasi-self-similar fractal as defined by mathematicians. Leaves repeat — though not exactly — in ever-smaller forms. It is also a native California plant and the fourth art quilt of my series exploring such plants.

Franki Kohler, Woodwardia Wonder, DetailBased on past experience at the Pence Gallery, the art work selected will be of impeccable workmanship and the creativity expressed will push the boundaries of each artist’s medium. This is going to be an exciting exhibit!

The Artists Reception is Friday, January 10, 6 – 9 p.m. There will be a jurors’ talk from 5 – 6 p.m. and awards will be given at 8 p.m. The exhibit will be displayed in the Main Gallery space, measuring 100 sq. ft., with 12′ ceilings, lit by a dramatic glass tower.  I hope to see you there.

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!

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.

Woodwardia Ferns Done

Ahh, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of a completed project and since this one is done before deadline I’m feeling an extra measure of satisfaction.

“Woodwardia Ferns” measures 49″ x 65 1/4″ and is the largest art quilt I’ve made to date. The three heliographic prints were begun in the early summer. These fabulous fronds come from a plant growing in the backyard of my friend Jennifer, a green-thumb pal who, like most avid gardeners, is very generous with her plants.

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Back in July I was Riffing on 3. You know, 3 ferns, 3 rows of checks — my third riff isn’t quite as obvious. It’s the quilting design: the surface is divided into 3 sections. The first section is five 45-degree-angle areas, each 5″ wide, defined by 1/4″ lines of unquilted space. The 5 sections span the width of the quilt, starting at the bottom left side and ending at the top right side. The remaining 2 sections of the surface are divided into the same 5″-wide sections, but these are marked at 60-degree angles off of the 45-degree lines of the middle section.  This subtle layer of design is not apparent until you are close to the quilt. Several of the detail photos in the slideshow reveal it. Sunset gold Lumiere paint  accents the 3 stems and helps to unify the piece.

“Woodwardia Ferns” will be the centerpiece of my solo exhibit Borrowed From Nature at Creative Framing & Gallery in Oakland beginning this Saturday, October 1 and running through the end of the month. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll make a point of stopping by. The artist reception is Saturday, October 22, 6 – 8 pm.

Textiles and Tomatoes

The moment we stepped outside for our morning walk with the boys I could tell it was going to be a real summer day — you know, the kind of tomato-ripening weather you usually have in July and August. Well, that kind of heat eluded us all summer. But it’s here today and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I approached the vines, basket in hand and picked Sweet 100s and Sun Gold tomatoes.Yum!

After rinsing the tomatoes I headed to the studio.

I emptied another spool of thread and completed the quilting on the Woodwardia Fern piece. This was my third spool-tossing event with this quilt — another reminder of just how big this one is. Because I usually work with many threads and on smaller pieces, I often work for many months without emptying a spool of thread. That plunk in the trash feels like I’ve completed a major chapter in a project — and so I have. Here it is pinned and wet with steam from blocking.

I’m pleased that the unquilted 1/4″ lines show so nicely. During the quilting process I was becoming concerned that they might not be obvious due to the larger-than-normal quilting shapes I used.

I’ll be able to bind it tomorrow and once I have it on my design wall, consider the possibility of additional work. Beads? Paint? or ????  Stay tuned.

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!

WIP — Riffing on 3

Goal:  Connect the 3 individual fern prints in a way that makes them a comfortable, natural threesome. Can we say Three Musketeers? All for one and one for all? 

The first idea came so easily it seemed like a gimme: Combine fabrics from the adjacent prints to fill the gaps in height. I like the simplicity of the check and the fusion it creates. The next challenge took a bit more.  I needed a fabric that would bridge each of the pairs of adjacent prints and I wanted a commercial fabric — no more painting for me. I found the first one in my stash. It’s a piece of Jane Sassaman-designed fabric that a friend gave me a quarter yard of. Lucky me. I cut two 2″ strips and pieced it in.

The second fabric was not in my studio but at the second store I went to.

And here is the completed top:

This is the 3rd quilt I will have created using the woodwardia fern — see the first 2 in my Art Quilt Gallery. This top measures 50″ x 67″ — my largest art quilt to date. It was not planned at all that the quilts would have 1, 2 and then 3 prints in them, it just happened that way. A bit of serendipity I’m enjoying. But I digress.

I’ve been thinking for some time about how I would quilt this piece. My riff on 3 will continue. Stay tuned.

WIP — Woodwardia Fern #3

I love the constant change that takes place as I work on a new piece. The very nature of construction forces me to live with it up close during stitching — then I put it on the wall and view it from across the room. This change of viewing keeps what I’m doing fresh and lively.

I have never been drawn to red or its shades, in fact I usually avoid them. But my choice of fucshia for this piece seemed right, that is, appropriate to work with the other colors chosen. So this is a challenge for me. Not a bad thing. Saving note: the variation of colors really do move from pink through purple.

And the appearance of texture achieved in the printing process is simply incredible. This particular frond is also the least perfect of the three I printed, giving it even more variety and interest. I’m actually warming to this the more I work on it.

The fronds have been threadpainted and the next decision will be where to trim each of them so they can be stitched together. This is where the adventure factor begins to rev up and I remind myself — out loud — Measure twice, cut once!

Stay tuned…

WIP

It’s Wednesday, so this must be a Work In Progress.  This is the second of three Woodwardia Fern fronds I am threadpainting for a new art quilt.  I get these fronds from my friend Jennifer, who has an incredible speciman in her back yard.  (Jennifer and I meet each Monday morning, alternating houses, to practice piano duets.  We laugh that we’ll never make it to Carnegie Hall but we’re having a great time and, in spite of ourselves, we are getting better.)  If a plant that has been printed on fabric can seem happy, that’s what I see here.  In fact, this ones seems to be dancing.

I love the imperfections of this frond and the wide variation in color that was achieved by the spotty layering of fucshia over teal.  Over the surface of this print gradations of pink to purple lurk.  Yum!

The fucshia print is next.  My head is spinning with ideas for how to put the three together. I can hardly wait to see what happens!

Work in Progress

I’m making heliographic prints again. I completely enjoy the whole process of creating these prints. With Setacolor Transparent paint by Pebeo, a Woodwardia fern cutting, a few simple supplies and a sunny day, I tranform white fabric into a one-of-a-kind piece of art. I’ve used a small amount of fuchsia over turquoise on this print.

The effects from rock salt and rice create a lovely texture. Just fuchsia here.

I made the fuchsia print larger so I would have some extra fabric. Here’s the last print:

The ferns are so dramatic all by themselves that it seems almost redundant to embellish them. But, embellish I will. I print so I can threadpaint — and that’s next.  Time to audition threads. Come visit again and I promise you’ll see some of that work in progress.