Monday, February 19, 2007

Diversions and such

My excuse for not posting - I've been really really busy doing art stuff. It's the truth. I'm working on 5 pieces to submit to the Quilt Surface Design International Invitational. I've already been accepted but they will be selecting what they will exhibit from these five. I'm almost finished with the 3rd piece, having spent nearly 20 hours quilting it.

But for a few days last week I took time away and worked on a piece to send to the Surface Design Association's Members Show. In conjunction with their biennial convention they have an all hung show of members' work. The requirement is that the piece measure 18" x 52" and preferably be double sided since they hang them out in the open. I've done this several times and it's fun to do. Except for the fact that I don't seem to be able to achieve the correct size on the first go round. This time I marked out on interfacing the proper size and then added some around all the edges. But by the time I was finished quilting, it had shrunk up and I had to add about 1/2" along the bottom.

The "front" side is on the left and the "back" side on the right. I quilted it using the same color thread in both the top and bobbin so on one side the thread blends in and on the other it contrasts. Sort of hard to see here.

I've got this up on my photography wall so I can take pictures, which brings up another topic. I'm still on the fence when it comes to going totally digital. I'm still taking slides of new work, partly because I still have slide film and I might as well use it up. I've always bought it in bulk from B&H PhotoVideo in New York, and also get developing mailers. The cost of the mailer is the cost of processing the film and it has to be sent off to a lab to be processed. It's about half the cost of having it processed locally but the drawback is that it takes longer, about a week to 10 days. Anyhow, I've used the last mailer but not the last roll of film, and so ordered a few more mailers. I think this is probably the last time I will be ordering this stuff. So few places want slides anymore, and the ones that will take slides would prefer digital images. I think the only show I've entered in the last year that was exclusively slides was Quilt National. And I read a prospectus for one show recently that wanted digital but would take slides. Except that entering with slides cost an extra $50.

This really forces artists to either get computer literate or hire a business manager. Even if you have pictures taken professionally, you still have to be able to manipulate them. Everybody wants them in a different size or format and it's just not consistent. I know quite a few artists who are being left out because they can't, or won't, learn how to do this.


Gerrie said...

Since I am new at this, doing slides seems like extra time and expense, so I prefer the digital format. I seem to be doing better at getting in to shows when I submit digitals because I don't have a camera tha can take slides so mine are made from jpegs which I thing can be a problem.

Anyway, love the piece you posted!

The Idaho Beauty said...

I still have an old Canon 35mm with several good lenses which only gets used for taking slides of quilts. But not even that for a long time. I was skeptical about digital at first but am pretty much converted by now. Should invest in a better one that accepts real lenses and then I'd really be set.

I agree that the inconsistency in entry form requirements for digitals is enough to drive one batty. It was interesting to read Thelma Smith's blog about the curating process and how she had to deal with the jpgs. There are definitely times when I too think, this is too much and not worth the trouble just to try to get a work in an exhibit.

Here's hoping that in time, a universal standard for jpgs is adopted.

Twila Grace said...

I like this piece. It appears to be quilted in "blocks", is this right, or does it just appear that way?

Best wishes!

Cathy Kleeman said...

Universal standard for jpgs will happen just like the universal standard for labeling slides happened. :)

Twila - they are gridded blocks. I'm doing this all with the feed dogs dropped so the size of the block is more or less the length that I can quilt without having to stop (which always causes little jumps.)

PaMdora said...

This is really beautiful! But then I always like what you do.