Thursday, September 27, 2007

The results are coming in...

Last month I blogged about entering shows. I entered a bunch of shows figuring my chances were good for getting into maybe half of them. The results are coming in and I'm thrilled to say that I've been accepted into one of my "probably not going to get into" shows. Maryland Art Place runs a show called the Annual Critics' Residency (this is information about the show held earlier this year) where they select a group of artists and two writers and there is a collaboration of sorts between them. They will visit my "studio" aka the basement in October and talk about and select work to be in the show. There is also a Public Forum in which the artists and writers discuss their work. Aack. The show will be next Spring. It's definitely not a fiber show.

On another note - the changing of the seasons. I keep looking out for the last hummingbird. The large group that stays here during the summer left several weeks ago and now I'm seeing one or two on occasion. I saw one checking out my red mailbox - he must have just been passing through and was looking for food. I haven't seen any since Tuesday but I put out some fresh sugar water just in case. It's amazing that these little tiny birds fly all the way to Mexico for the winter, some even flying across the Gulf of Mexico. Not a wise decision at this time of year, it would seem. I hate to see them go - it means winter is coming.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Local Guild

I belong to a local quilting guild - Baltimore Heritage Quilters Guild. I've been a member for about 20 years. (Good grief!) When I joined I had just barely started quilting and my first quilt was a Quilt-In-A-Day Log Cabin tied quilt, made with Williamsburg blue calicoes as the 'dark' and off white calicoes as the 'light', with a mauvey-red center square. Every print was the same size and there wasn't much variation in the color. It was my very first quilt and I was really thrilled. I made a bunch of Log Cabin quilts in those early years.

In 1993 I attended my first Quilt Surface Design Symposium. It was really a huge stretch for me and I was really out of my comfort zone. Saw my first Quilt National and my first Fairfield Fashion Show, and I thought maybe I was in the wrong place. It took me several years to move from traditional quilter to art-quilter-wannabe to art quilter. Steps along the way included getting away from the repeated block quilt to doing my own design, then adding paint and fancy threads, then getting into dyeing and surface design, then abandoning commercial fabrics in favor of doing my own, to where I am now.

The first juried show I ever entered was the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, when it was still in Williamsburg, Virginia. My piece was a whole cloth, white on white machine quilted with a design of my own. The edges were scalloped and there was a little problem of wobbling because they stretched. You know how difficult it is to photograph a white on white quilt, and since this was the first effort at doing this, you can only imagine how awful this slide turned out. It had all the things you're not supposed to have, such as my hand holding the corner edge, and my dining room as a background. They must have been accepting everything that year because based on that slide, I shouldn't have gotten in. I don't think I have ever been as excited to get an acceptance letter as I was when I got that one. My first juried show!

Since then I've been in many shows and won ribbons and sold work. It's still gratifying to be validated, but that's not my major motivation. I just like doing it and I like the experimentation factor.

But - back to my opening topic, my local guild. We're having our biennial show next weekend. I've always helped on various committees for this show, but in a weak moment this time I volunteered to chair the Hanging Committee. We're in a new location and using an unfamiliar hanging system, and suffice it to say I'm having sleepless nights fretting over this. I am keeping extensive notes so that the next Hanging Chair (which will not be me) will have the benefit of my experience and won't make the same mistakes. She can make her own new ones.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Two Quilts In

While I was away on vacation, the jurying results for Art Quilts XII: Current were posted. This show is in Chandler, AZ and is curated by Diane Howell. The show will hang at the Chandler Center for the Arts from October 12 through December 1, 2007.

I'm very pleased that two of my pieces were chosen to hang in this show.

Sun Dance 50" x 50"

Downtown 44"L x 51"W

Both are constructed with cotton and silk that I dyed and painted, using a multitude of surface design techniques on Sun Dance. Both pieces are enhanced with flung paint and spatters and quilted in grids of various sizes and colors of thread.

At the moment I have entries out to four other venues, but the earliest I will hear from any of them is the middle of October. And I really need to get back into the studio and WORK!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Home from Wyoming

We returned yesterday from a week at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. It was fabulous! We had a great time and it always makes me think that I would like living out there. But then I think about winter and since I have never experienced winter in Wyoming, it may not be something I would enjoy.

We hiked every day, and by the end of the week had gotten our routine down pat. I'm sure to those who live out West and who hike all the time, our treks might seem less than spectacular, but to us almost-city folks who live at sea level, we were quite pleased. Our longest hike was 9 miles up Cascade Canyon at the Tetons. My biggest problem with these mountain hikes was not the uphill, but the downhill. Steep hills just absolutely killed my rotten knees. I spent one afternoon icing down a knee, and Aleve helped lots also.

For the past year I have looked at the webcam aimed at Old Faithful nearly every day. So while we were there we stood in front of the webcam and called our kids. They brought up the web page and here we are:

We're the two people in the center of the image facing the camera. Nearly every time we walked along this boardwalk we could see people doing the exact same thing. Waving at the camera with a cell phone in their hand.

I will upload some pictures later on. Today I have to catch up on all the things that didn't get done while I was away.