That lovely girl in the photo with me is my lovely granddaughter, Mia. Those who have been following my blog for low these many years know that we moved to Portland 8 years ago when she was just finishing Kindergarden. And, just like that, she is taller than me and graduated from Junior High. Her gift from me was a trip to Seattle on the train and a night in a posh hotel.
We took the trip last Friday and Saturday. Prior to that, I was busy with meetings — Guild board on Monday, finishing quilts to turn in to High Fiber Diet on Tuesday and SAQA at Terry Grant’s home on Wednesday. It was a busy week.
Early on Thursday, I met Mia and Steph at the Portland Union Station to board our train to Seattle. I love trains and train travel. This is the ceiling of the Union ‘Station.
By lunch time, we were in Seattle at the King Street Station.
We packed very lightly so that we could carry our stuff easily until we got to the Hotel Sorrento which is way up on First Hill – nine blocks up from the touristy area of the city. The station is near Pioneer Square, a lovely older area of Seattle with lots of galleries and parks. Steph knew of a restaurant there that she wanted to try — London Plane. The food was quite avant garde and very delicious. They also had a lovely selection of things for the stylish home.
I had to really hustle to keep up with my ectomorph daughter and granddaughter.
After stopping in a few shops, chosen by Miss Mia, we actually walked up to our hotel, stopping to rest at the beautifully designed Seattle Library.
The room was magically ready and so we were able to get settled. Mia loved the big king size bed so much that I thought we might never get her out of the room.
I slept in the sitting room on a pull out bed which they made up for me with a ton of pillows and comforter.
I always love going to Seattle to discover new things. On this trip, we found out about this small park which has a waterfall.
I love the variety of architecture.
We loved the small Finnish shop near Pike Place. They had a beautiful assortment of Marimekko fabric.
I took this shot of Mia on the train, coming home. I can’t believe how grown up and beautiful she is. In the fall, she is going to St Mary’s Acadamy – a highschool for girls.
We saw the start of the sun setting as we arrived back in Oregon.
Rayna Gilman tagged me to participate in this tour around to discover how others create.
What am I working on?
Right now, I am finishing up two large quilts that will be entered in my local fiberarts guild upcoming show, What’s Blue to You? I have to do the mundane work of sleeves and labels and traveling bags, just in case they get in.
I went off on a bit of a tangent with my two pieces. When I was a child, my grandmother used the term sky blue pink quite often – simetimes to describe the colors in the sky and sometimes just for fun. I had several pieces of fabric that had been snow dyed and dyed in a class I took with Judy Robinson that reminded me of sky blue pink. I made a collage of them and made a piece of hand stitched cheesecloth the centerpiece. It seemed unfinished until I added some fused flying geese. It is called Flight Through Sky Blue Pink.
Here is a detail of the cheesecloth and flying geese.
The other is an enlargement of my Picasso Woman. I made an etching of this years ago. Recreating her in this large format was a major undertaking. I dyed blue fabric and printed blue fabric with copper highlights for her hair. She is now Blue Picasso Woman.
Since the work I do comes out of my crazy brain, I hope it is unique. I rarely use commercial fabric. I start with a blank slate of white fabric and then paint, print or dye to create what I want. Some times I create fabric for a piece and sometimes, a piece of dyed fabric tells me what it wants to be. I do not do much piecing. I love the freedom of fusing fabric. It is much freer and more painterly that when pieced – at least for me.
Why do I write/create what I do?
I recently went through downsizing and moving to a condo. I had to give up studio work during that time – about 6 months. When I got set up in my new studio and sewing area at our home, I was so happy. It made me realize how critical a creative life is to my well-being. I love fabric. I love how I can manipulate it, add new surfaces to it and stitch on it.
How does your writing/creative process work?
I often work on projects in what seems like a last minute kind of way. But I do a lot of my process work in my head, thinking about it on walks, when falling asleep and when waking up. I sometimes make sketches, but more often than not, I love just throwing fabric at the design wall, shifting and folding as I come up with a composition.
I recently wrote a new artist statement. In part, it says:
I spend my day observing and photographing the sublime and the quirky scenes around me — a shadow on the deck, a group of trees, the graffiti on a building, architectural details or the juxtaposition of shapes. These scenes become inspiration for the textile art that I create. I distill the scene down to the essential elements, often in abstract form. I love the serendipity of transforming a piece of fabric with paint or dye and using the resulting creations in my textile art.
I have tagged 2 artists for next Monday’s Creative Blog Tour.
Helen Conway was one of the Twelves in the 12 x12 collaboration. I have so enjoyed watching her growth as an artist. I think you will enjoy visiting her blog.
Susan Lenz is one of the most prolific fiber artists that I know. I was honored to be part of one of her past installations about choices we make.
I will try to remind you to visit these blogs next Monday.
My life is full, fun and fantastic, but time gets away from me. The main reason I am a bit distracted this week is the visit from my two Oakland girls, Lisa and Clay and they brought Wilfredo!
Four adults and two dogs are getting along just fine in our condo. My son in law, Jack, has named it The Congdo! We have had such a good time with them, and they love our neighborhood. This week, Lisa is participating in an ICON conference and tonight is a meet and greet at the Portland Art Museum. She has her books to and some prints of her work to sell and examples of all the work she does. Saturday, she is doing a workshop session on the business of illustration.
Every one gathered here for the 4th of July. We had great food and it was fun to have every one here. We could watch fireworks from our windows. We had some great salads and kabobs.
These photos were taken by Steph for her 3191 blog.
I have been working frantically to get my two big quilts done for the High Fiber Diet “What’s Blue to You” exhibit.
Lisa took this photo of me with my blue picasso woman and posted it on Instagram.
I got 760 likes and 72 comments. The comments cracked me up.
This is the Sky Blue Pink quilt as of today. I think it might need something more. I am disappointed with the wonkiness of the bottom. Not sure what to do. The photo at the top is a detail shot of the hand stitching on the cheesecloth section.
Today was STASH day at Gale’s home. I just love spending a morning with my friends, chatting and eating. Reva brought her vintage t-shirt quilt At our next meeting, we are going to help her tie it. It is to unwieldy to do machine quilting.
So that is a bit of what I have been up to. The other part of my life is so left brained. I am helping SDA with membership and database issues on the website. There have been some problems with work done by some previous employees. We are slowly getting it under control. We have about 4000 members and people join and renew in various ways – phone, mail, and online. I get a real sense of satisfaction as I troubleshoot issues.