about the artist

Archive for the ‘Surface Design Association’ Category

Summertime in Portland

Monday, July 15th, 2013



We are in the midst of beautiful long, sunny days. My favorite time of year! This past week-end, we had a dinner party on the deck. It was the wrap-up celebration for the Artists Among Us team. I made buttermilk rolls and grilled pork tenderloin with corn confetti to make sandwiches. None of which, I could eat (except for the pork), but every one else enjoyed them.


On Sunday afternoon, I hosted an SDA meeting. Everyone brings some food to share. I used the table runner I got in Jerusalem and picked some flowers from the yard.


The Rhodie Garden doesn’t have blooming Rhodies, now, but there are plenty of other summer flowers to enjoy.



This quilt came home from its travels around the US and to the Netherlands. I was so happy to see it. Still love it


I am also happy that Kelp Dance was juried into the Sur(face) Forward exhibit at the Corvallis Art Center. It just arrived home from North Carolina.


I have my simply red quilts ready to turn in for jurying. Here is our new hanging system.

Hanging wire is stapled to the center of the rod. I covered the stapled area with clear duct tape.


Here it is inserted in the rod pocket. You can see that this makes it much easier to hand in those galleries that have a hook for hanging from the center of the art.


I made a muslin bag with French seams for each quilt. A plastic sleeve is sewn to the outside of the bag and has a photo and name of the quilt and my contact info. I blocked out my phone #!


So that is what I have been up to. Busy and enjoying life.

Conference Loot

Thursday, June 13th, 2013


Can you see my name in this fabric? Isn’t that cool? An SDA member from Houston made this for me in a workshop. She called me a while ago and was having a problem registering for the conference via her computer. I helped her and she wanted to thank me. I think this is so sweet. Her name is Peggy Sexton. She was one of our Texas volunteers, helping in hospitality and other ways. The Texas contingent of SDA members were fantastic and so welcoming.

At the conference, SDA holds a silent auction. There were some really awesome things available – big ticket items. I bid on some of the smaller items  and won a pack of beautiful hand-dyed and printed silk art cloth.



I particularly like this piece.



I also had the winning bid for Elin Noble’s book.



One of the vendors was Kristy Kun of Opulent Fibers here in Portland. I bought a large piece of red pre-felt as I want to do a shrinky dink red quilt.



Another vendor was Stencil Girl. I have several friends who have done artwork for them. He told me that one of their most popular artists is Terri Stegmiller, one of the Twelves. I bought some small simple stencils for my friends in the STASH group. We had our monthly get-together today so I gave theme each one with some wash away pencil markers that another vendor was selling.



I also placed an order with Thai/Exotic silks that arrived in the mail today. I have the supplies I need to get to work. I am feeling quite exhausted, but still very happy. I need to get to work in my studio — I know that once I get busy, the creativity will come. In the morning, we are going to Miles’ 5th grade graduation ceremony, then I can come home and get to work.

Want to see something really cute? Click this link to see a video of adorable Paige enjoying her first beach vacation.

Home Sweet Home

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013



I am exhausted and on sensory overload. I have managed to get mostly unpacked. I couldn’t do laundry until this afternoon because Mr C had a plumber here putting in a new water line. The old one sprung a leak and lots of money later, we have higher water pressure and no leak. At least there is something to show for it. I also stocked up on some food as Mr C, on his own, had eaten just about everything in the house!

I had an extremely busy time at the conference. Not much down time at all. I will try to share some highlights. Jane Dunnewold is president of the board. Here she is with Marci Rae McDade, journal editor, talking about the SDA website.


Speakers: Janet Echelman who does these amazing giant rope structures is a phenomenal force. She was our keynote speaker. If you can, visit her website and watch her TED talk.


Another favorite of mine was Otto von Busch, a Swedish clothing designer,  who wants to release us from being slaves to the fashion industry through “hacktivism” or transforming your clothes into original works of art. One of his projects is to invite people to bring a stained piece of clothing and paint it with a black motif – he says black is always in fashion.

Other great speakers were Natalie Miebach, who uses the graphs and numbers of tides, weather and other natural phenomena, to create her baskets and installations and Elissa Auther, who spoke to us about fiber in the contemporary art world. I really enjoyed listening to Michael James talk about his textile journey and the difficulty of having his wife diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers and the resulting grief and how it has effected his work.

It was wonderful to reconnect with old friends and to make new ones. Judith Trager, who is on the SAQA board, was at the conference and we spent a lot of time together. Leslie Tucker Jennison, lives in San Antonio, and was at the conference and graciously, took Judith and I and other friends away from the hotel to enjoy some of the better food of the city. Here are Leslie on the right and Judith in the center, at the pre-fashion show fundraiser. The hostess, Robin Early, is reflected in the mirror.




The fashion show, always a big hit, was held at the University of The Incarnate Word. Those of us who attended the cocktail party had front row seats on the runway.



I managed to spend some time with the vendors and bidding in the silent auction. I will get some photos of my loot tomorrow to share with you. I saw these carved stamps, but I didn’t buy any.



I did spend some money at this booth. I bought the top that is hanging there.




The conference closed on Sunday around noon. One of the highlights for me was seeing Jane Dunnewold’s new studio. She has a house with a kitchen and several rooms for “dry” work — designing, critiquing, etc. She built a brand new wet studio. Here are some shots of that.







I would love to spend a week dyeing, discharging and/or printing in this place. Several San Antonio artists share the space with Jane and had there work displayed. I especially liked the prayer flags by Sharon Rowley. Here is a closeup of them.



We had a party at the studio for all of our great volunteers. Most of them were from San Antonio or Austin. Jane arranged for a Mariachi band to serenade them at the end.



I was back at work on Monday, checking in Post-conference workshop participants and attending a board/staff meeting. I left Monday afternoon for a long trip home via Las Vegas and that turned into a longer than anticipated layover because a flight was delayed coming in from Orlando. By the time I got home, I only wanted to get into my own bed and sleep for 12 hours. I only managed 7.

Needless to say the last month has been a whirlwind for me from Artists Among Us to the wedding and then the SDA conference. I survived and enjoyed myself through it all. We are all still smiling about the beautiful wedding. I am waiting for the official photo release!!

SDA Gallery Day

Thursday, June 6th, 2013


Today is my favorite day of the SDA Conference — Gallery Day. Wherever the conference is, several venues have exhibits of fiber art. I love seeing the variety and creativity. I thought I was going to miss it as I was still at work at my registration desk when all the busses had left. Then, Jane Dunnewold walked up and asked what she could do for me. With my saddest face, I said help be get to the gallery tour. She drove me to the members show where I caught up with another local San Antonian and I rode along with her to most of the shows. When she had to take off, I was able to hop on one of the buses. This year, the member’s show was 12 x 12 on gallery frames. There was some amazing work. This grouping has my piece in the bottom left. I apologize for the quality – I had my camera on manual instead of auto.

Our next stop was to an exhibit with work of 4 artists. I loved this installation by Nathalie Miebach – she is going to be one of our speakers. I will share work of others at a later time.



Our next stop had an exhibit of two artists. This installation of paper cast busts was done by Janet Lasher. She was there and gave us a talk about her methods and her intention. I enjoyed meeting her.



Two more artists, who were friends at Arizona State when they got their Master’s, were at the next venue. It excites me so much to see these young artists embracing and then bending the rules of traditional fiber art.



This is one of the abstract landscapes by Elise Deringer. She does interesting things with silk, dye, sand, salt, glue, etc.


These stitched pieces by Kelsey Wiskirchin blew me away. She makes a grid with straight line stitching on water soluble solvey then free motion quilts the drawing. It hangs away from the wall so the shadow is an extra design element.



We then went to another group show. This piece was so beautiful in its details. It is pieced shibori by Sara Goodman. Here is a closer shot.


Another exciting exhibit is the student show. 30 pieces were juried from 160 students. I loved this piece from a student in




Our last stop was at a special exhibit of new work my Jane Dunnewold. She is doing some exciting new work with molding paste and stitching and printing.



So there is an overview. I will share more images as time allows.

Yesterday was a really busy day for me. Meetings in the morning and then registration from 11:30 – 8 pm. Tonight was the opening of the vendor mall. Woo hoo! I will go back and spend some money for sure. We had a Tex Mex buffet and there was supposed to be a dessert buffet, but most of us never saw it. The silent auction opened, too. I would like to invite you all to look at the fantastic goods being offered and you can place a bid on line. You do not need to be a member of SDA. Here is the LINK.

I have to be at work at 7:30 – better get to sleep. If my dear friend Janet Shore is reading this, Kasuri Dye Works is here and they say Hi!!



Getting in My Conference Groove

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013



Today was a much better day. After 8 hours of sleep and maximum Aleve dosage, my pinched nerve has gotten better and I had a pretty good day. I promised to tell you about my workshop with Kerr Grabowski. She has developed a new design class. The first two days of the workshop we are only allowed to work in black and white so that we are not influenced by color and textures.

The workshop is at the Southwest School of Art.


The first floor of our building has two galleries with some beautiful work to ogle. Michael James has an exhibit in the first gallery.


He is doing an artist talk on Friday night of the conference. The other gallery has fascinating work by a Kenyan woman, Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga. Her work repurposes disposed materials and incorporates stitching, twisting, crocheting and weaving. She did an artist talk tonight that was really interesting — she is a great story teller. I will show some images later. It always makes me happy to walk into a building with beautiful art every where you look.

Kerr started us out in the morning doing contour drawings where you look at an object and draw it without looking at the paper or lifting your pen. My object was a school glue bottle.



Here are my drawings on the right side of this shot. First, I did my thumb and then the bottle.



Next, we picked up scissors and freehand cut the bottle shapes and collaged them. Here was my first.



I decided to work larger and did a second.



After we completed our collages we went through each one and critiqued it, turned it, removed things, or added things, as a group exercise. Mine ended up with a better orientation and the removal of one item.



Last night, we went to a really nice Mexican restaurant on the River Walk. I had a super margarita with the sugar syrup on the side so that I could control the sweetness. This ceviche was so good.



I followed that with shrimp tacos, beans and rice. I had trouble finishing my plate of food.

Back in class this morning, we started out by loosening up and drawing on paper on the floor with a bamboo stick with string attached, using India Ink.



Here is mine:



Our next exercise was to show depth just by using black construction paper cutouts. I got to fancy for my britches and was not happy with what I did so no photo.

This afternoon, we were to show aggression by using shapes. We could use our india ink drawing if we wanted to, and I did. I isolated one area and cut out a rectangle. We could also use one color.



I did various things using big  black X’s, zig zaggy lines, red spirals, etc. Kerr told me she would not allow me to do something so easy. She wanted me to explain why I wanted to use this background. I said it looked scary, like a place where you could get caught or a raging storm. She suggested I figure out a way to expand on that idea. So, I went where I don’t usually like to go! I put the hint of a body caught in the brambles. I added black lines over the top to simulate being caught in the mess.



I won’t be able to take the last day of class because I have to start handling registration for the conference in the morning.

Here are some images of Naomi’s work.






I had dinner with some SDA folks after the artist talk. We took a long walk on the river walk and it was quite comfortable even though it had  been in the 90’s earlier in the day.