Monday, November 14, 2011

Art Quilt Tahoe

Last week a friend, Loris Bogue, and I attended a workshop with Valerie Goodwin at Art Quilt Tahoe. Valerie is a professor of architecture at a university in Florida with a very busy schedule, so we were very fortunate that she was able to come to the west coast.

Art Quilt Tahoe takes place at a beautiful setting, Zephyr Point, not far from my home. Here's a shot of the alpine glow you can see after sunset.

Unfortunately it was quite cold at the beginning of the session, but as the week went on, it started to warm up.

We did many exercises in line and composition and then went onto begin our personal projects. The exercises were very helpful. I find in art classes, I learn more from the critiques, and it was certainly the case in Valerie's class.

Here's two of my designs:

Here's two of Loris' designs:

Most students chose a city map of various cities throughout the world. Some students chose to do almost imaginary maps which became very interesting, almost abstract. I chose to use topo and geological maps and an image of an area here in Tahoe--Mt. Tallac.

Here is the piece so far. The background (sky) are the types of rock formations in the area. I hope to do some surface design on it to integrate it more, then will stitch the topo lines and streams in different threads. The middle ground is an image of the mountain--I am using tiny pieces of fabric and will stitch it down with black or violet tule. The foreground are the trees and valley, which may be painted or printed and modified. I'm not sure yet.

It was a wonderful experience. I am looking forward to taking Valerie's 5 day workshop in composition. I learned so much in such a short amount of time. But what I think was the most valuable was the opportunity to slightly see the world through Valerie's eyes. It really opened areas for me to explore.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Process of Stitching

A friend shared an image of her smile with me. It was such a great image, I couldn't wait to stitch it.

I worked with the image in Photohop and determined the values. I blew up the image to be 24 x 48 and mapped out each value. Then I assigned colors to the values and traced them onto tracing paper.

I chose raw silk to stitch because it has a lot of body. I dyed it a deep blue/green because I wanted to have some of that color show through the stitching to influence the colors of thread I used. I knew this piece was going to be almost solid stitching, so planned to have a small border of the fabric showing when mounted to a stretched canvas.

I placed the tracing paper onto the silk and began stitching with the thread around each area to indicate the color to use to fill in that shape. Then I removed the tracing paper & filled in each area with thread.

Here's the finished stitching, which will be pillowcased and attached to a 1 1/2" deep stretched canvas with velcro.


My friend and fiber artist, Karen Rips, and I are collaborating to create a body of work we hope to present soon for a show we're calling
A View Within: Conversations.

Here's two of our pieces. Karen abstracts the image and I stitch the image:

We're calling these pieces Premature Infant 1. Karen's piece is 36 x 48 and mine is 36 x 36. This image was taken from an x-ray of a baby in the neonatal ward.

I'm anxious to get back to working on these images, but need to finish the two new floral pieces I'm presenting at the NY show.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nor Cal SAQA Critique Meeting

Yesterday a group of SAQA members living in Northern California & Nevada had a critique session at the lovely home of Robin & Paul Cowley in the Oakland Hills. I was excited to visit their home again, after seeing it on the SAQA Studio Tour over a year ago. It is a fabulous place! This is a shot from their garden showing an incredible piece by Jun Kaneko:

Sandra Sider led a critique session in which many of us participated. It was very informative and valuable. I learned a great deal and we all benefited in hearing Sandra's & others' comments on our work. But I didn't get any shots of the critiquing--mainly because I was taking so many notes!

Before we had arrived at the Cowley's, some of the participants met Sandra Sider & Franki Kohler for lunch and visited a small gallery in Oakland where Franki is showing some of her work. Here is the info for the gallery:

Creative Framing & Gallery, 5015 Woodminster Lane, Oakland 94602.

We had a great time. It was a long day for me, but packed with great information and lots of fun.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Another Great Opportunity

This is a preliminary view of one of the new works that will be featured in The ArtQuilt Gallery-NYC.

I'm very excited to show in a new, wonderful venue featuring art quilt artists. The previous artists have been Daphne Taylor, Noriko Endo and Carol Taylor, so I'm in really good company!

Painting With Fiber: Florals

begins January 24th and runs through March 3. I hope to see you there for the opening reception, Monday, Jan. 23!

An Introduction

I'd like to introduce you to my fabulous painting instructor, Phyllis Shafer ( I've learned everything I know about art from Phyllis. She is a fine artist, an incredible teacher and friend.

She has her 3rd solo show at the Stremmel Gallery ( in Reno, Nevada this month. What's so interesting about Phyllis' shows is the fact that her work is almost sold out before the gallery even opens for the reception!

Her show features paintings of the Great Basin, as well, as other Nevada locations. The opening reception is Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.

A Great Opportunity

I've been given another great opportunity to show my work in the magazine Quilting Arts. I hope you will check it out.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Website

My very good friend & web mistress, Loris Bogue,
has redesigned my website & it will be up and running shortly. I'm really excited about the change! It's exactly as I had envisioned it.


A lot of time has gone by during my last entry.

During that time I completed a large commission piece for a wonderful lady in Delaware for her office. It was an interesting endeavor. We worked together to get the colors just right for with the light, painted surfaces and carpet. Not being able to visit the site, I simulated the proper light temperature and chose colors from my Dyeing Bible using her paint chips. Dyeing and over dyeing was required with many different formulas.

Here's some formula work with my Dyeing Bible and paint chips:

Then the fun began. I dyed over 20 yards of different silks: tussah, raw, twill, china, duponi. She commissioned a 7' x 5' apricot rose, so it took some time and a lot of fabric. It was great fun. And it was fun to get back to flowers after time off stitching the body embroideries.

Here's the final product that is happily hanging in her reception area:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Space Between

I was given the opportunity to submit an entry for an exhibit entitled "The Space Between". My piece is related to my new found interest in x-rays, MRIs and other body imaging. I'm calling this piece, "Intervals".

You can also check out my interview being posted 5/20 at

Monday, May 16, 2011

Last of Exhibited Works

This image is the last of the exhibited works at the Foyer Gallery, Lake Tahoe Community College. The exhibit will continue through June 18th.

This piece was taken from an MRI. Values were determined then stitched onto hand-dyed silk, densely quilted with monofilament thread. The quilted and embroidered piece was then cut down and attached to a textile painted strip of linen/hemp canvas that was also heavily stitched.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Premature Babies

My friend and collaborator, Karen Rips ( loaned me some x-rays of premature babies. I was so struck by their tiny forms, struggling to get going in life.

I wanted to show these forms in stitchery and were the first embroideries where I used value to determine color.

And here they are individually:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tesi's Pain

This piece is another of the pieces in my solo show, "A View Within: The Body Stitched". It is a from dental imaging machine.

This piece is quite large--45 x 48 and is solid embroidery on dyed raw silk.

You can see the metal bar that was placed in her neck. Tesi's neck injury has caused her a great deal of pain and requires her to make many adjustments in her life as a metal sculptor and vibrant woman.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

More Stitchings

Here is the series I did on my friend's broken leg, showing 5 views of the break. It's entitled, "Femur: Five Views".

And these are the pieces individually. The pieces are embroidered by machine on hand dyed silk and attached to stretched canvases.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

More Images From My Show, "A View Within: The Body Stitched"

Here are a few more images from the show that is in the Foyer Gallery at Lake Tahoe Community College. The show will run through June 18th.

This is a series of sonograms chronicling growth at 12 weeks, 24 weeks and 36 weeks:

This is the series as shot from the gallery:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Last Night's Reception for "A View Within: The Body Stitched"

My reception was a nice, cozy gathering of friends. It was great to see friends I hadn't seen in some time and to spend time with those that share art classes with me.

My work was well received and has inspired me to keep working in this discipline.

My fiber friends in SoCal sent this most amazing floral arrangement. It was wonderful to have their presence there through this gift, since they weren't able to attend.

And it sure added class!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reception Tonight for "A View Within: The Body Stitched"

My first solo show debuts tonight. There have been positive comments on the work, so I'm excited. My husband, Norm, is photographing for me, so I'll post some images tomorrow.

I snuck in the other night and took some photos, so here's one of a group of pieces I'm calling "Femur: Five Views". It records my friend's broken leg and the difficulties she has had since that accident--having to have it reset with more titanium pins.

Here's the image of that group:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My First Solo Show!

I am so excited about my first solo show ever. It's been a long time coming and a real learning curve for me.

I wanted to present new work using a different process. I had been experimenting with embroidery and decided to create work using that process rather than my applique process. A friend had shown me some medical images and I thought they were so powerful, I wanted to embroider X-rays and MRIs.

It took a long time to figure out how to translate these forms of imagery into values that I could stitch and a lot of trial and error--mostly error. But I finally figured out how to do it with only 3 months left to make the pieces.

So I frantically stitched my heart away for 3 months.

This the close up of my first piece:

And this is the full image, which was chosen for the postcard:

I've photographed the other pieces and will be sharing them with you. I'll also photograph the installation, so you can see how the pieces look as a group.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wonderful Opportunity

I am very fortunate to have been chosen to be the featured artist in the latest Quilting Arts Magazine. It is a beautiful article showing many of my representational floral pieces and relays some information about my process and the road I've taken as a fiber artist.

And astoundingly, I was also chosen to be on the cover!