Happy Holidays from my studio.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Lotusland continues to haunt me. I think I would like to show you a few more parting shots. This wonderful scene shows a tree native of Australia, I think it's a Bunya Bunya tree with such wonderful textures, and my favorite type of agaves.
This most interesting group of collections is that of the cycad. It is one of the largest and rarest of collections known. Lotusland is a seed repository and research center as well. Here are some examples of cones of a female plant:
It also has a large collection of dracaena. This dracaena is very old and rare. It's the largest one in their collection--you can get a sense of scale by Jack, a gentleman from Australia, and my aunt, Edeltraude, in our tour group.
And another photo showing the great size of this garden. Again, you can get a sense of the enormity of these magnificent aloes, by our tour group.
You can see the Santa Barbara hillside and again one of my favored plants, the agave, in the background here:
And last but almost least is my humble hillside garden (jungle really, of wild grapes, silver dollar eucalyptus, and scented geraniums) in Southern California:
Saturday, March 24, 2012
As you can tell, I am smitten with Lotusland, so much so that a few more blog entries will be sharing more garden images. I can't remember what these wonderful wonderful things hanging down from the palms are--is that wonderful texture?
Bamboo is such a wonderful plant. Here are 2 shots of weeping bamboo. I had never seen this species before.
Don't you love the wispy, flowing stems? But it is very invasive as some bamboos, so it won't be gracing my gardens.
And the majestic black bamboo:
And more interesting textures from the succulent & cacti gardens:
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I was so fortunate when visiting Lotusland--the aloe were blooming. These wonderful, sculptural plants varied in size, shape and texture. They were really put on a show.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
One of my most favorite gardens, Lotusland, is situated in a beautiful residental area of Montecito, south of Santa Barbara. The gardens were the home of several prominent families throughout history, ending with its last owner, Madame Ganna Walska, who spent the last 43 years of her life transforming the grounds into what it is today. Its 37 acres house over 22 gardens of tropical & subtropical collections including rare cycads, cacti, palms and euphorbias.
These photos all show the front of the residence, showing off the incredibly large & interesting euphorbias & cacti along the front of the home. I am so struck by their sculptural beauty.
I was told that at one time the euphorbias grew all the way across the driveway & into the adjoining gardens.
Also viewing the cacti gardens, you get this wonderful sense of dramatic, sculptural forms and textures:
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Just finished a piece for an invitational show entitled Rituals.
It's been an interesting challenge. The format is very different than what most people work in: vertical 24" x 60".
My piece, Intimate Space, depicts the daily custom of brushing our teeth. Here's my artist statement:
Nothing is more intimate than our toothbrush. Each day, upon its start and end, we brush our teeth.
Monday, February 20, 2012
I was contacted by Dorothee Crane, editor in chief of Patchwork Professional, a German magazine devoted to art quilts and interesting textile work. She's asked to do an article on my floral and body imaging pieces that will probably come out in May.
This is so exciting for me--I've had little European exposure, so I'm hoping that this article may stimulate interest in my work there.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I purchased a Sweet Sixteen made by Handi Quilter last summer. It has become my favorite machine for free motion stitching, allowing me to use really thin threads as monofilament to heavy 30 weight threads as Superior's So Fine 30, and topstitching threads--even DMC crochet threads! Well, I've been asked to help beta test a new Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen machine that they plan to put on the market next fall at Market. I'll also get to see the factory and meet some of the people in the company along with others that are testing the machine. It should be really interesting. I look forward to the experience, having never done anything like this before.
Here I'm stitching on my newest body imaging piece:
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Sunday, February 5, 2012
We did a lot of window shopping. Unfortunately, I didn't photograph too many, since it was snowing or raining & we were trying to avoid getting too wet.
We took this photograph of a silly window, mainly for our painting instructor, Phyllis Shafer. One of our assignments in class was to paint hundreds of stuffed animals (which I found uncomfortable since I like fewer objects in my composition). But Phyllis' job was to push us, so paint we did.
And this photograph of a stunning wedding gown by Vera Wang. I'm afraid the photo doesn't do this dress justice. You can see a slight reflection of the snow and traffic in the image.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
One of the most interesting things we experienced, other than walking the streets of New York or the idea of seeing all the paintings in person, was to be at the Metropolitan Friday & Saturday nights. There were fewer people and they were serving wine, which we passed on since we wanted to see art more than drink wine.
Friday night we were so surprised to hear music coming from a great hall and learned it was a spontaneous band! What great fun that was!
The sounds echoed throughout the halls! There were 3 drummers and wind instruments--even a tuba. This shot doesn't do it justice, but it was great fun! I especially liked the music they were playing, which was somewhat modern-- a little dissonant, quite energizing and exciting.
One of the most important things on my list to do while in New York was to see as much art as possible. We had been advised to visit The Frick, The Whitney and of course, The Metropolitan. I had also wanted to see MOMA (unfortunately, de Kooning's show had just finished) and The Guggenheim.
We also wanted to find Whole Foods (& found a Trader Joe's nearby) and, of course, The ArtQuilt Gallery. Finding the weather cold, but bearable, we walked everywhere. It was great fun to see New York that way.
Each day we traveled on a different route, using 5th, 6th, 7th, Madison, etc. The only days that it was tough was Sat. when it snowed & Mon. when it rained. My waterproof shoes ended up not being waterproof, and Claudia, my painting buddy, needed some better shoes for the snow. We found some interesting shoes in Spanish shoe store--I think it was "Shapers" or something like that. They had the coolest wicker interior, but I didn't think to photograph it because we were so cold.
We also walked through Central Park several times as well.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Well, I'm back from New York & had a whirlwind 5 days of art! My painting buddy, Claudia & I went to 5 art museums, visiting the Metropolitan Art Museum 3 times!!!
But best of all, my opening reception at the ArtQuilt Gallery NYC was grand! I had such a great time & met some wonderful people. Above is a photo of me with some of the members of the Manhattan Quilter's Guild. Below is my friend, Claudia, with Paula Nadelstern.
We had a wonderful time at the reception. As everyone was closing up and we were leaving, I took some last minute photos to remind me of the gallery and how my work looked through the windows. The gallery lights just popped out of the night like giant lanterns.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I just received a copy of Quilters Newsletter and saw a new article about my work and the gallery (ArtQuilt Gallery NYC). I'll be from January 23 through March 3 and Sue Benner is the next featured artist. Her work is wonderful. Hope you can check it out both of us!
Friday, January 13, 2012
Pink Rose I
Among the 11 pieces being shown is some work that many haven't seen for a long time. They're older pieces that I made in 2007. One piece, Pink Rose I won 3rd place in abstracts at IQA in Houston that year.
White Rose XI
That was my first time in Houston and I was so fortunate to meet up with Jamie Fingal (www.jamiefingaldesigns.com). I was all by myself & pretty much lost. She was kind enough to invite me to her dinner group and it was great fun! They embraced me as one of their own and I was so moved by that. I think quilters are that way.
When I was accepted to Quilt National '09, I went by myself again, and again quilters embraced me. I met some wonderful new friends. Among my first acquaintances that first night, was Marianne Burr (www.marianneburr.com). She does incredible silk dye painting & embroidery on whimsical pieces using geometric shapes.
Another great friend that I met at QN is Cathy Jeffers. She does wonderful, whimiscal pieces! I'm having trouble loading the work she does, so please go to her site--it's a great new site:
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I've been working for months on 2 new pieces for my New York show. I had done a commission piece of an apricot rose and enjoyed working with that palette, so I created 2 more apricot roses. I had had a lot of silks dyed for that project, but found I needed even more!
Dyeing fabric is like having Christmas everyday. I am always so excited to wash out the silks. Because I want to keep the lovely sheen of the silks, I use vinegar instead of soda ash in the dyeing process. I also gently wash out the dye by hand after processing which can be very tedious (especially if they're dark violets!) and line dry. But it's all worth it when I see the marvelous color! And often I overdye many times, to get more complex, deeper color.
Here are my 2 newest pieces: