Category Archives: artists

Fabric and Gunpowder!

I really enjoy the blog …And Then We Set It On Fire… The contributors are individual fiber artists who work in and explore a multitude of surface design techniques and more; sometimes working together. I once had the pleasure of being a guest artist on FIRE!

One of their recent blog posts did more than catch my eye. My interest was really sparked when I read that Kelly Hendrickson and Wil Opio Oguta, the two artists posting on FIRE this month, had been exploring the use of GUNPOWDER on fabric!

I have tried many different techniques over the years, here are some…

shibori opening detail
Shibori pole wrapped straight, using Jacquard Textile Color paints
anns shibori painted
Shibori pole wrapped on diagonal using Jacquard Textile Color paints
tube shibori
Shibori rope wrapped using dye

stamping, dripping, splattering, flour resist, stencil made on the sewing machine; painted and stenciled onto fabric made on a plastic tarp, rubbings with wax pastels, painted cheesecloth, melted Lutradur, burnt silk, just painting, and lots and lots of hand painted sky and landscape fabric… but never gunpowder!

curving printing silk gelli
drip stamped3
flour paste a4
flour resist 3
machine made stencil painted
machine made stencil
melt lutradur burn silk
rubbing paint wax pastels
fabric painting rose
sky fab assort

Kelly and Wil have publish an e-book the explores their gunpowder techniques (I just bought it!), I hope you will visit “…And Then We Set It On Fire…” and each of their websites – I think you’ll have a blast!

Thanks to Kelly and Wil for letting me share their gunpowder post!

Fabric Challenge and Swap

I was happy to learn that the fabric I submitted for the Quilting Art Fabric Challenge/Swap was published in their Dec 2016/Jan2017 magazine. They didn’t publish all of the submissions but I was impression by the variety and would love to be able to ask many of the artists how exactly they achieved their results.

quilting-arts-mag
forest-rays
Ann’s fabric

The way the challenge worked was for readers to create a fat quarter of fabric with original surface designs, submit it, and then they would receive a fat quarter made by another entrant. For more information see that QA link above.

I was so excited when I received a fat quarter created by Susan Price. Susan along with her business partner, Elizabeth, create original and custom Thermofax screens and sell their designs on Etsy at – PGFiber2art

s-price-fab-full
s-price-fab-detail
s-price-fab-back

Susan explained that the fabric I received was snow dyed, pole-wrapped (Shibori) and then thermofax screen printed using her original photo called Birds on a Branch. I think it is beautiful! Thank you, Susan.

A short time after I received Susan’s fabric I received a “thank you” email from Pat Robertson, who was the recipient of my challenge fabric. As I looked through the magazine again, I discovered that the fabric Pat submitted was also published so I asked Pat to send me photos of her fabric. Pat was kind enough to also send photos of her process too. The steps are – Pre-treated fabric, snow pile, dye applied, processing, fabric accepting the dye, rinse, and beautiful results! Thank you, Pat.

1-pretreated-fabric-p-robertson 2-snow-on-the-fabric-p-robertson 3-dye-placed-p-robertson 4-begining-to-melt-p-robertson 5-end-of-melting-p-robertson 6-rinsing-p-robertson 7-finished-fabric-p-robertson So you can see what wonderful results may come from playing with (and working) surface designs. I hope you will give it a try and if you do please share your results!

Sky watcher

We have a second story bedroom with a deck. There are no plants or furniture on the deck. It is south facing and the sun beat on it all day long so no need for places to sit or sun toasted plants. But most mornings and evenings one or more of us will be out on that deck watching the sky. It is important to us that we stop and look to the sky. It is something we have always shared as a family and even though the sons are adults they still marvel at all that is going on over our heads; how the wind changes the clouds, to see something we have never seen before and will never see again. And for me it is inspiring! I will try to paint this on fabric some day.

sunrise oct 25 2015

This morning…

sky oct 25 2015 changing

and a little later.

Quilts, Respect, and the Art Quilt part 2

I received wonderful responses from the art quilters I contacted with the three questions I posed in my last blog post. There is a great variety of styles between them and their answers are informative and thought provoking. I want to thank each artist for taking the time to reply and for allowing me to share their art quilts. If you aren’t familiar with their art I hope you will hop over to their websites.

Here are the three questions and their answers.

  1. Have you ever submitted an art quilt (for the wall) to a venue that was featuring a variety of art work mediums?
  2. If you answered “yes,” did you (or they) categorize your piece as an Art Quilt or something else, such as Fiber Art, Mixed Media, Textile, etc.?
  3. If you answered “no” to question 1, would you consider submitting an art quilt in to a venue featuring art in a variety of mediums?

Joanna Mack (aka The Snarky Quilter) (Ohio)

  1. My work has never been submitted to or shown in any exhibit other than one for quilts. I think this is a function of one’s networks. I’m a lady of a certain age with no contacts in the local art scene.

  2. Even if I called my quilts fiber art I don’t think they’d be considered art by the art world as my observation is that around here works in fiber are considered craft.”

ripples_in_still_water_joanna_mack
Ripples in Still Water by Joanna Mack

Joe Cunningham (California)

  1. Yes

  2. I don’t think I have had it categorized like that. They just ask for the medium or media, and I say, “Cotton fabric, wool batting.” Or something similar. In other words I have only had my work treated as art in a mixed media show.

circular logic joe cunningham
Circular Logic by Joe Cunningham

Nelda McComb (California)

  1.  I have only once submitted work  at a venue that featured a variety of art.  I was the only art quilt artist and it was very successful for me as I sold 9 pieces.  There were all mediums: photo, ceramics glass, jewelry and a variety of fine art mediums.

  2.  They categorized my work as “art quilt”..Altho, I don’t think they really knew what it was all about until I set up and they saw my work in person.

  3.  I would consider entering into a conventional show that exhibited multi medias.

Balboa Park, circa 1930 by Nelda McComb
Balboa Park, circa 1930 by Nelda McComb

Betty Busby (New Mexico)

  1. I show in all media fine art shows all the time.

  2. Mostly categorized as mixed media.

Tributary by Betty Busby
Tributary by Betty Busby

Kelly Hendrickson (Minnesota)

  1. Yes I have. In fact, I found that my particular art work was MORE readily accepted in a venue with various mediums than they were in actual “quilt shows” or exhibitions.

  2. It all depended on the venue really. But I believe most often they were accepted as either Mixed Media or Textile Art.

  3. OK…I didn’t answer no but I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth on this topic. I would highly recommend entering art quilts in shows/exhibitions designed for all types of mediums…not just quilt shows. We are making strides in being accepted as a valid “art” form in the non-quilting world. Each time one of us gets accepted there, it validates our genre. And I’m happy to see that we are also beginning to be accepted as a valid part of the quilt world. That took some time as well!

The Sapling by Kelly Hendrickson
The Sapling by Kelly Hendrickson

Kathy Nida (California)

  1. I do this all the time! I honestly think my work plays better in the art world than in the quilt world. I am also a member of a women’s art group where one other woman works in fabric, but most of them are painters with a few sculptors.

  2. They don’t categorize it as anything but art. Most of the art shows just put the name of the piece, the name of the artist, and occasionally a statement or a price. There’s no listing of materials and technique.

Love (not) by Kathy Nida
Love (not) by Kathy Nida

Carol Ann Waugh (Colorado)

  1. I stopped entering “quilt” shows when I started mounting my fiber onto wooden panels.  That was about 6 years ago so all the shows and exhibits I do are in art galleries.  When I submit to a juried show, it is always an open show of all media and usually, I am one of 2-3 artists working in fiber.  The rest would be painters, sculptors, photographers, etc.

  2. Usually, an artist categorizes their own work so you submit a work as 2-D or 3-D and if they have a space for a “medium”, I submit as “fiber”.

Wildfire by Carol Ann Waugh
Wildfire by Carol Ann Waugh

Wil Opio Oguta (The Netherlands)

  1. Yes I have submitted art quilts for mixed venues – both in real life as well as online.

  2. Most of the time I call my work Fiber Art, but when I submit to a mixed show I always call it Fiber Art.

Cotton by Wil Opio Oguta
Cotton by Wil Opio Oguta

Shyamala Rao (Kuwait)

  1. Yes I have. I have displayed my work in International Quilt Festival in Houston and in The Festival Of Quilts Birmingham and several other venues.

  2. Yes. I (they) did categorize it as an Art Quilt. Sometimes if there was a subcategory of art quilt like art pictorial, I have chosen it, if my quilt was based on a photograph or a replica of an existing architecture.

Mahabat Maqbara by Shyamala Rao
Mahabat Maqbara by Shyamala Rao

I hope you have enjoyed the artists’ contributions as much as I have. We can learn from each other and pass on what we learn, and I think that by continuing to make, show, teach, and sell art quilts, eventually they will gain the respect (and representation) in the art world that we know they deserve.

Respect and the Art Quilt

After viewing pieces included in the Akron Art Prize venues, The Snarky Quilter posed this question on her blog:  “Do quilts still get no respect in the art world?”

Here are my thoughts… First, I would say quilts get less respect rather than no respect. I think that it actually is the word “quilt” that makes it hard for quilts, specifically art quilts, to be accepted in the art world. “Quilt” still causes most people to think “bed” rather than “wall” and “utility” rather than “art.”

Maybe it is that I consider all quilts to be art, but only some of the makers call themselves artists. Is it that there is an art quilt world and an art world and they are too far apart? Does respect come when collectors/buyers display art quilts on their home and office walls, “legitimizing” them as art?

Nowadays vintage quilts that were made for the bed are being recognized as art, collectors are displaying quilts on their walls, and there are museums dedicated to quilts; in my home city we have one specifically representing contemporary art quilts (Visions Art Museum). However, this doesn’t mean quilts are entirely respected in the art world.

I have had “Art Quilt” submissions re-categorized as “Mixed Media” or “Fiber Art” and I believe it is because the word quilt, for some people draws a line between craft and art — especially fine art — with “quilt” falling on the craft side. I won’t even get into the craft versus art versus fine art topic!

I asked a few successful art quilters three questions regarding their experiences with their quilts in the art world. They were so generous with their replies that I decided to share their insights in the next blog post, so I hope you will stay tuned. I’ll be sharing some images of their art quilts too!

What is your experience with art quilts and their reception in the art world? Please leave a comment and/or answer the questions I have posed –

1 – Have you ever submitted an art quilt (for the wall) to a venue that was featuring a variety of art work mediums?

2 – If you answered “yes,” did you (or they) categorize your piece as an Art Quilt or something else, such as Fiber Art, Mixed Media, Textile, etc.?

3 – If you answered “no” to question 1, would you consider submitting an art quilt in to a venue featuring art in a variety of mediums?

Art in the Park

I’m happy to say two of my Photographs on Fiber pieces have been juried into Mission Trails Regional Park Art in the Park event. I may be even happier that two of my son’s photographs were juried in as well!

This Art in the Park event is always great fun, from fantastic hors d’oeuvres, wine, and music to the wonderful and varied works of art. And, of course, it is a beautiful space and Foundation well worth supporting.

I hope to see some of you there, but if you can’t make the event the artwork (that doesn’t sell) will be on display through November 6, 2015.

This is Sunset… it didn’t make the cut but that is okay because it is my Mister’s favorite and hangs above his desk.

Hand painted whole cloth, machine quilted. Photograph by Cameron Scott (my son)
Hand painted whole cloth, machine quilted. Photograph in the piece and of the piece by Cameron Scott (my son).

The Sky is not the Limit!

I still get excited every time I get a chance to paint fabric. After I figured out that I could paint my own sky fabric I wanted to try more fabric painting and surface design techniques. Now, years later, I still want to learn more. Here are a couple older pieces that have skies I’m quite pleased with. Sadly they would be impossible to recreate by hand!

From the Woods

Speaking of skies… Below is the view from our dining table at a restaurant on our recent trip to Sin City. We were indoors. I thought it was so nice of them to bring a little nature into the grandiose, man-made, decadent surroundings. I couldn’t help but enjoy that sky since it was over 100 degrees outside!

Indoor sky
Indoor sky

Muraljoe is one of my favorite muralists and — though we can learn a lot from people who paint scenes on walls and ceilings — fabric is a different animal and there is definitely a learning curve! Have you conquered the curve? Do you paint fabric?

Conditioned Response

While vacationing my husband and I visited the beautiful Red Rock Canyons, a fellow tourist pointed out a roadrunner near some parked cars. It was neat to see a roadrunner but curious that it didn’t appear too concerned that people were nearby. As we watched him, my husband said “He is picking the bugs off of the bumpers of the parked cars.” Sure enough, it seems that roadrunner knew that if a car pulled up, tasty morsels were being delivered!

roadrunner1

When I see something that (for me) is unusual, like the roadrunner, I often look to other artists to see what they have made using that subject as inspiration.

Judith Roderick is an artist whose work includes painting silk items, art quilting, and embellishing with vintage, shell, and stone buttons. Below is Judith’s award winning “Roadrunner” art quilt. Judith told me she sees a roadrunner in her yard fairly often. So it is no surprise that the roadrunner has appeared in a few of her quilts through the years. I love how she has used all sorts of buttons on this piece. More of Judith’s wonderful work and insights may be found her website – Judith Roderick

Roadrunner by Judith Roderick. Used with permission
Roadrunner by Judith Roderick. Used with permission

I’ll be sharing more from my Red Rock trip in the future. Have you ever made an art piece featuring a roadrunner? If you have I hope you’ll share.

roadrunner
“Roadrunner” a digital drawing by my son.

When Photo meets Fiber

I love to see how some artists combine photography and fiber. Today I’m posting the fabulous work of two artists who approach and combine those two mediums very differently.

Gunnel Svensson takes wonderful photographs and has them printed on fabric. She then stitches them and adds fabric and fiber embellishments. I’m fascinated by her tiny mark making hand stitches.

gunnel svensson photo
Gunnel Svensson’s image used with permission.

Photographer and artist Melissa Zexter actually stitches directly on her photographs. This method not only adds a textural element to her works, but causes the viewer to stop and examine the layers more closely.

melissa zexter image used with permission
Melissa Zexter’s image used with permission.

I’ll end with a couple of my own pieces from my Photograph on Fiber series. I thank both Gunnel Svensson and Melissa Zexter for so graciously allowing me to share just a bit of their wonderful artwork. I hope you will visit each of their websites; there is much more inspiration to be found there!

Fescue Traveler
Fescue Traveler by Ann
Bodywork
Bodywork by Ann

Wabi Sabi and pulling weeds

I like to think of it as experiencing Wabi Sabi instead of weed pulling work. The ground littered with wonderful decaying plants. The textures, colors, the shadows and light, it is ever changing. I’m happy to recreate it in art…

A little weeding and a lot of wabi sabi
A little weeding and a lot of wabi sabi

My garden has often been a source of inspiration for me – from the old fence boards to the insect nibbled leaves and the rusty found objects.

painted fence boards on fabric by Ann
detail Shadow of Oneself by Ann

rusty

When I think about decaying leaves I think of the spectacular fiber art by Barbara Schneider and her Leave Series. Barbara’s work seems to always be evolving. It is so inspiring to me. Thanks to Barbara for allowing me to share her artwork. I hope you will stop by her website and enjoy her wabi sabi fiber art and so much more.

Leaf Fragments, var 1 by Barbara Schneider
Leaf Fragments, var 1 by Barbara Schneider