Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hudson & Region Studio Tour

Water Tower #3

I am delighted to be a participant in this weekend's Hudson Studio Tour, as it marks its tenth anniversary year. I will be opening my home studio to visitors on Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Michele Meredith will be showing her intriguing new work at the same address. Both of us plan to give small demos of our techniques.

To see who else is on the tour and how to find their venues, please visit the website.

Hoping to see you here!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

It's a Baby Quilt!

Okay, sometimes it's fun to make a simple quilt, especially when it's in such a cheerful palette.

My niece Kristen is expecting her first child in two months. I was asked to staff the arts & crafts table at the baby shower, so instead of the usual games, the guests were asked to do a simple drawing on white cotton squares. They used fabric markers designed to be washable. I cut other squares from my stash of printed cottons and put it all together. It measures 42" square.

It made for a fun activity, and will be a lasting memory for Kristen of a happy time. I hope the quilt will be well-used.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ginette Parizeau at the Hudson Medi-Centre

Award-winning watercolourist and member of the Hudson Artists, Ginette Parizeau exhibits her beautiful paintings at the Hudson Medi-Centre until November 16. Please come by during clinic hours, 465 Main Road, Hudson, Quebec.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Textile Triennial

Yesterday I visited a few of the shows that form part of the "Triennale Internationale des Arts Textiles en Outaouais". The Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans, just east of Ottawa, is hosting three of the thirteen shows in the Triennial.

My favourite was a show of the woven tapestries of Archie Brennan & Susan Martin Maffei, all made in the mid-1990's. The larger work of Susan Martin Maffei is a single series, The New York Times. With one horizontal exception, all of the pieces were tall, about seven feet in height, and narrow, about 30" wide. All of her pieces featured the New York Times newspaper, brilliant colours, and a small black-and-white vignette of a New York City street scene. Most of the pieces featured a large, single figure, dominating the space, and a flattened perspective.



The work of the second artist, Archie Brennan, was monochromatic. The palette may have been determined by the natural colour of the wools used in the woven tapestries. The series, titled Dersu Uzala, was comprised of smaller works, perhaps 3 feet high and 2 feet wide. The images were stylized, and many of the pieces featured text as part of the design.

The work of each artist, who are married to each other, was very distinctive, but both had a graphic style. This show is open until September 22.

I also viewed Felted Language, an exhibition of felted works by contemporary fibre artists Claire Guerette of Gatineau and Diane Lemire of Chelsea. Below is a panoramic shot of the show, in the Trinity Gallery. It is comprised of mostly small, doll-sized, felted figures. Most of the garment-like objects are made of felted wool, with the addition of somewhat incongruous embroidered garment labels. This show is open until September 24.

The most varied of the three shows at the Shenkman is Past and Present. It consists of textile work of all sizes, framed and unframed. The art is hung in the working offices of the AOE Arts Council. I was warmly welcomed by the receptionist and encouraged to wander through the boardroom, the staff kitchen and the work stations. I didn't take photos because I felt it might intrude on the staff. This show is open until October 10.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Delighted to report...

...that my SAQA auction piece, Boathouses #2, was among the first six pieces to sell on Day 1 of the event! You can see the piece on my blog posting of August 25.

It was bought by Studio Nysha, which also purchased Mary Pal's piece. I met Nysha Nelson at the SAQA conference in Santa Fe this spring, where he had the winning bid on my Boathouse postcard in the 5" x 7" art quilt auction.

My day is made! And SAQA has added $750 to its operating fund.

To follow the SAQA auction, please visit their site. And just to tempt you, here are three of my favourites from this week's auction lot:

Local Color: The Southwest, 
Julie Filatoff

Round Hole, Square Peg,
Miriam Otte

Once we built windmills,
BJ Parady

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Another activity we tried at Dianne's art retreat this July was making collographs. At a previous get-together, the members of text'art prepared collograph plates. In other words, we glued textural material to heavy-grade corrugated cardboard. We tried to keep the height of the items consistent from one material to another. For example, if you used grains of rice, that's only 1 mm in height. If you used beans, it might be 5 mm high. Shapes cut from corrugated cardboard, burlap, elastic bands, paper clips, or any number of (more or less flat) items from the hardware store or the pantry all qualify.

After allowing the plate to dry, we waterproofed it with a coat of acrylic medium or paint.

Using the plate to make a print onto cotton is pretty simple. Basically, position the plate on a table and apply acrylic paint to it with a stencil brush, foam brush or foam roller. Then carefully lay the cotton onto the painted surface and apply pressure.

- begin with hand-dyed cotton or with plain,
- use a brayer or your hands to ensure contact between the cotton and the painted plate,
- use a cushioning layer like batting or felt between the cotton and the brayer/hand,
- overprint by stamping or stencilling.

Once you have your printed cotton, the question arises, "Now what do I do with this?"

For these pieces, I have appliqu├ęd shapes in fiberglass screening to the print, and have used hand and machine stitching to enhance the shapes made by the paint.

These pieces have been matted and wrapped, ready to be offered as "unframed work" at several shows this fall.

No titles yet. Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Landmarks #3

This summer, some members of our text'art group met at Dianne's cottage for an art retreat. One of the techniques we played with was dripping diluted acrylic paint onto damp fabric, with sand sprinkled onto the cotton to act as a resist. The idea came from Mickey Lawler's article, "Sand Painting", in the June/July 2013 issue of Quilting Arts magazine.

Sometimes we threw salt onto the damp paint to add another effect.

Landmarks #2

It's wonderful fun to see the interaction of water, paint, sand and salt. When looking closely at the serendipitous result, the question arises, "Now what do I do with this?"

In the case of Landmarks #1 and #2, I introduced another texture by stamping. I then stitched some meandering lines in metallic thread to outline the organic shapes, and added beads to create a focal point.

For Landmarks #3, I skipped the stamping but used the same kind of stitching, then added metal grommets, creating tiny holes in the cotton.

Landmarks #1

These three pieces have been properly matted and wrapped, and will be offered for sale as unframed work at the Studio Tour, the Hudson Artists fall show, and the Arbor Gallery. I settled on the title "Landmarks" because they remind me of topographical maps.

I hope to take some of my other experiments and transform them into small, interesting pieces. I'm enjoying this brief diversion from making Cityscapes: a return to the layering of paint, collage and stitch that I have so enjoyed in previous series.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Water Tower #3

In response to a Challenge from my 12 by the Dozen group, I've used another photo from New York City as inspiration, taken somewhere in Manhattan.

Our challenge was to make an 8.5" x 11" piece, using a particular green. For the windows, I found a scrap of hand-painted cotton, made some years ago, that has a range of greens from blue-green to yellow-green. I figure the exact colour of green must be in there somewhere.

Once again, low-immersion dyeing has provided the mottled fabric for the sky, suggesting cloud formations.

If you'd like to see how others in the group have handled the challenge, please visit our website.