The purpose of this blog is share with others the processes involved in my favorite form of creativity- silk art quilts. The creative process itself is a fascinating thing. I am constantly amazed by it- both its simplicity and its complexity.

I feel strongly that I am a better person since I truly started following my dream. Because of collectors--those who actually buy original art-- I am able to live my dream. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You can see more of my work at my website http://www.rebelquilter.com/.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

EEEEWWWWW! Spring is coming!

The very first sign of SPRING in the Ozarks is the smell of skunk. They are on the move and getting hit on the road. So it is the olfactory sense that first kicks in the anticipation of the end of cold weather. That is good news as we are currently being hit with 36 hours of "wintery mix." There is a 1/4" coat of ice on the car and we are only 6 hours into the 36. I know this because I had to go out to the car to bring in my sketch book.

As crude as this drawing is, it is the sketch for my newest work--"Visions of Plenty:Live Water"

We live in one of the few places in the US that not only has lots of acreage with live water but the cost is generally still under $2000/acre... sometimes lots less. As the race for water gets more heated having live water on one's property will get more valuable. What is "live water?" It is water that is moving-- a creek, a river, a spring.

This piece is well underway. I have the blocks with 2 layers of circles thus far. If I can get down to my studio (2 blocks away--downhill) I'll get the third layer on and get them quartered. Tentative "Magic Time" is scheduled for Sunday. I'll probably have to get out the crimpons (those ice traction thingies) to get down the hill. Oh yeah. I don't have any of those. Hmmm. Guess I'll stay put and make curry instead.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Photo at last--Slipstream Adventure

I'm happy to at last have a "finished" photo of this pieice that I can now use for promoting it. The finished size of the piece is 80" x 156". I'm working on getting the back view compiled. This is actually 4 separate photos which have been combined onto a single canvas. My friend Bruce Carr shot the work and my friend Jim Kraus did the Photoshop work. The only manipulation was to correct some keystoning and evening up the sizes. Great job, guys!!!

The next step is to find venues for exhibition and potential clients for purchase. You'll be seeing this piece in every exhibition that will accept a piece this large for the next 2 years... unless that wonderful client comes along who wants to purchase it early on.

Now on to the next piece-- which is well underway. I expect I'll be doing "Magic Time" for it later this week. There will be approx 150 blocks--smaller than the last one but still quite large. The colors are deep purples to rich blues to citreon green with a light source that brightens one section to light greens. Yum!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Now what?

Last month I finally finished "Slipstream Adventure." I was expecting to start a new job in outside sales that would be now taking up much of my time and creative energy. The job didn't materialize. Now most of my art friends are shouting, "It's a sign! Just do your art!" As much as I wish that was my only focus, the reality is that I spent much of 2006 traveling the country showcasing my wares and 2007 paying interest on those expenses. So I either need to do a whole lot more commissions, sell much of what I have already done, find other art outlets or... gulp... get a job. My work ethic is such that when I take on a job I give it my all. So I know I won't be creating my artwork on the level I have previously if I get a job--even a part-time one.... and NOOOOO network marketing is not the answer for me. Been there, done that, still got the mugs, platters, t-shirts, stained glass awards, etc.

I know that one of the key definitions of insanity is to keep doing the same thing while expecting a different outcome. On the other hand, I can't tell you how many bios I've read of successful artists, musicians, or writers that contain something along the line of--- "well if I had given up 2 weeks earlier I wouldn't be here." Certainly mixed messages from the universe.

I have never had a problem with persistence. That I have (as long as it doesn't involve deprivation.)

So my solution has several points. Like my annual goal setting- it reads more like a business plan than anything else.
  1. Create work that satisfies me first. Right now this means large scale, intense pieces. It might also mean exploring more thoroughly surface design techniques. But I have found a voice I like with those darn circles.
  2. Build up my shibori scarf wholesale business. I have a listing on Wholesalecrafts.com which reaches 16,000 retailers throughout the country. Update images regularly so my work stays near the top in "new work."
  3. Plan on doing 2-3 wholesale shows in 2009 featuring the scarves. Schedule now.
  4. Stay up to date in knowledge of color trends for fashion and commercial decor.
  5. Get my Rebel Quilter Gallery up and open to the public before the spring tourist traffic hits the area. Get brochure done that can be handed out at the local tourist info sites.
  6. Do a thorough inventory of existing works. Make sure they are all properly documented and whereabouts known. You'd be surprised how complicated this can get when you have over 75 created pieces that are at least 2 ft square.
  7. Enter lots of exhibitions with exisiting work.
  8. Send out exhibition proposals to non-profit galleries and museums for solo shows. Target is 3-5 solo exhibitions per year. Team up with others to promote small group shows.
  9. Respond to requests for qualifications for large scale public art indoor projects.
  10. Get more savvy in my internet news releases so "successes" are noted by the public on a larger scale and journalists seek me outas an authority on artquilts, surface design, and marketing.
  11. Get those who have voiced an interest in commissioning my work to go ahead and let me get started. (I love commissions that let me do my style)
  12. Schedule and promote a series of surface design classes to be taught in my studio.
  13. Line up more teaching and trunk show gigs for pay.
  14. Find a way to pay for a part-time studio assistant or intern.
  15. Continue to make small framed works from remaining blocks of bigger quilts.
  16. Assist my husband in his massage newsletter business target and secure more clients.
  17. Be open to opportunities that come my way for a real "Job." My ego is strong enough that I'd want it to be a job that demands quality performance and high rewards. Outside sales is most likely since it would allow a more flexible schedule--allowing time off for my mother's health issues and my monthly artquilt group meetings which are out of town.
  18. Keep myself open to finding a gallery or two that can handle my large-scale work and actually MOVE them.

I'm sure that list will grow.

I have started a new piece. I'll post in progress photos next time.