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/.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Celebrating Normalcy- debut

It's SOOO quiet!!!! This is the finished newest piece-- Celebrating Normalcy. If you scan down to some previous posts you'll get the concept in full detail. But the short version is this piece celebrates the return to the mundane after a period of crisis. It is the sigh, the exhale, the relief of not having to think in crisis mode. The image is a stylized version of a moonrise over a calm bay. The back is silk screened with examples of daily mundacity--walking the dog, feeding the cat, unloading the dishwasher, taking a luxurious bath, sleeping in your own bed--all activities that, when life is normal, have very little significance. But when they return following a crisis- medical or otherwise, they are worth a little celebratory jig.

This piece has just been juried into Celebrating Creativity at William Woods University which opens in late August. The happy/sad part is that I will not be able to enter it into Quilt National as it will have been posted to a website-- disqualifying it from entry. Unless something else majorly inspires me, I won't have an entry for it this year.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

CAOs (Crazy Ass Onions)

As a gardener who is attempting to grow some of our own foods, when it comes to onions I am a complete failure. I have yet to grow an onion that has an edible bulb.(I did great with garlic) But I seem to have mastered onions as abstract art! This image shows the beginnings of just how whacky those guys can get. I swear they are dancing and singing there way through the season. I am quite sure I was supposed to do somethng before they got to this state. That was weeks ago. Now there are bulbettes where all those higgledy piggledy stems originate from the main stems. I just know that this is the inspiration for my next quilt.

BTW- I did finish my last piece "Celebrating Normalcy" and depending on what happens with the show I just entered it into, I'll post images later. FYI-- there are some shows where they will not accept pieces that have shown up on websites- period. So to leave that option open I'll be keeping the finished image to myself for now. And yes-- they DO check.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What do these things have in common?
Making coffee
emptying the dishwasher
doing laundry
reading a book
cooking dinner
taking out the trash
walking the dog
checking email
brushing my teeth
taking a bath
They are all activities that are not a part of daily activity while one is experiencing a crisis. As the crisis resolves, these activities slowly come back into one's life. As each is re-introduced a feeling of celebration greets the activity. I call it celebrating normalcy. That is what my current piece is all about.
The back of my piece is made of hand-dyed silk noil in a charcoal coloration. Silk screened on top in several pastel hues are the above activities. To me they capture the essence of everyday life that slips to the margins of daily activity when a loved one is sick, a flood occurs, power goes out for days, or an earthquake shakes our world. I have experienced it a few times and have always marveled at the preciousness of those daily activities we so easily take for granted. But it is just such activiity which separates us from crisis. It is how we know life will again return to normal. It is the re-introduction of the mundane that gives us hope of life being closer to what we imagine it should be.
Today I was finally back in my studio after weeks of chasing the dime. I finally got hte quilt layered and basted and did my first row of stitching- the horizon line that runs across the middle. Aaah normal!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Celebrating Normalcy

For several years I have been fascinated with what is happening on the horizon opposite where the big show is going on. At sunrise I like to look west and at sunset I like to look east. The way the light acts, the way the existing part of the day is dissolving just makes me grin. I was especially taken by an exhibition I saw years ago in Memphis by artist Burton Callicott. This piece of his is entitled Moonrise Naucet Beach. I always liked that image but only recently realized it was exactly the kind of image I was loving. The moon is a full moon rising just after sunset. The day is still receeding and the colorations above the horizon are slowly changing to darkness. The only reason we are looking that direction is that the moon is on the rise. But the quietness, the stillness and the subtleness prevail. So I have been wanting to do a piece that captures that feel.
Introducing Magic Time for "Celebrating Normalcy". For those of you who haven't been following me for long-- Magic Time is the point at which I first put a quilt up on the design wall. To me this is where it breathes its first breath of life and "becomes"a piece of art. Until this point it exists only in my mind. As you can see, the blocks are not yet assembled nor joined- they are simply stuck to the flannel design wall in the expected final layout.
Today I managed to get the top half pieced into rows. I am not trying to copy Callicott's piece but am using his coloration of strata as a reference. I want this piece to be VERY peaceful. Like looking over the ocean on a very cloudy day, where you can't quite tell where the water ends and the sky begins. This won't be QUITE that subtle. I opted to keep the line of land that separates the sky from the water.
I can tell that I have matured somewhat as an artist in that, although at this point the piece isn't going exactly the direction I originally envisioned, I am comfortable enough with my technical skills and vision to have a reasonable expectation that I'll be able to draw it closer to my vision in the remaining steps. This could be the stitching, possible layering, surface design options--who knows?
Celebrating Normalcy--What's with the name? As anyone who has been through a major event can tell you-- whether a medical crisis or a major weather event, a terrorist bombing, an earthquake or similar-- that when life begins to have a few elements of normalcy once again, hope can blossom and be very exciting. We can find that our attention can once again be distracted from the "EVENT" and we can look around and see beauty again. For me, that is symbolized by being able to see the opposite horizon following a sunset or sunrise.
Last year's ice storm, Mom's periodic medical crises, this year's heavy snow-- all qualify as times to recover from.
Since I am not sure where this piece will be taking me, I invite you along to discover it with me.
So you can be oriented- each bull's eye block (4 pieces that comprise a circle) is 8 inches across before assembling. The finished piece will approximate 56" tall and 63" wide.
This is the first piece in over a year where I have dyed fabrics specific to the piece and each block is built for it. Last year each piece I worked on( except one) was made up of leftovers from previous work. While my income has been sucking air thus far this year, I am hopeful that it will be a more prosperous year. That calls for creation!!!!
Let's enjoy the view.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Solo Exhibition part II

We are taking up where we left off on the previous post. If you want to see it from the beginning see previous post first. As you come around the corner from the long wall you will see "Yikes! Stripes" and "Spots, Dots, Speckles & Freckles". Take note of the purple columns that bring out an amazing amount of purple in my work.
Bypassing the doors that lead to the art department, the next piece is "Sky West".

Then my absolute favorite "Listening for the Silence"-- which we are doing right now-- awaiting the beginning of the snowfall and the cessation of sleet and ice.

Turn the corner again, going clockwise On the left is "Fowl Fantasy III", a runner, then "Neon Cha Cha" and another runner. "Neon Cha Cha" is placed in front of a window and the back can be viewed from the atrium. As with many of my pieces-- the backs have a lot going on.

Which now brings us "Reconcilable Differences."
You have now taken the tour. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Please feel free to leave your comments.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Driscoll Gallery solo exhibition

My most recent solo exhibition has opened at the Driscoll Gallery at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO. This is the first view as you enter the double doors. Shown are "Shadow Pool" and "35 Years-- Still Turns Me On". Moving clockwise around the room...

Shown here are "Black Leaf Runner", "Energy of Hope" and "Anhinga". And then...
The big reddish one is "Bass Ackwards--Bee Balm", then Monumetals: Silver, Gold and Copper" then "Luck Sonata in Scarlet Major". Then...

At the end is "Moon Over Marshall Ford", "Slipstream Adventure", "Live Water" and
"Sweeping Changes".
The next issue will follow around the rest of the room.
My warmest thanks to Dianna Callahan who made this exhibition happen. It'll hang through mid February.