New Etsy items

I added a few (ok, four) new pieces to my etsy shop. I haven't given up on it entirely, and had some extra things I wanted to put on there.

This piece, Winter Woods 2, is a small piece I made from scraps of hand painted fabric. I use a piece of mat board with a 4"x6" opening, move it around the scraps until something captures my eye. Then I added some details, often with free motion thread stitching like the tree here. In a way they are quickly made, except for the time spent making the fabric in the first place.

This piece seems appropriate for today in particular--the view outside my window of the park across the street looks just like this--gray, cold, dismal, and yet mysterious and alluring.


In honor of Kathryn

Today would have been my mother's 95th birthday. A few days ago we passed the 20th anniversary of her death.

She was a high school English teacher, a full time working mother in a time when that wasn't very common.

So in her honor, let me direct you to a site with a vocabulary game called Free Rice. As you play it, every word you get correct (no one knows if it's an educated guess) earns 10 grains of rice to be given to someone who needs it. The site is an off shoot of poverty.com, which an educational site about world hunger. The rice is paid for with the small ads that appear below the vocabulary words.

And who knows, you might learn a new word or two.

Warning, it can be addictive...


holiday gift buying

The prices of my art work will be going up the first of the year. So now would be a good time to do some holiday shopping on my website. As an added bonus, I will have free shipping in the US until the end of the year. Although I don't yet have a shopping cart set up on my website, you can pay through my paypal account. Just email me.


manipulation and inspiration

It's a gray, warm autumn day here. So it's kind of hard to take a detail picture, but then that's not really what I was after. I wanted to show some of the inspiration for the piece I've been talking about. This is shot looking west from my driveway.

We here in west central Illinois tend to have dreary autumns. It hasn't even rained much here lately (we're in a drought), but we have all these long, darkish, gray days. As the leaves fall off the trees, the only ones left are those are the oaks, which turn a rusty brown that in the height of autumn seems dull, but now that it is the only color left, it seems warm and cozy. So the spots of orange and brown pop out against the gray of the tree trunks and branches. That's what I'm trying to capture.

And I am quilting away on it, between the chores and errands and etc. of life. It's fairly densely quilted so far, that may change as I move across the piece. I just hope I have enough thread to do the whole thing, and avoid my usual problem of running out of a color 4/5 of the way through a piece. Planning ahead is not my strong suit in art.

And there are still bits of a dull acid green about, small trees that haven't given up for the year, the duckweed floating in a pond. So I may find a way to work bits of that color in, maybe some hand stitching. In any event, this is a major piece for me both in time it's taking, in size, and in what it's taught me about where I want to go next.


Form Not Function

This piece, Strata 2, has been accepted to the Form, Not Function show at the Carnegie Center for Art and History, New Albany, Indiana. The show will be open from January 11-March 8, 2008.

While I have entered this piece in a couple of shows, it's never been accepted before. Anther one rejected by this show was accepted by another. Things like that keep me from taking any acceptance or rejection too seriously--it's all in the eye of a particular judge putting together a specific show. It is out of my hands.


manipulation continued

I started quilting on the gray piece I blogged about a few days ago. The colors remind me of late autumn in my area, when most of the leaves are off the trees, the weather is gray and rainy, but there's a spot of bright color left here and there. So the quilting lines are mimicking tree bark of large trees, with small trees behind.

But now that the quilting is started, and after a walk past the golf course where I saw bald cypress trees turned rust colored reflected in gray water, I realized that I had been looking at the piece upside down.

It just looks right this way. The light spots become reflections of sky on water, the rust the leaves still on the trees. I know it's a very abstract version of what I see that no one else might be able to identify. But that's the way I work. I struggle to compose and design without an inspiration to guide me--I need that to guide me. Even if you don't see it in the final product, I do.

Maybe that's a result of my Midwestern, practical upbringing, that idea that art has to be about something. I am drawn to the abstract expressionists, and drawn to the idea that I want to make art about where I live. So I'm forming a new series, one called Hancock County. I realize that the last couple of pieces I've made are probably in the series. It's about what I see in my everyday life here, the view out the car window at 55 miles per hour. (It's easy to abstract that blurry view). I'll go back and put labels on the pieces I think belong. And when this one is done (I haven't quilted a piece this large in a while...wow), there'll be more coming.


bird artwork

I've been on Etsy for a little over four months now, with little action. So while I've relisted some pieces, I'm going to let the listing for the various bird sketches expire. I need to change the items I have at the Southern Illinois Artisan's Shop, and these seem like a good choice. Little stuff seems to sell better for me there.

So if you've been pining for one of them, you need to act fast. Not that I won't be making more of them, although I'm a little up in the air about putting them on etsy since I haven't done that well there. Another one of those business decisions that takes time and energy away from making art.

And I think there is a big piece of these birds to be made--I have this dyed linen tablecloth that I can see with these small birds drawn all over it, like a flock of sparrows in my backyard.