Two, count 'em, Two solo shows

The first of my two solo shows in the Month of May is hung, and it looks pretty good (if you ignore the shaft of sunlight moving across one wall--the windows look darkened, I'm only a little worried). This is in the Fairfield (Iowa) Arts and Convention Center (200 North Main). The opening reception is this Friday night (May 2), 6:30-9pm, as part of their monthly First Friday Art Walk--a great event, in which several local businesses and galleries within walking distance of each other hold openings. I think that this month there is a theme of Fiber Art.

My second show will be hung tomorrow, at the Quincy Medical Group, Quincy, Illinois. It can be viewed during normal business hours.

So I feel like my hard work of the last few months of making art has paid off--I am able to mount two, albeit small, solo shows at the same time. That's a good thing.

Check them out if you get the chance.



I wish I could say that I went to Chicago to the International Quilt Festival, and all I got was this lovely pile of hand dyed wool roving. I didn't go overboard, got a few other things, but this is my favorite.

It is from a shop called Wool & Needle in Fond du Lac, WI. (I would link to their website, www.woolandneedle.com, but it seems to be down right now.) There were several vendors there with roving, but this spoke to me--there's lots of variation in the coloring, which will be good for making natural looking landscapes. Even if the landscapes I make are abstract, I still want the play of light to figure in the composition.

These got me to remembering when I first started dyeing fabric. I was obsessed with getting the pieces evenly colored--you know, like commercial fabric. I don't remember what the lightning bolt was, but at some point I realized I should be looking for the happy accidents I find in watercolor painting--something they can't make 1000 yards of. Part of my plan for the summer is to go back to those fairly uniform pieces and overdye or paint them. Make them unique.

As for this wool, I'm thinking nuno felting to make some more landscapes. I have thought about buying an embellishing machine, but have decided for now to stick with hand felting with some hand needle felting thrown in. It's the process I'm after as much as the final product.


The Dull bits

Where has the time gone? What have I been up to? Well, aside from spending last week nursing a sick husband, I was getting ready for not one, but TWO solo shows in the month of May. I almost didn't accept the second one because of the timing, but I thought a minute and realized I finally have enough work to pull this off.

That's partly because I spent a lot of the last few months just making art. It doesn't feel like it today, but the pile speaks for itself. The problem is, I made art and stopped there. No framing, no matting, no sewing on of hanging devices.

So I spent the last couple of days figuring out what piece goes where, making prices lists to submit to the venues, figuring out what goes in what frame. Boring, but necessary.

Oh, and the two venues? One is the Quincy Medical Group in Quincy, Illinois. They have a large skywalk connecting their two main buildings, the work will hang there for the month of May.

The Fairfield (Iowa) Art Association will host the other show in the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. There will be an opening reception (with me in attendance) on Friday, May 2, 6:30-9:30pm, in conjunction with the Fairfield First Friday Art Walk--a big local event held monthly.

In between the sick, the getting ready for this, a quick trip to the International Quilt Festival in Chicago next week, and a vacation with family to Lake Barkley, KY, this is shaping up to be a quite busy month. I'm anxious for May, when I can seriously make art again.

But I am feeding the muse--making a small piece every day, playing with some new techniques when I have an hour or two. There are a couple of bigger pieces on my design wall right now, but both are kind of stuck--not telling me how to continue with them--waiting for me to find my way back to them. I will. Just not this week.