Sunday, July 26, 2015

Where Do I Go When I'm Not Home?

     Once again, I am returning home after another adventure. This time, I spent two weeks in the Amazon area of Peru. The last two of my blog entries I had scheduled to post for while I was away. I was able to have them appear, but I was in an area that did not have an Internet signal on Fridays so I couldn't link up to Nina's Off the Wall Friday like I usually do each week. The women in the river area of Peru do amazing embroideries. The base city for my trip was Iquitos, Peru and here are two of the local women setting up shop.
One sewing and one setting up
Here is a cloth I considered buying. The white "outlines" around the flower represent anacondas.

All hand embroidered
The asking price was about $200. Of course, the tradition is to bargain. I have nowhere in my home to display it, so I didn't bargain. I just admired it for quite awhile and said how beautiful it was and moved on. I did buy a beautifully embroidered blouse from another woman at the end of our trip, however. And several baskets and bracelets from a village on the river to give as gifts.
     One week of the trip was a 7 day cruise on the Amazon (my husband and I were the only passengers with 6 crew and one guide). They didn't cancel because they had to move the boat anyway. And the second week, we stayed at a jungle lodge.  Here are few photos.
Our way, cool boat, The Selva Viva

Hiking with guide

picked up a friend
owl monkeys so curious about us

our tent for a night out

rainbow over the Marañón River just below the source of the Amazon
     It was a marvelous trip and my head is full of images of amazing birds, monkeys, foliage, and sounds. I'm glad to be home in dry clothes again and away from the many bugs. But the discomforts were so worth the enrichment. I'm linking this, successfully, to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Want To Go Way Back With Me?

     I was glancing up on my kitchen wall looking up at an art quilt I created over 10 years ago. At the time was teaching chemistry and had just started making art quilts for fun and didn't even come close to consider calling myself an artist. I was invited to join an art group and bring something for show and tell. I had never shown anyone anything I had created before let alone a group of artists. I was terrified. I almost didn't go to the meeting. But the women I met were very encouraging and friendly so I went. This is what I took to show.
Kitchen Concoction
     To create this, I took a photo of this bowl.
My wooden salad bowl
And a photo of this bottle.
bottle of flavored vinegar
Then I manipulated them in Photoshop Elements until I got layers of colors and I printed out the photos. I chose fabrics with those colors and cut out the shapes and fused them onto the base fabrics and sewed it all together and then quilted it. The difficult part for me was to machine embroider the words for the sauces. I actually ripped them out twice before I was happy with them. The "vapors" are painted on with Shiva paintstiks.
     Looking back at this beginning quilt, there are things I would do differently. It definitely would benefit from having light values in it. I didn't know about varying values back then. I would balance out the dark green more. It's all on the left side. I would also change the shape of the vapor trails and change where the fluid coming out of the bottle intersects with one of the vapor trails. But, overall, I still like this early quilt and that's why it still hangs in my kitchen. And I still cook and/or use the sauces that are named on it. 
     So that day way back when I stood up and showed my quilt the group was very nice and welcoming I decided to join and I am still a member of ArtsEtc today. It has been such a great influence on my artistic life and now I do call myself an artist. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts so that they know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Do You Get To Visit Galleries Or Museums?

     Do you make a point of visiting galleries and or museums regularly? Luckily for me, even though I live in a relatively small town, it is an active artist community. In my city there is one art museum with a central space and a satellite space and both have frequent receptions with wonderful exhibits. And in the neighboring cities there are also excellent art receptions and exhibits on a regular basis.
    Recently, I attended an art opening celebrating artists new to the gallery called Arts On Douglas in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. It was well attended with many people I knew as well as many new to me. The gallery space is marvelous and the art there is always a delight.
     One of the artists is a friend of mine and it has been so inspiring to watch her work grow over the years. She recently had a one-woman show at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado and now is represented in this gallery. Her name is Bobbi Baugh. Here is a photo of some of the art at the show at Arts on Douglas. I tried to get some good photos, but the lights were from above and there was some glare. I love her printmaking techniques and the layering she does.

I love fossils so I'm especially fond of this one.

     Then there was work by the artist,  John Westmark. At first, when I looked at his paintings, I thought he used pattern pieces and thought that was interesting. I really liked his overall composition, too. But then, I started reading the words on the "patterns" and was blown away.
By John Westmark

I love the words on this detail shot

     So, lucky for me, I get to go to an artist opening or reception at least once a month. And I never leave disappointed. There is always inspiration in the art and the artists. I hope that you will seek out galleries and museums in your area to visit and to support no matter how small they are and that you will take friends and family with you to discuss what you see and exchange viewpoints. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.