Monday, May 23, 2011

   If you are interested in superlative art quilts and enjoy historical tapestries and textiles, then...RUN, don't walk to these shows!!
 I recently enjoyed this amazing exhibition showing at the Zanesville Museum of Art, in Zanesville, Ohio.
SUPERLATIVES Ccontemporary Ohio Quilts opened Saturday May 14 and will run until July 14, 2011. The show " is unique in the history of Ohio quilt exhibitions as it includes six quilts by seven Ohio artists. Each artist works in different directions, creating a broad sampler of textile artistry."
 Such a wide variety of  technique and style you won't find in one place together very often. Linda French displays a more traditional style, yet her minute machine stitching could only be 21st century!  (  Although it is so perfect that you might think it was all done by hand.) Then there are the two artists using shibori dying in their work, yet they have very different results. Rebecca Cross uses silks and creates light, airy pieces and installations, while Sue Cavanaugh works on large cotton sateen. Deborah Melton Anderson's work is pieced using fabrics that she has manipulated and printed using heat transfers. The machine work of Sandra Palmer Ciolino bring another beautiful dimension to this show. June O'Neils use of raw edge applique will leave you amazed, and of course, Nancy Crow never disappoints. I especially enjoyed seeing her screen printed pieces.
  I was lucky enough to enjoy some of the lectures given by the artists on opening day. Nancy Crow, in particular, left me with a few things to think about. She really is an icon in the art-quilt movement. She was one of the original organizers of Quilt National, the Quilt/Surface Design Symposium and the Art Quilt Network.  I was thrilled to get to hear her speak. What I took away from her lecture was the importance of going after what you want, being persistent and not taking "no" for an answer; being professional and disciplined and above all, " do the work".  It was a reminder to really know yourself.

  "In Stitches" is another, smaller exhibition displayed next to, and con-currently with "SUPERLATIVES". This show highlights some of the wonderful textiles from the collection of the ZMA. It provides a very satisfying contrast to the contemporary show.
 I particularly enjoyed the "Man's Vest", 19th century from Turkey, that looked more child-sized, the "Kalarga Tapestry", late 19th century, made of linen, silk, velvet and cotton, and covered with beads and sequins. Also intriguing was  the"Bark Cloth" piece which is not woven at all, but made of tree bark.

  These are but a few of the interesting and inspiring pieces to view in this "bonus' show. Who knew the ZMA held such treasures?! Don't miss these shows!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Plunging Ahead

 I was recently "blog-surfing" and came upon Kathleen Loomis' blog,   " Art With A Needle" . She has been sharing her recent cruise experience, where she took a class on writing. She is a seasoned writer, having taught classes herself. She was curious to see how someone else might teach.
 The concept she shared that totally resonated with me was " Planners vs Plungers." According to her teacher, " a planner figures out what they want to say and writes it down, while a plunger writes in order to figure out what they want to say."

 I always struggled with writing an outline, then a paper from that....I usually managed to do it the other way around! AH-HA!! I am a plunger!! This, some how, is so freeing for me to know that it is an acceptable way of writing.  And, here is the best part: I am a plunging artist as well. No, I do NOT draw out ahead of time what I am about to create. I fly by the seat of my pants; working intuitively, following my instincts, letting the work take me where it may. No outline, no graph paper, no computer program...just a sketchbook/journal and all my stash.
 Thanks to Kathleen for sharing this information! I am a plunger and proud of it!

How do you write/work?  Is it just me or did this categorization help someone else as well? And why do we need labels anyway?