Friday, June 11, 2010

How long did it take you to make that?

I get this question just about every time and every where my work is exhibited. And it's terribly difficult to answer. Because, well, because it is. It's much easier to describe the process by which a piece is completed. So here are some photographs documenting my newest work. Please understand that some of the fabrics have been dyed or discharged months ago, even years ago. They come jumping out of drawers and boxes at times like this.

Day 1
Collecting a pile of fabric: literally, a pile of fabric on the floor. Fabric and a piece of netting from a antique hat. So do all my old friends recognize that red and yellow striped fabric? That's all that's left of "YARDS" purchased at Quilt's Plus about 20 years ago.

Day 4
Moving to the design wall to begin composing. Pins and static electricity hold everything together. Very few fabrics are cut to the desired shape here. Most are folded and scrunched into some sort of position.

Day 7
The scariest part of all: cutting into the fabric.

Day 10
Finally, a needle in thread gets in on the action. Pieces are hand sewn to the foundation fabric.

This is by no means close to completion. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Satellites 101

A beautiful documentary and boy "Does it Twirl!" And while you are there, check out some of the other design work by This is Real Art. Just wonderful

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Madden Arts Center

It's always wonderful to see one's work hanging in a gallery. But it's even more wonderful to see it surrounded by other beautiful work. The Fiber by 5 exhibit in Decatur, Illinois is no exception.

Curator Sue Powell researched and "discovered" five fiber artists from Illinois and Missouri. That's not unusual. What was a bit different for her was that all this researching and discovery took place on the internet. In my case, she googled fiber artists in Illinois and came across my website. A lucky thing for me.

And here we all are at the opening last Friday night. From left to right: me, BJ Parady, Sue Powell, David Johnson, Leandra Spangler. Peggy Wyman was unable to attend the opening.

Sue reported that as the work for the show came in and was unpacked, it became apparent that hanging the show was going to be a real treat. The various pieces of art seemed to resonate with each other.

Pine needle and gourd sculpture by Peggy Wyman
Mixed media by Ann Miller Titus

Reed and paper vessel by Leandra Spangler
Quilt by BJ Parady

The results? A exhibit of five very different interpretations of fiber art arranged in spectacular vingettes.

Leandra Spangler: Reed and paper vessel
David Johnson: Sculptural tapestries
Ann Miller Titus: Quilt

BJ Parady: Quilts
Leandra Spangler: Vessel
Ann Miller Titus: Mixed media

BJ Parady: Quilts
Leandra Spangler: Vessel
Peggy Wyman: Pine Needle Sculpture

Leandra Spangler: Vessel
Ann Miller Titus: Quilts and Mixed Media

The exhibit runs through March 30. So if you get the chance, go take a look.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Madden Art Gallery

Fiber by 5 opens this Friday, March 5 at the Madden Art Gallery in Decatur, Illinois. And the first map of 2010 makes its debut.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fine Line Creative Arts Center

More pictures from the Fine Line exhibit are here.

Opening March 5, 2010

Fiber by 5 at the Madden Art Gallery, Decatur, Illinois.

Catching Up

It's been a time for catching up. The "warming" following January's extreme cold encouraged me to haul the last of the Christmas decorations to the attic. A few hours here and a few hours and a portion of the house is clean. Most importantly, the sewing room was straightened up and I began working on a brand new piece.
So now a minute to catch up on the Fine Line show in St. Charles, Illinois.

Subzero temperatures and a foot of snow kept the audience to a minimum at the opening. BJ and I were grateful to have the few visitors that did brave the weather and for the opportunity to talk with them about our work. We also had the opportunity to make a short film about the work in this show.

This show was based around our work with transfer dyes. These are dyes that work only on polyester fabric. We use them as a tool for printmaking. We paint the dyes onto paper, let it dry, and then transfer the dye from the paper to polyester with heat (an iron). The colors that will transfer are limited, but what is available for that application are vibrant. And there is always the possibility of mixing dyes before they are applied or producing additional hues by transferring colors on top of each other.
BJ introduced me to the transfer dyes several years ago. I was sceptical at first. I did not like working with polyester. But I experimented with a few pieces and incorporated some into some works with other fabrics. The polyester issue faded away in light of the painterly qualities that could be obtained with the transfer dyes. But I wasn't happy with the results of seaming two pieces of polyester. It just does not lay flat or hold a crease.
Then two years ago, I saw a fiber piece at Art Saint Louis that had been collaged. And that gave me the idea to GLUE these lovely pieces of dyed polyester. And voila, an entire body of work ensued.
Most of the work that I have done over the past two years has been based on this technique. I have a collection of dyed fabrics, the exhausted dyed papers, and several bags of scraps. The fabrics and papers are cut and torn and positioned onto a background of canvas. When the composition pleases me, I glue them down to the canvas with matte medium. When all is dry, they are ready for some embellishment: more layering, stitching and oftentimes paint. They the pieces are matted and framed.

I have loved the results. But I am aching for more quilting. So I have pivoted away from the glue and am experimenting with similar compositions can be expressed through piecing and applique.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Opening Tomorrow

BJ Parady and I will be exhibiting at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles, Illinois.