Monday, August 29, 2011

Art Quilt Masters, Volume II

Martha Seilman has put together abother volume of magnificent art quilts. I love and often return to volume I of Masters, Art Quilts, and Volume II is another brilliant display of quilt artists' work -- about six pages per artist so that one can study variations and changes in the work of these artists. Seilman includes a brief but well written, very informative, statement about each artist. Very, very brief comments about intent, theme and method by the artists themselves are included. The materials, as well as the designs, are often new and interestingly used. Anyone interested in quilts as art will be as intrigued by these beautiful photos as I am and will wish, as I wish, that it were possible to see each quilt "for real" in order to know the textures which cannot be photographed and understand in an immediate way how size and shape add their importance to the works.

Unfortunately one cannot go to every show, see every piece of art, in lieu of that ability looking at pictures excellent photographs is an available substitute, especially when the book lie on the coffee table and can be paged through at random -- but a book will always be only a substitute.

Monday, August 22, 2011

More pictures from World Quilt Shop

This fascintint quilt with its crowd of staring people is called The Followers by Marelene Shea from the US.

I'm very partial to circles, which I find difficult to make. I love that this quilt is in four different pieces. This is called Dancing Circles by Lynn Gonzaga from South Africa. My two most favorite quilts from South Africa were hung in a place where I found it impossible to take a picture and I couldn't have done them justice.

Janette Rayment's quilt with more circles is called Muslin Masterpiece. And below this deceptively simple quilt by Bendette Mayr is called beaches.

AS I wrote before, these are not so much representative of this magnificent quilt show as they are pieces I wanted a photo of for reference because I found them inspiring, especially this beach scene and the first one in the previous post. It's a "hey, I can do that" sense that they gave me.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

World Quilt Show, New England IX

"Fall Evening" by Janette Kelly -- This is the first quilt I took a picture of having decided I couldn't photograph the most complex so I would photograph ones I might have a hope of learning from. I didn't note her country

The second quilt here is "Hot Town, New York in Summer" Janet McCollum. Again I didn't get her county but I did remark to my daughter "that was not a typically hot day because there is too much green. We were struck by a shade of green we don't like and a shocking pink we also don't like and that they looked perfect in this quilt in the quantity they were used and with the other colors in the main section of the quilt.
Several jackets and matching dresses were made by Linda Schmidt who also showed half a dozen quilt -- a mini one woman show. This, obviously is Van Gogh inspired, but was done brilliantly and not surprisingly is called Starry Starry Night"
I was so full of quilt visions in my head by the time I got to bed last night, I couldn't sleep for some time and so wrote this poem.

Quilts from Israel to New Zealand
from Germany to Japan, and, of course, American
hundreds, literally, and all superbly made
by machine and some stitched by hand
old and new techniques, abstract,
traditional photographic and didactic,
frankly beautiful
funny and thoughtful
far more than eye candy
a display if creativity demanding
respect, awe and understanding.

Most photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two-sided quilt finished

At last I've finished this quilt. I love doing two-sided quilts -- love using up lots of scraps, in this case, blue on the front and green [and blue-greens] on the back and some true red fabrics I also had. The squares are meant to be a bit wonky, in fact I though I was being wonkier than they really turned out to be. I didn't measure the quilt, but it's not actually square, rather, about 50x56.

I'm on a bit of a roll now and making two two-sided little quilties. They won't take long, happily.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Harder, longer work than anticipated

I have often written that quilting takes longer than I think it will -- always. I'm writing the same thing again. The not very complicated, not very big quilt I'm making was one I was sure I'd have finished yesterday or today at the latest. But it's not done, and probably won't be done until Monday even though I expect to work on it tomorrow also. I'm eager to get on with some other quilts and feeling pressured also to get the sewing room picked up and neatened so I can do some much needed ironing. In the matter of how long it will take to make a quilt it's a matter of live and not learn.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fishy Art

The Cape Cod Cultural Center in Yarmouth is showing twenty fish, each the same basic fiberglass shape but each differently interpreted by a different local artist. I didn't jot down names but the third one was done by an art teacher at Sturgis Dharter School where Rachel works. It had the most imaginative decor without going overboard as a few did.

The Fish have been displayed at various locations for at least a month and now have been gathered to be previewed before an auction next week, with proceeding going to a charity.

Some clever company is in the business of making fiberglass bases and marketing them to organizations or cities with the idea of having various artist do what they want with them -- paint, collage, etc. There were quite a variety of methods in this show, and I actually photographed the tamer ones. The fish below with a female face -- some kind of mermaid I think, is only a suggestion of how wild some where.

It's a fun idea. I first encountered it in NYC about 6 or 7 years ago when life size cows began to appear all over over Manhattan's streets painted in exotic ways. I got in the habit that summer of carrying my camera and walking various streets I wouldn't normally in order to discover more cows. I have an album of them. I understand Seattle did pigs one year. I saw one horse but it was a loner -- perhaps there were horses somewhere else.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Nwational Seashore Challenge Quilts

This first quilt was the view's choice of the nearly 50 challenge quilts honoring the National Seashore's 50th anniversary. The many fabrics making up the water were beautifully handled. Crows are at least a numerous as seagulls in this area.

I apologize because I'm not a good photographer and these quilts, all 16x20 were hung three deep, so the higher up one I had to hold the camera over my head and the lowest ones mean I had to squat or kneel which wasn't feasible with the numbers of people trying to look at them. So I mostly odd angles.

This one was my personal "viewer's choice" I like the simplicity of the water and the stakes that are sand barriers.

I haven't been in the areas with the little cabins in the dunes which have become legendary thanks to the artists, poets and writers who lived in them and still do in the summer time. It makes me a little nostalgic for something I've neer experienced.

The last one reminds me of times I've walked on the beach in chilly weather. It's an exhilerating experience. All the quilts are being moved to the the visitor's center at the National Seashore and will hang there until sometime in October.

The thing that thrilled me most about the whole Bayberry Show was the skill and ingenuity and beauty of this set of quilts. I think the subject struck home to everyone and called forth their greatest creativity.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

More from Bayberry Quitlers Guild S how

This charming quilt is three dimensional with balls of yarn and knitting needles. It was viewer's choice in the small sized quilts even though there were some miniature quilts that were truly awesome. The quilt was called "Lamb in the Wool Shop Window" and was made by quilter Elsa Hahn.
I just can't resist taking photos of optical illusion traditional quilt patterns. I love this quilt for its simplicity and the games it plays with circles that are not circles.

Tomorrow some awesome National Seashore Quilts.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Bayberry Quilters Guild Show

This vintage quilt it called "Good-bye, Eleanor Briggs" and is owned by guild president, Carol Salnero, with a photo and brief history of the Briggs family, including a note that the quilt was made by Nellie Briggs. There were other vintage and antique quilts but this one looked so modern with a bit of optical illusion that I thought I might some day like to make one somewhat like it using smaller size pieces. Very often the old patterns are the most dramatic and satisfying. For me this was one of the most dramatic in the entire show of about 300 quilts.

The general tone and atmosphere of Cape Cod is, unsurprisingly, New England traditional and that was the overall tone of the show even thought many quilts showed influence of current day quilting teachers and their techniques as well as many quilts having been long arm quilted. Color choices are contemporary but on the soft side for the most part. One could say that it was mostly a "pretty" show with both the positive and negative implications of the word. I enjoyed it but didn't find it exciting. I didn't take many picture and will go back tomorrow an hour before closing [when I need to be there anyway to pick up my quilts], and take some more photos, especially of the considerably more inventive National Seashore Anniversary quilts -- mostly fairly naturalistic but very inventive and well done.

Two prolific long time quilters were featured with their own show space. One was Paula Tuano, the other Mary Wheatley. I only have this picture of the brightest quilts in the entire show, which is Paula's "Serengeti Sunset."

More photos in a couple of days.

Monday, August 01, 2011

A Couple More Mosaics

As promised, a couple more mosaic pieces. This one is called, [though it's an oxymoron] Sunset Rising. I believe the artist's last name was Brown and I'm truly sorry I don't have names correctly. It's a lovely piece of work. Patrick's favorite of the show. I can see a Sunset but the rising part I don't get.

i must admit I fell for the cleverness of this piece, which certainly had trees in the title. Although you cannot see it well in the photo the tree trunks are knives set into hte mosaic blade side forward. I don't usually fall for such tricks but I thought it worked here visually if not in any symbolic way.

The mosaic show was in an elegant Victorian mansion called Highfield Hall where many cultural events take place in Falmouth. One room had an historical display about the very wealthy family, the Beebes, from Boston who built a compound here. Another huge mansion was torn down but another building remains and is a theatre. The compound even had its own farm to product most of the food the family needed when in residence. Such ostentatious living of course continues today in it's own way. Walking through the mansion, I could not imagine what they needed all those rooms for but they seem to have been a fairly large family.

Traveling in third world countries, as I have done, rubs on our sensitivities. Before going to the mosaic show we stopped briefly in an moderately high income enclave of homes where Patrick measured a window he has been commissioned to replace with something fancier. There are sections with houses twice the size of the homes in this area but I know that many, many areas like that one exist all over the Cape. Large but not enormous homes, all probably elegantly furnished, all on lots with plenty of trees and plantings provide privacy from their fairly close neighbors. Most of the owners are professional and business people; they are well educated, intelligent, usually kind and honest people, some are involved in the community or their churches. I know and have known many such people and like them.

Such affluence makes me queasy, I sense a feeling of entitlement and complacency. I get a similar feeling in gigantic grocery stories and in malls, especially the upscale ones. We -- a certain layer of our society -- have this but we don't need it, we have it because we can. I am not in that economic strata but have been. I am not jealous; I am thinking of tiny houses in Nepal, markets with empty shelves in Zimbabwe ... I know there is no tit for tat economically in our world and it makes be profoundly uncomfortable. I know that the inequalities grow, that the blindness of the haves to the plight of the have nots increases. The disparity will become worse both within our country and especially within the world.