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Friday, August 21, 2009

Ohhhhh! I think these are my favorites: Ruth Powers and Ginny Eckley

Without a doubt, my absolute favorite pieces from this show were by Ruth Powers and Ginny Eckley.

Here's Ruth Power's Oriole. Ruth has orioles visit her every year, and here she depicts them with the leaves and berries of the Porcelain berry vine (amalopsis), but she took artistic license and changed the porcelain berries from their improbable but actual colors of lavender and cobalt blue (unripe and ripe colors) to orange.

I just love the crispness of this piece, and of course the way that the oriole pops from the blue background. It is bound in orange which also gives it extra "pop" as well as contains the image. Without that orange binding, the piece wouldn't be what it is, but the eye would run off the edge of the quilt.

Ruth tells me that the director of the Aullwood nature center purchased this piece. Ruth lives in Carbondale, KS and usually works on nature themes. Ruth works with commercially printed fabric, which is becoming unusual in the world of art quilts these days. Many art quilters prefer to dye their own fabrics to get exactly what they want.

I've been contemplating ripping out my variegated porcelain berry vine, and Ruth's piece almost makes me think I should keep it....

Ruth's second entry in the show is "Raven Brings Light to the World." Raven figures prominently in the stories of the native tribes of the pacific Northwest Coast. He is a trickster, as well as the great benefactor for causing the sun to be brought to the world.

Ruth's depiction was done for challenge of mythologically based quilts.

Look at the wonderful use of beads! Sometimes I think that beads are gratuitously used, not in this case! I also love how the pieced background gives such movement and luminosity to the piece.

Ruth's website is:

and is well worth a look!

The other piece which is among my favorites is by Ginny Eckley of Kingwood, Texas. Now, I'm going to give you a teaser...

Ginny uses painted images on her quilts and also silkscreens. Here's Carmine Trio, which I like, but it isn't the one which knocks my socks off.

I do like this, again partly because of the orange reds, yellow ochres and raw siennas....I just love those colors, and yes, I'm a color junkie.

It's also sort of sweet how the birds are feeding their matter HOW big they have grown...sort of like us, I suppose...

Here's a detail. You can see better on this detail the other reason I like this piece. Look at the borders.... they are pieced from a sari-like border print, and another piece which is reminiscent of a border print on a particular type of paisley shawl which was popular in the 1820s. The light wasn't very good, and I didn't want to use flash, so I apologize for the darkness of the shots.

This is my favorite piece of Ginny's, and I'm hard pressed to chose it over Ruth's. It is called City Birds. It's a subtle piece, working in a very neutral palette, yet it just glows for me.

I loused up the shot I took of the wrought iron fence, but it is fabulous! The control and detail she has achieved, and the wonderful texture she has given this piece makes me wish I could sit and talk to her to find out exactly how she did this.

I'm not fond of starlings....but in this case, I'll make a huge exception.

Ginny's websites are as follows:

I hope you enjoy these two artists' works as much as I do. I wish they were nearby....or maybe, if I'm lucky, they'll be teaching in the area sometime soon.

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