rocket tracking


Friday, June 29, 2012

Fiber and More from Marianist Environmental Education Center Show

As usual, the Marianist Environmental Education Center's Show "Living Green" had quite a few fiber pieces.  While not in the preponderance, we did make a statement.  At left is Anne Wolf's "Let Nature do the Work" reminding us that clotheslines are really a good idea.  Too bad that clotheslines are outlawed in many developments and subdivisions.

Cindi Remm is a fellow Miami Valley Art Quilt Network Member.  This little piece, which is about 9" x 14" is entitled "Yellow Bird."

Cindi also did this piece with a repurposed (worn out?) dish cloth.  She calls it "Trees."  Really a quite wonderful piece, great texture, and really inventive.

Christine Bohner Stewart did some pieces last year which I was quite fond of, and this year is no different.  While Christine actually is making jewelery (in this case made with polymer clay and stones), she usually mounts them in very artistic ways and combines them with poetry.

I love the texture of this piece of birch bark.  The poetry for this piece is as follows:


Shades of living greens
Weave themselves through earth and sky, 
God's breath in the world.

A very neat sentiment given the fact that trees, grasses and plants provide us with oxygen!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Living Green at the Marianist Environmental Education Center

It has been a very busy and very "fiberfull" spring.  So much so that I wasn't able to get to reviewing the annual Marianist Environmental Education Center's show while it was up.  Busy-ness, fatigue, guests, trips, all sorts of things got in the way.

This year's show was "Living Green."  The call for entry suggested these items to consider:
 · The color green, the color of plants that sustain all life;
· Reused or natural art  materials;
· Inspirations for sustainable lifestyles; and
· The virtue of simplicity and reflective consumption.

The show had fewer entries this year, but it was really spectacular.  Several pieces really were wonderful, and many pieces were submitted by a Cincinnati artist who just blew me away.  This show is loosely juried...that is to say, if the pieces don't follow the theme, then they are not accepted.  It is open to anyone, people of all ages and I have always been pleased to see children's work next to professional artists.  Most of the time, the children's work is solid and CAN stand up to the more seasoned veteran....At the very least, it is refreshing.

These shots portray the gallery overall...I missed taking the back and one of the sides, but if you compare it to last year's show beginning here you'll see that it wasn't smaller at all...just a feeling.   I won't share with you my quilts...I had four in this show, but the one I did especially for this show I spoke about here.

This is Kate Santucci's "Microbial." It is in a small box, the left side shows some sort of microscopic mite, and the other is an etched and painted eggshell showing strands of microbes.  The back side is painted as well and the work is just fabulous.

This is one of my absolute favorites.  It is gorgeous...and Nicole Wentz' elementary school students made it.  If you are familiar with Dale Chihuly's Glass work, this is a Chihuly inspired piece made of recycled plastic bottles.   It is just amazing and I'd love to see them make others.  I'd hang this in my house in a heart beat.

More to regenerate some red blood cells...if only!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dayton Landmarks Quilts: Sacred Heart, last installment

It has been such a fiber-full spring, and there is still so much more to share, although this is the last installment of the Dayton Landmarks Slice quilts, at least in this rendition.  We really hope to add more.

Here's Ronnie Doyal's shot of Sacred Heart Church.  Dayton architect Charles Insco Williams designed it in 1888 and it stands at 217 West 4th Street in Dayton. One of the cool things is that although the Catholic church closed it, they "mothballed" it until another congregation could take it over.  Just a year after the closing, in 2000 a Vietnamese congregation took it over.

I think that this rendition is one of my favorites.  I am amazed at how all three of the artists simplified the building in pretty much the same way, giving us a graphic rendition of the church.  Although each of the individuals styles are usually pretty different...this one could almost be done by one person.  You would think that they collaborated closely on this piece....but they didn't.  From left to right, the artists were Pam Geisel, Sara Lynne Walsh and Ann Diller.

I'm not sure exactly who has the more detailed of the two pieces, Pam or Ann.  As usual, Pam pays extreme attention to detail.  However in this piece, much of her detail is achieved through her quilting, although her shading is impeccable.  The angles and straightness of line are perfect, a very difficult feat to achieve when dealing with fabric.

I hope you can see it here.

Sara Lynne Walsh's style is much more lose than either Pam or Ann's.  I love how she did the cross at the top of the dome by using organza ribbon.

Ann Diller used a little bit of fiber roving or angelina, I can't remember which but I think roving, to make her whispy clouds. Ann has a wonderful color sense and always chooses her fabrics well.

Aren't they just great?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dayton Landmarks Quilts: #4 Dayton Skyline

Dayton Skyline by Ronnie Doyal
I have dreaded starting this post.  For one thing, it is the largest slice of all the ones we interpreted in fiber.  For another, the person who had the first slice, the one of the far left didn't get it done. is a little problematic.  In addition, when we hung the quilts at the Schuster, we were at the mercy of the brackets we used to hang them over...there was no fudging to make the quilts be hung close together.  We had to split them into two groups because it would have been too long on one batten...and probably would have required us to use a 2 x 4 in order to support the weight.

So, here are six of the originally planned 7 panels showing the skyline as the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network saw it. When we hang it at the next venues, the two center sections will be closer together.

Kate Burch did the first panel.  I was amused by the fact that so many of the quilters in this group chose to do a pieced background.  Kate's perfectly pieced squares set on point really do give the illusion of a lightly clouded sky from a distance.

When I was looking at the slice photo, I kept on wondering if Kate left us a secret message in script on the trees.

No, it's just shading that she did with her free motion quilting.  I've tried to show you in this closeup still don't see it well.

Ginny Crabtree did this next section. Ginny is one of what I think of as the newer MVAQN members, although I think she joined us about 4 years ago. Ginny has really progressed in her development as an art quilter.

I am particularly taken with Ginny's steeple, and the detail that she used above.

Debra Bentley's section is really fun. I love how she made her sky and the change of shades in the trees. The glass on the building in the foreground is masterful, as is her alignment and handling of the windows in the multi-sided building.

Sara Lynne Walsh is another newer member of the group, who has moved to the Raleigh/Durham, NC area. Our loss. I love her use of masses....she uses large segments of pieces to evoke the image...and her color choices are always dead on. While I am one to add many fussy details, Sara Lynne communicates her ideas in big blocks. I just love it!  Her choice of batik for the sky is also just perfect.

Pam Geisel IS one to add fussy details, and to do it with superb precision. She usually incorporates traditional piecing in her backgrounds, but she adds elements which are perfectly aligned.

Joan Sterr always does interesting work. She, like Kate Burch, made her sky from squares set on point, but Joan uses pieces with more pattern and value changes than Kate did.

Below is a detail showing the ribbon she used for the metal bits and the prints for her trees and sky.

I hope to get the last segment done before we hang the show at our additional venues.  Tomorrow will be the last slice quilt from the current works.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dayton Landmark Art Quilts: Mendelson's

Nestled in the north end of Dayton, just opposite 5th/3rd field, home to the Dayton Dragons, a farm team for the Cincinnati Reds, stands Mendelson's Liquidation Outlet.  Old industrial buildings fascinate me and I loved Ronnie Doyal's shot of Mendelson's....although there were a lot of people who complained that we picked it as a "Dayton Landmark."  When we thought of the project, it was things which were recognizably Dayton, not that it was a point of pride, a long time standing institution or whatever...and since you see the name emblazoned on the building when you drive past, or when you are at the ball park...well, it fits the bill, not matter how much people complained about it.
I felt that the shot offered lots of interesting tidbits for people to try.....but of course, I lusted after the water tower.

Chris Landis got the first slice.  I loved how she handled this.  Chris is a consummate quilter and has a machine quilting business, Feather Creek Quilting.  For her segment, she took the sky and interwove pieces.

you can see her quilting and what I mean a bit better here in this detail. I also loved the way she handled the trees.

Carroll Schleppi drew the next segment and had some really lovely graphic elements to play with.  Carroll chose a batik with an overprint of a metallic...sort of lightening bolt fabric. It is fairly subtle until you see it up close.
 The next segment belongs to Liz Schneiders.  The really cool thing about Liz' piece is that she bought all the fabric for her piece at Mendelson's!  Work clothes, etc. On the back side of it, she included labels and price tags for her purchases, and made a pocket to hold a card about Mendelson's in it.  Pretty cool!

Here's the front.  I love how she made the smoke rising out of the stack, even though in the original photo  it wasn't present.  That graphic smoke broke up the sky and gave it a lot more interest.  I love the shading and the lines made by the stacks and the windows.

The lucky bum who landed the water tower was Sue DeSantis.  Her tower is extremely faithful to the original photograph.  I love the contrast of the back ground of the sky to all the other artist's skys....and I especially like how it references traditional quilting.  Like Chris, Sue also does custom quilting on her long arm and like Chris' work, her quilting is to die for!  We are so lucky to have so many talented people in our group.

I apologize that this is taking me longer, but I have been having a very tough time with this round of chemo and find that I am often just too tired to sit down and some cases, I've sat struggling with the photos and my stupid very old computer trying to get the posts up, but fail when my eyes are just too weary!  The quilts will continue at the Schuster Center through June 24th.  I can't wait until we can actually put them up WITH the photographs which inspired them.  So far, you are the first people seeing them together, so you should feel very special indeed.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dayton Landmarks Quilts: Part II The Arcade

Today, I'm sharing with you two images from the Dayton Landmarks Project undertaken by the Miami Valley (OH) Art Quilt Network.  At left is Ronnie Doyal's view of "The Arcade" a building in downtown Dayton which once held several shops and restaurants.....I have never been inside, and it was closed long before I moved to Dayton.  The few times it has been opened for the general public to go in, I wasn't able to attend.  You can find out more about it here on the Friends of the Dayton Arcade website and here on Wikipedia.

This particular image gave some of our members trouble....While we had specified that the pieces should be 42" long, several members took their drawings in to be enlarged from the "slice" we gave them and asked the photocopy shops to enlarge to 42" and when they got home, discovered that they weren't 42".  So...lesson learned the hard way...never leave the photocopy place without MEASURING the actual dimensions as you shouldn't have to pay if they didn't do what you asked.  I recommend carrying your own measuring tape.

The "slice artists" are from left to right:  Diane Boley, Fran La Salle, Susan Schaller, and Kate Burch. These particular pieces have LOTS of detail.  Unlike most of the other people working on this piece, these artists did see each others work before they were finished.

I was going to show you two pieces tonight...but because the detail on this was so extreme, I decided to show you some closeups and save the other for it's own post.....I didn't want to make it so photo heavy it wouldn't load!

I hope you can see this a bit better.  Of the four artists working on this piece, Diane Boley probably is the newest to art quilting.  One of the interesting things Diane did was to use Angelina fibers in the sky to make it sparkle a bit.

 Fran LaSalle paid a lot of attention to detail and she, I think, got the most of the sculptural pieces on the building.  She did a consummate job at shading and in getting those carvings down. You can get a better sense of her shading in the second image.

Susan Schaller used nothing but Lumiere paints in her piece and did all the "construction" with free-motion can see how she handled her carvings in the above image.

Kate Burch's slice was the last on the right, and I think it is interesting how she got the fabric to mimic the mottled effect on the building. I can't swear to it, but I think Kate used the same ombre fabric that Sue DeSantis used in her Carillon piece.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dayton Landmark's Quilts--Interpreting photos by the slice!

Dayton Landmarks as hanging in Schuster Center. L - R: Mendolson's, Sue DeSantis,  Carrillon,  Dayton Skyline (part 1, Carroll Schleppi, Dayton Skyline Part 2, Lisa Quintana, Sacred Heart Church, Dayton Art Institute, Mindy Marik, The Arcade

Some of the craziness I was participating in last week was the installation of a series of "slice" quilts at the Schuster Center for the Performing Arts in Dayton, Ohio.  These quilts were a long time in the hanging.  In about 2009, a group of us had seen the "slice" quilts at the National Quilters Association show in Columbus and we thought we wanted to give it a go.  The quilts in Columbus were scenes of a river, which flowed from one piece into another.  We thought we'd do scenes of locations which were readily recognized as Dayton.

At first, we contacted some photography groups in Dayton to see if they were interested.  When no one responded, we asked our own Ronnie Doyal who is an art quilter and pretty danged good photographer working with David Lorenz Studios in Dayton.  Ronnie took a series of shots and three of us, Lori Gravley, Mindy Marik and I, looked at the images and chose which ones would be best to be divided into segments and then handed out to Miami Valley Art Quilt members to interpret in cloth.

We had sign ups, where everyone who was interested in a particular image put their names in a "hat" and we drew to assign segments.  Some of us did more than one....all of the quilts were to be 42" long, with the width being proportional in order to make sure that the show would look good when hanging with all the segments completed.

This wasn't without trauma as some of the places doing photocopies were less than accurate in their segment lengths.  This is Ronnie's photo of the Carillon Tower at Carillon Park.  I fell in love with the dramatic lighting...taken just as the sun went down.

Here's how Sue DeSantis and I interpreted the piece.  My "slice" is on the left, and Sue's is the right.  Sue used a commercial gradient fabric in teal as her background with a selection of greyish neutrals for the tower.  Her bells are small craft bells.  She quilted it on the diagonal and put small hot-fix crystals to show the evening stars.  My segment was made with a rust dye fabric with tea to give it the greyish look.   The trees are made with a machine lace, which was cut away in segments to let the yellow glow show through.  The blue background is a commercial batik which unfortunately, I was only able to obtain in fat quarter sizes, so I had to piece it.  I used organza ribbon to give the shadow on the pylon.  Unfortunately, I learned too late that organza tends to run away from your presser foot.  I think if I use it again, I'll glue it down first, or fuse so I can get a perfectly straight line.

Lori Gravley, Mindy Marik and I chose to do the Dayton Art Institute in order to show our members what we meant.  I particularly liked how the wording came out "Dayton Art" which we took to be our theme, and our thought was that in future shows this would be the introductory panel.  Lori took the left panel, I had the middle, and Mindy took the right.  I used rust dyed muslin for the body of the building, and over-dyed a piece of peach colored polyester moire for the roof.  I also used various ribbons for the metal parts on the door.  Mindy used various neutrals to replicate the blocks of the building, and Lori made hers from a commercial print.  I think it is pretty interesting how the colors really blend and give the feeling of being on the same building.  My section of the steel sculpture is made with a polyester metallic knit which I fused with sheers, and I can't remember what all to give the illusion of the reflection in the steel.  Lori used various commercial prints.  All of us edited out the various posters and notices (such as the hours) in order to make it a better composition.

Over the next several days, I will be showing more of the pieces.  They will be on exhibition at the Schuster Center until June 24.   The center is open from 7:00 am until about 11:00 pm, after the last show Tuesday through Sunday.  Mondays the building is open for viewing from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.  We will be showing the quilts with their photographs at two other venues this summer and fall, and will be announced as soon as we have the details straightened out.