rocket tracking


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Aullwood: More Jean Liittschwager

Jean Liittschwager "Sand Castles", 35" x x 47" H.
As promised, tonight we are lookng at Jean Liitschwager's two remaining pieces in the Aullwood show.  These are much earlier than the Salmon Spawning, which was completed this year, but in one of the styles that she often uses....take a look at her gallery to see her geometric abstracts, but you can certainly see where she was headed in these two pieces.

"Sand Castles" captures a fleeting moment in the lives of her grandchildren.  At dusk, they are looking at the dream of the sand castle they planned in the smaller work which they have completed.  As Jean put it, "The incoming tide may wash their castles away, but the memories of this happy childhood time will last throughout their lives.

Jean Liittschwager, Sand Castles, detail.
Jean used both machine and handwork in this piece and employed sparkly thread once again to add some reality to her elements.

Jean Liittschwager, "Sand Castles" detail.
I particularly like the use of her fancy stitches  done free-motion here which gives more texture.
"Sand Castles" was completed in 2002.

Jean Liittschwager, "Gray May Day", 28" x 34.5" $500

Jean Liittschwager, "Gray May Day" detal.

This is "Gray May Day" and is far more abstract that the two previous pieces I have shown you.  I love how she uses commercial fabrics in her work.  Jean lives in Oregon and her house overlooks the McKenzie River. This is the view out her kitchen window,showing  her garden, the banks of the river and the mountain vistas beyond.  As she puts it "April showers bring May flowers but in Oregon it just keeps raining."  She noted that this year, the rains hardly ever came indicating that climate change has arrived in her corner of the world.

Here you can clearly see the variety of prints she used, and the streaks of metallic thread.  She also used dimensional paint I think on the little blips on the bottom of the rain.  Jean often uses bright colors such as these in her work.

"Gray May Day" was completed in 2003.

Please do go to her website and take a look at her scrollable gallery here .  I'm sure you will enjoy it and be impressed by some of her works. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Aullwood 2013: Jean Liittschwager

"Spawning Salmon" 29" x 36"  Jean Liittschwager $750.00
 One of the first quilts as you entered the Aullwood Nature Center's 2013 art quilt show is "Salmon Spawning" by Jean Liitschwager.  Jean is no newcomer to the Aullwood show, but often exhibits her work at this venue.

I laughed when I saw this piece.....Jean is a 5th generation a state full of transplants and relative newcomers.  Most of Jean's quilts do not follow this style, but one thing which is very much her style, Jean draws inspiration from her surroundings.  This particular piece is inspired by the Chilkat blankets (or robes) and dance aprons made by the Pacific North West tribes (Haida, Tlingit, Salishan, Tshimshian-Nishga, and Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka).  I think almost every quilter who is exposed to these pieces feels inspired to do pieces along the lines, I know I have succumbed to the pull after seeing them in Washington state.

Here, you see the stylized rendition of a salmon spawning, the eggs are the dots emerging from the bottom of the fish, and the sperm ( and bubbles from the stream) are around it to fertilize the eggs.  The pebbly bottom of the stream is there to receive the eggs.  The sole purpose of a salmon is to reproduce, and once it does so, it dies.  Thus, this is the perfect selection for the show's theme:  Season of life.  Jean combined elements from the Tlingit and Haida cultures.
 Originally, these pieces were made from "cloth" woven from cedar bark, cattail leaves and colored grasses.  Upper classes would have furs as well.  After contact with the Europeans,  wool was introduced and used heavily in the robes and aprons.

Jean took the palette from the cedar/cattail/grass combo for the background of her piece.  The dance aprons and robes often had fringe to add to the texture and movement and Jean's choice here in the fringe and the fabric are close to perfect.

She used suede cloth, cotton and wool with machine and hand stitching.  The pebbles here almost feel like you could reach to them and let them run through your fingers.
Here you can see some of her hand stitching.

Jean has a website where you can see more of her work here.

I was going to include her two other works...but  I realized this is getting a little, come back tomorrow to see two more of her pieces!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Aullwood 2013: Suzanne Mouton Riggio

Suzanne Mouton Riggio, "August Moon"
Suzanne Mouton Riggio is another of the "regulars" in the Aullwood Show.  You can see work from other years here,
here, and  here,.  Suzanne's submissions are often small, and these three little gems all measure 11" x 8.5".  I do think of them as little gems.  Several of Suzanne's pieces include telephone poles, partly because this is what she sees and she often is inspired by scenes she sees around her house and neighborhood.

This particular piece tickles my fancy as I have never seen bats do this, usually I see maybe 4 or 5 at a time, but I do like bats, or rather I like what they do....consume vast quantities of bugs which often cause harm to people. I feel that they are maligned little things.  I also enjoy this piece because of the mysterious quality she has captured, and it brings back days when I was  a child on the farm and would sit on the back stoop watching lightening bugs, bats, the sky, and stars. Since I live in suburbia or close enough, there is too much light pollution to enjoy the sights, and I often  escaped our un-air-conditioned home in the country at night by going outside.

Suzanne Mouton Riggio "August Moon", detail.
I also enjoy this piece because she included the glitter of lightening bugs...those are the little circles.
Suzanne highlighted the clouds in the sky, the moon and other areas with silver Sliver thread, which is notoriously difficult to work with.  The highlighting really give the effect of the moon's light on all that it hits.

Suzanne  Mouton Riggio "August Moon", detail

Suzanne often, or dare I say usually, uses commercially printed cottons.In the case of "July Family" she actually printed a little of her own.  Suzanne was aware that she had a hawk family nesting near her house, but she had never been able to see all of them, but hear them calling to each other .  One day her daughter happened to have her digital camera with her and saw them preening n the telephone pole...the same one as seen above.
Suzanne Mouton Riggio, "July Family"
She Photoshopped them and printed  out the hawks on fabric.  She made the rainbow by using oil-paint sticks on tulle, then pressing the arcs out between paper toweling to remove the excess pigment.  She used milkweed down to make the little blips in the sky.  Beads composed the bits and pieces of equipment on the pole.

I can really relate as there is a pair of red tailed hawks which nest near me, and I hear them calling, see them spiraling in the sky, but in the eight years I have lived here, I have yet to see their young.

Suzanne Riggio, "July Family" Detail

Suzanne  Mouton Riggio "June Flowers."

I can't help but think of the old song "June is Bustin' Out all over" from the old musical "Carousel" (if you aren't familiar with it, I will include it at the end).  This really shows Suzanne's penchant for using commercial cottons, and she often cuts out elements to combine to make her images.  The title of this piece is "June Flowers" (so she's covered June, July and August!).

Here's what Suzanne had to say about it in her description:

When June arrived, the whole place burst out in flowers.  Roses climbed trellises.  Flowering vines made it up the pole.  And butterflies arrived en masse.

To enhance that blossomy feeling, I used floral calicoes to fashion the house,  roof, and gutter.  The binding also has that floral feel.

Suzanne lives in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.  Unfortunately, she does not have a web page, but many of her quilts are on the web from other shows and it is worth a google image search.

Suzanne Mouton Riggio, "June Flowers"  detail  ©2013

Once again, I am also participating in Nina-Marie Sayre's "Off the wall Fiber Friday.......even if it is Saturday!

You can see other participants here:  

Have fun!

Oh yeah..the last day for the Aullwood show it Sunday, August other words TOMORROW! so if you haven't been and are from the area, tomorrow is the last day.....although I will be working my way through the rest of the quilts here for a couple of days.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Aullwood 2013: Ruth Powers

Ruth Powers, "Longhorn Splashdown", 47.5" x 33.5"
Ruth Powers of Carbondale, Kansas is one of the regulars at the Aullwood show....and rightly so as many of her pieces are nature related and fit right in.

I know I have made it very clear in the past how much I enjoy Ruth's work and am in awe of her ability to transform organic shapes into pieced quilts.....I particularly love the movement and the successful capture of one small moment in time in this piece she called "Longhorn Splashdown."

Ruth was inspired to make this piece from a sight she saw while driving in Arkansas.  She looked to the side of the road in time to see a longhorn plunge into water trying to get relief from a hot day and doubtless flies.  She didn't have a camera at hand to capture it, but since it as in action, she wouldn't have been able to shoot it in the fleeting moments.  Instead, she drew it from memory.

"Longhorn Splashdown,"  detail.
I know many folk are so drawn to the blaze on this bovine face that they want to pet it.

Ruth uses commercial cottons which makes this all the more remarkable as many art quilters resort primarily to hand dyed fabrics to meet their needs.

You can see more of Ruth's work and learn more about her on her website:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Aullwood Art Quilt Show 2013 Ann Diller

Ann Diller, Yellowstone Hotspot, 20.5 x 39" NFS
Tonight I fear, I am going to have to keep this a little short....I'm a little bushed after working too hard in the garden! So while I intended to cover more than one artist, tonight you are just going to have to settle for one, and come back tomorrow for more!

Ann Diller is another fellow Miami Valley Art Quilt Network member who lives just south of Dayton, OH.  This last winter she went on a ski trip in Yellowstone and this is one of the scenes she saw....not only humans seeking the geothermal area, but bison (buffalo) foraging where they might be able to find grass under the snow cover.
Ann called this piece "Yellowstone Hot Spot" which just tickles me for the play on spot becuase of the geyser, and hot spot for the mammals..human and otherwise.

Ann really handled getting the atmosphere down well, and this is not something I would say she has a lot of experience with....Ann tends to do a lot of flora, so this wonderful play of mists/gases/ etc. is a step least from what I have seen of her work, and to be fair, I haven't seen a lot lately as I have been missing meetings.

Just look at how the geyser shimmers.  She used layers of sheers.  Her trees were done with perle cotton with bobbin drawing (putting the perle cotton on the bobbin and working upside down---from the back so that the perle cotton lays on the front), and paint.

The trees are called "bobby sock trees" and I had to look that one up.  The lodge pole pines have shallow root systems and take up a lot of the minerals which then stay under the bark. As the pines die, the bark at the bottom peels away revealing the minerals which have deposited right under the bark, looking white, as if the tree were wearing bobby socks.  Apparently, the National Park Service  doesn't use this term anymore, but it is still really fun.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Aullwood Art Quilt Show 2013 "Seasons of Life" Deb Bentley

If you have been following my blog, you know that every year I share the art quilt show at Aullwood Audubon Center in Englewood, Ohio.  It was started quite a while ago by some of the founders of the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network, a Dayton, Ohio area art quilting group to which I belong.  Fiber artists from across the country submit pieces and it is usually a pretty strong little show.

This year, the theme was "Seasons of Life."  Unlike past years, it is a smaller show.  I think I counted 27 pieces, but most were fact Pam Geisel's series of 4 matted in 5" x 7" frames, the fiber part only measured 2.5" x 2.5".  Here's the shot down the gallery.

As usual, I'm going to start with the local people, largely because it is easier to get permission to share them....I often wait quite a long time to get permission from other artists.

First up tonight is Debra Bentley.  Deb has two pieces in the show, "Spicebush" and "Grandpa's Farm."

A couple of years ago, Deb bought a spice bush to plant in her yard and while doing so, she discovered a spicebush butterfly caterpillar.  She captured it and raised it through it's life cycle to butterfly in her house, and released it.  She now has many species of butterfly in her yard, but she chose to represent the life-cycle of the Spice bush butterfly here.

Deb used a lot of  hand-dyed and batik fabrics in order to make her quilt.  It is also highly dimensional.

Here you see the egg on a leaf (the pearl).

Next comes the caterpillar shown here wound into a leaf. Deb stuffed and hand colored the caterpillar to make it realistic.  The leaves and flowers are made separately and applied in order to give it more dimension.  The first stage is a small brown caterpillar,

Which then grows into a larger yellow and green version.
It then forms a chrysalis.

From the chrysalis emerges the wonderful black and blue spice bush butterflies.  The flowers and the butterfly are heavily thread painted.

Deb does a lot of volunteer work at area nature centers.  She also spent a lot of time observing nature as a child and it has stayed with her. I laughed as she said that she thinks of this as cute, and that she doesn't usually do cute.  My amusement comes from the fact that "I don't do cute." is a common comment I make....just ask any of my friends from the Wallingford, CT Quilting group, The Heritage Quilters.

"Grandpa's Farm" uses a photograph of Deb's grandfather and a neighbor working on his farm in Fletcher, Ohio, and anyone who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s on a farm in the Midwest can relate.  She combined it with fabics on which she employed a variety of surface design techniques.  She uses both commercial batiks and printed fabics as well as materials she has dyed and manipulated.

She wrote:  "I enjoyed visiting them and feeding the  the chickens and geese, and gathering eggs.  My grandpa took me to feed corn to the cows and I helped my grandma sow and gather seeds.  I was too young to understand why they had to eventually give up their farm.  Farmers are at the mercy of nature and although they have bad years, they also have very good ones  This quilt portrays the ups and downs of farming.  There are good harvests and failed crops, drought and rain  flooded fields.  This quilt celebrates the Ohio farmer's persistence and perseverance in the face of natures extremes.

My art begins with my love of nature.  I marvel at the tenacity with which the cycle of life continues through every adversity.  I try to capture in fabric and thread the colors and textures, the lights and shadows, the joys and sorrows of life.  The common thread in my work is the delicate balance between humanity and nature and the sense of renewal that oneness brings.

 Once again, I am participating in Nina-Marie Sayre's Off the Wall Fridays....even if I am so off the wall, I'm posting on Sunday instead.   This is the first of several posts on Aullwood's art quilts, so please do come on back

Go over to Nina-Marie's and catch more work by other fiber artists.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Between a Rock and a Hard Spot

Wow.  Things have been really up in the air at Casa Quintana.  Heart issues have always been a source of problems on both sides of my family.  My paternal great grandmother died of a heart attack at age 51.  My paternal grandfather died of a heart attack at 68.  My father had his first of three heart attacks at 50.  He's now failing quickly and my brother says to get out to Montana soon......only I have several problems...the biggest is that I am currently in chemo and am trying to swing it.  I took a little break (one cycle) and while at first, the markers dropped 10 points, this last one (the first after the first cycle back on) went up 30.  You want numbers to go down.  Usually, you look at trends, but if I mess up the schedule, then I'm not sure how accurate the numbers will be (I get two weeks of treatment then one off).

The second issue is how to get out there...I'm hoping we can use frequent flyer miles, but my daughter is afraid I will pick up something on the plane since my white blood cells will be at their lowest.

And then there's all the other wonderful things..COBRA ran out, and while I have private insurance at $883 per month (just for me), I'm having trouble finding insurance for my husband and daughter....just because of an odd series of things which have happened...all rectified, but in my husband's case, unprovable.'ve seen the top one before, a small piece I was doing "for fun" and the bottom shot is me at Jerusalem Rocks in Montana several years ago (I have lost a lot of weight since then) continues on the fast track jobs, no insurance and other fun things.