Tuesday…”In the Studio…”

12" Art Quilt In Process...
In the Studio...

In the library this week, I found the video, The Art of Quilting, a PBS Home Video (2007). Today as I viewed it, I was inspired, encouraged, and delighted by the images and commentary about contemporary American art quilts and the artists that create them. The video has 3 different segments with a focus on the quilts and artists involved with–1) Quilt National, a biannual exhibit, 2) Chicago School of Fusing, a group of artists using the technique of fusing in construction, and 3) Art Quilts Philadelphia, a biennial event featuring art quilts.

For anyone working in the textiles arts or anyone interested in the design process used by these artists, I recommend this DVD.  You may want to visit the websites of several of the artists with art featured on The Art of Quilting video …a few I have visited include:            Melody Johnson,                                                                                                                                                 Bob Adams,                                                                                                                                                      Therese May,                                                                                                                                                         Pam RuBert,                                                                                                                                                      Tafi Brown,                                                                                                                                                      Lisa Call,                                                                                                                                                           Dinah Sargeant,                                                                                                                                                       Joy Saville,                                                                                                                                                     Kathyanne White,                                                                                                                                                        Anne Lullie.

For artists who work with fabrics and thread, the visual elements of color and texture, along with the feel, or hand, of the fabrics are all part of the inspiration and motivation to work in this medium…I believe the traditional, symbolic, and emotional connection with fabric through-out the history of civilizations is the draw for many viewers of this art.

♥ Who are your favorite textile artists?

Quote…Life as a River

River...“Nothing is ever the same. Rivers are symbolic of our lives, moving and ever-changing. Movement is life. We feel freedom as we move with the currents…”                                                                                                    Alexandra Stoddard

This quote is from a small book by Alexandra Stoddard, entitled Grace Notes, A Book of Daily Meditations (p.175, 1993). It sits in a basket and I regularly pick it up and read one or two pages at a time…over the years my copy has become well-worn and in a few pieces. For a book…that’s a good sign!

Even though we may take comfort in the familiar, realizing the changing nature of life helps individuals and families to meet the daily stresses, and sometimes crises, of life. Being flexible can help us solve problems and cope with challenges. These same elements are used by artists as they design a piece of art–being able to explore new ways of working with certain materials or considering multiple possible answers are examples of the creative process they need to solve problems and make the artwork that they desire. In life, as in art, may we be able to move with the currents…

Orange, Rain, & Fire…Inspiration

Orange Color
Waiting Flowers

This has been a week of rainy days with cool, sullen color here in the mountains of Virginia, instead of the warm, sunny spring days that I mourn for! I turn on all of the lights, grind the beans to brew a pot of hot coffee, and build an end of the season fire in the fireplace.

Fire Orange
Fire Orange

My eyes look around and search for something that will inspire and motivate me to action.

I stopped by Crow’s Nest Farm this past Sunday– a warm, sunny afternoon–to buy flowers for the yard. The flowers that were bought are now waiting to be planted in the earth.  The marigolds were selected mainly because the deer, which regularly visit my yard to eat all the greenery, for some reason do not seem to like these. Also, they were chosen because of their warm, vibrant color—the yellows, the oranges, and some orangey brick red.

Waiting Flowers
Waiting Flowers

The bright oranges and yellows provide visual stimulation that perks me up, motivates me to get some work done, and to create in the studio.

Then, there is always a need for some contrast with cooler colors, such as purple

Purple Verbena
Purple Verbena
Purple Verbena
Purple Verbena

Oh, and perhaps the reds have their merits too!

Strawberry Red
Strawberry Red
Strawberry Red
Strawberry Red

Yummy!  🙂

Color is not only an inspiration for an artist but also plays an important role in our everyday lives. There has been a lot of research on the psychology of color and its effect on people. But for now, let’s just end by saying, when it is rainy and cold outside, the color of orange is like a fire—it can provide warmth, visually, to inspire us until the sun shines once again.

♦ I’d love to hear about your color inspirations! [click on small gray words below,  “Leave a Comment”]