I have been very excited about all the changes going on in my life and art. Two new changes and they are big ones happened in the last two weeks! I got now machines for my studio!
First meet Simon le Greed: He is a Singer Confidence Quilter desktop machine for my thread painting.
Simon came to live with me last week to replace my little Heavy duty singer 4111 that finally died. It was cheaper to buy a new machine than to take the old singer to someone here to replace it!
My other new baby was a complete surprise and unplanned for now, but she is exactly what I needed and wanted. Meet Ruby:
Ruby was a surprise indeed. I have been wanting a HQ for a long time, but it was not in the cards financially. Plus, we are in the process of moving to Bedford, VA where I will be retiring and opening my Studio/Gallery for business there in March 2018. But I got a call from my local Dealer who is required to purchase a new HQ every year as part of her contract, and so I got Ruby (a slightly used floor model with a NEW warranty on her!) at almost 1/2 off her regular price. She is currently in pieces and boxes in my studio basement at home until we can move her to Bedford and get her set up. I am so excited to have her in my life and for all the possibilities that she presents to my future!
I’ve been fiercely creative these last few months. It is part of the reason I have not been writing often enough on this blog. Besides the 5″ x 7″ thread paintings I created for the Electric Company, I have created a number of alternate pieces for changing out the art come January.
I have also done a number of commissioned pieces for collectors and friends.
This series was commissioned as a holiday gift working from the client’s photos.
So much is happening in life today. In the process of closing on a cabin/studio/gallery in Bedford, Virginia where I will be relocating by the first of 2018. The Cabin is a lovely handicapped accessible, one-floor cabin to live in. There is a totally separate 800 Sq Ft. companion building beside it that will be a quilting studio and a Gallery for my art quilts.The gallery has been a quilt gallery before. In fact, my mother sold quilts there in the late 80’s. It has also been a garden center, a wine shop, and a fine art gallery. I will be very happy to return it to a full-service quilting studio to complete quilts for other quilt top makers, as well as opening the gallery to showcase my Art Quilts.
I’ve been accepted into a small gallery collective in Bedford called The Electric Company Art & More. I have a number of my small thread paintings for sale in the gallery there. The Gallery there is also having a Holiday Show featuring works of art for $99.00 and less. I have six (6) 5″ x 7″ Thread Paintings available for sale in that show as well. Here are the works that are currently in the Gallery in Bedford.
It has been a crazy month here. We have bought a second home, a cabin/studio/gallery for my business Little Old lady Quilting, in my hometown of Bedford, VA. I have been working towards this for a while, but it all happened rather quickly when things lined up.
Besides preparing for the purchase of a new property, I have also been organizing and planning and working towards more inventory for the studio. I have also been creating a number of items for sale at a gallery in Bedford.
I am now a member of The Electric Company Art & More at 207 E. Depot Street in Bedford, VA. 24523. How that fam about is a funny story. I had intended to enter some pieces of art into their annual holiday Art4Gifts show. Everything in the show must be priced $99.00 or less. Since so much of my quilting work is large and time-consuming, I knew I would have to especially create something for this show.
I began to make a series I called “The Bedford Paintings” – six small 5″ x 7″ Thread Paintings based on my original artwork of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As I made the pieces, I posted the process and the finished works on my Facebook page. I was suddenly selling them as fast I could make them. Thre of the six I sold immediately and had to remake copies of them for the show in Bedford. Since I was moving them and had a good response I decided to prepare a larger number of them to have ready when I needed them. I prepped 18 of them with images and the fabric underlay I do to have them ready.
Since Mike and I were taking a long weekend Columbus day weekend to go to Bedford and look at a property, I took the six I had prepared for the Art4Gifts show along with 2 extra thread paintings with me to show the gallery to see if they would accept them for the upcoming holiday show.
My thought was being in the show was a good way to get my name and my artwork known in the Bedford community before we moved there. But what happened was that the Gallery coordinators were so excited about my work that they convinced me to join the gallery as a full member and hang my work right then for display and sell in the gallry. I agreed and actually signed a year+ gallery contract for them to represent me in Bedford.
Since they took all eight of the works I had taken with me, when I got back home to Burke, I now had to create six more for the Art4gifts show coming up. Luckily I had prepped the 18 so It was a matter of finishing the thread painting, and labeling and framing them, and getting them in the post to the Gallery in time for the Oct 21 deadline.
The Six additional paintings for Art4Gifts – November 1 – Dec 23, 2017, at The Electric Company Art & More. $99.00 each
At the same time, I got a commission for two pieces for a small show in November for the Reston Community. PLUS I got a five-item commission (from photos the client provided) to create for a Christmas presents for her husband commemorating a holiday trip they had taken together…. Photos to come after she has gifted him over Christmas. I was very pleased with how the came out!
Another Client Commissioned me to do a small 8″ x 8″ Wall hanging for her of a Red Clover plant — one of her favorite plants and the state flower of Vermont, her home state. Here is the finished piece.
I have finally finished all that work. We have a ratified contract on the Cabin/ Studio/Gallery. There is much work to be done on the property. But, I have a gorgeous Studio workspace to create more beauty, and a lovely Gallery space to display and sell my work along with the work of others I deem fits the concept I have of a gallery focused on the crafts and the landscape of the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley.
I am also working on some larger works that can hang on the walls. My goal is to have a number of large tapestries and small thread paintings ready to sell when we close on the property in December.
I am in the process of relocating to y hometown of Bedford, VA. Bedford is a beautiful small town located it the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virgina, between Lynchburg, and Roanoke. Ove the last 30 years or so it has changed from a poor redneck little town to an artist community with a lot of retirees and others moving there for the quality of life it offers at an affordable price.
I am moving there both to be closer to my younger sister as we get older so we can take care o each other if/when we end up alone, and ALSO because I have the chance to purchase a lovely Cabin/Studio/Gallery on the mountain where I can live and work and sell my art quilts and other things to make a little income for the rest of my life and can afford to live comfortably there.
One of the galleries there (The Electric Company) has a call to artist to submit works for their holiday show. Nothing may be priced above $99.99. I figure it was a good way for me to produce some small works that I can work on my technique with, and that, if they do not sell for this show, then I will have them for my gallery in Bedford after I move. My original Idea was that this was a great way to introduce my work to people in Bedford.
I began by using photos of my many oil paintings created from my emotional memories of growing up in Virginia.
I create the images by first using Susan Carlson’s glue techniques to give me layers of fabric color for guidance of the piece. Then working from the back to the front of the image I added thread details and overpainting to give me layers of color.
Surprising even myself, I have already sold 4 of these small works and the show they were originally created for will not happen until December!!! The response has been terrific. I think it is a combination fo the price point, and the artwork is beautiful and intriguing…
This was the last panel of five or the Virginia Wildflower Tapestry. It also as probably the one the scared me most. I had no idea how I was going to get the 3-d effect I wanted and still maintain a sense of whimsy and joy that I had found in the other panels.
I am very happy with this work. I had to redo the background of the tapestry because the original background was too dark and too formal. I wanted more joy in the colors and in the spontaneity of it.
The best-laid plans of mice and men… I fully intended to be writing in this blog on a daily basis. At least, on a weekly basis. But it seems I have been spending all my time creating and not really posting the processes I am going through.
I am about to make a trip to Bedford, VA. This is my hometown. I’ve been away for almost 40 years. I am in the process of buying a wonderful little cabin to live and work as an artist for the rest of my life.
of course, there is a little anxiousness, as well as the excitement of a new adventure.And so I am trying to catch up on my blogging to let you see all I have been creating. So here is the rest of the information on the Virginia Wildflower Tapestry, as well as a new blog on the SMALLS that I have been creating for galleries and for inventory of the new studio/gallery in Bedford.
If you are a native of Virginia, then like me you probably love those few weeks in late April and May when the Wild Virginia Bluebells carpet those forgotten places in the woods of the hills and mountains. They have long been one of my favorite flowers. When choosing what flowers to include in my Virginia Wildflower Tapestry there was no question these would be there.
Creating Jack was indirectly inspired by the work of Velda Newman and her gigantic 3-d flower quilts. I can not quite explain it, but seeing her work freed me to do whatever I wanted to do and call it Art Quilting.
My original sketch was simple. I wanted the flower to dominate, but NOT by being so different from the background that it was obvious. In nature, wildflowers tend to be subtle and hidden from plain sight.
I had given myself a goal for this year to create a new work every two weeks. Part of this is that I realized that in order to create quality work I must produce a larger body of work. Not everything is going to be a masterpiece. But the more I produce the more I will have quality. AND I learn and improve my technique by quickly having to solve new problems.
I actually took three weeks to make this piece. And to tell the truth, at the beginning of week three I was really beating myself up that I had not completed this one piece IN my allotted time. But then I realized that In making this piece was not making ONE tapestry; I was making five completely different individual works of art that could stand alone and would be combining them into a single large wall hanging. (So technically, I am AHEAD of my scheduled goal of a new piece every week! BIG SMILE!)
I have learned a lot in this process, and I have enjoyed the work immensely. Next up… Panel # 2: Jack-in-the-Pulpit!