Mighty Grip

I am working on a piece composed of recycled rubber pads the type you open jars with. I recently scored Mighty Mouse (one of my personal favs) fabric on ebay. Walked by my stash and saw McDonalds fabric and an idea was born. I have been thinking about creating a piece about fast food.
This is the lay out on the design wall.

This is it's first incarnation. It is a work in progress. Today I submitted it to the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh for the members show Recycle, no dice but I haven't fully worked out how to install it which didn't make it easy to be juried and I have another idea brewing for presentation which would sort of kick it up a notch.

Here is a wonky close up.

I almost didn't submit it because it doesn't feel complete but possibly complete. It was a quandry. However I do think it's important to support our guild and submit to shows and see everyone.
It's going to be a great show some of my favs are in it. Recycle opens November 19 at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts


The place to shop for all of your needs.

This past summer we headed west instead of east, to Bend, Oregon. So different from Maine our usual summer trip. The high desert is something to behold and experience. I have never been in so much sun before. But I think one of the high points of the trip was the Newport Market. Oh do I wish we had this market to shop for food and more. The shop was truly a stage and what decoration.

Who better to keep an eye on the bananas?

Eye candy!

Plain and peanut.

And jelly beans.


The Right Tool for the Job

The crop-a-dile. Who knew? Going through all kinds of craziness over eyelets. Where do you get them? How do you make the eyelet holes? How not to distort the surface and so on and sew on.
I am back to chains and a break from red white and blue.

I've been kicking around a number of ideas about a response to the growing concern of obesity in children in this country well not just children. Like all problems it is not simple. Answer: Mighty mouse will save the day.
Also working through some issues about how it will hang. Stay tuned..........


Portland Inspiration

We are back from vacation to Portland, Oregon for just a couple of nights and then onto Bend.

Portland has a wonderful creative vibe that started as soon as we stepped off the plane. Unfortunately due to time and number of people about I don't have proper recognition for each outfit but OMG too divine.

This outfit made of plastic cutlery, brilliant.

This dress is made from window blinds.

This my personal favorite is composed of Crown Royal liquor bags. Fabulous. Sadly my photography skills are poor and so the flash.

This dress used coffee filters.....

Finally, kitty litter bags.

Simply inspired.


Summer similarities

It is terribly hot as the east coast is mired in a heat wave. Got me to thinking about what I love about the summer. The garden...........

And the produce.


Jann Haworth

Thinking about breakfast. Love it!

I am reading the Pop Art Book by Julia Bigham and discovered Jann Haworth the only woman in the birth of the British pop art movement. She is a soft sculpture fiber artist and her work is fantastic! Haworth's father was a set designer in the movie biz her mother a ceramicist printmaker and painter. She grew up in Hollywood and the influence is obvious.

Haworth's sense of whimsey is wonderful and as in all things pop her reference to the everyday elevated to high art with a twist is so well done as seen in her still life below.

I would LOVE to see her work in person.

Little known facts:
Haworth is famous for her collaboration with her then husband Peter Blake on the cover of The Beatles Sgt Pepper's album and in fact one of her soft sculptures is on the cover; a sculpture of her great grand mother rather Whistler-esque quilting with a child on her knee.


I'm in Pieces

Almost three years ago I embarked on the beginning of this quilt. The image of what this quilt would be literally popped into my mind all I know is that I have to make it and follow whatever path it takes me in. I took bits and pieces of it to QSDS and attempted to work on it and with it. I decided on the title through discussion with Arturo Sandoval and other members of the class: The Final Curtain.

I began it about 7 months after my dad died that was 2006. I have worked out some construction issues and design problems since then but I couldn't touch it for a very long time.

I have absolutely no idea about this piece if it is going somewhere or not but I am pieceing strips together and have started the journey. It is slow going one piece at a time.


My Mother's Clothes

I discovered this gem of a tribute to a woman with extraordinary taste in clothes written by her daughter who takes exquisite photographs.

Jeannette Montgomery Baron is an artist a photographer who documents her mother's life through her clothing and in turn helps revive her mother's memory during the course of Alzheimer's disease.

Baron's use of pattern in the back drops of her mother's belongings is beautifully staged. The clothing jumps off the page leaving you wanting to know more about the woman who wore them and want to see them. Some of the fashions are to die for.

Here's an example. Of course I have stars and stripes on my mind.

You can watch a video about the book


What's happened in a Year

It has been about a year since this quilt was on the board at QSDS thought about and stared at. I have continued My Dad's Pad's in a different format in an ongoing exploration of this theme.

Each quilt contains a quote - prescription of something my dad used to say. My siblings and close family friends have been collecting the oft repeated phrases we remember.

When the top was examined at QSDS I was struggling with issues of foreground and background the obvious pointed out to me by Elizabeth Busch who I was studying with. I tend to busyness in my work and in this quilt it was all muddled. This is what I started with.

I wanted the prescription to be the focal point but here all design elements blend together. I knew it wasn't working but the easy solution was not within my grasp. Elizabeth who paints her fabrics suggested toning down the background with paint. I am not a painter well not yet so I went for a fabric solution and trotted down to St. Theresa's Treasure Trove and found some sheer hot pink silk to tone down the background.

This is how I left with it last year a work in progress.

It has been a struggle to get up to speed in my work since my dad died. I finally broke through with a card for the Fiberarts Guild Sleight of Hand 9 of Diamonds. Then I went back to this top worked with transparency and realized that I liked the subtlety and message of the spirits in the background behind the silk. With that in mind the foreground needed more attention. The aha arrived with the thought of my man the leap of faith from a Peter Max sleeping bag particularly appropriate because my family adores Peter Max art which my father displayed in his office. Referring to an idea born in Wish I had a Hammer in this piece my leap of faith man is carrying the Caduceus once again thinking about my dad the eternal optimist.



Sew...........I added the borders and I didn't like what was happening with the lunch boxes how they stopped arbitrarily.

That meant the lunch boxes had to keep falling.

Still wasn't sure about whether to paint the border or not so I tried it without, too busy even for me.

I like the lunch boxes although still a bit heavy not wild about pointing out the obvious.

So I spread them around more of a free fall. And for balance and to make more of my point I added keys, the key to all of it tumbling from the top. Perhaps tough to tell but the border batik is Washington, DC. It's the 11th hour and I'm thinking about healthcare reform and the implications for women.

The finished quilt not a large piece 28" x 22" I think. I finished it just in time made the deadline.

The title Stop in the Name of.....#6 Protest Series the name could change. And it was picked for the show 150 Candles Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh at the Christine Frechard Gallery in my neighborhood, woo-hoo!


Back at it

I took a break for the Olympics plus I needed to put this aside because I wasn't seeing anything new. Now it's time to lock in the design a deadline is looming.

I decided that it was too weighted at the bottom with the lunch boxes, that the woman looking over her shoulder was out of scale and added an unnecessary element (although I like the idea of her looking over her shoulder and it was hard to give that up).

I also thought that two hands at the top were unnecessary and it threw the composition out of balance instead I moved the clock up a tad and repositioned the woman with the vacuum.

Still not completely convinced I got it but time is of the essence and once I finish painting the border and add it I may feel differently.


Moving forward

Continuing work on a yet untitled piece. I believe I have resolved some design issues for now and am moving ever closer to locking in the design and constructing the quilt top.

Darkening the red in the border made a tremendous difference.

I added some additional symbolism and I am beginning to understand where this piece is going as i work through my ideas. Although my work is essentially conceptual I strive to be intuitive in execution. It's beginning to feel like it has a focus and direction which means it is time to put is aside for only a short while. Too many deadlines ahead.

Associated Artists of Pittsburgh is 100 this year.


Work in progress

I'm working on the composition of a piece. I'm always playing with movement using the structure of a border which is the exterior, and the collage, the interior. Sometimes the interior breaks through to the border sometimes not. In this piece there is no break through from a conceptual point of view.

There is the question of whether or not I am attempting to use too many symbols to convey what I mean does it just become chaotic and the composition loses focus?

Three different ways of looking at it.