Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Day at the Modern

What a lovely way to spend a Saturday!  The North Texas SAQA Circle took a tour of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth's new Ron Mueck exhibit.  I love the Modern, and I love my SAQA friends, so I thoroughly enjoyed the day!

Ron Mueck has exhibited at the Modern before -- in fact, he had a solo exhibit not long after I moved to Fort Worth.  He specializes in human figures, either very large scale or somewhat small scale, and his sculptures are compelling.  The sunbathers, "Under the Umbrella," were my favorite piece in the show.  They were huge -- as you can see by comparing them to the live human figure at the very right of the picture - and very endearing.
Mueck worked as a puppeteer and in special effects for TV and film before focusing on fine art.  He makes clay models of his sculptures and then casts them in resin or silicone.  It can take more than a year to complete a sculpture.

A sign in the gallery.  Do these two sentences really need to go together?
Two more of his pieces:
Drift by Ron Mueck
Some fellow SAQA artists examining "Woman With Shopping"
The Modern had a new acquisition, Epic 2, 2009, by Teresita Fernandez.  I hadn't seen it before.  It was large and arresting. When you examined it closely you could see that it was composed of graphite and magnets.  Very cool!
Epic 2, 2009 by Teresita Fernandez
I had never seen this piece before, although the sign indicated it had been a part of the museum's permanent collection since 1995.  It is composed of latex paint on the wall.  And the ceiling.  How do you take a piece like that down to store it?
Self Portrait with Big Ears (Learning to be Free) by Jonathan Borofsky
And another piece I had not seen before, which the museum has owned since 1953:
Trio, 1953 by Bror Utter
I really love this piece.  Both the palette and the organic shapes.  I'm glad they are displaying it now and that I had a chance to see it.

That's one of the reasons I love visiting the Modern -- there is always something new to see.  And I love to revisit my old favorites.

A week ago, at the Dallas Quilt Show, I bought an ice dyed bundle from Jules Rushing of Studio Jules Art.  It contained about 1 yard of fabric total -- a piece of dark blue, several pieces of dark red violet, some dark purples, several medium multi colored pieces and two strips of acid yellow-green.  I thought it would be an interesting challenge to make a quilt using only the bundle.  But as the quilt grew, I found that unless I wanted it to be very small (which I didn't -- I felt like going a little bigger.  Just because.) I needed to add a bit more fabric.  So I added some of my own hand dyed dark purple and a bit of Kaufman Kona eggplant.  I thoroughly enjoyed making this little piece:
As Yet Untitled, 17"w x 22"h, © 2018
I haven't named it yet.  Any suggestions?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Art Quilt Elements Opens March 17th

Art Quilt Elements, a juried international quilt exhibition  held every other year at the Wayne Art Center in Wayne, Pennsylvania, will hold an Opening Reception on Saturday, March 17 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  You are all invited to come and meet the artists!
I am honored that Banded Iron Formation #1 is part of this exhibition.
Banded Iron Formation #1, 18"w x 24"h, © 2016
If you can't make the opening, the Wayne is open Monday - Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  It is located at:
13 Maplewood Ave
Wayne, PA 19087

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The 2018 Dallas Quilt Show

I LOVE the Dallas Quilt Show.  It is always a great day, giving me a chance to see old friends and to view some very beautiful quilts.  I went to the show yesterday, and thought I'd show a few pictures of quilts that caught my eye.

This first quilt is by Natalie Friedman.  It was inspired by the Japanese custom of hanging paper wishes on trees:
Japanese Wish Tree by Natalie Friedman
This quilt is by Kay Scheffer.  I love her use of a single motif.  It's a beautiful piece:
Twigs by Kay Scheffer
 This quilt is by Sherrie Tootle.  I loved the texture and stitching.  Here are two detail shots:
Soil Signatures Using Remote Sensing Gamma Ray Spectrometry by Sherrie Tootle, Detail 1
Soil Signatures Using Remote Sensing Gamma Ray Spectrometry by Sherrie Tootle, Detail 2
Wendy and I had quilts right next to each other in the Art Quilt category:
 Carol Morrissey won second place in art quilts for her portrait of her grandson:
Jake by Carol Morrissey
I had four quilts in the show.  This is Dancers:
 And Galligantus made it's debut:
 My fourth quilt in the show, The Salt Marsh at First Encounter Beach, won an honorable mention in Art Quilts.

N. A. Jones had two quilts in the show.  Her use of fabric and her hand stitching blew me away:
Confetti Spiral by N. A. Jones, Detail
She also had a whole cloth quilt in the show.  The stitching was amazing:
Segues by N. A. Jones, Detail
I loved this small piece with the string detail:
Sun and Moon by Linda Creagh
Barbara Oliver Hartman had four quilts in the show.  This was my favorite:
Somewhere VI by Barbara Oliver Hartman
 Tonya Littmann's cat quilt was wonderful.  Wonder what that feline is plotting?
Hazel by Tonya Littmann
I loved this cheeky take on the British Flag:
God Save the Queen by Christina Lee
This quilt in the modern category was paper pieced:
Balancing Act by Gillian Golborne
 Karen Stone had several quilts in the show.  I loved her intense machine quilting:
Wonderful World by Karen K. Stone, Detail
The Dallas show is always very inspirational.  It is open through Sunday at Market Hall in Dallas.  If you get a chance, come on by!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Barrel Tasting in Sonoma County

This past weekend we flew to Sonoma County, California, for the annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting.
More than 100 wineries in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys offered samples of both wines still in the barrel and their current bottlings.  We managed to visit more than a dozen wineries during the weekend.
We met up with some old friends for the tour:
We sampled lots of wines.  And enjoyed talking to the winemakers.  They are serious about their product.
Photo by Janet
 Well, most of them are.....
We learned a great deal about wine and wine blending.
Sonoma County is a beautiful place.  Even on a cold, rainy day:
We watched them prune the vines at Martorana Winery.  They didn't let a little rain hold them back:
The sun eventually came out and it was really lovely:
I believe that is mustard blooming between the vines:
We saw several cork oaks (Quercus Suber) in the garden at Ferrari-Carano.  This species is the primary source of cork.  The trees must be at least 40 years old before the bark can be harvested the first time.  After each harvest the tree grows new bark and can be harvested every nine years.  It was a very cool looking tree:
A closeup of the bark:
 We had lunch on Monday on the terrace at Korbel.  Champagne and a lovely salad:
Brian and I ended our long weekend at one of our favorite wineries, Seghesio, in Healdsburg:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Japan Part IV: Food, Shopping, People Watching and Transportation

Food is an art form in Japan.  Not only is it delicious, it is always beautifully presented.  Many restaurants show off their food (or at least plastic models of it) in their windows.  Who wouldn't be lured in by the seductive display?
Some restaurants are a little less fancy.  But still have interesting storefronts:
This restaurant in Kyoto specializes in Takoyaki, a sort of fritter stuffed with octopus:
No wonder the octopus on the sign looks worried!
Traditional meals consist of small courses of very fresh proteins and vegetables, beautifully presented:
I have started a collection of small, beautiful plates, so that I can serve small bites of lovely food.  I love the idea of making our meals more artful.

Even shopping for food is an amazing visual experience.  We visited the Nishiki Market in Kyoto:
The market is a covered mall in the middle of downtown Kyoto.  It goes on for many blocks:
And is full of food vendors, selling both prepared food and items to be prepared at home:
Lots of pickles
More pickled vegetables.  There were lots of pickle vendors
Pastries and desserts
Pickles.  We tried a sample -- they were delicious!
And or course matcha flavored items were everywhere.  My favorite was matcha ice cream.
And I couldn't tell you how many gallons of green tea I drank.
People watching was a great deal of fun.  There was a cosplay event near the Tokyo Dome one evening:
It was frigid.  Record setting cold in Tokyo.  This poor girl must have been freezing:
The plaza at the Tokyo Dome was celebrating a "Garden of Lights."  It made for a stunning setting.
We saw many women (an a few men) dressed in Kimonos at the Shrines and Temples.  And a few on the street, such as this woman at the Nishiki Market:
This was taken at the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.  Even the statue is fashionably dressed:
The best place for people watching was the quilt show.  I think Barbara took this picture:
We went to a traditional dinner on the shores of the Kamo river in Kyoto.  A maiko (an apprentice geiko) danced for us.  And she told us about her life as a maiko.  She had left school at 15 to begin her training.  She is studying traditional music, traditional songs, dancing, calligraphy, the tea ceremony, literature and poetry.  When she finishes her training she will become a geiko, a traditional Japanese entertainer.
Natalie and I took a taxi one day to Takashimaya Times Square in Shinjuku.  We were lucky enough to see a master doll maker and calligrapher at work:
He was making emperor and empress doll sets, called Hina dolls.  The store had a display of sets for sale:
We also visited Tokyu Hands.  A very amazing store, and a must-see in Tokyo:
We shopped for fiber as well as food and souvenirs.  Natalie and I went to the most fabulous paper store in Kyoto.  I went a little crazy:
We visited the Nippori fabric district in Tokyo and shopped at Tomato.  It's a pretty amazing place if you like fabric - and I do happen to like fabric:
 I bought a few yards of Japanese fabric:
We rode the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto, and then of course, back to Tokyo.  The five North Texas travelers had booked our flights to and from Tokyo.  The rest of the group flew into Tokyo but flew home from Osaka.  Which meant we had to get back to Tokyo on our own.  It was a bit of a challenge, but I love riding the Shinkansen:
Of course, train travel is much easier when you are traveling light, which of course we weren't.  Shinkansen don't stop at the station very long:
We managed to get both ourselves and the luggage on the train.  By moving very very quickly and shoving the suitcases in the door.

The trip itself was lovely.  I love the Japanese countryside, even when it is zipping by at 200 mph:
Snowy rice paddies between Kyoto and Tokyo
We did manage to miss our express train to Narita airport.  Instead we took a "local", which stopped several dozen times before the airport.  Luckily we had plenty of time!
It was a wonderful trip.  I want to go back.  Soon!

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