Thursday, April 28, 2016

Circular Abstractions

I am honored to have work in the show curated by Nancy Crow.  It opens August 25, 2016, at the Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Michigan.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

AQS Paducah, the "MarPal," the New Frank Stella Exhibit at the Modern, Main Street Fort Worth Art Festival and the SAQA North Texas Meeting

Lots going on here.  I hardly know where to start.

I guess I'll start with the Honorable Mention I won at the American Quilters' Society Quiltweek in Paducah, Kentucky.  One of the really BIG quilt shows.  So cool!
Tuning Fork #11 in the AQS Paducah show
The Palette of the Month for March (aka the "MarPal") was predominately green in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  I spent most of the month working on a couple of major pieces, which I cannot show at the moment because of exhibition restrictions, but I did manage to make two small pieces in the palette.  Very earthy.
Subdivisions #? (I've lost count temporariliy)
The Riverbank
Brian and I attended the opening reception of a Frank Stella Retrospective at the Modern Museum of Fort Worth last weekend.  Really wonderful!

We also did some shopping at the Main Street Arts Festival in downtown Fort Worth.  
Downtown at dusk 
New acquisition, painted by Scott Olson
SAQA North Texas had its quarterly meeting.  It was great to see everyone!
Phew!  It's been busy.  

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I'm a winner!

I just got a very happy e-mail from Paducah.  My quilt, Tuning Fork #11, has won an award at the AQS Paducah show.  I'm over the moon!

I'm really sorry I won't be there to accept my award in person.  That way I'd find out exactly what I've won!  Now, I'll have to wait until the results are published online.  Rats!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Studio Art Quilt Associates Annual Conference

I had exactly 40 hours at home between our vacation in St. Lucia and my trip to Philadelphia.  The SAQA conference always seems to be scheduled immediately after our spring break vacation, but it is always worth it.  Despite the jet lag, I manage each year to have a wonderful time.

One of the highlights was a trip to the Barnes Foundation.  It houses an incredible collection of post impressionist and early modern art.  181 paintings by Renoir, 69 by Cezanne, 59 by Matisse, 46 by Picasso, all hung in a rather unique way.  The paintings are displayed as "wall ensembles," which allows comparison of works of different styles, places and times.  And they are interspersed with decorative metalwork, furniture and other collectibles.  There is an underlying theme to each ensemble, and the viewer is asked to solve the puzzle.  You could spend days in there trying to figure it out!
Outside of the Barnes Foundation -- no pictures allowed inside
The courtyard, with an iron sculpture diagraming one of Barnes' wall ensembles 
One of the best things about the conference is meeting up with old friends.
I bought Judith Roderick's piece in the silent auction.  Love her work!

The Texas contingent
Dinner with friends
The conference coincided with the artist's reception for Art Quilt Elements at the Wayne Art Center.  Great show!

Art Quilt Elements
One of the highlights of the conference was the keynote speech by my friend Maria Shell.  Her presentation on How to Walk, Talk and Write Like an Artist was both entertaining and informative.   And I'm not saying that just because Maria is one of my favorite people.

Maria looking fabulous
I also gave a (very short) talk at the conference, along with 23 other artists.  We used a presentation format called "PechaKucha," where you show 20 slides for 20 seconds each. The images advance automatically and you try to keep up with them as you speak. It was fast, furious and a great deal of fun! My topic was "Abstraction of Place," and I discussed my latest series, the Helsinki Harbor quilt and the Marsh quilt.  

Of course, you can't stay in Philadelphia for a week and not eat a cheesesteak.  Jay, Andrea and I went in search of a good cheesesteak on our last day there.  
It was a very very good cheesesteak indeed
We also visited the house where Edgar Allen Poe lived in Philadelphia.  Very interesting, and complete with a very creepy cellar.
Jay and Andrea and the Raven
 My room was on the 23rd floor of the Doubletree Center City, 2 blocks from city hall.  My room looked out towards the Delaware River and had a fabulous view.
Sunrise my last morning in Philly
It's been a great couple of weeks, but I am SO glad to be back in the studio.  Now, if I could only get to the bottom of that pile of laundry......

Thursday, April 7, 2016

St. Lucia, Part Three

I've shown you a bit of the island scenery.  I know I keep repeating that St. Lucia is a beautiful place, but it is a very beautiful place.  What more is there to say?  So today, I thought I'd feature people and places. The people we met on St. Lucia were friendly, helpful and very happy to sit down and chat with us for a while.  We were impressed by their hospitality and friendliness.

First up, the fish market in Castries.  Castries is the capital and by far the largest city.  We decided we needed some fresh fish and vegetables, so we headed for the Saturday market.

We were tempted by these little needle nosed fish.  But we weren't quite sure how to prepare them.  Do you filet the little guys?  They were very small.  But quite beautiful in their barrow.
Needle nosed fish
We bought tuna and kingfish (king mackerel) for our Saturday night dinner from this fellow.  He cut our steaks with a machete.
Cutting the kingfish
The kingfish proved to be a tough opponent.  He had to hit the machete with a club to cut it through.
Clubbing the kingfish
We bought a lot of fish.  More than we could possibly eat. I think we were carried away by the excitement of the machete/club performance.
Buying  many kilos of fish
The market wasn't exclusively a fish market.  There was a great deal of produce there, too.  I never figured out what the orange-ish fruit or vegetable was (the one left of the bananas) but I thought they had great visual texture. 
What is this?
The next group of pictures is of us.  You can skip this part if you wish.  The first is of the guys, dressed alike for happy hour on the roof deck.
Did they arrange it?  Or was it a coincidence?
Anse Ger was very wavy.  But had a beautiful, very private beach. We did a bit of bodysurfing.
Erik riding a wave.
While we were bodysurfing, a local man was fishing from the rocks nearby.  He caught a few fish, but we couldn't figure out was he was catching in those rough waters near the shore.
Fishing off the rocks
Janet and I enjoyed the local beer, Piton (named after the volcanic plugs that are an iconic image in St. Lucia).  And the beach.   And we especially enjoyed a beer on the beach.
Janet keeping cool, island style
 Elena was deemed too young to have a beer, but she made her own Piton.
Piton made of sand
We didn't spend all of our time on the beach.
Carolyn at La Tille falls
On a more sober note, one of our group had a small accident and ended up going to the hospital in Vieux Fort.  This is the hospital, believe it or not.  St. Jude Hospital.  Formerly an Olympic stadium.
From the hospital website:

"On September 9, 2009, St. Jude Hospital was devastated by a fire. The fire destroyed the surgical and pediatric wards and the operating theaters of a seriously aging facility. The hospital was evacuated to the George Odlum Sports Stadium where it is still currently located. Most services previously available at the old site, a facility in great need of renovation, have resumed. In many instances the level and quality of services available at the Stadium are improved from those available at the old hospital".

It was a bizarre place, but we were impressed by the level of care.  Talk about making do with the resources available!

St. Lucia.  What a wonderful place!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

St. Lucia, Part Two

St. Lucia is a beautiful place.  Of the places in the Caribbean I have visited, which admittedly is only a small percentage, it is the most diverse geographically and the most beautiful.

The island is volcanic, and very mountainous.  The highest point is Mount Gimie, 3120 feet.  The Pitons, two mountainous volcanic plugs, are the most famous local landmark, and are located on the western side of the island near the city of Soufriere.
Gros Piton near Soufriere
Our house was on the eastern side.  To get to the west coast you could either drive along the coastal road or your could drive up and over the volcanic spine that ran down the center of the island.  We did both, but I especially enjoyed the drive over the mountains and through the jungle.
The island also boasts the "world's only drive in volcano,"  located near Soufriere.  I'm not sure about the "world's only" part, but it was pretty wonderful.  Bubbling mud pots, fumaroles (steam vents) and a pervading smell of rotten eggs (sulfur).
The world's only drive in volcano
As we drove around the island we passed huge banana plantations.  And the bananas we bought in the market were the best I'd ever tasted -- sweet and creamy.  We also saw lots of cashew trees.  The cashew is the appendage hanging off the bottom of the fruit.  It cannot be eaten raw.
Cashew fruit
Near the town of Micoud we hiked to the La Tille falls.  It was lush and cool, and at one of the ponds or pools there was a rope swing you could use to drop into the water.  I didn't try it.
La Tille falls
Of course, the views of the ocean weren't at all bad.  This is the town of Dennery, seen from a roadside lunch, well, I'd have to call it a shack.  Great food, though.  And you couldn't beat the view.
Dennery harbor
Another view along the Atlantic (east) coast of the island.
Near Dennery
We love to snorkel.  We snorkeled the reef off Anse Chastenet.  And saw a few fish.
The snorkeling wasn't wonderful, but the rest of the island was.  What a beautiful place!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

St. Lucia, Part One

I've been gone for two weeks, and I'm finally catching my breath.  It's hard to believe we were in St. Lucia two weeks ago, staying at a really stunning house on a small, rocky peninsula.  The house was built to command spectacular views on all sides - Anse Ger (Ger Cove) to the north, a small cove with a volcanic shore to the south, and the Atlantic ocean to the east. 
Satori House. Micoud, St. Lucia

Seen from the 1st point south of the house
When we talked to locals about where we were staying, they would laugh and say "Oh, you're staying in the boat house!"  You can see why they would call it that.

The house was fully open to the outdoors, with enough breeze to keep it cool and to keep the mosquitos away.

View from the steps leading to the roof deck
We spent a great deal of time on the roof deck, both in the mornings and evenings.  It had a fabulous view in all directions.
Including up.  It was the week of the full moon

Janet and I on the roof deck (taken by Brian from the ground level)
And the views were amazing!
Standing on the point looking northeast
There is a reef in the mouth of Anse Ger, which made the wave action spectacular!  The waves broke over the reef and rolled all the way to shore.
Anse Ger, to the north, storm rolling in

Small cove to the south
I think I took 200 photographs in every direction!  The view was different with every change in the light and the clouds. And it was always stunning.

Stay tuned for more!

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