Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Results Are In!

The Tapioca Resist Experiment is over, and the results are in!

It was an adventure to wash the resist off of the fabrics! Luckily, Rhonda came over and helped soak and scrape off the gelatinous tapioca.  It was a sticky, gloppy mess.  If she hadn't helped, there is a good chance I'd still be scraping and soaking.  And scraping some more. Or, more likely, I would have thrown the whole mess in the garbage.

Pretty cool texture.  But I'm still not convinced they were worth the time they took.  I would estimate between applying tapioca and trying to get it off, 4 1/2 hours of hands on work by me, 2 1/2 hours by Rhonda.  Pretty labor intensive.  And the net yield was 2 yards of fabric.

What do you think? I have two more boxes of "Minute Tapioca."  Should I use it as a resist, or should Brian and I just have some pudding?

I spent most of last week working on some small pieces.  All of them will be in the neighborhood of 12" x 12" when quilted.  Three of these are commission pieces, and the others will debut at my solo show in June.

My SAQA Benefit Auction quilt is finished!

Tuning Fork #37, 12" x 12", © 2017
The 2017 Benefit Auction will take place from September 15 through October 8. The Auction will kick-off at 2pm ET on September 15 with Diamond Day bidding - an early bird opportunity to purchase ANY quilt for $1000

The 12" x 12" Auction Quilts have been divided up into three sections for bidding purposes. Each week, a different section of quilts will be available for bidding, starting at $750 and further reduced throughout the week.   

So mark your calendars!  It's a wonderful opportunity to buy a piece of fabulous art and to support a wonderful organization!

A Fine Focus -- Opening Reception June 4

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A New Quilt Art Group

I've recently started a new art quilt group.  At our first meeting we decided that the group would be focussed on technique and process, and that a portion of our meeting would be dedicated to constructive critique.  We decided to keep the group very small, limited to artists who would keep up with the monthly challenges and who would share their knowledge with us all.

At the first meeting, Michelle presented us with an interesting challenge.  How would you marry this painting by Cezanne
With this painting by Klee?
In other words, we were to fuse the influences of the two painters into a quilted composition.  An interesting challenge indeed.

I decided to go with the simplified geometrics of the Klee piece in the more organized landscape format of the Cezanne.  Here is my piece, One Blue Roof:
One blue Roof, 34"w x 35"h, 2017
There were a number of really interesting "hybrids."  We laid them out on the table.  It was interesting how everyone had such different interpretations.
The program for the meeting was resist dyeing.  The resists had to dry before applying the dye, so Bethany had sent each of us instructions for preparing the fabric.  I was assigned tapioca.  Let me just say that using tapioca as a resist involves a great deal of fussing with a gloppy, glutinous mess.  And it took days to dry.

Bethany prepared the thickened dyes:
And we started painting the dye over our resists.  The resists used were flour paste, mashed potato flakes, corn syrup, baby rice cereal and tapioca.

We each took some fabric home to batch and wash out.  Results will be revealed at the next meeting.

Of course, I took my tapioca crusted dyed fabric home, packed in plastic bins, and thought I would set it out in the sun, under black plastic, to cook a bit.  Heat always helps the dye react.  And there is always plenty of sun in Texas, right?  Well, apparently not:
We actually had a freak rain and hail storm.  It wasn't even in the forecast.  And today, still no sun.  Sigh.

I'll end with this beautiful quilt by Wendy:

Getting Away From It All, Part II

Hello again from Andros Island.  We had a fabulous time!
Andros is a beautiful place.  Pristine beaches, interesting towns, friendly people, plentiful birds and wildlife. But it is especially known for blue holes. Blue holes are deep circular depressions that form in carbonate rocks (limestone) when acidic rainwater erodes the rock.  The limestone on Andros has worn away into a series of interconnected underwater caves.  The water is fresh and clear at the surface and salty near the bottom.  Andros has over 220 blue holes, some inland and some in the ocean.  We visited Captain Bill's blue hole, in the middle of a pine forest, which is 440 feet in diameter and very very deep.
The water was cool and refreshing, and very blue.
And you could jump off a platform into the water.  About a 15 foot drop.  Some of our group were brave enough to do it -- but luckily there was also a ladder.
We visited a batik factory, Androsia.  How cool is that?  I bought some yardage.
 But we spent a large amount of time relaxing on the porch looking out over Bonefish Bay.
And watching the sun set over the mangrove tidal flat.

And walking on the beach, looking for shells and driftwood and watching the crabs scuttle by.
And kayaking, sailboarding, swimming or sailing on the bay during high tide.
It was a wonderful, relaxing, stimulating vacation.  Andros Island is a special place.  I want to go back.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Getting Away From It All, Part 1

Every year, we take a Spring Break vacation with our closest friends.  And every year, we spend several months researching houses to rent.  We have two important criteria -- it must be as far from neighboring houses as possible and it must be on the beach.  This year, we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.  We booked a week at a house on Bonefish Bay on Andros Island, Bahamas.

This picture, taken by Janet as we were flying back to Nassau after a week on the island, shows how isolated we actually were.  If you enlarge the picture, you can see our house on a sand spit in the upper right hand corner of the photo, with water on two sides and no other houses for miles.  It was bliss!
Andros Island is the biggest island in the Bahamas (in fact Wikipedia states that it has a land mass greater than the other 700 Bahamian islands combined), but has a population of just over 7,000.  It is made up of small inlets and cays and mangrove estuaries.  People go to Andros for bonefishing and scuba diving, but we just wanted to relax, soak up some sun and do some snorkeling and swimming.

Brian and I spent a day in Nassau before we headed to Andros.  While we were waiting for our luggage, I was drawn to this piece of fiber art.  Very cool!

In downtown Nassau, we stayed away from the cruise-ship terminals and the markets that surround them.  We left our hotel and set off down a side street.  I loved the brightly colored buildings and the street art.

And we had dinner at a beach-side shack.  
We met our friends the next morning at the airport and flew to Andros.  This is Andros International Airport.
The house was lovely.  It had beautiful views of the sunrise over the bay and the sunset over the mangrove estuary.  And lots of porches and decks to enjoy the view.
 At low tide you could walk across the bay.  The water was at most knee high.
 And the shallow tidal pools were full of sea creatures.  Conch....

And of course the elusive bonefish.  None of us got a good picture of a bonefish.  They move too fast!

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