Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Videos from My Studio

I've been shooting a few quick videos. It's fun. They are super casual. I don't even put on lip stick! But, I hope you like them and they give you a little more idea about what's happening in the studio.

I usually post these videos directly to my Facebook page. If you like my artist page you'll see them there first! It's super easy, just click the "like" button on this page. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel if you're over there regularly.

I'm happy to post them here too. Enjoy.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Continuing with the Bowl!

I'm happy to share my newest quilt...

Nourished, 31.5 x 34

I created it to enter in SAQA's upcoming exhibition called "Tranquility." I was thinking about the theme and wondering when and why I feel tranquil. I decided it's when I feel full and balanced. Not overwhelmed or overflowing, but that feeling moment when everything is in its place and has some gentle momentum toward growth. 

Plus, I just wanted to make another bowl quilt.

I auditioned several fabrics and compositions.

I am always thinking about contrast. It really is one of the most important considerations in a design that works. I'm not sure I always get it quite right, but I'm always thinking about it.

You may notice that I was making long hassle necklaces for Christmas gifts. See them hanging on the right?

I finally settled on this.

The light teal background fabric needed some surface design. So I created a stamp out of sticky-backed fun foam.

I chose a subtle color for the printing. Almost tone on tone.

Next came lots of hand stitching, including this vine... I really loved changing the thread color with the fabrics.

Here's bigger shot of the vine with additional machine stitching.

Painted and stitched circles.

More painted and stitched circles and all those tiny leaf stamps.

I finished the edges with beautiful top stitching thread from Superior.

You may have seen this studio shot in my recent newsletter.

Nourished will have a partner quilt. It will likely be titled Depleted and be entered in SAQA's Turmoil exhibition. That deadline is another few weeks away. I am enjoying the process of creating two quilts with very similar designs, but trying to generate an entirely different energy.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Just a Few Snapshot from the Met

Remember I said I'd share pictures from our trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art? What a place!

Yes... I am now the shortest in my family.

I think of these big flower arrangements as one of the iconic Met things-to-see. I love this bare wintery display.

I didn't really take that many pictures. But we did spend a long time just sitting quietly in this beautiful alcove, the Moroccan Court.

The tile work, wood carvings and plaster carvings were all commissioned for this beautiful space. I especially enjoyed watching the videos about the process of creating the different elements and installing them in this space. Those three teenagers sitting on the bench were there before we arrived and after we left. Sometimes visiting a museum isn't about seeing lots of art in lots of galleries; it's just about being there.

I was intrigued by "Wordplay: Matthias Buchinger's Drawings." Matthias was born in 1674 with no hands and no feet and was only 29 inches tall. He created delicate, complex drawings made up of microscopic text. There were even magnifying glasses that you could use to examine the work.

That gallery spilled over to include several other examples of art including letters.

We strolled through the beautiful courtyard with this stunning overhead structure that reminded me of the courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery in DC.

I loved this two-part piece of work. It's Luis Urculo's Reconstructions #5. The large piece is a photograph of blocks and stacks composed in the studio. A handwritten key is displayed along side the photograph.

We wound our way to the back of the European Galleries to see several Vermeers. Of course, I think of Tim's Vermeer everytime I see one and I'm always looking for paintings that seem to be set in the same space as his painting. Like this one, maybe.

Like lots of museums, the Met gives out stickers as passes for the day. They had a big board of used stickers on the way out.

I'm seriously thinking about making a "key" for some of my work. Very interesting.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Seeing Hamilton! And More in NYC!

Last spring I began to hear rumblings about a new Broadway musical called Hamilton. I started reading everything I could find, following the writer Lin-Manuel Miranda on Twitter, and eagerly awaiting the release of the cast recording. I downloaded it within minutes of its release and further fed my obsession with constant listening. Eventually, Claire, Benjamin and Jeff joined in.

I often put it on while making dinner and we all sing along. All the words. Loud. Seriously, we all LOVE it.

So, you can imagine my surprise when Jeff gave me tickets to see the show on Broadway. This is not a great picture and doesn't begin to capture my utter astonishment and excitement!

My mom took the picture. She'd been conspiring a bit with Jeff to plan this surprise.

So, the very next day, we all got up at the crack of dawn to fly to NYC. We stopped for coffee and croissants at the airport.

I could have snapped pictures every moment of our two days in NYC, but I just caught bits and pieces. Here are a few.

The view from the train from the airport into the city.

Classic subway tiles.

Seen in the hotel lobby.

Well, why not?!

Snazzy, hip hotel room that was about a 15 minute walk from the theater. (Also my son's ever-growing legs!)

View from the hotel. I love its grungy, urban vibe.

After settling into the room, we went out to just walk in the city including visiting the theater. Oh, the excitement is building!

All the theater doors are decorated with characters from the show.

Here are the Skyler sisters -- and me and Claire posing as Angelica and Eliza. (Claire said, "We don't want to be Peggy!")

This is Hercules Mulligan and Lafayette next to Alexander and Eliza.

The iconic Hamilton logo.

Aaron Burr... "the villain in your history."

And here's George Washington. And some Starbucks cups.

We picked up a snack of some teeny tiny cupcakes and went back to the hotel for a rest before the show. Plus, it was snowing and super cold.

Here's the long line of super excited people waiting to go into the theater. Seriously, the buzz was powerful!

We stopped at the merchandise kiosk and the bar to make a few purchases before heading to our seats.

How could I resist a Hamiltini?! Plus it comes in a souvenir cup!

I was feeling overwhelmed in this moment, standing in the theater with my very-generous, loving, thoughtful husband. Overwhelmed and excited and happy.

We were all excited and happy! By the way, see the wall behind the two folks behind us? That's the back of the theater. Yes, we were up high! But, NYC theaters are smallish and the view was great. We didn't miss anything and I loved being able to absorb everything about the whole experience. Did I say happy?!

We all know the music and lyrics really well. We've studied, analyzed, compared, and thought about the characters, plot, themes and connections in every line. But, seeing it on stage took it all to another level. There is more life, more detail, more humor and more tragedy in all of the very best ways.

Just one simple shot of the curtain call. I think that's Thomas Jefferson and Maria Reynolds running to their spots.

After the show, we gathered by the stage door with hundreds of other fans so Claire could get autographs from a few of the actors.

Here's Daveed Diggs who plays Lafayette in Act I and Jefferson in Act II.

Claire has a special Rubik's Cube that she saves just for autographs.

This is Austin Smith who is an understudy for the role of Aaron Burr. The performance we saw was only his second time playing the role. He was excellent. We are accustomed to the amazing Leslie Odom on the cast recording, but seeing and hearing a different actor made for lots of interesting discussions after the show.

Here's Christopher Jackson who plays George Washington. Yes, an African American George Washington! As Lin-Manuel Miranda has said, "It's the story of American then, told by America now."

Here's Jonathon Groff who nearly steals the show as King George.

Renee Goldsberry plays Angelica Skyler, Hamilton's sister-in-law.

After the show, we had classic NYC pizza and discussed every detail of the performance.

The next morning, Claire and I ventured out for coffee and pastries while Jeff and Benjamin partook in the hotel breakfast. We found Bibble and Sip.


I had been wanting a beautiful NYC latte. Check!

Claire got a hot chocolate with a giant homemade marshmallow.

Claire's nails match that gals coat. And also the green tea cream puffs shown below.

We had one of these dark chocolate cream puffs because who doesn't like to eat dessert for breakfast?

Time with this special person was another wonderful birthday gift. People often say we look alike  and I generally don't see it... but I can a bit here.

I think I've been to NYC about four times, but I've never walked through Central Park. We enjoyed a beautiful stroll on the way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There were several beautiful stone carvings in one of the pavilion areas. I love the pattern and the shadows here.

A sweet little nest.

We had a great time at the Met. I've got a separate post with photos and thoughts from that stop. (Because this post is already jam packed, right?)

More walking and just enjoying the city.

We ended the whirlwind trip with dinner at a little Italian place.

See Claire's reflection in the mirror behind us? That just cracks me up.

It was an amazing trip. I can't believe how much we did in just two days. (I didn't even share everything here.) I can't believe I was in a theater filled with hundreds of people enjoying such a powerful and inspiring story -- starring the original cast! Actually, I can believe it. And I'm grateful.

While we were in NYC, I was thinking that I've only been to see a show on Broadway twice in my whole life. I saw Sweet Charity when I was 15 when I was in NYC doing some work with the National Episcopal Church with a group of other youth and adults. Then Hamilton. Jeff was with me both times. We've been traveling and exploring and doing fun stuff together for more than thirty years. All of those adventures are better because we've shared them.