Artist : Jiseon Lee Isbara

I first came across Jiseon Lee Isbara's artwork last year at the Wrapped in Tradition show at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco. Some of you might remember this stunning piece I shared from the show.

Blueprints, 2010. 25" x 34  1/2" Hand stitched, dyed and inkjet printed

silk fabric.
This one caught my eye in particular and I couldn't get it out of my mind. I tracked down her blog/website and discovered more from her 'meaningless squares' series as well as more recent series that are even more impressive. These are images from her new Embodiment series.

Embodiment, 2011. 5" x 47" x 4" Stitched and drawn,
ramie and cotton.
Her work is about "personal observation and artistic interpretation of her life as an artist, teacher, wife, mother and immigrant".

Embodiment detail, 2011. 5" x 47" x 4" Stitched and drawn,
ramie and cotton.
That really comes through in these pieces. Her mind seems to work like mine which is why I'm drawn to it. Perhaps you see your thought processes displayed here too. We struggle to control the chaos that goes through our minds as we multi-task through life. It's not an easy job. The titles really tell it all.

Accumulated, 2009. 365 pieces, 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"-6" x 6" x 6"
Hand stitched, silk and polyester strings.
Gorgeous work, no?

Accumulated detail, 2009. 365 pieces, 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"-6" x 6" x 6"
Hand stitched, silk and polyester strings.
Here's how a lot of us feel some days ... on autopilot. Who would have thought you could make such a beautiful poignant piece around that idea.

Repeated, 2010. 9"X 45' Woven, screen printed and stitched,

Repeated detail, 2010. 9"X 45' Woven, screen printed and stitched,
Jiseon Lee Isbara runs the Fibers Department at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. See more of her work here.


Artist : Doug Johnston

Doug Johnston is definitely someone whose work hovers between art and craft. I first learned of his sash cord series when it was featured last week on Remodelista.

Doug Johnston vessels. Photo by Michael Popps

I succumbed immediately and bought the "200" bag. The bags and totes are made to order but they look like they will be worth the wait. His website explains the technique used to make the pieces, which is based on ancient ceramic coiled pots and basketry.

The 200 by Doug Johnston. Photo by Michael Popps.

This is also an example of what a great photographer can do for your work. I come from a family of photographers so I had to slip that little plug in there! A little humor doesn't hurt either.

The Dunce Bag by Doug Johnston. Photo by Michael Popps.

This series is just the latest in a long line of Doug's creative projects that branch out into music as well. Here's a more artistic take on the sash cord series, called rumpleskillskid. The vessels are large enough to fit a person inside.

sash cord series with rumpleskillskid by Doug Johnston. Photo by Michael Popps.

Be sure to check out his website to see other creative ideas he has. And, of course, his shop can be found here.

Photo by Michael Popp

And I'll leave you with a little peek into his studio in Brooklyn, NY.


Foreclosure Quilts and craziness

It's been a weird, wild week for me. Now that New American Paintings came out, I expected some emails and I've had a few. A few good ones in fact. The Cleveland Quilt is now living in a happy home in Denver. I'm going to miss that quilt but so happy it's found a good home.

Cleveland Foreclosure Quilt, 2011.
A few days after I shipped off the quilt, Justine Hand wrote an amazing article on my quilts that was posted on Remodelista.

The funny thing was, I discovered the article by accident. I opened up the website to do some research on kitchen remodeling (I'll get to that part later) and there they were! Overnight, I was bombarded with emails from supporters, collectors, gallery owners, shop owners ... you name it, they called. Needless to say it was an amazing way to start 2012! I'm not sure what the next few months will bring but I expect I will be busy with my art as well as remodeling this and starting this. Am I crazy? Somehow it will all come together. It always does, in the most wonderful way. Happy New Year, everyone!


Artist : Jen Lee

I can't tell you the angst I feel that I can't find out more about Jen Lee and her work. As you know, beautiful images are fluttering around all over the internet, which is great except when you can't find where they came from and give them their proper credit.

Jen Lee, 2011. Image from ArtBlogArtBlog.
 I discovered her work through Pinterest via Maria Bohlin. After a few dead ends and lots of "Jen Lee, artist" searches on Google I came up empty-handed. I'm not alone in that thought, I found a great comment along the same lines just below this piece over at Crude Vessels.

Jen Lee, 2011. Image from Crude Vessels
But I just had to share Jen's stunningly, ethereal work with you anyway in the hopes that someone out there can tell us more and lead us to find her. So if you know anything, please comment below and I'll update the post.

Jen Lee, 2011. Image from ArtBlogArtBlog.

These pieces make one realize that ALL paintings on canvas are just textiles! We forget this once they are wrapped around wood frames. The geometry calls attention to it as well as the obvious fact that they aren't framed (gallery owners across the country would shudder at that thought). Not to mention the pieces celebrate the rawness of the canvas: the texture and color are brought forth.

Jen Lee, 2011. Image from ArtBlogArtBlog.
I know, I know. Calm down, you say. I'm getting all esoteric on you. But really, for something so simple, they are really powerful pieces. Are they not? In the meantime, just enjoy these images. And Jen, if you're out there, let us know where to find you!


Happy 2012!

Happy New Year to everyone! 2011 has been an amazing year for me. So much has happened and I owe you all a huge thank you for your unwavering support of my work.

Foreclosure Quilt Series, all made in 2011.
I've accomplished more quilts than I thought possible, had a wonderful collaboration with Vanessa Filley and starting planning a new series.

Quick study on new series which has since been tossed aside.
But the best part of all was making friends with all of you. It is so nice to know there are other artists out there that have similar struggles making art. There are certainly ups and downs, though it seems a lot of us have had a great year. It was also amazing to realize that some of you live really close by! It was wonderful to have the chance to meet in person and hope we meet more frequently in the new year.

Resolutions? Plans for 2012? I have four. First and foremost, I plan to continue the foreclosure series and spread the word as best I can. Second, I am starting a new series on landgrabbing, hopefully this month. Third, I will continue to write this blog and try to find more amazing artists out there to share with you. And the biggest, craziest plan? To tackle a huge, new garden and blog about that as well. Head over here to see my first post. Wish me luck!  What are your big plans for 2012? I wish you luck as well!


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