Upcoming events : Gallery Route One show

I will have two of my pieces in an upcoming show at Gallery Route One in Point Reyes, just north of San Francisco. The show runs from January 21st through February 20th. The opening is Sunday, January 23rd from 3-5 pm. I hope to see some of you there.

Up and Out, 2010. 12" x 16"
In case you can't make it, here are the pieces that will be in the show.

Cutting edge, 2010, 12" x 16"
Click here for more information and location.


My family of artists

I've been thinking about my extended family recently because of the holidays and last week was the 21st anniversary of my mother's death (it made for a rather depressing holiday that year, let me tell you). But, on to positive thoughts! The one thing that most of my family have in common is a lot of us ended up becoming artists or architects. Here are some pictures I have of us creating and what we've made over the years. I'll start with my grandfather, who was a professional photographer.

Lance Johnson
Look at the size of that camera equipment he's carrying! Remember when? Well, I don't! Here's another of him probably doing a portrait, judging by the smile on his face. He ran a portrait studio in Anniston, AL before my uncle Jim took if over when he died (yep, another photographer).

Lance Johnson
And now for my parents, both artists of course. My dad made his living as an architect as does my brother, and my uncles, etc. I love this photo of my dad, especially the pipe!

Bert McIntosh
Did I also mention he invented the Apple Macintosh? Just kidding. Luckily, that question wasn't asked until I was in high school. Oops, did I just date myself there? I have a photo somewhere of my mom sitting at her loom but I can't find it. Here is one of her drawings for a wall tapestry she made.

Mona McIntosh
And remember that uncle I mentioned earlier. Here is some of his fine art photography which I love. I have a copy of this hanging in my house and I look at it every day.

Jim Johnson
Here's a picture I love, the next generation of artists. My daughter making abstract prints for her teachers when she was four.

I'd love to hear your stories about other artists in your family, it does seem to be a pattern, no?


work table : lots of projects

I've been so busy the past few weeks with various projects, the holidays and dealing with colds I haven't had much time to read any blogs, let alone post much on my own! I am hoping to catch up soon to see what everyone is doing but I suspect you are all going through similar busy times these days. Here are some the things seen on my work table in the past week. My daughter, Zoe, has been begging me to make her a quilt for her dolls ever since I made one last month for a friend of hers.

Then I realized we'll be opening presents in Florida and there won't be any dolls to play with while we're there. So of course, I had to make her a doll to go with the doll quilt. I made both of these entirely out of remnants lying around. The doll dress is a liberty fabric I saved from one of her old dresses. I tea stained it just for fun. You can see a hint of scarf ... the amazing wool gauze I'm using in my foreclosure series.

And I've been working on my quilt. I have much more to show you in the next post, but for now, here's a teaser.

And the deadline is approaching fast for the Sketchbook Project in January ... see how pristine this book is? Hmmm, it needs filling really fast! This is what I plan to focus my time on while we're visiting family in Florida over the holidays. I have a great idea of how to tie it into my current series.

One more post before we're off on our trip. I'd love to hear what handmade gifts everyone has been making this month. Happy Holidays everyone!


Artisan : Mariem Besbes

I suppose I have to create a new category when talking about the textile designer, Mariem Besbes. While flipping through an old Marie Claire Maison from 2007, I rediscovered her work. I think I bought the magazine because of the amazing images and now three years later, here I was working with what I think is her wool gauze. She weaves the most incredibly beautiful fabric and the colors offered are stunningly rich. 

Image from Rue de L ......
According to her website, the openwork weaving, originally called Peplos in Greek, was originally worn as a seamless garment. She decided to learn the ancient art, bringing in her own style and sense of color. And all of those incredible colors are ground by her own hands.

Image from Rue de L .....
A weaver in Tunisia, Mariem learned her grandfather had made this cloth before turning to silk weaving in 1910. She decided to go back to her family roots. I have no idea if the wool gauze I'm using in my new series is the same, I hope so. I would love to see those other colors in person, I bet they're even more beautiful. See her website here for more detailed photos. You can find her cloth easily in Europe, not so easily here in the States.


Inspiration : Quilting details

Now that I'm on to quilting my first Foreclosure piece, I've been digging around on Flikr for some great examples of modern, edgy stitch examples to inspire me. There are so many talented artists out there and here are just a few that really have an edge.

I love the ruggedness a lot of these quilters have. I also have a weakness for blue cloth these days too. Click here to see who these talented artists are and to link to more of their work on Flikr.


Foreclosure : more assembling ...

And it continues ... I thought I'd share some photos of a day in my studio today. I love it when things start to come together in a big way (in the literal sense today).

I finalized the quilt top piecing this morning. I love the underbelly of the fabric seen above. And then the sun came out and I saw all the amazing little shadows come to life. This one looks like a mountain range to me.

I just discovered this amazing Chaco liner chalk 'pen' last week that has made my life in the studio SO much easier! Have you used these before? A complete lifesaver for chalking long lines and curves as well.

This red inner layer fabric runs only 42" wide so I had to piece together this as well since my quilt width is 48", argh. However, this was much easier to sew than the wool scrim.

I'm so glad I set up this 4x8 work table last year, it's been perfect for piecing together the quilt. Now a quick look with the top layer to make sure I'm on the right track.

At the moment, the quilt is 80" long but it will shrink a little once I trim and bind it. Now onto the final quilt back. That will be tomorrow's project and hopefully by week's end, I'll be stitching those layers together. I'm running the risk of leaving this lying on my table since my cat is notorius for vomiting on all my fabrics that I leave lying out ... hmmm maybe I'll roll it up for the night just to be safe.


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