August 27, 2009

Columbine Update

I've been working on the palette for Columbine, adding in these fabrics, above and below:

The shiny strips that didn't reproduce well in these quick photos are a Mysore silk, with a purple warp and a gold woof, that is just gorgeous. These strips join the ones I did earlier, below, along with the columbine prints I made. You can always track back this work in progress by clicking on Columbine under labels in the right sidebar.

While I've been hard at work accomplishing many things, other sentient beings in the vicinity have a different idea of time well spent:

This handsome boy is yet another in the series of Not My Cat; he likes to hang out here and get his belly rubbed. The locust tree is starting to drop just a few leaves--it's not fall yet, but a change is coming....

August 21, 2009

San Francisco - Big Basin

Of all the parks we visited and hiked in around San Francisco, Big Basin stands out as the most majestic, inspirational, and downright magical. The drive there was filled with adventure, as we twisted and turned on narrow roads through seemingly never ending forest, and nearly had a close encounter with a logging truck. The park facilities were charming, with a huge rustic lodge and visitors center, and the best park souvenir shop I've ever been in (and I have the souvenirs to prove it). Near the campgrounds was a stage and amphitheatre, with seats hewn from redwoods, and I can just imagine a ranger giving a presentation there.
The beginnings of the trail skirted a small lively stream, above, and led past this wonderfully sculptural snag, below:
Here's a shot of the texture on the snag, an example of "wavy" or "curly" lumber. It's the result of a harmless genetic condition, affecting less than 1% of all redwood trees. In the past it was not considered commercial valuable and was often discarded as defective.

Here I am standing in awe of "The Mother of the Forest", the park's tallest at 329 feet.

Here's an example of a ring of redwoods that grew up around an ancient, departed tree:

Here's a picture I'm rather pleased with; I clambered up on a log and posed to try and give a sense of scale to the enormity of the fallen tree:

Another perspective, from the far end of the fallen tree:

More fabulous texture, perhaps some sort of burl:

It was a good day.

August 18, 2009

Art of the Susquehanna Tour

The PA Arts Experience is offering a fabulous travel package and artist studio tour in September. Much of my work is based on my experiences living and hiking near the Susquehanna River, and I am delighted that this tour offers a variety of experiences for visitors to experience firsthand the pleasures and treasures of the area, as well as chance to meet with artists in their studios and see their work. I am one of the artists featured in the tour and am really looking forward to the experience. Below is the press release for the event, with a link to the website for more information. This is an opportunity not to be missed!

Pennsylvania Arts Experience
presents Art of the Susquehanna Tour
September 11, 12 and 13, 2009

Kayak to the Native American Petroglyphs on the river, go behind the scenes to meet renowned local artists in their studios and relax and dine along the shores of the spectacular Susquehanna River.

Once the gateway to the western frontier, this important river region is rich in historical, cultural, and artistic heritage. The glorious Susquehanna River has been pivotal in the development of our country and has served as a source of inspiration and adventure for centuries. Experience this rich legacy first hand - from the earliest Susquehanna artwork created by Native Americans to the works of renowned contemporary artists inspired by this magnificent river.

This tour offers:
· Kayak on the Susquehanna River to the Indian Petroglyphs with an expert guide
· Private curator’s tour of the “Visions of the Susquehanna” exhibit on permanent display at the Historic Zimmerman House at Long Level, York, PA.
· 2 nights accommodations in a historic B&B, The Railroad House in Marietta, PA
· 2 catered dinners with select local artists at scenic dining locations along the river
· Private art studio visits of river town artists
· Complimentary copies of the Visions of the Susquehanna and The PA Arts Experience Artist Trail catalogs
Cost: $795 per person, double occupancy (add $150 for single), $350 per person without overnight accommodations. Limited to 14 people on a first come, first serve basis.
For more information and details on the tour itinerary go to

August 16, 2009

Plume Poppy Beadwork

I've just spent two days intensively bead embellishing Plume Poppy. I love the meditative state beading induces, and I'm very happy about the way the beadwork enhances the imagery. Above is a quick snapshot of the beadwork and stitching on the cyanotype plume; below is a shot of an actual plume in bloom right now in my garden--how do you like my interpretation?

Here's a few shots of the plume poppy leaves. I love them for their color and texture, but most of all for their size and shape and graceful presence in the garden.

On this one you can see the small bits that drop off the tiny blossoms in the plume as they mature:
I am almost done with this quilt; stay tuned for the big reveal as soon as I can get it photographed. As always, you can follow the evolution of this work by clicking on "Plume Poppy" in the Labels sidebar on the right.

August 6, 2009

PNQE 2009 Acceptance

Good news in the mail today--both of my entries were accepted for the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza. Both Fireball (full view above, detail below) and Sycamore (full and detail shots further down) will be at the exhibit on September 17-20th.
This show has been at the Farm Show complex in Harrisburg, PA, for the past several years, which was convenient for me, but is moving back to the Philadelphia area this year to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, in Oaks, PA; a bit less convenient for me, but probably a welcome change of venue for many.
I'm excited to have both of these recent works in the same show, and am looking forward to attending.

August 5, 2009

Plume Poppy Update

I'm making slow but steady progress on the Plume Poppy quilt. I've finished the stitching on all the leaf panels, including the heliographic ones (above).
I've also finished the stitching on these two panels. They are made from silk noil that I hand painted.

This is a large quilt, so it's a big project, but I'm coming down the home stretch. You can track back the progress so far by clicking on "Plume Poppy" under Labels in the right sidebar.

August 4, 2009

Hershey and Long Beach

On Sunday I attended Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA, where a white glove volunteer was kind enough to take my picture next to my Sycamore. She asked me if I lived in a forest, because that's what my quilt reminded her of, which pleased me enormously! For the record, I live in suburbia, but spend as much time as possible in the woods, and I'm glad that's coming across in my work. It's a difficult quilt to photograph; the contrast of the pink and green seems to confuse point-and-shoot cameras. Below is a better picture, and there are detail shots on my website where you can see the beadwork.

My friend Pat Dolan was at the show a few days earlier, and posted extensively about it on her blog. She concurs with my opinion that this is real gem of a show, not vast in terms of quantity, but excelling in terms of quality. I love Pat's work, in all media, for the keenness of her vision and delicacy of expression--do check it out! She is a very astute observer and interpreter of the wonders of the natural world. I was also delighted to see that Kathy Nida included my Prickly Sow Thistle in her blog post about the International Quilt Festival at Long Beach, CA Kathy's blog is one of my regular reads; her work is so unique and so emotionally honest. I admire the way there's no pretense or attempted manipulation of the viewer's response, it's just her straight-up expression. I got to see one of her pieces at a exhibit in Lancaster a few years ago, and was so impressed.

Prickly Sow Thistle was part of the Celebrate Spring Exhibit at the IQF festival in Chicago, and is now traveling; after Long Beach, it will be going on to Houston.