Archive for the ‘art quilts’ Category

2011 SAQA Auction Quilt

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

This 12″ square textile, just completed but as yet untitled,  is my offering for this year’s SAQA Benefit Auction  At this link you can see some of the early submissions to this year’s auction list, and find full details of how you can particpate and acquire a fine small art quilt for your textile or quilt collection  (I suggest mine of course! )

The Auction will run online from September 12th to October 2nd.

This piece fits in with the Timetracks series, and yet I think I may have another title in mind, but am thinking it over.  No rush.

Two New Collectors

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

It’s always a joy when someone wishes to exchange their hard earned money for some of my art. Since I enjoy creating and making textile and fibre art I don’t think of it as ‘work’, even though it is, and as ‘work’ is occasionally frought with difficulty or stress even, between concept and completion.  Today I am hoping that my two newest collectors will have many years of enjoyment with my works in their collections.

This week I was pleased to see my 12″ square in the online 2010 SAQA Benefit Auction was purchased by a collector in the USA, Francie Gross.  I am embarrassed to say I forgot to photograph it before sending it off, but it is in the style of Timetracks 11

  a portion of which is shown here.

It is still up on the auction pages, 2b, at the SAQA online auction which enters its third week this week with the works shown on pages 3a and 3b – just click the link on the page above the pics andyou will go to each in turn.  Perhaps you’ll make a bid for some of the interesting pieces still to come under the hammer in the next few days.

A few weeks ago I sold two works to an international collector, a personal friend, who chose “Timetracks 16” and also this one:

 

It’s not shown in my website, partly because I haven’t ever decided just which category it belongs in, or exactly what name to settle on it.  For a long time it went as ‘Untitled’ which I always think is an artist’s cop out. 

Yet it is an important work, because it took me into the “Desert Tracks” works that followed and will probably be added to over time. It is a work focused on those aspects of the traditional ancestors of modern art quilts that appeal to me and appear repeatedly in my own work – blocks/units, repetition, and hand quilted surface patterning.  The finished edges are applied with a gold metallic fabric, double layered and cut on the cross, left ufinished – also from a time when I was beginning to consider less conventional bound edgings on my work, and burned edges appeared soon after making this one.  It has always looked good in local exhibitions here, and I know it will be well placed in  its new home.

It just occurred to me that someone with some clout in the art world should declare a day each year to be designated “International Art Collectors’ Day”.  I still have the very first painting I bought, nearly 55 years ago with 8s 6d of the 12s pocket money I was given to spend at the annual school fete.  It is a postcard-size watercolour of a landmark mountain range in northern Tasmania where I grew up, and I remember choosing it from a whole table of perhaps 50 or so little watercolured landscapes, probably done by the art teachers at the school, and certainly framed by one of the parents’ framing business – handy use for the their framing offcuts, probably!  It’s still in the original frame – I think I will do it the honour of having it framed in a more modern frame next time I’m back in Aus – I have always loved it.  In addition my parents had several watercolours painted by a cousin of my father’s, John Nixon Gee.  Dad took me along to JN’s house one morning when I was maybe 6, and I remember watching him paint a little while I was there.

Dumbing Down in a Crowded Field?

Monday, September 15th, 2008

I make very non traditional quilted textile art works, commonly called ‘art quilts’ , although as I and others have said before, there really isn’t a totally satisfactory term to cover these endeavours.
Recently a publisher announced plans for a new periodical for ‘art quilters’ to consist of one part information including how-to articles and advertising, and the other part focusing on individual artists and their works. It sounds to me like a cross between a catalogue and a magazine, with the inevitable ads. This kind of venture has been tried before. Ten years or more back, there was one with huge amounts of lovely pics and original writing including interesting reviews , but it folded after a couple of years’ struggle with production difficulties -the supporting advertising revenue didn’t seem to be there. Another more recent publication has become a series of mass-appeal project pieces with advertising – very, very technique- and how-to oriented, and really short on the art side of it all. Safe and mainstream.

As one friend privately commented last week, among aspiring art quilters there is so much emphasis on technique and very little attention paid to learning more about art, the general perception being that for those wearying of making traditional quilts there is the art quilt field to just blithely transition into. There are heaps of classes covering how to manage the mandatory dyes and paints, printing manipulating digital images, and all the while designing intuitively … ‘intuitive’ is a buzz word in the art quilt field.

And not only that, but there are associations, organisations one can join to learn all about promoting and marketing your art in a series of professional development programs, ranging from mentoring phone hookups to on-line encyclopaedic treatises on everything the aspiring art quilter could possibly need to know, from what size a mailable quilted postcard should be, to whether quilted art should be framed, mounted or hung, with or without glass, and so on. You can even pay someone to help you design your studio; and no one calls their work area a ‘sewing room’ or ‘work room’ nowadays, it seems.

The main point is usually missed totally: that in truly original work there are no rules.

‘Art quilters’ will flock in droves for subscription copies of this new publication, and will seize the opportunity to be featured artists by submitting images; but I predict none of it will result in wider appreciation of the genre, nor will it result in more high quality writing , or thoughtful reviews of quilted textile art. Michael James ruffled feathers and caused frenetic controversy a couple of years back by suggesting that quilters as a group are woefully ignorant of the wide world of contemporary art and design, mostly happily reproducing what they are taught by workshop teachers who present predominantly technique based classes. Among the many contemporary quiltmakers I personally know there are relatively few original designers demonstrating mastery of design and colour, who choose to use sublimely appropriate techniques (high or low tech) who really think about the content of their designs, and whose work can be identified as being of note within the contemporary art scene in their region in which they operate.

Man-made Surfaces

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Just looking through and sorting some of the pics I took in Egypt last year I found some of these man-made surfaces. They intrigued me just as much as the massive temples and monuments with carved and painted pictorial records and stories that we experienced in our classic tour of Upper Egypt. The tomb and temple carvings were magnificent and along with the massive scale of these buildings, totally awe-inspiring. I’d like to go back and see more, at a cooler time of year, but the problem then is the place is totally packed with tourists like me …

In and around the architecture, all over the place I noticed lots of interesting patterning. Examples such as these were very inspiring, but rarely noticed by visitors focused on all the grand scale stuff around them. I feel they may influence something I do in the future especially once I get my laser cutter. We’re still making customs inquiries, so my order is not firmly placed yet. Uruguay being basically on holiday for another few weeks, we are not expecting answers any time soon.

The main area where I see these surface patterns inspiring something is quilting treatment, machine or hand. For example I can envisage hand made knots, or a knot plus bead, something lumpy set out in the kind of grid pattern of this ancient door in a gate in the wall of the old city of Cairo, UL: the UR panel is a ceiling covered with the 5-point stars that appear in so many temples and tombs 0f the pharaohs; and I have already used this once as a machine quilted motif for the quilt “Gift of the Nile” shown in part on the blog for october 7, 2007. LR is some of the highest part of the gateway to a temple at Luxor (I think) and who knows – I just like it; and finally LR a texture I love, the mane of a lion carved from granite ,standing outside a temple. Granite is really hard but these lines are so beautifully fluid and hair-like. I see it as a machine quilting pattern probably but possibly in combination with hand stitch.

On one of the lists to which I subscribe, in the past week one writer commented that she had to quilt something and was procrastinating since she didn’t like doing quilting. Well, you don’t have to quilt anything. You can tie with wool other threads and string, buttons, staples, safety pins, sewing pins – I have seen all these used to function as the quilt stitch does – ie hold layers together. And, one can always farm it out to someone who does love to quilt. Personally, I find the old under/over/under/over thing beautiful in the right place, ie a carefully constructed and quilted traditional geometric or applique quilt, especially the baltimore album quilts. But so many people are working to produce non-traditional quilt designs these days that it seems amazing to me that they feel bound to quilt them as they always have using the traditional under/over/under/over, painstakingly doing x stitches to the inch, in fine pure cotton thread. Or if they are machining, the now rather unimaginative meandering and stippling seems to be the limit of some repertoires. If you paint, print, applique, collage, dye and and piece non-traditionally to produce non-traditional quilt designs, to me that begs exploration of intereasting, unusual quilting potential. You can quilt with anything from microfilament to heavy string, ribbon, and everything in between whether the label says ‘quilting thread’ or not.

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Freehand Demo at Uruguay Quilters 7/7/07 – arcs.

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007



Oh well, I suppose this is a nice casual photo arrangement that blogger has decided is ‘it’ for today since I really wanted to upload all these pics in close proximity.
On the right is a detail of fabric I have shown once before (post for 19th may) I show it because it is an entirely easy, sensible and indeed obvious way to divide a square/block with non-intersecting arcs, the underlying unit in the many I have seen of Susan Leslie Lumsden’s quilts, one of which is depicted on a postcard lying on the luminous quilter’s ruler up towards the top righthand corner of the central photo.
On the table are the segments I cut from 4 layers of fabric to be the first 4 blocks in a quilt for my DD, and which I used as a demo of freehand rotary cutting and piecing for two quilters who hadn’t seen it before. The arcs were then shuffled so that there was one of each colour in each block, and these have now long since been sewn together, and joined by many more. How will I arrange the huge number of blocks I need for a large kingsize bed? Well , there are several options, and I’ll decide what looks best a bit further down that road. They could be randomly oriented as in the printed silk above right, or in blocks of 4 with circle-like formations as per Susan’s, or any of the variations of Rob Peter to Pay Paul –all just arcs cut from squares. This way of working has lots of potential, and the particular bedspread I’ve just started is golds, blacks and dark browns, jungle prints, deep blues, and dashes of purples, oranges, tans, lime and citrus. They consist of commercial prints and several commercial hand dyeds, and as I go I will dig into the scrap bag for an occasional ‘zinger’ fabric to highlight the other fairly numerous fabrics I have gathered for this project.
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