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From Quilt Squares to Abstract Art

May 13, 2015

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I love the amazing variety of quilt patterns and styles, and the grand tradition of quilting that has been handed down to us through generations of mothers and grandmothers, created first out of necessity and frugality, and now celebrated for its sheer beauty and creativity.

My friend Betty Hughes is an accomplished quilter, who happens to be my over-the-fence neighbor. So when Betty has something new to show me in her sewing room, I drop everything and go see. Every single time she shows me the newest quilts she’s just completed or is working on, I get bitten by the bug to get a sewing machine and have a go at it myself. But then I get over it, because, in all honesty, I have years and years of accumulation of every other kind of art-making equipment and supplies that a person could want. I don’t need to start on a new art form. So I just allow myself to enjoy her creations.

As you’re viewing these images, I have to tell you that Betty is a very traditional quilter. She likes order and coordinated colors, and follows all the rules of the honored traditions (well, she doesn’t take it as far as hand piecing and hand quilting, but not many others do either.)

These images are photographs of squares she made for a fun quilt for Project Linus, a kids’ charity that she participates in regularly. In creating this quilt, she has used very small saved-up scraps and put them together in what is called a “crumb quilt”. The quilt top is finished, but it was the individual squares were what blew me away. Each one could be a painting, therefore I have “framed” each one. I love how the color combinations are sometimes so unexpected, and that the shapes reveal bits of a larger pattern, adding mystery to the compositions.

I hope you enjoy these. They have me excited and inspired to do some new collages. Thanks, Betty, for giving me permission to show off your abstract art!

Artist’s Block and Fugitive Dreams

May 3, 2015

Artist’s Block
It’s always so nice to get new stuff to work with in the studio. As you may have read in a previous post, these panels arrived a few weeks ago. I’ve begun to try putting some paint on them. And as I’ve said many times before, when you’re not working on art every day, it can be hard to get the flow going again. I’m feeling that way right now. I’ve done quite a lot of staring at these over the past few days.
Boxes 0515

Collage is another story. I don’t seem to have the same trepidation when approaching collage. It’s always sheer pleasure, even if my first few attempts aren’t successful. I guess it’s because the medium is so forgiving.

Fugitive Dream
Have you ever had a dream just before waking up, and just as you awaken, you remember it, but as soon as you move to get out of bed, “poof!” it’s gone? And the harder you try, the harder it is to remember? This collage is titled “Fugitive Dream.” The image links to it in my Etsy shop.

Fugitive Dream - collage, 4x5"

Fugitive Dream – collage, 4×5″

Spring Color At Last

April 22, 2015

These are the first of the spring blooms in my garden. Soon after the irises are gone, the amaryllises and Dutch irises will follow. Then will come the sunflowers. I can hardly wait for sunflowers! But wait I must. Gardens teach us patience and give us hope for the future. Today I put in a dozen tomato plants. I wasn’t going to do tomatoes this year, because I’ve had such awful luck with them for the past couple of years. But how do you not have tomatoes?

Spring Collage

My two paintings have been accepted in the local annual juried show. I’ll be getting those ready to deliver next week. They each need a little cosmetic touch-up here and there. Some of the texture has been knocked off in little places on one of them, and the other one has not received its final coat of gloss medium.

Here is a detail shot of the damaged texture. I think it happened because I wasn’t being careful enough to let it dry thoroughly before handling the painting. All I have to do is paint the appropriate color to conceal these little spots. You will see them everywhere there is an obvious speck of white. No big deal.

Matter of the Heart II Detail 1

I’m thrilled that I’ve had some recent art sales, both paintings and collages. It’s always a great incentive to make more art.

These are two collages that recently sold. Thanks so much to my wonderful collectors! You are appreciated more than you know.

I Think I Dreamed It - Collage, 8x8"

I Think I Dreamed It – Collage, 8×8″

Limited Exposure - Collage, 8x8"

Limited Exposure – Collage, 8×8″

I hope you’re enjoying spring (or whatever season it is at your house) and creating something beautiful every day.

Happy Spring

April 7, 2015

The long interval between the last post and this one mirrors the long winter we’ve had. Spring comes in fits and starts now, but I can almost believe there won’t be any more freezes this year. Even in Alabama, single digits on several occasions. That’s a cold season. But amazingly, my perennials are poking their heads through now, and it looks like all will be well.

Winter took a toll on me this time. I am convinced it had to do with Seasonal Affective Disorder – a fancy name for winter blahs. There were just days and days on end with no sun. I feel like a mushroom. Now, with spring teasing us with a sunny day here and there, I make sure I rush outside just to sit in it for a little bit.

Inside the studio, work has slowed a bit, but of course I have to keep doing. Here’s what’s going on — more boxes to paint on. That always thrills me.

Boxes Just Opened

And a couple of new collages . . .

Loose Ends - Collage, 5x8"

Loose Ends – Collage, 5×8″

By Air and Sea - Collage, 5x8"

By Air and Sea – Collage, 5×8″

Happy spring, everyone!

The Impulse to Hibernate

January 24, 2015

Winter has been long, and some of it has been unusually cold. Now that I no longer live in Florida, the seasons are distinct and definite. Wintertime has its own challenges, like how to get enough sunshine to keep from suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.) I began to suspect I was slipping into this state when all I wanted to do was sleep.

But the sun has been back for the past few days. This is a sunrise from a few mornings ago. These winter trees are west of where I was standing, so the sun, coming up over my shoulder, cast an orange glow on the branches.

Trees in the Morning

It’s been so cold, even the dog and the cat are snuggling in my lap . . . and they usually don’t get along.

Angie and Blueberry

I try to stay warm by baking some bread, which always makes me happy. And it tastes so good, still warm from the oven, with a little Amish butter.

Fresh Loaves

But the best part is that I headed into the studio and spent three days on this painting. It was a great feeling to just paint. I think it’s finished, and therefore it will be ready for the next show coming up in the spring at the local art center (assuming that I get accepted!) This is a quick shot of it, but it does show some of the metallics that are used here and there.

Matter of the Heart - Acrylic and texture on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

Matter of the Heart – Acrylic and texture on canvas, 40 x 30 inches


And here are a couple of detail shots.

Matter of the Heart II Detail 4

Matter of the Heart II Detail 3

I hope you’re having a creative week.



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