Saturday, October 31, 2009

Art Every Day

I don't know about anyone else, but I need a creative kick in the butt to get moving on my art right now! I just signed up for Art Every Day Month and plan to make art or at least work on my creative process every day in November. Lisa, the organizer, has already made me feel welcome. Join me!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ni Una Mas at DePaul University

I wish I could say that I dazzled the students. I realized how much I feed off an audience when I speak. Actually, it wasn't bad. The audience just didn't seem interested in the art. However, they were interested in the issues surrounding Juarez. I did get one question. With the naming vigil happening immediately following the panel discussion the room cleared quickly. Judith had an emergency and couldn't make it which was disappointing. I was really looking forward to meeting her. I think she is an amazing artist. Still glad I went. I'd do it again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Heart n Hands Guild

I'm in O'Fallon, Illinois to give my lecture "Connecting Cultures: An American Artist's Pilgrimage" to the Heart n Hands Guild tonight at 7. If you're in the neighbor, stop by and say "hi." I love giving lectures and sharing. Huge trunk show! Can't wait!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

They are our daughters, our sisters

Pinch me. I still cannot believe that my quilt "They are our daughters, our sisters" will be included in the exhibit "Rastros y Cronicas: Women of Juarez" at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago (1852 W 19th St) from October 16, 2009 - February 14, 2010. I began making this quilt after being asked to teach a class based on what is happening to young women in Juarez, Mexico. The quilt was made over several months as I read articles and books, watched videos and frankly cried. When I lived in Texas (1994-1998), I had read articles that would occasionally pop up in the newspaper about the women being tortured, raped and killed in Juarez and like many things that we read, it passes from our mind. I was surprised to hear that women were still being killed. Since 1993, more than 500 women have been killed in Ciudad Juarez in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua (just over the border from El Paso, Texas). My piece was not planned but evolved. It was important to me to have a cross for every women (girls since the youngest is 10) that has died. It is important for me that it compels the viewer to comprehend and sympathize with what the victims endured and what the loved ones who are left behind continue to face. We must not forget or ignore the loss because we are all connected.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Article In Quilter's Newsletter about Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories

I love to write. I write in my journal sometimes three or four times a day. I love to write letters. I dream of writing books. I've written articles that have appeared in different publications. I've written for Quilter's Newsletter several times. It's always nice when someone sees and comments on something that I have written. I have an article that is in Quilter's Newsletter's October/November issue on the Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories (Q.S.O.S.). Q.S.O.S. is an oral history project of the Alliance for American Quilts and it is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month. I have been involved in the project since the beginning. What has surprised me is how many people have read and sent me comments about the article. I'm very blown away. To be honest, I wasn't sure that that many people who know me were reading the magazine. I'm thrilled that Maria Herrera, Lois Beardslee and Charlene Hughes were all featured. I'm especially thrilled about Maria because it was her first quilt!

If you're going to be in Houston for International Quilt Festival and you're free Friday morning, let me know and I'll get you an invitation to the celebration. If someone had told me that I would dedicate 10 years of my life (thousands of hours and thousands of dollars) I would have told them that they were crazy. Looking back it has been a great 10 years with lots of adventures and so many opportunities to connect with people and to give back in a real and meaningful way to this wonderful community that I belong. And I got to write about it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Felt Quilt

Feltmaking has a long tradition in Georgia (country not state) and I became fascinated by the process on my very first visit. Before making this piece, I had felted three times when I was in Georgia. With Inga (feltmaker from Holland), I made a ball. I also have a cube that she made me which I keep in my studio. With Elska (another feltmaker from Holland), I made a small purse. And with my good friend Maia, I felted a scarf I knitted. It took more than six hours and my hands became bloody. This is done by hand not with a machine of any kind. We decided that thinner yarn was the way to go next time!

To help me with my grieving over not going back this fall, I attempted felting again and this time decided to also make it into a quilt. I'm not sure I will ever make a great felter but it is fun to play. My house kind of disappeared but I was able to embroider it back in. The tree definitely came out different than I envisioned and I like it! I added beads to remind me of the incredible night skies that I have experienced while in Georgia. The moon is dupioni silk, another love of mine, that I had appliqued. It's 13 inches by 12 inches.

The buttons are from my trip to Maine. Georgia has these amazing walls made from black stones and I wanted to somehow to include them. Anyway, aren't the buttons cool? My friend Elizabeth turned me on to them. They are from a company called "Island Stone." kariska the artist who makes them says, "summer island living and nature's artistry are the inspirations for my work with hand selected beach stones I create unique adornments." If you would like some buttons, check out her etsy

Feltmaking makes you slow down. There is just no rushing the process. It gave me time to reflect on the times and friends in Georgia. I would close my eyes and be transported.