Monday, November 03, 2014

Around the World Blog Post

When my friend Gerrie Congdon emailed and asked if I'd like to take part in the Around the World Blog Post, I was honored.  You see, I've admired Gerrie both as a person and an artist for a very long time.  I first became aware of her uber talented daughter Lisa (not that Gerrie and her other daughter Stephanie are any less talented, but I found Lisa first!), but then when Lisa casually made reference to her Mom, I had to check out her blog, and as it is said, that's all she wrote!  We have since met in person at least twice, and we've roomed together at SDA conferences.  Gerrie is a very dedicated SDA member and if you go to a conference, you will certainly meet her there!  But her work and her warm and outgoing personality are what first drew me in, and made me a fan.  Her choice of colors is always top notch, as is her layout and presentation.  And she and I are just insanely crazy at times when we get together, which is a blessing in this world of ours.

So, if you aren't familiar with the format of the 
Around the World Blog Post, here goes:

What am I working on now:
My current piece is called Painted Buckeye and it is based on a series of prints that I made last Spring, using one of my Gelli Print Plates.  I had discovered the Painted Buckeye tree on our property while it was blooming, and because I didn’t know what it was, I identified it in my tree book.  I liked its blossom and the shape of the leaves, so I spent a glorious afternoon printing them in various colors on yards and yards of cotton.  The British fiber artist Cas Holmes had just spent a wonderful week visiting with us here, and I was feeling the influence of some of her work.  Cas then went to San Diego to visit and teach with my friend Jane LaFazio.  I feel that Jane’s work also influences me quite heavily. So now I’m spending hours and hours happily stitching on all of my fabulous monoprints, both by machine and hand.  At some point I will join all of the pieces together - I do have a plan!

After I've chosen my color palette, I hand-dye my perle coton and embroidery floss, and then figure out what stitches I'll use.

Above are several pieces on my design wall.  Both hand and machine stitching have been incorporated here and below.

Pieces like this just bring me happiness - it matters not what becomes of them.

How does my work differ from others of its genre:
I normally work on my own hand-dyed silks (as opposed to cotton), piecing them together and then quilting them, or simply applying them to a layer of eco felt through fusing, a la my mentor Jane Dunnewold.  That said, I have found that I am then limited in the venues that will show these pieces (as three layers stitched together is the customary requirement).  Until that changes, I am now doing more hand and machine quilting/stitching.  At the same time, I am reminded of Mahatma Gandhi's quote: 
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world".

Why do I write/create what I do?
I have to!  I long ago discovered that I am a ‘maker’ - even way back in the days of the looped pot holders.  It just gives me such satisfaction!  I am not one to sit around, I really don’t like to shop, and I receive such joy when I am creating.  In the evenings after dinner, we like to watch a few favorite TV shows, baseball games or movies.  If I’m not doing hand embroidery, then I’m knitting….because otherwise I’ll fall asleep!  I cannot just sit.

How does my writing/creating process work?
I am heavily influenced by the natural world around me.  I have two large dogs who thankfully require long daily walks, so I am out with them enjoying the out of doors a lot!  We also live on a very beautiful and peaceful lake, where I spend idyllic hours kayaking.  So nature is always sending me subconscious messages.  I’m a very light sleeper, often waking at 3:00 AM with the vision of a piece of art or a color scheme running through my mind.  This vision then leads me to thinking about the steps required to create such a piece.  At that point, I really should get up and jot down notes, and even make a  sketch in one of my sketchbooks, but I don’t - I rely upon my memory, which isn’t always a great idea!  Later that day I will sketch it and refine it, then photograph my work as it progresses, which leads to more refining.  

Two of my fiber friends have graciously agreed to carry on the torch in the Around the World Blog Post.  
Maggi Birchenough is a British textile artist
whom I have never met in person, but feel like I've known forever - and we would be fast friends if she lived nearby.
She is very active in SAQA, in fact she is the new co-rep for Europe and the Middle East region.  I love the way Maggi manipulates her own wonderful photographs, layers them on fabric, and makes glorious quilted art.  And to top it off: she knits!!!
Martha Myers is an Atlanta fiber artist whom I met during Cas Holmes's workshop here last Spring.  She is a fantastic seamstress, and also a very talented artist. I will never forget how Cas challenged Martha to design and construct a wearable top out of a piece of art she (Martha) had created in class.  Within hours it was completed and Cas wore it that evening during her presentation.  
Very impressive! 

Look for their Around the World Blog Posts next Monday, November 10th.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

.....and if you haven't already done soplease visit all of the links I've listed above, but most especially the blogs of 
Gerrie Congdon, Maggie Birchenough, and Martha Myers.

Peace to you and yours!


yvette said...

great post Judy!

Ginny Huber said...

Hi Judy: Just getting back on track after much travel and dental surgery a week gladto see your inspiring and impressive blog post..I'm a big fan of the palette, your design all must be glorious to have near and I have special delighting the last photo.. If /when i get to be a better sewer I will be doing some new things with my bits of silk!! Thanks..

Connie Rose said...

Awesome work, Judy! That photos of your design wall...could be a quilt just like it is. Love the colors.

Carol said...

A really lovely post, Judy, and I love learning more about you. I've just spent half an hour reading Gerrie's blog, nice to get to know her, too. Hugs xxx

Jeannie said...

Your buckeye pieces are fabulous! I agree with Connie - they look wonderful the way you have them on the design wall. Makes me want to go plant a buckeye (Carl is from Ohio, so seems appropriate.). Loved the post and the concept is fun. Off to read some more. Have a wonderful week!

Maggi said...

Such an interesting post Judy. I feel that I know you even better now. I've enjoyed reading Gerrie's post too. All I need to do now is to get my post ready to go.

Mary said...

I came to your blog via Martha, who I admire greatly. What beautiful work with the leaves! I am taken with your soft colors and stitching. So delightful to have found your blog, Mary