Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Queen of The Nile

Queen of The Nile was inspired by a love for Egyptian Hieroglyphic paintings on papyrus. I wanted to see if I could transfer an original design onto fiber and impart the feel of the paper and the graphics of the Egyptian culture. This piece measures 17" X 19 3/4." A sketch was first drawn of the Queen sitting upon her throne. Palm fronds tend to be a reocurring theme and consequently she is portrayed here holding a couple of fronds in her hands. Her throne is painted with fiber paints, gold foiled and stitched with decorative threads. The Egypyian heiroglyphics seen in the four cartouches were stamped with gold paint and outline stitched to give more definition. The large cartouch pictured in lapis behind her spells out the greatest Queen of all, Cleopatra. The remaining three cartouches above her are meant to be seen as writings on the wall. This piece is machine appliqued and quilted, painted, gold foiled and stamped. The quilting was done in an effort to impart patterns and textures that you see in Egyptian artwork. The piece was finished with a facing such that it is allowed to float rather than be contained by borders. Queen of The Nile was mounted onto a red painted canvas and measures 24X30. All in all, I am pleased with the results and am ecstatic that I was finally able to use those stamps I purchased a few years ago while on a visit to Estes Park. I have never used stamps in my work before but these particular ones seemed to suit the design. Perhaps next time, I will do a piece entitled The Betrothed where the Pharoah offers his Queen palm fronds. Truly this piece came together so quickly and was a joy to make.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Austin Bergstrom International Airport Austin Fiber Artists 2009 Exhibit

Today, I just visited the airport. The Austin Fiber Artists have been invited to exhibit at The Austin Bergstrom International Airport. The exhibit is currently on display and will run through November 3 in the Airside West Gallery located on the concourse behind The Book People bookstore across from Gate 10. The exhibit can only be seen in the airport past security checkpoints. It contains artwork from many different artists including Kharon Clark, Martha Tshilas, Jean Dahlgren, Pam Farley, Barb Forrister, Mary Ann Vaca Lambert, Diana Ramirez, Ruthie Powers, Caryl Gaubatz, Dena Crain, Barbara Sandberg, Dee Merrell and many more. The art ranges from beautiful hand dyed fabrics, hand woven pieces, art quilts, knitted work, needle felted hats to folded fabric origami mobiles. It is an absolutely fanta
stic display. If you are travelling to or through Austin, this is a wonderful site to see. In the baggage claim area, they have several very large guitars that have been hand carved and painted to commemorate Austin's music life that is home to Austin City Limits. You can read more about it on the the airport's art exhibits page listed here at In addition, to their visual art exhibits, they have live music playing periodically. Such a fantastic treat for both eyes and ears!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Story of Emerald Treasures

Some folks have asked that I post the story of Emerald Treasures so that it might be an inspiration to other artists who have had pieces damaged. I can tell you there is hope even when all seems to be lost. In July, Emerald Treasures was featured in the International Quilt Festival Commemorative Catalogue as one of the Selected Exhibits for West Coast Wonders II. It can also be seen on their website under Vidcasts and Selected Special Exhibits West Coast Wonders II. This is such exciting news to me as this quilt has a story of it's own. Completed a year ago, this month, Emerald Treasures was accepted into the American Legacy Quilt Show in Tifton, Georgia along with it's counterpart "Life's A Beach." It was the first time out for both of these quilts and I was thrilled to hear that "Life's A Beach" placed second while "Emerald Treasures" placed third in the Art Quilt Category. Upon their return home, however, the box got caught in a conveyor belt and Emerald Treasures was badly damaged. The picture above shows some of the damage. Her head was decapitated and large chunks of her shell were missing. There were several holes clear through the quilt. After taking her to an appraiser, the quilt was deemed irreparable. She sat on my table for weeks until I got the call from IQF that she had been accepted into West Coast Wonders II travelling venue scheduled to debut in Long Beach, California. This glimmer of hope that she could be restored helped spur me along. I painted another head and began repairing her shell. I was so lucky to have some of the beads left over from when she was first made. Still, there were holes that extended clear through all three layers of the quilt and a nasty gash near her neck. The holes were repaired with Misty Fuse and the gash was covered by adding a layer of dyed scrim to simmilate a shadow below. At last, she was able to travel once more and for that, I was extremely grateful. I was happy enough to settle for that peace of mind knowing that she could once again be seen and enjoyed by others. Imagine the thrill when one of my dear friends who was visiting the show emailed me a copy of her featured in the IQF catalogue! It brought tears to my eyes knowing that she was being received well and that the extra effort in resurrecting her had paid off. It is only recently, that I am able to look back on things and tell my story with a happy ending. And so there is hope even when things seem otherwise. Happy Birthday, Emerald Treasures! Live long and prosper.