Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Songbird is inspired from a photo taken in Casper, Wyoming. Canaries known for their songbird capabilities are some of the most beautiful and delicate birds known to man. Ever hear the phrase, canary in a coal mine? It refers to these gentle creatures that were used by early coal miners to determine whether or not carbon monoxide or methane had leaked into a mine. When the miners would carry the canary into the mine, if any of these gases were present, the poor creature would die and therefore alert the men that poisonous gases were indeed present, thereby saving many lives. These gentle birds make some of the most beautiful sounds and exemplify such grace. To commemorate their valiant sacrifice, I have created Songbird which measures 24X18 and is a whole cloth painted piece. I wanted to employ natural fibers to echo an organic feel and consequently chose a bamboo/cotton blend for the background. Acrylic paints were used to freehand paint the image. People often ask what type of paints, I use. Really, I have been known to use any and everything available to me. If I am using an acrylic paint not made specifically for fabric, I will add a fabric medium. There are so many paints on the market, today. I love the Setacolor and Golden paints but I am also pretty happy with the Deco Art SoSoft. All three are wonderful at maintaining the "hand of the fabric" so to speak. Acrylic paints not formulated for textiles often make the fabric stiff even with a fabric medium. The Jacquard paints are also fun to use, especially when you want to impart a metallic essence to a piece. Here, I have used Setacolor, Golden, DecoArt SoSoft and acrylic paints with fabric medium. To continue with the organic feel, I incorporated bamboo batting and a cotton backing. This piece is heavily quilted with Superior SuperBright Fluorescent Trilobal polyester thread, Highlights and Living Colors threadline by Hollis Chatellain. Edges are finished with a facing. This is the third yellow bird in my wildlife series following Tranquility and Sir William. Each is individually unique and capture moments in time. This piece commemorates the canaries that have helped save so many coal miners' lives. Songbird, For you, there will be no crying. For you, the sun will be shining like never before.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Artist Village Project Blog Tour

Welcome to the next stop on the Artist Village Blog Tour curated by the amazing Kathy York. For this stop, we’ll head southwest to the Adobe Pueblo Village. When Kathy first asked me if I would like to participate in this project, she had mentioned that I might do something that reflected my artistic style. Looking back, that would have been more along the lines of a treehouse but instead I opted to create a piece from my past. Born and raised in New Mexico, I grew up with the blending of both Spanish and Native American cultural influences in which the predominant architectural style was and still is the southwest adobe pueblo. This contemporary adobe is reminiscent of the neighborhood in which I grew up. The color change from one structure to the next was intentional to reflect the addition of one home to another as was done in the past. I wanted this piece to be durable and consequently, choices with regards to materials used for structure and foundation were extremely important. The structural forms resemble styrofoam but are actually ethofoam, a product that when bent does not snap in two as would styrofoam. The walls consist of various shades of peach to brown southwestern fabrics that have been layered and quilted with fused turquoise trim for the windows and doors. Beads were used for the doorknobs. Red rug weavings hang on ladders that were created from twigs tied together with jute. Chili ristras were strung with small chili beads and adorn three sides of the pueblo which has 5 interconnecting units complete with hand cut vigas incorporated into the roofs in the traditional style. Pottery was added to create that warm southwestern feel. The finished piece is set on a twelve inch square base and is approximately twenty inches in height. When it was complete, I couldn’t help but wonder where were the trees?! When I asked Kathy about it, she replied, “Go for it.” Her support and encouragement led me to creating 3 dimensional fiber art trees, a direction I’m not sure I would have taken otherwise. Two 3 dimensional trees were made for this village from PVC, wiring, dyed batting, lace and doilies. This has been a very pleasant and rewarding experience as it has challenged me in new directions. Thanks, Kathy for inviting me to join in on this truly amazing and delightful village. Please join us on the next stop, tomorrow with Vickie Hallmark and her fantastic bird house!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dinner at Eight Artists Presents Artist Profiles from The Space Between Exhibit

Lost Cavern is my rendition of The Space Between. This is a piece that I have been dreaming about creating for some time. I love the surreal feeling I get when I see photos of underwater caves. It is almost as if time stands still and you are in some type of enchanted place where nature appears to be at its best. Mysteries abound and beckon to be revealed. I am so excited that Lost Cavern was accepted into the juried invitational, The Space Between, curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison. The exhibit is sponsored by Moore's Sewing Centers and will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, California on July 29-31, 2011. On Monday, May 9, 2011, I will be the featured artist in The Space Between Artists Profile on Dinner @ Eight Artists. Please join us at to learn more about the exhibit and participating artists.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rainbow of Color

My sister in law used to be a Color Consultant and has decided to pass these wonderful swatches of color on to me so that I might be able to use them in my art. Wow! It' like being a kid in a candy store. So many goodies all in one spot! Last week eight large boxes arrived at my door filled with marvelous and glorious color. It took 2 hours to unpack each one but I am thrilled beyond words. Thanks, Ann!!!! Since then, I have been dreaming about ways to use them. Mosaics, beads and backdrops are a few that come to mind. In any case, I thought I would share these photos with you as they are too cool to keep to myself! How about you? What would you do if these arrived on your doorstep?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Artist Village Project Tour

Welcome. I am so excited to be blogging about the upcoming Village Project Tour. Last summer, Kathy York initiated and organized an invitation to 17 international artists to participate in this project. This is my third invitational and I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be part of this fantastic group of artists who have all come together to create this wonderful and quite delightful 3 dimensional village. The blog tour will begin on Monday, May 2, 2011 and will conclude on May 24, 2011. The schedule is listed below. On each artist's day, you can visit their blog or website to see their creation and read about their inspiration. I hope you will stop by each and every site. They are all quite a treat for the eyes!! There are trees and even people included in the village. This project has been entered into Tactile Architechture and we are hoping it gets juried in so that it may be shared with many people. Please wish us luck and join us on the blog tour!

Susan Else (website) May 2
Frances Holliday Alford May 3
Pamela Allen (website) May 4
Frieda Anderson May 5
Lisa Call May 6
Jane Davila May 9
Naomi Adams May 10
Jamie Fingal May 11
Barb Forrister May 12
Vickie Hallmark May 13
Connie Hudson May 16
Leslie Jenison May 17
Sherri McCauley May 18
Judy Perez May 19
Melanie Testa May 20
Laura Wasilowski May 23
Kathy York May 24