Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dinner at Eight Artists Debut at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach 2011

Lost Cavern by Barb Forrister
Welcome to the International Quilt Festival at Long Beach. The show will run July 29-31 at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. This is truly one of the best venues around and I am sad to say that I will be missing it! I love all the special exhibits like West Coast Wonders and The Space Between, both of which make their debut at Long Beach. There are some absolutely fantastic pieces to be seen. This year, Dinner at Eight Artists presents The Space Between, a juried invitational exhibit curated by Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal. The exhibit sponsored by Moore’s Sewing Centers and Brother International will include artwork by Natalya Aikens, Steni Mezhda Sosedyami, Frances Holliday Alford, Betty Amador,

Lost Cavern Detail by Barb Forrister

Astrid Bennett, Loris Bogue, Deborah Borschert, Paula Chung, Joanell Connolly, Cindy Cooksey, Jamie Fingal, Barb Forrister, Linda Frost, Terry Grant, Desiree Habicht, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Lyric Kinard, Susan King, Pam Klebaum, Sherry Kleinman, Susan Brubaker Knapp, Jane LaFazio, Jayne Larson, Gwen Mayer, Linda T. Minton, Susie Monday, Jeannie Moore, Rachel Parris, Judy Perez, Yvonne Porcella, Wen Redmond, Karen Rips, Carolyn Ryan, Cynthia St. Charles, Julie Schlueter, Teresa Shippy, Gayle Simpson, Sarah Ann Smith, Terry Waldron, Laura Cater-Woods, Kathy York, Please join us at to learn more about the exhibit and participating artists. Should be a fantastic show!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Artist Garden

Artist Garden is a group collaboration inspired by Connie Hudson. Connie is an amazing photographer and on one of her vacations, she came across a beautiful garden in Pennsylvania. With camera in hand, she began taking photos of all the breathtaking flowers present. When she returned, she told  a story of how certain flowers reminded her of each one of us. We were all sent photos of one or more flowers and asked to recreate them in our own signature style. I was given the three photos below. One with tiger lilies, another with some sort of blue bell flower and yet another with fern leaves. I am wild about leaves! We were each given a block size with which to create and we mapped out a grid pattern as described. Top row: Connie Hudson, Cindy Henneke and Annie Smith. Middle row: Frances Holliday Alford, Leslie Tucker Jenison and Sherri McCauley. Bottom row: Kathy York, Barb Forrister and Suzan Engler. You can imagine how pleasantly surprised we were when they all came together as one. So much fun and all so very different!  I love this piece and best of all it has been juried into the International Quilt Festival World of Beauty 2011 Show! Happy Days! Thanks so much Connie for your amazing photos, heartfelt friendship and amazing inspiration! You rock!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

International Quilt Festival World of Beauty 2011: Songbird

Songbird by Barb Forrister
 Wow, I am so jazzed that Songbird has been accepted into the International Quilt Festival World of Beauty Judged Show this year. Yesterday, I received my notification emails, one skinny and one fat! Hey, I'm totally happy with that! I always find it intriguing when one makes it and the other does not, especially when they are done in the same style. A different panel of judges, perhaps work does not fit in the exhibit or perhaps that photo just did not do the work justice. Who knows?  I can say that while my work is exhibited into the special exhibits, it is increasingly difficult to make the finalist list for the judged show at Houston. Ask me how I know. I have not done it since 2008. Yet each year, I throw my hat in the ring because after all, you can't make it if you don't try. Perseverance is one of the best lessons, my father has ever taught me and yes, it does pay off. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again! And so it goes! I am equally blessed that our group quilt, Artist Garden also made the finalist list. I will be blogging about that later next week. It was an absolutely fantastic project that I am blessed to be a part of. For now, I will continue to dance and celebrate. I have a feeling it is going to be a wonderful year! Texas is celebrating its 175th year anniversary, this year and Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O Brien Puentes will be releasing their book, Texas Lone Stars III. To commemorate the event, there will be a special exhibit at festival featuring quilt makers that are portrayed in the book. I will have two pieces, Little Boy Blue and Life's A Beach as well as our art quilt, Group Conversations. Additionally, Generation Y:  Song of Hope in Celebrate Spring, "Austin tatious" in In Full Bloom, Lost Cavern in The Space Between and my Adobe Pueblo entry in It Takes A Village, a 3 dimensional collaboration with 14 international artists which will make its debut in Tactile Architecture Exhibit. Other wonderful news includes the opening of Karey's new museum as well as  the  Alliance for American Quilts headed by Amy Milne interviewing and recording Save Our Stories. Like I said, It's going to be an absolutely fabulous year! Can't wait for the fun to begin!  Dance!
Songbird (Detail) By Barb Forrister

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Transferring Fiber Art to Canvas

Little Rascals by Barb Forrister Full Image on Canvas
Have you ever wanted to make prints of your artwork? The concept is intriguing.  I enjoy collecting art. It is aesthetically pleasing and makes me happy. However, good artwork can be costly. At least for me, I find that some beautiful works of art are just not in my budget, no matter how much I love them! Yes, I suppose if I had all the money in the world, it would not be an issue but unfortunately, that is not the case. And yet, I wonder how many other folks feel the same way. Would they be willing to purchase a print at a lower cost than the original?  At least that way, they would be able to take a piece home that they love without putting too much strain on the pocketbook. For this reason, I have been contemplating the idea of transferring some of my artwork to canvas prints. I recently saw a piece by a local artist here in Austin. The quality was quite good! I had never tried this before and was pleasantly surprised when I was contacted by to review their product using one of my own art images. I found their website quite easy to navigate and they offered a nice selection of services. You can choose prints in a large variety of sizes either in a 0.75" or 1.5" gallery wrap. Images can be converted to sepia or black and white, if so desired. They also offer minor and major retouching of photographs. For the borders, you can opt for a wrapped or mirror image or alternatively for a solid colored border. So many options and all at a very affordable price! They are currently offering a promotion with 25% off all orders and free shipping within the United States. Such a deal! I think I will try ordering some more prints and see where this takes me. I am hoping that perhaps in doing so, I will be able to appeal to a larger audience and therefore, be able to share more of my artwork with others. I love this concept!
Little Rascals by Barb Forrister Detail Image on Canvas

Friday, July 8, 2011


Emerald Treasures VI: Sirena represents a celebration of aquatic life. Triple digit temperatures and 85% humidity here in Austin have led me to create another turtle in the Emerald Treasures series. I think perhaps, I must be yearning for the ocean! This mixed media piece is a 10X10 painted silk mounted on a 12X12 painted canvas. The background is sponge painted,  followed by placing a resist image of the turtle. Additional paint was applied to fill in the turtle image. The shells were subsequently stamped and the turtle's eye was inked with Inktense pencils. The seaweed is composed of machine wrapped cording. In and amongst the seaweed are actual shells and fossils that adorn the ocean floor. Machine quilted with an ocean theme in mind, the coral and turtle are reinforced with Superior trilobal polyester thread while the water is depicted using Glitter Hologram flat metallic thread. 3 Dimensional acrylic paint was used to provide additional texture to the coral. Sirena was created to bring joy and celebrate the return of aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico following the oil spill. It is my hope that she continue to  grow and once again propagate, the way nature was meant to be.