Kentucky Crafted: The Market Wednesday, Feb 18 2009 

This weekend Kentucky Crafted: The Market will be at the Kentucky Exposition Center, South Wing B. The market allows Kentucky artisans to show off their work to wholesalers and retailers on Friday. Then the market is opened to the public.

The market is a wonderful opportunity to see who’s who in the Kentucky art scene. You can see what new crafts and art are being made here. You can see what’s hot. Many artisans will be doing demonstrations, so you can see first-hand how they ply their trade. You can make contacts with other like-minded individuals, and you can BUY ART and CRAFTS!!

I would like to encourage anyone who has time to attend the Market. If you go to their Kentucky Crafted website, you can get a $3-off coupon. Hope to see you there.

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What’s the Word? Tuesday, Jun 24 2008 

My friend Kate has sent me a new toy — Check out Wordle. Here is my first try.  This application, created by by Jonathan Freiberg, creates what he calls “word clouds” out of text you provide.

What, my husband asks, are they good for?

Quite a bit. Use the images as collage elements. Print them onto fabric. They create something vibrant and fun out of sometimes mundane thoughts. And, since the program will remove common terms and give greater emphasis to words it sees more frequently in the original text, it can give you insight into what you may have really been thinking when you wrote the piece.

You’ve just gotta try it!

And Now for Something Completely Different Sunday, Jun 15 2008 

The Mixed Media Monday Challenge sounded easy …

At first.

Try something different. I’m enough of a newbie, that this sounded pretty simple. But there were so many options that I had a great deal of difficulty deciding what to do.

Fortunately, I had just finished reading Jamie Fingal’s Embellished Mini-Quilts. One of the artists mentioned a challenge she had tried in which the instructor asked them to pick a book, go to a particular page and read the first sentence of the third paragaph (or something along those lines) and use that as a basis for creating a design. I figured I’d give it a go, and selected the book The Complete Monty Python’s Flying Circus: All the Words; went to page 66, moved to the fourth paragraph, and found the line: “I think you’re an encyclopaedia salesman.” From episode 5, Burglar/Encyclopaedia Salesman.

I’m not sure why I chose a compilation of Monty Python television scripts for this challenge. I guess because trying something new made me hear the phrase “and now for something completely different.”

Anyway, here it is: Encyclopaedia Sketch:

Dance by the Sea Sunday, Jun 8 2008 

This week’s Mixed Media Monday theme is “By the Sea.” I’ve created a seaside and added a dancer to the scene. She is a silhouette I found on Istockphoto.com. I used the silhouette to cut out part of an illustrated manuscript. I am calling on her to dance as though no one is watching. I know it’s cliche, but they are still words to remember.

As usual, this was a Photoshop experiment.

Collaging in html Tuesday, May 27 2008 

Jim ChenI have a very talented friend, Jim Chen, whose skills are impressive. He has been lamenting of late his perceived limits in art and design. I must laugh at him, though. He doesn’t paint, true. He doesn’t manipulate clay or fiber. But it is amazing what he can do with html coding.

Jim’s ability to link words with sounds, images, colors, and hyperlinks in a cohesive way on his blog is masterful. He can write out codes to tweak colors, play with table cell size, and flow the images and words like a collage. Heck. He doesn’t even SEE his layout except in his mind’s eye as he writes code to tell the web browser how to show others his vision.

If that’s not art, I don’t know what is.

Here are a couple of Jim’s pieces. (I will warn you–they are graphic heavy, so be patient in the download.)

The detail of the pattern is movement (Illustrates a passage from T.S. Eliot.)

Schattenfreude (Illustrating his own poetry)

Pens and Pencils Sunday, May 25 2008 

St. Flannery, patron saint of southern gothic writingSt. Flannery

Mixed Media Monday has a weekly challenge. I’ve been lurking on the site for a few weeks now, seeing the wonderful images that people have shared. I’ve finally decided that I wanted to share.

This week’s challenge is Pens and Pencils. Thinking about pens and pencils led me to words. Words led to writers, and writers to Flannery O’Connor. O’Connor is a wonderful writer with a dark and southern sensibility that not all readers can enjoy. She is a muse and an inspiration.

Maysville Saturday, May 24 2008 

I went to Maysville, Ky., for a few days. Maysville is at a bend in the Ohio River, across from Aberdeen, Ohio. It’s a pretty town with a great deal of pride in its history and its preservation.

My husband was there to research; I took the time to check out some beautiful architecture and find some good photos. Hope you enjoy.

Finding Workshops in Louisville Friday, May 16 2008 

I attended my second LAFTA (Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists) meeting last night, and the program included a “show and tell” of works and techniques members developed from attending workshops. These artists shared some beautiful textiles, books, and collage that were either created during (or because of) workshops they attended. Almost every presenter had a wonderful story to tell about the experience of learning, and the importance of taking classes/workshops to expand one’s art.

The presentations did lead to expressions of frustration regarding findingclasses and workshops close to home. While some of those in attendance belong to a variety of organizations that not only host such programs but also promote all opportunities, many of us have limited informational resources and often feel that we are too late in finding out about workshops and the like. The group has agreed to try to share more of this information among LAFTA members through email announcements.

In the mean time, I thought I would share a few of the resources that the group suggested for finding workshops:

Visit Galleries. Ask both gallery owners and the artists who display there if there are any educational opportunities. Don’t be afraid to give someone your card and ask to be contacted if a workshop will be held.

Check the Leo Weekly, under A&E Listings — both gallery exhibits and workshops are listed. (As of the writing of this entry, the Leo’s web page was down, but I found several listings in the paper itself, which comes out every Wednesday.)

The Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft offers adult classes. Their Summer schedule isn’t up as of this posting, but I will try to remember to let you guys know if and when it is posted.

The Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society has annual retreats and shows that it promotes to its members. (True. I don’t think anything is generally in Louisville per se, but most events are within a day’s drive.)

The Embroiderer’s Guild of America (housed right downtown) offers classes, both online and in-house,  and has a nice collection of free projects and listings of embroidery-related events.

Friends & Colleagues. Finally, we often forget how creative and generous those we know can be. If one of your colleagues has a great technique, why not ask him or her to consider offering a workshop? You can even host the event at your own home or studio!

Of art and insects Saturday, May 3 2008 

In a recent post, Jim Chen  of Jurisdynamics references Jo Whaley’s Theater of Insects. He provides an enjoyable discussion of giantism in insects and the global weather implications. However, I would like those who quilt to consider the beauty of Whaley’s images and the possibilities they provide for design and art.

In the example to the left, the split in colors and balance between the beetle and the sphere are exquisite. It reminds me of some of Sharon McCartney’s work–or perhaps, the work of Judy Coates Perez, and tempts me to produce striated, distressed fabric with such imagery as applique.

I am always amazed by the beauty of nature, and the beauty of the mundane (how often do we look at members of the beetle family with indifference if not disdain?)

Thanks Jim.

The sirens call Wednesday, Apr 30 2008 

SirensI have started eight quilts since I rented my studio space, and still the sirens call me to do more.

Keep going.

I awake at night with visions of cloth and color demanding my attention. I walk down the sidewalk and see the colors of nature and envision how I can re-create them in fabric.

Try something new.

Thus far, only two quilts are finished (with two more at the binding stage), so I am actually completing some of the work. But the sirens don’t call me to finish. They cry out for me to start something new. With every step in the process on one quilt, the sirens sing to me of the beautiful things we could do if we started a new project. If I heed the sirens, will I wreck upon the reefs, completing nothing? Or can I let them drive me to create, tame their voices and reach closure on each project?

I don’t know.

But right now, the sirens call, and I must follow them.

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