Saturday, February 16, 2019

January began a new year here at Mountain Art Quilters, as well as bringing a special treat. Sandra Bruce, a former MAQ member and quilter extraordinaire, gave a slideshow presentation on "Art and Fear." We also completed our second name tag exchange, welcomed a new member, and strutted our stuff. Please join us for a wonderful journey through quiltdom!

Art and Fear

by Sandra Bruce

We were fortunate to have Sandra Bruce as our presenter this month.  She shared her journey in art, the lessons she has learned along the way, and the fear that dogs an artist on that journey.  Sandra did not start out as a quilter.  She had been drawing since the age of six and suggests that by drawing 'what is in front of your face,' one can become skilled.  Her art career began with illustration and lettering and has embraced wearables and polymer jewelry as well as quilts.

Sandra's first quilt was hand-pieced and hand-quilted, and a showcase of traditional blocks.

"Color Dance"
"Color Dance" was Sandra's transitional quilt, a bridge between traditional quilts and art quilting.  Art making involves skills and knowledge (such as color theory) that can be learned.

Sandra reminded us that failures are an essential part of the creative process.  This octopus quilt featured a slew of yo-yo's, painstakingly sewn on to the quilt surface.  But Sandra soon realized that the yo-yo's had become the focal point and that wasn't the effect she wanted, so the yo-yo's had to go.

This is the finished quilt after the yo-yo's were replaced with circles of hand-dyed silk organza.  To others, the final the finished piece is 'the thing,' but to the artist, it's all about the journey and the learning that takes place.

"Matteo 2014"
This quilt explored the importance of value in a study of black, white and grays.

"Dame Lorraine"

This intriguing figure was based on a photo taken by a friend of Sandra's.  Sandra removed a distracting background and then focused on getting the eyes right.  Perfect Circles were used to create the 'beads,' and the quilt was enhanced with hand-embroidery and hot-fix crystals.  Sandra entered the quilt in the Houston show and received some critical comments from the judge.  Sandra took the criticism in stride and reminds us to "do what you are happy doing" and that "Simply courting approval, even that of peers, puts a dangerous amount of power in the hands of the audience.  Ben Rosenfeld, Art and Fear. 

One last bit of advice -- do something that scares you, such as appearing on "Quilting Arts TV," or going zip-lining, or even braving the existential terror of a car wash.


And a last look at a few of Sandra's matrix quilts.  This quilt, based on a photo of a Syrian refugee, has travelled all around the U.S.

If you look closely at Zara's eyes, you will see both the photographer and the desert sands reflected there.

"Summertime," a commissioned quilt

And a work in progress . . .

Name Tag Exchange

We did this project a while back -- write a few little-known facts (or lies!) about yourself on a slip of paper, throw it in the hat, and draw out the name of one of your fellow members.  Then create a name tag for that person using any or all of the information provided.  Well, with so many new members, it was time to repeat the project.  Some of us had so much fun the first time around, we participated again just for the heck of it.  As you can see, the name tags are a varied as their creators!

New Member Showcase

by Ginny Petersen
It seems we have new members just about every month now, and we are thrilled to have the energy, talent, skill, and interest they bring to the group.  Our newest member, Ginny, shared this quilt she made, which was quilted by Cherie Shaeffer of Quilts in the Attic.

"The Barn"
Another lovely quilt by Ginny.  This one was begun in a class at Whistle Stop taught by Candy Brown.

Show and Tell

"Sunset Squared"
by Shelli Fried
One of our newer members, Shelli was unable to participate in October's challenge due to an injury.  This quilt had been destined for the "Driven to Abstraction" challenge and was inspired by a class at Asilomar.  Shelli created this quilt as a series of mini-quilts, some of them sitting on top of the larger background quilt.  This is the first quilt she has completed entirely by herself, and Shelli credits Michelle Peerson for having given her the support and encouragement she needed.

"Message in a Bottle"
by Jane Haworth
Several of our members entered the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) challenge this year.  The theme, "Shifting Tides," inspired this quilt by Jane.  The quilt features the Mid-Way Atoll where plastic debris has become a huge problem.  Jane quotes a CNN report from December of 2016: "The Eastern island is now littered with tiny fragments of plastic. The birds die and decay, but the plastic inside them stays forever in the sand -- a layer of man's doing that will never go away.  Midway will probably vanish under rising ocean levels before the plastic decays."

by Ann Sanderson
Ann's entry into the SAQA challenge was this depiction of eel grass, painted on fabric.  It took Ann three tries to get the effect she wanted -- she ended up painting on linen fabric and adding some interest with commercial fabrics.  Ann was inspired by her concern for Bodega Bay where the eel grass, a critical habitat for dungeness crabs, salmon, and oysters, is dying off.

"Pacific Garbage Patch(work)"
by Lynn Tubbe
Lynn's goal this past year was to show her quilts in new venues, and she succeeded with this entry into SAQA's "Shifting Tides" challenge.  This quilt includes a little fish made in a sun-dying class, and pieces of plastic painstakingly hand-stitched with mono-filament thread.  Congratulations to Lynn, as well as Sig Simonds and Jackie Manley for having their quilts selected for the traveling exhibit!

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