Saturday, June 7, 2014

As it first piece off my new easel!! It is made for a dear friend of mine. She will know what all it means. I haven't given it to her as yet. I hope she likes it.


It is a piece which a lot of meaning but I don't want to spoil the surprise for her...although I'm not sure if she even reads my blog!  She gave me very wise counsel in a time of great confusion and helped me deal with some very difficult issues. She's an amazing woman and I'm blessed to know her.

Anyway, I told you I would show you the finished piece and here it is!!

Another canvas is already on the easel so there will me more to come!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Back In The Studio

The first week in April until now I have had a physical issue that has basically kept me out of the studio, at least creatively. I did check e-mails on occasion. But yesterday, even though the last vestiges of the physical issue are still a problem, everything changed.

Those of you who are artists probably know what I'm talking about. Yesterday I felt driven to get back to the studio. It was an actual physical, gut level, tangible feeling!! Like hunger pangs are physical. It felt like I would burst if I didn't get out here today and begin something creative. And here I am.

The first order of creative business was to assembly my new easel!! Yep, since so much of my work now involves painted canvases, I was thrilled to find this adjustable easel for an amazing price a few months ago. This morning my husband helped me assemble it and I will be pulling out the paints the minute after I publish this post!!

I know I have a number of series pieces that are running behind schedule but I feel the need to do something not "required" of me....something a bit simple but it is important. It is a piece that "came to me" recently and I'm so excited to get it started!!

Here's my new toy!! (the little table beside it is for my brushes, paints, palettes, etc.) I'll keep you posted on the new piece as it progresses. It feels SOOOOOOO great to be back in my creative environment and have the energy to actually make art!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Three Days of Pounded Fabric

Starting today, I'll be spending three days explaining and demonstrating the technique for making pounded fabric.  It's fun and rather easy but the results are wonderful.

Drop by at the And Then We Set It On Fire blog and follow along! Here's a picture of all you will need to have to do this technique:

See ya there!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My April Show - Granite Area Arts Council

In January I was contacted by the Granite Area Arts Council about having a show in 2015. However, shortly after that, they asked if I could be available in April because they had a cancellation. Not a problem!!

We installed everything on April 3rd and it was ready for the Opening Reception on April 4th.  Here are a few photos from the Opening Reception.

K. K. Berge Gallery
Granite Area Arts Council
Granite Falls, Minnesota
April 4 - 29, 2014


The gallery is on the river. I'm so glad they included some beautiful views out of the windows!

And, of course, some wonderful wine!
The plates were even purple!

I have a journal I am using as my own guest book at my shows. The pages are already painted and marked. I ask people to sign their name and draw a picture or make some kind of mark in the book. I love the collection of names and art I find after the show is over.

I now have signed and numbered prints of some of my pieces available for purchase at the shows. It is a bit of an experiment.  We'll see how it works out.

It was a wonderful weekend...met some amazing people...drove through some beautiful countryside. Thank you to all the Granite Area Arts Council for inviting me and making me so welcomed!

One last thing. I found out that locally they have an Art Meander in October. If you are anywhere near there, it would be worth checking out.  I'm planning to go so I'll be posting about it later as well.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

London Show 2014 - A Quick Look

Six of my pieces for the theme "Who Am I?" (the same that were in the Veldhoven show in October 2013) were in a show with our group just this past weekend.  Alas...I was unable to attend in person but one of our group took the following photos. (Thanks Gillian!)

The Festival of Textile Art

Here is the group exhibition 
(my six are just about in the center of this photo)

Another view

Here is a cropped view of just my pieces

Now these pieces will be coming home in June. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Another Opening Another Show!

As some of you know, one of my goals for 2014 was a solo show of my art.  That happened in January.

Near the end of the month I was contacted by the Granite Area Arts Council to see if I would be interested in a show for 2015.  My answer???? ummmm YES!!  Then when we talked shortly after that, they asked if I could be ready for the show for April.  They had a cancellation.  My answer???? ummmm YES again.  So, with short notice, I'm headed off to Granite Falls, MN next week!

We will be installing the show April 3rd.
Opening Reception April 4th

Then I'm hanging out at the gallery for some of Saturday at their request.  Sounds like fun to me!  I'm really excited to have TWO solo shows and the first half of this year! Now I have to come up with some new goal for the last half of the year.  Probably something like completing a couple of the series I have in process.....THAT might be a good idea!

Anyway, here is the announcement of the show.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Another Little Crooked House

This month the theme for one of my groups was Contrast.  My mind goes first to the B/W I love but I wanted to stretch a bit more and not be too predictable. Lots of ideas and lots of thinking.  Finally decided on contrasting Color with the B/W. Figured I would design a cute house as the main bit. Remembered my favorite photo of a Crooked Little House and thought that would make a great inspiration for this theme.  I made the little house in B/W and then on with Colors (there is also a contrast in using the pastels for the backboards of the house and brights for the boards in front).  Here is one of the little crooked houses in contrast.  BONUS!! I also have another one!!! It is still on the design wall ready to be completed later today I  hope. This one still needs the binding as well.  Busy busy later today!!!

Crooked Little House in Contrast

Here are the two pieces before cutting them and stitching/quilting them mixed up.I just feel like there will be another one made and kept as the B/ is just too cute!

I'm linking this to Nina Marie's Off The Wall Friday

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Binding Done!!

Well, I made it! I've done pieced bindings before but this one was a bear...all the angles and bits. It took all day but it was worth it!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

First of a New Series

This is the first piece of a new series I'll be doing this year.  The series is "Earth's Amazing Wonders"  OK...I is not exciting so I'll just call that the working title.  There will be at least 6 pieces done in textiles which will depict (or suggest) places that I find awe inspiring. I have the first several in the list. The remaining couple or three I've not narrowed down as yet. Oh I have my favorites though, it will just depend on what rises to the surface when the time comes.

First up is Antelope Canyon in Arizona.  When you look at photos of this location, it seems like someone when nuts with their PhotoShop. The colors are amazing and the contours of curving rock are beautiful.This is a view inspired by several photos...looking through the jewel-tone rock to a beautiful clear sky.  I hope I did it justice.

It does not yet have a binding as I have been struggling with just what to do. My current plan is to do a pieced binding that will just fit in with each part of the fabrics.  This art quilt also has a lot of stitching on it. I haven't done this amount of quilting in ages.  All the contour lines are stitched. At first I thought it would be a bit boring to do but it actually took on a rather organic feel as I didn't work to make the lines exact but rather made the undulate on purpose to pick up the flowing feeling of the actual rock.

I am linking this to Nina Marie's Off The Wall Fridays. Click there to see the work of some amazing artists!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Challenge Accepted!

OK, so the theme for January was On The Buses.  I had no idea what on earth that was about.  So, I visited my old friend Google....figuring to find scenes of people on buses, views from buses, etc.  What I DIDN'T expect to find was that "On The Buses" was a sitcom out of the UK!! As that was stumbled upon about 1am, I went to bed thinking about the theme. Before I fell asleep I knew what I wanted to do. I was inspired by one of the promo pictures for the show which used a green bus. From scenes from the actual show, I guess they usually involve the normal red buses but there was at least one scene photo with a green bus. In the morning I picked out fabrics from my hand-dyed collections.  Found the green I wanted then the background, a transparency for the windows and an old drop cloth from years ago that I kept because I thought it looked so cool.

First I FMQed a sort of cityscape (with a small hint of a nod to Big Ben). Nothing exact. I was going with the comic feel. Cut out the bus, placed the windows in the slots. Behind the windows was the fun drop cloth...again going with the fun comic feel.  I looked at putting round wheels but it all got to kitchy for me. Then I found a black very long rubber band to represent the tires. Now it was all too symmetrical. In the promo picture, there was the name of the show in red on the green bus so I grabbed a strip of red and it was just the bit of asymmetry that it needed. And here it is.....


Nope, this piece will never hang in the Louvre, but I had fun doing it...and since the theme fit with the sitcom...that seemed appropriate.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

One that had to be done

The theme for November in one of my online groups was Cosmos.  I knew immediately what I wanted to do...but my life was in turmoil and chaos and didn't calm down until just this week. I'm now looking at current deadlines and putting on my thinking cap. (Some of them are quite a challenge BTW!!!) But while I'm starting over fresh for 2014 in this one group (I was WAY too far behind to ever catch up) I just HAD to do this one.  It was originally planned for a much larger piece but doing it in 12" X 12" just seemed to be what the doctor ordered since the larger one had its beginning a few years ago and then went nowhere. it is....Deep Space.  It was inspired by a Hubble photograph of the Orion Nebula. I just love the colors and found I could make just what I wanted with hand-dyed cheesecloth!!


I'm linking this post to Nina Marie's Off The Wall Friday!

Friday, February 7, 2014

It's all in how you look at it.

OK.....some of you know how I like to pass on links about interesting and perhaps a bit unusual artists.  I received this one today and felt it would be fun to pass on.  It is only about 2 minutes and worth it if only to make you think.

It so reminded me of a tip I learned in some class a few years back.  (Sorry I can't remember just where or when so I can't give credit)  The idea was this - if you sometimes find yourself wondering about the next step in a piece or just want to see it afresh.....get a different perspective.  Sit somewhere else in the room to view it, etc.  Like the artwork done in this video....perspective can make a HUGE difference!!!

Enjoy and be inspired to see things in a new perspective!

The Brain Finally Kicks In

It is not often that I have to think very long or hard about a theme or concept I want to do for a series.  But after the two latest major deadlines, I think my brain went on a short vacation!  But the time-out had the desired effect!!

In one of the online groups I belong to, we get to choose our own projects and create at least 6 pieces for the year.  Last year was the Pecan Series.  This year I'll be working from some favorites of my own photos taken of "distressed" barns.  I'm so excited to be doing this series. Anxious to get started.  Here are 3 of my most favorites that will definitely be on the list.  Now to choose the remaining 3 from the other gazillion barn photos in my collection!

When I was copying these photos to put into my inspiration file for this series, the names just came to me.

Coming Unhinged


Now to get my studio at least cleaned up enough after the past several frantic months so I can begin!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

All Together Now

Since it has been a year long project. I decided to post all the Up Close and Personal pieces together.  They are posted along with my macro photos which inspired them. Clockwise from top left: Weathered Red Door, Ancient Cactus, Peeling Birch, Rusty Leaves, Knotty Situation, Cornered.

These six pieces are currently winging their way to France for the show there in April!!!

Up Close and Personal

Friday, January 31, 2014

Celebrating African Grandmothers

I am so honored to have been chosen to participate in this exciting event.  Now the tour is drawing to a close and tickets are on sale for the final auction.


Heroes of the continent
Tickets are selling fast! 
Forty juried works of art have toured fourteen cities.
The collection includes 
paintings, sculptures, textile art and collage.

The final auction is in March:
Friday March 7, 2014
7-10 pm
Inn at the Quay
900 Quayside Drive
New Westminster BC
Cocktail reception
No host bar
Live and silent auctions
Cash or cheque sales preferred

Here are my two pieces that have been on this year long tour.  Tears of Hope and Wall of Courage.
Click HERE to see the full gallery

Click HERE to read all about the auction and how to bid online if you wish.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

And Last but NOT least!

Number Six

Final Piece for the Voyage group exhibit in France, April 2014.

This is another of my Up Close and Personal series. The inspiration is another macro photo taken on a trip to Texas. In a small town in East Texas there was a very old log cabin in the town park. The logs were sun bleached to a beautiful gray. And the green spiky plants just added a pop of color. These green plants would very likely been tucked in a corner of the log cabin when it was lived in long years ago.

I did take a bit of license with this one. I changed the ground to a brown. I tried every green I have (and being a hand-dyer...there was a lot of options) but they all distracted from the spiky plants which I wanted to show up a bit more. Here it is with the original macro photo that inspired it.


Now to get them all in a package and they are off to France!!! Whew....then I can breathe a bit maybe?

In the meantime....I'm linking this to Nina Marie's Off The Wall Fridays!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wounded Tree (?) is completed.

And this makes FIVE ready to ship off to France by the end of the month.

This is inspired by a macro photo and one of my "Up Close and Personal" series.  The working title was Wounded Tree (and I have to leave it that way for now as that is the info sent to France.) but the more I worked with became Knotty Situation.  So after April it will have a new name!

I really have fun on this one working with Shiva sticks and bark cloth. it is with its original macro photo.

Wounded Tree (aka Knotty Situation)
Five down and one to go. Number six is well under way and will make the deadline. WHEW!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pushing the deadline again!

One of the online groups I participate with is having a group show in Beaujolais, France. The show is in April.  Because of all the work I had to complete to be ready for my solo show this month, this project got a bit behind.  I have to complete the other two pieces (which are well under way so don't worry.) and get them shipped to Europe by the end of the month.....yes.....this month.

Oh I must LOVE a challenge!!

My theme for this series is "Up Close and Personal"  The concept is to use macro photos I took myself and redo them in art quilts. I have to say...I have had so much fun with these pieces!! The previous ones are already posted in this blog if you want to see them.

Anyway, here it is......Rusty Leaves is completed!! Here it is below (on the right) along with the original macro photo on the left.

Rusty Leaves
17" X 12"

Now back to work!!! I'm linking this to Nina Marie's Off The Wall Friday!! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

After the Show

Now that the opening is over, I would like to post the four pieces that make up the Pecan series.  Each of these works is 30" X 30" mixed media/textile. 

Are you ready?

The  Sapling
 One small tree, full of the promise of things to come. Holding within itself all 
the potential for the future harvest.

Summer  Grove
Growing life is all around, from the closest tree to the ones along the far hills. 
Encouragement that all is as it should be and moving in the right direction.

The fruits of labor and nature combine to begin the emergence of the long
held hope as it peeks out of its protective covering to take on the world.
(This one is sold)

Winter  Harvest
At long last, the promise is fulfilled. The potential is realized. The harvest is 
at hand and all the work and waiting proves worthwhile.

I hope you enjoy them!

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Art Show Report!

Friday evening.....after a day of jitters and butterflies...we made our way to Pine Center for the Arts.

The weather didn't turn out quite as well as predicted but it wasn't below zero with 90 mph winds! So it was all good.

Arrived in plenty of time to do some last minute adjustments and then just wait for people to arrive. When they started coming in, all the butterflies disappeared and I got to talk to people about my art. It wasn't wall to wall with people and I find that I like the smaller crowd.  It gave me time to do more than just " are you...nice to meet you."

The art was all hung on the walls with care....(hmmm that sounds vaguely familiar.....)

I brought my guest book and colorful gel pens...and, of course, a bowl of pecans!!! And the brochures and cards. A table of goodies was provided by a local caterer.

In other words...I had a BLAST!! Several friends showed up which meant the world to me. Some others who couldn't make it I knew were there in spirit, cheering in the background!

As you know...this was my first SOLO show. So this bit is probably "old hat" to many of you but for walk in and see walls full of my art....then people looking at them - first from a distance and then getting really up close and seeing different parts. I even sold one that evening! It was thrilling!!  I'm ready to do it again!!!  OK....maybe after a few days off?

So, as promised, after my weekend to recuperate from a very hectic pre-show schedule, the report is filed and until the first week in February, we'll see how it goes from here!

Thanks to so many of you who sent good wishes and encouragement! I love you all!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Today is the BIG DAY!!

This afternoon....5pm - 7pm will be my first solo show!!! It will be at the Pine Center for the Arts in Pine City, MN.

I'm so excited and full of butterflies!!  I'll be presenting my newest series on "Pecans"  Here is one piece from that series.

30" X 30" 
Mixed Media 

Not time to write much more now.  But I'll fill you all in the beginning of next week! Stay tuned!!