We always try to take a side trip to Tubac when we visit my family and friends in the southern Arizona area. The galleries and artists studios in town are very inspiring. Not only is the actual art beautiful but the color combinations give me new ideas and jumping off points. We get inspiration from the beautiful art and the amazing colors.
I found a great jacket with an artistic flair that will be perfect for wearing at artist receptions. I am always looking for something a little different that "speaks" to me. This great piece was found at Quilts, LTD Gallery. The thing that really sold it for me is that the jacket is reversible with a very different look. Quilts, LTD have a wide variety of items from quilts (obviously) to art clothing to smaller gift items.
David and I had a fabulous day exploring the area with my sister. We were only able to see about half of the shops and galleries that were in Tubac but got great inspiration from the art and the custom jewelry in the shops.
Have you been to Tubac? Do you have another favorite town to visit for shops or galleries that sparks your creativity?
I have discovered a new abstract artist that I love. It is Davina Nicholas and he uses both traditional and digital techniques for his art. If you have access to Flickr he has a large body of work posted there. There is also a website where you can view the paintings. They are amazing. Textural and ethereal and strong colors. I am going to study his work and see if I can try to get some of the feelings from fabric. His work is truly amazing.
If you get a chance to check it out, let me know what you think of Davina Nicholas' work. There are some "pins" on Pinterest of his work but for the most part pins are not allowed on some of the areas I have seen his work.
Have you found other artists in other mediums that inspire you? What is it that speaks to you? Color, composition?
One of the groups David and I belong to is Textures Fiber Arts. We had our end of the year party on Friday and our illustrious leader decided that besides bringing food and significant others, we should wear our ugly Christmas sweaters and have a contest. I took my camera but of course did not take any pictures of the truly ugly sweaters so you will have to be satisfied with what I wore.
As you will notice, I took the photo without me in it. This is something I was not willing to put on twice in one year. The pinned on Q-Tips are my ugly version of icicles but in a pinch you could cut them in half, paint the tips and use them as "candles" on a ugly sweater Christmas tree.
We had a great time socializing with all our new and existing members and spouses. I love the fact that these husbands are really interested in the group and learning about the other artists. We have expanded recently and some of our newer members travel some distance to be a part of Textures. It is an honor to have them.
Linda and Rick did a fabulous job of hosting this year. Mountains of food were present and I do believe there was a different dessert for everyone there! Linda went a bit overboard but all the food tasted great and the variety was endless. I loved the lemon bars and the stuffed grape leaves that Laura brought were great, and I don't usually like grape leaves.
Phyllis was the winner of the ugly sweater contest and I think the giant bows that she pinned on the sleeves put her over the top. Luke had the runner up favorite for ugly and it truly was. Laura did a great job of ugly and if there was a couples competition they would have won, hands down.
Did any of you have an ugly sweater competition? What great ideas did you see to incorporate into next years sweater?
Life has been hectic these last few weeks but we did take time out to go to the artist reception for the SAQA show at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. It was a great show and we met lots of old friends and made some new ones.
David's quilts were a big hit for the humor as all the people that owned dogs could really relate. Comments were made about the 3-D effect he got with the torn "toilet paper" and several people asked what he used to get the look.
David's favorite quilt was the text quilt with the floating alphabet. It was stunning and mesmerizing as the letters seemed to float at different levels off the surface.
The show will be open until December 27th so you still have time to see it during the Christmas season. Take a break, see the show and enjoy some of the local cuisine.
I also had a wonderful time looking at all the work. I have several favorites from the show but the whole exhibit is wonderful. I have pictures of all the quilts but neglected to get permission to post any at this time. I will contact the artists to get permission.
If you are in the area, it is worth going by to see the show. It is fabulous and there is a wide range of styles. One of the quilts I really like looks like Italian wall tiles and like David I like alphabet quilt with the text floating off the surface.
I loved the abstract quilts. It is a genre that I am working hard to master and I admire those artists that have a great vision and are able to accomplish it in their art.
Did you make it to the show? What was your favorite quilt?
Commuting to work this morning (for those of you that don't live in California that means anything over a 30 minute drive) I thought how lucky I am for being born in my family. I was born into a quilting family. A family of quilters going back through time.
I sleep under a 40+ year old quilt (the multi-color star quilt on top). I look through the fabrics of this quilt and I can pick out my sisters blouses, my skirts and aprons that my grandmother wore. Mom sent all our fabric scraps to grandma to use in her quilts.
I have in my possession a quilt made by my great grandmother (1931) purchased from the estate sale by her son for $35 in 1941 (the red and white Shoo Fly quilt). A huge sum of money at the time but the family could not decide how to divide up the estate so you bought your heirloom. I am so grateful he thought this quilt was important. (This is a great reminder to tag or label your quilts for family if you are passing on your work.)
My husband's family does not have this quilting heritage. Sitting on the couch the other night, snuggled in a quilt and watching Christmas movies, he remarked on how wonderful it felt. He loves all our quilts, old and new. I love the fact that he appreciates them for their comfort, their history and their artistic merit. It just doesn't get any better than this.
Do you have a legacy of quilters in your family? Do you have your own fabulous family quilts?
I have a project that I am working on in fits and starts. I have struggled over the past month in the design phase. I found an older project that I started at Morro Bay inspired by the beauty of the area. Up to now, I have never found a home for the small work but I think I have found it will be a focal point in my new work.
This Thanksgiving weekend I still struggled with my design. I pulled out all my bits and pieces to see what would work into the piece. I painted lace and cheese cloth. I found a great lace that has an open modern design at JoAnn's. Very fun to paint and blend colors across it.
Though I actually did not get any sewing done I did toss down some colored bits on the main ground and I am pleased with the color combinations if not the actual placements.
I don't have a "show goal" for this piece so I will only be showing small peaks in case I submit it to a show that has a no visuals clause. Plus since I am still changing the design a bit, I can play all I want. Just know that I am having fun with some of the Ghana batiks I have collected over the years.
Have you worked with your Ghana batiks or are you saving them for that "perfect" design? Let me tell you how liberating it is to cut into the fabric. I am having a blast seeing how I can get them to work and morph together.
David & Patricia
We are fiber artists that live in Northern Arizona. We now create our art full time.