Music music music

Images of music are swirling through my head these days. I've got so many I want to piece! Keyboards, whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, the staff, treble clef, bass clef, guitars, sheet music, etc. 

I sketched this recently and have been piecing it bit by bit -- It's tricky because the keys require "set-in seams."  I've had to discipline myself to learn more difficult methods to get the results I want -- not easy!  My inclination is to "go with the flow" and improvise when I come up against a piecing dilemma.

First I figured out the shapes which must be pieced together to make one "key" in the keyboard, and I chose the values (colors) that would give it depth and perspective. However, after looking at them laid out nicely on my cutting board, I realized I didn't really know how to piece this thing together!!!

FORTUNATELY, I was in the middle of an online class with Lisa Call, titled "Intentional Piecing."  I SOS-ed for help and Lisa had the answer right away -- I needed to learn how to piece a "Le Moyne Star."

If you are interested in learning this technique for set-in seams yourself, you can find instructions online. Lisa sent me to this one:  http://www.artquiltmaker.com/blog/2011/10/tutorial-lemoyne-star/

 

 

 

WORK IN PROGRESS -- Here it is on my wall today in rough form. I will post the completed piece once I have it done. In my imagination, I'm seeing a series of big quilts filled with music images, from multi-colored keyboards to expressive quarter-notes moving up and down on a wavy black and white staff, and a variety of music symbols. In the process of making these, I hope to "loosen up" the piecing so it becomes more abstract. Ultimately I would like to make art that makes you think of music, without actually showing recognizable images of music symbols or instruments. This could take a while, but I'm eager to give it a go!

Back from the Crow Barn

This post was written June 11, 2016 and saved into my drafts! I just realized it in time to post it before another month passes!!! Oh well... this is a work in progress! 


I just returned from three weeks at the Nancy Crow Barn in Ohio. I was in Sets and Variables I, II and III with Nancy Crow for the first two weeks, and New Color Mixing for Dyers with Carol Soderlund for my last week.

Whimsical sculptures are scattered around the walkways of the Crow Barn.

Whimsical sculptures are scattered around the walkways of the Crow Barn.

What a whirlwind! As always, I learned more than I could take in. Art was everywhere – in our surroundings at the barn itself, in magnificent shows such as "Material Pulses: 8 Viewpoints" at the Riffe Gallery in downtown Columbus and "Mastery: Sustaining Momentum" at the Dairy Barn in Athens.

Art filled each day as we designed, cut, pieced and critiqued our work. Our fabric was our paint and our rotary cutters were our brushes. We worked with figure/ground, high contrast, medium contrast, low contrast. Darks. Mediums. Lights. Neutrals. Glowing. Flat. 

The design exercises focusing on color and value, glowing and flat are fascinating! It's exciting to add a new color and/or value and watch it change before your eyes and do something unexpected. As Nancy says, just when she thinks she's understanding a color/value interaction, "BAM! It knocks you sideways in a way you never saw coming!"

It was an honor and a highlight of the trip when Nancy invited us - her students - to attend the opening of the show she was curating at The Dairy Barn on Friday evening, May 28. Entitled "Mastery: Sustaining Momentum," it features stunning work from 12 master artists who have studied with her over the years. Artists such as Judy Kirpich, Marina Kamenskaya, Margaret Wolf, Gerri Spilka and Coleen Kole were there, and we soaked up the atmosphere. 

Helen McBride Richter in front of her quilt, "Thirty Four?" at the Dairy Barn show, "Mastery: Sustaining Momentum."

Helen McBride Richter in front of her quilt, "Thirty Four?" at the Dairy Barn show, "Mastery: Sustaining Momentum."

What a magnificent show! Nancy's driving goal is gaining the recognition from the fine art world that large-scale, machine pieced art quilts / fiber art are indeed FINE ART and should take their place in MOMA and other art museums and galleries around the world. That goal is beginning to take hold with the magnificent work being exhibited.

Nancy Crow's newest series, entitled "Riff" was inspired by train tracks from her childhood.  – At the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio through November 2016.

Nancy Crow's newest series, entitled "Riff" was inspired by train tracks from her childhood.  – At the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio through November 2016.

My husband deserves an award

I think my husband George is the one who deserves an award!

 

I totally neglected to blog about The Best of the Valley quilt show last month! I remember quickly posting to my friends on social media (FB) and that was it. Well, I was excited to receive First Place and Judges Choice awards but the best part was the look on my sweet husband's face when we turned a corner at the show and there were my quilts with the ribbons on them. I think he may have popped a button or two.

 

That's what made the day especially great. It was like he received the awards too, for all the times he's patiently waited for me to finish "one more thing" in the studio. (There's always "one more thing!")

Real men buy fabric art

First Friday at The Bakersfield Art Center

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This is Jeff, a local musician who just purchased his first fabric art!  I was tickled that he chose one of the mug rugs I made for the "First Friday Art Walk." Dec 4 at the Bakersfield Art Center.