I love all seasons in Central Oregon and I feel blessed to live in a place where I can experience all four seasons.
Our mid-summers are often hot and for the past couple of years we’ve had to deal with residual smoke from forest fires from Northern California, Washington state, British Columbia or even Oregon forests. Usually by late summer and early summer, the forest fire smoke has cleared and the weather has suddenly cooled.
As the weather cools, suddenly the beautiful colors of Autumn appear as the leaves Central Oregon deciduous trees change into spectacular shades of green, gold, yellow, orange, red, and purple!This is not the first time I posted about Autumn in Central Oregon and how it inspires me. Here are a couple previous posts for you to check out, filled with images of the beauty of our Fall:
I continue to work on the Tango Stripe quilt and recently decided to make a change to my studio to give me more design wall space. I added another design wall next to my sewing machine.
The design wall was made by wrapping a large piece of poster board (from an office supply story) with Warm and Natural batting. I duct tapped it to the back and then screwed the whole thing into the wall.
I now have three design walls: a large one in the hallway; one on my closet door; and one close to my sewing machine.
This third design wall will make it easier to lay out piecing while sewing.
Although my secret project is done related to trees (an art quilt for a future Women of Color Quilting Network exhibit), I am still fascinated with trees and tree bark and continue to take photographs sources of creative inspiration.
They look wonderful in color:
But they are really intriguing in Black & White:
Wouldn’t those all make amazing art quilt inspirations!
Are you ever intimidated by the work of other artists? I struggle at times between feelings of inspiration and intimidation but I try to focus on INSPIRATION.
This post is part two of the posts on the July 2018 QuiltWorks Gallery exhibits. In the previous post, QuiltWorks Gallery July 2018, Part I , and in this post I will share images from the other side of the gallery – the show of the Featured Quilter Betty Gientke.
Betty is a member of my SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group and an unbelievably talented art quilter. Her use of color and her color palettes are amazing and very inspirational (note I am focusing on “inspiration” not “intimidation”, ha!)
Betty gave me permission to share the images from the show and here she is at her show:
Here are some of my favorite pieces from the show – enjoy!
And then there was this piece. Mind blown. The photos do not capture how spectacular it is:
Turquoise and Orange – what an incredibly yummy color combination. In addition to the impressive palette, she had many different fabric textures in her pieces.
I took photos of the Artist Statement of several of her pieces but forgot to tie them with the piece, so I am just going to share some of her Artist Statements below alone. Even without the piece to directly connect them to it is still interesting to read about her inspiration for each piece:
Well the weekend grows near and I hope you all have summer fun or summer crafting planned.
My beloved sister in laws (both quilters) are in town for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show(Saturday July 14) and I took time off work to go play with them. Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) and I are taking them quilt shop hopping around Central Oregon!
The important thing for you is to be alert, to question, to find out, so that your own initiative may be awakened. – Bruce Lee
Are you inspired by the work of other artists like I am?
Last Friday was filled with inspiration as I attended the QuiltWorks Gallery opening of two shows: Tree Quilts and Featured Quilter Betty Gientke.
Here is a view of the downstairs QuiltWorks quilt shop from upstairs in the gallery:
This post I will share some of images from the Tree Quilt Show, held on one side of the upstairs QuiltWorks gallery, that my piece Tree of No Hurry was in (see my post “Tree of No Hurry” at QuiltWorks Gallery).
Next post I will share images of mind-blowing art quilts (including orange and turquoise together in inspirational and spectacular combinations) of Betty Gientke, who also belongs to my local SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group.
Note – the July QuiltWorks show was crowded and I did my best to take photos quickly between groups viewing the quilts – so apologies on the less than stellar photos…
Tree Quilt Show
Central Oregon Winter by Joan Fox
Her Majesty by Bonnie Tomsheck
Pretty amazing or should I say “majestic”, huh?
Leaves All Around by Mary Stiewig
Hope by Martha Phair Sanders
Okay this one took my breath away (the piece itself and the Artist Statement) but then I know Martha from the SAQA group I belong to – and she is incredibly talented.
There were also these two wonderful pieces in the show that I forgot to photograph their Artist Statements, so I have no talented artists to credit:
I like the modern quilt interpretation of trees set in a bold red-orange background!
And then there was my piece, with it’s simple message to slow down as all will be accomplished:
Yes my piece was not as “artsy” as the other pieces in the show but the message in it makes me smile!
As I mentioned in the post “Tree of No Hurry” at QuiltWorks Gallery, QuiltWorks hosts monthly fiber art shows in their upstairs gallery. The shows open the first Friday evening of the month and includes appetizers and drinks for opening attendees. There is also drawings for fat quarters and other treats. The shop/gallery owner, Marilyn Forestell, always makes opening night fun and is usually showcasing one of her eclectic outfits!
As a bonus, Marilyn’s dog Piper can usually be found wandering around the shop:
One of the things I love about the QuiltWorks shop (besides Marilyn and her dog) is the inspirational words in the windows about the shop (one of them is the feature image for this post).
Here are the word posted in the windows around the shop:
I think those are very good words!
Next post: Serious art quilt masterpieces by Betty Gientke at the QuiltWorks Gallery July 2018 show (the other side of the gallery from the Trees Quilts Show).
Speaking of trees, here is a follow up to the 07/07/18 post Creative Inspiration: Bark, with a couple more B&W photos of tree bark that I took yesterday while wandering around a local park:
Okay I think I have collected enough inspiration for the piece I am working on. Enough with the tree bark for now (smile).
Are you inspired by nature? If you are an artist, is your art inspired by nature?
As part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration, I am sharing my latest nature-based inspiration: TREE BARK.
Wait. When you saw the post title, did you suspect I meant “dog bark” or the barking of dogs? I do love dogs, however their barking provides little source of creative inspiration (smile).
Studying Tree Bark
For the latest project I am working on (a secret project for a future exhibit not yet announced by the curator) I needed to study the texture of tree bark. A trip to a local park provided plenty of study subjects!
I was particularly taken by this tree:
And I took a couple B&W photos so I could study the lines of the bark texture for my piece in progress:
Although I did not take more photos, I studied the lines of several more trees in the park and on my daily walks I’ve paid closer attention to trees in my neighborhood.
Speaking of trees, next post I will share images from the Tree Quilt Show I attended last evening.
For the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. – Martin Luther
On our morning walk yesterday, I came upon a moth sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. A very large and surprisingly quite beautiful moth. As I approached closer it did not move so I thought I would be a wonderful photo opportunity.
I got a little bold as the moth was just sitting there, and gently prodded it to open its wings and it complied. Usually I dislike moths and would not have anything to do with a moth, but I was intrigued with this one.
I thought I would post a couple of my photos as part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration. I think these color palette in the moth is sublime as well is the speckled sidewalk background – it would make a wonderful future art quilt!
Much thanks to the moth who participated in the photo shoot!
As I shared in “The Toe Saga” post, I had a quite careless mishap that led to a broken toe (my sofa and I are in “couples counseling” and working out our issues, ha!). A broken toe meant putting on hold my hiking adventures with my friend Laurie and my favorite Bernese Mountain Dog of all time – Luna.
Well this past Monday, I returned to hiking with “Laurie & Luna”! We did a reasonably easy hike – Farewell Bend Park along the Deschutes River. And as per our routine we had a delicious lunch afterwards in the Old Mill Shopping Center which is also along the Deschutes River.
Here are photos from our hike along the Deschutes River:
I’ve also tagged this post with my category/series “CreativeInspiration” on sources of creative/future art quilt inspiration, as I took a couple photos of trees/vignettes that I thought would make interesting art quilt compositions:
I did not take a photo of our lunch but here is Luna at lunch trying to convince Laurie and I that we really need to share our lunches with her:
I would not win any hiking competitions but I was quite pleased with myself that according to my Health tracker app on my smartphone I had these statistics for Monday May 7:
My toe is not fully healed and I was fairly sore the next day, but it was so wonderful to get outside and hike in my beautiful Central Oregon (with fun companions) again!
As part of my ongoing series of posts on my sources of CreativeInspiration, I thought I would continue the discussion begun a couple of weeks ago by Melanie @ Catbird QuiltStudio and Chela @ Chela’sColchas y Mas on Creativity, by sharing how I work out my creative ideas – using my two journals (and give you a peek inside!)
First here are the two posts that inspired this post:
If you have an interesting post on Creativity/the Creative Process, please share the link to your post in the Comments section to this post. I know I’ve read such posts on other blogs I follow, however these are the posts that recently come to mind.
I’ve posted about on of my journals previously, in my 01/16/2016 post Creative Inspiration: My Journals, but I thought it would be fun in this post to share a peek inside these journals (a glimpse inside the madness…smile).
As I shared in the 01/16/2016 post, I originally got the idea of keep an art quilt ideas/inspiration journal from JeanWells Keenan‘s brilliant books Intuitive Color and Design: Adventures in Art Quilting and Journey to Inspired Art Quilting. I was also fortunate enough to take her series of classes, Journey to Art Inspired Quilting, twice and see in person her wonderful inspirational art quilting journal.
Journal One: Art Quilt Sketchbook (Windows to My Creativity)
My journal for sketching out quilt ideas and keep clipped images (like from magazines) or photos of inspirational ideas, has a handmade cover:
It is called “Window to My Creativity” (thus the window like pieces images on the cover); and here is the inside page:
Before we go any further, I need to warn you that you might be underwhelmed with my drawing/sketching abilities and as a bonus I have terrible, difficult to read handwriting – but it works for me!
Here are examples of some of the images pasted into my journal to inspire future art quilt projects:
I sketch out and write notes on any art quilt idea.
Example #1 – from The Recycled Door
Example #2 – The Lesson & The Equation
Example #3 – Recycled Love
As you can see originally I had quite ambitious plans – I was going to stitch or appliqué the following words onto each of the “folded quilts” in the piece: kindness, empathy, integrity, compassion, joy, respect, honesty or unity (I was going to have to get rid of one of those words to get to 7). Instead I decided to just do a different piecing of recycled materials to create each “folded quilt”.
There was a great quote (in the book Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (1993) by David Bayles and Ted Orland about ideas being larger than ability or desire to execute. I forgot the specific words to, so I will just very loosely summarize: Your ideas for a piece and might be greater than your ability or desire to execute the piece.
After reading that book I accept that how I initially conceptualize, visualize, dream about a piece is likely going to be larger and more ambitious than how I can translate it into an physical quilt. This leads to much less frustration.
By the way, I did decide to do a “facing” to finish the piece. I am nearly done with the hand quilting and hope to finish this piece soon (and share complete photos)
Journal Two: The tierneycreates Journal
I use my other journal, which does not have a handmade cover, for writing down ideas for my tierneycreates blog posts, and planning of my artistic journal.When I had an Etsy shop I wrote out the original ideas and planning for the shop in this journal. I also keep inspirational quotes I come across, and notes from self-improvement books or small business/craft business books for future reference and inspiration.
Below are some journal page examples:
Fun with Sharpies
Finally, I love Sharpies pens/markers, I think I have them in nearly every color made and keep them in a pouch by my journals.
I use Sharpies to write in my journals and the fun of using these markers (and other cool colored markers I’ve picked up over the years) is also a source of creative inspiration for me!
So – what about your journaling practice: do you keep a journal to work out your creative ideas? Pleas share!
No, alas, not the Scottish Highlands. This post is about a hike on the Cascade HighlandsTrailin Central Oregon. Not as glorious as hiking in the Scottish Highlands but still quite lovely (and a significantly less expense trip – no airfare or accommodations required!)
I do not work on Mondays and once a month I’ve been going on a hike (followed by a yummy lunch) with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog Luna. I thought about creating a category for these posts called “Adventures with Laurie & Luna” but I decided to create a new blog category called OutsideAdventures! which includes my various solo Pilot Butte hikes and any other interesting outdoor adventures.
Laurie who is new-ish to Central Oregon (I think she has lived here between 1 – 2 years) thought it would be a great idea to explore Central Oregon together by going on hikes we have not been on before and trying out restaurants we have not dine at before (or at least one of us has not tried before). We plan one at least once a month.
Hiking the Cascade Highlands
Here are photos from the hike (which were more breathtaking in person than the photos capture):
I am also adding this post to my blog post category CreativeInspiration as there was much potential art quilt inspiration on this hike!
I thought I’d share a little about my love for recycled textiles as part of my ongoing series of posts on my sources of CreativeInspiration.
Unlikely Materials for Quilt Making: Recycled Textiles
Nearly 2 years ago (March 2016) I did a post on “UnlikelyMaterials” as part of the Blog Tour for my friends Wendy Hill and Pat Pease’s new book, Creative Quilt Challenges (C&T Publishing, 2016), and shared the story of how I transitioned from only using quilting cotton fabrics to experimenting with using recycled textiles in my quilt creations.
Since 2012 I have experimented with recycled textiles such as recycled clothing (not suitable for clothing donation) and recycled garment and home decor fabric samples – all items that were likely headed to the landfill. I feel a great sense of joy when I create art with those items that would have been discarded.
Recently I pulled out my entire collection of recycled textiles to work on my piece for our annual Central Oregon SAQA art quilting group exhibit which opens at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Shop in July. This year’s theme is “The Threads That Bind” and the piece like previous years, must meet the dimensions of 18″ x 40″.
For the past couple years I have made 18″ x 40″ pieces, based on the selected annual theme, from recycled materials such as “Recycled Door” (the theme was “Doors”) and “The Recycled Road” (the theme was “Pathways”):
Recycled Door (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe, photographed by Marion Shimoda
The Recycled Road (2017) by Tierney Davis Hogan
If you would like to read about the development of these pieces, just search their names in the search box on my blog. You can also check out these pieces on my art quilting blog, ImprovisationalTextiles.
For this year’s piece I am again working with recycled textiles, but this time using different recycled textiles since I used up most of the recycled clothing in the above pieces.
My piece is in progress (it was one of the two art quilts with deadlines I mentioned in my post Art &Fear, etc., that I had yet to start) and it is called “Recycled Love“.
I am not ready to reveal my current piece while it is in progress, it feels private right now.
Interestingly in the book Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (1993) by David Bayles and Ted Orland, they discuss that the artist needs time to work on their work in private without feedback from the world.
(See the Postscript section for more on this book and the post Art & Fear, etc..)
Creative Inspiration From Playing with My Recycled Textiles
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I’ve pulled out my entire collection of recycled textiles while I work on my new piece, Recycled Love. Just having my entire collection laid out before me was a huge source of Creative Inspiration!
They were a little too huge a source of creative inspiration and I ended up designing in my mind 5 – 10 future art quilts until I finally calmed down and made my mind just focus on the art quilt with the deadline!
So I thought I would give you a peek into my recycled textiles collection, most of which were donated/given to me by others.
My collection of recycled wool includes manufacturing scraps from wool suit making and Pendleton blanket manufacturing scraps. It also include some felted wool scraps and various crafting wool scraps from other crafters’ projects.
This collection includes our old jeans and old denim shirts; jeans given to me by friends; and an old denim duvet cover. I also keep my denim scraps from previous projects using recycled denim (as long as they are bigger than 3″ x 3″).
Home Decor Samples
These were given to me by a couple who did remodeling work on our home. A client of theirs gave them a large box of home decorating upholstery samples and they shared the box with me! Some of the fabrics seem hideous for a sofa or chair but they would be awesome in an art quilt!
Dyed Silk Scraps
A friend gave me these scraps as samples from a hand dyed silk class she took years ago.
I took them out of the sample book there were in and discovered if I gently ironed them and then sewed them onto muslin I could use them in an art quilt! Below is an example as I have used them in my piece in progress, Recycled Love:
Couture Fabric Scraps (Silk, Linen and Wool)
These are my post precious scraps and to read the story behind these couture fabric samples and scraps from New York City Fashion District Circa 1990s, see this page on my Improvisational Textiles website: QuiltingMeets Couture.
The photo does not do the fabrics justice. You can see on the QuiltingMeets Couturepage the many art quilts made with these beautiful recycled fabrics (all of which were scheduled for destruction by the manufacturer had they not been rescued).
Below is an image of some of my art quilts that I made with these recycled couture fabrics which are in the book 1000 Quilting Inspirations: Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern and Art Quilts by Sandra Sider (2015). They are all quilted by Guadalupe Designs.
I was going to do a follow up on the post Art & Fear, etc. that I mentioned in this post, and share/discuss some additional quotes/passages from the book that really resonated with me.
However, on further thought, I decided that this is a book you should experience on your own and read first hand the brilliant insights on the nature of creating art and dealing with the inherent fear and sense of vulnerability and risk that comes with putting your art “out there”.
So instead I will share one more quote from the book and then return to talking about recycled textiles:
“In the end it all comes down to this: you have a choice (or more accurately a rolling tangle of choices) between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot — and thereby guaranteeing that it will not make you happy. It becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And curiously, uncertainty is the comforting choice.”
― David Bayles & Ted Orland, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
Monday I went on a field trip to the Wintercreek Nursery with my friend Jenny. The Nursery was filled with glorious examples of the beauty of Autumn in Central Oregon.
I thought I would post a couple of those photos as part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration. I think these photo compositions could be inspiration for an interesting art quilt. Feel free to use them for inspiration and if you repost the photos, please credit me as the photographer, thanks.
Here is my absolute favorite of the photos I took:
And here is a tiny little house that I think was covering some plumbing that looked like a real house tucked away in forest growth:
Finally here are a couple photos of Autumn at my house in Central Oregon:
We have a lot of reds, yellows, yellow-greens and greens. We do not have the purples of the Autumn in Vermont (when I lived in New York we used to drive to Vermont in the Fall to see the exquisitely beautiful palette of colors) but I think Autumn is an exceptionally lovely time of year with the Fall colors and the backdrop of an impossibly blue Central Oregon Autumn sky!
Thanks for reading my photo essay of Autumn in Central Oregon!
One of the “non-Wordpress” blogs I love to follow is that of a fellow Central Oregon SAQA member, Kristin Shields. On her blog Kristin Shields: Artist & Quiltmaker, she has a visually beautiful post on Fall Color – OctoberColor.
I’ve made quite a bit of progress on the table runners I am working on (see recent posts) and will sharing a peek in a future post.
Now that the weather has changed (it has dipped into the 60s and 50s during the day and 20s – 30s at night!) it is time to start making knitted hats again in the evenings while watching TV.
I love to wear my knitted hats (yes I only know one pattern) on brisk Fall and Winter walks!
I could not decide whether to title this post “Spiritual Quilting”, “Quilting for the Spirit”, “Soul Quilting”, or “Quilting for the Soul” related to sharing highlights of Sherri Lynn Wood’s presentation at the QTM 2017.
Sherri Lynn Wood, author of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously (2015) is not only an improvisational quilter but is also a former Divinity School student who I feel now practices a Ministry of Healing through Textile Arts.
You might be familiar with Sherri Lynn Wood if you follow her blog, dainty time.net and/or if belong to her Facebook group The Improv HandbookFor Modern Quilters. Here is Sherri at QTM 2017 in front of one of her iconic pieces; as well as her signing copies of her Improv Handbook:
Here is another one of her iconic improvisational quilts:
You might also be familiar with the Artist in Residence (AIR) residency she had a Recologyin San Francisco where she and a group of other artists were given free reign of materials from a city’s dump to create art for a Modern Art exhibit of recycled art. Ms. Wood presented an excellent presentation on her Recology Residency and the amazing pieces of textile art she made from discarded items. Ms. Wood stated she even found a sewing machine, sewing supplies, thread, materials for batting, etc. in the city dump to use to create her art!
Below is an example of one of those pieces she had on display at QTM – a quilt made from discarded military uniform pants, using the length and lines of the pants as part of her quilt design.
What you might not know about Sherri Lynn Wood, is that she has what I would consider a “Quilting Ministry” and part of that ministry is her Passage Quiltingprogram where she helps individuals deal with grief and loss through creating a quilt (even if they have never quilted before) made from clothes of the deceased.
Ms. Wood shared this heart wrenching, amazing and beautiful story of a young woman who lost her fiancé due to a sudden tragedy. A short time after that loss, Ms. Wood helped this woman to make a Passage Quilt from her fiancé’s favorite clothing. It was an incredibly difficult process but the woman stated it had a tremendous impact on having her work through her grief. Ms. Wood had on display at QTM one of the Passage Quilts:
She also has a project where she works with individuals and families who have lost a loved one in combat/while serving in the military to sew a coffin onto a remembrance quilt as part of their healing process. She shared several powerful stories and images of families who lost their military family members sewing together as part of their healing. Below is one of these quilts:
She also works with communities to create community quilts where anyone no matter what level of sewing skill can participate.
The general themes of her presentation were:
Building community through craft
Honoring the earth through working with recycled materials; and by creating art from the discarded
Healing and grief work through tactile textile experiences
I was already a “super-fan” of Sherri Lynn Wood before meeting her and I have read Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously from cover to cover. I was deeply touched by Ms. Wood’s presentation (tears filled my eyes at times) – my spirit and my soul felt stirred and moved by her stories and images.
This is the reason for the title to this post – “Spiritual Quilting”. I am not referring to religious or a specific faith-based quilting. I am thinking of quilting, fabric, textiles, as a medium for hope, healing and community. For me, these are part of the foundation of spirituality.
I did have my “fan-girl” moment and upon arriving at the QTM conference center in the morning and spotting Sherri Lynn Wood setting up her quilts for display, I thanked her for her wonderful book, the inspiration, and gave her a little wallet I had made from scraps specifically for her:
Speaking of “fan-girl” moments for me at QTM 2017, I got a chance to meet in person Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, founder of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) . I of course made her a special little wallet too, just tiny tokens for great women who inspire me! Her little wallet was inspired by her incredible Black & White art quilts!
More on that in my next post and at some point I will share my experience going on a behind the scenes tour of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; seeing one of my blogging buddies pieces at QTM 2017 (Mary P. of Zippy Quilts!) and meeting a fellow blogging buddy of Mary’s at the event; and more (I have a lot to share but I not mapped out the organization of this series of posts, ha!)
(Plus I will share a valuable lesson of how you should not try to cram too much into one weekend…I am currently recovering from a wicked cold!)
It was quite the four-day weekend (I am planning a series of blog posts to share various snippets from this inspirational weekend) and what is currently resonating in my mind (and my heart) is the inspirational interview Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi held with the NYC based art quilter, Michael A. Cummings.
The Dance Partner
During the interview, Mr. Cummings referred to his sewing machine as his “dance partner”.
The first time he mentioned this my heart smiled (I felt it in my chest!). What an exquisite and beautiful way to refer to one of the primary tools an art or traditional quilter’s uses to express their creativity.
Mr. Cummings stated he has been using the same sewing machine for 40+ years and if I remember correctly, it is just a standard department store sewing machine. Colleagues have suggested he upgrade to an industrial or more modern sewing machine, but he stays faithful to his “dance partner”.
Mr. Cummings and his “dance partner” tell stories through his art. He shared during the interview that he has been influenced by cinema and music to include musical storytellers such as Bob Dylan.
Here are some examples, on display during the Quilters Take Manhattan Event of the incredible dances that Mr. Cummings and his dance partner have performed (please check out his website michaelcummings.com for his official portfolio – he has exhibited his art quilts and sold works to public institutions and private collectors around the world and has work in the permanent Smithsonian Folk Art collection):
These are very large quilts and Dr. Mazloomi (a longtime friend and colleague of Mr. Cummings) states that most of his pieces are around 8 x 9 feet. All of this huge quilts are pieced, appliquéd, and machine quilted on his 40+ year old “dance parter”.
Lesson: You do not need a fancy new sewing machine to create incredible art. You just need to have story to tell and a creative mind to translate that story in fabric!
Mr. Cummings had a bounty of inspirational answers to Dr. Mazloomi’s questions. Some other inspirational answers he provided included:
When asked when does he know a quilt is done, Mr.Cummings responded “I let the quilt tell me when it is done” (paraphrased).
Mr. Cummings shared that for years he worked full-time for the Department of Cultural Affairs for New York City and made himself find time every evening after work to work on his art quilts. At times he wanted to do something else in the evenings (relax after work, attend social events, etc.) but he knew that if he truly wanted to be an art quilter he would have to sacrifice and “do the work”.
To say I was creatively inspired after the interview, would be an understatement.
Sorry little wallets (Little Wallet Madness) it’s time to return to art quilting and tell some stories – I am ready to dance with my partner!
Well it is time to go get on my plane and return to quiet Central Oregon (quite different from NYC in so many ways) but I have much more to share in future posts from my trip and this incredible weekend!
Feature image (cropped) credit: Yan Moura, freeimages.com
One of my quilting mentors, Jean Wells Keenan, once said in a class (paraphrased): When you are really stuck on a piece and you want to give up, don’t give up. Just push through your discomfort or unhappiness with the piece; keep going and you will be surprised how it evolves.
So what does this have to do with my featured image for this post – a pile of sweet potatoes?
Well, at lunch today (I am a telecommuter), I pulled out the remains of a bag of several weeks old sweet potatoes. I forgot about them in the veggie drawer in my fridge and I hoped I could possibly use them (I hate wasting food) in a salad or veggie bowl if I boiled them.
As I washed the sweet potatoes, a first glance, they looked kind of icky and their only future was compost. However on closer inspection, I realized there were good viable parts to each sweet potato – all I had to do was cut out the bad parts.
While trimming each sweet potato to remove the “bad parts”, I thought how this relates to creating a piece of art. I have worked on several art quilting project when I wanted to just give up, crumple the piece into a ball (and burn it) and discard it.
Occasionally I did just this, throw away the piece and try to forgot the time I spent on expending my creativity on the piece. This was until I took a series of art quilting classes with Jean Wells Keenan and heard her statement about not giving up – it resonated with me.
I learned to work or rework what I have created already, cut the bad parts out, and keep going with creating the piece.
An example of an art quilt that I wanted to throw into the trash pile (or burn as an effigy of what-not-to-do-when-creating-an-art-quilt) was my piece Abandoned Water Structure. This piece, which was eventually sold to the City of Seattle/Seattle Public Utilities for their Portable Works Collection nearly made it to the trash or fabric recycling pile several times (or as potential kindling).
It began as an art quilt project based on a photo of a beach structure for a series of classes I was taking with Jean Wells Keenan, called Journey to Inspired Art Quilting. I absolutely hated the piece and it seemed like to would never go anywhere (I felt like I was stopped in my journey anywhere, much less to inspired art quilting).
The series of classes ended, and I took the unfinished piece back home with me to sit in the abandoned project pile (where projects go to die..).
Randomly rummaging through my abandoned project pile a couple months later, I rediscovered the piece and I was suddenly struck with the feeling that I was not using the correct inspiration for the piece. The piece WANTED TO BE SOMETHING ELSE.
I had a photo on my inspiration board of an abandoned/closed water power facility in Central Oregon and I knew this is what the piece was to become (or at least be inspired by)!
After reworking the piece for a couple hours, I was tempted to return it to the abandon project pile (or just soak it in lighter fluid) but luckily I heard Jean in the back of my head to “just push through, keepgoing“. I cut out the bad parts, the parts that were not working in the piece, and eventually it became the Abandoned Water Structure art quilt.
If I were to summarize my thoughts and advice from this experience (and my ramblings above) for my fellow crafters and artists, it would be:
Creating can be like working with a partially rotted sweet potato.
You know there is yumminess still there but you don't want to eat
"the bad parts".
So cut out the "bad parts" and keep the good/viable parts!
Keep going, don't give up, be patient with yourself and the piece.
Let it become the yumminess it eventually wants to become.
Well I have stretched that analogy as far as it will stretch, thanks for reading to see where the heck I was going with my sweet potato story.
Oh and in case you were curious, my trimmed and boiled sweet potatoes were delicious (full of yumminess) in my salad at lunch!
Scrolling though my digital photos yesterday, I came across a group of photos I took last year during a rainy Portland, Oregon trip of several fence posts and tree stumps covered with interesting moss and fungi.
I thought I would post a couple of those photos as part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration. I think these compositions could be inspiration for an interesting art quilt:
Nature is beautiful and magical and an endless source of inspiration, eh?
I took several photos of fence posts in B&W and here is one of those photos:
“Nature doth thus kindly heal every wound. By the mediation of a thousand little mosses and fungi, the most unsightly objects become radiant of beauty. There seem to be two sides of this world, presented us at different times, as we see things in growth or dissolution, in life or death. And seen with the eye of the poet, as God sees them, all things are alive and beautiful.” – Henry David Thoreau
Speaking of nature as inspiration, I am currently toying with the idea of creating an art quilt for a local nature-themed exhibit based on some photos of the Central Oregon. More to come on that project, along with more details.
Monday, I went on my first 2017 Pilot Butte hike! Nearly a year ago, last Spring, I started back hiking our local “mini mountain”, Pilot Butte.
Every Pilot Butte hike I take photos, it is like I cannot control myself, even if I am taking the same photos over and over again!
Monday’s hike I experimented with taking both color and B&W photos of the same scenes. I shared one of my B&W photos with some friends, and my friend Lisa mentioned the photo below would be a great inspiration for a quilt:
A light bulb appeared above my head: my Pilot Butte photos could serve as inspiration for a future art quilt.
So I thought I would share some of the photos from Monday’s hike that I would consider “creative inspiration”:
You likely noticed, except for the photos of the steps, the photos above feature trees.
Hiking up Pilot Butte affords 360 degrees views of Central Oregon; and I took many photos that looked like this featuring the wonderful Cascade Mountain Range:
I always listen to an audiobook or podcast while I hike Pilot Butte.
On Monday I finished the last two episodes of a six-episode podcast – Missing Richard Simmons. This podcast explores the story behind the fitness guru and eccentric celebrity Richard Simmons’ disappearance in 2014. It is very interesting, I was completely drawn into the story by the middle of the first podcast.
Richard Simmons, whether you loved or hated him, helped and inspired a lot of people. This podcast gives you insight into his world from interviews from clients and friends.
“No tricks, gimmicks, special pills, special potions, special equipment. All it takes is desire and will.” — Richard Simmons
I love podcasts, I cannot believe how many free podcasts there are to download off of iTunes – on so many topics!
Watch for the Wildlife
One more photo to close out this post – I love this sign at the base of Pilot Butte:
I have hiked Pilot Butte for nearly 12 years and luckily no cougar sightings for me. I hope my record of 0 cougar sightings stands.
I wonder if any new hiker to Pilot Butte sees this sign, turns around and gets back in the car!
I was browsing through the tierneycreates archives and I thought I would share this post from 08/21/15.
Encouragement from Others
As John Donne said: “No man (or woman) is an island”. I guess one could live as a hermit somewhere, locked away, working on your art, encouraging yourself creatively. That would not work for me. I appreciate and I am inspired by encouragement from others.
Continuing my series on sources of Creative Inspiration, this post is actual inspired by asurprise I found that last evening.
We all have those precious items from our past that we keep tucked away somewhere. One of my most precious items was a book of William Shakespeare’s Sonnets from my 9th Grade English teacher. I have not seen it in many years and I thought that for some reason during a move it got lost; or I accidentally donated it to a thrift shop in a stack of books for donation.
I mourned its loss.
Last night I was checking the far recesses of my nightstand cabinet, which I store books I am going to “read someday in bed each night before I fall asleep”, but never get around to reading. I was curious what I had way in the back and found my old beloved book!!! I had not opened it in 8 or more years and forgot exactly my teacher had inscribed inside the cover.
My eyes flooded with tears when I read her inscription which included the words “in recognition of her excellent writing ability”. I have always loved writing (and have written a lot in my professional pay-the-bills RN career) and I forgot how much I loved it when I was in grade school through high school. (Disclaimer: I may not have mastered grammar or proofreading but I still love to write!)
Just reading these words again from my 9th grade English teacher made me feel as inspired in that moment as I did all those years ago. Her words of encouragement from the past resonate with me now, like she is right here with me saying: “Tierney, keep writing, I believe in you“.
As far as quilting projects, I am inspired creatively when I receive encouragement on a piece I am working on or on one I have completed.
I am also encouraged creatively when I am feeling uninspired to work on an art quilt and a friend encourages me to just start playing with the fabric and the inspiration with come.
One of my favorite recycled silk art quilts, Color Change, came out of sitting around with a friend having her throw fabric scraps at me for fun, saying “Here, why not try putting this combination together”, when I was feeling too intimidated to work on another recycled silk art quilts.
This post was originally published on the Improvisational Textiles website in February 2017, moving to my tierneycreates blog.
As part of my ongoing series of posts on sources of Creative Inspiration, I am sharing my latest inspiration: Temperature.
In 2015 I created this piece: Color Story VII: It’s Getting Warm In Here:
In 2015 a fellow quilter invited me over for a “Sew Day” at her home after she took a “Liberated Quiltmaking” class from Gwen Marston. She shared with me several of Gwen Marston’s techniques of freeform triangle piecing into borders and ‘flying geese’ style blocks. She also shared her stash of fabric scraps, filled with reds, oranges and yellows.
I created an improvisational piece that for me evoked a sense of rising temperature to potentially be the start of a Temperature-themed art quilt series. I added in some blues and purples to “cool down” the piece. I added red beads to the piece after it was quilting to add an additional element of interest for the viewer’s eye.
A bit of time has passed since I continued my ongoing series on sources of Creative Inspiration.
I cannot promise I am going to create an art quilt based on every inspiration I have shared in the Creative Inspiration series of posts, but I use this series of posts as an online catalogue/resource for future art quilt ideas!
In January 2016, I posted about the beauty of Winter Trees. If you peek at this post, from nearly a year ago, you will see bare trees against a blue sky. January 2017 looks much different – the trees are bare of leaves, but they are filled with snow!
Here are a couple of photos from my daily walks (recently I upgraded from an iPhone 4S to an iPhone 7 so my photo quality has improved…at least in my mind):
A snapped a couple photos of birds in the snowy Winter Trees:
If any of my photos inspire you to create please feel free to use them!
It has been a beautiful Winter Wonderland in Central Oregon, even if I refer to it as “Snowmageddon”. I do have proof we have had serious snow – the Bend Bulletin recently published this story: “Central Oregon sees historic snow depths”. (See I am not being a drama queen over this snow, ha!)
Follow up to my recent post Diving into a quilt (and other stuff) – I have made 192 half square triangles and in the near future I will have a “What’s on the Design Wall” post with my progress!
Today I finished two books – an audiobook (Scrappy Little Nobody) and a paper novel (Girl on the Train).
Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody was delightful! It is narrated by the author and filled with charming and very funny stories from her days as a child actor, awkward adolescent, and struggling young adult. The end of her book contains a hysterically funny “Book Club Discussion Questions” written by the author and making fun of herself as a celebrity who writes a memoir.
Scrappy Little Nobody ranged from PG to an occasional PG-13 rating in my opinion. It was quite different than Amy Schumer’s The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo which was R to NC-17 rated (but absolutely hysterically funny).
Just to give you a sense of the difference, Amy Schumer opens her book with a graphic letter of apology to her “lady parts”. Anna Kendrick on the other hand kept acknowledging that her mother would be reading her book so she had to leave some stuff out of her book…
I realized I have now listened to many memoirs by current pop culture female celebrities. Here is my ranking of these books:
Scrappy Little Nobody – Anne Kendrick
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo – Amy Schumer (Amy Schumer’s book was the funniest – like stop my walk to bend over laughing funny – but Anne Kendrick was more endearing)
Bossypants – Tina Fey
Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman – Lindy West
You’ll Grow Out of It – Jesse Klein (this would have had a higher ranking if not for the unnecessary Triple XXX chapter that took oversharing to a whole new level)
Am I rambling? There was something else I was going to add to the Postscript section but it left my mind. (Hope I have not been “oversharing”…)
If you would like to see what Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer thinks of all the Central Oregon snow, check out her blog at schnauzersnips.wordpress.com/blog/
I am re-posting a blog post from April 2016 from my ongoing series on on my sources of Creative Inspiration. I am dealing with the “strife” that fills the television news and social media by remembering the inspirational stories my father told me as a child.
His stories, words and lessons keep me centered and focused.
Friday Night at Barnes & Noble Bookstore: A Discovery (April 2016)
Life is filled with serendipitous events. Several Fridays ago such an event occurred.
A wild Friday night in Central Oregon involves hanging out at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore. I love browsing in bookstores. I love bookstores, period. They are nearly as magical as libraries (except the discoveries at bookstores are not free to take home!)
While browsing the magazine section of Barnes & Noble, I came across a magazine I had not seen before – American Craft Magazine (and I thought I knew all the magazines in the “crafting” magazine section). This magazine is published by the American Craft Council.
Flipping through this magazine I found an article on an exhibit by the WCQN (Women of Color Quilting Network). I did not know, as a woman of color, that there was a Women of Color Quilting Network! I made a mental note of the acronym and immediately upon returning home I googled the WCQN.
The WCQN, according to their website “is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 by Carolyn L. Mazloomi, a nationally-acclaimed quilt artist and lecturer, to foster and preserve the art of quilt making among women of color.”
Wow. What a discovery for me!
I contacted the Director of WCQN, Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, to find out how I could join.
After several wonderful exchanges with Dr. Mazloomi, I am now a member of the WCQN. I had the opportunity to view her website, www.carolynlmazloomi.comand view her amazing art. I also spent a considerable amount of time looking at the the WCQN website, www.wcqn.org, and viewing their past exhibitions (www.wcqn.org/exhibit.html).
I was overwhelmed with inspiration to explore an additional direction in my art quilting – telling stories with my art quilt.
The WCQN art quilts poignantly share stories from a people of color’s perspective and shared experience.
Wanting to explore this theme in the future, I am inspired to create a future series of art quilts called Stories My Father Told Me.
Stories My Father Told Me
My father, Raoul A. Davis, Sr. was an amazing man. He passed in 2008, and left behind a legacy of stories and inspiration.
Born of the 4th of July, he was the son of two teachers and grew up the segregated South (Charleston, West Virginia) in the 1930s. He faced many hardships and challenges but always forged ahead to achieve his goals and dreams. He was the first black to attend Kiski School in Pennsylvania, received a bachelor’s degree from Central State University, and obtained his master’s degree from Columbia University. He also served his country in the US Army.
He served as a leader in the nonprofit sector for over 40 years. His service included working with gangs and underprivileged youth as a Social Worker in NYC; founding the Urban League of Long Island, NY; and creating the first Empire State Black Arts and Cultural Festival (today known as the African American Family Day Art Festival).
He retired as the Deputy Commissioner for the Office of General Services for the State of NY. In his retirement he volunteered and consulted for local nonprofits and community agencies.
His resume was impressive, but what I remember most about him is his stories.
Starting from my earliest memories as a child, I remember him telling me stories of his challenges growing up in the segregated South, stories of his athletic pursuits (he was an accomplished multi-sport athlete), stories about the intense hazing he received as the first black to attend Kiski Prep School, stories of overcoming shocking physical and psychological abuse in the US Army in the 1950 by his drill sergeant, and many other inspirational stories from his life.
A couple of years before he passed he decided to write his autobiography and I offered to help him by transcribing his handwritten notes and pulling them into a rough draft. It was so wonderful to read the stories I knew well from hearing in my youth; and I was honored to help him with this project.
Unfortunately my father passed before finishing his autobiography. I did take what I had and make it into a book for my sister and brother (two incredible individuals who continue my father’s legacy and inspire me daily); and for his grandchildren (one of which he did not get to meet before he passed).
I am still left with all his stories in my head and in my heart, and I think I want to share them in another medium beyond the verbal and written word: in my art quilts.
His Stories into My Quilts
I am in the early stages of thinking of how I want to translate some of my favorite stories into a textile story – will I do something abstract, or will I do a pictorial quilt (time to brush up my appliqué skills!).
An ongoing theme in all his stories is: Here is a challenge, it may seem impossible, but you can overcome it!
One of my favorite stories that my father told me, is a story from his growing up in the segregated South and a bus ride experience that embodied his outlook on dealing with racial prejudices:
As a teenage in the 1940s, I was riding on the bus and a white guy was forced to sit next to me because no other seats were available. He turned to me and growled – “I hate you, you #%%$%%!”
I calmly replied to him “Well, you would like me if you got to know me”.
We ended up having a great conversation and when we got to his bus stop, he exclaimed as he exited the bus: “Raoul, you are alright”.
My father likely did not change this man’s racist outlook on people of color, but he may have left an imprint in this man’s mind and heart to evaluate people based on their character not their color.
My father, who was also active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and fortunate to have met Martin Luther King, Jr., believed in focusing on getting to know each other as individuals and not judging an entire group or population.
He believed change came through dialogue not violence. He taught his three children to be brave, no matter what adversity life threw at them; and to as Mahatma Gandhi said “…be the change you wish to see in the world”.
He also taught us to be proud of who we are as individuals, as a people and of our heritage, and not to listen to those who tell you otherwise.
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Gandhi
I would be honored to share his stories through my quilts.
Continuing my ongoing series on sources of creative inspiration, I want to share my love for the colors of Fall and the beautiful fall foliage of Central Oregon.
In January 2016, I posted about the austere beauty of Winter Trees – Well, before they become “Winter Trees” first, they are beautiful “Fall Trees“!
I love the deep oranges, reds, yellow and browns of the turning leaves. I took a series of photos over the past couple weeks for future quilt palette inspiration:
And speaking of creative inspiration – I came across an interesting quote in the book Inspired: how creative people think work and find inspiration by Dorte Nielsen and Kiki Hartman:
When creativity kicks in, a large amount of resistance inevitably also comes with it.
– Carouschka Streijffert
Inspire is one of the books from my The Library (Mega) Stackthat I shared in an October 2016 post. I am about halfway through that stack of library books!
That is an interesting quote to mull over, eh? I would love to hear what you think that quote means in the Comments section.
A couple of random follow up items…
In my post Fabulous Thrifting Fabric Find! I shared how I took down from the wall and donated a framed poster about Solitude, as I was ready to move on. Well, I did not share what I put up in its place. Business Casual (originally titled He Dresses Up, He Dresses Down is now hanging in my entryway. It is a recycled fabric art quilt made from old denim jeans, wool scraps (Pendleton® Wool clothing and blankets) and scraps from mens suiting manufacturing.
In several recent posts, I shared that I listened to the audiobook, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first time I listened to this audiobook it was an emotional experience as there were a lot of truths I was hearing and trying to absorb. I listened with tears running down my cheeks for several sections of this audiobook. Well I decided to listen to it again (it is only a couple hours long) and this time there were no tears, there was only a great sense of peace and deeper understanding of The Four Agreements. On my second listen, I discovered that I had not fully grasped the First Agreement: “Be Impeccable with Your Word”. I thought this agreement was focused on keeping your word, being true to your word. It is actually focused on being careful with the words that come out of your mouth and the power of words – to hurt and to heal.
In the post When all else fails, reorganize your fabric scraps I shared an interesting except from the audiobook – Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Lifeby Bill Burnett and Dave Evans on “Gravity Problems”. Later in the audiobook, the authors discuss another type of problem that gets you in the way of moving forward – “Anchor Problems“. As the authors describe – “Anchor Problems are like a physical anchor, they hold us in one place and prevent motion…” I am really enjoying this book and nearly at the end of this inspiring listen! Here is another gem (quote) from this book:
Anchor problems keep us stuck because we can only see one solution – the one we already have that doesn’t work. Anchor problems…are really about the fear that, no matter what else we try, that won’t work either…
Anchor Photo credit – Nicholas Sales, free images.com
Continuing my ongoing series of sources of creative inspiration…
Last evening I wished I was a painter.
We had a glorious sky in Central Oregon as the sun set yesterday. During our evening dog walk, all I could do is stare at the sky filled with fiery orange and then red tinged clouds, dappled with the light from the fading sun.
I wished I was a painter and could paint what I saw – I would have run outside, set up my easel and start putting images upon my canvas.
But I am not a painter, I am a quilter (and maybe a budding textile artist), so I took the photos below to save for future creative inspiration for a quilt’s palette.
These photos were taken on my smartphone and of course not the quality of professional photography. I could just imagine the photos a professional…or amateur photographer would have taken…okay anyone who know how to take decent photos (I am not in this group, ha!)
Even with professional photography, I am not sure the camera still could not capture the beauty of viewing it in real life. I think I stopped breathing for a moment while I stared at the sky!
Mini Vacation In My Mind
I have always loved staring at clouds, imagining various shapes in the clouds and daydreaming.
In my backyard I have an old outdoor bench with weather resistant cushions and pillow that is sort of an “outside love seat” type of two person seating. During late Spring, early Summer and early Fall, I like to go on “mini vacations in my mind” in it.
I will lay on the bench with my head propped up on one of the pillows and my leg bent and feet resting on the end, and stare at the clouds floating by in the endless blue Central Oregon sky.
I love how slowly clouds change shape while you watch them, but if you look away or get distracted for a moment, it seems like a quick change. I love to watch “raptors” – hawks and eagles soar overhead, riding the thermals. I love to see small private planes fly by and occasionally a jet far overhead and wonder where it is headed.
It seems like nothing else at the moment matters, but the sky….
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. – John Lubbock
Stories My Father Told Me: The First Quilt in the Series
In my 04/23/16 post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me, I shared how I want to translate some of the inspirational stories my father, Raoul Davis, Sr. told me as a child, that inspire who I am as a person, into textile stories.
Two things happened since this post: 1) I was invited to participate in a special exhibit where I could draw from my the inspirational stories and words I listened to from my father as a child; and 2) I watched an excellent presentation on “Working in a Series” through the art quilting organization I belong – Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) that further inspired me to work on this series.
I created my first quilt in my Stories My Father Told Me Series, and it is titled “The Lesson & The Equation“. At this time I cannot share details on the show that it will be a part of as the exhibit has not been announced yet. However, I did receive permission from the show’s curator to share a photo of the quilt on my tierneycreates blog.
Below are excerpts from my Artist Statement for this piece to provide some understanding of the inspiration for this piece:
My father grew up in the segregated South in the 1940s and embraced at an early age that change comes from respectful dialogue, not violence. He taught us that regardless of what adversity we faced in life, we must face it with grace; and treat others with respect, dignity, and brotherhood…. (THE LESSON).
In this quilt, a father (modeled after my own father in the 1970s) is teaching his children, on the main blackboard, THE EQUATION to achieving a world in which people are Free and Equal…I am from a family of educators, beginning with my great-grandfather. The blackboards in the quilt honor that legacy.
POSTSCRIPT: The Instagram Experiment
I have decided to experiment with the mysterious social networking app Instagram(yes, it is only mysterious to me). I mentioned in the “POSTSCRIPT” section of the post Back to the Buttehow clueless I am about Instagram. Experimenting with it might be the only way to become less clueless!
I have added an Instagram “widget” to my blog page and now you will see my Instagram feed on my Homepage. (Of course ow I need to add more than the 4 or so photos I had in Instagram when I first signed up a year or two ago, got very confused and stopped using it).
We have magnetic erasable board on our refrigerator. I write menu plans and grocery shopping lists on this board. I have a habit of taking a photo of my grocery list on my smartphone to take shopping (I figure that is “greener” than using paper to write it down). I was laughing to myself: wouldn’t that make a terribly dull Instagram feed – just photos of my messily scrawled food shopping lists?!?!
I promise to try to keep the feed a wee bit more interesting than that!