A couple days ago my art quilt Giant Among the Sequoias (2018)arrived in the mail. It was touring in an exhibit: “Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young”, curated by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, head of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN).
It was bittersweet having this quilt returned to me.
This quilt was the last “art quilt” I created before my husband Terry (Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)) suddenly died in December 2018. I remember having the quilt up in the design wall in the hallway in my former home in Central Oregon and soliciting his feedback as the quilt organically evolved.
I’ve continued quilting and making little craft projects since he died, but for the past year and a half I’ve lost my art quilt muse. I can make improvisational quilts like Seattle Scrappy (see post Seattle Scrappy (What’s on the Design Wall)) but I’ve struggled with wanting to create storied/pictorial quilt like Giant Among the Sequoias. I even passed up an amazing invitational only opportunity in the spring of 2019 which would have led to my first quilt showing at the Houston International Quilt Show.
I am so happy I had all the quilts already made when I had my first solo show at the Seattle Municipal Center in April 2019 (see post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post)) as I could not have made new art quilt pieces for that show.
I did not attend the opening for the exhibit “Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young” which opened March 16, 2019 in Wilberforce, Ohio. I had planned to attend it before Terry died and my sweet brother wanted me to meet him in Ohio and attend the show with me.
I just was not up to it and in retrospect I regret not attending the show and also missing on an opportunity to spend time with my wonderful brother Raoul.
Alas grief is a strange beast and now a year and a half into widowhood I have learned to tame that beast a bit, or at least live somewhat peacefully with it.
The narrative quilts are a history lesson captured in fabric.
“Giant Among the Sequoias,” a quilt created by Oregon artist Tierney Davis Hogan, is a re-creation of a forest scene made from recycled batik fabric scraps. In the center, an image of Young is stitched into the largest tree, keeping watch over the park.
“I love that because it’s quite a twist,” Mazloomi said. “It’s not necessarily a narrative quilt but it is a modern quilt in geometric form and it goes on to tell a story about his work in Sequoia Park.”
I am so honored!
My muse has slowly returned and I am going to create a storied/pictorial art quilt for an important show, which I hope to get juried into. Even if my piece is not accepted, it will be my next piece (I only have one so far) in my series Stories My Father Told Me (see series of posts Stories My Father Told Me).
I did hang up the quilt in the hallway headed downstairs to the daylight basement as there is other wall art related to national parks and the outdoors in that area.
I am working on this post from 40,000 feet, at least I think that is what the pilot said over the intercom a little while ago. I thought I would treat myself and pay for the flight WiFi service as I travel from Denver to El Paso Texas to visit old friends.
Unfortunately the in flight WiFi appears not have the bandwidth to handle adding images to this post, so I will have to return to the post when I land and add in images.
Speaking of traveling, my quilt The Lesson & The Equation which toured in the traveling exhibit Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’ Conscience, has been returned to me as the show has completed its schedule tour.
The show’s curator, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, did an excellent job of packaging up the quilt for return to me and I learned a lot about how a quilt should actually be packaged for mailing. Thinking about mailing quilts, reminds me of a post I did early in my blogging adventures (September 2014) in which I share a near disaster the first time I mailed a quilt into a show –True Tale of Shipping Terror (and Packaging Obsessions).
I so appreciate my friend and the amazing art quilter Wendy Hill (Instagram – @wendyquilter) who mentored me on mailing quilts to shows.
The “Dad Quilt” Comes Home
I nicknamed the art quilt I made for the show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’ Conscience – The Dad Quilt. The quilt was inspired by the lessons I learned from my father Raoul A. Davis, Sr.
If you are new to this blog, the links below can catch you up to speed on creation of this quilt and the amazing show it got to be in if you check out this series of posts: Stories My Father Told Me.
Here are the series of posts about the Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’ Conscience show opening:
I have some wonderful news to share and a follow up to my series of posts about my current solo show at the Seattle Municipal Tower in downtown Seattle, Washington (most recent post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower, Part III).
The City of Seattle is purchasing three of my pieces made from recycled silks:
COLOR STORY I: FLYING TRIANGLES
COLOR STORY II: SILK LANDSCAPE
COLOR STORY IV: COLOR CHANGE
These pieces will become part of the City of Seattle’s permanent rotating art collection, like my piece that they purchased in 2016 – COLOR STORY V: ABANDONED WATER STRUCTURE:
Since 2016 this piece has rotated display through the City of Seattle’s offices. I was informed that currently it is on display at the City of Seattle Courthouse.
There are no words that would capture my excitement and the honor I feel that my pieces were selected for purchase. The whole experience has been magical. The City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture reached out to me about the solo show (which at first I misunderstood that they were inviting me to be part of a show with other artists).
I am so incredibly grateful to the coordinator of the Ethnic Heritage Arts Gallery, the Curator for the Office of Arts of Culture, and the talented person who hung my art quilts so beautifully at the Seattle Municipal Tower.
In addition to the three pieces being purchased by the City of Seattle, I also have two private collector purchases pending/in the works for these two pieces:
RECYCLED DENIM STORY III: RECYCLED ROAD
COLOR STORY VI: ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG – THE VESSEL
I am also very honored that several friends of mine want to have my art in their homes!!!!
Now I need to make more art as my available collection is dwindling (and that is a good thing!)
No need for any petitions, tierneycreates Beastie and I have been in negotiations for a new space for her and Mikelet to hang out.
I’ve moved them to the cutting area in my sewing area to hang out. Though this sounds like a potentially dangerous idea in case she begins playing with my rotary cutter – see post Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat Part II…
Now I am just using the plastic box to store her off season clothes (her Aran sweater and hat beautiful knitted by Helen @Crawcrafts Beasties!)
A couple weeks ago I was contacted by a member of the City of Seattle’s Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery (EHAG) and invited to participate in what I thought was an art show featuring myself and other artists at the Seattle Municipal Tower in downtown Seattle, Washington. This show was to run from April to July 2019.
I thought I was invited to participate in the April – July 2019 show at the Seattle Municipal Tower because I was a member of this roster and they were doing a show featuring artists on this roster.
Last week, however, I discovered that I misunderstood. I was not invited to be part of a show, I was invited to have my own SOLO show!
I also discovered I was invited to have a solo show because a member of the Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery worked in a building in which my piece Abandoned Water Structure was hung and looked at it every day for a year. She wanted to work with me and give me an opportunity to have a show featuring more of my work because of what Abandoned Water Structure meant to her!
The show (name of show pending) featuring my work opens at noon on 04/18/19 and run through 07/15/19. I will be attending the show opening in Seattle.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be focusing on:
Preparing my existing pieces from my catalogue for the show (tentatively I have 8 – 10 art quilts for the show);
Providing the information to the coordinator on the name of the show (I have an idea in mind that I am working through);
Finalizing the display/placard information for each piece; and
Working with the gallery on the flyer to promote/advertise the show!!!
I will hand deliver the quilts to the gallery for storage prior to the show during an upcoming business trip to Seattle before the show.
More to come, I just wanted to share this exciting news with you that the municipality of the largest city in the Pacific Northwest Region of North America has invited me to have this glorious opportunity.
In addition to being very excited to have my first solo show, I am also excited to have a reason to have a reunion with my Seattle friends (I lived in Seattle for 8 years before moving to Central Oregon in 2005) before I move to Colorado this Spring.
April is beginning to look very busy but it will be a “good busy”!
In this post I announced the exhibit for which I was working on a secret quilt (the curator ask us not to post photos of our quilts until the show was announced) from April to August 2018.
“Working” is a term I am using loosely as I was procrastinating on completing the quilt during that time. I was given over one+ year (maybe 1.5 years) to complete the quilt from the invitation to be part of the Women of Color Quilting Network show, but alas, I was burning the midnight oil to get it done in time for the October deadline!
The show is called “Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young”. It opens on March 16, 2019 and the exhibit will run from through August 17, 2019 at the National Afro-American Museum in historic Wilberforce, Ohio.
Please check out the “Part I” post of this series for more details on Colonel Charles Young.
So now it’s time to reveal the quilt I made for the show.
Honoring His Service at Sequoia National Park
As I discussed in the previous post, the show’s curator provided us with options of what part of Colonel Young’s life could inspire out quilt. I selected his time as Superintendent of Sequoia National Park.
I read a book about his life and accomplishments (Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young by Brian G. Shellum) and studied images I found online of Sequoia National Park to inspire my piece.
After sketching out numerous ideas (in my journal, see post Creative Inspiration: Peek Inside My Journals) I knew that I wanted to make Colonel Young part of the beauty of Sequoia National Park since his role, as the first African American Superintendent of a National Park, was to preserve its beauty.
Also I decided I wanted to use only recycled materials to create the piece which would also honor his conservation efforts. I decided to only use cotton Batik fabric scraps.
Here is the forest as it developed on the large design wall in my hallway (I added this post of my series What’s on the Design Wall, as it was secretly on my design wall!):
I wanted to incorporate Colonel Young and his accomplishments into the trees. So first I worked on a tree with his image as part of the bark:
I also wanted to honor the National Park Service, so I created a fabric version of a U.S. Parks Service sign and edited the image to be the name of the quilt – Giant Among the Sequoia.
I had so much fun making this “monument marker”!
And here is the full quilt which measures 40″ x 40″:
Here is the Artist Statement:
Giant Among the Sequoias (2018)
Tierney Davis Hogan
40” x 40”
Recycled cotton batik fabric scraps, batik cotton fabric, recycled cotton and polyester batting, ink
Inspired by Brian G. Shellum’s biography, Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young (Bison Books, 2010), this piece honors the legacy of Colonel Charles Young, the first African-American Superintendent of a national park.
Floating among the trees in a mythical scene inspired by an image of a section of Sequoia National Park and by Brain G. Shellum’s book, are phrases describing the work that this groundbreaking leader accomplished during his time as Superintendent of General Grant (now Kings Canyon) and Sequoia National Parks:
Overseeing Operations, Park Superintendent, Clearing Trails, Providing Leadership, Stopping Livestock Grazers, Park Patrolling, Protecting Against Poachers, Road Building, Respected by the Community; and Inspiring Youth
In the center of the piece, a giant Sequoia tree with Colonel Charles Young’s image surveys and protects the park. Adding a bit of whimsy to the piece, an image of a real U.S. Forest Service sign in Sequoia National Forest was creatively edited.
This piece also honors the precious natural environment of our national parks and is made primarily from recycled materials (batik fabric scraps) that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
One of my early recycled silk art quilts was juried into the national Art (yes “art” not quilting, ha!) Show – “Soulful: A National Exhibition of African American Artists”. It opens February 7th and runs through February 28th at the d’Art Center in Norfolk, VA.
My piece that will appear in the show is called Color Story I: Flying Triangles. It was the first recycled silk art quilt I made when I began to experiment with using recycled materials. Below is the piece and the updated Artist Statement I did for the show.
COLOR STORY I: FLYING TRIANGLES
45 ” W x 44.5″ L, silk & linen garment scraps pieced on muslin foundation
The Color Stories series of art quilts are vibrant colored compositions, created from recycled textiles including silks, wools and linens. Many of the recycled silks and linens are from samples and remnants from NYC Fashion District couture fabrics from the 1990’s European textile houses of Ratti, Braghenti, Castellini and D’Este.
Instead of ending up in a landfill, these couture fabric samples with their complex colors, patterns and textures inspire my textile art.
This is piece is from my first art quilt series: Color Stories. If you’d like to see the other art quilts in this series, check out my page Art Quilt Stories.
Next post I will share where I am moving or some of my plans for my next adventure in life. If you would like to take a guess, it is one of the states in the image of AAA travel books below (if you know already don’t ruin the surprise for any other readers, thanks!)
Featured image credit: d’Art Center (d-artcenter.org)
I made my first four (4) recycled silk art quilts in 2012 and in 2013 I had them professional photographed. For the past 5 years I had the high quality files of these photos and have only used them for images on my blog.
This is the final post in the series of four posts on the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) and Friends Show Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience, curated By Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, and inspired by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
As I mentioned in the first post, Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I show opening at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, OH, was only the “soft opening”, featuring half of the quilts. At a future date the full show will debut and in Spring 2019 the book will be published featuring all the quilts in the exhibit as well as the story behind the exhibit.
This post features one more installment of a sample selection of powerful quilts from the show. (If you are just joining us you can click on this link – WCQN – to view the three previous posts – Part I, Part II, and Part III.)
Carolyn Crump – Waiting to Have My Say
Gloria Kellon – Freedom of Expression over the Water
Gwendolyn Brooks – On This Special Day
Julius Bremer – Let’s Gather Peacefully
Deanna Tyson – Black Lives Matter
Ifa Felix – The Green Book
James Mardis – Cruelty Comes for Us All
The photo does not capture how amazing and powerful this quilt is! The artist is one of the long-time male quilters in the WCQN. I had a chance to chat with him during the show and listen to him talk about this multi-textured piece made from a multitude of materials besides cotton fabric.
I wish I had taken some close up photos of the piece. I think I was so overwhelmed by the whole show and trying to meet and chat with the amazing artists that I got distracted from my photography! When Dr. Mazloomi’s book on the show comes out in Spring 2019 it will have professionally photographed detailed images of these quilts.
L’Merchie Frazier – Going Beyond the Self: Lale and the Omo Children
Helen Murrell – Capital Punishment
Lauren Austin – Parole Denied
Ed Johnetta Miller – So What Skeltons Are in Your Closet?
Sandra Noble – Detainment
It was an honor to be part of this show and an honor to be able to share some of the amazing quilts from this show with you all.
I have to say of course, the most exciting moment of attending the show was walking into the exhibit area and seeing my quilt on the wall:
The second most exciting moment, was seeing an image of my quilt projected up on the screen in the auditorium before the panel discussion began:
Before the panel discussion, Dr. Mazloomi gave a powerful talk on the power of art. Here is a quote from her talk (which I have on video but could not figure out how to upload onto YouTube to share, perhaps at a later time):
For me as an artist I strongly believe that art has the capacity to touch the spirit, engage people, educate and heal in ways that words cannot.
Dr. Mazloomi stated that the show was inspired by the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and that she is long-time admirer of Eleanor Roosevelt who was instrumental in getting this declaration done.
I had a bit of adventure getting to Hamilton, OH for the show. Central Oregon is a long way from Hamilton, OH!
Since I was going to be in the Eastern part of the country (well Ohio could be considered Midwest) I thought I should also visit with my family and I met up with my family in Washington, DC for a couple of days before flying onto Cincinnati, OH.
While in DC I went with my brother, sister, sister-in-law and 5 and 14 year old nephews to the National Geographic Museum and saw two amazing exhibits on the Tomb of Christ and the Titanic.
I may share additional photos from those exhibits in a future post.
From Cincinnati I rented a car and drove 45 minutes or so to Hamilton (which is not within a reasonable distance to a major airport).
While in Hamilton I stayed in sweet Victorian Airbnb rental (only $56 for the night) 6 blocks from the Fitton Center where the opening show was held. Here are some photos of where I stayed which was built in the late 1800s and had cool architecture and period related decor (and handmade antique quilts on the bed!):
I will not share my airline travel saga but it did involve spending two nights sleeping in an airport (on the way there and on the way back) because of severe thunderstorms that grounded planes. But I did make the most of my time stuck in airports and will have a future posts on the cool exhibits and sights at the various airports along my journey!
If you are an artist/crafter have you ever attended an exhibit that made you want to just put away your art/craft supplies and find a new hobby?
This is what happened to me (no worries, it was only for a moment), when I saw the art quilts in the opening night of Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium: Quilting the World’s Conscience at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, Ohio on Friday August 17, 2018.
This post is a continuation of the post Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part I and rather than ramble on about how many of these inspirational, provocative, powerful, creative, masterpieces made me want to shut down my sewing machine and walk away, I will just share a sample of images of the amazing quilts in the show.
I’ve included the Artist Statements that explain these amazing art quilts inspired by United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Note I am going to share images of quilts from the show over several posts.
Earamicha Brown – A Woman’s Worth
Behrooz Assani – The Dawn of Human Rights
This quilt was not by a “Woman of Color” but by a Persian man, originally from Iran who wanted to show that although this part of the world has a reputation for the violation of human rights, Persia was in ancient times a forerunner on the concept of human rights.
Barbara McCraw – Every Man, Woman, and Child
Cynthia Lockhart – Created to Be Me
Beverly Smith – Plant a Seed
Glenda Richardson – Article 25
I will leave you with these 6 quilts to think about and next post I will continue with more quilts from the show.
According to the United Nations’ website (un.org):
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.
Dr. Mazloomi invited members of WCQN and friends to design a quilt inspired by one of the 30 Articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
As those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while know, I designed a 50″ x 50″ quilt inspired by Article 1 and Stories My Father Told Me (this is a new category on my blog which contains all related posts about the first quilt in a series of quilts I plan to make inspired by stories/lessons my father told me as a child), titled The Lesson and The Equation.
The Lesson and The Equation debuted at this show along with many mind-blowing and inspirational quilts.
Friday August 17, 2018 was the “soft opening” of the show and contained about 25 – 30 quilts, half the entire show. The entire show will be opening in the future at a larger venue and there will be a book that accompanies the show.
Here are some examples of books from other WCQN shows that can be found on amazon.com (just search “Carolyn Mazloomi”):
Around the exhibited quilts, there were placards with the Preamble and the corresponding Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, below are a couple examples:
I was very overwhelmed to be part of the this amazing show and here I am absolutely amazed that I got to be an “Exhibiting Artist”:
I was also overwhelmed and very honored that two of my long-time blogging buddies Sandy and Cindy of graybarndesigns.com came from Ohio and Western NY to meet me and see the show!
Next post I will share images from the amazing and inspirational pieces in the show!
“Our hopes for a more just, safe, and peaceful world can only be achieved when there is universal respect for the inherent dignity and equal rights of all members of the human family.” – UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
My 18′ x 40″ quilt from recycled materials, The Recycled Love (2018) is part of the – Threads That Bind Central Oregon SAQA exhibit at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty Gallery, downtown Bend, Oregon that opened August 3, 2018 and is running through August 2018.
I did not get to attend the opening but luckily I met a friend for lunch the morning of the show’s opening. After our lunch we peeked into the gallery and luckily the pieces were already hung in preparation for the evening’s opening.
I took photos quickly as I needed to return to work – here are images from the show (apologies to the artists for the less than stellar photo images of their amazing quilts – the quilts were all perfect rectangles unlike my camera image portrays!):
Each art quilt had a placard with the name of the piece and the artist’s name, but I wish the Artist Statements were also displayed. Our SAQA group met in June at one of the member’s gorgeous homes (the house was a piece of art itself!) and we took turns unveiling our pieces and sharing our Artist Statements/the background on each piece.
The art quilts in this show each have an amazing story and I am sorry I cannot share those stories with you (I should have taken notes at the unveiling). I do remember part of one story, a piece by the incredibly talented Jan Tetzlaff – it was inspired her trip to South Africa and seeing the prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for for 27 years:
In case you are new to my blog, you can read more about my piece The Recycled Love in this post – The Recycled Love.
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).
I mentioned in this post that I had two pieces in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (July 14, 2018) this year. Originally I was only going to have one piece, my 18″ x 40″ quilt for our annual Central Oregon SAQA themed show: The Threads That Bind
The Recycled Love
However a couple weeks ago I got an e-mail from Jeannette Pilak asking for additional quilts for Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS) Sponsors. The “Sponsor Quilts” are hung in the local businesses that financially support the show a week before the show. “Sponsor Quilts” help support sponsors by encouraging SOQS attendees to visit their shops and businesses to see additional quilts.
I was honored to be included in the list of those invited to help out, so I decided to also put this quilt in SOQS as a “Sponsor Quilt”:
I am listing Additional Conversations for sale as the show as I’ve been invited to create another quilt with the same inspired design for a very special show, that of course is secret and I cannot share information on yet.
Speaking of secret shows, if you are wondering why lately I have not posted photos of any works in progress it is because I am working on a secret quilt for a future Women of Color Quilting Network Show and I cannot share images until the show is announced.
I know several of you have worked or are currently working on secret quilts too for special shows/books/events. It will be fun when we can all reveal them!
Other SOQS Stuff
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) does not have any quilts in the show this year. It is not like 2016 when he had FIVE quilts in the show and SOLD TWO! I also had five quilts in the show and SOLD NONE. He teased me quite a bit about that as he was a very new quilter and I am a long-time quilter. He was in the special Man Made exhibit so that might have given him more exposure (or his quilts were just more appealing than mine).
For this SOQS one of my blogging buddies, Becca @Pretty Piney who lives on the East Coast of the U.S. has a quilt in the show this year and I am going to take photos for her and send them on to her. I met Becca in person in NYC September 2017 while we were both attending Quilters Take Manhattan and we were both trying to photography our mutual blogging buddy, Mary @Zippy Quilts piece! It was one of those “talk about a small world” moments!
I have a bunch of blog posts on previous Sisters Outdoor Shows and if you would like to read those stories and see some of the amazing quilts people display at the show, check out this series of posts: Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show
And I will likely do a series of posts on this years show. I am especially excited about this years show as my two beloved Sister-in-Laws, who are both quilters, are coming for a visit to see the show and to hang out with TTQH (their brother) and me!
For next year there are rumors that some of my California-based Quilting Sisters might come for a visit during the show! We had a blast a couple of years ago when they visited and I might need to check with them before I share some of the hysterical shenanigans that occurred during their visit…something to do with a quilter’s cutting mat and I can say no more at this time – ha!
For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. – Audrey Hepburn
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!
Last Thursday (April 19, 2018) I was the featured speaker at our monthly Central Oregon SAQA (art quilting) group meeting.
What I Presented
I did a presentation (complete with “death by PowerPoint”…I did try to keep the PowerPoint slides as engaging as possible with primarily photos) on the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) and the 2017 Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) event I attended in NYC in September 2017.
I used some of the key text from these posts but also included more photos than were in the posts (I have a crazy amount of photos from QTM 2017!). For fun I also snuck in some family photos (I met up with my sister, brother and two awesome nephews) from the trip, especially some of my highly adorable 5 year old and now 14 year old nephews!
I also brought a copy of all the WCQN Exhibit books by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi in my personal collection for the attendees to look through while I spoke (so they would not fall asleep during my presentation):
And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversation
Threads of Faith: Recent Works from the Women of Color Quilters Network
Journey of Hope: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama
Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition
Quilting African American Women’s History
I also brought a copy of Sherri Lynn Woods’ book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously just in case there was any art quilter in our group that had not heard of this book.
Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) attended the presentation also and helped me haul all those books to the speaking engagement.
No one appeared to fall asleep during my presentation and they actually appeared quite engaged (or faked it very well!)
If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know my obsession with my public library. What was cool (at least to me) was that my presentation was done in the Conference room of the Sisters Branch of the Deschutes Public Library. So I got to speak at the library (huge smile)!
Key to Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking: Be Delusional & Improvisational
One of my Central Oregon SAQA friends asked me before the presentation if I was nervous and I said “no”.
I am not sure if I should be nervous but I am never really nervous before a speaking engagement. I have this likely delusional belief, especially if I am speaking in front of a group that knows me, that they want me to succeed and are cheering me on (hopefully no one breaks my delusion!).
I used to do a lot of public speaking professionally when I was a trainer (before the days of telecommuting) at work and at professional conferences. If you’ve done corporate training, especially mandatory corporate training, you know about speaking to an audience that may not want to be there!
What broke me of any fear of public speaking (possibly creating my delusion that everyone is cheering for me) was an experience many, many years ago when I spoke at a conference that my employer put on for one our retail clients when I worked for a Workers’ Compensation Carrier.
It was a large group of managers for one of our retail clients (a national group) that looked like their souls had been sucked out of their bodies (please know I have nothing against who works in retail, this group of conference attendees were just very lifeless, they could have been in any industry). Also as you could imagine, managing work related injuries is not the most exciting all day conference topic!
During the conference, I watched one presenter after the other painfully struggle through their presentation with a highly “unengaged” and bored audience.
When it was my turn, I figured the crowd/audience could not dislike me anymore than they obviously already disliked the previous presenters, so what the heck – I was going to have fun.
So when I got up to the podium, I had an improvisational moment and I took the microphone off the podium stand and started walking through the crowd with it. I did my presentation as if I was performing a nite-club act: Walking through the crowd, speaking directly to audience members and being very animated.
Shockingly I got the first round of audible strong applause for the day! I even saw some actual smiles in the crowd (like their souls had briefly returned to their bodies!)
After that I had no fear of public speaking. Ultimately if the audience hates me, they hate me (but I always secretly know they are cheering for me – my insanity is so delicious!)
A follow up to the post Additional Conversations – Completed , one of my blogging buddies asked me what was behind the name “Additional Conversations”. This made me realize I better go write the Artist Statement.
I finished the piece made from recycled textiles (clothing, home decor, manufacturing samples, hand-dyed silk samples, etc.) for our local art group’s annual show with the theme “The Threads that Bind” – The Recycled Love. The 03/29/18 post provides details of the 8 types of recycled fibers that are contained in the piece and my musing on writing the Artist Statement for this piece.
Here is my finalized Artist Statement for the piece:
The first law of thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a system cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. A quilt is made from changing the existing “love energy” from the quilt maker’s heart into a pieced textile; ultimately recycling that love energy into the quilt’s recipient heart
I think this piece is a better option than those materials ending up in a landfill.
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!
This post is a continuation of my ongoing series “What’s on the Design Wall”, featuring my latest project up on either the small design wall in my studio or the large design wall my hallway.
I spent this weekend working on a new improvisational art quilt made with recycle clothing and recycled home decor fabric – Additional Conversations.
On Instagram I shared a couple previews/peeks over the past week, like the example below:
Well here are several initial images of the completed quilt top:
Better photos to come – I was challenged with taking photos of my large design wall, at an angle, in our narrow hallway. Note: My enthusiasm to get the finally sewn together quilt top up on the design wall exceeded my enthusiasm to do a quality job of final pressing on the ironing board.
I am thinking of hand quilting this piece like I did The Recycled Road (made from many of the same fabrics).
Now what to do with the left over scraps from the piece – perhaps a smaller companion piece called “Additional Small Conversations“!
Additional Conversations is the fourth piece in my series Recycled Denim Stories(see my TierneyDavis Hogan page on the Improvisational Textiles website).
In these two previous posts ArtistStatements and ArtistStatements, Part II, I shared my struggles with writing Artist Statements for a specific art quilt and the huge and intimidatingchallenge of writing an overall Artist Statement for my body of work as (a wannabe) an art quilter.
You can see above, underlined in red, my big concern: That I had not yet established what I felt was a solid and cohesive body of work. This is what I felt was keeping me from creating my overall/general Artist Statement.
A couple weeks ago I realized I now have a body of work in regards to art quilts (maybe it is imaginary but it seems like a body of work) – 16 “art quilts”. 15 of these art quilts are “improvisational” and one (1) is a combination of pictorial and improvisational. Now I had to determine what I am trying to “say” with my current body of work and where I want to go with it (i.e. make it COHESIVE).
Above the front entrance to my beloved public library are quotes by authors and my favorite quote, by author Barry Lopez, is shown in the image below:
It may be difficult to read from the photo, so here is the quote:
“The storyteller is the person who creates an atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself” – Barry Lopez
I smile every time I visit the library and see that quote.
Thinking about that quote and where I want to go with my art quilting, I realized I want to be a storyteller.
So I’ve spent the past couple of weeks, as time allows, revisiting the Artist Statements on 15 of my 16 existing art quilts (1 of the quilts is part of an upcoming exhibit and the Artist Statement is already solid and cohesive with the them of the exhibit).
Out of this work (revisiting the specific Artist Statements for each piece), came a reorganization of my work into Six (6) Series of Stories:
“The storyteller is the person who creates an atmosphere in which wisdom reveals itself”, storyteller Barry Lopez noted.
My fiber/textile art is created with a single or ongoing story in mind. These stories originate from my life experiences, observations, struggles, dreams and hopes. The earth and its inhabitants are very precious to me and I want to do work that contributes to environmental conservation efforts. I primarily use recycled textiles in my art to include recycled clothing, textile manufacturing samples and scraps, and discards from others quilt-making. My focus on improvisational design: The fabric itself and creative inspiration guide me to allow the piece to evolve organically and become what it wants to become.
I am sure I will continue to refine this statement in the future, howeverI feel now like I have a map for the direction of where I want to go with my art quilting instead of just wandering aimlessly creating one new piece and wandering onto the next piece.
And Something Else
One more thing on Artist Statements – when you blog and post publicly, you never know who is reading. Well in the THOUGHTS (Comments) section of the Artist Statements,Part IIpost I was surprised and quite pleased to see a detailed comments/advice from someone who professionally works with and mentors artists.
In case you did not catch this comment from that post, I am sharing a screen shot of this helpful advice a professional posted:
I am currently working on a new piece for my “Recycled Denim Stories” series and here is a little peek at “What’s on the Ironing Board” (pulled from the Design Wall temporarily as I work out the layout):
Here is a little section of one of the blocks I shared on Instagram:
The recycled denim, recycled various clothing and recycled home decor fabric in this piece is the same fabric used in my other pieces The Recycled Door and The Recycled Road.
Trust me you will never guess where I am going with this piece, it is going to have quite a bit of whimsy! Watch for more on this piece in a future What’son the Design Wall series of posts…
Featured Image credit: Meredith B., free images.com
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!
I am moving old posts from the Improvisational Textiles blog over to my blog.
Originally posted June 3, 2017
My improvisational piece, Jiko’s Robe (2015) is currently on display at QuiltWorks Gallery in Bend, Oregon.
It is part of QuiltWorks Gallery’s Asian Exhibit of Asian inspired/themed quilts and quilted wallhangings. The exhibit opened during the First Friday Art Walk on 06/02/17 and will show through the end of June.
Jiko’s Robe was originally created for the Deschutes Public Library Downtown Branch’s Novel Idea Art Show in 2015. It is inspired by A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, the selected novel for the annual “community book group” read for Central Oregon.
Deschutes Public Library, in Central Oregon, selects on an annual “community read” novel and invites the entire Central Oregon community to read the selected novel, attend discussions and special events including art shows inspired by the book.
The annual A Novel Idea program concludes with an evening talk (usually sold out) by the author at a community venue. It is like a community-wide “book club”.
In 2015, I participated in the annual juried A Novel Idea Art Show held at the Downtown Branch of the Deschutes Public Library. I was quite excited when her piece, Jiko’s Secret Robe, the only textile art shown at the Downtown Library, was selected to be in the show.
My Artist Statement provides more information on this piece:
This piece was inspired by Ruth Ozeki’s Novel – A Tale for the Time Being.
In the novel, the protagonist Nao’s great grandmother, Jiko, is a humble and wise 100+ year old Buddhist nun who wears simple robes and lives a simple life. Jiko however carries in her being – powerful history, mysteries, and depths of understanding of her place in the universe.
Inspired by a printed kimono panel, this piece represents Jiko’s “secret robe” – a robe not visible to the eye but visible to the soul. It represents the complexity, turmoil and beauty of her spirit, her experience, her wisdom and her great compassion for all beings and the earth upon which they dwell.
In my 08/25/16 post, Artist Statements, I shared my struggle with writing Artist Statements for art quilts. In my more recent (03/30/17) post, What’s on My Lap, I again mentioned my struggle with writing Artist Statements, and Mary ofZippy Quiltsshared the following:
I could not turn down a suggestion for a blog post!
In my first post in August 2016 on Artist Statements I only whined about having to write an Artist Statement and then shared my completed statement for a piece that was being shown at the 2016 Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF).
This time I thought I would do something more than whining!
So I spent time researching information about writing Artist Statements and used that information to write the Artist Statement for this piece below – The Recycled Road:
Here are the basic details on The Recycled Road, I will use these later in the post to write my Artist Statement for this piece:
It is made from recycled materials: denim jeans, corduroy pants, corduroy shirt, curtains, sweat pants, home decor fabric scraps, and a tweed jumper
The art quilt is the second in quilt in my series The Recyclings (yesterday I decided the name of my series)
I hand quilted this quilt to give it an organic feel
This quilt was inspired by the Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group annual exhibit theme “Pathways”.
The piece measures 18″ x 40″
I hand quilted the quilt to give it an organic feel
General Artist Statement vs. Artist Statement About A Work
A bit of research reinforced what I heard in the art quilting community – that there are basically two types of Artist Statements: 1) A general statement about you as an Artist; or 2) a statement about a specific piece of artwork.
General Artist Statement
A couple of years ago at one of our Central Oregon SAQA group meetings, we broke into small groups to do an exercise to work on our (General) Artist Statements, the about our art and ourselves as an artist.
I was overwhelmed by this exercise for several reasons: 1) Our Central Oregon SAQA group contains many real textile artists and art quilters – I mean nationally and internationally known artists – I was completely intimidated; 2) I was a new art quilter, recently transitioned from traditional quilting to dabbling in improvisational art; and 3) I was not sure if I could really consider myself an “Artist”.
Several experienced art quilters in the group shared with me examples of their professional artist Artist Statements, which I politely accepted and graciously thanked them for sharing, but it only intimidated me more (it was a “deer in headlights” experience).
A couple months later, I realized I was just not ready to write my General Artist Statement, and that was okay. I had not established what I feel is a solid and cohesive body of textile art. Currently I am working towards this and in the near future I hope to write my General Artist Statement.
I found some great resources online for writing General Artist Statements that I will use in the future, here are the links:
One of my favorite discoveries on advice on writing General Artist Statements was the article “The Artist Statement & Why They Mostly Suck” on the website bmoreart.com. I loved this quote:
“A good artist statement should enhance what a viewer sees in your work and provide a concise handle to approach a visual piece. It should be accurate, well-written, and correctly punctuated. It also should be specific to your work and offer unique insight into your process.”
Jean Wells Keenan, textile artist, has a wonderful example of a General Artist Statement on her website jeanwellsquilts.com:
Artist Statement About A Specific Work
It is my goal/dream someday to write a well-crafted General Statement about my body of work and how I approach my art, someday. For now I am just trying to write an Artist Statement about a specific art quilt.
So I searched online for inspiration on writing Artist Statements specific to a piece of work. At ArtsyShark.com I found these helpful tips in the article: “How to Write an Amazing Artist Statement” that could be applied to either General Artist Statements or an Artist Statement on a specific piece of art:
Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing your artist statement:
The ideal length is one to three paragraphs.
It should be in first-person.
You should not tell your audience how to feel or what to look at.
You want to inform your viewer but not overly explain things – leave room for the viewer to make his or her own connections.
Ask yourself: Is this writing specific to my work or can it be about anyone’s?
Don’t use phrases like: I hope, My work aspires to, My goal is, The Viewer will, These paintings (do something).
Remember: The key to an amazing statement is to write A LOT, then edit, edit, edit. You should go through at least 3 drafts. This is not something you can do in an evening – it’s going to take time, so find the best time of day that works for you to write, such as over morning coffee. Write in a way that feels comfortable – type or write long hand.
My favorite guideline I discovered online for writing an artist statement for a specific piece of art, was from the website hysterically named – Getting Your Sh*t Together: making life better for artists (gyst-ink.com). Here are highlights from this websites had the following Artist Statement Guidelines:
An Artist Statement is a general introduction to your work, a body of work, or a specific project.
It should open with the work’s basic ideas in an overview of two or three sentences or a short paragraph and then go into detail about how these issues or ideas are presented in the work.
You can include some of the following points:
Why you have created the work and its history.
Your overall vision.
What you expect from your audience and how they will react.
How your current work relates to your previous work.
Where your work fits in with current contemporary art.
How your work fits in with the history of art practice.
How your work fits into a group exhibition, or a series of projects you have done.
Sources and inspiration for your images.
Artists you have been influenced by or how your work relates to other artists’ work. Other influences.
How this work fits into a series or longer body of work.
How a certain technique is important to the work.
Your philosophy of art making or of the work’s origin.
The final paragraph should recapitulate the most important points in the statement.
Ask yourself “What are you trying to say in the work?” “What influences my work?” “How do my methods of working (techniques, style, formal decisions) support the content of my work?” “What are specific examples of this in my work” “Does this statement conjure up any images?”
Consider – Who is your audience? What level are you writing for? What will your statement be used for? What does your statement say about you as an artist and a professional?
Okay, Ready, Write (The Draft)
I could have spent all day online looking at examples of Artist Statements, but now it is time to write my draft statement for the piece The Recycled Road:
The Recycled Road (2017)
18″ W x 40″ L
Recycled denim, corduroy, cotton jersey, wool and rayon.
Designed, pieced and hand quilted by Tierney Davis Hogan
Artist Statement (draft)
The Recycled Road is the second piece in my series The Recyclings, small art quilts from recycled materials.
Inspired by the theme of “Pathways” for the 2017 Central Oregon SAQA group annual art quilt exhibit, this “pathway” begins at the orange corduroy boundary between the multicolor “road” and the plain gray “road”. This “road” continues beyond the top edge of the quilt; as it has no boundaries beyond the limits we set on our own imagination. The pathway in this quilt represents one of many roads traveled by our creative spirit.
Using improvisational piecing techniques, I created this piece from all recycled materials (denim jeans, corduroy shirt, corduroy pants, tweed jumper, sweat pants, curtains and home decor fabric scraps. Seeking a bit of adventure in working with recycled clothing, I used an old pair of faded and threadbare gray sweat pants to create the edges of the road. I hand quilted the piece to give it an organic feel. Hand quilting the recycled fabrics was an unique multilayered and meditative tactile experience.
Most of the fabrics were not reusable as clothing or home decor and were destined to end up in a landfill. Reimagining recycled clothing and other materials into art quilts satisfies my desire to honor the environment and make art that is eco-conscious. Ending up in an art quilt is a better outcome than ending up in a landfill.
Okay, so now that I have written my draft Artist Statement for The Recycled Road, I am going to let it simmer overnight and see how I feel about it in the morning.