lake norman quilt show (and having a cohesive voice)

Earlier this summer I was the featured artist at the Lake Norman Quilt Show.  I was stationed right at the main entrance and got to chat with many delightful visitors.IMG_6195

It was a delightful weekend. Most of the visitors seemed to be unfamiliar with the art side of quilting so I had a great time exposing them to something new

I re-learned something I already knew. If I ever want to have a solo show I need to start working in a series. I like all the different kinds of work I’ve made, and each looks like MY work…. but. It lacks cohesionIMG_6206

Having hung numerous juried exhibits I know how important having a cohesive visual whole is to the success of any exhibit. That Oooooh! factor when people walk in and see a beautifully curated group of art is worth the effort. The combined effect of the parts becomes greater than each of the pieces could be on their own.IMG_6204

I have, in fact, been invited to be part of a five person show at a museum next year (more information on that later). Imagine a wall full of portraits – looking at each other. Or a colorful series of variations on the XOX kisses and hugs theme. 

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I have so many directions to choose from – that’s the hardest part. Which cartoon was it where the character stood there saying “Which way should I go? Which way should I go?”

sketching faces

It’s been a long time since I’ve sketched, but I downloaded Pam Carriker’s new book Mixed Media Portraits before a recent trip and got a little bit inspired.

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Student Spotlight: valley quiltmakers

I’m the luckiest person alive – to have a career where I get to travel and play with quilters.IMG_6895Last week I was in southern California with several guilds and enjoyed their heat wave and humidity – which to me felt lovely and dry.IMG_6893The Valley Quiltmakers and I worked with a reverse appliqué technique I call Apli-Punto.IMG_6891Beautiful and complex designs – made easy.IMG_6889Even students who really weren’t sure appliqué was a technique they wanted to explore came away with something wonderful.IMG_6894And what fun – playing with beautiful colors and shapes!

travel: paris – doors

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The Association of Parisian Grocers.
At least when the building was constructed, who knows who is there now?Pars_doors_16

This is a gorgeous door and set from the Musee du Orsay.

a little bit of art

Sigh. The first week of school happened last week. I’m up at 5:30 every day and it’s amazing how much I’m getting done in those first several hours of the day. Back to my yoga classes, and back to…. the studio.

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These sweet little 4×6 postcards should have been done three weeks ago and really it should only have taken me a day and a half to print the cloth and sew them up.

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But I haven’t had a day and a half – or even a few hours – all summer long. Having the kids back in school is bliss.

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These were made as a sweet “thank you” to the featured artists who shared their work with me for The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson. Go take a peek at their art (and the work of other fine artists who participated in the exercise) in the Reality Warps on-line exhibition.

artist spotlight: gavin aung than

I browse the web on occasion… usually following links from here to there that I’ve seen on Pinterest of Facebook. (There hasn’t been time for that for the past few months.) Every once in a while a gem comes through that is worth watching. 
Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 2.30.42 PMIt’s a website where inspirational quotes from famous people are adapted into cartoons. The artist, Gavin Aung Than, is a cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia. After working in the corporate graphic design industry for 8 years he quit his unfulfilling job at the end of 2011 to focus on his true passion, drawing cartoons. Gavin launched Zen Pencils at the start of 2012, a cartoon blog which adapts inspirational quotes into comic stories, and hasn’t looked back since.

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I seriously love his work.

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My kidlets fight over who gets the tear-out poster from his first book. 24x36_500px_largeI just bought a second copy of it so that I could cut out some of the illustrated quotes and tape them to their walls. You can find his posters here.PHOTO_590

He just announced the availability of his second book, Zen Pencils-Volume Two: Dream the Impossible Dream.  I’ve already pre-ordered my two copies. 

It will include my favorite illustration of a quote from Amelia Earheart: The fears are paper tigers. Than’s illustration brings it to life in a way that captured my heart and my mind! C’mon – go look at it now. Then support an artist who is making the world a better place by buying his book. 🙂 You’ll be glad you did!

travel: paris – doors and windows

Sometimes even the simplest door would have a beautiful detail in Paris.Paris_doors_20
And sometimes there was so much detail that I needed to narrow my focus in order to enjoy it.Pars_doors_14

Can you imagine living in a place where a door as beautiful of this almost looks ordinary?Paris_doors_19

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travels: paris, the louvre and funny faces

Another thing that caught my eye and became a wonderfully fun treasure hunt was funny faces. I had one of those halt in my tracks, turn back and try to keep myself from squealing moments when I chanced upon a set of Archimboldo paintings. Delighting in the wackiness of these portraits sent me off in another direction – finding funny faces. I wasn’t ignoring women here – there just weren’t any women making funny faces in the wings I wandered.FullSizeRender-1

Do me a favor – come up with some hilarious captions for these and I’ll add them to the post.

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Cinq maitres de la Renaissance florentine

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Autoportrait avec un ami (Self portrait with a friend by Raffaello Santi, de Raphael)

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Portrait de deux jeunes hommes (portrait of two young men by anonymous vénitien painter)

“If you pretend you don’t smell anything, they won’t know it was you.”

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La Seance de portrait (the portrait session by Gaspare Traversi)

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David vainqueur de Goliath (David vanquishes Goliath by Guido Reni)

“Yep. All in a day’s work.”

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Portrait d’un graveur en pierres fines (Portrait of a fine stone engraver by Jacopo Carrucci)

“Wait, who took the last cookie!”

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Self Portrait by Jacques-Louis David

“The original duck-lip selfie!”

travels: paris, the louvre and strong women

When there is so much to see, in such a short amount of time, it sometimes helps if you have limited parameters. Instead of trying to see everything – choose one or two things to concentrate on. louvre-women2I didn’t have any particular parameters in mind when I began our peripatetic perusal, but after this powerful woman on a plinth caught my eye. I decided to see how many paintings I could find with powerful women as the main subject. louvre-women5Not Madonna’s – although I think of them as very strong. There were just too many of them. And clothed would be nice. Have you ever stopped to consider the ratio of naked women to men in art museums? Hmmmm.louvre-women3Most all of the paintings with women as the main subject were allegorical in the galleries we visited. No idea what collections we visited. I also don’t remember seeing a lot of “women as sexual objects”. Either I missed those ones or they came later in the art world. I hopped over to the wiki site for the Louvre and of course I missed a great number of works that feature women… some in the “sexual object” category. I also missed Michelangelo’s Dying Slaves. (I think I would have actually fought the crowd to see that one!)

louvre-women1Still, most of what I saw was woman as saint or goddess, or symbol or something otherworldly. I would have loved to see a few Vermeers. Have you seen the film Tim’s Vermeer yet? I recommend it. It is an entertaining and educational hypothesis about an optical device Tim believes Vermeer used to paint his works.louvre-women4Interesting that the only portrait of a real (non-allegorical) woman I saw was painted by a female artist. Elizabeth Lebrun was born in Paris to a portraitist father and by the time she was 16 was painting portraits professionally herself. Click here to go to the wiki page about her. She was a very interesting woman. I don’t remember her being mentioned in my art history class. I wonder how many other interesting women weren’t mentioned in my art history classes? Did you know that 

travels: paris, the louvre – odd bits here and there

Once you start walking through the Louvre you realize how overwhelming such a collection can be. Almost any work here could be a national treasure on it’s own, to be gazed at and appreciated for hours in any smaller museum. But here at the Louvre, when there are hundreds and hundreds of treasures, you start just glancing here and there until something catches your eye. Avia quickly found works that she had recently studied in her art history course.FullSizeRender-29I quickly forgot that this place used to be the palace for the French Royalty. Until I was reminded by a room like this….

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louvre-statue-egyptian-romanHubby and I were talking the other night and I was telling him a little more about the trip. I kind of feel like, “Paris – Check! Greece – honey you’ve GOT to see this!”

That might only be because he loves sun and beaches. Museums – not so much. Because who doesn’t want to travel across the world to see some hellenistic dude dressing up like Pharaoh? Right?

But then we started thinking of all sorts of crazy fun ideas like, “Let’s go spend a season in Paris. You go to Le Cordon Bleu for cooking school, I’ll go see and make art every day.”

louvre-paintingThat idea takes Paris right back into the “when can we go!” category. Sigh. The answer to that question is most likely – after the kids are grown. We have a ways to go there.

Can you imagine being in Paris during the off season, heading off to the Louvre (or any one of the other amazing museums) without the crowds, and tucking yourself in a corner to just really learn from one of your favorites?

louvre-statues4And without the crowds maybe you could laugh out loud when you see these guys contemplating…..

 

It took some hunting but Avia found a piece she had written an essay on last semester. How cool is that!? To see it in real life? In all it’s hugeness? Very cool. 
louvre-avia1Although by the end of the day all you want to do is snap a quick picture to prove you were there and then find somewhere to sit down. It’s all good – a day well spent.

travels: paris, overwhelmed at the Louvre

Once I tore myself away from the stone tablets in the Islamic wing of the Louvre, Avia led the way to one piece she wanted to revisit.FullSizeRender-15

The Winged Victory of Samothrace is, for all it’s incompleteness, is one of the most graceful and beautiful sculptures I’ve ever seen. I wonder if I would have such a visceral reaction to the flowing lines and the feeling of movement and grace if she did have a face?FullSizeRender-13

And I wonder if she is yet another national treasure, spirited away during the Turkish occupation of Greece to a foreign land. Anybody know? She was excavated by the French consul and amateur archaeologist Charles Champoiseau, in 1863 who sent her right away to Paris. Her setting here is certainly magnificent!

I can’t help but think though, if this beauty, and so many of the other magnificent sculptures from ancient Greece were still IN Greece, FullSizeRender-14would there be crowds like this there?

 

The next thing I really remember is turning a corner and gasping for breath thinking – it’s SO beautiful as I looked at a painting/fresco. Then I did the inner gasp thing again, thinking to myself, is this a Botticelli!?FullSizeRender-25

Looked down at the title card and sure enough, there is the name. Coming face to face with favorite works from several college art history classes many many many years ago can be disarming. There truly is no way to capture the essence of a work, especially a large scale work, in the pages of a book. The figures in this fresco were almost life size if I’m remembering correctly.FullSizeRender-25

Then there are works that might make as much of an impact in a book, because they are tiny in real life. And – who wants to fight that crowd to get a glimpse? That was shoulder to shoulder, push your way through. Not my favorite way to see art.IMG_4969 So technically I DID see the Mona Lisa. But no, I didn’t think it was worth it to fight the crowd.

 

travels: paris, the louvre in stone

Everything inside the Louvre is a treasure. The most overlooked artifact there would be a centerpiece of any smaller museum.IMG_4976-1Statues from ancient Greece and Rome..IMG_4975A mosaic on the floor that most people rush by on their way to see that one paintingIMG_4984-1This was Avia’s second time in the Louvre but I think she had mostly spent her time in the Islamic wing. She humored me for a quick trip through where I was inexplicably drawn past exquisite mosaics and tapestries and entranced by stone after stone.IMG_4983

With her French study abroad program she had spent several weeks in Paris studying immigrants in France as well as several weeks in Morocco studying French Colonialism’s effect on North Africa. They had spent weeks analyzing and picking apart cultural biases and interactions.FullSizeRender-5I think it was something of a lightening of spirit to be able to just go and enjoy the beauty of the artifacts.FullSizeRenderHave you ever seen a more beautiful script?FullSizeRenderIf I can find translations somewhere (anyone able to help me search them out?) these might end up as thermofax screens. I wouldn’t want to be disrespectful if they are religious texts. FullSizeRenderI’m hoping for grocery lists or epitaphs. What do you think they are? The pictures are quite heavily digitally edited so that I can see the scripts more clearly. Here is an original for comparison.IMG_4982

travels: paris, entering the louvre

FullSizeRenderIt’s a BIG place. All the exterior pictures I’ve ever seen of the Louvre picture I.M. Pei’s pyramid in the courtyard. I think we might have come in through the back entrance of what was once the Royal Palace. Do you ever wonder what today’s American equivalent of royalty is? We certainly don’t revere our politicians. TV and Movie stars perhaps. Perhaps professional athletes (mostly in Football and Basketball.) I don’t watch TV or sports (no time) so I wouldn’t really know but I get the feeling those people are as spoiled and behave as badly as did the French Royalty. I can imagine what the palace must have been like as one giant stage for the nobles to be seen upon. And don’t ask me how I ended up with a chinese map – is it chinese?Louvre_exterior1I think we must have come in the back door. The big empty dirt yard was a little underwhelming. But the building itself went on forever.Louvre_exterior2In through the first arcade… It was interesting to see all the details, wondering when the lamps were added then thinking, what did they use before lamps and what did that look like?Louvre_exterior3Old and new always butt up against each other. Did they even bother to repair or scrub the buildings before they had cranes? I was thinking that we were in great luck and that the tourists had all decided to stay home that day. Honestly – this place is huge. You can just glimpse I. M. Pei’s glass pyramid through the next arcade. We definitely came in the back door. Every picture I’ve seen of the place showed the pyramid from the other side.Louvre_exterior5I’m not sure if the ugly red box is semi-permanent or not. It might house ticketing booths. I know the other side of that glass holds enormous lines of people from all over the world. Which could be really annoying.Louvre_exterior6Or, if you have the right shoes and the right attitude it could be really fun. The people were honestly as interesting as the art.Louvre_exterior8 Just listening and trying to identify how many languages you can hear at a place like this is an adventure worth taking.Louvre_exterior9With the Paris Museum Pass you can skip the ticket line, but not the security lines. Fortunately those go pretty quickly. Louvre_exterior10And really, it’s worth the wait. Stay tuned for the ART!

travels: paris – on the way to the louvre

Or in this case – on the way to the Louvre. I’ve just decided that I need to print up maps and mark all the places we wandered. I’ve already forgotten a lot of them… or at least where they were on the map. Of course – if you keep your eyes open – many of the most delightful discoveries are on the way to your destination. Or when you are lost.

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paris_pass1paris_pass2I’m not sure if we walked all the way to the Louvre or if we took the Metro. Avia had a pass and we decided that for the time I was there a bundle of 10 tickets was the least expensive option. It was much nicer to just be able to decide on the spur of the moment to hop a train rather than needing to stop and purchase tickets for each part of our last minute journey.

Paris is more than a world class city when it comes to art. It’s paradise! Bring your shoes. And if you go, I recommend the Paris Museum Pass. You can purchase it at varying costs for however many days you will be there. It gave us the freedom and flexibility to pop in and out of some of the smaller places that we would not have wanted to pay for. It also lets you skip a lot of the lines – which is a THING in and of itself.

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But seriously, take your time and look around during the journey instead of focusing entirely on the destination. Everywhere you look there is something really interesting to see. Who built this? What is it? I really want to see what it looks like in there! Don’t you love the asymmetrical awning?
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I wonder if this is a shop or factory? Or is it both? I have never had a desire for name brand stuff and couldn’t spot a Louis Vuitton anything if my life depended on it, but it’s a very lovely building.FullSizeRender-18And this…. I don’t even know what it is or what it says but don’t you wish they made details on buildings like this these days? And finally – we arrive at the Louvre – but are completely distracted by what is across the street. We both love exploring cathedrals. There seems to be one every few blocks in Paris, an embarrassment of architectural riches to be sure. We chose to hit these on our way back – although I don’t remember if we actually ever did.FullSizeRender-23

travel: paris – doors and details

Pars_doors_08How many years does it take for a patina to be created then worn away?

Pars_doors_12This building was somewhere on the way to the Musee’ du Orsay.Pars_doors_013New and old mix everywhere in Paris.
I couldn’t figure out if this was a very exclusive shop or residence.
It’s possible it was both.

Pars_doors_06I tried opening it, but my parseltongue is a bit rusty.

Travels: Paris street art

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travels: paris, the food!

Paris sweets tend to focus their variety on pastries, the cake like specialty cookies that I can’t remember the name of (confiseries – I had to look it up), and of course macarons. All of them are spectacularly beautiful and artistically presented – but I didn’t see a lot of other options either in the tourist areas or the neighborhoods we explored. Every once in a while there was a surprise. See those three chocolate truffles? Served with home made real whipped creme. At the equivalent of a fast food bagel shop!!!! When I ordered it I thought I was just getting one truffle for desert. What a lovely surprise. paris_food15

Then there are the meringues. No pretty ribbed little drops. The meringues are simply big, blobby blobs of sugar, light as air and crispy. They are usually displayed in a bowl on top of the counter. Often they are dusted with cocoa. They were the only sweet that was sweet like Americans like sweet. Which is to say – ridiculously sweet. I saw a couple of them that were the size of a flattened football. They crumble and fall apart when you bite into them so I’m not sure how one would share such a monster.paris_food12This beauty was obviously an exception. Here is Avia in the lovely apartment we rented through AirBnB for the week. (It was wonderful and ideally located by the way!) She had been eyeing this thing for a couple of weeks and neither one of us were quite sure what it was. We knew it was chocolate on the outside so how could one go wrong?paris_food14Other than making a royal mess on the table, the process of discovery was a delight. A meringue coated in a light chocolate whipped cream, dipped in chocolate crackle stuff. Impossible to eat politely and absolutely delicious!

So – I’ve cultivated a love of surprises when it comes to food. I know so many people who only like the same things to eat (one of them lives in my house but I hope he’ll grow out of it.) I suppose if your tummy tends to rebel it would make it hard to like surprises but I think exploring with all my senses is half the adventure of travel! What have been your best (or worst) food surprises when you’ve traveled?

Whimsical Inspirations by Jamie Fingal

There are times you just need to stop. To relax. To breathe. 

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The times I get to actually REST are few and far between for me. Besides the things you see here on this blog I have children at home and other very heavy responsibilities that weigh on my mind all the time.

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Sometimes I need something to take my mind off of things and when my good friend Jamie Fingal published this sweet coloring book for grown ups I ordered one immediately. Of course it took me weeks to find a moment to sit down and just empty my mind and blissfully play with color. The designs are so detailed that it takes just enough concentration to let me forget everything else.

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When I had surgery and was out of commission for weeks a couple of years ago, a dear, sweet friend brought over a brand new set of colored pencils and a Dover coloring book. It was perfect. No pressure. Just mindlessly playing with color. Jamie’s coloring book is even better. Detailed patterns that delight me every time I open the book. Too much for a small child but plenty perfect for the child in me.

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Interested in seeing more? This week more of Jamie’s friends will be sharing what they have done with some of the other coloring pages. I’m looking forward to seeing them myself.

IMG_1227Tuesday, August 4 – Leslie / Watercolors or Markers – Coffee Cups
Wednesday, August 5 – Desiree / Ink Tense Pencils – Trailers
http://myclothesline.blogspot.com
Thursday, August 6 – Deborah / watercolors – Houses
Friday, August 7 – Susan / watercolors – Flowers on Page 3
http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
Saturday, August 8 – Sue / colored pencils – Dresses  
http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

Leave a comment on any of the blog posts. Jamie will be giving away coloring books to two random commenters. (U.S. entries only please – make sure you leave a way of her to get in touch with you!) Why don’t you tell me what it is YOU do when you need to meditate – to chill. Do you color?

Even better – pop over to Jamie’s blog and order your own coloring book and spend some quiet hours meditating with color. Come on…. you know you want to! The order button is right there in to right hand column on her blog. Totally worth it!

travel: paris – le petit musée du chocolat

When you have your eyes open and aren’t glued to a map, or in a hurry to get somewhere, or if you get lost, you find amazing things. IMG_4718

This is straight down the hill from Sacre Ceaur, a big Basilica on a hill in Paris. Two of my favorite things. Chocolate and a Museum. I had read about this place in a guidebook or on a blog somewhere but it wasn’t high enough on the list to seek out. Running into it in passing was a very delightful accident.

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This is just the shop. Crystal chandeliers (and a guy on a ladder polishing them by hand.) And loads and loads of chocolate. 

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We didn’t go downstairs through the museum. It was our last day on our trip and we were winding down. Didn’t want to pay the fee. And – there was enough amazing stuff upstairs to keep us happy for a quick run through. I have a brother who drives a mini, and builds model ships. Guess who this picture made me think of.

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Just so you can compare and see how amazing the detail on this sculpture really was…

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This, of course, was my very favorite. I don’t like scary (no horror films for me!) but I do love things a little weird sometimes and gargoyles are just… cool. Especially when made of chocolate!

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Yes, we bought chocolate. It was good. We brought some home for family. I am very pleased to say that I live in an area of the country where I can find food, and chocolate, just as good as I found in Paris. Rarely as beautifully presented – but not everyplace can be Paris!

travels: paris, the food – it’s all about the presentation

I think the Parisiens are very keyed into the visual language of beauty. They like to dress beautifully, trim their trees into (ridiculous) rectangles so the beautiful view is unobstructed, and every pastry shop was like an art gallery.
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Honestly – look at that display! Everything is just so …. Beautiful!paris_food05

I wonder if they like to just loooooook at all the beautiful food? To many Americans, desensitized by the presence of sweeteners in practically everything we put into our mouths, the taste doesn’t quite live up to the visual. The pastries just aren’t as sweet as American pastries. That’s probably not a bad thing. Oh, and they don’t skimp on butter – ever. I think that when you aren’t constantly eating sugar, and live in a country where the default is walking rather than hopping in a car to get anywhere – that you can eat butter!paris_food01

This lunch was arranged as beautifully on the plate as the pastries in the shop. And here is another wonderfully interesting thing about Paris. See the chairs in the cafe across the street? They are all facing the street. That was more the norm than were we were sitting. I think the people watching is as much part of the experience as the food. I loved it. Except for the fact that smoking is far more accepted there. During this particular meal a guy sitting nearby kept blowing huge puffs of a super stinky cigar our way. 
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This was a chain store – we saw the same place in several touristy areas of town. But still….paris_food16

Pressed tin ceiling, perfectly stacked cookies (what do you call al little cake biscuit thing?) and everything color coordinated.paris_food17

Even the fish market was artfully arranged. It’s all about beauty. Or at least, they care enough to dress even every day things with beautiful arrangements.paris_food06

travels: paris – the food!

One of our favorite things in Paris was to hunt down any sort of treat that was recommended to us. We were told of a great gelato (ice cream) shop in Isle de la Cite’. We found a place, bought a really expensive tiny scoop – and were not really impressed. paris_food19

Walking back along the tiny cobblestone road we found another place, with almost the same name, with a line of loud and rowdy American teenagers (and their loud and rowdy chaperones) and decided we definitely had room for another cone. Avia tried the Poire (pear) and it was truly delicious. Don’t remember what flavor I had. I do remember that we ended up trying Pear flavored gelato whenever we found it on the rest of the trip. This place was definitely better than the first! We ate this cone on the banks of the Seine river at sunset – before racing through the city to catch the twinkling of the Eiffel tower.

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Another favorite, simply for the style, was the shop that turned each cone into a flower. This might be raspberry, basil-lime, and coconut. 

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Another night we were thinking we couldn’t be in Paris and not visit a Fromagerie. (cheese!) This required a little more advanced planning as they keep French hours and close at lunch and in the evening. We were told this was THE best place and that we must try a desert cheese called Fontainebleau. (wow – I just googled the name of the cheese to make sure I was spelling it right and the Barthelemy Fromagerie came up on the list first thing!

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It was great for a very light late dinner of baguette and fresh strawberries. It was sort of like a very, very light whipped ricotta – and my sincerest apologies to cheese experts. To us uneducated (in the world of cheese) Americans that is the closest I could come. Just the tiniest bit sweet – a perfect match to the tartness of the berry.

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Another day we traveled to Maison Pradier to try what we were told were the BEST eclairs. The fun thing about traveling outside the tourist zones is that in Paris, there are no boring strip malls and monotonous suburbs. Every place is an adventure. This place was around the corner from Deroylle… scroll down if you missed this cabinet of curiosities. Every part of the trip was an adventure. I highly recommend that when you travel you TRY NEW THINGS!!!! Sure you can stop by a McDonalds almost anywhere in the world – (URG!) but why would you spend the big bucks to go someplace completely different and do something you can do every day at home. (again – URG!)

Of course, there really is no way to go wrong with the sweets in Paris. Have you been there? What was your favorite?

travels: paris, notre dame – inside

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It’s really, really, really big in there. (And much, much more crowded these days.)IMG_5751

Every nook along the apse (the aisles on either side of the Nave -which is the long central main space)  has beautiful stained glass and a little sanctuary with statues. Each is unique.IMG_5752

I loved Joan of Arc. Fierce woman if ever there was one.IMG_5763The stained glass windows on every level are beautiful. It is impossible to convey the feel and atmosphere of the place.

IMG_5765-1Is that the shadow of an angel – or the hunchback of…. Notre Dame?IMG_5766-1I wish I could read french. Was this really a great man giving to the poor, or was it a rich guy who commissioned a statue to make people think of him as really generous. I really shouldn’t be so cynical. Really I’m not.  Late at night the snarky thoughts just seem to take over my usual pollyanna view of the world.

travel: paris, Notre Dame – west facade

Edeuard Baldus, 1851-1870

Edeuard Baldus, 1851-1870

The facade of the Notre Dame cathedral is truly impressive. There is a LOT of stuff up there. I suppose if most of your population is illiterate that a facade can be read like a really interesting book. Everything has a meaning and was meant to teach the general populace a lesson. I enjoyed reading through this article  with it’s general information. I haven’t had time yet to read through a statue by statue explanation…. Did I mention that there is a LOT of stuff there.IMG_5757

It was a surprise to read that most of the statues were originally painted all sorts of bright colors. (The same is true of ancient greek statuary and temples.) We are so used to the quiet and worn monochrome of age that the very thought sounds really loud and gaudy to me. What it must have been like…..Paris_doors_22For some reason I am drawn to the grotesques. And all the little pedestals that look like little villages and castles. Who are all those saints looking on… standing on the backs of the sinners?IMG_5758

Were they really saints? Were they really sinners? I don’t have a very Catholic world-view I’m afraid. My current favorite saying is “a saint is a sinner who just keeps trying.”IMG_5760

When I look at the statues I mostly think of the dedication and skill of the craftsmen who worked on this structure for their whole lives. Was it a cushy, secure job? How well were they paid? What kind of politics did they deal with? Did they enjoy their labor? Did they get to see it done?

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Can you even imagine the hours spent at the fire and the anvil, banging out each delicate curl and scroll?Pars_doors_09

Winners: Reality Warps

I kind of cringe at that title. EVERYONE who entered was a winner to me, not jus the few who were chosen to appear on air. It takes courage to put yourself out into the public and take a chance. That said, I could only choose a few of the entered artworks to bring with me when I film for The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson later in the month. 

Gwyned Trefethen
Dancing Scissors

Jones Strike A Pose

Janice Jones
Strike A Pose

Jacobi Dalsors

Jacquelyn Jacobi
Dalsors

Hoagland Ran With Scissors

Renee Hoagland
Ran With Scissors

Fillon Scissors

Lisa Fillon
Scissors

Boyd Empty Figs

Bill Boyd
Empty Figs

Pat Bishop Burrowing Owl

Pat Bishop
Burrowing Owl

Susan Armour Scissors

Susan Armour
Scissors

These are the small works of art that I will share on air. Each of them showed a mature sense of composition and also represented a wide variety of outcomes that can occur when individual artistry is applied to a set instructions. You can see all the entries of the Reality Warps call for entry here.

Travels: paris, notre dame’s gargoyles

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Painted in Waterlogue

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Painted in Waterlogue

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Painted in Waterlogue

travels: paris, notre dame’s bells

According to Wikipedia, “The cathedral has 10 bells. The largest, Emmanuel, original to 1681, is located in the south tower and weighs just over 13 tons and is tolled to mark the hours of the day and for various occasions and services. This bell is always rung first, at least 5 seconds before the rest. Until recently, there were four additional 19th-century bells on wheels in the north tower, which were swing chimed. These bells were meant to replace nine which were removed from the cathedral during the Revolution and were rung for various services and festivals. The bells were once rung by hand before electric motors allowed them to be rung without manual labor. When it was discovered that the size of the bells could cause the entire building to vibrate, threatening its structural integrity, they were taken out of use. The bells also had external hammers for tune playing from a small clavier.”IMG_5716

“On the night of 24 August 1944 as the Île de la Cité was taken by an advance column of French and Allied armoured troops and elements of the Resistance, it was the tolling of the Emmanuel that announced to the city that its liberation was under way.”

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“In early 2012, as part of a €2 million project, the four old bells in the north tower were deemed unsatisfactory and removed. The plan originally was to melt them down and recast new bells from the material. However, a legal challenge resulted in the bells being saved in extremis at the foundry.[11] As of early 2013, they are still merely set aside until their fate is decided. A set of 8 new bells was cast by the same foundry in Normandy that had cast the four in 1856. At the same time, a much larger bell called Marie was cast in the Netherlands—it now hangs with Emmanuel in the south tower. The 9 new bells, which were delivered to the cathedral at the same time (31 January 2013),[12] are designed to replicate the quality and tone of the cathedral’s original bells.”

travels: paris, notre dame’s towers

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Climbing towers – being UP – one of my very favorite things ever. Every time I travel my most memorable memories are climbing to the top of things. Or at least the view once I get there.

IMG_5722Waiting in lines – NOT my favorite thing. Hers neither. And this was one LONG line. I suggest either get there first thing in the morning, or wait until a time of day when the line is in the shade.

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The views as you wait are wonderful if you take a moment to look.

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We finally made it to the little red door.IMG_5720And then – up and up and up and up and up and up…..

IMG_5719But the views are SO worth the climb! This is looking North – the hill is Montmartre and Sacre Caeur.

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Another view North of the bell tower.

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The Seine.

Preset Style = Vibrant Format = Medium Format Margin = None Format Border = Straight Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Normal Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Narrow Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light

I thought I would be spending time with my watercolor sketchbook, sitting at cafes while I was traveling. I didn’t. Too many things to see, and then too exhausted to think. My Waterlogue app did plenty of painting for me.

travels: paris, notre dame

Notre_Dame_01One of the subjects I studied in college was architecture. It took a while to dredge up the names of the parts of a cathedral, but no time at all to realize that seeing and walking through the structure in person cannot compare to looking at pictures in a book. I knew this and wanted more than anything to do a study abroad program in architecture back then. Better late than never!Notre_Dame_08Notre Dame is THE cathedral you study when you learn about Gothic Architecture, which is characterized by pointed arches,Notre_Dame_02ribbed vaults,

IMG_5704 and flying buttresses.

IMG_5706Notre Dame was the first structure to use this innovative support system – out of necessity after the walls, growing ever higher, started to develop stress fractures. It took 185 years to build, finished in 1345. IMG_5705

Notre Dame is also known for the naturalism of it’s sculptures.Notre_Dame_04

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Notre_Dame_03(Somebody in this picture had a rough day.)

Notre_Dame_06I love it for the Gargoyles and Chimeras. 
(Lots more pictures to come – interior, the view from the tower, gargoyles!)

travels: paris, the bird and flower markets

Every Sunday, just east of Notre Dame next to the Isle de la Cite metro stopparis-bird_market10… you will find the Paris Bird and Flower markets.paris-bird_market06The flower markets are a permanent fixture although I’m not sure they are open every day.

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The bird market is a Sunday morning only thing.paris-bird_market04I suppose in a city without Petsmart type big box stores, buying your regular supplies for your pet parakeet requires a bit more planning. paris-bird_market07I didn’t see any more unusual birds than you would find at a pet shop in the US. Except maybe the chickens. (Can you find one?)paris-bird_market12

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I did see some unusual people.paris-bird_market03

I was impressed that she could ride a scooter in heels and a mini skirt – with a bird. I half kill myself on scooters – even with a helmet and sensible shoes.

travel: paris – doors and windows

To be in a place, a building, people have inhabited for decades or centuries….Pars_doors_17It makes you think.
How do they keep the building from falling down (or the Wisteria from tearing it up)?Pars_doors_15I wonder who touched these handles and what were they thinking?Pars_doors_10Who created these works of art?
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travels: paris, deyrolle – a cabinet of curiosities

IMG_3784Please see the previous post if you missed the introduction to this amazing shop in Paris.

Deyrolle is a cabinet of curiosities full of wonder and – when I walked into the entymology section – absolute delight! Underneath these display boxes are row upon row of drawers filled with specimens.

 

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The specimens were not simply displayed as a collection. Each box, each display and framed piece on the wall was a work of art.IMG_5663

Of course I happen to think that the living insect world is full of tiny works of art all by themselves. I could have spent the entire day photographing every specimen they have.IMG_3786

What artist could create jewels as beautiful as these?IMG_3779

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The artist Jean-Luc Maniouloux had several works on the wall that ought my eye. The shattered light bulb (is that a bee or a bullet?) was my favorite.

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I could spend hours on the Deyrolle pinterest page.
Now I need a month or two of completely uninterrupted time in order to create a vast series of works celebrating the beauties of the insect world. Anyone want to come take my place for a while? Sigh. If only….

travels: paris, deroylle – a cabinet of curiosities

IMG_3784My daughter and extremely competent tour guide, Avia, had already been abroad in Morocco and Paris for a few weeks before I arrived. When one of her study-abroad group said “you have to stop by this shop – the best eclairs ever – and oh, by the way, there is a cabinet of curiosities shop nearby” – off we went! IMG_5665Avia just might be the world’s foremost expert on judging the quality of an eclair. She notices and has a reasoned opinion about every part of the pastry. She judged these as very good – but not the best she had tasted in Paris. The curiosity shop, however, was worth a trip to Paris on it’s own merits.

FAIR WARNING: This post contains images of dead and stuffed animals and taxidermy. And skeletons. And maybe bugs and other stuff.

According to their website: “With few exceptions, the stuffed animals in Deyrolle come from zoos, parks or reserves where they died of old age or sickness. The animals were not killed for being naturalized in Deyrolle. All protected species are sold accompanied by a CITES certificate (issued by the Washington Convention), which ensures traceability.”

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Downstairs is a little shop with books and gardening supplies and a few interesting frames with mounted insects on the wall. Upstairs – is a garden of wonder that strikes the visitor full of awe. The employees/artisans worked their magic in an atmosphere of more hushed reverence than any cathedral we visited.
IMG_5659It wasn’t just the lifelike taxidermy, it was the whimsy and artistry of each arrangement. There was something unexpected around every corner. The people who do this aren’t trophy hunters. They are artists who appear to care a great deal for the natural world.

IMG_3795Taurus – with butterflies. Or Papillon if you want to be French.

IMG_3794Creatures in and out of their nice neat shelves.

IMG_3791-1Lobster anyone? The picture doesn’t do this justice. It was the biggest lobster we had ever seen.

IMG_3789Would you believe me if I told you I’d always wanted a bat skeleton – and bird and frog skeletons too. The history of Deyrolle is very interesting. Begun in 1831 by Jean-Baptiste Deyrolle, it has long been an institution devoted to education. They currently provide scientific wall charts to schools in 120 countries teaching everything from human anatomy to etymology.

IMG_3792Surprise! (um… I did warn you.) In 2008 much of the collection was destroyed by a devastating fire. Even then, art emerged. Artists and photographers documented the remains and effects and if I had room in my luggage I might have purchased the amazing book that resulted. A little creepy and beautiful at the same time.

IMG_3796Does anyone else have heart palpitations when they see cabinets with rows upon rows of drawers of all sizes? The dream studio that lives in my imagination is full of them. It is not full of chickens and elephants. But if it were tall enough it would have a little balcony with a wall to wall library and posters just like these.

Tomorrow I’ll share my photos from the etymology room.

The Deyrolle Website
replete with photos, history, mission, education
46, rue du Bac – 75007 Paris

New Work: Essence

I am greatly honored to be included among the talented list of artists that have work accepted for 

AFFINITY

An exhibit sponsored by the Dinner @8 crew of
Leslie Tucker Jennison
and
Jamie Fingal

Essence_full_webEssence
40″ x 40″
printed, painted, stitched

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Affinity 

The exhibit will be shown at the International Quilt Market (Oct 24-26) and Festival (Oct 28-Nov 1) in Houston; Sponsored by Havel’s Sewing.
Forty art quilts, 40×40 = 40x40x40

Travels: Paris, the Eiffel tower

Avia and I usually wore ourselves out by early evening and would head in to our apartment to rest and eat a very light dinner of fruit and cheese and of course a baguette. Eiffel_tower0605This night we headed out to find gelato and see the Eiffel twinkle. We (quite literally) ran through Paris and her Metro stations to make it in time for the lighting party. Because it is a party. Be prepared for lots of drunk and obnoxious american college students partying and for a river of men walking by trying to sell you wine.Eiffel_tower0201We made it just in time for the lighting at 10pm with seconds to spare. Avia really wanted to see the tower twinkle but … it just lit up. When it’s barely dusk it doesn’t make a big impact. We waited a bit to see if it would twinkle and decided that it wasn’t going to happen until the next hour.Eiffel_tower0706I decided that if we were going to wait around another 45 minutes we might as well do it in line for the elevator and see the twinkling close up. We did so in the company of another group of mostly drunk but amusing American college students.Eiffel_tower0403I think I wish I were part bird. I simply love being UP. Towers, belfries, hot air balloons. Doesn’t matter as long as I’m way high so I can see everything. Paris is beautiful from the heights.Eiffel_tower0302And – as promised at 11pm the twinkling began.

(You can click here to watch a video!)Eiffel_tower0504Worth it!

 

travels: versailles, petit trianon and hamlet

versailles2Next stop on our Blue Bike Tour of Versailles was the Petit Trianon. First a residence of Madame de Pompadour, a mistress who apparently had some serious privileges – guess kings back then didn’t have to keep such things a secret. Versailles_Petit_TrianonNow it is mostly remembered for the presence of Marie-Antoinette.Marie167It’s just a “little” place to get away from the crowd over in Paris.versailles3

I love to zone in on details and found this doorknob to be one of my favorite things about the place. We weren’t given a long time to explore the place and to be honest, super fancy houses don’t capture my interest so I don’t even remember the rooms.IMG_3422

The gardens might have been lovely but by this time of the day it had gotten quite hot and I didn’t feel like heading out into the open with no shade around. Yup. I’m a wimp sometimes when it comes to the sun – having forgotten sunscreen and having no hat. I ended up with a wicked sunburn anyway.IMG_3414I did love the geometry of this place with diagonally laid floor tiles and a long view through the corridor.IMG_3423Then on to the Hamlet. A little village created to remind Marie-Antoinette of the simple life (which in actuality she never really had lived. Royalty – remember?IMG_3410The vista was charming and the swan seriously added to the feeling of – wow – this place has the exact same feeling as Disneyland! Fantasy done extremely well! but the knowledge that this was fantasy for one person at the expense of the French citizens makes it a little hollow.versailles1This delightful little cottage with truly amazing gardens – I loved the gardens! – was reserved for the queen’s boudoir. Her hairdressing cottage.IMG_3420The mill required humans to turn the wheel as there wasn’t any actual stream on the site. We were informed that she loved to collect eggs – but that she asked her servants to wash the eggs first then place them so she could collect them without getting her hands dirty. A true country girl.IMG_3419Sorry if I sound a little – um – jaded is the only word I can think of. I truly enjoyed Versailles as a day outdoors on a bike with one of my favorite people in the world. The sky was clear and blue and the world was green and beautiful.

And we had a funny story on the way home. In one of the Metro stations on the way home we came down to the platform just as a train was getting ready to leave. We decided to run for it and Avia hopped on – me right behind her. Almost.Metro-metro The door closed with one leg, one arm, and my face in and the rest of me out. I thought I could maybe get the doors back open. Nope. A guy with a somewhat panicked look on his face pried the door open enough that I could get my leg out and Avia shoved the rest of me out as the doors slammed back shut and the train took off. Abesses_entrance_1Nothing better to get your heart pumping than thinking you are going to be dragged down a train tunnel any second. No real worries though. I just hopped the next train and at the next station Avia was waiting and we both hopped back on. The massive (still very colorful 10 days later) bruise on my thigh that I’m sporting is probably from the table corner I clumsily bumped into that evening but I think the train door makes a better story, don’t you?

travels: paris – Blue Bike Tours of Versailles

IMG_3412I had been advised that a bike tour of Paris should definitely go on the “must do” list but to be honest, once I saw the traffic and the way bikes worked in the city, I chickened out. Everything seemed to flow smoothly but I didn’t have the confidence that I would need to navigate that zoo. Avia wanted to tour Versailles – which is acres and acres and acres huge so on a very late night whim I booked a bike tour for us there. It was perfect!!! There is no way you can see everything by foot and biking along the long, long pathways through the grounds was an absolute delight!

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We met the tour at the train station in Paris, which is an adventure in and of itself. I wish I had a photo of my confident daughter – striding purposefully through the maze of underground tunnels that twist and turn in every direction. Once you get the hang of the system it’s actually not bad to navigate but this station was huge! It covers several blocks of real estate underground and I think we walked most of it to finally arrive at the platforms. We traveled to Versailles and stopped in the town to pick up the bikes.IMG_0522

Good old comfy beach cruisers (no gears) are new to me. It took a few minutes to get used to but I find I like them. There are very few hills in the area so it was no problem at all. I had to include this picture just because it was cute. I was glad that we had panniers to carry our stuff in rather than baskets. I like my center of gravity to be down low on wheels.IMG_0530

The tour started off at the market to purchase picnic supplies. Check out the size of those pans – almost a meter in diameter! I forgot to check back to see what they would be making in them. My wish was for paella.IMG_0516I started craving seafood too – which wasn’t practical for a picnic. We ended up with some sparkling pear juice, cherries, and of course a baguette sandwich. Oh – and a bar of white chocolate with lemon and something else yummy in it. I didn’t mean to get white chocolate – what sacrilege! But  (shhhh – don’t tell) it was delicious!

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I think I could travel and just look out train windows for ages. There are, of course less beautiful and more industrial areas. But I never saw boring suburbs with rows of nearly identical houses. The architecture in city and suburb was always interesting to me. I suppose that happens when the structural environment has existed for generations before cars were around. I truly love environments built for people rather than cars. What I wouldn’t give for great plaza/pedestrian/market/traffic-free public spaces in the US. Shopping malls (ick) are about as close as we come.2015-06-17 09.51.37

Back to Versailles. Big place. Fancy buildings (scroll down to see the previous post for pictures of the Grande Chateau.) We had some fun history lessons from our entertaining guide.2015-06-17 11.20.52 HDR

Do you see those crazy rectangular trees in the background? The entire estate is almost all planted with Linden trees and they are all trimmed into giant rectangular tree-sized hedgerows on sticks.

IMG_0525Ronan said they do it with a laser – I’m not sure if I believe him or not. It felt like the majority of trees we saw in Paris were also rectangular Linden trees. Kind of an interesting thing for the Parisians to hold over from the last century.
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This is the Grande Canal – our first stop on the grounds. We bike along the paths behind the trees but it isn’t a straight shot. The canal has a cross section to go around before we landed on the hill at the very back of the canal for our picnic. Another interesting thing was the inclusion of installation art by Anish Kapoor in parts of the Chateau and grounds. This piece was a giant sucking whirlpool that we didn’t realize wasn’t part of the original estate at first. I took a video that you might enjoy – I’m working on trying to get it uploaded for you. Try out this link and see if you can view it.Descension2

Next up I’ll share my impressions of Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon, gardens and hamlet.

travels: paris, versailles – Le Chateau

On a bright and beautiful day Avia and I escaped the city, hopped a train and explored Versailles.IMG_3396

According to Versailles’ official website: “The Château de Versailles, which has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 30 years, is one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art. The site began as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge before his son Louis XIV transformed and expanded it, moving the court and government of France to Versailles in 1682. Each of the three French kings who lived there until the French Revolution added improvements to make it more beautiful.”

 

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More beautiful? Or perhaps just more MORE. This is the absolute antithesis of the “Less is More” modern architecture movement. Even though the French people overthrew the monarchy, I wonder if they still see Versailles as the pinnacle of French art and power. Perhaps as an American I cannot help but see it as a symbol of power taken to extreme excess by humans who thought themselves Gods.

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Every facet of life centered around the sun king including worship at the “chapel” didn’t begin until the monarch arrived. There were public ceremonies surrounding him going to bed at night for heavens sake.

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I must admit that I did enjoy the beautiful flooring …… modern quilt anyone?

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These were people who thought themselves as large as the paintings they commissioned. Napoleon crowned himself and his Queen and then commissioned many, many very large paintings of himself and his exploits. (Many of which we saw in the Louvre – our favorite was one looking like he was falling off his rearing horse.)

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The obligatory Hall of Mirrors photo.

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I was actually intrigued and impressed by some serious napkin folding skills (wonder if those are authentic 1780’s folds and how would they know?) Mostly, I needed to have someplace to look other than the rest of the room. I had an almost physical nauseous reaction to the place.

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adjective: rococo
  1. (of furniture or architecture) of or characterized by an elaborately ornamental late baroque style of decoration prevalent in 18th-century Continental Europe, with asymmetrical patterns involving motifs and scrollwork.
    • extravagantly or excessively ornate, especially (of music or literature) highly ornamented and florid.
       
      In other words – negative space must be obliterated!

Travels: Paris, monuments

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imageLest you think I’m an amazing water colorist, which I am not, check out the Waterlogue App!

 

Travels: Paris, the cluny museum

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Travels: Paris, ste Chapelle

It impossible to get full pictures of most of the really spectacular structures here as there is no open space around most of the cathedrals. This chapel was built inside the courtyard of a palace, the rabble had no access to it until after the Revolution.

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“The Sainte-Chapelle or ‘Holy Chapel’, in the courtyard of the royal palace on the Île de la Cité (now part of a later administrative complex known as La Conciergerie), was built to house Louis IX’s collection of relics of Christ, which included the Crown of Thorns, the Image of Edessa and some thirty other items. Louis purchased his Passion relics from Baldwin II, the Latin emperor at Constantinople, for the sum of 135,000 livres, though this money was actually paid to the Venetians, to whom the relics had been pawned.”

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I found the space to be absolutely beautiful. My awe was in thinking of the master glass men, builders, painters, and masons. This chapel was built in 9 years instead of the 200 needed to build Notre Dame, which is admittedly an order of magnitude larger.

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I love the monkey having some sort of conversation with the elephant and the bird. And what about those dragons? I guess they missed the boat.

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I suppose I have a bit too much of the proletariat in me though as I can’t banish thoughts running through my mind of the absolute hubris exhibited by those who are born into wealth and power.image

Travels: Paris, St. Eustache

I’m going to have to stop trying to get a whole day in one post. so simply, here is another spectacular cathedral. We stayed and listened to Mass for a while. To hear the organ and the singing fill such a soaring space gives you a truer feel of why these buildings exist. It is a very sonorous form of worship, full of pageantry and beauty.

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Along the Aisles in a cathedral, (what you see in the first picture, outside the columns that surround the Nave which is the main seating area down the middle to the crossing) you will find Niches. Each alcove usually has a statue, a confessional, often frescoes, and other art. This almost-life-sized diorama was definitely out of the ordinary and caught my attention. Titled “March of the Fruits and Vegetables …. something something.”

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Travels: art in Paris, the Orangerie

The Orangerie used to house Orange trees for the nobility, now it houses Monet’s Water Lillies. 

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And other Impressionist art. Sorry, not a fan of Picasso, but love Utrillo. There was one woman, Marie Laurencin, represented and wouldn’t you know it, her bio talked about the passionate affair she had with another artist and just a little about the progression of her artwork. Don’t remember any of the other bios talking about their sex life.

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Chiam Soutine was new to me. All of his work was wavy and distorted, which I liked in this piece (that just begged for a wonky photo) but not in his portraits or still lives of butchered cattle.

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There was also a special temporary exhibit of Adolfo Wildt sculptures and other artwork such as sketches and paintings. I loved most of his work. Look home up. No photos allowed there.

Travels: paris day 2

Got some sleep! Beautiful day! Off with my daughter, the Paris Transportation expert, to the Puces de Vanves flea market for a lovely morning stroll.

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Off again in search of her favorite Vietnamese restaurant. Can I tell you how much I love Pho?

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Some really lovely street art in this area.

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It is a wonderful Asian sector. Not sure what it’s called.

 

 

Travels: Paris day 1

It is such magic to find yourself in another country, another continent, another culture. Paris is timeless and ancient but new to me. I met my daughter Avia today at the end of her study abroad program. She was kind enough to meet me at the airport and guide me through the transport system then through the maze of courtyards and doors and up flights and flights of stairs to our lovely little Air BnB apartment for the week.

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We rested and refueled and set of for an adventure in spite of our exhaustion. She had stayed up late saying goodby to her study group and (inspire of a seat upgrade) I hadn’t slept on the flight. No matter. 

First stop top was the grande Notre Dame cathedral. The stained glass windows were enchanting and the architecture soaring. image

A Green Man in a catholic cathedral? Perhaps it is time to look up some history and download some audio tours. Perhaps in a few days we will climb the towers.

As is always the case, my favorite stop of the day was serendipitous. We were wandering and looking for Shakespeare & Co., a book shop Avia wanted to revisit. We found it eventually and it was an hour well spent in this maze/warren of a book lovers dream. My favorite part was the floor with its bits and inlaid pieces from here and there and then and now.

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The magic happened with a wrong turn and a glance and a smile. A shop with delightful toys and ornaments hanging from the ceiling fought our eye and we wandered in. Row upon row of tiny music boxes, the kind with a drum, pins, and crank. We cranked and listened and sand and hummed. Right along with the proprietress who was wonderfully friendly. It was my first chance to hear Avia  speak this beautiful language. 

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Next some more more wandering and a quick stop in a market. A picnic on the (mangy) grass near this tomb/tower/memorial.

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Then off for a very early night. And then of course some middle so the night, jet lagged blogging.

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Travels: portland

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for your inspiration: from the air

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Call for Entry: Abstract-A-Licious, reality warps

SEE THE ON-LINE EXHIBITION
HERE

THIS ENTRY OPPORTUNITY IS NOW CLOSED
thank you for participating
Kinard_Abstract_I

If you have taken my Abstract-A-Licious class you will be familiar with the exercise that I will be demonstrating. I’d like to highlight the fabulous variety of design results that can happen when you bring your own unique vision and experiences to a simple and direct set of instructions. With this exercise, everyone starts out with the same, very recognizable object: a pair (or two) of scissors.

Please follow all directions precisely in order to be included in the exhibition.

Step 1: Lay your scissors on a piece of white 9″ x 12″ tracing paper, trace around them. On the bottom right corner of your sheet write the number “1”.

Step 2: Remove your scissors and place a second piece of white 9″ x 12″ tracing paper on top of paper #1. Trace your design again but change something about it. Lengthen, shorten, bend, straighten, twist, flip, rotate, expand, contract, duplicate, delete! On the bottom right corner of your sheet write the number “2”.

Step 3: Remove the bottom piece of tracing paper and set it aside. Repeat step 2 at least two more times, numbering each paper in successive order. You should end up with a design that looks nothing like a recognizable pair of scissors! (How cool is that!?!) Please preserve each sheet of tracing paper.

Step 4: Using your last (or your favorite) design as a pattern or springboard, create an 8″ x 10″ finished art quilt. Use any techniques you prefer. Horizontal or vertical orientation is acceptable. Final artwork must fit into a 9″ x 11″ padded envelope for shipping so use embellishments wiseley.

Step 5: Go over your tracings (or trace them anew) with a black sharpie then place them in a file folder or large envelope to protect them from wrinkles and creases. If accepted for publication these will be shipped to Lyric and scanned. Make sure there are no stray pencil marks. Write your full name and the title of your piece on the file folder or large envelope.

Step 6:  Photograph your artwork and enter it via the link below. Please take the best picture you are able. Use a neutral background and fill the frame with your art. No fingers or yards or favorite grandchildren showing. Light it evenly and shoot straight on instead of at an angle so that the edges are square and not distorted. You want to present your work in the best possible way! Detail shots are optional. Label your files with your last name, title, and full or detail. [ex. Kinard_Scissors_full.jpg]

Step 7: Enter your quilt via the link below! There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit. There is no cost to enter. Accepted entrants are responsible for the cost of shipping to Cary, NC.

THIS ENTRY IS NOW CLOSED

  • All entries will be exhibited in an online gallery at www.LyricKinard.com.
  • Accepted entries will be considered for possible inclusion in a filmed segment of The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson.
  • Accepted entries will be considered for inclusion in a forthcoming publication titled “Abstract-A-Licious.”
  • The creators of Lyric’s three favorite pieces will each receive an original hand-made 4″ x 7″ art postcard.

 

Calendar:
July 3, 2015  email entry form and .jpg of finished quilt to Lyric@lyrickinard.com
July 8, 2015 accepted entries will be notified via email and posted at http://lyrickinard.com/lyric-kinard-blog/
July 17, 2015 accepted materials, including quilt and tracings, must arrive in Cary, NC as per shipping instructions that will be emailed with acceptance notifications
August 17, 2015 all quilts will be shipped back to their owners

Linked traveling to Sacred Threads

An older work of art is traveling again and will be seen at

 

Sacred Threads

Exhibit Dates: July 10-July 26, 2015

Location: Floris United Methodist Church, Herndon, VA (outside Washington, D.C.)

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Linked
24″w x 60″h
2012

There are various things I could ramble on about in this post: expiration dates put on show entries (this show did not include expiration dates), artist statements (how much I kind of hate them), and deadlines (how they might be the only thing that ever gets me to finish a work but how I don’t do my very best work right up against a deadline.)

Suffice it to say I think that in most cases expiration dates on artwork, unless it is an exhibition that focuses entirely on new work, are silly. I’m very happy that Sacred Threads does not have expiration dates. And usually I hate artists statements; I love it when the work can stand on its own and when viewers can bring their own meaning to a piece. 

In this case however, I had the chance to record a statement for an audio tour of the show. There is a difference between reading the statement (while your eyes are away from the work) and listening to the artist speak while you examine the piece. This is also an exhibit that encourages “works as a connection to the sacred and/or as an expression of their own spiritual journey.” Linked definitely falls into this category and it was refreshing not to have to edit out anything spiritually based.

Here is what I recorded:

Much of my figurative work as an artist is concerned with the connections forged between the imperfect and yet deeply loved mortal children of our Heavenly Father. We are all part of the same human family, we are all tightly connected to each other.

I see how God allows us the freedom of choice that might lead to broken links in the chain, but that He stands waiting to repair or to forge anew.  I see how generations are linked, how the relationships I forge with God and with the people around me are part of an eternal chain. I understand that the effort placed into forging the bond between my husband and I will ripple through time to our children and on and on. I see how God is part of that chain.

You can see some of the “how it’s made” process here (pt1) and here (pt2).

A Pocket Guide to Critique

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Introducing a little booklet to help you critique artwork in an emotionally safe, informative, and supportive way.

12 packed pages
insightful guidance into the evaluation process
long lists of analytical questions to ask yourself
guidelines for group or solo critique

5.5″ x 8.5″
$4.99 + shipping

Learn to gain the fresh eyes necessary to objectively evaluate your artwork.
Use the elements and principles of art as a framework for a more objective analysis of your design process.
Learn which questions to ask in order to discover and solve design issues.

FullSizeRender

 

Now available as an Ebook
(PDF file)

$4.00

picture me jumping about and dancing

Another show entered on a whim – because I had time and because these quilts were getting bored rolled up in my studio. Last week they did pretty well at the Machine Quilters Showcase in Cedar Rapids, IA.

haikuHaiku
1st Place Wall category

Bach_Suite_IBach Suite I: gigue
1st Place Art category

direction_lyric_kinard7Direction
3rd Place Pictorial category

 

happy dance, happy dance, happy dance… all by myself.
c’mon. dance with me!

(what music are you playing in your head?)

Thermofax 101 giveaways

posting from my iPhone just isn’t working so I’m sorry if none of these links are clickable  but I wanted you to have the chance to see the last few reviews and to get your comments in for the drawings before they close out. Good luck!

May 11 Susan Brubaker Knapp http://wwwbluemoonrhiver.blogspot.com

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May 12 Desiree Habicht http://myclothesline.blogspot.com

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May 13 Jamie Fingal http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

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May 14 Deborah Boschert http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com

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May 15 Sarah Ann Smith Smith sarahannsmith.com

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Book Review: Colorful Fabric Collage by Sue Bleiweiss

So not only is my crazy Thermofax 101 blog hop (are you entirely bored of it yet!?!) almost through, but this is the last stop on the blog hop review of Sue Bleiweiss‘ new book:

TA DA!!!

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Gotta say – I’ve loved every project Sue has been involved in so I knew going in that her book would turn out great! The first chunk of the book is all about the techniques she uses in her wonderful and whimsical artwork. She covers sketching, dying cloth (I learned a couple of different ideas from her methods that I hadn’t used before!) fusing, quilting, and embellishing. Each topic is covered with clarity and in enough depth to be able to understand and proceed with her process.IMG_1094
 
I have a little project in the book. It’s a little on the “different” side for ways to use fusible web.
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For this piece, I laid some Misty-Fuse on a piece of crumpled then smoothed parchment and painted it with watered down purple acrylic and blue paints. After the paint dries I lift it off of the messed up parchment and sandwiched it between two layers of a teflon pressing sheet. I then ironed it to smooth it out, waited for it to cool, then cut and tore this sheet of fusible paint into the shape I was looking for.
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I fused it down to my quiltlet (this piece is 12″ x 12″) then did another strange but very fun thing. I put the teflon pressing sheet on top, ironed it to heat up the fusible web, quickly pulled of the pressing sheet and laid down a piece of foil. I quickly (but carefully – you don’t want to burn yourself) rubbed a few areas with my thumb to adhere the foil in a few places over the web. Let that cool then lift the foil sheet and there you go.
Kinard_AmmoniteXVIII_det_web
And you know me – I can’t resist beads so of course I had to add some of those as well for added texture. (If you are interested in purchasing this piece send me a quick email.)
 
Enough about my crazy ideas, back to Sue’s book. There are a lucky 13 projects in the back of this book for those of you who love to work with patterns! The only reason I don’t use patterns (I love them) is because I dan’t focus long enough to read directions. Her directions are great!
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So – would I recommend this book? Absolutely!
 
To add to the fun, Sue is giving away a prize package that includes a book, a stack of 10″ squares of her hand dyed fabric, some spools of Aurifil thread and a package of Mistyfuse.  The book will ship directly from Interweave so International commenters will receive an electronic version of the book and not a hard copy. May 15 drawing – all comments left on all of the blogs during the hop will be eligible.giveawaypack1That’s a very short time frame so get busy and revisit each of these blogs and leave a comment for your chance to win! I wish you the best of luck!!!
 
May 4: Sue Bleiweiss: http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/
May 4: Jamie Fingal :http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
May 5: Leslie Tucker Jenison: http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com/
May 6: Terri Stegmiller : http://stegart.blogspot.com/
May 7: Deborah Boschert : http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com/
May 8: Desiree Habicht : http://myclothesline.blogspot.com/
May 9: Kathy Sperino : http://finishinglinesbyksperino.blogspot.com/
May 10: Barb Forrister : http://www.barbforrister.com/blog/
May 11 Kathy York : http://www.aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com/
May 12: Lyric Kinard : http://lyrickinard.com/lyric-kinard-blog/

Thermofax 101 reviews: Liz, Carol, Kathy

Three more reviews and giveaways are up right now. I love that every reviewer so far has noticed something different in the DVD.  Each of the experienced thermofax users has also added her own tips and tricks and I’ve learned lots during the reviews. You really truly never know everything there is to know!

Kathy York’s Blog YorkFaucet

Carol Sloane’s Blogbirds and bees bee flower cu

Carol and Liz also have great shops with beautiful images for thermofax screens! They both link to them on their blog posts and I encourage you to check them out!

Liz Kettle’s Blogthermofax_examples_web_9_of_14

Thermofax 101 according to Melanie and Jane

The things Melanie Testa does with freezer paper resist and layering images…. IMG_0401

Well, she makes my heart beat faster whenever I take a peek. She goes into detail about what she likes on the Thermofax 101 DVD as well, which I greatly appreciate. You can read her review here.

Jane Davila has been a favorite artist of mine for ages as well and I was so happy when she agreed to review a copy of the DVD. You can read her review here.PC-bee

Did you know Judy Gula and Jane will both be teaching in a few weeks at the Quilters Unlimited show, the biggest and best show in the DC area. You can see a complete list of the classes that they are teaching on the QU website. 

So head over and see what Melly and Jane have to say. Leave comments on their blogs for chances to win.

Next up in the giveaway line up are:

May 7  Liz Kettle  http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey
May 8  Carol Sloan  http://carolbsloan.blogspot.com
May 9  Kathy York  http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com

 

Scroll down to check out the previous reviews and to see if they still have giveaways open. And if you can’t wait and are dying to play with some custom made screens of your own, or want to check out the ready made screens I offer – just follow the links.

Thermofax 101: the party continues

The reviews are pouring in. Are you curious about the technique yet! Want to play along?Thermofax_cover_web800pxh

And if you want to play right away you can order the DVD here, and Thermofax Screens here!

These reviews still have giveaways open… Have you gone over to take a look and leave a comment for your chance to win yet?

April 25 Leslie Tucker Jenison http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com
April 28 Sue Bleiweiss http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

April 30 Judy Gula http://www.artisticartifacts.com/blog/image

Check out the wonderful classes they offer at Artistic Artifacts, one of my favorite shops ever!

May 1 Sue Price & Elizabeth Gibson http://pgfiber2art.blogspot.com/image

Sue and Elizabeth do great work, teach wonderful classes, and have a THERMOFAX service. 

May 2 Judy Coates Perez http://www.judycoatesperez.comimage

See what she does using thermoFAX screens and DeColorant!

May 4 Linda Stokes www.lindastokes-textileartist.comimage

Linda, a fabulous Aussie artist has done some wonderful things with a masking technique that I can’t wait to try out!

Upcoming reviews – remeber that each and every review is having a giveaway!
May 5 Jane Davila http://janedavila.blogspot.com
May 6 Melanie Testa http://melanietesta.com/blog/
May 7 Liz Kettle http://www.textileevolution.com

Travels: Portland oregon

I am smitten. The Northwest has captured my heart. Bike lanes, women wearing flat shoes and hats that are just for fun rather than to keep your head from becoming a popsicle.

Powell's books, the largest book store anywhere!

Powell’s books, the largest book store anywhere!

Adventurous eating paid off. Tender, smoky, delicious!

Adventurous eating paid off. Tender, smoky, delicious!

Bacon wrapped dates at Toro Bravo.

Bacon wrapped dates at Toro Bravo.

The most delightful company!

The most delightful company!

Surprise Art

Surprise Art

Thermofax 101 with Sue Bleiweiss, Cheryl Rezendes

Today it’s Sue Bleiweiss’ turn to review Thermofax 101. Did you see her recent episode on The Quilt Show? She is fantastic and I love her work. (And she used thermofax screens in her episode there!) I’ll b reviewing her latest book here soon.me_lr29

In order to win her giveaway copy of
Thermofax 101: screen printing made easy
you have to leave a comment on her blog. Be creative and tell her what you love about her work! Be specific. Surprise her with the acuity of your comments. 😉 

Sue Bleiweiss Blog

 

Cheryl Rezendes also reviewed the DVD.Cher

I reviewed her book a while ago – still love it. Can you figure out how she made me blush? It involves the word “adorable.” and yes, she is having a giveaway too.

 

Thermofax 101: Leslie tucker Jenison

imageToday is Leslie Tucker Jenison’s turn to review my Thermofax 101 DVD. She has some great tips that I will use going forward – strapping tape! You’ll have to go there to see what she uses it for. image

image

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She will be giving away a DVD to someone commenting on her blog. Best of luck!

Thermofax 101 DVD blog hop and giveaways!

ready, set, GO!

Here we go – review copies are out – people are playing and we are ready to have a party! I’ll be giving away a copy of my DVD at every, single one of these blogs so be sure to stop by and check out what these fabulous artists are creating. Leave comments and share the news with your friends!
Thermofax_cover_square_web800pxh

And if you want to play right away you can order the DVD here, and Thermofax Screens here.

April 24 Cheryl Rezendez  http://www.cherylrezendes.com

April 25  Leslie Tucker Jenison  http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com  

April 28  Sue Bleiweiss  http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

April 30  Judy Gula  http://www.artisticartifacts.com/blog/

May 1  Sue Price & Elizabeth Gibson  http://pgfiber2art.blogspot.com/

May 2  Judy Coates Perez  http://www.judycoatesperez.com

May 4  Linda Stokes  www.lindastokes-textileartist.com

May 5  Jane Davila  http://janedavila.blogspot.com

May 6 Melanie Testa http://melanietesta.com/blog/

May 7  Liz Kettle  http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey

May 8  Carol Sloan  http://carolbsloan.blogspot.com

May 9  Kathy York  http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com

May 11  Susan Brubaker Knapp  http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com

May 12  Desiree Habicht  http://myclothesline.blogspot.com

May 13  Jamie Fingal  http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

May 14  Deborah Boschert  http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com

May 15  Sarah Ann Smith  sarahannsmith.com/weblog

For Your Inspiration: travel kits

I’m flying away this summer. A week in Paris and a week in Greece with an amazing young woman who just happened to grow up in my home. C.A.N.’T. W.A.I.T!!!! So of course instead of doing things I ought, I’m dreaming…..

il_fullxfull.576409146_8e4gWatercolor Travel Set in Altoid Tin by GREENLEAF blueberry on Etsy

 

il_fullxfull.750858525_aomrCustom Traveling Sketchbook by NotionalNotions on Etsy

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 2.46.15 PMJo Miller’s Travel Painter at Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff

Thermofax 101 is almost here!!!!

I’ve got a tracking number and have been giddily mapping the progress of a very large shipment of DVD’s – making it’s way slowly across the country. They are almost here! I’ve got a stack of shipping supplies and labels all ready to go.

I’ve also got a little surprise to add in to each pre-order as a sincere thank you to everyone who has been so patient with my manufacturing delays.

The pre-order offer of free shipping only lasts until Monday night (along with the surprise gift) so if you were thinking of jumping in, do it now!

Available now!Thermofax_cover_web800pxh

ORDER IT NOW!

Thermofax 101 DVD $19.95


 

for your inspiration: from the air

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IMG_4676

IMG_9685

IMG_4678

IMG_9679

When I fly I am perfectly happy spending the entire time marveling at the beauty.

For your inspiration

imageIt was such a lovely weekend.

image

image

I am always inspired by the beauty of the world around me.

image

Thermofax 101: preview

It’s  here!!!!

     
 
Thermofax 101 DVD $19.95

 

 
     

 

 

 

65 minutes of thorough instruction
Chapters:

Getting Started: what is a thermofax screen
Finding Images: find and design your own
How to Print: printing techniques and tools
Designing: creating cloth with layered imagery

Want to be ready to print when your DVD arrives?
Order Screens
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Order Textile Paint
Paint_opaque_300x180

New Work: just some samples

So apparently my “less is more” functionality lasted about 1 month. Or at least until my teaching schedule started. Since then I’ve felt completely overwhelmed again – too many things on my plate. There is a ton going on behind the scenes with getting the new DVD’s ready for you.Kinard_photos_foil6There are family things that are taking up more time than usual. Or I suppose – that IS the usual. There are other things in the works for later on in the year that are taking up time now. So the “less” part this past month or two has been blogging.Kinard_photos_foil5

So it’s nice when the things on the “to-do” list are fun. And it’s even nicer when they serve more than one purpose. These little sweetlings are samples for a class I’ll be offering at the International Quilt Festival this October called “Photos + Foil = Fun!” It will be one of those fun, I bring everything for you, kind of classes.Kinard_photos_foil2_web

They are also running off right away to Susan Brubaker Knapp who may or may not show them on one of the mini-demos she’ll be busy filming soon for the next season of Quilting Arts TV. She’s going to demo how to use foil with thermofax screens. (You can find the butterfly wings thermofax screen here.)
Kinard_photos_foil1_web

In case you missed the news – Susan and I will be teaching a retreat together at the Once In A Blue Moon retreat October 1 – 3 in beautiful Black Mountain, NC (near Asheville.) RetreatLogoBlack_webThere were only 11 spots left last time we checked so if you were interested you might want to send in your registration form now! I’d LOVE to see you there!

work in progress: untitled as of yet

Untitled… and this is just the second or third layer of ideas for this piece. It was inspired by a tutorial posted by the fabulous Jill Berry. Of course I can’t find the tutorial anywhere now but her site is beautiful to behold so go there and take a look anyway.

map_progress_kinard

She is, as we speak either undergoing or preparing for open heart surgery today. I’m praying for her. Please send your prayers her way as well. 

a busy week

So apparently “Less is more” doesn’t apply to dyeing fabric.Lyric_dye_1 I seem to have an inability not to dye the entire bolt EVERY TIME I get started.lyric_dye_2

It would help if I didn’t wait three years between dye runs. Of course, I’ve sort of done myself a disservice and upgraded my way out of a space to dye. My cheap and ugly laminate indestructible kitchen counters have been upgraded to butcher block (that I love)! New high efficiency washing machine too which means the rinsing gets super tedious. So now I’m bending over buckets in the Jacuzzi tub that we never use. That’s about 40 yards, less than half of what I dyed over three days. I ran out of fabric but had dye concentrate left so I threw in some clothing that has been waiting around for just such an opportunity. I’ll buy  linen or cotton clothing I love if it’s on sale super cheap even if I do kind of hate beige. I can always dye it right? Eggplant outfits here I come.Lyric_dye_3

pretty good that there was only one small casualty for 4 days and 120 yards of dye work. One small pinhole in a glove is all it takes. At least it’s my favorite color purple right?

thermofax 101: instructional DVD

Welcome! Ready to try screen printing?
Thermofax_cover_web800pxh 

     
 

Thermofax 101 DVD $19.95

 
     

 

 

 

Learn how easy it is to create your own screen printed cloth! Thermofax Screen Printing is easy, fun, and well within your reach.  Let fun-loving artist, Lyric Kinard, guide you through the basics of what, exactly, a thermofax screen is, and how it’s made. Then she helps you begin your own creative journey as she shows you how to find and design your own imagery and how and where to have a custom screen made for you if you don’t have your own machine. Learn all about the basic supplies you will need and then get printing! Lyric will explain the properties of textile paints, how to prepare, care for, and use your screens, and finally how to design and create your own beautiful cloth.

Kinard_print_paint_play319

65 minutes of clear instruction


Chapters Include:
Getting Started: what is a thermofax screen
Finding Images: find and design your own
How to Print: printing techniques and tools
Designing: creating cloth with layered imagery

Want to be ready to print when your DVD arrives?
Order Ready Made Thermofax Screens
heart1Order Textile Paint
Paint_opaque_300x180

You might also enjoy
playing with FOILfoil_kit

Need a little help analyzing your artwork?
crit_1_cover570px

Tutorial: How to edit a photo for a thermofax screen

I’d like to show you how to take a photograph and prepare it for a thermofax screen. Printing with these screens is one of my very favorite things to do – you can use them with cloth or paper or really – any flat surface. If you don’t have access to a thermofax machine, I have a service where I can create a screen for you from your own images, as well as having a number of ready-made images for you to use.
 
 
 
1- Select an image. Choose something with high contrast – it’s easiest if it has a plain or simple background. Either use your own photography or find something that is copyright free. Wikimedia Commons has a wonderful repository of images under Creative Commons Licenses that are available for you to use. Download the highest resolution available.
Harmann zebra, Hobatere Private Reserve, west of Etosha National Park
Author – moongatclimber
 
2 – Open your image in your favorite digital editing program. 
I’m using Adobe’s Photoshop Elements (PS10) but the tools I’m using are fairly standard. They might be in a different place – if you have trouble finding them type in the name of the tool in the help window on the toolbar. You can download a trial version of the PS10 and use if free of charge for 30 days.
 
3- Crop your image.
Use the CROP tool to eliminate extra background. It simply gives you less space to have to fuss with.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4- Remember that command or control Z is your best friend – it’s the “undo” function and will let you back up as many steps as you need to if you don’t like what you’ve done.

 

 
\5- Select your subject. Use the magic wand, or some other selection tool to click and select all the way around the edge of your subject. You might need to click a lot in some areas that don’t have a high contrast line – don’t worry if extra space is included – you can erase that in a minute.

 

Sometimes when I double click I lose the selection. I just clicked too fast and the whole thing disappeared. What I do is just hit command Z again and it reappears.
 

6- Invert the selection.  The blinky line will now be around the outside of the image and around your subject.

 

 

7- Hit Delete and the background will disappear – at least mostly.
 

 

8- Control – D deselects everything.

 

9- Click on the Zoom tool and zoom in so you can see the edges of your work.



You can see that there are areas that need a bit of cleaning up and areas that you might not want to draw attention to. (Sorry guy – you’re going to be gelded.)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 





10- Choose the eraser tool to clean up your edges. 
Use the slider to change the size of the pixel brush so that it comfortably fits within your picture. Keep the opacity at 100%.
 




Start working your edges but try not to erase large areas all in one sweep. That way if you accidentally erase something you wanted to keep (remember “control Z!”) you won’t have to re-do large areas.
 
Continue to zoom in and out, moving around your image and changing the size of your brush to get into any tight areas.







 



11- Play with the Threshold filter found under the Filter/Adjustments menu. Sometimes it works the first time but sometimes you need to back out and fix some other things first. This is one of those times.

 
 
In this case, Mr. Stripes has lost the stripes on his back – he’s not quite ready for the “Threshold” filter yet. Simply hit “cancel” and we’ll do something else.
 
 
 
 
 

 

12- Play with the lighting. Find “Enhance/Lighting” then either “Brightness/Contrast” or  “Shadows/Highlights”. In this case – it is the highlights on the Zebra’s back that are being lost so I’m going to play with those for a bit and see if I can get the black and white stripes to look more even.
 
 
I’ve darkened the highlights, played with the shadows and messed with the midtone contrast until it looks like all of the stripes are closer to the same. Notice all the highly technical terms I’ve used – it’s really just messing around with things until you get something you think will work. As you gain experience you’ll be able to come quicker to the place where you can make the image work for a thermofax screen.
 
 
 

13- Try the Theshold function again.  My goal was to keep his eye from disappearing but to still keep the stripes on his back. Just move the slider back and forth until you are happy with your image.

 
 
 
14- Save your image. In fact – it is helpful to take this step quite often during your explorations. Hit File/Save As – (NOT just the automatic save function!) and rename each picture as you go. For instance, Zebra1.jpg, Zebra1.jpg etc.
Another thing to pay attention to when that “save as” screen is up is the “options” button. (I think I might have cut it off in this picture. It’s usually on the bottom right. Slide your “Image Quality” button all the way to maximum. This minimizes the compression that happens every time you save a jpg. If you don’t do this the file size might be so small by the time I get it that it will be too pixelated to use.
 
And there you have it. A crisp black and white image – no shades of gray – ready to be turned into a thermofax screen for your printing pleasure.



Send it through your thermofax machine or send it off to your favorite thermofax service provider and get ready to play! You’ll be printing in no time at all!

 

 

thermofax design

I thought you might like to see the original design I used and manipulated to create the hearts and wings. It took a few delightfully playful days to go

from this…..heart.wing.1.doverto this.

heart_wings1_570px

And from this….wing2.dover heart2.dover

to this.
heart4+wings+heart4_570px

If you missed out on the heart+wings special don’t worry. I’ll be adding the hearts and wings to the THERMOFAX SHOP soon, albeit individually rather than as sets.

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