Monday, January 4, 2016

Affinity in Houston

The is the grand hall of exhibits looking to the back down Main Street - which is the red carpet

Did we mention that it was raining?  Alot of rain and flooding while we were in Houston. The convention center is under construction, so that created some additional issues.

Our exhibit was a long a skinny pipe and drape configuration.  Our favorite so far. You could see the more of the quilts on the wall with this set up. Quilts, Inc did a fabulous job hanging our exhibit.

The front - right off Main Street, which is the most excellent spot to be

A little closer
The D@8 Artists Dinner on Friday night.  Here is the menu!

There were four large round tables in the room in the Hilton dining room - a private room.  Chairs were on half of the table for seating, so we could all see each other, and move around the room.  Major book signing of each others books.

Susie, Heather and Cheryl

Spoonology - a tradition at our dinners after dessert.  Can you balance a spoon on your nose?




and the rebels who just didn't want to do it - Lisa, Sue, Karol and Victoria

Friday, October 23, 2015

Everything Houston by d@8 Artists

Quilt Market
Colorful Fabric Collage Book Signing in the F&W booth #634 to promote Sue Bleiweiss' new book on Sunday, Oct 25 at 2:00pm
Deborah Boschert, Jamie Fingal, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Kathy York
Faculty at Festival
Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison
Oct 28 9-12 It's All Ornamental
Oct 30 9-12 Painting with a Twist
Jamie Fingal
Oct 29 Twirly Whirly Swirls

Judy Coates Perez
Oct 28 Painting with Tsukineko All Purpose Inks
Oct 29 8am Lecture - It's All in the Process
Oct 29 3-5pm Mixed Media Miscellany
Oct 30 Tea & Ephemera
Oct 31 Techniques with Acrylic Inks

Quilts in World of Beauty
Sue Bleiweiss, Tutti Fruitti Alleyway - Art Whimsical
Susan Brubaker Knapp, Fall Color, Art Quilt - Miniature
Suzan Engler, Hay Rake Retired, Digital Manipulation Category
Susan Fletcher King,  The Parable of the Dragon and the Sheep - Painted
Jeannie P. Moore, Family Tree - Art Pictorial
Jeannie P. Moore, Cockatoo in Paradise - Art Naturscapes
Andi Perejda, Arroyo Grande Album (award) - Traditional Applique
Barb Forrister, Parrotise, Innovative Applique
Judy Coates Perez, Pink Bird (award)- Painted
Heather Pregger, Tuning Fork #22: Dark Waters in Art - Abstract, Small
Heather Pregger, Tuning Fork #26: Green Flash in Art - Minature
Sarah Ann Smith, Pink Lilies - Art Quilts Small
Kathy York, Two Deer - Whimsical
Kathy York, Mod Seven - Group

Special Exhibits
Butterfly Whirl
Deborah Boschert, Winged Return
Jeannie P. Moore, Fluttery

Digital Alchemy: Quiltmakers and Spoonflower.curated by Jane Dunnewold
Wed Redmond
National Parks Celebrating 100 Years
Sarah Ann Smith, Acadia National Park - Snowy Owl
SAQA - Balancing Act -
Deborah Boschert, Waning Crescent Meditation and Waxing Crescent Endeavor
Kathy York, Fifty, Female and Fearless AND Balance
SAQA - Wild Fabrications
Kathy York, The Long Necked Cats and the Long Legged Bird
Tactile Architecture
Sue Bleiweiss,  Tutti Frutti Treetops

What's for Dinner?
Sue Bleiweiss, Happy Hour
Barb Forrister, 3D Flowers and Quilted Vase
Jeannie P. Moore, Green Eggs and Ham
Heather Pregger, A Finnish ("Fin"-ish) Repast
Ann Turley, Birthday Dinner
Kathy York, I Could Have Been a Bear

Fiber of a Whim Booth #2723
Sue Bleiweiss: Friday 10/30 at 11:00 Juror walk through for the SAQA special exhibit Balancing Act (in front of the exhibit)
Deborah Boschert, Friday, October 30 at 5 pm and Saturday, October 31 at 12:30 pm, Small Stitched Landscapes
Barb Forrister, Fiber on a Whim Booth 2723, Thurs Oct 29th 3:30-4:30 and Sat. Oct 31 2:00-3:00, Artful Coloring,Fri. Oct 30, 11:00-12:00, Fiber Art Flowers

SAQA Booth Volunteer #319
Sue Bleiweiss, Friday 10/30 2:00 - 6:00

Mistyfuse Booth #826

Barb Forrister - Oct 29-31
Sue Bleiweiss: Monday 10/26  2:00 - 4:00
Sue Bleiweiss: Thursday 10/29 10:00 - 1:00

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Affinity 2015 - The Book

Our newest book for this year's theme "Affinity" was designed by Loris Bogue.  She did a fabulous job! 40 artists, 40 art quilts,  It is available on Amazon.  Click here for details

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Curators Q&A

This is based on a group of questions that the artists in the 'Affinity' exhibit were curious about.  We didn't use them all, but felt that these were the top questions.  We answered these questions individually, and didn't collaborate on anything.  Pure and simple.  
Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison, co-curators

You’ve been doing this thing for a while. What do you know now, that you wish you had known at the beginning? 
Jamie:  Two words 'Art Call.' I wish we had used this program from the beginning instead of having to deal with CD's and checks.  It is a huge time saver. 
Leslie: The first thing that comes to my mind is “Art Call”.  Putting the call for entry guidelines on the Art Call site and being able to ask for whatever information we need and get the images loaded there has been such an enormous time-saver for Jamie and me!  It also enables us to jury the collection of pieces from two different states.

When you select a theme, how many contenders are there before you decide?  Does the text come first or second?
Jamie:  We bounce back many words over a period of about three months, until we decide on what we think will be a broad interpretation. It's hard, because we don't really want to duplicate a theme that is already out there.  We are very mindful of this. Then we come up with the text that one of us starts, and the other finishes.  We take turns doing this.
Leslie: There are always a “handful” of ideas that we are tossing around and sometimes we are right down to the wire before we make a decision.  We want the theme to be fairly broad in scope in order to allow for representational and abstract works.   The story and/or text comes later.

it is fascinating for me to see the evolution of your work, of the curators exhibits and the evolution of your business in the fascinating field of our quilting world. I don't know how you do it! 
Jamie:  For me, it's all about being really organized.  Like for me putting together the artist profile series, I give myself a date that they all have to be done by, because of my schedule. Google Blogger allows me to schedule all of the posts, so that makes my job way easier. I just have to remember to post each one on FB Monday through Friday. Making quilts is a huge priority for me, like spending as much time as I can in my studio.
Leslie:  Well, that could be said for all the artists that have submitted work for consideration over the years.  It has been very exciting to see the arc of an individual artist’s work.  It truly inspires the two of us. 

What has been the highlight of your career as a Dinner@8 Curator?
Jamie: The part where I get to see first hand how an artists work has evolved over the years.  It gives me great joy. Working with Leslie is the greatest.  I think also having some pieces from our exhibits be featured in Quilting Arts Magazine is huge.
Leslie: For me it is seeing the artists’ work recognized on the covers of various Quilting Arts magazines and featured in an episode of Quilting Arts TV.  We are as thrilled as we can be! 

What has been your favorite of all the Dinner@Eight themes? 
Jamie: I am not sure that I have a favorite one. The quilts have been quite powerful in every exhibit that we have juried. I did love the scroll series, and how amazing it was to see the first exhibit in this size.  They were very dramatic all lined up front and back on the pipe and drape.  I can't wait to see Affinity.
Leslie:  I have enjoyed all the themes but the current one is always my favorite!  Each year I’m thrilled and inspired by the work.  Changing the dimensions every 3 years has presented a new set of design challenges for the artists and they never disappoint. 

The two of you travel quite a bit. How do you manage to make time for both family and art?  Jamie: Family comes first, and I do devote Monday through Friday to my studio time. Come home and make dinner.  Weekends are family time. The only work that I do at home is drawing in the evenings.
Leslie: This is a tough balance but it is certainly easier now that our children are grown and independent.  Neither of us traveled to teach very much before that transition.  Also, both of our husbands are incredibly supportive of our work as artists so that makes it easier!  But, there is a balance and it shifts constantly.  Protecting studio work time is challenging when there is more travel away.

What is the single most thrilling adventure you have embarked on in your art career? 
Jamie:  That's a hard one, but I think that doing a public project for our local library was pretty significant for me personally.
Leslie:  For me it was the happy collision of dyeing, printing, digital photography transferred onto cloth, and quilt making.  It brings all that I love together in one medium.  What could be better?  I get to do what I love every day and I couldn’t be more thankful.

What artists inspire you?
Jamie:  Just to name a few - Kandinsky for his abstract work, Monet, for just the beauty of his gardens, Mary Cassatt, of mothers and children, Van Gogh for his starry starry night. Oh my.
Leslie:  The list is long.  I admire Mary Cassatt and Georgia O’Keefe:  true pioneers in their era.  Henri Matisse found a way to continue expressing himself as an artist despite his physical limitations and impaired vision.  I love Robert Rauschenberg and Gerhard Richter.  The list is much longer than this!

Do you take a lunch break or work straight through a project?
Jamie:  I always take a lunch break, and sometimes coffee is involved.  A great time to just lay on my polka dot couch and read or close my eyes for a bit, or even take a nap.
Leslie: I try to “come up for air” periodically because my body demands that I move around and stretch.  So taking breaks is important.  If I don’t do it when I’m printing or quilting I pay for it later! 

Where would you like to go from here?  The Dinner at Eight has so many possibilities.  It is intriguing to think of what the next step will be. 
Jamie:  We are going to keep going, raising the bar each year with outstanding work, and finding new artists to add to the invitational list. If you are interested in having the opportunity to jury your work into one of our exhibits, you will need to send us an email with your website and/or blog url, so we can look at your work. This does not guarantee you a seat at the table.
Leslie:  The Dinner at Eight project has so many possibilities.  It is intriguing to think of what the next step will be. I hope we continue for a long time to come as it continues to excite us and we seem to have plenty of artists who feel the same way.  Let’s see what happens, shall we?

Eventually what would you like to leave behind as your legacy? 
Jamie:  That I did it well, with grace, joy and was easy to work with. I hope that whoever owns my artwork that those pieces still give them joy, and every child that visits the library in Orange is delighted with the three quilts that are on the wall.
Leslie: If I can leave behind a body of work that has challenged me and given me joy, and it happens to do the same for people who view it….that is enough.

How much time to each of you daily spend creating art? 
Jamie:  I lump it in altogether with writing articles, blogging, working in my studio, quilting, curating, drawing - a full time job Monday through Friday.
Leslie: When I’m not traveling I’m in my studio 6-8 hours a day, and sometimes more if I’m pushing a project toward a deadline!

When traveling, do you take photos strictly for inspiration and if so, and do you use and reference many of these photos?
  I think it really depends on what the subject is.  I use my iPhone most of the time. there are many things I find inspiration in, but I don't take any pictures of them.  I think after going through my parents 36 slide carousels changed me about picture taking. I take less.  However, I do have an obsession with Instagram and post all kinds of photos on it daily.
Leslie:  I am ALWAYS taking photos!  I really love to look at stuff and think about it later when I review the photos.  Often, I use photos as a basis for making paintings, drawings for thermofax screens, or digital transfers that become embedded in my quilts.

What other creative interests do you have besides art quilting? 
Jamie:  making my own fabric with stencils, designing stencils, drawing and just self published a coloring book this summer!  I love to garden, and cook and read books. My husband and I love to entertain, so we do that on the weekends.
Leslie: I love to cook and consider it another art form.  I love to garden and find a great deal of inspiration in it for my art.  I am an avid reader and birdwatcher.  I love reading cookbooks like some people read novels.  And  am a painter.

Do you treat your art quilting like a job and try to spend certain amounts of time "on the clock"? 
Jamie:  It's a job to me, but I love what I do, so it doesn't seem like a job.
Leslie: I think it is a level of obsession.  I guess one could view it as a job because I certainly spend a lot of time at it.  It sure doesn’t feel like work most of the time unless I hit a creative “block”.

How did you come up with the 40x40 size? 
Jamie:  Funny you should ask.  Last year at Quilt Festival in Houston, Leslie and I went around to all of the exhibits looking for the perfect size.  Yvonne Porcella was having an exhibition of her work, and we noticed that several of her pieces were 40x40 and how great they looked on the pipe and drape.  Stunning.
Leslie:  We shift gears every 3 years and it was time to do something different!  We tossed several other sizes around but we wanted it to be square and we decided to go bigger!

How do you stay organized with all the many responsibilities you're juggling? 
Jamie:  Daily 'to do' lists, reminders on my iPhone, a white board in my studio and a huge calendar.  I need to see what I have coming up and I like to be able to cross things off the big list.
Leslie: I have had to adjust my system of organization pretty significantly in the past 2 years because my previous system was no longer effective.  I added a big whiteboard in my studio and I constantly shift things around on it so the priority items are on top.  Other ideas and tasks get written on the lower portion.  Being able to see it all the time is very helpful.  My studio is getting remodeled and I’ll have a gigantic chalkboard wall!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Artist Profile: Jamie Fingal, co-juror

Jamie Fingal,
Orange, California

1. Did the change in dimensions present any specific challenges for you? It was a bit of a challenge for me, because I work smaller.  But, I really liked making a square quilt.

2. Describe your design area, specifically your work table:  what is the best thing about it?  My design area is in the middle of my studio with views of my stash wall on one side and an inspiration wall of quilts on the other. My work table was custom made by my handyman - and it is big 6x8 feet, which came in handy for working on my Affinity piece.  The table is covered with wool blended felt, and two Holy Cow Goddess Sheets by Mistyfuse.

3. What set this quilt apart from other recent projects you have been working on?  It was really big, and it gave me the opportunity to work on a concept I had previously developed for a class based on a quilt that was 18x24.  I could expand my vision to 40x40.  A total a-ha moment.

4. When you get “stuck” how do you deal with a “design block”?  How do you overcome it?  I go shopping in a mall and/or antique store.  I want to bathe in the colors, patterns and textures.

5. Do you work on single or multiple projects at the same time?  I work on many projects at the same time, and I really thrive working this way.

6. What do you hope people take away from your work?  I hope it gives them joy.

7. What are the best parts of working on an art quilt:  What are your least favorite parts?  the best parts are designing, fabric selection and putting it together.  Hand sewing a sleeve on the back is my least favorite part.

8. What art/quilt-related organizations do you belong to?  I am a Juried Artist Member of SAQA, belong to the Quilt Alliance and IQA.

9. Do you have a preferred color palette?  Why?  I am a member of the vibrant colors club.  Jewel tones, black and whites.  It makes my heart sing to work with these colors. I also have an affection for the combination of red, black and white.

10. What do you regard as your most interesting milestones along your art journey?  Being published for the first time in Quilting Arts Magazine, and so honored for each article since then. Being a guest on Quilting Arts TV and The Quilt Show.  The formation of Dinner at Eight Artists in 2009. Taking the risk to enter my work in national quilt exhibits. Being a fabric designer. The many amazing people that I have met along the way.  My dream studio where I spend a majority of my time doing what I love will be featured in the Winter issue of Where Women Create!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Artist Profile: Leslie Tucker Jenison, co-juror

Leslie Tucker Jenison
San Antonio, Texas 

1. Did the change in dimensions present any specific challenges for you?  I love the size!  I’ve been “working bigger” for the last couple of years so this streamlined perfectly with my current work.

2. Describe your design area, specifically your work table:  what is the best thing about it?  My design area is currently in flux:  I’m in the middle of a studio remodel so I’m in temporary digs upstairs but it seems to be working out.  I have a wonderful adjustable-height table.  It works well as a print and cutting table, and it lowers to a traditional height for use when I am stitching or painting.

3. What set this quilt apart from other recent projects you have been working on?
This quilt is one of my first truly free-cut abstract pieces.  I’m using my rotary cutter in a new way and it pleases me to see the quality of the lines I’m able to draw with it.  I’m shifting and rethinking the way I look at my piecing.

4. When you get “stuck” how do you deal with a “design block”?  How do you overcome it? I try to shift gears and work on something else,  & often I will jump to a different media such as painting.  This usually allows the ideas to bubble to the surface for the piece on the design wall.

5. Do you work on single or multiple projects at the same time? I always have several things in various stages of development.  It makes it easier for me to side-step if I hit a wall during the design process.  Generally, though, I focus on one thing at a time.  I like to have small bits of handwork for traveling.  Someday I might even put all these together!

6. What do you hope people take away from your work? For me, a successful piece is one that draws the viewer in from a distance and beckons them to come closer and closer.  Each piece I make tells part of my personal story:  much of it about my experiences or observations.  I always hope the work starts a dialogue with the viewer, and I think the viewer can decide what it means to her.

7. What are the best parts of working on an art quilt:  What are your least favorite parts? Oh!  There are so many things I love about what I do!  Each part of the process is important to me:  the dyeing and printing, the design and construction, and the quilting.  I love working on quilts because I think of them as “2.5-dimensional” objects.  We have an intimate relationship with textiles.  After all, it is the second thing that touches our bodies from birth!  So we, as humans, relate to textiles in a universal way. Least favorite thing is blocking and getting a straight edge on a large quilt.  It’s hard (for me, at least)!

8. What art/quilt-related organizations do you belong to? I am a juried artist member of SAQA and a board member of the Quilt Alliance.  I also belong to IQA, Art Cloth Network, and I serve on the board for our local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild.

9. Do you have a preferred color palette?  Why?  Oh goodness.  I think I go in cycles with color or neutrals.  At the moment I’m really in love all of it in the form solids:  both color and neutral.  I am playing with them like paint.  My favorite color is orange & even though I don’t use it a great deal in my work it brings me deep joy….!

10. What do you regard as your most interesting milestones along your art journey? Some of my closest friends have been made because of this amazing subculture of artists.  I don’t know if that counts as a milestone but for me it is one of the most important things related to making quilts.  I’ve been fortunate to be honored with a few awards along the way.  The biggest surprise was winning first place in the digital category in World of Beauty in 2012.  My work has been part of several books and a few magazines.  I can’t express how honored & humbled I feel about all these things and I don’t take any of it for granted.  I have to mention that I am seriously excited about the modern quilt movement. I identify as a contemporary quilt maker because I think it better encompasses everything I create and this movement  is bringing in so many young artists.  Their energy is contagious and I love being around it all!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Artist Profile: Jane Dunnewold

Jane Dunnewold
San Antonio, Texas

1. Did the change in dimensions present any specific challenges for you?  Or if this is your first time with us, how did you like the size? No challenges except to make sure it was the right size! Liked it fine.

2. Describe your design area, specifically your work table:  what is the best thing about it? It's large and long - 48" x 16' and all the storage is underneath on rolling carts, which makes access easy. The space is also large with 32' of pin up board - a real luxury.

3. What set this quilt apart from other recent projects you have been working on? I have been working on "assemblage" type pieces using vintage textiles so it was fun to return to my basic surface design roots.

4. When you get “stuck” how do you deal with a “design block”?  How do you overcome it? I never rush. I think about it right before I go to sleep and "invite" an answer to manifest. If that doesn't work I do something else until the correct resolution comes to me.

5. Do you work on single or multiple projects at the same time? I have several things going at once, but always focus on one piece through to completion if I can. Partly because I don't want to leave all the finishing to the end, since I find it to be the most tedious stuff.

6. What do you hope people take away from your work? Thought-provoking pleasure.

7. What are the best parts of working on an art quilt:  What are your least favorite parts? I love imagining and seeing the piece come to fruition. I don't care for the finishing.

8. What art/quilt-related organizations do you belong to? SDA, SAQA, several museums.

9. Do you have a preferred color palette?  Why? No. In order to stretch I've tried working achromatically, and did a series of 40 pieces that were mainly gray, white and black. I use color based on what it symbolizes for me, more than based on a palette.

10. What do you regard as your most interesting milestones along your art journey? My books, some of the good shows I've gotten into. The Quilt Japan Prize in 2002. Being President of SDA so that I could "give back" trite as that sounds.
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