Monday, October 13, 2014

Women Who Come to the Table - Introducing our Book!

We are so happy and thrilled to announce that our book "Women Who Come to the Table: Selected Works from Dinner at Eight Artists," is available to purchase on Amazon!  
Join the creative team of Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison as they look back on six years of the Dinner At Eight Artists collaboration, including the current exhibit "Reflections," that will debut at the International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston. In this book, sixty-five juried artists “come to the table” to share gorgeous and thought-provoking images. Their more than 200 art quilts have traveled to numerous shows and have been seen by thousands internationally. Read their personal commentaries about the challenge of working within the framework of a theme and specific size. Accompany Jamie and Leslie as they take you to scenes from their artist dinners and invite you to try an artist-inspired recipe for a dish to bring to your own table.
Self published, designed by Loris Bogue, and written by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison.   Click here for the link to purchase the book on Amazon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Reflections - Houston Bound!


A mirror image. A response to a thought or word. A memory. What glints back at us as we gaze upon the water. The throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.  What will your reflection reveal about you?

International Quilt Market - October 25-27
International Quilt Festival - October 30-Nov 2
Houston, Texas

Sponsored by Havel's Sewing

Natalya Aikens - Specular Reflection
Sue Bleiweiss - Reflections
Deborah Boschert - Waning Crescent Mediation
Hollis Chatelain - Golden Girl
Cindy Cooksey - Saffron in the Park
Jane Davila - Willow Meditation
Diane Doran - Intertwined
Barb Forrister - Groovin' on a Sunder Afternoon
Linda Frost - Tumbled Stones 
Terry Grant - The Moon is a Mirror
Desiree Habicht - Reflections of our Fathers
Cathie Hoover - Quelle Vie! (What a Life!)
Stacy Hurt - Let it Go
Lyric Kinard - Haiku *above
Susan F. King - The parable of the Dragon & the Sheep
Sherry Kleinman - In Still Water
Susan Brubaker Knapp - Gazing Globe
Kristin LaFlamme - Selfie
Sherri McCauley - Aging On
Jeannie P. Moore - Marilyn
Yvonne Porcella - Primarily Water 
Wen Redmond - Amazements of Tender Reflections
Lesley Riley - Read & Reflect
Carolyn Ryan - There and Back
Julie Schlueter - Facets of Life
Sarah Ann Smith - Eli, Cross Country 2013
Cynthia St. Charles - Cotonwood Reflection
Larkin Van Horn - Troubled Water
Terry Waldron - Medieval Reflections
Victoria Findlay Wolfe - Reflect Upon Your Blessings
Kathy York - The Deep End

Jamie Fingal
Leslie Tucker Jenison

A 33 piece collection of art quilts, made specifically for this exhibit.  24" wide by 60" high 

The following artists will have their work from the 'Reflections' exhibit featured in the Fall issue of Quilting Arts Magazine:  Cynthia St. Charles, Hollis Chatelain, Terry Grant, Cindy Cooksey, Kristin LaFlamme, Barb Forrister and Yvonne Porcella!  
Here is the link to the magazine on Quilting Daily

Artist Profile Series

Friday, August 22, 2014

Questions for Curators: Jamie Fingal

Jamie Fingal

1.  What are your goals for yourself as an artist?  Design quilts, patterns, fabric, stencils, curate quilt exhibits, collaborate with other artists 2. What changes do you see coming to the art quilt world? I see a sort of union happening between fiber artists, traditional quilts and the modern quilt movement, with the acknowledgement of how similar we really are with fabric and thread.
3. Curating these exhibitions has to be an awful lot of work. What motivates you to do it?  The work always shines through, and seeing what artist create with fabric and thread is something to be shared.  We both enjoy the process, and working as a team is always better than working alone.
4.  What did you do in your former life (before Dinner @ Eight)? I made quilts, entered juried shows, painted watercolors, Girl Scout artist, and put together quilt exhibits, and worked with friends on public projects.

5. What do you enjoy most about putting this exhibit together each year?  One of the best parts for me is bringing everyone together at the table for the Friday night dinners.  I miss Festival in Long Beach so much, because of this one amazing thing.  We'll always have Houston!
6.  What is most important to you in curating a show like this?  To show amazing work, with all kinds of styles, colors, and subjects. 7. How do balance time spent creating and promoting your exhibits, and time for your individual creative endeavors?  Through the deadline process. For example, the artists profiles, I give myself a deadline to get them all done in a certain amount of time, in between my current schedule. That is pretty much how everything works right now. If I can't do something, Leslie can step in to help me, and vice versa.  Social media helps us to promote our exhibits, and we can both do that. This is when technology really works well. 8. How did you two meet?  We connected through an online group - the Quiltart list in 2002.  We met in person at the Tiara Parade at Festival in Houston in 2003. We were part of the Journal Quilt Project.  Through a series of dinners, tiara parades, exhibits and online conversation we became very good friends.
9. Do you ever totally abandon a project and if so, at what point do you know it’s a lost cause?  When I know that it will not photograph well.

10. What grabs you first, color or composition?  Color and Contrast
11. When did you start quilting? 1981

12. How long does it take you two to decide on a theme each year?  a couple of months.  It's not a constant thing.  We run a few ideas via texting or email.  We think of how broad or narrow the theme is. How it would translate. 

Bonus Question
How do you gently tell someone that their work wasn't accepted without causing them to feel defeated and quit. How do you also encourage them to keep going and try again?  These are the letters we don't like to send.  It is important to us, that we word them for each person, not just a form letter.  And anyone can ask us why their quilt didn't make the cut, and we will give a thoughtful critique. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Questions for Curators: Leslie Tucker Jenison

Leslie Tucker Jenison

1.    What was your dream job when you were a kid?  Did you ever think you would be a fiber artist?  -My dream job was to be a registered nurse.  I practiced nursing for many years, always in some aspect of women’s health & community health education for women and families.  My avocation was to be an artist.  I was an enthusiastic painter as a young girl and I was fortunate to return to painting, then quilt making and surface design.  How lucky can one woman be?!

      What are your goals for yourself as an artist? To make work that is meaningful to myself, to always push myself artistically, to work with intent.

      What is your aesthetic in art? Layered, abstracted.

     How do you balance it all!  How does anyone?  We are “all bozos on the same bus” when it comes to figuring out that balance.  It helps that we are both “empty nesters” who have supportive husbands.  My family responsibilities changed after the deaths of my mother and sister in 2001 and 2003.  Between our move to Texas in 1997 and 2003 I spent nearly half my time in Kansas.  Now, each day when I walk down the hallway to my studio I thank my mother for giving me back the gift of time to make art.  I know she would like that.

What keeps quilting fresh, for you?  I continually try to push myself out of my own comfort zone.  That keeps it somewhat scary and fresh for me!  Also, I have returned to some of my earlier roots in making a few useful quilts and doing more hand-stitching.  Sometimes, what is old is new again.

What grabs you first, color or composition? -Ah, this is a tough question but I will go with color.  That said, if the composition isn’t working the color loses its “flair”.

 When did you start quilting?  I started quilting in my mid-20s (late 70's).  Although I grew up observing my paternal grandmother making quilts I was not interested-enough at the time to learn from her.  I was inspired, then mentored, by a fellow nurse in the Labor and Delivery unit I worked in.  Those early years were not all that productive, between working a full and part-time job and raising babies..

      When do you do your best work – under a deadline with pressure, or relaxed and no deadline?  I tend to have both of these going….I need to ruminate about the method of interpreting my idea.  Then, I wait until I’m backed into a corner and seem to perform best under a bit of pressure.  I can’t tell you how much I wish this were not my method.

     Do you ever totally abandon a project and if so, at what point do you know it’s a lost cause?   I will “walk away” from a project, sometimes for months.   Sometimes it stares at me from the design wall and finally I can figure out where to go next.  There have been many pieces that have been cut into smaller parts, sometimes painted over, because they just didn’t work.  You have to know when to walk away.

      Where do you see dinner@8 in 5 to 7 years?  Goals?  Dreams?  I really don’t know!  I think Jamie and I are both committed to continuing as long as there are artists willing to submit work for consideration.  We have some good years ahead, in my opinion!

         How did your collaboration come into being?  Jamie and I had both curated shows in the past.  She approached me to co-curate an online exhibition, then asked if I would be willing to co-curate Edges with her.  We decided it was a great collaboration and we really have fun together.  We are so crazy when we travel together!  After we arranged a couple of artist-dinners for the entrants and we tend to eat at 8 pm…the rest is history.

1.    What do you enjoy most about putting this exhibit together each year?  I believe it challenges us to see the work for its own merit as well as whether it will work in the collective body  of the exhibit.  Often, we disagree and then we are required to “justify” our position to the other!  I think this is good for both of us!

Bonus Question-- 
1    What has been the best part of the press and awards tour for Tim's Vermeer?  Thank you for asking!  For me, the best part of this adventure, hands-down, has been all the amazing and interesting people we have had the pleasure of meeting.  It seems that so many people have been inspired by Tim’s project.  At this time last year the 5 Jenisons were sitting in a small theater in Telluride holding hands nervously as the film premiered.  We couldn’t have imagined how people were going to respond to it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Artist Profile: Jamie Fingal

Jamie Fingal

Orange, California

1.  Describe your signature style in 5 words: Fun, bright, sassy, complicated, whimsical

2.  Do you ever work in another medium and, if so, what is it and what appeals to you about it?  I enjoy painting with watercolors, collage with paper and fabric, and decoupage.  I believe in working in these other mediums helps me in my journey as a fiber artist.

3.  What's coming up for you in your artistic world?  So excited that my second line of stencils were launched this month with StencilGirl Products, going to be a guest on QATV and Teaching at Quilter's Take Manhattan in NYC in September, Article in Quilt Scene, Second fabric line coming out at Fall Quilt Market, and teaching at Festival. Life is good.

4.  Do you have any studio rituals?  I thank my Dad, upon entering my studio for his generosity.  If he were here, he would love it, almost as much as I do. I open the truck door and turn on the music!  The day begins.

5.  Who has inspired you on your artistic journey?   Yvonne Porcella, Freddy Moran, the artists in our exhibits, and Leslie Tucker Jenison with our text messages and critiques.

6.  What are the 5 essential things in your studio that you cannot live without?  Havel's Scissors, Mistyfuse, BERNINA sewing machines, iPhone, Iron

7.  What is on your design table right now?   Prep work for step outs for QATV

8.  How do you juggle your artistic life, family, friends, etc?   I think that having my studio outside my house helps me to stay balanced.  It's a job that I go to Mon-Fri and have the weekends off for family.  I still enjoy cooking dinner every night.  I try to have lunch with friends at least once a week.

9.  Do you have any studio companions (human or otherwise)?  I have a Godzilla squeak toy that my husband gave me before we were married.  And a red knitted beaver who guards the stash. Barbies and a talking Ken, which every girl needs.

10.  What was the biggest challenge in creating your piece for Reflections?  First idea didn't photograph well, but found that out early on.  Second piece was a bit of a challenge in sewing it together with 31 pieces.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Artist Profile: Leslie Tucker Jenison

Leslie Tucker Jenison
San Antonio, Texas

1.  Describe your signature style in 5 words: Depth, Layered, Stitched, Narrative, Collaged

2.  Do you ever work in another medium and, if so, what is it and what appeals to you about it?  I work with paper, and love to combine it with cloth, paint, and stitch.  I am also a painter.  Having other artistic outlets is a lovely way to stay creative all the time.

3.  What's coming up for you in your artistic world?  I’m taping some episodes of QATV, traveling to Ohio to study with Nancy Crow, I’m dyeing fabric like crazy, working in my studio to finish several quilt and mixed media projects.

4.  Do you have any studio rituals?  Yes.  I always thank my mother when I walk down the hallway into my studio before I begin my work day.

5.  Who has inspired you on your artistic journey?  I have many people who have inspired me along the way at some critical junction.  My paternal grandmother inspired me to quilt, Virginia Robertson was my first quilt instructor, Jane Dunnewold & Hollis Chatelain have been wonderful mentors.  I am always inspired and entertained by my wonderful co-curator, Jamie Fingal.

6.  What are the 5 essential things in your studio that you cannot live without?  My wonderful BERNINA, my silkscreens, my paint and dye, my fabric & paper, and my “thinking couch”.

7.  What is on your design table right now?  A mess (LOL)!  I’ve been working with some small cloth & paper collages for a project called “Tea Flora-Tales” inspired by Cas Holmes of the UK.  I plan to take them along with me when I travel over for the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in a few days.

8.  How do you juggle your artistic life, family, friends, etc?  It is less complicated now that we are empty nesters.  My husband is very supportive of my work and I have plenty of creative time to be in my studio.  We have been traveling a tremendous amount this year and that has presented a challenge to productive periods in the studio.

9.  Do you have any studio companions (human or otherwise)?  Oh yes.  My Miniature Schnauzer, Bizzi, is my constant companion.  She naps on the thinking couch!

10.  What was the biggest challenge in creating your piece for Reflections?  Figuring out how to create an obvious reflective surface that gave it the feeling of reflected light in an urban setting.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Artist Profile: Cathie Hoover

Cathie Hoover
Modesto, California

1.  Describe your signature style in 5 words: appliquéd, colorful, unusual, amusing, polished workmanship.

2. Do you ever work in another medium, and if so, what is it and what appeals to you about it? No

3. What's coming up for you in the artistic world? My plan is to publish my second pattern, and publish a book in 2015 on my techniques.

4. Do you have any studio rituals? No. When I enter my studio to work, I get to work.

5. Who has inspired your artistic journey? Jean Ray Laury, Roberta Horton, Michael James, Yvonne Porcella.

6. What are five essential things in your studio that you cannot live without? Great lighting, several Berninas, my 35 year old fabric stash, a great tools.

7. What is on your design table right now? Another intersecting rings quilt that will be on the cover of my second pattern.

8. How do you juggle your artistic life, family, friends, etc.? Sometimes I do not juggle them well at all! My family loves what I create, but they do not always appreciate the time and effort it takes to create original quilts. My friends are quilters and understand the same language I do!

9. Do you have any studio companions (human or otherwise)? No animals any more. I have taught a new friend the basic of quilting and she is now hooked. Perhaps we might be able to work together in the future.

10.  What was the biggest challenge in creating your piece for Relections? I have hundreds (possibly thousands) of photographs from my childhood and parenthood. It was very difficult to sort through all these photographs and select the ones that held the essence I wanted for "Quelle Vie." Several were deleted when I realized some photographs needed to be larger than I had originally planned. The quilt's size, 24" X 60", can only hold so many photos! The "ah hah!" moment came when I chose the photograph of me sitting on a granite throne - a focal point was chosen.
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