Saturday, September 22, 2012

“Rituals” exhibition is featured in Quilting Arts

It was a thrill to pull out the contents of my mail basket today and immediately recognize Judy Coates Perez’s quilt "8 of Cups," on the cover of the October/November issue of Quilting Arts magazine. The issue includes an article on the Dinner at Eight Artists’ “Rituals” exhibition. My piece, “I See the Moon,” (below) is also featured in the article. 

The quilts in the article were hand selected by Quilting Arts editor Vivika DeNegre, and include “Milo” by Jeannie Palmer Moore, Lost Rituals:  Grief by Susie Monday, “Cosmic Gears" by Loris Bogue, Sunrise Serenade by Barb Forrister, Walking with Mr. C and Scooter by Gerrie Congdon, Meditation by Karen Rips, and Boundary Waters 60 (Rock Time) by Virginia Spiegel.

If you are attending International Quilt Festival in Houston next month, don’t miss this special exhibition. I’d love to hear what you think about it.

Friday, September 21, 2012

De-stressifier apron

I have had a lot of stress and very little time to work on my art in the past six months. But I know that when I can find even a little time to use my hands and do something creative, I am a much happier camper. I have been knitting cotton dishcloths (which I refer to as “therapeutic dishcloths”) as they are very good for my blood pressure, and making them has helped me a lot. So yesterday I decided to start a new project. 

Some time ago, I had purchased a beige cotton canvas apron from Donna Downey. She has a wonderful shop in Huntersville, NC, a town just to the south of me. Yesterday I got the apron out, and used a foam brush to mottle it with Liquitex acrylic ink  and Daler-Rowney acrylic ink

You can buy the apron on Donna’s online shop for $14.99.

Now I am stitching it with perle cotton and embroidery floss. I'm going to draw some things on it, probably sewing items, and then stitch them with dark thread and a running stitch like I did the scissors:

I am adding a lot of what I call “chicken scratch” embroidery on it, too. This is wonderful handwork I can do while talking on the phone, or waiting in the carpool line, or whenever. I am planning to cover it with stitches, and I’ll post more photos as it progresses.

It will be fun to wear it when I teach. 

I can feel my heart steady as I work. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My elephant adventure

I wanted to share with you an amazing video shot by my friend and fellow quilter Cynthia England while we were on safari together in Kruger National Park in South Africa last month. I was busy shooting still photographs (you can see me – or at least the back of my head – when she pans to the left through our vehicle).

Our guide, Sophiso, went off-road when we saw a few elephants in the distance. As we got closer, he slowed down but kept driving, and we were soon very near a large herd (about 30) elephants. Cynthia started shooting as the elephants came closer to investigate. Then the largest male came to the front of the vehicle and looked our guide right in the eye. He kept his eyes on us until the rest of the herd – including some darling babies – got past us. 

I could tell that our guide was a little nervous. He kept looking to the left and the right, and afterward I asked him about it. He said that he was a bit worried once he realized that the elephants had surrounded us, so that we could not back out. And we certainly couldn’t go forward with the big male standing his ground. 

Being this close to wild elephants gave me goosebumps and brought me to tears. You’ll notice that we were all very quiet until the elephants moved farther away. Partly because we were not sure if we were in danger, and partly because we were in total awe of these massive, intelligent, beautiful creatures. We were also trying to absorb everything, to remember this moment for the rest of our lives. To hear them breathing.

Most of us have a few experiences in our lives that are so amazing, so special, that we remember them always. This was one of them.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I’m in the news(paper)! And In Stitches!

This week, The Charlotte Observer ran a short feature on me and my art. You can read it online here. One note: the story says that I work in a 14-square-foot studio. It is actually approximately 14' x 14', and I don’t remember if I told the reporter the wrong thing or if she got it wrong. (Hey, math is not my strong suit.) Anyway, I didn’t want you thinking I worked in a closet.

I also got the news that one of my pieces (Vanity, below) is featured in a gallery in the latest issue of In Stitches (volume 8), which is an Interweave e-magazine. In Stitches is available in the Interweave Store (although I don’t think volume 8 is up quite yet). 

“Vanity” by Susan Brubaker Knapp
This piece was also featured on the cover of Quilting Arts in 2010: