Wednesday, November 13, 2013

October was the greatest!

As you can guess from the pictures I was in Paris.  Wish I'd had longer than 4 days, but it was a whirlwind trip that included a stop in Nice before crossing into Italy.

My first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower
One of the gorgeous views of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
 The gardens at Versailles.
A camera savvy pigeon in an elderberry tree behind Notre Dame Cathedral.  The trees were loaded with birds feasting on the berries.

I'll fill you in on the trip over a few posts.

Friday, September 13, 2013

New shibori

dupioni experiment
Just playing around with a new resist and some mark making--my secret until I see how it all plays out.   

Monday, August 26, 2013

Selective amnesia

Pat Vivod c2013. Detail of direct object printing on dupioni

I know from experience that curating a show takes a lot of work and time, after all it was only two years ago that I was involved with the innovations show. But selective amnesia allowed my brain to forget those many hours I spent behind the scenes organizing everything, and to gloss over that tidbit about making a whole new body of work on top of the curating because I was also IN the show.

Here I am again, curating (thankfully with the help of Elizabeth Adams-Marks) and participating with 361 days left before the show opens. That's enough time isn't it? Because I am JUST getting started on my own work!  (I had an epiphany a couple of weeks ago.)

I'm not prepared to explain anything yet, but here's a detail of the first experiment. I'm planning an edition of three in organza, the first of which was just laid out today. This detail is of dupioni picked up a week ago using the same objects.  The whole piece is about 100 inches long.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Elizabeth Adams-Marks

Handmade abaca, flax, kozo, and wheat paper; rust printed, indigo dyed. A detail of one of the pieces in Elizabeth's solo show opening August 23, 2013 at St. Louis Artists' Guild.
Elizabeth Adams-Marks, my co-conspirator in the 2014 show From the Inside Out, is a woman of endless energy--a true dynamo!  She has been working with me on plans for our show, traveled to Cornwall for the month of June with her husband and made a side trip to Paris.   Ten days ago Women's Marks, the current show at Edwardsville Arts Center, opened.  Elizabeth has several paintings and paper works in the show.  Three of the paintings have already been sold!

This past weekend Elizabeth taught a paper making workshop at Jacoby Arts Center during Fiber Weekend.  Some of her work will be featured there.  It opens on August 23.  Which makes for a dilemma because a solo show at the St. Louis Artist Guild opens the same evening!  The detail above is for that show.

On top of all this whirlwind of art making and framing, Elizabeth is also preparing to start teaching again (any day now) when school resumes.  She teaches middle school art in St. Louis.

To learn more about Elizabeth's new work visit her blog.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

From the Inside Out

Thrilling news to convey…Updated as of 03/08/2014

Mapping the Time to mend and heal, Scroll V, detail II 

My good friend Elizabeth Adams-Marks and I are were invited to curate a fibers show
and we went a little crazy, took a few bold steps and invited some friends of ours that
we've never met except online. Even crazier--they all said YES!  

Fabienne Rey of the Netherlands whose work is shown above, along with Irit Dulman of Israel,
and Rio Wrenn of Portland, Oregon will join us in this exhibition titled

From the Inside Out 
Felt, Paper, Textiles: Revelations in Natural Mark Making

Our venue has changed since I originally wrote this post in June 2013
Our new venue is the gallery in the new Art & Design West building at
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Our new dates for the show  August 18 - September 21, 2014
Opening reception date and time TBA

I created a blog to showcase From the Inside Out  
You can find profiles on all the artists, workshop information and a description of the show theme.
Go visit!  Lot's of news there.

This is an updated version of a previous post.  

Friday, June 7, 2013

It's official! As of June 18--the magazine is in the mail and on it's way to newstands!

I am so excited to be featured in the upcoming summer issue of Fiber Art Now in an article written by Wendy Feldberg of Canada.  Several facebook fiber friends will also be included in the article:  Arlee Barr of Canada, Fabienne Dorsman-Rey of the Netherlands, Irit Dulman of Israel, and Elena Ulyanova of Ukrain.  Yvonne Dalton of Australia is also featured.  I've read about her in HandEye magazine and of course Wendy's own work will be in the article too.  Unearthing Eco Dyes discusses the varied ways each of us explore natural plant and earth based materials to imprint and color textiles.
Another facebook friend, Leisa Rich of Atlanta, Georgia penned the article Plastics in Fiber.

Can't wait to get this issue.  If you haven't subscribed yet--you should consider it.  Fiber Art Now is a quality magazine with gorgeous photos.   Many Books A Million and Barnes and Noble bookstores here in the states are carrying it.  

I'll not provide the link to the magazine because of possible spam issues, but you can easily Google the title.  The website provides info on which bookstores carry the magazine, subscription info, etc. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sister Mississippi Project

Confession time.  Sometimes I need a kick in the pants to get restarted with art making once I've closed up shop for the season.  It usually comes in the form of a call for art.  Until I started Three Sisters, I hadn't been in my studio for much else excepting the laundry since last October!  Then several things happened at once (later posts will address the other happenings).

First, into my newsfeed at Facebook dropped a Call for Art for the Sister Mississippi Project.  Actually created independently by artist/art teacher Heather Harper of Mexico City, the project meshed perfectly with the ongoing trek of a group of Indigenous women from Minnesota who are walking the length of the Mississippi River as a physical and spiritual prayer for the river.  They began the journey on March 1 and as I write this they are in New Orleans on their way to the Gulf of Mexico--carrying with them a beautiful copper bucket that holds the sparkling clean water from the headwaters of the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota. 

Two friends and I met Sharon Day and the other Mississippi River Water Walkers on Sunday April 7 at Cahokia Mounds World Heritage Site which is the location of an ancient mound builder society in Southern Illinois not far from where I live.  We climbed Monks Mound for a beautiful water ceremony and then joined the walkers in Granite City where the group had left off the evening before.  I walked one 15 minute leg of the journey and my lungs were beginning to burn.  This is no leisurely stroll.  The walkers cover 30+ miles a day on average and the pace is brisk.  You can track and read about their progress here at the Facebook page of the Mississippi River Water Walkers.  

The Walkers are praying and singing as they go, while the Sister Mississippi Project is a prayer manifested in the making of the art, felting or stitching, weaving or dyeing, piecing or quilting.  As many as 300 people have contributed to the project sending pieces from all over the world.  The goal is to stitch together the art pieces into one long Mississippi River.  I documented the making of Three Sisters for this post.

Here I am with Elizabeth Adams Marks just south of the I-270 overpass on Rt. 3.  Elizabeth had the stamina to make it to Pontoon Road.  My apologies to anyone who has spotted that I'm not carrying the staff upright here.  Elizabeth's friend Nancy Hansel was following in her car. 

The photo above was shot by April Rhodes of St. Louis and that is Brooks Johnson also of St. Louis behind us. 

It seemed to make perfect sense to create the piece as a map where the Illinois and Missouri join the Mississippi above St. Louis.  The three rivers make such a beautiful design and there were three of us that day joining the journey.  The hard part was making the map work when I cut it apart to lay on the fabric.  Expanding the width of the river meant adjusting the map as I was going along.
I checked the Google map continously while working to keep some semblance of accuracy.  I could stare at Google satellite images for hours.  They are endlessly fascinating to me.   The dark fabric was chosen to represent the populated city areas and industry that contribute to the pollution and the blue/green for the river--both fabrics were rust printed, the brown fabric was composted years ago and stands in for farmland.  I pieced one section at a time onto felt, adjusting the map as I went.  

Once the piecing was done I didn't like my original Horseshoe lake (seen above), so redesigned that section and did some fancy super secret fusible webbing magic.  With all the subsequent quilting, stitching, tree planting and interstate and secondary road building you can't see where the patch is.  

The deadline to have the piece in Minnesota was April 23 and I worked a couple of all nighters getting it all done in time and shipped via UPS.

The finished piece Three Sisters and a detail below. The red line tracks the path of the walkers who came down on the east side of the Illinois river after passing through Quincy, Illinois to avoid the loopy bend in the Mississippi and the red hearts represent we three who participated.  The Walkers crossed over at McKinley Bridge to continue south.  I'm not sure of the exact mileage for the walkers, but I believe it is around 1700 miles.  Oh my aching feet! 

It is my fervent wish, after creating this piece, that the Mississippi River Water Walkers are successful in raising awareness about the pollution in this life giving and incredibly important river.  Quoting the text from the River Walkers FB page:  The Mississippi River is the second most polluted river in the United States. Toxic chemicals from municipalities, farms and corporations are taking their toll on the river. By the time a drop of water reaches the “dead zones” near the mouth of the river, the water is nearly depleted of oxygen. We can stop this and the walkers intend to educate people along the way as to what they can do.
“We want the walk to be a prayer,” Day says. “Every step we take we will be praying for and thinking of the water. The water has given us life and now, we will support the water.”
To learn more or participate: Join the Mississippi River Water Walk 2013 Facebook Group.

Donations to support the walk can be sent to Indigenous Peoples Task Force: Water Walk. 1335 E. 23rd St., Minneapolis, MN 55404

Or please go to Indigenous Peoples Task Force web-page and GiveMNorg bottom.

And I hope one day to see the entire stitched Mississippi!

Amendment--May 3.
I can only identify the five core Water Walkers from the Ojibwe Nation in this photo I took on April 7 on top of Monks Mound after the water ceremony.  They are Beth Brent (on left bending over the white bag), Sharon Day, Barb Baker-larush, Deon Kirby and Ira Johnson,  all standing just beyond the blanket which is spread with bundles of sage, offerings of food and other gifts received along the way, and the copper bucket of water being carried by the women.  Most of the other people who attended the ceremony came from the St. Louis, southern Illinois region and have been following online the progress of the Walkers.  Today, May 3, another water ceremony will take place at Fort Jackson, Louisiana, the end of the journey,

At the Elder's Lodge in St. Paul, MN, the assembly and stitching of Sister Mississippi has begun.  Thank you to Deborah Ramos for the use of her photo. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013


You know the trouble with memory is that sometimes you misplace it. Forgive me if I've posted something similar before. I've been gathering some images tonight and thought I'd finish a composite of scarf details that I started some time ago and that shows the wide variety of marks that can be made with shibori rusting. You may recognize some of the designs or colors from past posts. The blues were created with elderberries. One blue piece in the center also has some yellow created by turmeric. The rest is just the the usual rust and tea with whatever tannin I had handy.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring in Illinois

1:30 pm.
Snow started around 9 am.
Note the difference in the bushes in the next pic.

7:55 pm. I was enchanted by the soft light. Plenty of it with the reflective snow and daylight savings, but the camera turned everything blue because the flash would have done no good. 

My studio is way out there behind the barn to the right of the propane tank. Haven't measured. Heavy and wet and bowing the branches of trees and shrubs. Great for building snowmen.
It is still snowing.  It is the 4th day of Spring.  Yesterday was shirtsleeve weather.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friends of Art

I've been a supporter of the FOA since graduate school and a board member for several years helping organize the auction.  As I have for the past couple of years, I photograph every single item that is donated--183 items and counting to date.  (Which explains in part why I haven't been posting lately!) Donations come from students, faculty, alumni and friends in every medium.  SIUE's event is unique among art auctions in this area in that we hire honest to God auctioneers whose rapid fire calling keeps everyone on their toes.  So much fun!  Check out our Facebook page at Friends of Art SIUE to see the donations as they roll in.  You can also view items by media category at our website:

In addition to working behind the scenes I am donating these two pieces:

This is one of the shibori rust scarves I made while teaching the rust workshop last year at the university. It measures 72" by 14".  Silk Satin.

This is a quilt collage piece I did in 2008 inspired by the presidential election. The title is The Madness of King George.  

The fabrics include composted silk, rust printed silk, rust printed nylon, wool, wool blend felt, commercial  print fabric as well as one small scrap of one of my mom's dress fabrics. Free motion quilting was done with silk thread. It was pieced in process onto a commercial wool blend backing and is mounted on 1/2" fabric covered foamcore.

If you live in the area, consider yourself invited!  You won't be disappointed by the quality of the work donated and the cause is a good one--all funds go back to the SIUE Department of Art and Design to fund the visiting artist program.  SIUE is Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  See you there!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Save Once Upon a Toy Store

Sorry I haven't been posting just gets in the way sometimes.  I've been hibernating for quite a while now, but things are starting to happen.  I'm involved right now in photographing all the art work that is donated to the auction that benefits the school where I got my degrees-Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  I'm responsible for posting the photos to Facebook and readying images for the slide show the night of the auction.  Haven't even had time to decide what I'm going to donate. 

I'm also trying to teach myself how to crochet.  My mom was fast and prolific, but alas, I could not grasp the concept as a child.  Lots of tears and failures back then, but now I truly want to learn.  And I'm also collaborating with friend Elizabeth Adams Marks to plan a fibers exhibit in 2014.  Slow going on that.  But hopefully there will be news on that front soon.

But in the midst of all that I've learned that a wonderful and beloved independent toy store in Edwardsville, Illinois has been forced to close its doors last week because the bank unexpectedly called the SBA loans (about 5 years early).  A fellow artist from SIUE, MFA grad and friend, Shawnta' Ray is the owner.  It is a sad situation, made worse by the short notice.  Shawnta' and her husband have been pursuing all possibilities.  Some very devoted friends started a Save the store page on Facebook and started a fund raiser at Crowdtilt in hopes of raising enough to satisfy the bank.

I'm posting the link to the crowdtilt site and hope that my readers might be moved to make a small contribution.  We have a daunting goal of $75000 and it must be met by Friday.  But amazingly in about 24 hours, over $26,700 (as of 6 AM Wednesday) has already been raised by the community determined that another small business will NOT fail.  The bank has promised to honor the loan if the goal is reached. 

If you'd like to help the cause you can read about the store and donate hereFYI--your credit card is not charged unless the goal is reached.  

Shawnta' serves on the Friends of Art board as I do working with the auction which raises money for the visiting artist program at SIUE.  Last year she and her husband lent us part of their stock room to store donated items and we catalogued nearly 200 pieces in the store one Sunday last Spring, spreading the art out amongst all the merchandise.  I took these photos of the toy store after the catalog was complete.  Several areas in the store are devoted to play.  Love that green couch! 

The toys in this store are unique.  The experience of shopping there is unlike any ordinary store, most especially big box or chain stores.  I hope the campaign is a roaring success!  Shop local and independent whenever possible. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Amy Reidel

Her mom cAmy Reidel acrylic and gouache on digital print
In a few months it will be 13 years since I last taught in my high school classroom in St. Louis. Long enough for me to have trouble remembering the day to day work and assignments as I was telling a friend the other evening. Long enough that I not only don't miss it, but can hardly imagine I was a teacher for 25 years. But certainly not long enough to forget the many students who dedicated themselves to their art. One of those students is Amy Reidel who graduated close to the end of my career.

Julia Storm cAmy Reidel  oil on canvas
Amy went on to earn a BFA from University of Missouri St. Louis. Next stop was University of Tennessee at Knoxville for an MFA in painting and drawing. She taught for a while in Tennessee but returned to St. Louis a few years ago.

Karen rising from the amethyst cAmy Reidel photo collage and acrylic
Amy has established herself making art and  teaching (something I never seemed able to do simultaneously) and showing regularly. Recently she was interviewed for a new online magazine and I felt this rush of pride and wanted to share her work with you. 
Read the interview here.
Rapture cAmy Reidel wall installation

Check out Amy Reidel's beautiful website here.
Rapture cAmy Reidel window cling
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