Resurrection (Hot Cross Three)

It seems appropriate that I finished the third art quilt in my Hot Cross series during Easter week.  The timing is pure coincidence, but providential.

Resurrection depicts an abstract figure fused to the cross, which was fused to the background.  The piece called for free form quilting rather than the linear stitches in the previous pieces.

Once again, I’d appreciate any input or constructive criticism in the comments.

Resurrection (link to poem)

Resurrection (Hot Cross Three)
Resurrection (Hot Cross Three)
Resurrection (Hot Cross Three)
Poetry label

Next up: Rustic (Hot Cross Four)

Blue Radiance (Hot Cross Two)

In my second to last post, I mentioned I am working in a series this year as a means to help define and find my artist’s voice.  I chose crosses because they visually appeal to me.  There are so many styles depending on the source.  Just Google “crosses” and you’ll discover image upon image of plain, ornate, Coptic, Celtic, colorful.

I also chose this theme because there are so many ways to shake up that linear shape.  I’m curious to see how many versions I can create.

Blue Radiance appears below (I was going to name it “Study in Blue”, but the final piece called for a different name).

Just like last time, I’d appreciate any input or constructive criticism in the comments.

Blue Radiance (link to poem)

Blue Radiance (Hot Cross Two)
Full piece – 12″x18″. Thoughts?
Blue Radiance (Hot Cross Two)
Closeup #1
Blue Radiance (Hot Cross Two)
Closeup #2
Blue Radiance (Hot Cross Two)
Poetry Label

Next up: Resurrection (Hot Cross Three)

Crossroads (Hot Cross One)

Each year, I set goals for myself related to my art.  I don’t do resolutions.  I do goals, with defined steps leading to achievement.  This works best for me — I tend to reach the end to which I strive.  In keeping with my updated goals for 2016, my focus for the year is to make twelve (12) art quilts.  This will help to develop my work ethic, a body of work, and to find my voice.  My art “voice” is sort of all over the place; the best way to find it is to keep making art.

For the first part of this year, I decided to work along a theme to see if that helps to clarify my voice.  To that end, I’m making a series of crosses — one is done (see below), the second is in progress, and a third is in the sketchbook.  I’d like to make six in the series.

Please help…What do you think or see or feel when you look at the photo of the art quilt above?  Does this visually resonate?  Is the piece soothing and satisfying or jarring, incomplete, unsettling?  Your input will go a long way towards helping me understand

Crossroads (link to poem)


Crossroads (Hot Cross One)
What do appeals to you about this piece? What don’t you like?
Crossroads (Hot Cross One)
Closeup #1
Crossroads (Hot Cross One)
Closeup #2
Crossroads (Hot Cross One)
Poetry Label

Next up: A Study in Blue (Hot Cross Two)

Hulk Smash

As I mentioned in my previous post, I don’t often get to visit my niece and nephew, Big G and Lil’ G.  Lil’ G is always a little shy around me the first day of a visit.  He’s all boy and loves his Mommy, Daddy, Sissy, and his Grandpas the best.  Aunt Hil and the Grandmas get hugs but then he’s off to talk to the men.  I don’t blame him.  How else is the little dude supposed to learn all that guy stuff that guys know?

This little guy also has a huge heart.  When my brother asked him what he was most excited about for Christmas: the love all his grandparents would shower on him over the holiday or the presents, this kid chose the love.  He’s the smartest of all of us.  Either that, or he knew his answer would get him more presents.  Again, Lil’ G is a sharp kid.

After he warms up, he is happy to take my hand to cross the street.  We visit and he tells me about Lego’s and his favorite shows and his favorite characters.  We play with his toys and read books together.  He’s into Ant Man and the Hulk.  I’m not too familiar with Ant Man, although the movie is in the Netflix queue, but I do know the Hulk.  I’ve always liked the Hulk.  Bright green color, doesn’t take anything from anybody, independent, and can smash stuff with his bare hands when he’s mad.  My kind of superhero.

I drew Lil’ G a picture of the Hulk and mailed it to him earlier last year.  He hung it on the wall in his room and I saw it first thing when I went in to play pirates.  For his Christmas gift, I made him something a little more durable than a piece of paper…a piece of art.

Hulk Smash (link to poem)

Hulk - Finished
Hulk Smash!
Hulk - Closeup
What’s not to love about this guy?
Hulk - Poem
A poem for Lil’ G

Next up: I’m planning a series of crosses.  Stay tuned.

Someday, Paris

I don’t often get to visit my niece, Big G, or my nephew, Lil’ G.  They live across the country, so we Skype for holidays and I fly out a couple of times a year to sleep on an air mattress in Big G’s room.  When she was born, the first of my brother’s children, there was an instant connection between us.  The last time I visited, I arrived late at night, after the kids were in bed, then woke up at dawn because my internal clock said it was time to be up.  I brewed a cup of coffee and sat on the patio, enjoying the sunrise before the heat of the day.  When Big G woke before the rest of the house, she came to the patio door.  My arms opened wide, she climbed in my lap, and our arms wrapped tight around each other for a hug.  We sat like that minute after minute, happy to see each other again.  Then we started talking about books and poems and cats and art and Paris and all the things that she and I love together and everyone else wonders how the things I love the most came to be the things she loves the most, without me ever telling her until she told me she loved whatever it is.  The magic of family, of God’s connection, I think.

No one knows where Big G’s love of Paris came from.  One day, she started talking about it to her parents out of the blue.  They told me the next time we talked and I admit to being surprised.  I fell in love with Paris when I was young and I don’t know where it came from for me either.  Maybe that’s just what some girls do when they are growing up and reach a particular age.

It’s easy to share books and read each others poems.  It’s not as easy to share Paris, at least not at the age she is now (a trip is planned when she turns 18…things to look forward to!).  Then I realized it was easy after all.  I could give her the gift of Paris, the iconic symbol of Paris, with my art.

Someday, Paris (link to poem)

Paris - Finished
The Eiffel Tower at sunrise and sunset
Paris - Tower
A change in perspective
Paris - Poem
A poem for Big G

Next up: Lil’ G’s art quilt

Liquid Luck

I went small with this piece.  A month or two ago, I listened to a meditation called “Liquid Luck”, which I found interesting primarily because I finished the meditation with an idea for my next project.  I wanted to create my own bottle of liquid luck, reminiscent of Harry Potter and the little vial Harry won from Professor Slughorn in Potions class.

Originally, I thought to make this three-dimensional, but realized I needed to learn how to use my couching foot first.  I need further practice, but I’m pleased with my efforts, resulting in this 10-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ piece.

No poem for this piece, just ingredients:

Liquid Luck

  • Happiness
  • Gratitude
  • Abundance
  • Compassion
  • Love
  • Luck
  • Praise
Luck - Couching
First time using my couching foot. It was lots of fun!
Luck - Finished 02
Quilting around the vial. Decorative stitching to create the “cork”.
Luck - Finished 01
This is Liquid Luck

Next up: A project for my almost 8-year-old niece, who loves the idea of Paris as much as I did at her age.  She’s been promised a trip when she turns 18 if she continues to excel in school.  I thought I’d make her something to keep her motivated.

(Big G…if you’re reading this, be patient.  Making art takes time.  Love you!)

21 Elephants

This is the year the youngest turns 21.  We’re in the midst of planning his birthday trip to celebrate.  However, his girlfriend, who we love to pieces, beat him to that milestone.  In fact, she kicked off this Labor Day weekend with birthday cookies and legal fun.  When the realization set in that this was the year the children wouldn’t be children any longer (at least in terms of age), I knew it was important to mark the celebration with something out of the ordinary.

Combining her favorite elephants with the symbols of her sorority and her school colors, 21 Elephants came to life.  She tells me she loves it.

In lieu of a poem, the label for this piece was used for a birthday message.

21 Elephants

21 Elephants
21 Elephants
21 Elly - Elephant
These elephants come in assorted colors
21 Elly - 1 to Grow On
This elephant is one to grow on
21 Elly - Label
A birthday message

Next up: An experimental piece to practice technique.