Friday, June 23, 2017

Off the Wall Friday

Sorry. . . . . . No creating time for me this week . . . . 
I was off for a long weekend visiting  my parents in upstate NY.

So What Have Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, June 16, 2017

Interconnected - Off The Wall Friday

What's the best way to spend a Friday night?  Well, going to a friend's solo show opening!   I was glad to receive the invite to Sandy Shelenberger's latest show.  Its always a treat to see what she's been up to!!

Giving her a hug, I got to say - Oh - My - Gosh, Sandy - It looks so cohesive.  That's what struck me first as I looked over the body of the show.  It all seemed to be connected and flow from one piece to another.  She laughed (as she often does) and said, "Well, it does now!"  Upon asking her what she meant, she confided that the show had originally been themed, "Stitched" but she decided to change it.

My personal favorite!

So glad she did!  I could easily see the theme and what she was trying to portray.   The palettes selected (love the use of neutrals!)  - the simple shapes - the color blocking  - it was magnificent.  Sandy featured her latest works in fiber and surface design as well as her love ecaustics and they fit together wonderfully.


Do you have Netflix???  I do.  Well at least I have a love/hate relationship with it.  I love that its the motherload of my favorite shows that I can watch over and over.  And I hate that its the motherload of my favorite shows that I can watch over and over - when I should be doing something creative.


Netflix, has recently added the documentary, Yarn for streaming.  .  With this film, I can expunge my guilt and pretend I'm doing something creative.  The artists featured in the film are taking yarn and bringing it into the modern art world.  Needless to say, this ain't your Grandma's afaghan!  I definitely recommend putting this vibrant documentary on your que to watch! 

So What Have Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Off the Wall Friday

I wanted to thank everyone for their comments on last week's post.  I was hesitant at first with writing it, since my creative journey is so personal.  But now I'm glad I shared my opinions and  I loved hearing yours!!!  Since I'm down with a little bug tonight, I'll just host this week!

So What Have Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Why I Create Art - Off the Wall Friday

Her:  You sew?

Me:  Wellllll,  yes

Her:  Clothes?

Me:  No, art

Her:  Art?  Whyyyyyyyyy????????

Good Question!  I mean truly, why would someone take 25 years of their life learning how to sew art when they could learn how to sew perfectly good clothes? That took some thought and here's what I came up with.

1.  I was called to create.  I always have been creating something and at age 25  I finally chose that fabric was going to be my medium.  My God made me unique and part of my uniqueness (apparently) includes creating.  Its just who I am.

2 The puzzle and challenge of art - I mean, I see it in my mind's eye  - so how am I'm going to convey it to the rest of the world??  Its the constant challenge that I love and the fact that its never quite right - but its never quite wrong  that is totally fascinating to me.  

3.  Its uniquely me.  There is nothing else that I do that is so more me.  I love when someone can see my work and say - WoW, I knew that one was yours!  Good or bad  - its an original Nina

4.  The connection.  I love creative people - they are fun, strange, interesting, outrageous, etc  The people I  have met on my creative journey are the most fascinating individuals one could hope to find and I wouldn't have been met them if I wasn't one of them. 

5.  To make the World a better place.  I know some artists have important political agendas to pursue with their art.  I don't.  I just want to make things that are pretty and interesting.  Once, when I expressed this sentiment, a fellow artist looked at me like obviously I wasn't smart enough mature enough to know that there was more to art than that.  I looked back at them and thought obviously they weren't  giving beauty enough credit.

6. For something to do that isn't work.  My husband Paul, who is an accomplished woodworker, said if he didn't create out in his shop then it would seem like all he did was get up - go to work - come home  - watch TV and go to bed.  Only to wake up the next day to repeat the whole mundane process again.  When you create there is always something to new to discover.

So you get my drift.  Creating is important to me.  Also, in reflection, this blog has been a true blessing because I can share this journey with my reader.

Why do you Create?  Is there something I left out?

Friday, May 26, 2017

Photographing A Quilt - Off the Wall Friday

So more than once, I've been asked why I haven't monetize my blog.  There are basically two reasons.

 One is because  ** Opinion Alert **  there are entirely enough ads in the world.  I don't need to add to this country's addiction to ads.

 The second is because this blog is my way of giving back.  So many times over the years since the internet explosion, I've learned invaluable information from other bloggers and vloggers.
 We've stolen a saying around this house from my brother in law.  "It's not worth knowing if they're isn't a tutorial on it on Youtube"  Funny but so true!

I say all of this because I spent today learning a skill that I read about on a website.  For years, I've wanted to take decent pictures of my quilts.  Although we have a great fiber photographer close by, I just wanted to save the expense and time (mostly time) and do it myself.  But how?? 

Andy Baird and Holly Knott to the rescue.  Their exceptional tutorial on how to photograph a quilt was not only informative but easy enough to follow that I could do it!  I highly recommend it to anybody who wants to take photos of their own quilts for competitions or their website.

I followed the directions  and bought all the items to build my own shooting set up.    Who knew that Lowe's would cut your two by fours for you right there!! Then I spent the afternoon building it and learning how to use my daughters complicated camera.  In the end, I decided that I could follow Andy's instructions with my Canon Point and Shoot.  The adjustments were simple to make to get decent photos.

My first attempts weren't too shabby.  Really the colors are spot on.  BUT as you can see - obviously the tripod was not centered on the quilt.  It LOOKED centered but alas as usual - looks are deceiving.  I'll take new ones tomorrow since I left everything up just in case.

I can tell you that the whole set up cost me about $60 including the wood and hardware, bulbs, light shades, and background.  I used a precut fleece background that was on sale at Joanne's for cheapie.  That is less than one set of pictures from the photographer.  (Not that she charged me too much - just sayin')

So a big Shout out of Thanks to Andy Baird for his great tutorial and to all the other great bloggers who take time to teach the world something.
The Finished Product - no color adjustment - just cropped to see the Edges

I finally took some time off this holiday weekend to catch up on some binding quilts and maybe get some sewing in before its time to start dyeing in June.  Honestly, I think we shouldn't have quilting bees but binding bees!

So What Have Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Ways to Paint - Off the Wall Friday

As Erie broke a record high of 87 today it suddenly dawned on me that summer is a knocking.  And
what comes with summer??  Yesssssssssss - painting and dyeing fabric.  I've made it a habit of once a year, clearing out my studio and just setting it up to dye and paint enough fabric to get me through to the following summer!

Usually its more hand dyeing than painting BUT this year, I  thought I would make sure I did more painting.  Really what I've had problem with is that once I get all the stuff out, and have all that white fabric in front of me,  I don't know what I want to paint or how.

So this year, I thought I would come up with a plan.  All year long, when I saw a fabric or technique I really liked I kept the image to inspire me.  I've taken images from not only fiber artists, but also mixed media artists, painters, calligraphers etc.

Here are a few.  Over the next weeks, I'll start experimenting  with thicken dyes and paints.  Not to mention get out my hand made stamps that have been sitting on the shelf!!


Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 untitled painting of  a skull brought a whooping $110 million dollars at auction Thursday.  It became the 6th most expensive painting ever at auction.  The sale broke an auction record by an American artist beating Andy Warhol.   The buyer was a Japanese Billionaire who obviously had no problem by passing the original $60 million dollar appraisal.

Never heard of Jean-Michel Basquiat??  He went from being a  homeless teenage graffiti artist  to selling paintings for $25,000  in a matter of years.  His work reflected commentary on political, social, and racial views.  Tragically, he over dosed at the age of  27 on heroin.

Since then his work has taken on a mythological and cool factor that is hard to beat.  In recent years, his work has grossed 171 million dollars at auction for 80 works.  Today's auction puts him up with the likes of Picasso. 

So you can decide - would you pay $110 Million Dollars for it?

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?
(Maybe it will be worth $110 million dollars some day!)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Wordless - Off the Wall Friday