It’s #100!


Simple 78
#100 in the Java Series
Virginia A. Spiegel

Wow!  I never expected to see 100 of these 6″ square found-paper collages using a coffee cup motif.

I started creating these one-a-week collages as part of the Facebook group, Junk Mail Collective.  I share them weekly there, but the easiest way to see all 100 is to visit the three Java Series webpages starting here on my website.

My tagline for this series is Making a collage every week from found paper is a challenge; 
making a collage a week using the same motif is inspiration.  

Here is a little essay about things I’ve learned by doing this small artwork series.

This isn’t my first foray into a long-term collage series.  In 2004 and 2006 I completed a self-directed 365 Days of Art by making a collage a day.  You can read more about those fun projects and how it influenced my textile art here.

In 2013 I turned one of the 365 Days of Art books into the biggest collage I ever plan on creating.  See below and a blog post here about that fun project.



06 2016

Opening Tonight – Concrete & Grasslands


Clover and a Bee
Virginia A. Spiegel

The Concrete & Grasslands exhibit hosts an opening celebration tonight, Friday, June 6, from 6-9 pm at the Grants Pass Museum of Art in Grants Pass,Oregon

See my Clover and a Bee and other juried artworks exploring “the juxtaposition of the natural landscape and the human constructed cityscape; the soft lines of nature, the hard lines of urban structures, or a combination of both.”


The exhibit is a joint collaboration between Studio Art Quilt Associates and the Grants Pass Museum of Art.  SAQA has, once again, produced a beautiful catalog for the exhibit.


06 2016

5 Reasons to Work Small in a Series

Simple51300Simple 51
Collection of Marsha Moody

Did you know I am almost up to 100 of the Java Series collages? YES!  See them all starting here.

I’ve been asked if I’m that obsessed with coffee. I am :), but that’s not the reason this series just keeps keeping on:

1.  M technique has improved beyond belief. Someone wanted the very first collage in the series as part of my ACS fundraiser. After looking at it, I realized it was a hot mess with glue residue everywhere. The more you do something, the better your technique will be. It’s not rocket science.

2.  The collages are 6×6 inches. If one goes badly, I don’t waste time trying to fix it. I just move on.

Simple071300Simple 71

3.  I’ve come to think about the cup motif in a very different way than in the beginning. Now I think as much about the negative space as anything else. I was very lucky to choose the cup as it has straight lines, curved lines, and an enclosed space. Infinitely interesting to me.

Simple074300Simple 74

4,  I can indulge in my love of typography and the power of words at will. That’s satisfying.

5.  I am able to work on these collages in small increments of time.  Even when I’m a full-time landscaper in the summer, I can sit down and make a collage and feel I’ve made some art every week.


06 2016

“Currents” exhibit open now!

Shagbark2500Shagbark 2

Currents, the sixth juried exhibition of the contemporary fiber group EDGE, is open now until June 5 at the Sunderland Gallery in Omaha. I’m a first-year member and was thrilled to have Shagbark 2 and Shagbark 7 included in this exhibit.

EDGE has 24 members, including painters, water colorists, graphic artists, photographers and sculptors. Eleven members had 17 artworks juried into the exhibit. The artists include Dora Agbas, Jette Clover, Eileen M.F. Doughty, Linda K. Filby-Fisher, Mary Kay Fosnacht (2 artworks), Karen Goetzinger (2 artworks), Mary B. Pal, Ruth Powers, Karen Stiehl Osborn (2 artworks), and Charlotte Ziebarth.

The juror, Gina Adams, commented that she looked at each piece entered into this exhibit to find the thread of difference and the vision of the artist to literally break new ground. Each one of the contemporary fiber pieces not only shows artistic merit but a strong vision…


Shagbark 7

EDGE includes members in Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Washington, Louisiana, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Canada and Belgium.

The exhibit touches on various topics including loss and the environment, said Sharon Bass, EDGE’s curator of exhibitions.

I think ‘Currents’ describes an internal and external view of contemporary life – the environment and the eddies within our cultures, the need to dig in and perhaps the greater need to get out of the box, she said. It’s grounded in contemplation and punctuated by a spirit that is ready to soar.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Sharon Bass at bass(at)

Sunderland Gallery hours are Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and third Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


04 2016

“Rock” at International Quilt Festival – Chicago this week



Rock will be at International Quilt Festival this week, April 7-9, as part of the Affinity exhibit.  The exhibit, part of the Dinner at Eight artists series, was juried and curated by Jamie Fingal and
Leslie Tucker Jenison.

Rock was, of course, inspired by photos taken in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It is 40×40 inches.  Materials:  White cotton cloth, acrylic paint, duck cloth, felt, oil paint sticks, rayon and cotton thread. Techniques include machine piecing, appliqué, and stitching.

There is an excellent catalog that you can purchase online for only $15.



04 2016