A Week of Painting – FUN!

VBigPaintingPhoto by Karen Stiehl Osborn

The best part of any retreat is to do something NEW and FUN!  It was a very productive week at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City with Karen Stiehl Osborn and Von Biggs.  As you can see above, working bigger was definitely high on my “why not try it just for fun” list.

midwestdetail This is a detail of a big artwork I painted on a 10.5′ by 4.5′ piece of fabric I stitched together from some big chunks of Kona cotton, muslin, and offcuts from other work.  This is a piece that I’m probably going to take forward, but perhaps as two separate artworks. Definitely landscape on my mind.


I really tried to stay away from screen printing since that’s been my focus for the past two years.  But I just had to break out my fav screen to work on a big piece of Lutradur. Detail photo.

I hope to add new artwork to the Boundary Waters series.  I’m always inspired by my sister’s and my adventures in that great wilderness of water, tree, rock.  I painted a lot of similar sized pieces in very earthy tones and then threw caution to the wind and monoprinted on top to add that much needed element of emotion. Again, a detail photo above as I hope to finish some of the artworks in this grouping with stitching.

IN SUMMARY –  Much experimenting, much hard work, much laughter (the biggest moo-latte ever, really???).  You really can’t ask for more than that.  Thanks to the KHN Center for the Arts for the space to create and to Karen and Von for the sharing of materials and a most convivial atmosphere in which to work.

NOTE:  If you are curious about my paints, techniques, etc. for fabric painting, please visit this blog post for more technical info. And here are a series of three posts about painting 200 yards of fabric during an artist’s residency,


07 2014

See My Artwork in Person – September 17



I’ll be talking about my art and art quilts at the Byron Public Library in Byron, IL on September 17 at 10:30 a.m. It’s for the general public, so I will definitely be answering the question, “What is an art quilt?”

I’ll also be discussing why I make art quilts and showing how my art quilts have developed over time. There will be tons of artwork there because talking is one thing, but seeing is another!

The event is free, but call to register (815-234-5107) so they know how many chairs to set up.  Or you can let me know and I will pass the info on to the library staff.

Joe and I pick towns to live in based, in large part, on what kind of library the town has.  Byron had a nice library when we moved here and then build this fab prairie-style one a few years later.  I’m happy to give back to a place I visit almost every week and always find something interesting to read.




07 2014

Junk Mail: What a Treasure Trove!

ItsAHoliday300It’s a Holiday

In case you missed it, I’m a member of the Junk Mail Art Collective.  I thought it would be fun to look at all my junk mail collages all in one spot.  I’m loving sticking to my self-imposed restrictions of 6″ square and using the central image of a coffee cup.  Image above is the newest collage and working down to the very first.

OhLah300Easy For You To Say


ItsPossibleWebIt’s Possible

VirginiaSpiegel300Indigo and Old Lace


VisFor300V is For . . .

DreamBig300Dream Big

InCaseofEmergency300In Case of Emergency

I post a new collage once a week to the Facebook group organized by Denise Aumick.  Karen Stiehl Osborn inspired the the junk mail collage group as she posts a junk mail collage daily on Facebook page and her blog.


07 2014

24 Moose and a Trip of a Lifetime!

Trip 21 to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with my sister, Nancy J. Spiegel Rosman, was truly the trip of a lifetime.  We survived the worst (and I’m not kidding) bugs EVER as well as what can best be described as variable weather while experiencing the best of what Nature offers in wilderness areas and a whole lot of FUN!


This was one of the nicer portages in and this was before many days of rain.  On the way out long stretches of the portages were basically lakes with running water.


We were overjoyed to find our FAV campsite open – a miracle! This was a base-camp trip as Nancy had knee surgery 10 days before we left.


First order of biz after the tent is up is Nancy’s tarp and bug hut engineering. Note cleverness in putting tarp above bug hut.


Nancy made our custom bug hut and it saved the trip as our cooking/dining hall. This is hash browns with onions and cheese and scrambled eggs for breakfast during a lovely storm. We heard many other paddlers gave it up after a day or two this year because of the bug swarms and rain. I think that’s why it’s so much fun to go adventuring with Nancy; it’s always a great day to be in the BWCA in our world.


We spent many happy hours out canoeing and, despite a few days in camp due to high winds, paddled about 40 miles. The water was so high that no worries about grinders.


Oh, did I mention seeing 24 moose?  Moose and twins, moose with calf, moose charging other moose in the lily pad area, four moose at a time, etc., etc.  This was not just see a moose disappear into the bush; the cows were hungry and in hot competition for the best lily pads.  We would sit and eat dinner with a show of moose coming and going for an hour or more. And it wasn’t just the moose.  We saw otters playing, beaver, eagles, loons, and so much more. (Update:  How could I have forgotten?  I saw a bear.  It and I rapidly retreated in opposite directions from the latrine path!)


We had a five-photo challenge every day with different themes.  This is one of my photos for the theme, “Diagonal Lines.”  Birch is always beautiful.


I am still thinking about the inspiration provided by rocks with moss and engraved ice lines and,


as always, water, water, water. Trip #21 was an amazing ten days of great paddling, sisterly fun, and Nature in all her glory. We felt honored to be able to experience it all once again.



06 2014

A Wall of Java Art!

The Intentional Printing Java Art Exchange based on Lynn Krawczyk’s new book was a ton of fun (shown above are my artworks).  If you remember, we swapped 6″ square artworks using Lynn’s coffee cup graphic in Intentional Printing in any size plus three printing techniques from the book.


I first painted the 6″ canvas squares from Dick Blick starting with turquoise paint, then adding ultramarine to the turquoise, and finally adding green to the mixture.  Every canvas is in the same color family, but different. I purposely left the paint streak-y, so the variations would show. Artwork shown at the top of the stacked canvases is by Eileen Hallock (left) and Jay Dodds (right).

I adhered the artwork to the canvases with gel medium, brayered over them carefully, and left them to dry under weights.


Here is my java art wall (yes, it is painted espresso brown) with its 12 new additions.



06 2014