“Form, Not Function” Opening Reception This Friday


Shagbark 7
Virginia A. Spiegel
Photo:  Deidre Adams

Form, Not Function:  Quilt Art at the Carnegie opens this Friday, May 8 with an opening reception from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Carnegie Center for Art & History in New Albany, Indiana. The exhibit continues through July 11.

Shagbark 7 is a hand-stitched labor of love (hand stitching on screen printed upholstery fabric is a crazy thing to do – believe me) and I’m so pleased to have it shown in this wonderful venue.

I’ve been studying my huge shagbark hickory trees since I moved here ten years ago.  They are amazing trees, always shedding their bark in sheets of texture and color.  A shagbark tree in winter holds the snow in its crevices and cracks. There is always a beautiful tapestry of color ranging from softest white to darkest black.

Materials:  Acrylic textile paint, upholstery fabric, polyester fabric, felt,  cotton embroidery thread, rayon thread, ink. 

Techniques: Screen print with screens from artist’s photos, cut:, raw-edge collage created with machine stitching, handstitch, burn, ink.

Here is an earlier blog post with more photos of the artwork while in progress.

Here is a post about How to Stick with the Stitching as I learned a few tricks as I stitched and stitched.



05 2015

Become An Art Friend Today



Can you believe I’ve had a monthly art newsletter for at least ten years now?   I found an online version from 2005 and I’m still looking to find older ones.  My newsletter started as Art, Nature, Creativity and now it’s Color+Inspiration.

I’ve always had the same sorts of things:  News of upcoming exhibitions, artworks that I’m working on that I’m not willing to share with the “public,” inspirational photos, studio visits, and a short essay about what I’m thinking about that month.

 Why have a newsletter for ART FRIENDS when there’s FB, Pinterest, my website, and this blog?

Well, it’s personal.  There are photos from my personal life and in my studio that I don’t mind sharing with Art Friends, but really wouldn’t want to see out there in the world.  Sometimes I’m in the mood for a little giveaway.  Sometimes I want my Art Friends to share good news first before anyone else hears about it. And I often try to release new artwork to coincide with the newsletter so subscribers have one day to consider the artwork for their collections before anyone else.

This month I tried out a newsletter app which shall remain unnamed, but I just didn’t like how I had to bend how I think about my newsletter to its structures.  So it’s still that I send out an e-mail to subscribers and they click over to my website to read the newsletter.  It’s one click more, but I think it’s worth it.  It’s a quirky little set-up, but it’s definitely all me, personal, and how I want to chat with Art Friends.

However I WAS in the mood for something new this month, so I increased photo sizes, added more color, and kicked off a Tips and Techniques feature, and added MORE exclusive inspiration photos.

If you’re already an ART FRIEND, please let me know what you think about this month’s newsletter.  Feedback, positive or suggesting an improvement, is always great.

If you would like to become an ART FRIEND, just shoot me an e-mail (Virginia(at)VirginiaSpiegel.com) with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line.




05 2015

Land Lines: Lyrical Tributes to Natural World

StiehlOsborn_VistaWVista by Karen Stiehl Osborn

I’m excited to announce Land Lines, an exhibit featuring the mixed-media artwork of Karen Stiehl Osborn and myself, opens August 2 at the Jewish Community Center Art Gallery in Omaha, NE.

Karen and I both work with abstract imagery drawn from the natural world.  We create lyrical and subtle tributes to specific places incorporating memory and emotion.

Karen and I have known each other for more than fifteen years since we met at a group exhibit at, yes, the JCC! We have spent many an hour creating (and laughing) together at the KHN Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, NE where I lived for seven years.

BW61500Boundary Waters 61 by Virginia A. Spiegel

Our artwork has been shown in juried and invitational exhibits in the U.S. and abroad as well as published in numerous books, magazines, and exhibit catalogs. More info about our artwork on my and  Karen’s websites.

The Jewish Community Center Art Gallery is located at 333 South 132nd Street in Omaha.  Gallery hours are 8 am-9 pm Monday – Thursday, 8 am-5 pm Friday, and 11 am-5 pm Sunday. Land Lines continues through August 30.  Contact Gallery Manager, Lynn Batten, (402-334-6564) for more information.


04 2015

Coffee and Collage – What a Combo!


Simple 17

It started as a weekly challenge to myself to participate in the Junk Mail Art Collective on Facebook and has now grown to include over 45 six-by-six inch collages created from junk snail mail.

I’m currently on a roll with the same coffee cup motif I have used from the beginning, but going for a very clean look. The challenge is to make it interesting at the same time. See all the collages here.


Since we’re talking about coffee craziness – - do you use a Keurig or similar single-serve coffee maker?  I need LOTS of the cup boxes for a big mixed-media project.  Above is a sampling of what I’ve already received, but I need about 60 more.  I’m happy to reimburse your postage or send a small thank-you gift.  E-mail me (Virginia(at)VirginiaSpiegel.com) for all the details and my snail mail.  THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!


04 2015

Indulge Yourself at the SAQA Spotlight Auction


Java and Dark Chocolate
Virginia A. Spiegel

I’m proud to be a Juried Artist Member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, actively promoting art quilts as a serious art form.  There will be a Spotlight Auction of artwork at SAQA’s Fiberlandia conference, April 30 – May 3, in Portland Oregon

The Spotlight silent auction will feature artworks matted to 4.5″x6.5″ with all proceeds supporting SAQA’s mission.  The artist’s statement for my donation, shown above:

What’s not to love about a city with a tradition of great coffee and dark chocolate? Created with my own painted and screen printed fabrics which all begin with white cotton fabric. Found paper from the wrapper of a Moonstruck (made in Portland) chocolate bar. Machine stitching. 

P.S.  Tomme Fent introduced me to Moonstruck chocolates and they are wickedly good.


04 2015