“Clover and a Bee” and new SAQA notecards


Studio Art Quilt Associates, of which I am a proud Juried Artist Member, just released its new set of notecards.

Clover and a Bee is included!  You may purchase the set here. There are ten 4×6″ notecards with envelopes.

Studio Art Quilt Associates is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications. Founded in 1989 by an initial group of 50 artists, SAQA now has over 3,300 members: artists, teachers, collectors, gallery owners, museum curators and corporate sponsors.

ART QUILT: “a creative visual work that is layered
and stitched or that references this form of stitched
layered structure


07 2016

Inspiration Overload – Boundary Waters Adventure #23

June28VPaddleUp400Photo by Nancy J. Spiegel Rosman

Trip #23!  My sister, Nancy J. Spiegel Rosman, and I could never imagine 14 years ago that our first trip would inspire such an ongoing passion for wilderness canoeing.

OutPhotobyCarl400Photo by Carl of Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters
We always bunkhouse here before setting out – highly recommended!


Even after almost 200 days total in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, it is never any less of a thrill to be out on the water for hours on end, adventuring and seeing what there is to see.


You always pay a price to experience the Boundary Waters – muddy portages, bugs (WAY better though than last year’s horde), storms, cold (we wore shirts, windwall fleece, rain jackets, and fleece hats more than we would have wished), wind, rain. You have to be certain you have plenty of arm, plenty of leg.  But every effort pays off in huge dividends of peace, inspiration, relaxation, and just FUN.

VBananabreadmocha400Photo by Nancy J. Spiegel Rosman

Life is reduced to simple pleasures.  Such as Coffee Break! What could be better than my beloved mocha and a mini-loaf of homemade banana bread while sitting on the rock overlooking the lake after a morning of exploring in the canoe?


Photo by Nancy J. Spiegel Rosman

Of course we saw moose – 11 total, including three Moms with twins and one with a solo calf. Our record of seeing moose every trip in the BW holds!  We also saw otters with babies, eagles, beavers, loons, many, many gorgeous warblers, and so much more.


We were up at dawn and out of tent in our jammies to shoot the sunrise and mist from shore and one morning ventured out in the boat at dawn before I had coffee (a true sacrifice, but so worth it).  We also shot all day in the boat and had a daily photo challenge on shore (5 photos on themes such as texture, up close, threes, etc.).  I have over 500 photos of my own plus 300 from Nancy to sort through.  My mind is already overwhelmed with ideas for new textile work and paintings.

These are things I really looked at this trip (deja vu if you have read more than one of these trip reports or seen my artwork :)):

InspirBark400The texture of bark.

InspirGrasseshallows400Grasses in shallow water and the patterns of rock, sun, water.

InspirLilyPads400 Water lilies, lily pads, and the marks on the lily pads.

Rocks!  Nancy spent a lot of time piloting the boat backward and forward until I had just the right shot (And I did for her the same for her with the wily loon.)  This photo is from the top of the big rock that is slowly splitting in half. I told Nancy that it feels like my personal Stonehenge as I keep re-visiting it in person and in my artwork.


It’s always hard to give up sleeping in a tent next to water, power paddling, and having such a wonderful (laughter-filled) time with my sister.  As we say, “Until next year.”

***If you would like to read more about this adventure and see lots more photos, subscribe to my free e-newsletter, Art+Inspiration, by sending an e-mail to Virginia(at)VirginiaSpiegel.com


07 2016

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