Archive for October, 2010

What’s new in the studio this week

Above is a piece I am working on for the Surface Design Association’s member show. This is about the fourth layer – red hemp string stitched down over the other layers.  Terrible angle for a photo, I know, but I had the end of it under the needle.

This is only a background for more stitching, painting, and screenprinting. The theme for the exhibit is Merge and Flow. I am working with photos from the Boundary Waters printed on organza and fused to other painted fabrics.  My artist statement will be about how the Boundary Waters has merged with my own life in totally unexpected ways.

This is my work table’s “compost pile.”  I am almost done with ten mixed-media collages for a fundraiser to be announced in November which is why I’m not showing more of the work-in-progress here.  Safe to say, though, that they are in the Palimpsest series vein.


10 2010

Inspiration – An exhibit and a DIY project

A “sister” to this photo was chosen for the exhibit Eye of The Quilter:  Inspiration to be held at International Quilt Festival – Houston, November 4 – 7, 2010.

The theme for the exhibit is Reflections. My artist’s statement:
This photo reflects my artwork in that it appears to be pretty simple, but is actually quite complex. The photo captures the sun reflecting off the black water of a lake sliding toward darkness. The water changes by the minute, by the second; the colors shifting and flashing. My sister and I are alone on this wilderness lake and celebrate that fact. This photo represents freedom, peace, and the the most beautiful kind of silence.

My sister and Mom were here this weekend to assist in hanging this changeable Inspiration Wall in Studio B.  Ingredients:  A box of recycled clipboards with funny labels on them that I acquired for free, a willingness to stand on the Ikea dresser, a long level, and a fair amount of math by three women armed with hammer and nails:


10 2010

Dyeing fabric in October?

Who could believe that I could put out a set of dye buckets in October?  I lucked out as I realized one day that my backing supply was perilously low and the temperatures were in the high 70s.   In general I only dye when I need backings as I have zero affinity for the whole dyeing process. But I have had good luck with the bucket on the black driveway method.  All four buckets are Intense Blue.

Here are the results:

Love the color and set for another year.


10 2010

Onward with Formerly Present

Formerly Present 3 under the needle.  Its texture comes from the surface design and the stitching.  This is quite a difference from the last pieces in the Boundary Waters series.

Here is the progression, in reverse,  so far:

Formerly Present 2
With 500 yards of thread used in the stitching to create a natural grid to contrast with the surface design.

Formerly Present 1


10 2010

It’s Blog Action Day! Clean Water is the Focus.

Boundary Waters 34 (The Red Mug)
Collection of Susan Arnold

It’s October 15 which means my blog takes a little time out to particpate in Blog Action Day.  This year’s topic:  Clean Water.

Of course, I’m concerned about clean water.  Where would I be without my journeys in the Boundary Waters?  It’s one of those local/global issues that concerns us all.

The one fact shared by the Blog Action Day Team that really struck home with me is that African women walk over 40 billion hours each year carrying cisterns weighing up to 18 kilograms to gather water, which is usually still NOT safe to drink.

That puts a little perspective on any whining about household drudgery, no?

What can we do?

The Blog Action Team shares great organizations working on solutions and new tools that empower people to do their part to address the water crisis:

*Building Wells:  Organizations like and charity: water are leading the charge in bringing fresh water to communities in the developing world.

*Technology for Good: Do you want to measure how much water it took to make your favorite foods? There’s an app for that.

*Conservation Starts at Home: The average person uses 465 liters of water per day. Find out how much you use.

*Keeping Rivers Clean: We can all take small steps to help keep pollution out of our rivers and streams, like correctly disposing of household wastes.  Find out how here.

If you would like to particpate in Blog Action Day, all the information is here.


10 2010