Archive for January, 2011

Lyric Kinard: A Modern Wonder Woman

Lyric Kinard is as artist whose artwork ranges across a wide variety of forms – art quilts, art cloth, mixed-media collages, wearable art, books, and more.  You can see her artwork on her website and in her Etsy shop. And did I mention she has a book, Art + Quilt, one DVD out  (Surface Design), and another DVD on beading in progress?  And she has a post today on The Sketchbook Challenge blog? Oh, yes, and she has five children.  I am beyond amazed; does she sleep?  Does she wear a cape when we’re not looking?

1. Why are you participating in the ONE fundraiser for the American Cancer Society?
Too many people in my life have been touched by cancer. More than one friend is fighting this right now, including Melanie Testa.


fearless by Lyric Kindard.  This is one of five fiber collages by Lyric available during the ONE fundraiser on February 16.

2. Tell us about your collages for ONE.
I’ve been having great fun playing with mixed media collages this past year. I’ve recycled horrible watercolor paintings from way back – layering them with old sheet music and layers of textured paint. Vintage textiles get thrown into the mix and wings tend to show up everywhere.

3. What are you working on in the studio now?
I’m very excited to be one of the artists in The Sketchbook Challenge and am prepping a book for some visual journaling. Lots and lots of samples for a Bead It Like You Mean It DVD workshop I’ll be filming in a couple months.

4. What has been the biggest surprise of your art career so far?
That I’m an artist at all! I always thought I’d be a musician. Life takes us on such wonderful and circuitous journeys!

5. Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. Absolutely everywhere! The pattern on a rug, the texture of bark, a crack in the sidewalk or the pattern of a city skyline. It all goes into my sketchbooks – my own personal reference library.

6. Do you collect art? If so, how do you know a piece is right for your collection?
Only very small pieces thus far. I’m saving up for one or two larger works. When you see an artist year after year and can’t get enough of their work – it even shows up in your dreams – that’s how I know I can live with it.

7. What advice do you have for new art collectors/new Patrons of ONE?
First – know your money is going to a very good cause – you are making the world a better place. Second – don’t worry about longevity, value, or if it matches the couch. Go for the work that speaks to your heart.

Glory by Lyric Kinard.  Nine canvases at 12″ x 12″ each.  A tutorial about some of the techniques used is here.

8. What advice do you have for artists who are seeking their unique voice or direction in their own artwork?
Just do the work. I don’t think you can know what your style or voice is until you’ve made a large number or works. Learning and honing new techniques is all well and good but at some point to you have to just buckle down and make lots of art. (Notice I didn’t say it has to be GOOD art – just art)

9. What would you do with a year free to do what you wanted with no responsibilities or financial concerns?
Spend half of it traveling, half of it hidden away in a studio processing those experiences.

10. Any upcoming exhibits, new artwork, books, etc. we should know about?
I’d like to invite you to stop by my blog. It’s a wonderful place to come be inspired. I love nothing more than helping people understand that everyone has that creative spark within. It IS possible to find it, nurture it, and build it into something beautiful that will greatly enrich your life.

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01 2011

Natalya Aikens: A Tale of Two Cultures

Natalya Aikens’ artwork embraces images of architectural details, mysterious text half-concealed by layers of transparent fabric, and hand stitching that is often invisible until closer inspection when its extravagant use is at its most stunning.  Born in St. Petersburg and spending summers there with her children, Natalya brings back a treasure trove of inspiring photos to use in her artwork. But Natlaya isn’t always looking back; one of her workshops and a DVD for Interweave focus on the tres trendy use of recycling and upcycling in making fiber art. Natalya is generous in sharing her inspiration, design studies, and beautiful photos on her blog.

1.  Why are you participating in the ONE fundraiser for the American Cancer Society?
Because Virginia is an extraordinary person. She does so much good and does it so well. I am honored that she has asked for my participation.


Piterskoie Kruzhevo/St. Pete Lace 8 by Natalya Aikens.  This artwork will be available during the ONE fundraiser on February 16.

2.  What are you working on in the studio now?
My studio is littered with bits and pieces of costumes for my kids Russian School play right now. For the month of January my own art will be on hold as I must concentrate on the costumes that need to be created for the play at the end of the month. I have been enjoying this challenge for three years now. In my past life I was a costume designer and a costume supervisor for film and TV, so it’s a special treat to dip my toe into those waters once a year for my kids. It’s nice to be able to challenge myself in this completely different way.

3. Where do you find inspiration?
The easy answer in everywhere! But for me the most meaningful inspiration comes from my heritage and my past. I always look to Russian folklore and fairytales for whimsical inspiration, and I think it as been ingrained in me from a childhood spent reading and being read to. I have had the incredible gift of being able to return to St. Petersburg, Russia every summer with my children, and that has served as inspiration as well as I am able to look at this beautiful city with the eyes of a native and a tourist at once. My past careers in fashion and costume make me notice the details – stitches, pleats, darts, ruffles, seams. These three different sources come together to inspire my work.

4. What advice do you have for artists who are seeking their unique voice or direction in their own artwork?
Keep creating. Keep working. Keep trying new materials or supplies that call out to you. Eventually you will come upon the right direction and find your voice, and it will probably happen as a surprise and take a while. Do not put a time limit on this process, it’s different for everybody and no one can predict how long it will take for each individual. Do not try to rush the process, just keep working. All of a sudden you will sit up and realize that things have clicked and you are in the zone and your voice is singing!

5.  What would you do with a year free to do what you wanted with no responsibilities or financial concerns?
I would set up my studio (this studio will be an exact replica of mine, with all my favorite supplies, plus other new ones that I have not had a chance to play with yet) in many cities (favorites from past visits and new ones from my bucket list) around the world, travel extensively and take breaks in those studios to create when the muse demands it for as long as I wish without any interruptions, except to take breaks to eat in the best restaurants in those cities. Then I would go back out and explore some more, and come to another studio and create create create! Repeat repeat repeat…..


Piter 4 (detail) by Natalya Aikens

6.  Any upcoming exhibits, new artwork, books, etc. we should know about?
My piece Piter 4 triptych will be in SAQA New Frontiers: Beyond Comfort exhibit debuting at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England. I am also participating in two Fiber Revolution exhibits in the beginning of the year, at the West Windsor Arts Council in Princeton, NJ from now to March 1 and Windsor Art Center in Windsor CT from now to March 5.

28

01 2011

Jane Dunnewold: A Daily Practice

Jane Dunnewold.  Just hear her name and you think Art Cloth.  Her seminal book, Complex Cloth, has been followed by Art Cloth: A Guide to Surface Design for Fabric as well as several other books and DVDs in collaboration with other artists. As owner of the working and teaching studio, Art Cloth Studios, located in historic San Antonio, Jane has influenced an entire generation of fiber artists to think of cloth as a vehicle for self-expression and artistic intent.

1.  Why are you participating in the ONE fundraiser
for the American Cancer Society?
Because no one is untouched by cancer. We are experiencing it in my family and two close friends have also been through real ordeals in the past four years. You can feel helpless or you can try to help. Being proactive is important.


Remembering You by Jane Dunnewold.  This artwork will be available during the ONE fundraiser on February 16.

2.  Tell us about your collages for ONE.
I’ve been working with “re-purposed” clothing – which used to be known as cast offs from the thrift store! The partial bits of garments reference human interactions and help tell short stories, which are rounded out with screen printed paint and sand, gold leaf, and hand writing.

3.  What are you working on in the studio now?
I just completed and shipped 48 new pieces for an exhibition at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. The series is entitled Etudes: A Daily Practice and the pieces are all rectangular and linear – something new for me last year. The pieces were inspired by musical etudes and daily practices of other kinds – meditation, household chores, making art. They combine my traditional surface design techniques with new processes I am perfecting, including printing with sand, and the use of paper on silk for devore.

4.  What has been the biggest surprise of your art career so far?
That it is still going.

Etude #41 by Jane Dunnewold.  Silk, cotton shirt, devore, pencil. 14″ x 36″

5.  Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. One of the greatest gifts of being an artist is learning how to really LOOK  – 24/7.

6. What advice do you have for new art collectors/new Patrons of ONE?
If you love it, buy it before someone else does.

7.  What advice do you have for artists who are seeking their unique voice or direction in their own artwork?
Quit looking at other artists’ stuff and quit reading magazines for a year. Look at the world around you and think about what you love. Then be rigorous in pursuing it.

8.  What would you do with a year free to do what you wanted with no responsibilities or financial concerns?
Work in the studio and travel around Europe by train.

26

01 2011

Jette Clover: Runes, Graffiti, and the Making of Marks

I own several small collages by Jette Clover and I never tire of looking at them.  We share a common love of writing and the making of marks.  But it seems to me there is a particular European sensibility about her artwork; a true understanding of the timelessness of writing and an appreciation of the old books and fiber materials available in Europe. However her artwork frequently comments about our modern life through the use of photographs of city walls with faded words, tattered posters, flashy advertisements and bold graffiti. Jette’s workshops include Text and Textile, Experimental Mark Making, Focus on Green as well as several others. In addition to her website, you can see Jette’s artwork in Masters: Art Quilts: Major Works by Leading Artists.

1.  Why are you participating in the ONE fundraiser for the American Cancer Society?

I think we all have family members and friends that have been touched by this disease – somebody in my immediate family is waiting right now for test results to determine how serious her problem is – and I think, it is wonderful that we might be part of the solution through our art work. Thank you for inviting me.


Written in Stone 2 by Jette Clover.  This artwork will be available during the ONE fundraiser on February 16.

2.  Tell us about your collages for ONE.
My background is in journalism, and I still love language and writing. I am fascinated by the visual expressions people through the ages have found to communicate – from hand prints in prehistoric caves to graffiti messages on urban walls. My collages, Written In Stone, have to do with the runic stones in Scandinavia and my memory of learning to write the runic alfabeth as a small school girl in Denmark. The old stones with bands of carved messages are still standing thousand years later to tell their stories. I like their physical presence, and it makes me wonder about the longevity of our mark-making.

3.  What are you working on in the studio now?
I am continuing to explore the color white and the idea of hiding and revealing. The pieces in my recent series, White Walls, are layered fabric and paper, printed, painted over, sanded, rubbed, scratched and torn – alluding to the corrosive effect of time and allowing the past to reveal itself in the form of ghost images of messages from posters, advertisements and graffiti.

White Wall 4 by Jette Clover, 56″x57″

4.  Where do you find inspiration?
My major source of inspiration continue to be language and communication, and almost all my work refer to writing. I like words and letters, both because of the graphic quality and because of the ability to convey meaning.

5.  What advice do you have for artists who are seeking their unique voice or direction in their own artwork?
Work and keep working and enjoy the making rather than the finished product.

6.  What would you do with a year free to do what you wanted with no responsibilities or financial concerns?
I would pretty much do what I do now. I can’t think of any place that I would rather be than in my studio.

7.  Any upcoming exhibits, new artwork, books, etc. we should know about?
I had an exhibition in Switzerland last October and published a book, Small Notes,  about a series of small collages that I started in 2001. They are small ‘portraits’ of (historic) celebrities based on actual postage stamps. I just finished # 191 –  and I will continue the series as long as I find stamps/ people that inspire me.

And this year I am working to put together my exhibition at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK in August.

24

01 2011

Leslie Tucker Jenison: An Inspiration Locavore



I knew Leslie Tucker Jenison would be a fun person to know when she zipped up to a gathering at Karey Bresenhan’s Franch in a Mini Cooper. Leslie draws inspiration for her artwork from her current location in Texas and also her former home in Kansas:  The language of my work draws inspiration from the world around me: natural surfaces, repeating patterns, music, and the people in my life. Leslie (along with Jamie Fingal) is also an active curator with the exhibit Beneath the Surface currently on tour.  Stop by Leslie’s blog to see her ink drawings on fabric, handmade gifts from her daughters, updates on her beautiful garden, and more.

1.   Why are you participating in the ONE fundraiser for the American Cancer Society?
I have been an enthusiastic supporter of Fiberart For A Cause since the beginning.  My mother was a breast cancer survivor. Unfortunately, I have many friends who have battled breast and other  forms of cancer. My participation is a small way of contributing toward research and better treatment solutions.  I love the “grassroots” feel of this: that so many people making small financial contributions can make such a big difference. It inspires me on many levels.

Silence by Leslie Tucker Jenison.  This artwork will be available during the ONE fundraiser on February 16.

2.  Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration comes from many sources:  observations in my garden, repeating patterns, natural or political events.  There are times when something as simple as the piece of cloth I am doing surface design-work on will evolve into an idea for a piece.  As an artist, I think it is important to stay in the moment and spend time observing.

Heartland #5:  Field Burn This piece is part of a series called “Heartland”.  The series explores the meaning of home and place.  This particular piece is constructed of deconstructed screenprinting of ProcionMX dye onto bamboo batting and facial cloths, organza, and stitch, and is mounted onto black felt over stretched canvas.  It will be part of a show opening in early Feburary, 2011, at the Copper Shade Tree Gallery in Round Top, Texas.

3.  What are you working on in the studio right now?
I’m working on several things:  a 30-day challenge of small drawings using a ruling pen on cloth, one per day, done in 30-minutes.  I’m finishing a piece for an upcoming juried exhibition at the Copper Shade Tree Gallery in Round Top, Texas, which opens in February.  I’m also participating in a year-long project called the Sketchbook Challenge, which I hope will inspire others to participate.  I am also preparing to do surface design on cloth for a new quilted construction.

4. Do you collect art?  If so, how do you know a piece is right for your collection?
I do collect art.  I only purchase artwork that speaks to me, that I respond to.  I don’t care who has made the art:  that is not the most important thing to me, although I love owning work by artists I know. If I fall in love with a piece of art and decide to purchase it, I have never regretted buying it.  I enjoy looking at the art in my home.  I can always find a place for something new that “speaks to me”.

5.What advice do you have for new art collectors/new Patrons of ONE?
My advice is that, if you see a piece offered in the ONE fundraising event, purchase it.  It is truly a “win-win” situation:  the American Cancer Society receives needed money to fund research and the collector gets a piece of art!  Buying art that you respond to will never disappoint.

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01 2011