Archive for February, 2011

Review of “Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge”

“Twelve by Twelve:  The International Art Quilt Challenge” is officially available March 1 in bookstores, but it already available online here at a very good price.

Two word summary of this review:  Buy it.

I have had the book here awhile, thanks to Lark sending a preview copy, but it has taken this long to work my way through it.  That’s a good thing!  Twelve artists from around the world challenged each other every other month to create a 12×12” art quilt with a theme chosen by one of the members of the group.

Sure the whole group challenge thing has been done before, but what makes this group and their art stand out is the joy and camaraderie revealed in this book.  Each chapter features one of the twelve artworks almost full-page sized and the artist of that artwork writes the chapter.  Running along the bottom half of each page of the chapter is one of the other artworks with a short artist statement.

Either (or maybe I should say either/or) these are twelve of the best artist/writers around or they had a superlative editor in Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader.  Each chapter is unique, personal, useful, engaging, and just down right interesting. I kept being distracted by the other artworks on the bottom half of the pages until I finally worked out a system.

First I went to the back of the book and read all the artists’ biographies.  Then I read all twelve small sidebars listed in the back. The sidebars are full of useful stuff such as Demystifying the Thermofax, On Sketchbook and Journals, and Twelve Reasons to Blog.

THEN I looked at and read about all twelve art quilts for each theme and THEN finally I read the chapter by the one featured artist straight through.  That’s why I gave such a hearty thumbs-up to this book; it’s just full of interesting information and insight.

The chapter written by each featured artist clearly points out both the why and how of working in many different styles.  Some artists looked to traditional patterns, some researched word associations, and some looked to contemporary and historical issues related to the theme for inspiration.  Each chapter points out the richness and detail of the featured artwork that might have escaped our first perusal.

At first glance you might think some of the artwork is a bit traditional to be called art quilts. But it is so disarming to read the artists’ own critiques of their artworks and to see how artists progressed throughout the challenges.  I think Terri Stegmiller said it best, “A major benefit I have gained … is the drive to try and push myself beyond my normal limitations.”

I hear again and again that people just want how-to books.  I beg to differ.  I think many readers delight in insights about how fiber artists work, what their studios look like, how they came to be artists, and their joys and challenges in life and in the studio.  I felt as though I came to know each of these artists through their sharing this two-year-long online collaboration.

Visit the Twelve by Twelve artists’ group website here and their blog here for more information about the group and the twelve artists that include Deborah Boschert, Gerrie Congdon, Helen L. Conway, Kirsten Duncan, Terry Grant, Diane Perin Hock (founder of the group), Francoise Jamart, Kristin La Flamme, Karen Rips, Brenda Gael Smith, Terri Stegmiller, and Nikki Wheeler.

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02 2011

To The Studio!

It’s always great to wrap up a successful fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  It’s even better to head back in to the studio.

I will be unplugging a bit to really put some time in.  I mean, seriously, Studio B above is just unnaturally clean.

if you want to be sure to find out what’s happening in the studio and in my art life, send a SUBSCRIBE my way and I will add you to the list for my free e-newsletter.  Also I’m going to be going old school and doing some snail mail mailing.  Send your snail mail if you would like to receive an occasional postcard, etc.

21

02 2011

Success! Fiber raises over $9000 in just six hours.

Do a little dance, sing a little song.  We did it!  We raised over $9000 ($9817 to be exact) for the American Cancer Society in just six hours.  That makes the grand total raised by Fiberart For A Cause over $215,000.

Fiber artists and patrons have proven again that they are powerful fundraisers.

All thanks go to the very generous patrons who so enthusiastically acquired artwork donated by these stunningly talented artists:

Natalya Aikens
Pamela Allen
Laura Ann Beehler
Liz Berg
Pokey Bolton
Laura Cater-Woods
Jette Clover
Jane Davila
Jane Dunnewold
Jamie Fingal
Gloria Hansen
Leslie Tucker Jenison
Lyric Kinard
Jeanelle McCall
Linda Teddlie Minton
Karen Stiehl Osborn
BJ Parady
Judy Coates Perez
Wen Redmond
Cynthia St. Charles

A fundraiser is always successful no matter the amount raised if everyone involved gave it their best efforts.  You did AND we blew by our goal AND we sold out.  You can’t ask for much more than that.

I thank you for this success which gives the American Cancer Society the funds they need to continue research, education, and support that will benefit us all.

17

02 2011

ONE Hundred Collages fundraiser opens at 10 a.m. CST today!

It’s here at last!  YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!  Not that I’m excited or anything 😉

ONE Hundred Collages opens today (Wednesday, February 16) at 10 a.m. CST and closes at 4 p.m. CST (or earlier if all the collages are acquired).

ONE Hundred Collages will be held here; the same ten webpages as the preview yesterday.  But at 10 a.m. CST you may start sending in your requests to acquire your favorite artworks.  Be sure to read the “How to Acquire ONE Collages” message on Page 1 so you have the best chance of acquiring the collage(s) you really desire.

The Endangered Honeybee, one of my collages for ONE.

100% of what we raise today goes directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause, thanks to the twenty-one artists who so generously donated their artwork and will cover all the shipping costs,

Our goal is at least $8000 in six hours to add to the $205,000 we have already donated to the American Cancer Society.

I believe every dollar makes a difference in the fight against cancer and that my Dad is a colon cancer survivor thanks to the research, education, and support done by the American Cancer Society.  Thank you for joining me in this fiber fundraiser for a cause that is close to so many of our hearts.

16

02 2011

Preview of ONE Hundred Collages Now Up

A special preview of all the ONE Hundred Collages is now up here with the event opening Wednesday, February 16 at 10 a.m. CST.

Head on over to plan your strategy for tomorrow by browsing the ONE hundred fiber collages created by this all-star team of artists:

Natalya Aikens
Pamela Allen
Laura Ann Beehler
Liz Berg
Pokey Bolton
Laura Cater-Woods
Jette Clover
Jane Davila
Jane Dunnewold
Jamie Fingal
Gloria Hansen
Leslie Tucker Jenison
Lyric Kinard
Jeanelle McCall
Linda Teddlie Minton
Karen Stiehl Osborn
BJ Parady
Judy Coates Perez
Wen Redmond
Cynthia St. Charles
Virginia A. Spiegel

All the fun and fundraising begins tomorrow (Wednesday, February 16) at 10 a.m. CST and closes at 4 p.m. CST (or earlier if all the collages are acquired by generous patrons).

100% is donated directly to the American Cancer Society with an immediate electronic receipt. For tips and techniques on how to acquire collages tomorrow, visit yesterday’s blog post.

Our goal is to raise at least $8000 in just six hours to add to the $205,000 Fiberart For A Cause has already donated to the American Cancer Society.

Any questions?  Want to make sure that your e-mail doesn’t end up in my junk mail?  Just send a note to Virginia(at)VirginiaSpiegel.com today.

Thank you for your support and see you tomorrow at 10 a.m. CST.

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02 2011