Saturday, November 26, 2011

Metamorphic Dilemma 2

So, thank you for your responses to my first dilemma. I was not aware I was cryptic but now it has been pointed out I am quite looking forward to developing that side of me!
So, my second dilemma. I am not sure anyone but me can sort this one out but I thought I'd share anyway. I do not think I am giving secrets away to say that the group had a democratic discussion about how the new challenge was to proceed and one conversation was about whether we should know all the themes in advance to allow us to plan a series from the start. The decision was no.
So we are free to just make free standing quilts each time. But, you know me. If I can complicate things......I am pondering. Should I impose some restrictions on myself and try to make the theme fit in with those restrictions each time so that I end up with an individual series within a group series? I am thinking of the inclusion of a small design element and / or a restricted palette. Or maybe simply requiring myself to use more surface design techniques in each one. That seems an easier restriction and yet still very useful to my development as an artist. 
Or, should I enjoy the freedom and allow myself to stop planning and invite in spontaneity and see what the muses send? After all, if the quilts are ever displayed they are much more likely to be with the other Twelves's by theme rather than with all five of mine hung together. 
Hmmm. Maybe I should make my decision but not communicate it and let you work it out what it was as we go along. A kind of cryptic series!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Metamorphic dilemma ( No 1)

Yes, I am sorry, but, despite the fact that I am delighted we have a new series and a theme and despite the fact that I am eager to get going, I am dilemma ridden. I will save one confusion for another day but let me ask you,Twelves and Readers alike, should the subject of a work of art be obvious to a viewer or need it only be in the recesses of the artists mind? Is the answer different when the work is made for a themed collection?

Let me more specific. I recently found an affordable (ish) copy of the award winning and out of print African Ceremonies by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher. It is a two volume book in a slip case, weighs about the same as a six year old, and is full of lucious photos. Photos from it are also available in two different condensed versions which are genuinely affordable if anyone is interested.

I am reading the chapters about initiation ceremonies and about how inititates in some tribes are taken into the bush or the jungle and put through ceremonies which render them first helpless like young children again and then allow them to be ' reborn' as men. Metamorphosis in other words. The tribal body art and costumes are endessly Inspiring to me.

But if I made a quilt based on how those photographs translate into something else in my head, I doubt the viewer would look at it and, without a description, say," Oh, yes, metamorphosis". Or even " Oh, an initiation ceremony." I would hope they would see African / tribal / body art. And I think with a short statement the link would be crystal clear.

Normally, if the viewer found my art visually appealing and if it evoked somekind of emotional reaction in them I would be delighted and not care less if they understood that it was all about my interpretation of metamorphosis. In fact if they thought it was about something entirely different I would be delighted to hear their interpretation.But, if this quilt is to be part of a group of quilts all on the same theme, should my interpretation be clearer? Do you disagree with me that the art does not fail if it does not always convey the message the artist had in mind? Do you favour explanatory statements with quilts or not? Are you even awake and still reading?


Friday, November 18, 2011

Thinking about Metamorphosis

I love the new theme of Metamorphosis that we will be working with. It conjures up all kinds of thoughts of change and growth and moving into a new phase. Exciting stuff. Coincidentally, one of my favorite quilts at the IQF show in Houston a couple of weeks ago, (you know the one—we Twelves have been talking of nothing else!) was a beautiful piece called "Metamorphosis" by Gabrielle Paquin of Orleans, France.

I adored its clean, graphic lines and it is made from wonderful woven plaid and stripe shirting fabrics, another thing I adore. Here is just a part of my collection of shirtings, which I just happened to tidy and move to my studio yesterday.
After I got home from Houston I had to find Gabrielle Paquin's web site to see what else she has done. Wonderful work and she uses the butterfly image and the name "Metamorphosis" a lot. The link to her web site is above.

Given my collection of shirtings, I could do my own take on Gabrielle Paquin's work and have my "Metamorphosis" done! But why would I do that when she has already done it to perfection? Well, I wouldn't, of course. It will be fun to dream up my own interpretation of metamorphosis, but it will be hard to pull my mind away from this lovely, lovely image.

My Beautiful Blue Plate

I absolutely love my plate! I still can't believe what an amazing gift Karen and Ted have given each of us.  I was so surprised when I came home one morning from dropping the kids off at school and found a package on my porch.  Amazon? I tried to think of what I might have ordered? I read the label to make sure it was my package.  Karen didn't have her name on the label.  I think it must have been a packing/mailing company.  I was very confused up until the moment I opened the card from Karen. 

Ted based the plate on my blue, white and black quilt, Reboot.  I like the plate much better than the quilt. I love the depth and layers of the glass--truly stunning. 

I was very happy that I had just finished cleaning my art room when the package arrived because I have somewhere to display it away from the jumping dog and flying nerd bullets.  I've even managed to keep the table top clean in its honor (or at least that half).  I love how the card matches the plate! 

Thank you so much Ted and Karen for such a beautiful and personal gift!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Twelve by Twelve Blog Button

With the completion of the Colorplay series and the announcement of our new challenge for 2012, it seems like time for a new blog button. You are welcome to cut and paste this code.  The top button is 200 pixels wide.  The other one is 175 pixels wide.

Twelve by Twelve:The International Art Quilt Challenge 
<a href=""><img src="" border="0" title="Twelve by Twelve:The International Art Quilt Challenge" alt="Twelve by Twelve:The International Art Quilt Challenge"/></a>
Twelve by Twelve:The International Art Quilt Challenge 
<a href=""><img src="" border="0" title="Twelve by Twelve:The International Art Quilt Challenge" alt="Twelve by Twelve:The International Art Quilt Challenge"/></a>

Monday, November 14, 2011

A plate in Paris

Yes, Karen and Ted came all the way from California to bring me this beautiful glass plate in Paris more than two years ago!
Isn't it gorgeous?
I must say that, at first, I was surprised when they told me that it was inspired by my "Mathematics quilt".
I really think Ted did an amazing job.
Actually there are also some similarities between Ted's plate and my "Twelve" quilt, although he hadn't seen that quilt yet when he made the plate, (and I hadn't seen his plate when I made my quilt). Do you see the 12 little dots on his plate and the 12 cross stitches on my quilt? And then the curvy orange lines on his plate and the undulating line of beads on my quilt?

Thank you so much Ted for this beautiful gift!

Ted's Plate for Me: Slice

 It sounds like my experience was much the same as everyone's elses:  taking delivery of an unexpected and heavy box, wondering WHAT it could possibly be, and then opening it to a jaw-droppingly wonderful piece of glass art by Ted Rips.

Ted chose the quilt I made for the Kilauea color challenge, which I called "Slice." It's one of my favorites of the colorplay set so I was delighted that he picked it.  Here's the actual quilt.  I love love love how Ted got the texture in the colored stripes.

Since receiving it, we've had this in the center of the dining room table where we admire it daily.  It gets lots of rave reviews from visitors, too.  It even coordinated nicely with the Halloween quilt I bring out for the holiday.

To Karen and Ted, this was such a lovely and surprising idea.  Ted, I'm in awe of your artistry in glass and am thrilled to have a piece of your work.
Thank you both so much!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More spice!

When I received a very heavy parcel from Karen and Ted I had no clue what could be inside. I could never have imagined that my quilt could be reinterpreted so masterfully in glass! And to then entrust this beautiful piece to the postal service? That took real courage! Thank you, Ted, for this very special gift and memento of an important part of our lives.

Spice dish

And here is my glass dish...

I too have had mine a while but did not dare breath a word until I was sure that everyone else had theirs. Ted chose to base mine on my spice quilt. It sits on the coffee table in the middle of our garden lounge. I love the curved corners of it.

Another Glass Plate!

Isn't it fantastic to see how Ted interpreted our work? I just love thinking about these classy glass works of art in the homes of each of the Twelves all over the world. Again, thank you so much, Ted!

Here is mine. It's inspired by my chartreuse 12x12 quilt titled Approaching Departure, pictured below.

You'll see that Ted included my loose red thread tails and my tiny square sequin grid near the top. 

My plate is sitting on the sideboard in our living room. I love the graceful curve of the plate and the bright colors!


Ch-ch-ch-changes — some of us revel in them and some greet them with kicking and screaming. It has taken some time, but the Twelves are ready for a change.

First up, the size will now be 20 X 12 inches. Do you notice a number relationship there? (Note: the orientation will be vertical.)

Secondly, since the size is larger, we are going to do 5 quilts this year. The dates for our reveals are: Feb 12, May 1, July 12, Oct. I, Dec. 12.

And lastly, how will we select our themes? Diane drew five names at random. The five will have the honor of choosing the themes. My name came up first. I thought of a few words which have to do with changes and moving on, but ultimately, I kept going back to metamorphosis.

The dictionary gives the following definitions of met·a·mor·pho·sis

1. Biology. a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.

2. a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic or witchcraft.

3. any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc.

4. a form resulting from any such change.

We have not made a drastic change, but I think this word is a great metaphor for us as we move forward.

So, Twelves and friends of Twelves, let the creativity begin, again. I will be looking forward to your interpretation of this challenge.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Excuse me, I have to sit down!

Karen told me to look out for a parcel and I knew that her husband Ted Rips is a talented glass artist but, even as I carried the heavy package up the hill from the Copacabana post office, I had little inkling of its contents. This is what I found inside - wow-o-wow! I had to sit down and catch my breath.
I've always liked the graphic lines of Stacked, my piece for the Chairs theme challenge and it is such fun to see the design rendered in another medium. Ted even captured the quilting lines. Thank you Ted for this very special gift.
Stacked © 2009 Brenda Gael Smith

Terri's Plate

I was minding my own business one day when I noticed a delivery truck coming up my driveway.  I scanned my brain, trying to figure out what I was expecting and couldn't come up with a thing.  I was baffled from the moment I took the package from the delivery person up until the moment I saw this beauty inside the box.

Ted did a wonderful job with these plates and I'm thrilled to be in possession of one.  Below is the quilt he based mine on...from the eggplant reveal.  He truly is a glass artist!

Thank you Karen and Ted for such a beautiful gift!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kristin's Glass Plate

Everyone has been so quiet about these fabulous plates. Apparently they had reached even the international Twelves weeks before mine arrived in Hawaii and no one let out a peep, lest the surprise be ruined. And what a wonderful surprise it was. I recognized my Grey Parrot quilt right away. I think that it is even better in glass than in fabric! We joked about Helen's husband Dennis being named 13 for his book hawking talents, so I propose Karen's hubby Ted be named 14 for his wonderful glass work and obvious dedication to the project!

Another Glass Quilt

This is my beautiful plate, made by Karen's husband Ted. Isn't it wonderful? I really love it! It is based on my Kilauea quilt for the colorplay challenge.

I have a little story to tell about mine. The first time I met Karen, a couple years ago, she brought beautiful gifts of Ted's specially designed glass plates to me and Gerrie. Gerrie's was very clearly based on her "mathematics" quilt. It wasn't until later that I realized that mine was based on my "water" quilt. Some designs are clearly much more difficult to render in glass than others. My plate was beautiful, I thought, but not as close a match to the original as Gerrie's. I loved looking at it, displayed on a shelf in my dining room. A couple of months ago a box arrived in the mail with the plate you see above and a short note from Karen. She said Ted had never been happy with the piece he'd made for me and had made another! I was speechless. When the subject of the plates came up in Houston I didn't tell my fellow Twelves that I actually have TWO of Ted's beautiful pieces. I knew they'd be jealous! Now the secret is out. What a very special gift.  And while I still love the first plate, this one just knocks my socks off.

Thanks, Karen and Ted!

A Fused Glass Quilt

As everyone knows, nine of the Twelves had a rendezvous at IQF in Houston. As part of this meeting, we exchanged some lovely gifts. They will not be shared until those who weren't there, get their packages in the mail. 

Karen's husband, a fused glass artist, made each of us a fused glass plate that was inspired by one of our Twelve by Twelve quilts. I received mine some time ago when Karen came to Portland for a visit. She has shipped plates to all of the twelves by now, and I hope they will share theirs, soon. I am anxious to see them all.

My beautiful plate was inspired by my mathematics themed quilt. A big thank you to Karen and Ted.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Signing books!

I'm still amazed when someone wants me to sign their copy of our book! It's such an honor. We gladly signed tons of books during our time in Houston.
I loved seeing our books in Cathy's Quilting Books Unlimited booth!
Terri, Kristin and I especially enjoyed chatting with this 8-year-old who was a HUGE fan of our project! She saw the exhibit and came all the way over to the vendor floor area to see us. When she arrived she recited the names of several of her favorite quilts, especially Terri's quilts including kitties!
I love this shot of all our signatures. (Oh, I see Karen's signature is missing. Bummer.) We are eager to hear from someone who is able to get all TWELVE signatures in a copy of our book.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

12 x 12 x 2 = 288 Art Quilts!

The International Quilt Festival at Houston was the first time that the Theme series and the Colorplay series were exhibited together. That's makes a total of 288 art quilts!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our Missing Twelves

I made these replicas of our missing Twelves - Helen, Kirsty and Francoise. Many people got a kick out of seeing them there in our photos and at our exhibit table. Too bad they could not hear the love we heard about our exhibit or sign book after book. We all missed you three so much.

We are all tired and catching up on our lives at home. We promise to post more pictures as soon as possible.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Travelling On

Today, Sunday, is the last day for you to view our exhibit at the International Quilt Festival Houston and to meet some of the Twelves:

If you can't join us, keep the following exhibition dates in mind:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dinner with the Twelves

Here we are at dinner last night minus Kristin who took the photo. I brought Helen, Francoise and Kirsty with me. Can you find them in this photo?

We are having an amazing time and getting rave reviews on our exhibit. It is mind-blowing and exhilarating.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nine by Twelve Connections

What a joy for nine of us to gather in Houston. This is how the meeting matrix looks now:
 We miss you Kirsten, Françoise and Helen!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Twelve by Twelve Connections

When Diane first formed our group back in September 2007, only three or four of us had met in person and many of us had not even encountered each other online. Fast forward 4+ years and that is all about to change in Houston. This is how the meeting matrix looked after Helen, Diane and Françoise met up at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham last August. Just imagine what this will look like when it is updated in 24 hours or so when nine Twelves gather at the International Quilt Festival!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Colorplay Postcards

If you are attending the International Quilt Festival in Houston this week, or know someone that you can send a shopping list with!, you may be interested in buying a special postcard set from our Colorplay series.  The limited edition set contains thirteen cards - a quilt image from each Twelve and a mosaic card showing a quilt from each challenge made by the Twelve that selected that challenge. The price is US$12 (inclusive of tax) and we'll be selling them in our exhibition area.  Here's a floorplan so you can easily find us.