Monday, May 30, 2011

Never Forgetting

Daughter #2 and I came up to Loveland for Memorial Day. The rest of the family had other obligations.
Because of the rain, Mom didn't have much blooming in the yard, so my sister and I brought some store bought flowers. It gave me an excuse to head up to Whole Foods- yum! and found some beautiful Daisies and a few sunflowers.

I snapped this through the window screen- several little vases are also filled for ladies of mostly my grandmother that my mom still likes to put bouquets on their grave markers.

A few years ago I wrote about our family's  tradition of taking flowers out to the cemetery.  You can read it Here. Today in Minnesota, I am sure the graves of my great and great great grandparents are being decorated by my aunts. Later in the week, they and my mom will chat on the phone and get a report of how the peonies, the lilacs and other cutting flowers fared this year.

Our family plot is out at the newer cemetery, out of town towards Fort Collins. Mom brought the old tarp, water jug, and clippers and instructed her granddaughters in washing off and filling the vases that slide out from the tombstones, as an elderly Veteran stood over a grave also marked with a small flag. I wonder if he likes us chatting about Donny, my Grandparents and Great Uncle and Aunts while we filedl the vases with flowers or wished the surrounding were more serene.

I also wondered how my daughter and nieces  feel  leaving memorials to family members they had never met. There is a certain eeriness to it- I have always felt that, my Uncle Donny was killed in Vietnam only a year before I was born, but I feel I know him.

My Grandmother and now my mom take his flag, that draped his coffin when he was buried, now flies somewhere around the cemetery. We will go out tomorrow and retrieve it.

Remembering out of respect is important and I'm certain, my sister and I and then our daughters will bring flowers out when my mom is gone, but when is it that memories fade away and the reason behind something is forgotten. I know my feelings towards my Grandma, who is now buried beside my Grandpa, who died when I was four- is much different because I knew her. I loved her, I have my own memories of her sitting in her favorite chair, in the afternoon sun, drinking her coffee and nibbling on a small piece of a snicker bar, a whole one would last her a week- telling me stories of having to go find Donny when he was a kid at the lake where he was fishing because he lost track of time or how she decided to burn most of his things after he was killed because she couldn't give them away.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

SAQA Conference: The Textile Gallery at the DAM

On Sunday, many of us met up at the Denver Art Museum, getting a very informative tour of their Native American textile holdings, including the Button Blankets of the NorthWest...

used to show the clans wealth in the Potlatch gatherings, a day of feasting and gift giving.
It was fun to see the textile of the Southwest, displayed in such honor...even though I am surround by them here in the Four Corners. There was a great display of cradle boards and I told the others that I still see the Ute Mountain Ute mom's have their little ones in cradle boards in our local grocery store- propped up in the shopping cart!

and then the gorgeous beading and leather work of the Plains Indians...

Then we took a break in the Museum's cozy library, where I clicked through some of the art at the Louvre- don't you love the World Wide Web!

Before meeting up withDr. Zrebiec for a tour of the Textile Gallery.

Where we got to see, amongst my favorites...

DAM Crazy
Jane Matthews

Literally made from recycled museum calnders, and flyers.

I also loved...

Lia Cook
whose work is so amazing and I could not begin to explain her process so here is her website.

Carol Shinn
Another artist I couldn't begin to explain so here is her website

But my favorite and apparently also a lot of the school children's who come through the DAM on school field trips is this one- which I can't tell you who the artist is because I can not find the print out  Dr. Zrebiec gave us- that is horrible- anyone reading this who knows the artist name please comment!

The quilt is rather large- and the detail- a story is being told all over it. Some day I might make something this big........of course Dr. Zrebiec mentioned all the ailments of the hands and shoulders these ladies are enduring, so.....maybe I will stay small!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

SAQA Conference: Golden Gallery Tours

Part of the SAQA conference was a tour of some local textile galleries, including the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, in Golden, Colorado's famous Washington Ave.

Everyone carpooled over from the Brown Palace, except me- since I would be continuing to head North from Golden to my mom's in Loveland, I didn't want to back track. But, oh the sight of such wonderful quilt on display- and the food!! We were all starving and I don't know who, but there was such yummy finger goodies for us to nibble on while we looked at all the lushes quilts!

Here are some of my favorites. Whether abstract or realistic, these quilts all show strong uses of design and color- what takes any work of Art from pleasing to powerful.

Security Blanket #1
Ruth Briggs 
Chromo Study II: Blue and Red
Diedra Adams

Diedra was on the Colorado Artist panel on compiling a body of work and she had some absolutely wonderful abstract quilts, inspired by the rusty sides of train cars and abandoned building!

The Road Less Traveled
Mary Rowen Quinn

Native Faces I
Lea McComas

all I can say is Wow....Actually Double Wow!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SAQA Conference: Spoiled at the Brown Palace

So I was here for the last four days, attending the Studio Art Quilt Association's (SAQA) National Conference.

It was downtown Denver, at the Brown Palace Hotel ...

where a valet took and brought me my car from Thursday to Saturday...
 and then Sunday at the Denver Art Museum, just kaddy corner from the State Capitol...

We got to have a private tour of the Textile Gallery with Dr. Alice Zrediec, its Curator,  and then I stood in front of a Monet...
a  Homer...

 and a Matisse.

Now I am back here. ..

Yesterday, driving back the 9 hours, through sleet, hail and rain to come home to a messy kitchen and a whole stack of pizza boxes on the dining room table. I read or heard one time that one should easy off from paradise slowly, so instead of diving in to straightening up the house right away when the kids headed off to school, I came in for my Pilate's class, thinking it would help resupply my energy and am now sitting at a coffee shop to post some of the highlights of my trip

Don't get me wrong, I love the Four Corners, if I could rewind my life I would pick the man and the place and the children I have spent my life with again in a heartbeat- my art is of sagebrush, far horizons and red dirt, not gilted gold staircases and fine china.

But oh man, the Brown Palace has the best Hot Chocolate and twisted pretzels you ever had for a pick me up in-between sessions- so I am sitting here today, in withdrawal and drinking a Hot Chocolate that is almost as good to easy off the luxury slowly.

So here is a bit of history of the Brown Palace- cause if you know me, you know that is what it is all about!

It was built in 1892, the second oldest hotel in Denver. It was designed by architect Frank Edbrooke and it is literally shaped like the pie wedges from a Trivia Pursuit game.

The center of the hotel is called the Atrium ...
and from there you can look up past the six floors, all open and ornate in perfect Victorian style...

to the massive stained glass ceiling that tops off the atrium.

The Brown Palace is the center of high society celebration in Downtown Denver and while we were there, ladies in their finest, young and old an even a assistence dog -hurried across the street,

 for the afternoon tea the Brown Palace is known for.

I even caught a glimpse of a bride and groom coming over for their wedding in the beautiful stone Trinity Church across the way for their reception.
A breezeway connects the Brown Palace's second floor from the Comfort Inn ballrooms across the street and there is where the SAQA general sessions were.

The first featured a Colorado Artists Panel on compiling a body of work, with Deidra Adams, Carol Watkins and Charlotte Ziebarth.

Another was on 3D art, still defined as a quilt, with three layers of material held together with stitching.

The breakout sessions were wonderful. I attended the one on managing your artist's life, often so sedentary with Monica A Dixon- yes you have to fuel your body and exercise if you want your creativity to flow!

Also got great tips from Gregory Case- Thank you Thank you - on how to photography my artwork better! Lighting for 3D surfaces needs to be at a 90 degree angle instead of 45- ahhhhh- good to know!

The Managing Editor of Quilter's Newsletter, gave great advise on how to start writing for the Quilt magazine- something I am considering. Each one has it's own flavor and it is important to study each one!

And the Self Promotion with Pizzazz was great- where Regina Benson encourged us to make up our own postcards with our name on them, instead of sending out the provided group show postcards.
  And the closing general session was given by Dr. Alice Zrediec...

the acting Curator of the Textile Gallery at the Denver Art Museum. (Another blog to follow on the tour we got to take through the DAM on Sunday.

Of course my head is swimming- and met so many wonderful giving ladies-

many with beautiful silver hair- I was one of the youngest- and I am now inspired to for- go what my grandmother would call being a "painted lady" and show off my salt and pepper hair- which I am pretty sure is under the color ! - wow- that would be a lot of $ to put towards lush fabrics!!

And speaking of fabric- I won both fabric giveaways at the Lunch on Friday- thank you Sykdyes! And then again at the dinner Satuday night and the dear ladies at my table above wouldn't let me excuse myself- so thank you to them and to Lunn Fabrics!

Friday, May 13, 2011

IF: Safari

Well that was easy enough! This is an old illustration- back when I still was trying to use felt as a backing instead of quilt batting and fabric. Still like it- it is one of those illustrations that really wasn't that complicated, but just worked. If memory served me right it came from some illustrations ideas for church we were attending at the time, for their Vacation Bible School or kids program somehow.