Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Yesterday, I sold this piece, Daylily. It's 16 x 16, and framed, though not in this photo. I've had my work exhibited in a retirement community's gallery, and one of the residents, Mrs. H, bought it. When I went over there yesterday to take the work down, she was there checking her mail. She said "Are you Martha?!" and proceeded to tell me how lovely the piece is, and how happy she is to have bought it. Mrs. H and her daughter were looking at the work, and when they saw it, they both started to cry.

It turns out that Mrs. H's best friend, now deceased, was also the daughter's godmother, and grew daylilies the same shade as the fabric in the piece. When she died, Mrs. H and her daughter took some of her bulbs and planted them in their gardens to remind them of their friend.

Today, the daughter is bringing her husband home from the hospital to die. He's 48, and has been struggling with a brain tumor for 5 years, and there's nothing left to do for him. Mrs. H will hang it so that it's the first thing they see every morning. I am so honored.

I made Daylily in 2003, using commercial and artist-dyed fabrics, embellished with machine embroidery, oil pastels, and beads. It has been exhibited locally and in Cergy/Pontoise, France.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring has arrived!

Well, even though we were wearing coats, it seemed like spring to us. My sister and I took our cousin from South Dakota sightseeing in Virginia this week. Monday was Monticello and the University of Virginia. Here we are in front of the Rotunda. I wonder how many photos like this have been taken!

This next photo is of a piece I finished recently, and hung in an exhibit at the Columbia Art Center. I wanted to go back to the tree idea I was working on last spring. It too has a lot of paint on the surface. I used Shiva Paint Sticks among other paints, and I like the effect they give. It's called Blue Marsh, and it's 23 x 17.

And it sold, too!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Art Consulting

I met with an art consultant this morning. She has owned a successful gallery for 35 years. The goal of this morning's meeting was to get started thinking about what I want to do, what my goals are, and how to achieve them. She is very enthusiastic about my work, although it doesn't fit in her gallery.

So I came home all jazzed up and ready to work. I painted 10 pieces of fabric when I got back, but they are still curing so I can't show photos of them. Instead, here is a piece I did recently:

I collaged fabric and painted it with Lumiere, Setacolor, and Shiva sticks. Then I cut it up and collaged it again, and painted it one more time. I used the grids because I wanted to create a sense of looking through a window.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I'm not sure if this is wretched excess or not, but it's cool. My husband got this at a business meeting the other day. You might think it's just a travel mug, but you'd be wrong.

It's a travel mug that plugs into the cigarette lighter power source in the car! So your coffee will stay warm while you drive! This is the best freebie he's brought home for a long time. Usually it's umbrellas or gimme hats.

I've been working on things I started at QSDS. I did as many of the exercises as I could as 8 x 10's so that they can be weeklies. So I have the first year of weeklies finished, and I'll photograph them soon and publish a few.

Friday, June 29, 2007

QSDS was great, as usual. The class I took was Sue Benner's Driven to Abstraction. I'm awfully literal, so it was a great exercise in letting go. On Tuesday, we were to have 5 small studies completed by 11 AM. Well, at 11 I had one. Exactly one. I really struggled, but once I quit being so literal, I got them all done quickly.

Another exercise was to make a piece in an odd shape. I like it a lot, but I haven't finished it. Here 'tis.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Polka Dots

I'm supposed to be packing for QSDS, but instead I thought I'd show you what my sister, Nancy, has been up to. I have been painting fabric and generally messing around in the wet studio, so not a lot to show for myself. But not my sister! She's nothing if not productive. This is the front of an old dresser she got from a friend. It was very brown and tired looking when she got it, and she couldn't wait to sparkle it up.

Here it is with the bookshelf on top. It sits in the corner of her (blue and white) kitchen.

Here are the detail shots. First, a side view:

This is the other side.

Here it is with the bookshelf on top.

This is what the top looks like.

Now you can see why my friends all say that "Nancy" is a verb!

My only contribution was to suggest more polka dots when she said it needed something else. Polka dots: my solution to every design problem. Well, almost every design problem.

I suppose I should get moving. All my stuff is packed, I just have to get it in the car. Cathy and I are leaving this afternoon. Tomorrow we will see the Fiberart International Exhibit, and then head for Columbus.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Weekend art classes

Over the weekend, I went to the ArtExpo! event in DC. I took a class called Tantalizing Textures, in which the instructor used various mediums to make texture on a background for a collage. I learned a lot about mediums. There is one called tar paste, which holds its shape when drizzled onto a surface. It can be tinted with acrylic paint, too, which is really cool. I think it would also be good for making stamps. Abstract stamps, that is. It would be difficult to drizzle it into an image of anything. She also used molding paste and extra heavy gel mediums. They also have potential for making stamps.

The other class I took was pastel drawing. I'm really interested in pastels, so this was lots of fun. My end result is nothing to write home about (or blog about, either!) but I learned a lot. I also spent a lot.

The merchant mall was jammed with vendors selling all sorts of art supplies, at a discount, no less. I bought a few sketch books and some pencils, a starter kit of mediums from Golden and stuff like that. There were paint companies, brush and paper reps, you name it, if it had to do with painting or drawing, it was there. Nothing related to fiber, though.

During a break I went wandering around to see what other classes were doing, and happened upon a class in watercolor collage. They were painting paper with watercolors to use as elements in realistic collage. The examples were very realistic, and lovely. So today I painted paper with watercolors, just to see. Also fun. Here is a photo of a piece of paper towel I painted.

I really like the texture. Almost too cool to tear up for collage, but. . .