Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Peace,Tranquility and karma....

My third and fourth acquisitions from Collage Mania, "Peace" and "Tranquility" were created by another Chicago artist, Jacquie Stone. Now, my own personal imagery of peace and tranquility tend to embrace a myriad of blues and greens with touches of spiritual mauves, so what drove me to become so attached to Jacquie's Oriental, colorful renditions? I have to honestly say I was drawn like a moth to a flame by her creative use of texture and fabric manipulation in addition to both pieces being predominantly handwork.
Her unusual choice of background fabric set the pace and united both pieces of work. I totally appreciated the hand stitching that went into each piece and of course, the build up with beads was the crowning glory. The colors and shapes bring unity and harmony to these works and makes for an attractive pairing.
Once again I have to say that the colors are far more vibrant and outstanding in the flesh than they appear here.

Peace by Jacquie Stone

Detail bead and sequin clusters - Peace -

Detail of stitching and fabric manipulation - Peace -

I have always been drawn to artists with a flair for the unusual or those who are not afraid to create what they feel and make their pieces individual and outstanding. To me, these pieces of Jacquie's portray a sense of confidence and joy in the artist's work which in turn gives pleasure to the viewer.

Tranquility by Jacquie Stone

Stitch detail - Tranquility -

Fabric manipulation, embroidery and beading details - Tranquility -

Now for the KARMA - I purchased these two pieces based solely on their appeal to me with no prior knowledge of the artist. All I knew was she was from a surburb in Chicago not far from where my late friend, fiber artist Roxy Barkofsky was born and raised, Jacqui was involved in dog related charities much like Roxy was and she was donating her work in aid of a cancer charity that I had previously supported in Roxy's name.
After I had won my bids for Peace and Tranquility, I received an e mail from Jacquie which surprised and delighted me. She informed me thatshe had been one of my online beading students with (where students often go by christian names or user names) and she couldn't have been more pleased that I had selected her work to purchase. It was a lovely coincidence that gives me even greater pleasure in having Jacquie's work hanging in my home.

To view more of this multi-talented artist's work please check out Jacqui's site and her blog: Your comments re her work there or below on my blog are always appreciated.

Morocco via Texas

The second piece of art I acquired entitled" Moroccan Mirage" grabbed me immediately when I first laid eyes on it. I have long since childhood had a fascination with Morocco and it is one of those far away places I hope to be able to visit in my lifetime.

The artist Laura Osbun who hails from Corpus Christi, Texas, is a very unassuming lady, warm, sensitive and delightful to chat to. Laura shares my love for Moroccan architecture, in particular the splendid arches that catch the eye. It was those very arches that inspired Laura to create this exotic artwork that I now have hanging in my Marrakesh inspired bedroom, where I can get lost in it on a daily basis. I fear my photographic efforts do not do justice to the amazing and vibrant colors Laura has incorporated into this work:

Moroccan Mirage by Laura Osbun

Laura hand painted the sky fabric, then used" a sort of reverse applique with the help of an adhesive fusible" to create the colorful buildings. She said she enjoyed working the free motion stitching around the arches and buildings and then used watercolor pencils to draw shadows inside the arches, giving them depth.

Detail and Stitched Edging - Moroccan Mirage

Stitch detail Moroccan Mirage

Laura's donation to Fiberart for A Cause has special significance for her in that she lost her young son Christopher to leukemia and her partcipation in Collage mania was a tribute to him. To quote Laura" I made this piece in his memory because the creative process of it brought me enJOYment he filled me with during his short yet remarkable life."

Your beautiful tribute has brought joy to many others too Laura. Thank you for sharing your amazing talents with us and I am beyond thrilled to have your artwork grace my home.

Unfortunately for us, Laura does not currently have a blog or website as she says she is " still learning to be friends with this computer" but I understand she is boning up on her " Windows: Plain and Simple" book and before too long, with the encouragement of her friends, we are hoping she will join the blogging community where we can continue to enjoy her creative talents and warm personality. In the meantime, please feel free to give positive feedback to Laura through my comments section below.

More Healing Art, Featuring " Hands"

To continue with the healing art theme, I wish to share with you the first piece of art I purchased from Virginia Spiegel's Collage Mania. Please bear in mind that all three of the artists I will be featuring have given me permission to post their work and their work is copyrighted to them exclusively so I would ask that you please respect that.

Jeanette Thompson from Chicago is an artist through and through. By day, she is a high school art teacher and continues to pursue her own creative endeavors by night and on weekends. Jeanette's piece " Hands" hit a distinct cord with me as I have been struggling physically with some hand problems this past year so I have been rather focussed on hands and healing. But it was not just that factor that drew me to Jeanette's work but the positioning of the hands and the most intricate stitching that attracted me again and again to that page at CC. Hands was created on silk organza and free-motion stitched with variegated threads and the outer edges are zig zag stitched.

When speaking with Jeanette, she told me it was a favorite piece of her work and her inspiration for it was from a picture she saw in the newspaper. She said she connected with it, something to do with an artist making beautiful things with their hands and honoring them. She herself was quite pleased with the finished product and so she should be. Below you can see for yourselves:

Hands by Jeanette Thompson

It wasn't until I was physically able to see this piece of art up close and personal that I was able to appreciate the most intricate colored stitching and detail in the background:

Detailed background " Hands"

In particular, check out the stitching in the fingers of the hand:

Jeanette informed me that this was her first International piece but I am thinking there will be many more for this talented young lady. I am delighted to add this lovely piece of work to my collection. Thank you Jeanette.

For more of Jeanette's work and updates on her life and creative talents, including her recent experience at Turtle Moon Camp with Susan Shie, please check out her blog and be sure to leave her some positive feedback there or in the comments section here on mine.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Never underestimate the healing power of art

Scientific studies claim that art heals by changing one's physiology and attitude. The body's physiology changes from one of stress to one of relaxation, from one of anxieties and misgivings to one of creativity and inspiration. For many of us involved in the arts, we know this to be a fact for certain and many times our spirits and troubled minds have been lifted and eased as a result of an artistic encounter.

In early May, Virginia Spiegel once again featured her wonderful Fiberart for a Cause online charity auction"Collage Mania" benefitting the American Cancer Society and what fun it was! The pure joy of perusing all the prospective pieces took me away from a sadder time and place to a brief couple of days immersed in the exciting work of so many talented artists who gave their time and talents to the cause. The auction is now closed but Virginia has generously left the site up online for viewing and inspiration. You can view it here:

During the frenzied action of the auction, I was fortunate enough to land four pieces of art by three artists and their work definitely uplifted my soul. I am most grateful to Laura J. Osbun, Jeanette Thompson and Jacquie Stone, not only for their contributions to Virginia's efforts but for also giving me permission to share their work with all of you on my blog. Over the next few days, I will be featuring each of the four pieces I acquired and connecting you with the artists , their comments on their work and their sites and blogs. So please stay tuned for some interesting posts.

Congratulations to Virginia and her associates for raising over $18,000. in just two days for the American Cancer Society. After an astounding four years of commitment and goodwill, I wish Virginia a well deserved break with much peace and contentment as she now returns to her studio to pursue her own art.

Back to the future

Nothing like a stark dose of reality to shake life up. The last seven months seem to have flown by, yet in some ways seem an eternity and alas my artistic pursuits and creative life have been on hold due to the serious illness of a beloved family member.

Although I have a few hurdles still ahead of me, I will be slowly returning to blogging, pursuing my artistic endeavors and in the not too distant future, teaching again. I have missed the joys of interacting with and actively participating in the needlearts community. At this time, I wish to express my sincere thanks to so many of you who have reached out to encourage and lift me through these difficult times. Your love and support have buoyed me through some dark days and I am most appreciative of your friendship.

In updating my blog, I have made it easier for people to add comments and I encourage you to partcipate in my future posts.