I returned from our trip to Cuba (see posts here) to find my Birds on the cover of the March issue of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America’s Needle Arts Magazine! Of course, I knew about the article, but I was unaware that my piece would be on the cover, so it was a nice surprise. Thank you, Shirley Wozena, for describing my work so well in the article. Mary Corbet’s Needle N’Thread blog has a post about this issue and EGA in general.
It is gratifying to know that many of the magazine’s readers have been introduced to my work for the first time. The article shows photos of the process of making the Birds of Beebe Woods, which are some of the same pictures I’ve shared on this blog. I’ve heard from people who want to know if I have instructions or a kit to make their own. Embroidery and needlework has a strong tradition of copying and learning from patterns and directions, so it’s a natural assumption that I would share my techniques. I’m glad that embroiderers are inspired to learn more, but honestly, I can’t imagine revisiting this piece like that and writing out detailed directions.
Yes, I post photos of general steps along the way and have written how-to instructions for the dolls in Felt Wee Folk, but it only goes so far. For instance, in the past, some have expressed frustration that I haven’t shown detailed instruction on how to form hands and fingers. My answer is that I consider the more involved process of making my fabric reliefs a proprietary personal expression that I’m not sure I can explain effectively anyways. My work requires a non-analytical approach that I don’t want to tamper with. For me, recounting the process would be going back in time, instead of moving forward. And, I don’t want to ruin the magic, because that’s what keeps me excited about making the next piece!
This month has been an embarrassment of riches, in the magazine department. Because of postponements, it just happened that everything came out in March. In addition to Needle Arts, there was the Cape Cod magazine profile. The Horn Book Magazine has my essay, “The Common Thread” in their March/April illustration issue and Fiber Art Now has included my Birds piece in their On View feature.
The Birds of Beebe Woods is currently on display at Artworks in New Bedford, MA. It’s part of the Fiber in the Present Tense exhibit, which runs through March 29th. If you get there, please be aware that Gallery 65 on William is just around the corner, where 28 original illustrations from Pocketful of Posies are being shown, (hours: W, T, F, S 11:00 – 5:00).
I will be out of town and won’t be able to attend their openings, which are both on Sat., March 8th from 3 – 5 pm. But, I will be giving a lecture at the closing reception for the “Posies” exhibit at Gallery 65 on William on Sat., March 29th, 3 – 5 pm. I hope to meet some of you then!
I just received confirmation that the Birds of Beebe Woods has made the trip across the country safely! So far, this piece has been exhibited in Massachusetts, Kentucky, Texas and now Sebastopol, in northern California. The “birds” have traveled snug and protected in a custom crate that Rob made. Besides being a wonderful husband who builds crates (see below), he makes the wooden shadow box frames, photographs my artwork (including the closeup below) and sets up the equipment for my presentations. I am so lucky to have had Rob’s consistent support all these years. We recently figured out that we have been together for 35 years!
October 24 – November 30, “Birds of Beebe Woods” will be exhibited in Innovations in Fiber Arts VI, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, California. A flyer for the event is at the end of this post.
It should be a very interesting show, but it’s too far for me to travel for the opening. I will continue to enter the piece into juried exhibits, with the goal of having it seen in as many different locations as possible.
blow up image of 2″ x 3.5″ detail from “Birds of Beebe Woods
I’ll be talking about my art in this room at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA, this coming Sunday, Oct. 6th at 1:30 pm. The space will be transformed into a lecture hall with chairs, darkened windows and a screen for my presentation. I look forward to sharing the story of my artistic journey through photos and recollections. 50 original fabric relief illustrations from Pocketful of Posies are hung all over the first floor of the mansion until Oct. 31st. I love having my work shown is such an inviting and beautiful place!
Just for the event on Oct. 6th, two extra pieces will be displayed on easels; Birds of Beebe Woods and Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion. The “Birds” piece is home for a short time, between shows, so I thought I’d take it along for an outing. The next day, it’ll be crated and shipped to Sebastopol, California for Innovations in Fiber Arts VI at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. My Self Portrait is on semi-permanent display at the Woods Hole Public Library, so I’m borrowing it for the Highfield event. We’ll also show a short film my husband Rob and I made about the self portrait. I hope to see locals as well as out-of-towners on Sunday. Be sure to come early to claim a seat and look around at the exhibit!
FYI, I will be speaking to several quilt guilds from Cape Cod to Boston this coming winter. See the schedule on this page.
Poster -Self Portrait: a personal history of fashion, 2007
Poster – Birds of Beebe Woods
I am pleased to announce that Birds of Beebe Woods has received the Juror’s Choice Award in the New Legacies: Contemporary Art Quilt Exhibition! The show will be on display until August 31st at the Lincoln Center Art Gallery, Fort Collins, CO.
Posters (pictured above) are available from my Etsy Shop.
In the past year, the original “Birds” has been displayed in Falmouth, MA, Plymouth, MA and Paducah, KY. I’d like to have the piece shown in public in other locations around the country, so that more people can experience the embroidered details up close. I’ll continue to enter it into juried shows before it ages out, since most exhibits have a date of completion requirement. There’s always the question of which shows to enter. My work doesn’t easily fit into a category, so I usually broaden my search to include shows looking for fiber art, illustration, fine crafts, needlework, mixed media, collage and art quilts. I’ve found that a lot of quilt shows have narrow eligibility requirements, so I pass over most of them. I consider the venue, location, prestige and length of the exhibit to determine if it’s worth the expense of shipping a heavy crate. Then, I look at the jurors’ artwork and gauge if they might be receptive to my combination of techniques and style. So much of the selection process comes down to personal taste. To some, the narrative nature of my work comes across as sweet and precious and it doesn’t fit with the other more intellectual artistic explorations. My work is so outside of the abstract and edgy trends found in today’s art and fine craft world. I admit to being oblivious to what’s going on out there and find the art scene perplexing. Instead of trying to fit in, I will continue to do as I’ve always done; let my art lead the way. And as long as I keep making new pieces, I’ll find a way to have them seen in public!
Last week, students from the Prudence Island School came to visit. The school’s teacher, Eliza grew up in Woods Hole and we’ve known each other since childhood. She asked if she could bring the children over to my studio as part of their day-long field trip to Woods Hole.
The island school currently has a total of 8 students from the early grades to teenagers. I was struck by how well the 6 girls and 2 boys of such varying ages interacted. They were inquisitive and appreciative as they looked around my studio and they easily identified all of the birds in my Birds of Beebe Woods piece.
The students are even learning to embroider! Thank you for a delightful visit!
This was the most fun giveaway! Thank you to all of the participants– I loved reading your comments, with such entertaining stories and apt descriptions of your favorite birds. Tallying the count, every bird was acknowledged, but the flashy blue jay won the popularity contest. The crow, female cardinal and male cardinal (their pictures are below) also garnered quite a few votes of approval, too.
Soooo….the winners of the giveaway are Cindy and Jan Johnson. I will alert them by e-mail and send them each a Birds of Beebe Woods poster. If you are one of the 100 whose name wasn’t picked and you still want a poster (or note cards), they are available in my Etsy Shop.
Poster – Birds of Beebe Woods
To mark the one year anniversary of my Etsy Shop, I will be giving away 2 Birds of Beebe Woods posters. Because of the cost of postage, the contest is just open to US and Canadian residents. To enter, please leave a comment saying something about your favorite bird from the piece by April 21st, 2013. Two winners will be picked at random on April 22nd.
I love all of your stories about why you’ve chosen a particular bird. Keep ‘em coming!
The original Birds of Beebe Woods is currently in the Fantastic Fibers show at the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY.
Great News! I just found out that Birds of Beebe Woods will be part of the international exhibit, Fantastic Fibers 2013 at the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, Kentucky this spring. The exhibit will be April 6 – May 4, 2013. I’m pleased that my fabric relief piece will be shown along with other contemporary and innovative works created with fiber as the primary medium.
The American Quilter’s Society Annual Show and Contest will be held in Paducah from April 24th-27th, 2013, so I’m hoping that many of the quilters in town will go to the Yeiser Art Center and see the Fantastic Fibers show as well.
Birds will have to be sent down to Kentucky soon, so Rob is going to whip up a shipping crate right away! Won’t be in Paducah to see the real piece this spring? Here’s the next best thing — I have 2 different note cards and a poster of Birds of Beebe Woods for sale in my Etsy Shop.
from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010
Yesterday, I dropped off artwork at the Hedge House Museum in Plymouth, MA, for their Fairy Christmas celebration. Two originals from Pocketful of Posies and Birds of Beebe Woods will be on display during the 2 weekend event (Dec. 1,2,7,8,9, noon to 7pm). I kicked myself because I forgot my camera! First of all, the museum has a spectacular location, with a view of Plymouth Harbor and the 1809 house is full of antique charm. Plymouth Antiquarian Society Director Donna Curtin has gone all out for this affair, with fairy houses, precious woodland scenes and fairy decorations all over the historic mansion. There’s even a special Crystal Throne Room set up for the Fairy Queen to receive visitors. I heartily recommend this event to anyone who is open to enchantment, young or old. It’s all done in a genuine, beautiful way, so leave plenty of time to take in all of the detail.
detail from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010
Birds of Beebe Woods, fabric relief, 2012