Close-ups (women)

The women in my artwork are usually busy doing something. They’re harvesting, teaching, doing handwork, cooking, washing and talking, etc. I use arm gestures to bring my figures to life in an otherwise static medium. And I like the keyhole shape that a woman in a skirt makes.

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detail from “Picking Peas” fabric relief 1986

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detail from “Mary Had a Little Lamb” book published in 1995

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detail from “Mary Had a Little Lamb” book published in 1995

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detail from “The Storyteller” fabric relief 1995

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detail from “In the Heart” book published in 2001

The mother in the kitchen is from my book, In the Heart and the last 2 close-ups are from my book, Pocketful of Posies.

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Scheduled presentations in 2014

Beginning this coming Saturday, I will be giving several talks about my artwork in 2014. Some presentations will be to quilting guilds and others are in conjunction with art exhibits. I hope that many of you who live close enough will attend an event. As well as telling the story of my artistic development, I plan to bring along my Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion. See the current schedule of events below:

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Keep up with my schedule on the Events Page.

Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, 2:00 pm, In conjunction with her exhibit, Pocketful of Posies (11/9/13 ~ 2/16/14), Salley Mavor will give an artist talk, “Once Upon a Thread” at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, Massachusetts.

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, 10 am, Plymouth County Cranberry Quilters, Carver Public Library, 2 Meadowbrook Way, Carver, MA. Members free; guests $5.00.

Tues., Feb. 25, 2014, 7:00 pm Bayberry Quilters ~ Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, Harwich, MA and Wed., Feb. 26, 2014, 9:00 am at Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Rd., Brewster, MA. Members free, guests $5.00. http://www.bayberryquiltersofcapecod.com/

March 29, 2014, 3:00 pm ~ Closing event and talk at Gallery 65 on William, New Bedford MA. Pocketful of Posies Exhibit is on display Feb. 27 ~ March 29.

Friday, May 9, 2014, 7:00 pm In conjunction with her Pocketful of Posies exhibit (April 5 – May 27), Salley Mavor will give a presentation about her work at the Cotuit Public Library.

July 4 – August 16, 2014 ~ Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches: Then and Now Falmouth Historical Society, Falmouth, MA. Opening reception and artist’s talk ~ Sat., July 12, time to be announced.

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day on the old king’s highway

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This past week, Rob and I spent a day traveling down the Old King’s Highway (Rt. 6A Cape Cod), which is the largest historic district in America. The “old king” refers to whoever was king of England when the route was being settled by early colonists in the 1600′s.  It was a beautiful day to drive through the villages along the way. Cape Cod is many miles long and I don’t often have a reason to travel down Cape from Falmouth, so it was fun to be a tourist for a day. We had a couple of places to go. First was the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, where I spoke to a group of docents about my Pocketful of Posies exhibit, which will be on display through Jan. 26, 2014. In this photo, it looks like I’m about to launch into a tap dance routine, which I wish I could do. I must just be answering a question or emphasizing some point. I gave some background information about my artwork and career, so that they would have some stories to share with visitors. The docents were an enthusiastic audience, with lots of great questions. They even took notes!

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The artwork is hung low, so that all ages can see up close. I can’t get over how perfect the gallery’s golden wall color looks! And I really like how the frames are clustered together in group-lets.  My only complaint is with the misspelling of my name on the wall, which they’ve promised to correct! Adding the “e” to Salley is a life time job.

ccmuseum4Since we were going to be in the neighborhood, I arranged ahead of time to stop by Titcomb’s Bookstore in Sandwich and sign books. I posed with their Colonially dressed statue out front and noticed our matching coats and hair styles. I should have brought my tricornere hat!

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Their store is in an old house crammed with shelves and tables full of books and incidental gifts for sale. I sat down at the old school desk in the corner and signed a stack of books they had waiting for me. The owner, Vicky Titcomb, has been sending customers down to see the exhibit at the museum. I hope that some of you will take a drive down the beautiful Old King’s Highway some time!

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Talking about my art

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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.

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Poster -Self Portrait: a personal history of fashion, 2007

Poster -Self Portrait: a personal history of fashion, 2007

POSIES comes home

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After 3 years of traveling around the country, I am pleased to announce that the original illustrations from my book, Pocketful of Posies, are coming home! They have returned to my home town of Falmouth, MA for an exhibit at the beautiful Highfield Hall, where the tour began in 2010. Don’t the banners look great hanging out front? The artwork has traveled thousands of miles, having been driven hither and yon and shipped across the country a couple of times. To see a list of all of the past and future venues, visit the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit Page.

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The show at Highfield Hall (Sept. 4 ~ Oct. 31, 2013) will be the last time that the complete set of illustrations from the book will be shown together. Well, almost all of them will be there. The Old woman who lived in a shoe had the opportunity to live in Azerbaijan, so she’s spending more than a year in the American ambassador’s residence. Read the post about it here. The old woman will rejoin the group when she returns from abroad!

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After the show in Falmouth, the collection will be divided in half and shown at two venues this fall and winter; the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA and the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA. Visit the Traveling Exhibit Page to see the show dates.

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After holding off for most of the 3 year tour, I am glad to once again be offering several originals for sale. Some pieces were sold way back in 2010 and the buyers have been patiently waiting all this time. The framed fabric reliefs range in price from $2,500 to $6,000. The exhibiting collection needs to stay all together for a little while longer, until the beginning of 2014. Then the buyers will be able to take possession of their pieces. Please contact Jen (jnemec@highfieldhall.org) for a price list of available work and information about purchasing a piece. Highfield Hall will handle sales during the exhibit.

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Out of the 51 total illustrations, I’m reserving about 20, making some Pocketful of Posies originals available to show. In the past, I’ve sold just about everything and it’s only in recent years that I’ve decided to hold onto some pieces, with the intention of exhibiting them. I hear all the time that seeing the real thing is a different experience from looking at the pages of my books. With this in mind, it is important to me that my work be shown in public places and be accessible to as many people as possible.

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Close-ups (emotion)

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One of the fun and challenging parts about illustrating for children is showing emotion and action, especially in fiber art, which tends to be static. To counter-act the stiff blandness, I like to bring forth emotion by exaggerating the poses and facial expressions of my characters. But there’s a fine line between evoking believable feeling and creating a grotesque appearance, much like the difference between acting well and over acting. I’ve seen some doll faces that are downright scary and bizarre. My goal is to portray emotion with a subtle firmness, without being too disturbing.

Nursery Rhymes are full of emotional and physical activity, so I had lots of opportunities to experiment with poses and facial expressions in my book, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Here are a selection of close-ups from the book.

Do you want to see the original embroidered illustrations from the book? There are still several locations scheduled for the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit, which has been touring the country since 2010.

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artwork @ Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital

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I recently heard from the curator at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, who acquired some of my artwork for their collection in the 90′s. It’s been more than 15 years and I haven’t been very good about keeping records of where my work has gone, especially from the pre-computer days. I remembered that that my work was at the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, so I was glad to clarify which pieces have been hanging there all these years.

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There are 2 original illustrations from the 1st edition of Mary Had a Little Lamb. The book has been out of print for years and a few weeks ago, I found a carton of them in my attic! So, I’m selling them in my Etsy Shop (while supplies last). This is a rare opportunity, because it’s practically impossible to find a new, hard cover copy, let alone an autographed one!

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The public can see these pieces on the first floor of the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. In addition to the 2 original illustrations, they’ve mounted the printed pages from the book along a wall, so people can see and read the whole story.

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Another piece, Falling Leaves, is hanging in the 2nd floor elevator lobby. It makes me feel good to know that families spending time in the hospital may have been comforted by my artwork, even if for a moment.

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closeups (wheels)

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Working in miniature, there are many objects available for wheels; buttons, washers, snaps, key rings, etc. This series of images are mostly from my earlier work, starting with a detail from a piece I made in 1986. The wire bicycle is less than 2 inches long. Looking at these, I’m amazed that I had time to do all of the stitching because I had a baby and a preschooler to take care of. I remember working every evening after they went to bed.

The button wheels in this detail (below) from “Fall”, 1987, are about 1/2″ in diameter.

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Skip ahead 10 years for this detail from the Sidewalks poem in my 1997 book, “You and Me: Poems of Friendship“. The car hub-caps are fancy coat buttons and the tires are made from black insulated wire. The stroller wheels are 1/2″ buttons.

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Here’s a detail from “The Hollyhock Wall”, 1999. The car hub-caps are made from regular sized snaps.HHWpinkhouse2WM

The bicycle wheels in this detail from “You and Me” are made from the smallest key rings I could find, about 1/2″. The bicycle spokes are metallic thread and the helmets are painted acorn caps.

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This is another detail from the same Fast Friends illustration in “You and Me”. That’s my husband Rob in the truck.

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16 years later and I’m still making ice cream trucks. This 2″ embroidered one is from a baby quilt I’m in the process of making for a friend. Stay tuned for more quilt images!

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Closeups: Spring

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Today is the Spring Equinox! Let’s celebrate the coming of warmth and the promise of the growing season. Here are some spring-inspired closeups of my artwork, starting with a house and tree, which I guess is from the first grade. Skip 50 years, to a group of details from some nursery rhyme illustrations in Pocketful of Posies. If you have the book, you can look carefully and pick them out.

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Russian video of my artwork

This YouTube video was pointed out to me a couple of days ago. Russian, Aleksandr Smolyaninov has taken images of my artwork from this blog (I presume) and blended them together to the sounds of a bouncy polka played by Larry Cheskey and his Orchestra. This explains why my blog and Facebook stats have been showing a lot of visitors from Russia and other countries from the former Soviet Union. I think Aleksandr has done a good job, although the video’s bursting title letters aren’t to my taste. Rollicking music and moving photos make it active and enjoyable to watch. Should I be concerned that a video was made without my permission? I don’t think so — it’s a good way for lots of people to see my artwork. Anyways, I have sent a message that I would like him to ask permission to use my images.