Posies at New England Quilt Museum

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I am happy to announce that the Pocketful of Posies traveling exhibit will be displayed at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA from Nov. 21st ~ Dec. 28th. I’m planning to take down the show and pack up the artwork in the afternoon on Dec. 28th, so get there early if you want to see everything hung that day. But, don’t wait until the last day– go see it soon and then return with your friends! It’s also a good time of year for families in the Boston area to go during the Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations. As you know, this show is not just for children, but for all who delight in handwork and the imagination.

The original illustrations are being hung in the classroom gallery, which recently had museum lighting installed and it looks really nice. Half of the total collection of 50 pieces will be in Lowell, while the other half are currently being shown at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, in Dennis, MA until Jan. 26th, 2014. Both exhibits have been on the schedule for quite some time, so It’s feels good to finally have them up and running!

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Posies delivered to Cape Cod Museum

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On Monday, Rob and I drove to the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, Massachusetts, which is about an hour drive down Cape from Falmouth. We delivered 25 original illustrations from Pocketful of Posies, which will be displayed from now until January 26, 2014. My exhibit is in a gallery space just off of the main room of the museum. It’s an intimate, bright space, painted in a warm golden color, which is perfect for my small pieces. We placed the frames in groups on the floor in front of the walls, to be hung later by the museum staff.

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I brought some dolls and objects to put in a nice display case in the corner. I wish that Rob had told me to pull down my shirt in back for the photo, but he doesn’t notice those kind of things.

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I’m glad to have the opportunity to show some of my sculptural work in the case, which spans from 1979 to the present. Soon, I’ll be heading back to the museum, so that I can speak to the docents and give them some background information about the exhibit. At that time, it’ll be a good opportunity to take more pictures of the show all hung. And then, after the holidays, I’ll return to give an artist talk to the public on Sat., January 4th at 2:00 pm. I hope that some of you live close enough to see the show!

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Close-ups (birds)

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I’ve been using bird imagery to my artwork for a long time. The most recent is last year’s Birds of Beebe Woods piece, which has its own page here.

Let’s go way back. I embroidered the piece shown above in art school in 1974, when I was teaching myself different stitches. The little red bird below is from my first picture book, The Way Home (1991).

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This swimming duck felt pin is one of many projects in my 2003 how-to book, Felt Wee Folk.

feltpinsduckWMThis goose climbs up and runs down the hill in my board book, Jack & Jill (2006).

JJgoose2WMThe last three close-ups are from Pocketful of Posies (2010). Check the tour schedule for the exhibit of original fabric relief illustrations here.

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Close-ups (beds)

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The first image in this series of bed pictures is an illustration for a poem called Tumbling, which is included in my 1997 poetry anthology, You and Me:Poems of Friendship. Then there’s a page from my 2001 picture book In the Heart, which was written by Ann Turner. Copies of In the Heart are available in my Etsy Shop

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“Are the children in their beds?” from my Wee Willie Winkie board book.

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And here’s “my son John, went to sleep with his trousers on” from Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. I offer autographed copies with a poster in my Etsy Shop.

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“Go to bed first, a golden purse” from Pocketful of Posies. See the touring exhibit of the original embroidered illustrations from the book. Next location: Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA, Sept. 4 ~ October 31, 2013.

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And here’s Elsie Marley, who won’t get up to feed the swine, which is also from Pocketful of Posies.

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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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