Borrowing from the past

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I’ve been contacting people who own pieces that I’ve made over the past 30 years and asking to borrow artwork for my upcoming exhibit, Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches, Then and Now at Museums on the Green in Falmouth. Most of the fabric reliefs are from local collections, so it’s been relatively easy to arrange pickup. And I’ve enjoyed visiting the people who were early supporters of my work in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s been long enough that some pieces have been passed down to the next generation. I’m grateful to the owners for loaning the work, as many of them have never been exhibited publicly. It will be a kind of retrospective show, which covers the transition from my early work to what I’m making now. The exhibit will also include items I’ve selected from the museums archives–stuff that stuck my fancy and seems to go.

Since this may be the only chance, I’ve been removing some pieces from their frames and Rob is taking digital photos. Looking at them closely has brought back memories of the years when I made them. I’m amazed that I was so productive during the 80’s, especially with young children around. In a way, life wasn’t as complicated. We stayed home a lot and I spent every spare moment focusing on my artwork.  I found a wonderful neighbor who ran a home daycare and I worked every evening after the kids went to bed. There were less distractions; we had no TV or computer. Remembering this time makes me nostalgic for a simpler life. I bet almost every person reading this post feels the same. So much for my wistful musings–I’m going to put on my thimble and pick up my needle and thread and get to work!

I hope that many of you will be able to see this show. I will be writing more about it and posting more pictures in the next few weeks. Here are the particulars:
July 4 – August 16, 2014 ~ Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches, Then and Now Falmouth Museums on the Green, Falmouth, MA. Historical needlework from the museum’s collection will be exhibited alongside the contemporary embroidered artwork of Salley Mavor.  Sat., July 19th – “Tea at the Museum” and Artist Talk – 1:00 -3:00 pm.

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Birds included in SAQA cards

Birds0001blogWMLook what came in the mail today! A pack of note cards that feature the unique works of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) Professional Artist Members. 10 art quilts are in the set, including my Birds of Beebe Woods piece. I feel honored to have my work selected for this collection, which represents the broad range of styles and techniques identified as “art quilts”. Card sales will benefit SAQA and are sold at a very reasonable price on their website here.notecardscollection_lgJust as a reminder– I sell cards as well and have 2 detailed images from Birds of Beebe Woods (shown below) in my Etsy Shop here.

FYI –  Birds of Beebe Woods, as well as many of my original fabric reliefs from the past 30 years will be included in this upcoming exhibit:
July 4 – August 16, 2014 ~ Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches: Then and Now Falmouth Museums on the Green, Falmouth, MA. Historical needlework from the museum’s collection will be exhibited alongside the contemporary embroidered artwork of Salley Mavor.  Sat, July 19th – “Tea at the Museum” and Artist Talk – 1:00 -3:00 pm.

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Cards – Birds of Beebe Woods

Cuba: misc.

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I hope that you have enjoyed this tour of Cuba. These last photos didn’t really fit the categories in earlier posts, so they are a bit of a Caribbean flavored smorgasbord. The first two photos are of the view from our hotel balcony and the others were taken around Havana.

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Cuba: windows

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While traveling, windows are some of my favorite things to take pictures of. They offer an opening into another world that one can only imagine. This selection from Havana tell the story of a city that gives a glimpse of its former splendor, even in its decrepit state.

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Cuba: nature

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While in Cuba last March, we took bus trips out of Havana and had the opportunity to walk in the botanical gardens and in a mangrove forest. My husband Rob concentrated on photographing wildlife and I took pictures of trees.

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Rob took tons of pictures of this bird and got one good one.

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The botanical gardens…

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We were told that this snake was harmless.

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An agave plant. It’s good to see where the liquid sweetener comes from.

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The view from Ernest Hemingway’s house, overlooking Havana.

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My sister Anne’s exhibit at Highfield

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My sister, Anne Mavor is visiting from Portland, OR this week. She’s having a show of her beautiful encaustic paintings at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA. The exhibit, Ancient Landscapes: A Spirit of Place will be on display until July 6th. She will also be giving a talk about her work on Sunday, June 1 at 1:30 pm. And look at the banner out front!

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Anne uses watercolors on a wax-translucent wall medium base, which makes her paintings look very different from other encaustic work. You can read more about her technique here.

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I love this photo of Anne painting with our Mom in Maine in 1962. This is such a typical scene. Mom was always creating artwork of all kinds.

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And this one of Anne with Dad in the mid 50’s.

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Anne’s paintings are of ancient sacred landscapes based on research photos taken by our father, James W. Mavor and herself. Several pieces in the exhibit at Highfield Hall are of local scenes from Falmouth and the Elizabeth Islands. I encourage you to go see this show–it’s stunning!

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She writes, “When I was 17, my family took a trip to the British Isles where we visited ancient stone and mounds built by Neolithic and Bronze age cultures 3,000-7,000 years ago.  My father was enthralled with these sites and their spiritual and astronomical meanings.  This interest became his full time passion for the next 40 years until his death in 2006.  His book Manitou: The Sacred Landscape of New England’s Native Civilization, brings together those years of research.

For my part, I never forgot the experience of walking through those sites. The stones were like groups of people meeting together and the mounds like large mammals hibernating. For the past two years, I have been painting images of those sites using my father’s research photos as inspiration.  It has become a form of collaboration through time, combining the creative efforts of the ancient people, my father’s passion, and filtered through my hands and eyes.”

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Ryan and Lael wedding dolls

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Ryan and Lael will be getting married next month in Woods Hole, so I made them a pair of dolls as a wedding present. They met here as children, when they were Woods Hole summer kids.  And this wedding will join two families that have been coming every summer for generations.  I’ve always been a bit jealous of the summer people, who seem to appreciate their time in Woods Hole more than we year-rounders. For them, it’s special and magical, like summer camp, where you play and socialize, without the regular responsibilities associated with your “winter” home.

It was clear that a conventional white gown and tuxedo would not represent this couple’s theatrical leanings and spirit of adventure. Since the bride and groom have more than a passing interest in medieval history, I dressed them in period attire. Their costumes were so much fun to research and figure out how to make.

As with the Glen and Susan dolls, these figures use some techniques, such as wig-making, that will be included in the new edition of Felt Wee Folk. Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures will be coming out in the spring of 2015.

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