Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hi from snowy/rainy N.J.

It has taken me this long to catch up with blogging about my week at Quilting in the Desert.  I have to say it was a delight to teach there and if you have a chance to go in the future, check it out! I was really happy to be there in January:-).

I am still recovering from a red eye flight that left 4 hours late (try 3:am Arizona time) because it was late coming in from Newark (snowstorm).  Slept all weekend.  Then, an unexpected medical issue surfaced on Monday and sidetracked me for a few days.  The other problem is that I can't upload photos from my iPad to my iPad when I am blogging, so I have not blogged.  But now I am on my computer.

SO - here I am, finally!

While I was in Scottsdale - two treats. One, my friend Jenny Mitchell (formerly known as Jane Aldoretta) came over from Sedona and we went to lunch. I haven't seen her in a couple of years, since I was last teaching in Grand Junction, CO.  We had lunch and did a quickie glance at the galleries downtown.

Friday night, before I went to the airport, I had dinner with my friend Sherryl Buchler. Sherryl lives in Scottsdale but her daughter lives near me in NJ, so I get to see her a couple of times a year when she comes here to visit. NOT in the winter!  It was great to catch up.

My last blog post showed a few of the fabrics my students printed.  We were at Marla Hattabaugh's studio for two days: you undoubtedly know that Marla hand-quilted Nancy Crow's quilts for many years. These days, she's doing her own wonderful work - and we were lucky enough to see her exhibit in a local gallery while we were there.  These couple of pix don't do her work justice, but here they are anyway.

The second part of the workshop was spent using the fabrics the class had printed -- a challenge that they met beautifully!  Too many times you will take a printing class and go home with a bunch of fabrics (some great, some not so great) and never use them because you can't figure out what to do with them. Ha- not this group!

I am not able to post them all, but in 3 days they produced lots of art.  Becky made lemonade from lemons when she used her printed background to make a whimsical piece with some fusing.

 Laura's and Mary's remarkable fabrics turned into beautifully designed work that was both spontaneous (ad hoc design) and thought-out (slow design).

 Marti struggled at first because she likes to know where she is going -- but as she worked and moved the pieces around, she suddenly had a direction and the rest was easier than she had thought it would be.  By the last day, she was already adding her gorgeous quilting to the piece.

Maura, the traditional quilter who wanted to break out, had the biggest epiphany. She had printed a really ugly fabric and was going to throw it into the garbage  till I convinced her it would be great cut up into strips.  Sure enough! The pink and green and black fabric in the right-hand piece actually makes it sing:-)).  And the piece on the left showcases her gray printed fabric in a simple but effective design.

I think she would tell you this class changed her creative life - she couldn't wait to get back to her traditional guild and show them what she had done!

 Cheryl is a quilter who does amazing photo-realistic quilts and this was her first time working abstractly.  She used two of her printed fabrics throughout the piece and was very happy by the time she had finished it.  It was quite an accomplishment for someone who normally works from photographs and reproduces them faithfully.  She should be proud of herself for stretching!

Debbie's red screenprinted fabric became the focus of this piece and you can see how happy she was with the result. With good reason!

Janice used several of her printed fabrics in this piece, including one she had printed with a Thermofax screen she brought from home.  I hope she will send me a photo when she has quilted this beauty.

This is evolving from a cut-up screen print which was really tough to do anything with.  Paula started slashing and I can't wait to see the finished piece!

I was disappointed to find that my photo of Barb's red, white, and black piece did not come out. I hope she will send me a picture that I can post later.  And Susan started a couple of pieces that I hope she will finish at home.

In any case, this was a fun group who really supported each other and was generous with fabric, critique, and suggestions.  This is what makes all the schlepping and standing on my feet for 5 days worth it.

And this picture of a Scottsdale sunrise (undoctored by photoshop) was worth a thousand words.  If it were a painting, it would be corny.  Hope to return to this venue.
In the meantime, I am off at the end of the month to Asilomar and am looking forward to having two dear friends in my class.  Then home and to Quilting Adventures in New Braunfels, TX.  There might still be room in the TX class if you want to come and have a great time!

Now I'm out the door to my art critique group meeting -- the first in quite a few months. We have all been so busy...


Connie Rose said...

Hi Rayna ~ glad to hear from you, glad to know your classes are going so well and the traveling is good. I love all the work you show here. Enjoy your upcoming trip to CA! Much love.

Gunilla.B said...

What wonderful pieces!I should love to take a class with you Rayna!

tiedyejudy said...

If you ever get to northern AZ, let me know and I'll find you! Great shots of the work done by your students!

Eva said...

The most amazing thing about the results of your class might be the step that your students have taken to make a progress into new creativity. Such progress is always a crucial point in the life of an artist. I can imagine someone saying "oh, it was great what you used to do, why did you give it up?" Well, walking forward as an artist, you are never quite free from doubt... But what counts is the feeling of the artist. And I am very happy and impressed to see how happy they are with the result. I wish I had had a tutor like you in earlier years.

Mia Bloom Designs said...

thank you, Rayna, for sharing the wonderfully inspiring pieces from your workshop. It looks like everyone had a great time.

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