Rain, Rain, Come and Play!
Day one of my stay as the Artist in Residence at Smoky Mountain National Park was just a clean-up and move-in day. I got settled in my new digs, managed to make myself a quick dinner, and spent the evening studying maps and reading the logs left by the previous Resident Artists. Time for bed, and I realize what a city slicker I have become. Instead of the parking lot lights, the neighbors muffled voices, and the passing trains, there is total silence and complete darkness. So of course I had to turn on the radio for a while before I could sleep! I am sure within days I will get very used to it, and I will stop listening for bears to scratch at my door! Here are my new digs for the next month:
Day two was fog and intermittent pouring rain – in other words perfect! The tourists were not around and the colors were perfect for photography. In the morning I took a right on the main drive and explored one end of the park until it was time to meet the coordinator for a tour of Gatlinburg and introductions to Arrowmont. Thanks to Sheridan, I now I know where to get groceries, where the library is, who has good food and service, and where all the artists and craftsman are located. Most of them have left downtown Gatlinburg to Ripleys’ Believe it or Not, and the Olde Tyme photo and T-shirt shops, and moved out a couple of miles… so now I know where to go explore their studios and shops.
Next we went to The Arrowmont Arts and Crafts School. I can only say this: I now have a whole new definition of heaven. Tomorrow I will go back to move into my studio, so I will tell (and show) you more then, but now, let’s get back to the rain and fog.
It took me a moment before I understood what I was seeing before shooting this photo (above). I had turned into a shortcut through a meadow, and suddenly was present with an image that looked for all that is true, like an ocean shore and an island in the distance. In reality, it was ground fog and an emerging mountain top, seen past the meadow, but what a sight.
Here is a slide show of some more!
I will be leaving Monday morning for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I will be in an apartment in the park for the month as the Artist-in-Residence. The checklist is almost complete, and the art supply and fabric pile is larger than either the clothes or food piles, so I think I have my priorities right.
Some "plein air" landscape quilting is in the plans - putting down the fabrics on site and stitching later.
I have packed all kids of "toys"; dyes, screen print, paints, fabric crayons, etc etc. Because my real hope is to play, play, play, and experiment! I will also be trying some natural dying with a workshop that will be in the area.
The fall color should be in its full glory while I am there, so inspiration should abound for both photos and fiber.
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is just a mile down the road from where I will be living. It happens that the Surface Design conference is there while I am in the park, so I will also be attending that as well as the Natural Dying Workshop with Catharine Ellis. More inspiration I am sure!
I am so lucky to have this experience, and I will be sharing it with you here!
What Dreams are Made of?
I have always been a vivid dreamer. I often wish I had a cerebral recorder, because I just know some of them would be great on HBO, or at least on Lifetime! I have often wondered where they come from, and this morning, in the fog between wake and sleep, I think I developed a theory.
It all started with this website. I have been struggling with the SEO and keywords and all for weeks now. So it gave me an idea: What if dreams are made from our brain's keywords from the preceding day(s)?
I was reviewing my last night's dream, as I lay in bed this AM, and it occurred to me that that might be the case. My head had taken a key word from many of the earlier activities of the day, and woven them into a cohesive (well as cohesive as dreams ever are) story! People popped up, places became part of the story, and then objects appeared, most of which could be traced back to events of the day. So maybe the search engines in our head and in our PCs are not that different!
Of course, that doesn't help explain all things. Take flying for example. I fly a lot. Well not really fly, more or less glide about 15 feet in the air in a prone position. Much like superman, but with my arms usually tucked in or flailing around, not out stretched! It is the most glorious feeling. I run to take off. Each step bounces a little higher until I am air-borne. I gently course over the landscape or cityscape viewing the goings on around me from a safe, but not unseen, vantage point. Occasionally landing to check something out, and then bouncing back up again!
Sleeping and dreaming seem to be a talent of mine, I still can remember dreams from many years ago. I have had reunions, adventures, and excursions everywhere! How about you? Do you have any reoccurring ones? Or ones you wish reoccurred? Do you find solace, or discontent with your dreams? Or can you simply never recall them? Please share!
Recently a friend heard I was headed to Virginia Beach. She used to live in the area and implored me to go to the Chrysler Museum of Art while I was there. I was really looking forward to a beach vacation, and so wasn't sure abut this, but decided to stop in. Boy, was that the right decision! Not only is it a beautifully curated museum with many early works and women artists with whom I was not familiar, but it has one of the largest glass collections of any museum and a glass studio on the premises.
Truth be told, I have never been a huge fan of glass artwork. Maybe because I had not seen much of it, or maybe because I am mostly ignorant of the processes involved with it (other than, thanks to Audry Handler, I learned it it takes a lot of lung power and a really big furnace!) But now that I have seen a lot of examples, and was led through a chronological tour of glass through the centuries, I am very appreciative of the art form! Isn't that exactly what a museum should do; make you appreciate things a little bit more.
There were shapes of every kind; From the earliest small vessels, through lava-like mounds, to geometric shapes to the organic. The organic shapes were some of my favorites.
(Click on any of these to see a larger picture)
The process that really blew me away was the engraving. This process involves several layers of different colors, or shades, layered upon each other, and then the glass is carved/engraved back to reveal the color that the artist want to appear. The center picture shows one of the artist's sketches for the large vase.
(Click on any of these to see a larger picture)
One of my favorite parts of Virginia Beach is the Pier. Especially in the early morning, when the gulls are flying, the men are fishing, and the sun is low. An added benefit is when a boat oor two come by also! This particular morning it was gray and soft, so the pictures are also.
This gallery is best viewed by clicking on one picture and scrolling through them so you can see the full crop!
It was hot, but the storms moved through the area bringing dramatic skies and solitary beaches! Consequently some nice compositions! Here is a range of the activities and colors around the beach from sun up to sun set.
The pictures can be seen best when you click on them to see full size and crop!
Don't miss yesterday's pictures in "part 1" or tomorrow in "part 3"!!!
Quilts at Houston!
I am so thrilled to have four of my recent art quilts in the upcoming Houston International Quilt Festival October 29 - November 2, 2015.
While the subject matter of the quilts are quite different they all started with one or more of my original photographs custom printed on fabric. It is my goal to make sure at the end, it is not just an embellished photo, but instead the photo and the stitching are so completely integrated that neither would be complete without the other.
I was hoping to get to Houston, but will be just ending a month as an artist-in-residence in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, so will head home instead! But if you are there, I would love to hear what you thought of the show, so please let me know through my Facebook pages (jill2day, or jillkerttulaphoto), or here!
Below is a gallery of the quilts that will be there and the names of the shows they will be in. Please click on them to see them in full crop and detail.
"Meet Yer Eats" tour 2015
Such a fun day! Today the farms that participate in the Charlottesville City Market opened their farms to the public for tours. We went to two of the farms; Double H and Caromont Farms.
At Double H we saw the pigs, turkeys and chickens they raise. We met the dogs that guard the animals, and saw the gardens of veggies that are planted, rotated and after the harvests are done, grazed and snuffled by the poultry and the pigs. The owners, Armenian immigrants Ara and Gayane Avagyan, gave us a very informative tour through the pens and gardens. They are all organic and self sufficient; doing all of the work themselves for the lat 11 years. It was evident that it is hard labor and a labor of love. They supply both produce and meat to many of the C'ville restaurants we go to, and now we will appreciate that food so much more, knowing what has gone into the making. (click on any of the photos to see a large image)
Next we went to Caromont Farm. They raise goats and are spectacular cheese makers. We got to meet Gail Hobbs-Page’s herd of Alpines, Saanens, and La Mancha goats. The goats were very friendly and even tried to sample my shirt! They started the first year by selling 300 pounds of cheese locally, and now sell about 30,000 pounds nationally. We sample the cheeses and had brats made and served by yet another local farm, and brought some fantastic feta home for our salads this week. (click on any of the photos to see a large image)
Another great part of the day was driving on the back roads of this beautiful Virginia countryside. I still can not get over the beauty of the red clay land against the vivid green foliage and blue sky. A perfect day.
How Photos Become Quilts
As I said in and earlier post, my photos are my sketchbook. They train my eye, inspire me, and are just plain fun! But I really like it when one (or more) inspire me to stitch, cut, bead, add, subtract, or whatever to them so that they may gain the textures that fiber art can bring to them. So here are a few ways that I use my photos in my fiber art.
As whole cloth ...
Sometimes the photo is printed to become the basis for a whole cloth quilt. I loved the composition of this photo and didn't want to change a thing about that, but I wanted to add the grit and texture of a sidewalk with embellishments that included dryer lint, leaves, and found objects, as well as yards and yards of stitching. This is "Where the Sidewalk Starts"
As the inspired beginning...
Again, I really likes the photo, but not so much the crop, so I "enlarged it" piecing other fabrics to the photo. I also let the photo inspire the directional flow of the stitches, and the type of embellishments that I would include.
This finish quilt "The Blue Brush" includes about seven different photos, some collaged within the initial fabric printing, and others added later. The subject matter was far less important than the colors and textures of the photos. Most importantly, the photos had to integrate with the stitching, added fabrics and each other to form a cohesive composition.
Here are three different "auditions" for placement prior to sewing the collage together...
Oh My.... four months gone.
I have been derelict in my posting duties lately! But I have not been derelict on my life activities! Not sure if anyone missed me or my musings... but I missed doing them, so I shall renew my posts.
My absence started with a medical excuse. I had "takotsubo" incident. It is like a heart attack, but without all the nasty long-lasting effects or required surgery. I am fine now, and all has resolved, but a few days on a heart monitor and a month of cardio rehab does funny things to your confidence and introspection! However, it has resulted in more trips to the gym, more veggies, and less coffee. so it is all good!
Then we moved into summer. One would think being retired was a relaxing avocation, but, alas, it is not. Trips here and there, books to be read, walks to be taken, laziness to indulge and grand kids to visit. And an Avocado to plant! All that adds up to a summer quickly passing by.
I have been creating, too. I have been derelict in updating those activities here on the site as well. I have been in a few exhibits. Sent out more for other exhibits, and won an award or two. I will shortly update the relevant pages here with that information as well.
The continued constant has been my photos. Someday I really need to sort and file the thousands that are accumulating! But they have been my journal, my touchstone, my fun, and have kept my eyes open and head working.
Now, I am getting ready for my next adventure! A month long artist residency within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I will be housed within the park for the month of October, and am very excited to explore and create. That is one of the reasons I am back here. I will be journaling the experience while I am there. So stay tuned... much more to come. I will be posting links on Facebook; Jill2day page and JillKerttulaphoto pages so watch for the links or... better yet. click the "follow" button on the top of this page, and I think you will be notified of updates!
I will be alone in the Park, so hope you let me know if you drop in to read my posts, so I will know I am not spitting into the wind!!
If you are really into history, click here for blog posts prior to 2014 !