Sunday, April 30, 2017

MORE Trees

Tree Three Dusk
Rana O'Connor 2017
One of my students, Lisa, thought my trees would be a fine contribution to "A Taste of Tidewater - 10 x 10 Art Sale", benefiting the University of Maine Gardens at Tidewater Farm in Falmouth. The fundraiser is held annually in August. This year it is on Thursday, August 24 at the Parish House of the Episcopal Church of St Mary in Falmouth.

In addition to 75 original works of art by Maine artists, the event includes small plates and desserts created by some of Greater Portland's amazing chefs. Each piece of art is just 10" x 10" and is priced at $200. All art is displayed online prior to the event, starting August 1. I have nearly completed the two pieces I am submitting. Trees, of course, with different backgrounds, mounted on 10" x 10" wood panels provided by the organizers. Painted black, the panels create a perfect frame for the small trees.

I don't know the rules about revealing the artwork ahead of time, so the image here is a teaser--a tree I completed earlier for a friend.

Can't attend in person? Artwork not sold on August 24 will available for sale online for a week following the event, through September 4. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Student Work

Lisa's Tree 2017
Lisa sent me a picture of her tree, begun in the "Tree Bits and Thread Paint" workshop recently! She added a bush to one side, and quilted the background with small circles, which was a great choice from my perspective, as my favorite part of her tree is the red fabric with colorful circles that appears in three or four locations.

Class trees ranged from the more realistic to fantasy, with curls and curves a la Dr Seuss. Placing tree bits took much of the day, but as the trees took shape class participants began to see the possibilities. It's fun and relaxing, playing with fabric in such a low-stress way. Watch for the class to be scheduled again later this year!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Road Trip!

Dana Thank You
Great road trip with a friend last week. Dana proposed driving to Amherst, Mass to see a quilt show. Obviously the right words to get me out of the studio! While Dana is not a quilter, the show featured two artists she knew well, a mother and daughter, both named Valerie. Valerie (the elder, at 92!) quilts while her daughter is a watercolor artist. Their show was hung in a space with lots of natural light and great seating. We spent hours talking about fabric, art and design techniques. The work was colorful and varied, with some lovely fabric landscapes. Valerie's story mirrors mine in another way--she grew up in Iran! Born in Russia, she emigrated to Tabriz then attended high school in Tehran, where she met and married an American serviceman, moving to the US in 1947! I moved to Iran in 1960, returning to the US in 1973. Small world. I wanted to make Dana a thank you card for suggesting the day's adventure and handling all the details. Knowing she spends lots of time at the beach, I pulled fabrics to create a beach scene, cut wavy lines for the ocean and sand dunes and layered them on batting. The sky was a real find--a piece of light blue with white flowers that were just abstract enough to suggest clouds and sun. A handful of shells and beads added a bit of focus. Hope she likes it! Below, two pieces from the show--love the similar color palette!