New & Improved

February 19, 2010
photo courtesy of Jana

For the past few weeks I’ve been revamping, refurbishing and doing a little polishing up of the ole image.

The Beginning

I started this blog way back when, after I had chosen the name for my company, REDBARN STUDIOS.

I’ve been in love with red barns (not blue or brown but RED!) for as long as I can remember. They absolutely fascinate me. In trying to come up with a name for my company I tried all sort of different names, including that ever famous exclamation of mine…Flippity Dippity Designs (remember that one Susan?).

So the hunt was on to find something that tied well into what I know of my past and what I wanted for my future……..and REDBARN STUDIOS was born.

(In my best Britsh voice: Can you discern that I have intense feelings of deep affection for the colour RED!)

Connecting

Now back to this blog. I wanted to name it something in keeping with REDBARN of course. And in those humble beginnings is how Barnyard Chatter got started and also why I always signed off with…….See ya next time “In the Hayloft”.

I wanted my blog to be a place of art foremost, but also a place for friends, new and old, to come sit, chat, laugh and romp in the hay while we have fun creating and learning. That idea about why I blog hasn’t changed. It’s really me who’s evolving.

(you still with me? …thanks)

The Revamp

Over the last couple of years my work has evolved as well and I’ve had a few rethinks about what I want to pursue……always asking “what did Grace want to achieve?” If I could do “IT” (whatever it was) any which way, what would I do? How can I best let my art, my creativity manifest itself through me?

*Remember this quote form an earlier post “Clarity trumps practicality. When someone is clear, and they take action from that place of clarity then practicality has no choice but to move aside and let manifestation occur”…… Christine Kane*

I’ve picked up a few things, run screaming past some and, others still, I’ve just left by the wayside knowing that that was not the course I wanted to pursue.

What I know for sure (yeh I know, I sound like Miss Oprah) is that I want to create art….period! All that extraneous stuff…..I’ve found over time that I really was not that committed to and if one is not committed to something wholeheartely then it’s not really worth doing.

With all that said, this will be my last post from this blog, Barnyard Chatter. All right folks, stop the fluttering…..I’m not going anywhere. She’s been a good place to rest my non-stop thinking and pondering and working through. But her time has come.

Da   da   da-da   da   da-da   da-da   da-da      (overkill much…..nah I like it! the girl’s still gotta have fun)

New and Improved

Remember that revamping, refurbishing and polishing that I spoke about earlier? I’ve decided to move forward using that wonderful company name I took all those months to come up with, and actually try to brand myself.

I AM REDBARN STUDIOS!

(and the crowd goes wild…YIPPEE!  HOORAH!  YOU GO GIRL!)

So my NEW blog is named…..(yeh you guessed it) REDBARN STUDIOS.

Y’all know that I love, love, love colour, the saturated the better, and what better way to showcase all that colourful artwork of mine than a deep rich background. All I’m saying is don’t be stunned when you get there, okay?

And just so you know, the water is in deference to my homeland, the Bahamas…we’re surrounded by it’s shimmering beauty.

…check out the new ME here:  http://www.redbarn-studios.com/blog/

Now I must tell you and I’m not ashamed to admit it….I want friends! I want followers! I want you to jump at the chance to find out what I’m up to over at REDBARN STUDIOS, so go change your RSS feeds and sign up to follow me on that google thingamajig widget in the sidebar.

That leads me to the best part. I’m feeling so good that in celebration of my new blog address I’m doing a special Give-a-Way. The first person to leave a comment and sign up on my “new and improved” blog will receive a half yd of my beautiful hand dyed fabric AND one of my hand-made journal notebooks, a new design not yet published.

And because I’m in that happy place, the next 4 people to do the same will each receive one of my hand dyed FQ’s. What the hay….let’s celebrate! So……

Welcome to the “new and improved”Me!

….and all this to say “come visit my new blog” you say? Now really! How else would I/me/moi do it????

See ya next time “In the Studio”


Mint Hill Fiber Arts Exhibition

February 11, 2010

ART BREAK:

Forgot to let you know about the other pieces I had hanging at Mint Hill Arts Annual Fiber Arts show last month. I chose 3 pieces, “Red Moon”, “At Odds” and “Stacked” to hang in their gallery.

I found out last week that each piece was also selected to be exhibited at the Gallery’s off site exhibition at Mint Hill Town Hall, the Chamber of Commerce and the local BB&T Bank after the MHA Fiber Arts show was finished. They were chosen to hang at BB&T.

Funnily enough, in my former life, I was an employee of that same bank in uptown Charlotte, oh so long ago. Full circle moment here.

Defining Work

My quest this year is to push my work out there a bit more and find more places to have my work juried and exhibited. I am so pleased that I’ve started off on the right foot, 2 straight months where my work is hanging.

Back in December I got a tip from Robbie Joy Eklow (on the Quiltart list I subscribe to) about submitting our work.

She suggested that we set our calenders up at least 6 mths in advance, noting all the exhibitions we want to enter, the entry deadline, acceptance and ship dates and remembering to update our websites and art records to reflect this.

This way we are not caught short trying to fill out paperwork, finish artwork or play catch up when the show/exhibition rolls around.

Just trying to keep my Word for the Year, D I L I G E N C E in the forefront.


Through Her Own Words

February 8, 2010

One of the artist I inner-viewed for my zine “The Inner Eye” has been chomping at the bit to read more on how the other artists answered questions I posed to them, so I thought it time to post another one, now that my group exhibition has been hung.

Today’s Inner-view is about Melinda Schwakhofer.

I first met Melinda a few years ago on her extended trip thru the States to reconnect with her heritage. Although born in the United States, she now calls Devon, England home.

Melinda is a very introspective and spiritual person who loves to cook but especially loves to eat GOOD food. As an artist, she love to tell stories with her art. At the moment she is on a “an inner journey” exploring the sacred aspects of her everyday life and artmaking. As she puts it, she is getting to know her ” Inner Monk and Artist.

Enjoy a little insight into artist Melinda Schwakhofer:

Journey Bundle

Inner Eye: What informs your artwork?
Melinda Schwakhofer: Nature, the ebb and flow of the seasons, certain architecture and urban environments, Jugendstil and Japanese design aesthetics, anything beautifully designed and exquisitely crafted.

inside detail

IE: Why fabric/thread/paint as a means of expression?
MS: I love the texture, fluidity and sensuality of fabric; the process of gathering and stitching materials together is like gathering my memories and experiences and making meaning from my life.  I’m currently exploring its sculptural qualities, combining opacity and transparency, surface design and incorporating text.

Integration

IE: Who continually inspires you?
MS: I’m inspired by the Divine Creator who makes the natural world around me and who ultimately inspires the music, literature, film and artwork which feeds me and my Mom who showed me how to put Love into everything that I do.

IE: What, if anything, precedes the full blow idea for a piece of art?
MS: Certain sights or experiences enter my soul and touch me on a very deep level.  Through my artwork I want to give it back to the world – the experience that I have had, the encounter and the depth of vision.

IE: What matters most to you about the work that you do?
MS: That I am able to infuse it with even a glimmer of the sacred and that the work is beautifully made.  That I make the work that makes me happy and is meaningful to me and that I don’t make work to bolster my ego or get caught up in competition/winning/justifying my work or myself via outside acclaim or recognition.

IE: What do you ask of yourself in terms of your art in the next 5 yrs?
MS: To make things that people can wear or meditate on (or both!), with words hidden on the inside, private and intimate.
- To make and sell my artwork – accordion books, prayer books, altars, wearable art via galleries, design shops and online.
- To make commissioned work for people who crave beauty and soul in their lives and to use my communication skills to connect with and discover what a person would like to have expressed in a piece of my artwork.
- To show my work in places where there is space for contemplation and which invite a sacred and soul experience.
- To work with people in a way that combines my counselling skills with spirituality and art-making.  Not necessarily Art Therapy, but deep, healing work via creativity.

IE: If you could not pursue your art, what other way would you spend your time?
MS: That’s like asking me if I couldn’t breathe, how I would spend my time!  Even when I’m not making art, there is an art to living.  It’s in my perception of the ordinary and every day, bringing mindfulness and creativity to all that I do and really seeing the world instead of just looking at it.

Melinda Schwakhofer

Website: http://melindaschwakhofer.com/
Blog: http://melindaschwakhofer.wordpress.com/

To read about other artist inner-views check here.

To purchase a copy of my zine “The Inner Eye” please check my Esty store.


Fiber Art Orchids at Daniel Stowe

February 5, 2010

Our Fiber Art group exhibit, Orchids: Sensuality Stitched opens tomorrow at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Yesterday we gathered to hang our show and I must say it looks wonderful.

Cindy Klemmer, Director of Education at Stowe, greeted us warmly, showed us the hanging space and helped us get started.

First things first, we laid out  the pieces on the floor to we decide where they will hang.

That’s my piece on the lower left, “Ode to Gene”. My first foray into whole cloth painting and I loved it!

PJ Howard  “rose to the occasion” (I couldn’t help the pun) and was deemed our unofficial ladder climber. I did not volunteer for that job because the older I get the more I find that me and ladders just don’t get along.

She came prepared with her own tool belt made out of fabric (what else for a fiber artist right?).

The hanging system at the Stowe is the typical Walker System whereby long rods are hung from a picture rail running along the wall about 10″ down from the ceiling.

Hanging clips are attached and the work is hung from these.

Our one dilemma was how were were to hang fiber art that is usually hung using a rod/slat in a sleeve.

For each of our pieces we each made a sleeve that would still hold a rod (so the pieces can still be exhibited in a quilt show) but made it long enough to cover the foam core we used.

Wire was then twisted onto the foam core so that they could be hung gallery style.

After having made 4 of these revised sleeves I will be creating a PDF tutorial that I’ll put in my sidebar for those that want to know how to make one.

Let me just say there were few prototypes before I got to the one I eventually used for the backs of my artwork.

Here’s Deb Langsam (left)  rehanging one of her pieces after adding the wire to the foam core earlier.

Susan Knapp (right)  brought sewing supplies to finish adding a label to the back of one of her pieces.

While we were hanging, staffers occasionally popped in to see what we were up to, admiring all the work we had done.

The two ladies (below), on the way out of the Garden, walked in to have a gander.

Most people are still a bit uninformed about art quilts or fiber art and curiosity got the better of them. They spent a few minutes asking questions.

I love this part about exhibiting, answering questions about our work and the processes we employ and find it fascinating that people still marvel at the fact that these artworks are all made from fabric.

Included in the larger works,  we each made one piece, 18 x 12, using the same photograph as inspiration.

These pieces were hung in the Garden’s  atrium where we will also be doing our demonstrations (12-4pm) of some of the techniques we used in the artwork. Some of us will be available at different times to walk through the exhibition to answer questions.

To find our more info about each artist check out our blog at www.fiberartoptions.blogspot.com.

The Exhibition will run through March 14th and we’d love to have you view our show.

Feb. 6 through March 14, 2010
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Belmont, NC
704.825.4490
www.dsbg.org


Orchid #3

January 30, 2010

Finally finished quilting all four pieces for our Orchid Exhibition coming up next week. Since I’ll be snowed in today (crazy snow this way in NC) I’ll get to devote a lot of time to adding facings and preparing each of them for hanging.

So in that vein, here’s another sneak peek at Orchid #3. Can you correctly guess what this orchid piece is about?

Ha!

~

Toodles,


NIght and Day

January 29, 2010

I know this is not what you expected when you read the title of this post but hang in there with me.

Try this….put your cursor at the top of the picture in the link below,

then s l o w l y move the cursor to the bottom of the pic…no stopping, no clicking on the mouse.

How cool is that!

http://61226.com/share/hk.swf




Sneek Peak…Twice!

January 22, 2010

Last night, busy in my studio, I decided to take a computer break. As usual, I got caught up and before you know it, I had spent almost 25 minutes online (considering I just went there to refresh my memory on a photo I had taken…mmmph!).

I stretch, after having sat there for so long, look over and see this red blob on my floor,

and realize that there’s a barely perceptible whizzing noise coming from the blob as well.  Now what do you think this can be?

Of course the first thing any sane person does in this type of situation is….grab  the camera, of course (duh!).

First things first, earlier in the afternoon I was helping my son with his homework. We finished and he left the room to repack his book bag. I then began to wonder what little gift he set up for me.

So with camera in hand I step closer to reveal my gift (can you see it yet??????).

And what to her wondering eyes should appear (yeh I know, must still be in the mind for Christmas)…

~

…but a little boy – fast asleep.  Awww shucks…isn’t that the best gift?

BTW, the big round thing under the blanket is my exercise ball.

Don’t ask.

ART BREAK:

In a few weeks, the art group I belong to (fiberartoptions.blogspot.com)  will have a fiber art orchid exhibition at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, NC. We are so excited. So for the past few weeks I have been hard at work finishing all my pieces. Here’s a sneak peak at another one of them.

I’ve tried something totally new for me and have hand painted this one using acrylic paint on Pimatex cotton, with Gac 900 as the textile medium (yah me!)

Using Golden Gac 900 with their line of fluid acrylics (instead of regular textile medium) gives the fabric a softer hand than even using Jacquard textile paint, which is what I started with.  The area at the bottom right (painted with Jacquard and medium) is much harder, almost like paper, than the rest of the piece.

I think I’m in love…with Golden products that is.

~


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