Busy, busy, busy

For an artist who wants to enter art shows this is the time to get busy. Honestly I have looked over so many calls for entry since January, that I am getting a bit dizzy. For those who know me personally they can’t tell this from my “normal” way of being. No comments from the peanut gallery.

Part of being an artist is the desire to be accepted for your art. That can come from acceptance in a prestigious gallery or a well known national show. An artist has to keep up with current trends and colors that are wanted. I understand that 2020 is the year of  blue and the llama. I can work the color into my art work but not sure about that llama. However maybe I should consider this subject for the wool on a llama is very curly and interesting. Also you want to show a consistent growth with new work. This means a lot of the show listings ask for your work be no older than two to three years.

This can be a challenge because it is hard to just keep coming up with new art. I do have a storeroom in my mind and computer memory of new ideas. More ideas than I believe I will be able to create. Yet life and eating does become necessary. I have also wondered why the age of the work is so relevant for art shows. Honestly you can do your masterpiece one year and if you have the opportunity to show that masterpiece comes about 4 years later it is too old to be considered for some shows.

So it was with great surprise that when I entered a show that had no “age of work” restrictions, my work got accepted. One of the two art quilts accepted is what I consider as a masterpiece.  I completed this work in 2016, it really isn’t that old but happy that the juror saw the wonder in this work. It is based on a picture I took on the way to my bus stop one morning in the spring. Sunrise and sunsets have fascinated me for  many years. The bright colors, the stark contrasting dark silhouette of trees against orange, red, purple and yellows in the sky. All this just gives me joy and true wonder in our amazing nature.

This is what I saw that morning, pulling out my phone to snap as many pictures of what I was seeing unfold as quickly as I could.

I was intrigued with the bare branches in dark silhouettes in contrast to the colors blooming in the sky. I was taking enough pictures that a curious neighbor approached asking what I was doing. When I pointed to the sky she mumbled ahh, I thought you were casing my house! I chuckled and went on my way. Looking thru the pictures I found these three to be most intriguing. I then set to work using all as a stepping off point to get to my impression of the colors and joy I felt seeing this unfold.

Here is what I now call my masterpiece – Holmes St Sunrise.


You can see the bright color thru the trees with the foreground all in shadow. I used many strands of black embroidery thread in ever decreasing thickness as I stitched further and further up the tree branches. I used some gray and blue thread too but as you can see mostly black. Yes that is many hours of stitching, the straight stitch, on this piece. Yet it became very meditative while I listened to my T.V.  As I switched to thinner and thinner thread, I realized that I would need to go even smaller in my mark making.

Out came my fabric markers and I lightly sketched in the smallest of limbs on the tops of the trees. I just loved working on this piece so much so it is the background on my home page. I thought it would stay hanging in my studio cheering my day of ever ending new art. Much to my surprise it was accepted to be included in a group show based on scapes, landscapes, seascapes, cloudscapes, skyscapes, riverscapes, or cityscapes. Yea!

I also have one of my seascapes accepted-Lime Green Seaweed. This has a lot of hand embroidery also as the stitching I use mimics fan coral and seaweed.   I just love how the beads look like spotted minnows.

Lime Green Seaweed

On another note, these two pieces of art were not accepted into a totally different exhibit that had no created age limits, along with my most recent art quilt. As my art teacher mom used to say, “All they can do is say no”.

The show I was accepted in is here in Kansas City, Mo, at the Hilliard Gallery. It will open with the Crossroads First Friday on March 6. The show runs through Earth Day on April 22, 2020. I will be there for the opening so come by and say hi if you can. Opening Reception March 6, 2020,  5-10 pm,  Hilliard Gallery is located at 1820 McGee, Kansas City, Mo, 64108.