Friday, April 11, 2008

Focus on Fiber 2008/Atlantic Center for the Art!

Wow, what a fabulous time I had last week! Great space, great women, great all around! We named ourselves Sisters of the Cloth and we Stitched, Painted, Dyed, Talked, Ate, Danced, Relaxed, Screen Printed, Bonded, Drank, Smiled, Slept, Walked, Read, Sketched, Burned, Sewed, Pieced, Quilted, Felted, Laughed, ... I'm hoping to work on a piece to reflect the whole experience. My cell phone mostly didn't have signal and I didn't take a computer and there were no televisions. Heaven on Earth. There was a fabulous library, all art related books, journals and other publications. The food was fantastic--I gained 5 pounds!!! Whoa! And, the people, the BEST! We all shared and learned from each other. And, I believe that many of us made new friends and connections. I know I did. I didn't get the kind of work done that I had hoped-quilting already finished pieces, or creating new masterpieces. I did try a lot of surface design techniques and flopped on several and did okay with others. I learned a lot about how I work, what I like and that not all work is done externally (of course).

Here are some photos of the fabulous grounds at ACA and some of the fabulous artists at work.

Definitely, my favorite part of the campus and one of the first things I saw there. This sign! How validating is that??!! To show up and see this!

Here are some photos of the great studio spaces we had to work in. Great windows and light! Beautiful nature scenes all around us.

The grounds were covered in trees. Lizards scurried at your every step on the boardwalks. The trees were covered with moss and lichen. I had never seen red lichen before but many of the trees had it. It is a sign of health for the trees.

Here are some photos of the fabulous women that I met. First one shows Julia Yaciw (and Paula Sheron, with her back to the camera, sorry Paula). Great gals! Had a lot of fun getting to know them both. They dyed a ton of fabric and were so neat and organized about it! They both worked on some fabulous pieces and made a lot of progress this week.

And, then we have Debbie Babbin demonstrating one of her techniques for several of us. She had wonderful, colorful mixed media artwork. She did a great job in the presentation of her work with her pieces mounted on canvas and wood.

To her right in the photo (in the green apron) is Kathie Briggs. Kathie was generous enough to show me how (and to share her supplies) to do some deconstructed screenprinting. She originally learned the technique from Kerr Grabowski and I am ordering my copy of Kerr's DVD on the process TODAY!! My piece turned out really nice. She did amazing work using her own photographs from Italy to design some of her screens and also makes beautiful dolls.

Next is Linda Dawson. Her art cloth pieces were simply astonishing. She did some very unique designs and techniques, and the layers of her prints on her cloth just blew me away. She also brought along a Jane Dunnewold piece. It was great to see one in person. She also had some copies of Jane's new book for sale. I can't remember the name of it but I hope to get a copy myself soon.

Here is Linda Hoffmeister and Jacque Davis (on the right). Jacque did some fabulous tissue paper dying of fabric and painstakingly worked on a piece inspired by one of her own drawings requiring lots of cutting of small pieces. She and I had great fun getting to know each other and talking about how to speak about your own artwork and to discuss what it is that moves you about other's art.

Here is Pamela Allen with her piece entitled Four Women Laughing Like Hell showing herself, Rosemary Claus-Gray, Claire Fenton and Mary McBride from the retreat last year. I guess they had a good time in 2007! I took a course with Pamela last year and she is still as fun to be around as ever. She is a hoot!

Here is Rosemary with one of her beautiful layered, transparent pieces. Watching her work was a real treat. She had a very calm and serene presence that matched what I see in her work.

Mary McBride organizes and hosts the event and she did an excellent job!!! Thanks Mary!!

There were many other great artists and women that attended including Jan Girod (my driving buddy! Thanks Jan!), fabulous artist and co-owner of Fiber on a Whim here in Atlanta (she is on the right in the photo below with Marilyn Cicek). Unfortunately, my 2 other buddies, Sharon Ahmed and Rebecca Reason-Edwards didn't make the retreat this year, althougth the 4 of us had hoped to go together. Sharon came for a few days but had to leave due to some health reasons. Rebecca had to cancel to get her house ready to go on the market. The other Georgia artist, Deb Lacativa, also had to cancel for some family health reasons. So, the Georgia contingent was on the low side but hopefully next year we can come back in big numbers. We missed you guys!!!!!!

Well, it was wonderful! I hope I get to go back next year! Sisters of the Cloth You Rock!!!!


Rosemary Claus-Gray said...

Hi Heidi, I enjoyed your report about the retreat, and looking at the photos. It was grand, wasn't it? Seems like I'm still there in my mind. Rosemary

Maggie said...

thanks for the peek into your week. looks awesome. It is on my list of things to do

Margaret said...

Heidi, I can't wait to see your work from the week and hear more stories! And, I SO want to go next year!