Monday, May 31, 2010

and the WINNER is......

Drum roll please!
128 comments total over the three spotlights of Jane LaFazio. 
You all looooove Jane! 
(So do I.)

LISA BROBERG  QUINTANA over at Michigoose's gander at quilts and life.

Send me an email at lyric (at)
with your info and I'll ship it out right away.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Artist Spotlight part 3: Jane LaFazio - DVD Review

I'm sitting here watching Jane's DVD "The Small Art Quilt" and can I just say this right up front? I like Jane. I wish I lived next door to Jane. There is something about her personality that comes through on the screen that makes me think she would be a LOT of fun to hang out with. She talks with her hands. Her voice is nice. Her studio, her clothes, even the stuff on her table, are visually stimulating.

In chapter one Jane takes you through the entire process of making a wool felt, journal sized quilt. She shows you how to sketch out a pattern, choose your materials, cut them, glue them, stitch them, and assemble them. She talks about her materials along the way, her design process and the "why" of the "what" she is making. She truly makes the creation of art look simple and - yes YOU CAN do it! 

Gotta say, it's making me want to make a wool felt quilt. No fraying edges to worry about - not that I actually worry about my fraying edges. I do think about whether I want them there or not and what they add to the design of the piece.

In chapter two you get to follow the creation of a painted quilt from the design process through to the finished piece. She works from a photo of her cute little kitty cat and shows you how to block out shapes and create a pattern. If you thought you needed to know how to draw before you could make a piece like this you are mistaken. Again - she shows you how easy it is.

The other techniques covered on the DVD include raw edge fabric collage, applying embellishments to your quilt, adding words, journaling for inspiration, stamping, and composition. I love the gallery section where she shows you an artwork she's made and explains the details and inspirations.

So - if you are an aspiring quilt artist - I really think you would love to own this DVD! As I mentioned, Jane is a great teacher and she generously shares a plethora of techniques and inspiration. Yup. Two thumbs up from me.

So - do you like to work small? Why? What are the advantages? Leave a comment here letting me know. You can also leave comments in the last two spotlights on Jane here, or here, and you will have a chance to win a copy of Jane's DVD. On Monday morning (early EST) I'll add up all the comments from the three spotlights and throw the total into a random number generator then announce the winner. I wish you luck! Happy creating!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Student Spotlight: Stephanie from Paducah

I always get so excited to see students happy with what they have learned in class! One of my Paducah students, Stephanie from Maryland, finished her painted/printed/beaded journal and blogged it. Pop on over and tell her how wonderful it looks!

Stephanies Journal cover from the class
Surface Design Sampler Platter
stamp carving, stenciling, screen printing, foiling, photo-transfer, beading
all in one crazy fun class!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Artist Spotlight part 2:Jane LaFazio - teaching

You all know how much I love teaching! I think that's another reason I love Jane LaFazio - she is a fantastic teacher - someone who willingly and generously shares her creativity and the joy of art! Here is part two of my interview with this lovely artist. 

Lyric: What do you gain as an artist by teaching?
Jane: On a concrete level, it keeps me making art. I’m always creating artwork to learn the process so I can then teach it to my students. I get great ideas and inspiration from what my students create, based on the so called assignment or technique I’ve shown them. And, teaching suits me. I enjoy it very much, I love to get people sharing stories and art with each other, I love to laugh, and make people laugh, I love seeing individuals access their own creativity, and I love sharing and encouraging the process of art making.

L: Tell me about the work you do a Mundo Lindo.

J: I created Mundo Lindo, a free afterschool art program for 4th and 5th grade kids in low income Escondido in 2007. It was funded by a grant for the first two years, and now the center, where the classes were held, has hired me to continue the program. For 2 hours each week, I teach about 20 kids an art project. We've painted palm husks to look like African masks, created papier mache sail boats, drawn and collage Trees of Life, woven watercolor landscapes, made Haiti House pins sell and donated the money to UNICEF for Haiti, sewn small quilts for the Dream Rocket project... wonderful fun projects that I think up each week. The arts programs in schools are nearly non existent, and I'm thrilled to be able to give these kids some creative time each week.

L: Tell me about some of the upcoming workshops you'll be doing, and where we can find out about them. 

J: My workshop page on my blog is always updated, and tells me I have a very busy summer ahead! In July, I’m teaching for the first time at Idllywild Summer Arts program, it’s a beautiful mountain community about two and half hours from LA and San Diego. I’m teaching a two day mixed media workshop on July 4 & 5 and a wet-felting workshop July 6. I'll also be teaching at the Long Beach Quilt Festival.
Another new venue for me is a Utah retreat, July 15-18. Limited to 8 students, and I’ll teach 6 hours or so each day. Should be very fun!

WHERE: Huntsville, Utah
WHEN: Thursday, July 15 – Sunday, July 19, 2010

So - do you love what Jane does as much as I do? Leave a comment and tell us about what you think makes a really great teacher. Have you had any fantastic experiences during a class? What was it about that teacher that really opened things up for you? Remember to leave a comment here or here to be entered to win a copy of her DVD (which I'll review next week).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Color Relationships - David Briggs

David Briggs teaches at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney Australia. He has put together an amazing site that helps painters and digital artists understand color in a very technical and thorough way. I've read through most of his stuff and if you are a student of color I encourage you to do so as well.

His explanations are very technical. I find them fascinating.

Figure 10.1. Colour relationships for a red ball on a white table.  Specular reflection on tabletop and sphere both move along lines of uniform saturation between light and dark (Principle 1). Dotted lines shows table and ball maintaining the same ratio of relative brightness in light and shadow (Principle 2). Sphere painted in Photoshop CS2.

Figure 7.4 Hand-painted colour circles from the 1708 edition  of Traite de la Peinture in Mignature, attributed to Claude Boutet, including the oldest example of the symmetrical 12-hue artists colour wheel (right). Picture Credit: Kuehni (2003)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Article: Durham's Herald Sun Newspaper

There is a very nice review of ARTQUILTSillumiations in
 Durham, North Carolina's paper on May 14th.

I was surprised to see my quilt, Soar III featured.

Local artists Jana Lankford and Jenny Williams were also interviewed and quoted.
They were two of the instrumental women, along with Ann Flaherty, that made this exhibit happen. Great job ladies!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

ARTQUILTSilluminations review


The 8th Annual PAQA-South International Juried Quilt Exhibition
at the Durham Arts Council
Allenton & Semans Galleries
March 26 – June 7, 2010

Curated by

Works by:
Pamela Allen

Wen Redmond
Jenny Williams/Jennifer Fouke
Laura Gaskin
Lynne Harrill
Christine Predd
Marcia DeCamp
Barbara Watler
Eileen Williams
Lyric Kinard
Cathy Kleeman
Sherry Kleinman
Gerrie Congdon
Kathleen Loomis

Denny Webster

Diane Wright
Nancy Lassiter
Debbie Langsam
Beth Carney
Janet Windsor
Gloria Hansen
Paula Swett/Cathy Stechschulte
Ann Flaherty
Jana Lankford
Sally Wright
Jeanelle McCall
Jeanette Thompson
Hsin-Chen Lin
Diane English

My personal favorites include:

Best of Show
Red Bioluminescence
by Barbara Watler
An almost monochromatic color scheme yet the value contrast makes it luminous. Those hand worked zig-zag stitches are amazing in their frenetic motion - almost shivering in your field of vision.

Sunset Composition
Gerrie Congdon
Simplicity of composition. A complementary color scheme yet no screaming loud brightness. The contrast of hand stitches next to solid machine lines.

Sticks and Stones
by Diane Wright
The beauty of the work is the the details. I love the repetition of the the stone shapes in the cloth, in the machine stitched line, in the hand worked knots. All of them work together to lead the eye on a journey as the texture draws you in.

Blinded by the Light
by Beth Carney
Line, both broken and continuous holds all of my fascination here. The dense stitching flattens out the texture of the artwork but brings a continuous vertical feeling to a rhythmically irregular piece. That and I tend to love subdued color scheme.

For Your Inspiration: Jellyfish

I am fascinated by this life form.

wire sculpture


jellyfish bustle belt

Glass Model, Leopola Blaschka (1822-1895) 

Jellyfish Queen

I could keep going and going and going and going.
What enchanting creatures!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Artist Spotlight part 1: Jane LaFazio

Hello Friends. I'd like to introduce you to another artist whose work I admire and enjoy. I think you will come to love her artwork as well.

Jane LaFazio is a mixed-media artist working in San Diego California. She has degrees in Graphic Design and Asian Studies, worked for a bit as an international flight attendant, in marketing, and in graphic design. Her career as a full time artist began in watercolors and gradually morphed into collage, sewing, and cloth. I'm very glad it did. Her work with thread and fiber is fascinating, rich, and deep. I was so happy that she took the time out of her very busy schedule this month to answer some interview questions.

Lyric: You are a prolific artmaker - something I hope to become when my children are no longer consume most of my time. (years and years away!) Have you always been prolific?

Jane: I’ve been blessed with a lot of natural energy, and now I’m focusing it on making art. I LOVE making art. As I mentioned, I create a lot of artwork for my workshops and classes, and that act pushes me to finish a project, and work out the problems, rather than just walk away from it. If I’m scheduled to teach something the next day, I’d better figure it out!

L: Do you have to work to discipline yourself to create art?

J: No, I need the discipline for the household chores, not the art making! I have a wonderful, supportive husband who cooks, shops and even does the laundry. Yes, I appreciate him VERY much!

L: Do you have any great habits that help you produce?

J: I work small. I like to work small, but it also makes it easier to do many different projects or types of art. And I almost always have some project that I work on in the evenings, watching TV with my husband.

L: I love working small as well. You can always have something with you no matter where you are. You work in a broad range of media and a variety of styles. Do you think this is an advantage, a disadvantage?

J: Seen in the light of “professional artist” probably a disadvantage. What did Kelli Nina Perkins call herself, a “promiscuous art maker.” That would be me. I love all kinds of art, so I’m always switching media and beginning a new passion, for about a week, then I’m on to something else! My sketching and watercolor: journal style has stayed true and consistent for a number of years now. In the past year, I’ve begun creating heavily hand stitched needle-felted pieces that I intend to stay with—I love the work that’s coming out of me and want it to become some of my signature work. But I’ll still see something in a magazine or on line, and rush to my studio to create something I’ve never tried before. I do LOVE a new technique!

L: What inspires your work? Do you work from realistic sketches and try to reproduce them? Are you inspired by your materials?

J: I get inspiration from everywhere. Online, magazines, walks, museum visits, art fairs, shopping… I don’t plan any of my work. No sketches to work out the kinks for me! I just dive in. that’s where working small works for me. I’ll often create a number of small pieces, then assemble them into something larger. But always, with no real plan. I work intuitively, by starting with a material or a color usually. 

Ralph’s Letters, my ‘breakthrough’ piece was created using love letters from an old boyfriend, and I just began a page at a time. (Breakthrough because it was my largest piece to date, and got in many juried show AND was my first piece published in Cloth Paper Scissors, thanks to Lesley Riley.)

Ralph's Letters

L: What are your favorite materials?

J: Needle and thread. I started as a watercolor artist, and as I moved into collaging my watercolor paintings, I started sewing on the paper. Now I also sew on fabric.

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Jane and her work a little better. She is a prolific blogger and I encourage you to head over and browse through her work. It's complex and rich and beautiful. Next week I'll tell you about some of the amazing work she does in teaching and sharing her creativity. At the end of the month I'll be giving away a copy of her DVD workshop "Small Art Quilts" to a lucky reader. The winner will be chosen from among the comments left on any one of the artist spotlight posts about Jane - including this one. How about telling me your favorite "creative habit." Tell me something that helps you get the work done. (Yes, I am struggling with that particular issue right now. Can you tell?)