I love getting out during the summer to photograph nature, especially butterflies, birds, and landscapes. I keep meaning to post more images, instead I’m out shooting! Here are a few favorites.
I’m very happy to have three small works included in this show, especially considering how few shows I’ve entered this year. All works are for sale, and two were made specifically for the show — Butterfly I, and Butterfly II. If they don’t sell at the show, I am going to offer them for sale through my website.
Here is one of the two Butterflies. Each are float-mounted on 8×10 watercolor paper and framed in a shadow box. You can see more images from the show here.
This summer has been glorious, and I have been out every weekend exploring different parks, especially in the Pine Barrens region in Burlington and Atlantic Counties. We’ve also gone to various reserves in Cape May County. I have taken hundreds massive amounts of photos, including landscapes, birds, trees, salt marshes. However, I still look for butterflies. While I didn’t get any butterfly pictures in June, the later part of July was better, and August thus far seems great. I will post more pictures from various parks, but thought I’d share some butterflies from yesterday in a nearby park.
While in Historic Smithville (in Burlington County, rather than Atlantic County), Rich spotted a red-tailed hawk. I initially thought I saw a rabbit or squirrel. Then, as I got closer with camera in hand, I realized it was a hawk with a squirrel! His outspread feathers were absolutely glorious!
As I got closer, it flew off with the squirrel! It landed in a field nearby. Rich told me I could approach it because it had its prey and would protect it. Normally, when I try to photograph a red-tailed hawk, it flies the moment I approach it (and I approach slowly and quietly). However, this guy did not move!
He watched me, with his head twisting more and more backwards (think Linda Blair in The Exorcist) to follow my every move.
As I slowly got closer to him, he continued watching me.
He looks quite displeased with me, like he’s going to attack me at any moment if I don’t leave him alone. My camera is not a force-field, so after taking a lot of photos, I left him.
Linda Seward’s new book is out, and I’m so honored to be included in it! That being said, I wondered how she was going to cover the vast topic in her 255 8.5 x 11″ full cover book. I’m happy to say that she did an exceptional job with it. The book is divided into 8 chapters — Art Quilts, an introduction; The Basics and Beyond; Surface Design; Patchwork; Applique; Quilting: Embellishments & 3D; and Finishing. Within each chapter is a wealth of information crammed in, yet clearly explained. There are over 1,000 step-by-step illustrations in the book along with gorgeous photos of quilts to inspire.
My piece, “Fashion Lines” is included in the Surface Design chapter (page 99; that’s it above on the right).
This chapter provides the essential steps on a wide variety of topics such as dyeing, immersion dyes, direction application dyeing, natural dyeing, indigo-dyed shibori, applying paints & inks, dyes & alternatives, stamping, painting, stenciling, screen printing, monoprinting, discharging, foiling, batik, water-soluble resists, acid etching, marbling, rusting, snow dyeing, cyanotype, image transfer, image transfer ideas, heat distressing, and more! I know she was through in her research because she contacted me several times relating to my small contribution to make sure everything was as accurate as possible. If she did that with me, I believe she did it throughout her book.
Steps are clearly-illustrated. You get a good overview of a process and enough information to experiment. Based on your skill level, you can either do what you envision and move on or you may find that you’re so inspired that you want to dive deeper and learn more about a particular technique. I’m so impressed with this book that I find myself periodically picking it up, jumping to a particular area, and thinking, “Oh, that looks interesting. I want to try that!”
Information truly meets inspiration in this must-have book for anyone with any interest in creating an “art” quilt. It retails for $24.95, but you can get it from Amazon for less.
There is currently a series of butterfly-inspired exhibits going on at the Texas Quilt Museum. The exhibits are housed in two of their galleries, and the show has been going on since the beginning of April and will run through the end of this month. As part of the show, the Museum released its first ever exhibition catalog featuring all three exhibits. I was very honored to get an invitation from Sandra Sider, Curator, to exhibit my quilt, “Monarch: About to Fly,” which is part of the “Invitational: A Flutter of Butterfly Quilts” exhibit.
The catalog from the exhibit is available for purchase from the Texas Quilt Museum’s website, where you can also find more information about the show.
This wonderful video was posted today, and I just had to share it! “Thirty years ago Macintosh promised to put technology in the hands of the people. To celebrate Mac’s birthday, this film was shot around the world in one day, entirely on iPhone. Here’s to the next thirty.”
And put technology into the hands of people it did! Wow!
It is hard to believe that today marks the 30th birthday of Apple’s Macintosh computer! Wow! 1984. 1984 — I was newly into quilt making (still hand piecing!), almost three years married, and I just started attending college at night while working during the day. I was listening to music like “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen, and songs by Prince, Billy Idol, Thompson Twins, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, and newcomer Madonna. By way of movies, there was Ghostbusters, Star Trek III, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and, funny enough, Revenge of the Nerds.
Thirty years explains the older models that have piled up in the basement, including an SE in the original zippered canvas case. I keep trying to clean out some of the stuff, but I just can’t bring myself to toss anything with an Apple on it, such as the many rolled-up posters in closets and under my bed from various MacWorld launching events, the boxes of software, floppy disks, and manuals, and the like. And let me not get started on the years I worked part-time educating people on the original iMac (that was me working in Datavision on Fifth Avenue in NYC introducing the original Bondi Blue iMac when it was released August 15, 1998).
The MacMotherShip website has a collection of vintage Macintosh ads. I’ve kept some that I’ve torn out of Newsweek magazines. However, my collection is way far from complete!
Here is Steve Jobs introducing the first Macintosh.
While this commercial certainly isn’t 30 years old, the Think Different campaign was my favorite. In this video, Steve Jobs is narrating the ad. In the end, Apple used Richard Dreyfus’ voice because Jobs didn’t want people to relate the ad to him. Of course in the end, he’s all I can think about when I see it.
The Macintosh absolutely changed my life, to which to say Happy Birthday and thank you!
I’ve been getting emails asking where I’ve been. I’ve been here! I took a break from blogging for what I thought would be a couple weeks and that magically turned into a couple months.
In any event, I thought I’d share information on a couple online classes that I took last year through Coursera. If you’re not heard of it, Coursera offers a huge selection of MOCCs — or massive open online courses. It’s an incredible opportunity to take classes from over 80 top universities and organizations.
The first class I took was through The Pennsylvania State University (what I refer to as Penn State) called Introduction to Art: Concepts & Techniques. Although it was designed for individuals without any artistic background, I found it very interesting and believe anyone with any interest at all in art will enjoy. The seven week class covered art elements and techniques, fantasy, correspondence with memory (yes, mail art), stories through the lens (black and white portraiture), inside the space (installation and 3D art), personal collections, and the artist critique. Anna Divinsky taught the class, and she was excellent. Each class contained reading material and a series of online videos. Also, there’s a Coursera app which makes viewing the videos on an iPad great.
The second class which I finished in November was also through Penn State. The 8 week class, Creativity, Innovation, and Change, was taught by three instructors: Jack V. Matson, Darrell Velegol, and Kathryn W. Jablokow. The class was so very eye-opening. One of the most fun concepts taught was something called “intelligent fast failure” and dealt with embracing failures because they eventually result in success. The success of one exercise was based on the number of failures, which was liberating! Because the goal was to try over and over to come up with a large number of failures before you decided when to stop, I tried all types of things just to get my number higher. But then I got into it, with me thinking, “but what if I try this, and that, and this, and so on.” As a result, I came up with something that was much better than I suspect I would have had I not been required to come up with a number of failures!
Another aha moment for me was understanding the different approaches to creative problem solving and where one falls on the creative diversity scale. After taking some tests, I learned I’m more methodical than shotgun in my approach. No one approach or place on the scale is the correct one. Rather, understanding how you work and recognizing how others work allows one to adjust how tasks are done to bring out the best of each in the creative team. I’ve already been able to apply this in my professional life.
Topics included idea generation, idea evaluation, creative collaboration, research, metrics, experimentation, and synthesis of creativity, innovation, and change.
I’m one of those people who enjoy getting some kind of proof of completion when I finish a class, and I’m glad that both offered a certification (not all classes do). Such incentive tends to motivate me and keep me on track, which is especially important considering it’s a free online class. Each class had over 100,000 students — yes, that many — from all over the world. Grading is done through weekly tests and, depending on whether you’re trying for an “Explorer” or “Adventurer” Certificate, can include participation in peer forums. It was often enlightening to read the forums, both in how people from different areas of the world approach solving problems and interact. For example, in one instance, a student created a beautiful final solution to an assignment that required one sheet of paper. Looking at it, it was clear she used many sheets. Even so, being it was a creativity class, I (and some others) gave her credit for creating something that was very good. Others weren’t as kind, some slamming her for using more materials than stated in the instructions and saying things like she “cheated.” She apologized, stating the country she is from, that English isn’t her first language, and that she interpreted the meaning of the assignment incorrectly. She was so ashamed and suggested she drop out. Even more then came to her defense. It seemed such a slice of life!
As with any class, you only get out what you put in. I did start a public speaking class that was excellent. However, there was so much work involved, and the videos were very long. After several weeks, and knowing there was no certificate award upon completion, I goofed off and didn’t yet complete the class. Luckily, once you enroll, you have access to the class and can complete it whenever you’d like (although you don’t earn a certification for it; that is, unless you un-enroll, re-enroll, and start from the beginning). You also have access to any class you completed so that you can revisit lessons. It’s a win, win.
If you’re looking to study something new this year, I wholeheartedly recommend visiting Coursera and checking out their mind-boggling class offering (iTunes is another excellent resource of MOCCs). I’m scheduled for two more classes this year. Anyone else?
The incredible animation is by Richard Swarbrick, and the original video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYPggg…