Horizon Lines, Part 2

June 25, 2011

Here are a few more pieces from the Horizon Lines show at Prairie Winds Art Center:

Looking East: Highway 2 near Nebraska City

Moon Glow #2

Storm Across the Valley

"The Moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas..."

These pieces and the rest of the show will be coming down on this Wednesday, June 29. If you are in the area and haven’t stopped by the gallery yet, please do! The Minden Opera House show will remain up until July 15.


Horizon Lines

June 12, 2011

Having two solo shows running at the same time can be both draining and exhilarating. On the first of June, I opened the “Horizon Lines” show at two different venues: Prairie Winds Art Center (my “home base” gallery), 112 W. 3rd St in Grand Island, Nebraska, and at the Minden Opera House, 322 E. 5th St. in Minden, Nebraska — about 75 miles west of Grand Island. The Grand Island show will hang through June 29; the Minden show is up through July 15. There is still plenty of time to see both shows, but for those of you who are too far away here are a couple of photos from those shows:

"Dawn: Lincoln Skyline from Capitol Beach"


"There is something haunting in the light of the Moon...."



A Thread Runs Through It

July 19, 2010

Getting things to pull together for a new show can be a challenge, especially when I have two shows opening within weeks of each other. The first show, A Thread Runs Through It, is a joint show with glass artist Peg Watkins (Omaha, NE) and fiber artist (and, I am proud to say, sister) Susan Kennedy (Sugarland, TX) that will run the month of September at Prairie Winds Art Center (http://www.prairiewindsart.com) in Grand Island, NE.  Our opening reception is Friday, Sept. 3, from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at 112 W. 3rd St. in Grand Island. I am working on a diverse group of artworks, but there is a thread that will connect them all. I think that I will have a little contest to see who can figure out what the connections are, with a prize of a small piece of art.  Here are pieces two and four in the series:

Seven Sisters

Sandhills Star Party

The third piece, a small wall quilt titled “Spiral Galaxy” is not quite completed.  Can you find the thread that connects them together?

Giving Cancer The Boot

April 19, 2010

Every June, somewhere in the mighty state of Nebraska, the Cattlemen’s Ball is held.  A fundraiser for the Eppley Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, this has become a premier fundraising event and all around good time for all involved.  This year’s Ball is being held in rural Kearney,  with country singer Randy Travis as the main attraction.  As one part of the fundraising aspect, 3′ tall cowboy boots are purchased by local businesses and individuals, decorated, and then placed on display.  The people in attendance at the Ball vote on their favorite boot; the top three are auctioned off and the rest go back to the business that sponsored it.

I have the privilege of being one of the artists working on a boot for this year’s event. My boot was purchased by a crop insurance agency, and their request was for a landscape with cornfields.  While applying fabric to the boot was no where near as easy as I had thought, after several fits and starts I got an end product that I think it worthy.  Not sure it will be one of the top three, but I can guarantee that there won’t be another one like it!

Just a couple more photos….

January 22, 2010

Echoes of Thunder

Summertime Serenade

Sunrise: Platte River Bluffs

Here are three more images from the Governor’s Residence show.  All made with hand painted and hand dyed fabrics, framed in black wood frames with fabric-wrapped double mats. All for sale, also!

Governor’s Residence Show is up and running!

January 22, 2010

After weeks of sewing, matting, and framing,  DH and I finally got my solo show hung at the Nebraska Governor’s Residence this last Tuesday, Jan. 20.  The show will hang until the afternoon of Feb. 19.  The Residence is located at 1425 H Street in Lincoln, Nebraska, and is open for public tours from 1 to 4 PM on Thursdays only, so viewing opportunities are limited.  Groups of 10 or more  are asked to make reservations by calling the Residence Director at (4o2) 471-3466. It’s a really great show, and I hope some of you will have the opportunity to see it. For those unable to travel there, here are my two favorites from the show:

Looking Southeast at Mile Marker 348

hand painted and hand dyed fabrics, mounted in a black wood frame with fabric-wrapped mats

Sandhills Star Party

hand painted and hand dyed fabrics, mounted in a black wood frame with fabric-wrapped mats

Public Enemy #1??

August 9, 2009

Wild Turkey Flock
I picked wild grapes this morning,  and thus am certain that I have gained the status of Public Enemy #1 in the eyes of our resident wild turkey flock. Mind you, I only picked the ones that were on vines growing up into the trees, and not the ones down low enough for the turkeys to eat, but I don’t think they comprehended that fine point. And of course picking the ones high in the trees really upset the local catbird, who “mewed” at me the entire time I was picking. Probably the only one happy with the situation was the young elm that was being strangled by the vines growing into it, as I pulled them out and cut them off in order to get at the grapes. A lot of work for what will make only 8 pints of grape jelly, but there are more grapes to pick once they have ripened. And I will once more do a gleaning at the local vineyard once their harvest is over, to get the different varieties of grapes. All of the ones that I have tried make wonderful jelly, and the jelly makes great gifts. Probably won’t make as much as I did last year (I lost count after the 500th jar), since the tasting room at the vineyard has closed there is no market there. And finally (after how many years?) it occurs to me to just can the juice for now and make the jelly this winter when my time is not as full and the extra heat in the kitchen will be welcome.

Close One Door, Open Several Others

August 5, 2009

What a see-saw several weeks it has been. Bill and I started out for Winter Park, Colorado on July 23, heading to the Alpine Art Affair and a chance to spend some time with our two youngest granddaughters. On the eastern edge of the Denver metro area, my much loved Mountaineer started missing and chugging, which warranted a quick exit and phone call to AAA for the closest mechanic. Alas, as luck would have it the mechanics were unable to get the problem to replicate, and as the saying goes, you can’t fix it if you don’t know what’s wrong. (I would recommend Jon’s Repair in the Brighton, CO area to anyone. They put aside their work to try and help a couple of stranded motorists, were honest about not being able to provide a true fix, and altogether left both of us feeling good about people in general.) Having ridden down from Berthoud Pass into Winter Park last year with no engine power (clogged fuel filter that time), we were not keen on the idea of doing that again, so turned the vehicle around and headed back to Nebraska. Major disappointment there! Alpine Art Affair is always a good show for me, and was the only one I had lined up for the year for a variety of reasons. Plus not getting to see the little ones, which was the worst blow of all. But, we made it home safely on the 24th, after spending the evening in Ft. Morgan with friends and then a restless night in a hotel. Still, I wanted to be in Winter Park….

On getting home, there was a letter from the Nebraska Arts Council with the news that I was one of 12 artists from across the state selected to have a solo show at the Governor’s Residence – there was a morale lifter! My show will hang Jan. 20 through Feb. 19, 2010, and I am excited to have the chance to pick my best pieces for display. Not so far away that I have time to get really nervous about the whole deal, but far enough that I can take my time and really plan it out.

After arriving home, I also put out a feeler to the Lincoln Arts Council, hoping that there was a chance I could still get into the Lincoln Arts Festival even though all the deadlines were months ago. Yesterday came the call that they had received a late cancellation, and after looking at my website were willing to offer me the space without need of going through the jury process. Morale booster #2! If you are in Lincoln, NE Sept. 26 or 27, stop on out at the Arts Festival at SouthPointe mall and look me up.

And finally, today upon arriving home after a long day at the gallery, the little magazine put out by the Rural Electric Assoc. in Nebraska was waiting for me, with a great article about my art written by Alan J. Bartels. Alan is a free-lance writer that did an article on me several years ago for one of the rural free magazines (Trade West); I knew he had been working on this article as he came out this spring for some photographs, but did not know when or if the article would be published. It’s a wonderful article, and Alan did his usual marvelous job. I’m going to end up having to hire him for a manager if he keeps managing to get me all this free publicity.

So. What started out to be a rotten end to the summer is turning into a series of new opportunities. Now I just need to capitalize on them. Wish me luck!

Some times it takes a shove…

April 2, 2008

It’s been really hard getting back into a creative frame of mind since my knee replacement last fall – as evidenced by the lack of activity here. First I couldn’t hand sew because all the various muscle relaxers had my hands too shaky to do so, and by the time that effect was gone I just plain wasn’t feeling creative. Not a good thing for an artist. I have tried over and over again to make myself just spend time in the studio creating anything at all to get a jump start. but that negative voice that says “What’s the use?” always puts an end to it. I know that the working artists do just that, but I don’t know how they get to that mental place that allows them the impetus to do so.

But, Monday evening I got the shove that forced me into the studio to create something. An acquaintance from my quilt guild days called with the request for a landscape of Pike’s Peak that she could turn into a small quilt for her daughter – with a deadline of two days or less.  So, off into the the studio I went first thing on Tuesday morning, and by mid-afternoon the landscape was done. Nothing like a little push to make me work. I had a size requirement, very specific design request (Pike’s Peak, two trees on the left side), and an incredibly short deadline, all of which worked to my advantage.   The landscape (pictured below) will be picked up this afternoon, and I will spend this morning cutting mats for some small threadpainted miniature landscapes that I did ages ago, and for some landscapes that have been laid out but not sewn since Ocotber. My hope is that having the mats all cut and ready to go will provide the impetus to actually get them finished.  Some times it really does take a shove to get me moving again.

Pike’s Peak

Making the Best of a Bad Situation

January 6, 2008

One year ago today we were into the 8th day of what would turn out to be 12 straight days without electricity due to a massive ice storm that slammed into Nebraska and Kansas.  For rural residents like us, when you lose electricity, you lose everything – including water. Fortunately, we were able to purchase a small generator on the second day of this outage, so we could have the refrigerator running, a small space heater, and then switch off between a lamp and a small tv or the computer. Those days were hard work for my husband, who hauled in 8 gallons of gas for the generator and 10-12 gallons of water every day so we could wash, flush the toilets, cook, and etc. For sure I am not made of pioneer stock, and my heart goes out to the people on the West Coast who are currently experiencng much the same situation right now. It’s not often that central Nebraska makes the national news, but we certainly did one year ago.

What the national news did not say was that this was actually our second power outage, as we had one that lasted 4 1/2 days leading up to and ending on Christmas morning. We didn’t have the generator at that time, so did our best to keep warm using the oven  and fireplace. We eventually burned every piece of burnable wood on the property, including a lovely section of birch that my father-in-law had brought back from Minnesota years ago. When I picked up that log to put on the fire, something in my head made me stop, look at the bark, and then find my exacto knife so I could peel off as much bark as possible to save for some future use. In the back of my head was a vague idea of using it for a writing surface, trying to make a basket, or something similar.  I just could not let that bark be burned to ash when it was so beautiful.

Eventually, the lights came back on and I found myself in the studio looking at those bark pieces and thinking of what I could use them for. The final result was a series of acrylic paintings of birch trees on birch bark; having done them I am ever so glad that I chose to save that bark. Talk about making the best of a bad situation!

Moonrise Birch
 Moonrise Birch

Sunrise Birch
Sunrise Birch

   Sunset Birch 

Sunset Birch

 Finally, my apologies for the inactivity on this blog the last month and a half.  Recovery from my knee surgery has been long and hard, and sitting at the computer is something that has been extremely difficult for me to do for any length of time.  I believe that I am finally on the downhill side of the recovery, and hope to have entries made more often. Thanks for sticking by me!