A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood **New Work

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood_JPaineDawes

Its been awhile since I had something new to show my readers. My small A4 challenge group’s theme was Monochromatic. It is never as easy to do as it sounds!  I chose to use a piece I stitched from rust dyed fabrics.
I know, I used blue thread for my hand stitching so it technically isn’t monochromatic but I plead artistic license!

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood_JPaineDawes

Let your Freak Flag Fly!

April’s Arts in the Cards inspiration is Fly Away.  With spring here, the garden centers are all flying those brightly colored plastic pennants that dance in the wind to draw attention to their new planting stock. Those, and bright clear spring colors were my inspiration for this month’s trading cards.

J Paine Dawes  artist trading cards

Can we Talk?

There are a few things happening lately that inspired my point of view for this  conversation. On some of the online forums I belong to there has been lament after lament from teachers who are having classes cancelled due to low enrollment. I don’t usually teach so I don’t have a dog in the hunt and I rarely take quilting type classes or workshops.  But I am an artist and I can add my take on this since I would only be interested in a workshop that would help me grow artistically, not stitch up a tote bag.

Many reasons given are over saturation, unskilled teachers, shops and guilds unwilling to pay the going rate,  the economy, the modern quilt movement,  online class availability although some say those are suffering too.  And maybe thrown in is the possibility that students are just plain tired of  making  tote bags and placemats.

The last thing that happened that made my fingers itch to write this down  was clearing out older books and magazines for the thrift shop. I can tell you I have been hard pressed to part with some of the best. Right up there at the top are the 9 year old Quilting Arts magazines when Pokey was still at the helm. Those magazine articles really pushed the envelope and defined art quilting….or the art of quilting to  be seen as fine art. There was no concentration on thinking that every Jane and Mary Sue could follow the bouncing ball and create true art.  They weren’t How-To project magazines.  They were process, inspiration and technique magazines.The best of the best in the industry wrote articles, defined terminology and made you want to see more. A tiny portion of the readers turned into some of the best themselves because of their hunger to understand this way of turning needle arts  into an art form.

And then I think many of the top name teachers sort of got the Quilting Queen Bee syndrome and stopped growing and making not only their classes but their work exciting and inspirational. Who wants to take a workshop from someone who is so full of their own self importance that they don’t notice their students? After all, aren’t the students the bottom line most important part of the equation? Successful students equate to successful teachers, hands down.

Successful artists take workshops and never stop learning and exploring their chosen field. Crafters simply move along to the next big thing  that they can find the supplies at the local craft store to make.


On the Beach

We spent 2 cold, damp months on the gulf coast in Alabama.  We had about 4 days warm enough to even sit outside and spend time on the beach. One of those days was Valentines Day that was full of warm sunshine and kisses.  Jimmy Buffet…yes, that one…has a sister named Lucy. She has a fun restaurant complex called LuLu’s  on the river with a private beach. Each Valentines Day there is a vow renewal complete with cake and champagne. What better way to spend the day with my sweetie? There are photos on the website of some of the 320 couples, if you go to the album marked Vow Renewal 2015…we’re on the 3rd page.

Kisses on the beach are the best!
Kisses on the beach are the best!

Charitable Donation Piece

 This is small, 9 x 11. Made for a request from our local hospital  for a silent auction donation at a fund raising function for the Mruk Center.

The inspiration for the piece was a photo by a local professional photographer, Kevin Pieper . I asked for permission  and it was graciously granted to use his image this way. Please don’t ever use someone else’s photography without getting written permission. Kevin is an artist and his images of the Ozarks are amazing.