Nellie"s Needles

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Yeah! My crinkle quilts have found a gallery. Good Goods is located in Saugatuck, Michigan. It's Lee's and my favorite shop and gallery in this part of the country. Check out their website and you'll see why. There are sculptures and many art pieces here at our cottage and our condo in Tennessee that come from place filled with wonderful art and objects.

Here are the two pieces that are in the gallery:

"Faceted Spectrum" - 34"x34"
Mixed Medium - fiber, paint, oil pastels

The foundation is patchwork pieced with a nod to the traditional "log cabin" quilt pattern.

"Wild By Design" - 21"x 23"
Mixed Medium - fiber, paint, oil pastels

The foundation is patchwork squares of commercial and hand-painted fabrics.

"Crinkle quilting" is a technique I developed. It involves setting wrinkles into the surface fabric. This wrinkled fabric is layered with batting and a flat backing fabric. Hand-quilting between the wrinkles with two-ply strands of cotton floss creates the "crinkled" texture. The threads that frame the piece are the beginning and ends of my stitching lines. Paint and pastels are applied to emphasis, mask, or accent elements within the compostion. An acrylic matt medium is applied as a finish to protect the quilted surface.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

More Sunsets

As I had previously written, I wasn't finished with sunsets. I had fun making two more. Just had to make a "big red ball" one. It is 12"x 8". We've been seeing quite a few of these lately.

"Contrails at Sunset"- 81/2"x16"

I just had to make one that didn't have a big ball of a sun setting into Lake Michigan. Also there are times that we see many contrails from jet traffic. I was inspired to take this direction by a photo taken by my nephew, Peter Durand, when he visited with his family (Diane and Lilli) in August.

Monday, September 12, 2005


A photographer friend, Morley Johnson, forwarded to me a most interesting newsletter. It's posted as "the most comprehensive (free) resource for artists worldwide" and is written twice weekly by Robert Genn. The subject of the one Morley sent is titled "Delicious Cropping". It is suggested that finished work be cropped to find interesting sections within it.

This sparked me to create a small sunset piece inspired by my favorite little section within the large piece, "Big Red at Sunset', that I had made a couple of weeks ago. Each time I looked at the detail shots of it, I really liked the sun at the horizon and the surrounding clouds. Here is the new finished small piece, "Macatawa Sunset". It measures 9"x12":

Here's the mini sunset piece overlaying the larger work (30"x24"). It looks almost seamless even though I did not refer to the larger one while making it.

Mr. Genn states that by cropping a finished piece "an artist can understand more about his or her personal style, mannerisms and "signature." As well as having a compositional diagnostic, you enter the informative world of the "post-creative revised aspect." He goes on to say, "You'll surprise yourself at how delicious some areas are--how you were on top of your form or in control. You might just surprise yourself with hitherto unnoticed spots of beauty, as well as mysterious flashes of energy that you didn't know were there. You'll also discover how a conceived composition is often not as interesting as are some of its isolated parts."

If this piece had not been a present to my son, I would've been sorely tempted to cut it up. As it turns out, it was a joy to create this delightful little piece and I intend to make at least one, or maybe two more.

To read the complete newsletter by Robert Genn go to:

To see some fantasticly "cropped" photo art created by my brother-in-law, Kemper B. Durand go to :

"English Yellow #2" (24"x 24") hangs on our wall in Knoxville.