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A lot of catching up to do……

Hello out there in blogland!  I’m finally emerging from my year-long cocoon imposed by grief, mourning, renewal and reinvention.  I’m relieved and happy to report that I’ve survived the sudden and heartbreaking loss of my dear partner/housemate/friend/lover last February (2013) and am forging a “Life After Gil” for myself.  I am forever indebted to the crew of friends and family – far and wide, old and new – who have unfailingly offered their support and helpful advice, not to mention their patience and loving care to me as I slogged through new terrain. 

During mourning and grief and trying to fill the huge vacuum left in my home, as well as endless hours in every day that were formerly taken up by a gratifying and loving relationship – some of the best times of my life, certainly the most contented – I found working in the studio to be my release and my my savior.

I worked unintentionally, talking to myself, talking to Gil, talking to the universe and trying to listen to its reply.  I returned to the fiber and quilting exercises that have always provided a sense of personal satisfaction – cutting, piecing, stitching, quilting.  I was not in a colorful mood.  I began to piece together backgrounds composed of various natural cotton cloth:  gauze, muslin, canvas, Osnaburg, anything off white or natural I found in my stash.  It came together nicely.  I quilted it with natural (ecru) size 12 cotton thread, straight stitch echo quilting done by free motion – lots of it and in a somewhat random textural technique.  By the time that was finished, I had decided I needed to devise something out of black Kona cotton, which I fused and cut into the long skinny strips that allowed me to arrange them on the neutral quilted background.  Arches reminiscent of oriental temples emerged.  I named the piece ‘PASSAGES’ and framed it with quilted black on two sides.  Here is the result.

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I quite liked this new style I’d invented for myself which reminded me of Chinese brush work or calligraphy.  

This one is named, aptly, COMING AROUND.  

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Coincidentally, after these pieces were completed, a Chinese Calligraphy class was offered in my area and I have begun to paint with brushes and sumo ink on rice paper.  Pure ecstasy!  I will be posting more about this in the future. and I will be showing more work and talking about the artist community I’ve discovered in my own backyard and how it has changed me and expanded my artistic horizons   AND, I have more new work to unveil!

Thanks for looking!  Your comments always noted and appreciated.    

 

 

Posted in NEW WORK!, observations and discoveries.


Accidental Artist – article in Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine

I was invited to be the featured artist in the current (January/February 2013) issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine.  They did a FABULOUS almost six page spread of  retrospective photos of my work and autobiographical text about how I became an art quilter quite by ‘accident.’  The staff at MQU was great to work with, couldn’t have had a better introduction to the world of publishing.  I wish them good luck with their new intriguing endeavor in the world of quilt publishing, Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine.

Posted in BREAKING NEWS!, my work PUBLISHED!!!!!.


FINALLY! my new WEBSITE! and ETSY, too!

I’ve done it!  Well, not alone and I’m not sure I should be so proud as this has been in the works for WAY too long (as in years!).  With the help of TALENTED, PATIENT and KIND good friend DEIRDRE ABBOTTS, my new website is UP!  www.deborahbein.com

Take a look and then leave your comments back here on my blog.  Or email me from there on the CONNECT page.  Possibilities are endless….

And, as if that isn’t enough new news from me, I’ve also just opened a SHOP on ETSY!  ArtZyQuiltZy  is the name of my shop.  I’ve made some really neat QUILTED earrings, some with beads, some not…yes, REALLY TINY REAL QUILTS for your ears!  I’ve also made some affordable, ready to hang COLLAGE works, too.

So, please take a look at my new presence on the web….TWO of them!

 

 

Posted in BREAKING NEWS!, see it at my ETSY shop, see it on my website.


catching up after a lengthy hiatus…

…during which I was VERY BUSY, completing three works for the Quilt National submission in mid-September.  Results were announced two weeks ago and, alas, none of my works was accepted this year.  This is my third attempt in six years, and this time I started thinking about my submissions WHILE I was viewing the last show – a private biennial juried exhibit, Quilt National is held at the Dairy Barn Art Center in Athens, Ohio, and represents the state of the art quilt.  So, I had invested a lot of time and energy with the goal of GETTING IN THIS YEAR!

After my three pieces were finished and I awaited my professional photo shoot, I took a personal inventory and declared that what I had done was outside my usual operating procedure, I’d never invested this highly in any show or an one event.  I decided I would not do a repeat performance.  If I got in, or if I didn’t, I would never again submit to this venue.  I think that, primarily, right now, my reason is that I want to step outside the insular world of ‘art quilts’ and start to concentrate on getting exposure for my work in the general art world.

I’ve spent the last few weeks licking my chops, analyzing which new direction to take with my work (or not), looking, thinking, meditating and letting things fall naturally in place, just generally getting ready to jump right back on that horse, as my dear Nana, Grace Hall, would have told me were she still here.  The horse MAY be of a different color, not sure yet.  I know I am working on a project that is way outside my usual style, and it is an assemblage (new to me, as well) and that I’m starting to collect odd and ends of vintage textiles that I’ve always coveted but have not previously incorporated into my art.  So…with that….I’ll say a few things about my works that didn’t make the cut this year at Quilt National.

I’m passionate about putting an end to hydro-fracking.  I made a small piece two years ago, probably posted herein, here is another:

NO FRACKING WAY.  Measures almost five feet in each direction.  Cotton, silk, cotton canvas.

Statement:  Big-money’s latest assault on our natural resources – the water supply of millions of our citizens and our tranquil bucolic landscape.  BAN hydroFRACKING NOW!  

 

I’m also passionate about the way our elected officials in Washington have conducted themselves these past almost four years – in a word, DISGRACEFUL!

SHABBY POLITICAL CHIC, 50″ H x 84″ W.  Commercial cotton, cotton diaper, tarlatan, flannel, canvas, ink.

Statement:  Our honorable democratic ideals – torn, tarnished and trampled by a partisan Congress.

And my personal favorite:  REMNANTS, 20″ H x 37″ W.  Commercial cotton scraps, upholstery remnant, discarded jeans, monk’s cloth, antique found walking stick.

Statement:  Ethics, morality and the American way in shreds – remnants of our past glory.

This work felt like it made itself, from remnants and leftovers in my studio after the making of SHABBY POLITICAL CHIC (above).

and a close-up of REMNANTS -

Photo credits belong to Andy Wainwright.

Final word:  No real regrets, I think this work is artistically strong and I derived a huge amount of personal satisfaction from expressing my disgust at current political events.  I always feel good when I can tear after my usual schtick of cutting and fusing, and it felt good to revert to some long-neglected hand embroidery techniques.  I totally understand the ‘crap shoot’ arena of national exhibits and have not previously let declinations get the better of me; in the future I will plan more judiciously and not let the project or event overtake me.  Famous last words…..

 

 

 

 

Posted in BREAKING NEWS!, finished work...TA-DA!, observations and discoveries.


Going to Lowell after all…..

A few weeks ago I made a piece that I thought might be worthy of submission to the “MATERIAL VOICES : An Exhibition of Small Art Quilts,” at the Gray Cat Studio.  The show is curated by Sylvia Einstein and managed by Karen Betancourt, who I always enjoy chatting with when I see her in Lowell.  So, I am very happy to report that my newest work, FLARE, will be in Lowell from August 4 through August 26, and I’ll be in Lowell for two days in August to enjoy the festival and attend the opening of “MATERIAL VOICES” from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 11.

Here is FLARE, it measures 16″ x 16″ and features artist cotton discharge-dyed cloth, the artist being me….

Thanks for looking!

Posted in BREAKING NEWS!, EXHIBITS, NEW WORK!.