Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Starting an Art Collection for Yourself

I was asked by INVALUABLE, a commercial business, to share a blog post about collecting art.  This is my opinion, as stated by an artist.  

My area of interest is mixed media art and collage—I utilize paper, fabric, ephemera, paint and pencil in my artwork, along with glue, yarn, fiber and beads.  As stated on the Invaluable website, “Mixed media art combines distinct mediums including painting, sculpture, and drawing in order to create a new composition that eludes straightforward categorization. Multi- or mixed media art can also utilize elements from other arts such as literature, drama, or dance in creating an artwork, or incorporate three-dimensional objects as an assemblage.”

To me this is the most exciting area of creativity since basically anything is possible.  Artists are only limited by their own imagination.  Consequently, I encourage anyone who is interested in purchasing art for their own enjoyment to be open minded and curious about mixed media.  Various styles are encompassed by the “mixed media” category, such as; folk art, collage, assemblage, na├»ve art, art brut, art quilts, handmade books, illustration, abstract art and more. 

When thinking about starting to collect art, it is best to view and appreciate it face to face.  Gallery shows, regional art exhibitions, and museum exhibitions are great ways to encounter art.  Local art guilds/clubs, gallery owners and museum curators may have suggestions for local active artists in your field of interest.  In Michigan, the state supports the Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs which may offer suggestions and referrals to artists.  Museums may provide leads for you too---i.e. Intuit:  the center for intuitive and outsider art in Chicago, or the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Print magazines may provide inspiration and leads---“Raw Vision,” “American Craft,” “Cloth Paper Scissors,” or “Somerset Studio Magazine.”  You can also find art online to collect, as offered by Invaluable.

I strongly encourage new collectors, fresh on the scene, to follow your personal preferences when collecting art.  I encourage you to respond to your gut (and eye) and follow your intuition to purchase art that grabs you, with its’ color, theme, material or technique.  These pieces that comprise your fresh and nascent collection will sustain an enduring enthusiasm and excitement.  Over time, you will be able to reflect upon your aesthetic growth and evolving taste.

Go into collecting with a spirit of curiosity to learn something new and to explore conversing with artists themselves.   An individuals’ story and motivation may also intrigue you while appreciating their artistic talents.  Collecting art begins as a novel adventure where you can fully enjoy the trip!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Detroit News Stitch Together 2016!

I had the most wonderful time at the Detroit News on Wednesday, October 5th for the third "Stitch Together" !!!! Jocelyn Brown HANDMADE was our gracious hostess for the afternoon--what a BLAST!  Sixteen knitters and crocheters got to share projects, ideas, refreshments and fun!  I shared my pattern for an easy knit cap and making "stuff" from recycled/upcycled papers.  Of course, I was in heaven--and we were sitting in the Stevie Wonder room!

Friday, October 7, 2016

DIY Dollhouse!

This project looks like loads of fun!  eco dollhouse part 1

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Jane is Hosting a Contest!

I am so happy to have one of my designs published in the Autumn, 2016, issue of “The Coloring Studio” on page 47!  This magazine always contains numerous delightful coloring pages, as well as pertinent articles for coloring enthusiasts.  In this particular issue there is helpful article on “How to Organize your Coloring Tools” which I sorely need.  Other than page 47, my second favorite coloring page is on page 91, with a whimsical floral playground by Kristen Robinson.  Let me know if you also have personal picks in this issue! Coloring Studio

To celebrate my good fortune I am hosting a giveaway for one FREE copy of the Autumn, 2016, issue!  To enter:  1. Send an email message to janereiter@sbcglobal.net, with “CS Autumn” in the subject line and your name in the message area. 2. One entry per person and this contest is open to U.S. residents only.   3. One name will be selected at random—the winner must provide a mailing address to receive prize.  4.  The winner will also receive a surprise gift from me.  5. Entry deadline is Monday, October 17, 2016, at 11:59PM.

Thank you for participating!  Jane 

Window Display for Day of the Dead

I had great fun yesterday putting up a window display for the Lansing Library, Capital Area District Libraries, at the corner of Kalamazoo & Capitol Avenues. The display is in the exterior window facing east and celebrates DIA DE LOS MUERTOS for the month of October! Please let me know what you think of it.Plus, the other three lobby windows are full of luscious, fabulous handmade lace. The Library is showing off lots and lots of beautiful handwork this month!

Back view of shrine

Mini Prayer Flags

Frida Kahlo brooch

Monday, September 26, 2016

Excellent Quilt Exhibition

I saw a wonderful art exhibit last Friday in Muskegon, MI! The quilts are gorgeous and the colors are fantastic! The show is up until November 6th--I highly recommend it if you have time. Circular Abstractions

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This is a Long, Long Post!

From June 6-10, 2016, I attended a workshop, Abstract Quilts in Solids, taught by Gwen Marston Gwen Marston. The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs Grants partially funded my participation with a Professional Development Minigrant of $900.00.  Madeline Island School of the Arts MISA was the setting of the workshop, located in Wisconsin on Lake Superior.  My art goals for the workshop included the potential for incorporating ideas from my mixed media collage into sewn fabric constructions.  Plus, I had attended a one-day quilt workshop with Gwen in 2014 and loved her teaching style.

The trek to Madeline Island meant driving myself to Marquette, Michigan, on the 4th, continuing on to Madeline Island on the 5th.  MISA hosted a wine and cheese reception in the late Sunday afternoon to meet fellow students and the two resident instructors.  I shared a comfortable suite with one of the writing workshop students, who was delightful.  Classes were held, 9AM-4PM, Monday-Thursday, while we finished up about 3pm on Friday. Then I drove to Marquette and stayed overnight before returning to Lansing on Saturday afternoon.

Gwen graciously shared her extensive knowledge of quilt construction and history, piecing techniques, and Beaver Island human interest stories. Each morning she would demonstrate concepts and processes; such as spikes, stars, inserts, triangles, bindings, log cabins, making bias tape.        She encouraged us (thirteen students) to use solid colors in order to emphasize the fundamental shapes and colors involved.  She provided an extensive collection of her own samples and quilts to illustrate and expand on the instructions. She stressed experimentation, freedom of expression, individual exploration and enjoying your work.  Her liberated style of quiltmaking embraced a lack of patterns and perfection.  I benefited greatly from creating various small fabric pieces as examples of Gwen’s teachings.  The workshop oozed with creativity, inspiration and joy!  

I am incredibly lucky to have participated in Gwen’s workshop—2016 is her final year of teaching before retirement.  This most special experience will provide creative fodder for a long time.   MISA is a gorgeous environment with friendly, helpful staff and beautiful accomodations. I appreciate the gift of the Professional Development Minigrant enabling learning so much at Abstract Quilts in Solids!
Inserted lines
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bias tape and ric rac

Close up view

Pieced and quilted and bound

Detail of stitching

Liberated log cabin


I learned about the Snowball pattern (top row)

Happy Star!

Sort of a Rose?

Oh !??  Gary didn't go to MISA...

Gary loves quilts...

I had a fun tablemate, Maureen!
I also visited the two small cemeteries on the island--wonderful peaceful settings and intriguing stones.  Now I wish my name was Violet...

She's outstanding in her field...