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Create Outside the Box…Guest Blogger – Terri Shinn

August 13, 2017

Level 4 Studies in Stitch and Multi – Media (Turquoise)  Blog 4 in this series.

My inspiration for the last four years has been a study mostly of roots, rocks and the underground.  Trying to challenge myself to see how broad the underground theme could be, I ended up with research which may well lead to many different series.  Experimentation, learning to see, think, and create outside the box has given my work significantly more breadth and depth. Meeting, then bonding with many supportive wonderful people throughout these past eleven years has been a gift of a lifetime.

To see more of Terri’s Underground Art in a past blog click here.  






Learning Has Been a Life Long Habit…Guest Blogger – Isabel Parker

August 5, 2017

Level 4 Studies in Stitch and Multi-media (Turquoise) Blog 3 in this  series.

My formal schooling did not include any art courses so I started at the Gail Harker Centre for Creative Arts with almost no background of knowledge in the subject.  I think I even failed glue that first year!    But Gail is a fabulous teacher and was able to educate, encourage and challenge me to the point that, in spite of myself, I was producing art.   What a revelation!

With the help of Gail’s wonderful assistant, Penny Peters, and the support of my classmates, I have persevered through the last nine years to get here.  It feels amazing to have finally gained my Diploma in Experimental Stitch and Multi-Media.

As the end of my course work approached I realized that I would never actually be finished.  Learning has been a life-long habit for me and I don’t see it being over just because my course work is done.  Gail and Penny have given me the basis upon which to develop my artwork and I look forward to experimenting with further themed studies in stitch. 

Taking these courses over so many years with Gail Harker has been a life changing experience.  If I knew how wonderfully fulfilling it was, I would have signed up years earlier!  If you are considering taking any courses, stop debating and do it.  You will never regret it!   Isabel Parker

Isabel took historical fashion Inspirations for her art theme and particularly enjoyed flowers and patterns. To see more of Isabel’s Research for Art and Design, have a look at one of her earlier blogs  by clicking on this link or place her name in the Search box on the right. Gail




Wild, Wonderful and Full of Connections..Guest Blogger – Dianne Corso

August 1, 2017

Exhibition – Level 4 Studies in Experimental Stitch and Multimedia (Turquoise)

Some months ago, I asked Gail about the themes she saw in my work over the years. One response was a focus on connections. I’ve thought about this comment a good deal while finishing the pieces for this exhibition and concluded, of course, that Gail is correct. Much of my work, in all stages from conception through sampling to completion, is about connections–visual, physical and intellectual. This can be seen in the major pieces shown here. “Sentinel,” the wrapped and coiled copper wire sculpture, depends upon connections for structure as well as for visual impact. It reflects my nearly lifelong interest in Japanese culture and aesthetics, from a minor in Far Eastern Studies through my first really successful piece in this course of study, a fabric and stitch book based on a study of samurai armor. The waxed linen wrapped wire structures  are another example of physical connections necessary to the construction of the pieces also functioning as major decorative elements of the design. The form of the pieces was based on my earliest art making memory, a game I played with my cousins in which we “took a line for a walk,” drawing a squiggly line all over a piece of paper before connecting the line to the beginning point and coloring the resulting spaces in wild and wonderful ways.

Which aptly summarizes my years studying with Gail and my classmates: wild and wonderful and full of connections. To see more of Dianne’s work and blogs  either click on blogs to see and read about Memory Keepers or here to see and read about her love of texture.

Journey of an Artist July 23 – 9:15 a.m. Students Talk about their Artwork

July 22, 2017

Exhibition – Level 4 Studies in Experimental Stitch and Multimedia (Turquoise)

We have been cleaning, hanging and celebrating with a group of 5 students who have been preparing this past week for a major exhibition this weekend. July 22 and 23.  Sunday morning, come join us at 9:15 a.m. as each student will be talking about her artwork.  Do not miss this wonderful experience to hear about the Journey of an Artist. If you miss the talk come and see the show from 11:00 to 4:00 p.m. I will be placing blogs up about each student.  Gail Harker


Before an exhibition a lot of work goes on behind the scenes.  Jane Clark faithfully cares for planters around the drive. Thank you Jane


Linda Ingham worked with me for 21/2 days before the exhibit.  We placed 30 tables in a closet so the rooms could be used for showing artwork.  Here she is touching up wall boards with paint to prepare for artwork. Thanks Linda.


Don brings out the 8 ft. boards for additional artwork and hangs them all in 2 rooms. Thanks for 35 years of carrying and hanging boards.


Don has an additional task of cooking for all of us while helpers and teachers stay off and on over a week period. So many meals over so many years.


Students begin to arrive with all their artwork 4 days before the event.


Penny Peters on right,  has worked with me a number of years. She arrives to give more support for hanging artwork.


George Taylor who was once part of this group comes from Alaska to help put up the exhibition. He and Dianne Corso are measuring her framed Goldwork.


Susan Sasnett has some artwork up and is putting last touches on her art books


Marie Plakos is beginning to hang the Goldwork


Isabel Parker is planning her wall layout.


Terri Shinn is positioning her textile sculpture and arranging Methusaleh’s  roots on a plinth.


Susan Lenarz is creating one of many pieces of floral artwork for the studios.


Just waiting for you….The show is terrific.      Gail Harker

Obsessed with Making an Art Quilt – Guest Blogger: Debra Jusak

July 20, 2017

Studies in Design and Experimental Hand Stitch Level 2 – Name: Lisianthus   Blog 3 

I love fabric, textiles, and color and began making quilts a few years ago, traditional designs but with more contemporary color combinations. Stumbling upon art quilts I became obsessed with wanting to make one. I realized I didn’t have much background for making sense of the techniques that I read in magazines and books. An exhibit of Gail’s student’s level 4 work at the La Conner Quilt Museum led me to a talk she gave about her students and classes, and here I am today. I began with the Level I Color Studies class and learned and loved the class so much, I continued on with Experimental Machine Stitch and Experimental Hand Stitch. Now, finishing up Level II I have learned a number of skills, techniques, and perspectives to use in continuing to make quilts, hopefully some of which will be art quilts.  Debra Jusak

Color, Design and Creative Traditional Stitches ….. Guest Blogger: Therese Stein

July 16, 2017

Studies in Design and Experimental Hand Stitch Level 2 – Name: Lisianthus   Blog 2 

When I discovered Gail’s classes, the quality of the student work intimidated me.  I looked for a few years before getting the courage to enroll.  After many years of working on my own and only self taught, these classes are a wonder.  The method of teaching is thorough, professional and involving and never rote.  After completing Level I, I thought it was enough.  But here I am nearly through Level II and still learning.  In addition to using traditional stitches creatively, we learn color and design.  Especially valuable to me is learning about different types of fabric and thread and learning how to dye.  I may not take Level III, but I will continue to take more.


© Therese Stein – Embroidered digital image


© Therese Stein – Dyed and Stitched


© Therese Stein – Sampler; Dyed and Stitched


© Therese Stein – Inspired Boro Stitching

Therese Stein

© Therese Stein – inspired Raised Applique

P1060522crp1 Therese.jpg

© Therese Stein – Collage and Stitch


© Therese Stein – Embroidered Bird


A Stitch Celebration

July 11, 2017

Open House –  Level 2 Studies in Design and Experimental Hand Stitch (class name – Lisianthus)  This past Saturday on July 8th, 2017 we hosted an Open House at our studio for 8 students, from Canada and U.S.A. This was their 5th and last session.   It was a working session as usual but this time Penny Peters and I  (Gail Harker) demonstrated a number of different ways to present small Stitched Artwork for display. Students put some of these ideas into practice for the layouts at the Open House.  Visitors viewed samples, stitch books, a beaded book, sketchbooks and other works of art. It was a great opportunity to see inspiring techniques and artistic explorations.

  Certificate Students: Pat Ross, Therese Stein, Debra Jusak, Bobbie Herrick, Jane Clark, Katherine Kasony – Quinn, Laura Elmore and Annemarie Andresen. Tutors Gail Harker, Penny Peters

Keep watching as I will be placing 8 new blogs to show each person’s artwork in the next little while. There are a few photos included below.  More about Level 2 Studies in Design and Experimental Hand Stitch:  Each session is 5 days with 5 sessions stretching out over 1 1/2 years. Have a look at the description of the next course – Jade (class name) coming up on our calendar.  


© Therese Stein


After the Open House, we celebrated with a glass of champagne.


Visitors view the artwork


A page in the beaded Book © Jane Clark

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