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Time Travel thru Art and Design

April 13, 2018

The making of Art and Design is a timeless journey.  People from all countries, throughout the ages use similar inspirational sources  to make pictures and design with patterns and colors.    We usually like the way things look in our world!  Who gets tired of looking at colorful trees in autumn, repeating patterns in Nature such as waves or snowflakes or the wonder of colors in a sunset?  Whether representing an exact image or arranging the elements puts us in touch with ourselves and the wondrous challenge of creation. The Heliconia Design group is one such class who has joined me on the Level 3 Art and Design course this past year.  A few photos of their artwork is shown below.  Have a look at the description of the new Level 2 Art and Design Course  (no qualifications necessary) that is coming up this year.  Join us on this timeless journey!       Gail Harker

Made by Hand – Anita Luvera Mayer in Kansas Show

March 24, 2018

In the last few blogs I have featured some of our past Certificate and Diploma students and have shared some of their exhibits around the States and Canada.  Have a look at the photos and slides of some of Anita Luvera Mayer’s artwork below. You can see some of her work at an upcoming exhibit  at the Manhattan Kansas Arts Center in the Chapman Gallery titled Made by Hand: A Journey Expressed Through Fiber.  The show will feature  artists Anita Luvera Mayer and Jennifer Schermerhorn.

Anita Luvera Mayer has donated to Kansas State University her collection of over twenty-four garments created during the past fifteen years which will be featured in the exhibit.  She creates garments infused with personal experiences by incorporating a wide range of techniques including dyeing, weaving, beadwork, and embroidery.  Her work is sold at Classical Style in Anacortes, Washington and can be viewed at   Schermerhorn creates figurative sculptures that capture the relationship of humans and nature, challenging women’s roles in society.

The exhibit opens April 7th and ends May 12 with an opening reception April 13 , 5-7 p,m.  Anita will be attending the reception and will also be presenting a trunk show of her work over a three day period.

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Daffodil Landscapes in the Skagit Valley

March 16, 2018

Grey is often the color of the day in March. Driving down the back roads to Mount Vernon in the Skagit Valley can bring color contrasts. A bright shot of yellow against the dark sky reminds us that Spring is on its way. See more daffodils.     Gail Harker

Maria Winner’s Stitch Painting in Oregon

March 14, 2018

image002.jpgStudents who have been in my courses live in many parts of the United States and Canada. I love it when they keep in touch and show me what artwork they are doing and where they are showing.  Maria’s artwork is currently being shown at the Currents Gallery, McMinville, Oregon.   Gail Harker

Maria Winner

The name of this piece is named “Lines in the Woods”. It is a stitch painting or embroidery 7in. x10 in.  I start with my photography that I manipulate on the computer and then print on silk. The hand embroidery part is the most fun for me because as I stitch, I an able to make it say what I want by color, shading and playing with the stitches.


Lyrical Images, Shifting Patterns and Colliding Colors

March 12, 2018

Last weekend students joined me to experience 25 Ways to Create Art Fabric. You may want to know what the phrase Art Fabric means. To me, it is the transformation of fabric or papers with lyrical images, shifting patterns, and/or colliding colors. They can be childish, serious, dramatic, simple or complex! Working with the properties of natural materials like water and color (fabric paint), we had endless possibilities painting and manipulating small creations.  All we needed was some pieces of plastic, items to make resists, a variety of white fabric types and fabric paint (not dye.)  We hit our target of 25 varied effects at the end of Day 1 and continued to build more complex colorings on Day 2.  It is powerful to be able to design our own fabrics.  They may be complete as they are, or more likely than not, they will be further designed into with hand or machine stitch. Let me know if you are interested in knowing the next time I teach this course.             Gail Harker

Exhibition at Social Fabric Gallery in Bellingham…Guest Blogger: Jane Clark

March 7, 2018

Threadcentricity, The Art of Embroidery, An Exhibition at Social Fabric Gallery, 1303 Commercial Street, Bellingham, Wa. 98225 March and April, 2018

Thread-obsessed friends and I have a new show at Social Fabric in Bellingham.  There are eight of us, and we call ourselves Threadcentricity. We met through a year-long class at Gail’s, studying Level 2 Design and Hand Stitch, which ended in early July, 2017.  We decided to continue to meet every couple of months, which has been very inspiring.  It has been fun to see how differently we use the same materials. I enjoy embellishing some of my pieces with beads of various sizes.  Two of my pieces in the show are chameleons that have stitching and beadwork.  I got my inspiration from watching a program on the Smithsonian Channel one evening.  There was a chameleon walking on the sand early in the morning, trying to warm up.  The side of him that was toward the sun was black, to absorb the warmth.  The other side was white, and I had an “aha” moment:  two sides, two different color schemes.  I did some research, looking at countless photos of chameleons and picked one, a Panther Chameleon, with a pattern that attracted me, and then chose the colors for each side.  I did the stitching first, then added beads where I thought they would highlight each piece.  It was fascinating to see the little critters evolve as I stitched them, and finally, adding the beads was even better.           Jane Clark


Two Kantha Covering Cloths….. Guest Blogger: Penny Peters

March 1, 2018

The two Kantha embroideries pictured here were probably intended as wrapping cloths or covers for valued household items.  They are both about 2.5 feet square, and though both use animal motifs, they have very different sensibilities. The first is worked in mostly red and blue threads to depict solid looking horses and elephants marching in rhythm around inside a border of red paisley motifs with legs (to look like birds?). The central motif is the traditional lotus design with the edge and internal borders worked in pattern darning.  The addition of scattered flowers and leaves adds a sense of spontaneity to the first piece.  The second kantha speaks of animals of a different sort.  These animals are outlined in almost naïve positions.  They are not solid forms. The embroiderer has used just a few running stitches within the figures which gives them a light playful appearance. They seem to scamper, posture and cavort around in their borders.  Note the four different peacocks in each corner of the central square.  The lotus motif in the center is depicted in a non-traditional way, and the borders are also lightly patterned. Both kanthas are charming, and I enjoy thinking about the effectiveness of each style.

All the photographs have been taken by Penny Peters at the Silver and Art Palace Textile Museum and Sales, Jaipur, India.

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