Much of my time over the last few months of this past semester were spent here:
This was my studio space in the Advanced Painting room at Tulane. I shared this room with several other pretty cool people (and pretty awesome artists). Our end goal was to produce a body of work for our end-of-the-year, Bachelor of Arts Exhibition. Our exhibition was up in the Carroll Gallery at Tulane from May 9th-May 17th.
It was a really awesome experience to have my work shown in a gallery. Here is my final exhibition, a quilt series of twenty-four (I actually did more, these were just the ones I ended up showing) abstract landscape paintings, painted on cotton quilting fabric, some fabrics sewn together, and some including machine and hand embroidery.
My artist statement:
I grew up in rural Southern Illinois on land that has been passed down through my family for generations. Before I started school, I spent every day with my grandmother, who encouraged my love of watercolor painting and being creative and who established the foundation for my personality and moral beliefs. My grandpa wrote stories, fished everyday, and grew a huge garden that I helped him harvest. I loved snapping off the ripe asparagus, helping my grandma cook, and laying in the hammock in their backyard. Just down the road was my own house, where I climbed trees and ran through the creek with my sisters and brother, helped my dad work in the yard and feed our chickens, and helped my mom plant flowers and herbs, cook and bake. Throughout my childhood, my mom imparted to me her creative knowledge – sewing, hand embroidery, cross-stitch, smocking, machine embroidery, knitting, crocheting, and basket weaving.
After moving to New Orleans for college, I started thinking more about my own childhood and the different backgrounds of those around me. I began to really question the idea around our sense of place—how people live, where they live, why they live there—the spaces people create for themselves. How do these places impact our personalities and our interests? During this time, I also developed a love for interior design—a way to carve out a space for myself that felt comfortable and familiar, a place where I could mix my former and current worlds in a way that was also beautiful and intriguing.
My art aims to capture a sense of personal history, exploring both the past and the present, questioning the differences in the city and the country, and highlighting domestic pursuits and interior spaces and exploring their connection with the natural world. I’m interested in the juxtaposition of interior and exterior spaces—nature and domesticity, home and homestead, city and country—but also interested in how they work together and are innately connected. Because of my upbringing, I’m very interested in the use of sewing, embroidery, quilting, fabric and pattern and how those elements can intertwine with paint to create images. I’m also interested in the elements that make up interiors—paint, fabric and textiles, wood textures, natural elements, metal finishes—and how many of those elements find their roots in the natural—cotton, linen, wood, and minerals. One of my aesthetic and conceptual goals is to somehow marry interior and natural elements into a single image, developing a quilt of sorts, that evokes a feeling of comfort, sentiment, and history that an interior of a home or a familiar natural setting provides.
If you want to check out more of my artwork, you can visit my portfolio website, here.
To check out work from the other artists showing with me, visit our exhibition website, here.
The last week or so I’ve been in Southern Illinois visiting my family. Every time I’m back home, I try to squeeze in a trip to my favorite fabric store in the area — Hancock’s of Paducah (in Paducah, KY). I absolutely love fabric and could spend all day in a fabric store. I love all the prints, patterns and possibilities of things to make out of all the prettiness! I had several house projects in mind that I needed fabric for, so I was definitely in need of a trip to the fabric store while I was home! (New Orleans doesn’t have any great fabric stores.)
Hancock’s of Paducah is a completely different store than the Hancock’s chain of fabric stores that are found around the country. This one is so much bigger and better! They have a wonderful selection of cotton and home decor fabrics (I believe their main market is for quilters in the area). This isn’t your place to go for silk or apparel fabrics.
I love that they carry higher quality cotton fabrics, especially many by well-known fabric designers.
Here are some of Sandi Henderson‘s newest “Secret Garden” fabrics:
And by Amy Butler:
So many pretty fabrics to choose from!
I’m especially loving large-scale floral prints right now. I love this blue one below. I actually ended up buying some of the pink version of this fabric! Stay tuned to see where it ends up in my house! I’ve actually already been working with my mom on several fabric projects while I’m here!
Here is what my cart looked like once I had made several trips through the store:
Isn’t that champagne metallic dot fabric neat? I ended up buying some of several of these fabrics in my cart. I can’t wait to get back to New Orleans and get them incorporated into my home!
Speaking of the home, they have a great selection of heavier weight home decor fabrics as well. I would love to buy some of these for my home! It is so hard to choose between them though! I kept envisioning beautiful curtains made out of many of these:
Love this green quatrefoil pattern:
I am really, really in love with the combination of this warm grey floral and this rasperry ikat dot fabric. I think they would be lovely to make into layered curtain panels like in this picture here.
So many great options! I just made new curtains for my office (I still need to share pictures), but seeing all these gorgeous fabrics is making me regret choosing the fabric I did!
They also have a few great bargain bin areas where they have fabric remnants for discounted prices. I found a great white and cream check fabric in that pile, enough to make a throw pillow out of for $2.50. Can’t beat a pretty couch pillow for $2.50!
Of all the wonderful options, this is what I left the store with:
Can’t wait to show you what I end up doing with these!
If you live in the Southern Illinois (IN-KY-MO) area, you should definitely check out Hancock’s of Paducah! I’m always a little sad if I make a trip home and don’t get a chance to go! They even sell a lot of fabrics and quilt kits online as well.
We received lots of lovely wedding gifts. I thought this gift, made by my brother and his girlfriend, was too cute an idea not to share with you all.
They gave us two glass jars filled with Popsicle sticks. On the sticks in one of the jars, they had written out different date night ideas and the other was full of blank sticks for us to come up with our own ideas and write them down.
I love the things they put on them. Most are cute, simple, inexpensive (or even free) date night ideas. Things like “Go on a picnic!,” “Go get ice cream,” “Cook together,” & “Drive out into the country and stargaze.” I love that they even personalized some specifically to New Orleans, like “Take a cemetery tour,” “Visit The Chart Room,” & “Do something touristy.” I love that we can set aside specific date nights and then just pull out one of the sticks to figure out what to do!
I’m not sure if it was planned or not, but the color they painted the jar lids and the ribbons even matched my wedding color scheme. How sweet!
Such a sweet gift and a cute project to do for a friend, give as an engagement or wedding gift, or even a gift to someone already married. It is always important, especially after being in a relationship for a while, to still remember to have date nights. It would be a fun bridal shower activity, having each of the guests write down date night ideas for the couple. It would even be fun to do this project with kids for family trip ideas. There are lots of fun activities to do with kids and I’m sure they would love helping to color on the Popsicle sticks!
Thank you guys for our sweet gift! :)