Saturday, August 6, 2016

Art Show Part Four

My first art show, Environmental Portraits, came to a close yesterday. What a life-changing experience. I must thanks everyone at LARAC,Candice Frye, Aray Till, Kori White, & Ellen Butz. Phil Casabona has been my champion from the beginning. (Check out his photography: phil.casabona.org) Former LARAC Gallery guru, Jenny Hutchinson (now with the Hyde Collection), was such a help. Her workshop on how to apply to a "Call for Art" gave me the confidence to take that next step with my embroidered portraits. (Check out her art: jennyhutch.com)

Thanks also to the talented artists who's work was featured with mine.

by Kamilah Campbell

by Susan D'Amato

by Teri McCans

I even sold 2 pieces, which I was not expecting. At. All.

"Saudade" now belongs to Maureen Poole


A photo posted by Jenny Hutch (@jennyhutchinsonart) on


Thank you to everyone who was able to check out the show!

I even saved some of the labels.

Happy Stitching!










Monday, July 25, 2016

Art Show Part Three

My art show opening was such a wonderful experience! It was great to see my friends, family & co-workers who were able to come out & support me. It was fun to meet new people, & talk to a fellow artist about our work. Thank you!

Teri McCan's black & white watercolor canvases are stunning

Teri McCan talking about her process

One of my pieces with their label. So official.

Me, Jude, Julie, Katie Beth in front of my embroidery at the opening.


If you were unable to come to the opening, the show is up until Friday, August 5, 2016. If you play Pokemon Go!, LARAC is a Pokemon Gym. Stop in. See some art. Catch some Pokemon. Have a battle. It's free. The image below is from Advokate, LLC organizer of this past weekend's Pokemon Go!/ Glens Falls Art Trail event.

Pidgey & redwork portraits (image by Kate Austin-Avon)

Or, you could see my work & learn how I create my embroidered portraits at my workshop on Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 1:00-4:00 PM.

Workshop Rethinking Embroidery Designs- August 6, 2016

Happy Stitching!










Friday, July 8, 2016

Art Show: Part Two Point Five

Today is the day! Opening reception is tonight (July 8, 2016) from 5:00-7:00 PM at LARAC. I can't tell you how excited & nervous I am.

I found while getting ready for this show, that framing, hanging, mounting et al is... difficult. Especially when working with something like embroidery which is, usually, displayed a different way. That has been my biggest learning curve while transitioning from crafter to artist.




Being that I am the local one in this show, I have been trying to drum up as much support as possible. I have been very active on social media...











Hope to see some friendly faces, new & old!




Happy Stitching!









Previous posts on this subject:
Art Show: Part One
Art Show: Part Two



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Art Show: Part Two

As I mentioned in my previous post, my upcoming art show, Environmental Portraits features installation, along with drawn, stitched, and painted artworks that explore actual portraiture or present a portrait of our society or place runs from July 8 til August 5, 2016 at LARAC's Lapham Gallery in Glens Falls, NY.

I also mentioned I was in awe of the other artists I am paired with. Check out some of their work below & visit their websites!


Teri McCans

Teri McCans is an artist and firefighter living in Colorado. She is originally from New Jersey, and earned her BFA from the College of New Jersey. She served two combat tours in Iraq, as well.
Enigmatic, Equivocal by Teri McCans

From Teri's website
Teri transforms her interpretations into a visual language that is accessible yet befitting the world’s complexity. She finds immense joy when her work connects to those not accustomed to the world of Art. Although her work is influenced from personal narrative; her use of color, shape, and form is universal and recognizable.



Kamilah Campbell

Kamilah Campbell, originally from Philadelphia, she earned her BFA from Clemson University, and her MFA from Notre Dame University. 


The piece below is from an installation at Brozosport College in 2014, where Ms. Campbell taught Sculpture.


Ms. Lady by Kamilah Campbell

From Kamilah's artist statement: 
My work is an iteration of the African-American home where the beautiful and grotesque nature of its interior is represented in a physically and psychologically engulfing surface or space.



Susan D'Amato

Susan D'Amato earned her BFA from the University of Connecticut at Storrs and her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an Associate Professor at the School of Art at Syracuse University.


detail of The Taxonomy of Air; from the Ten Thousand Things by Susan D'Amato

From Susan's profile page at SU:
Susan D’Amato is interested the visual and conceptual relationships between the body and universal forms. She is the recipient of numerous national and international awards and has exhibited her work extensively in prominent venues throughout the United States and abroad.


As you can see, I am in some rather talented company! I can't wait to see the show. & I hope some of you will be able to come. 

Happy stitching!











Thursday, June 16, 2016

Art Show: Part One

As some of you know, I am having my first ever art show. I am very excited & more than a little overwhelmed. I mentioned to my friend, Jon, that I was not sure if I should be scared, or flattered, to be featured with the three other artists, he said I should be both. & he is right (as he all too often is).

The show is called: Environmental Portraits & it runs at LARAC's Lapham Gallery in Glens Falls, NY July 8 through August 5, 2016. The Opening Reception is on July 8, 2016 from 5:00-7:00 PM.

Environmental Portraits features installation, along with drawn, stitched, and painted artworks that explore actual portaiture or present a portrait of our society or place.


Hopefully, if you are reading this, you are familiar with my work & are a fan. Over the next few weeks, I will share the work of my fellow artist, Kamilah Campbell, Susan D'Amato, and Teri McCans, with you. I have no idea what pieces they submitted in last year's call for art, but I can't wait to see their works alongside mine.

Here is a taste of a piece I am working on for the exhibition!



Happy Stitching!





Sunday, December 13, 2015

Deep (needle)Work

Wow! It has been a really long time since I blogged. What is going on? Well, I could say...

"I've been busy."
"I'm in the process of buying my first ever house."
"It's the holidays."
"I have a teenager."
"I work three jobs."

But, you know what? These are all excuses. In the mist of all of this, I managed to get a promotion so I will only have two jobs. Plus, I have managed to find time to run every day for over a month. I have gone to concerts, movies, restaurants... I need to make time for embroidery. I need to schedule time. I need to be more productive. If I embroidery, I want to share it, like below. Has it really been 3 weeks since I've finished something? Uh, oh.



& I just read a blog post that got me thinking. The blog, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, is essentially a business blog, but most of the nuggets Eric Barker provides can translate into, well life. The particular post I read, "How to Manage Your Time: 5 Secrets Backed by Research", is based on a soon to be published book by Cal Newport called Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.

So, how do I use this insight to help me focus on my embroidery?
  • Don’t schedule distractions. Schedule deep work: I must schedule embroidery time! Time to design. Time to physically stitch. Time to complete the project.

  • Keep a scoreboard for deep work: I do this with running. I am currently running at least one mile per day, until the end of the year. I' keep ticking off the days & the miles (day 32, 61.2 miles). For embroidery, if I just start logging my hours, I could develop a better idea of my process.

  • Stop saying “yes” if you want to get things done: I just did this yesterday, before reading Eric's post. A friend emailed me about an upcoming craft fair, & wondered if I could do pieces related to the venue. I appreciate that she thought of me, & I considered saying "Yes." But, I did not. I would spend countless hours making things to sell, when I could be designing & embroidery my art. I said "No." 

  • Have a “Deep Work Ritual”: Hmmm. I will have to discover what this is. It may be running. I can't find the article right now, but I was just reading about how a quick run can help keep you focused at work. & another article talked about an increase in motor skills due to running which might help me prick my finger less. Ha!

  • Ask your boss how much time they want you spending on deep vs shallow work: Since I am the boss in this case- I would say 75%. I don't get a lot of embroidery related email, but I do have some basic business/bill stuff to attend to.
So, there you have it! My plan to be more productive embroidery-wise! With any luck it will spill over into other aspects of my life...

Happy Stitching!







Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Big News: A Week Late... unless you follow me on Facebook

A great friend (Thanks Julie!) pointed out that I did not add my "Big News" announcement to my blog! Where is my head lately. Unfortunately, not in blogging mode. I had a lovely weekend in Vermont, as you can see below (images from my Instagram)

#meleenandcharlottesvermontgetaway on @aprilsongstress


& this weekend I am running a 200 mile relay from Saratoga Springs to Lake Placid with 11 other people I barely know. Crazy, right?
#RagnarADK 



& now for the big news...

My embroidered portraits will be featured in an upcoming art exhibition at the Lapham Gallery in Glens Falls, NY. This is my first ever art exhibition! My work will be shown along with pieces by three other immensely talented artists that I am humbled & flattered to be paired with. This is a major step in my, dare I say, art career.

I want to thank all of you for your support over the years. & a special thank you to the wonderfully supportive people in my life who inspire & encourage me to do things I never thought possible.

#embroideredportraits #artexhibition #embroidery#whatisart #bignews #imsoexcited




https://www.facebook.com/Aprilsongstress/photos/a.377598175642489.84854.377450278990612/871776676224634/?type=3&theater


I am so very excited about this opportunity!

Happy Stitching!