Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Different Kind of Summer

Still Life With Orange, 2011, H. Hunter, 28" x 32," quilted fabric
It's been a different kind of summer so far. Though
it's been many years since the summer was mine to fashion as I wish, the illusion that I can do so stays with me.

Part of what makes this summer different was a decision I made to focus my energies on an art quilt show taking place in October at our local art center.  Accepting the invitation was big; prior to this, my forays into the quilting world have been few. I've taken inspiration from quilt patterns, but to put pins into cloth and stitch one piece of fabric to another--now that is another feat altogether.

All of the normal fears and then some attended me (and I know that you know them well enough from your own work that I don't have to detail them here) but despite all of that, the process has been amazing. I made a goal of creating one quilted piece per month for six months. These are works in which I can exercise my love for detail and create small areas of fascination while working at a pace I can sustain with my art therapy practice.

I'm aided by the sheer hypnotic flow of long weekend afternoons accompanied by the sound of the fan and audio books: Ape House, The Coral Thief, The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo to name a few. While my mind is captured by a good story line, my eye is free to wander and choose patterns that the more critical part of me would probably veto. My focus is also sharpened by my long time partner in art crime, Beth Rommel. We met over a year ago in Alyson Stanfield's Blog Triage class and have become fast friends, going on take part in the Artist Conspiracy. It surprises me that sharing a goal with someone over the phone (Beth lives in Georgia, I in CA) creates such a strong degree of accountability, but there it is and I'm delighted by it.

Hallie, lending gravitas to our home

In the same vein, earlier in the year, I made a goal of creating a new website; one that I could fashion and refashion according to my artwork at the time. Spurred on by an art and wine event in August, Pour for Prevention, I decided to nudge my visual ducks in a row and explore WordPress. Re-writing my artist's statement and bio was challenging (I mean how many ways can I say where I went to school? And, since my children are grown, is it too much to add cat to the description: "She lives and works in Davis, CA with her husband and ?...")

So, as the current idiom goes, it's "good stuff," a rather rough way of saying that although this summer is different; no trips to the beach or lazy afternoons reading almost a whole book, it has been wonderful, and, and at this time of my life, a dream come true.


  1. It is wonderful stuff! it sounds like a most marvelous summer, and the quilt you show here is vivid and beautiful. I especially love the patterns of stitching flowing across the color. I hope you continue to enjoy the pleasures of this new kind of summer.

  2. Happy summer, Hannah! I love the blues with the hint of orange in the quilt. Sounds like you have lots of fun and productive stuff going on.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the summer! The quilt is beautiful and congratulations on the new website too! It is all "good stuff"! Enjoy it!

  4. Hi Hannah
    You drew me out of my summer work mode. When I saw your sweet face on Alyson's Blog I had to hop over and say YAY!! YOU!!...This sounds like a glorious summer and you posted quilt is too.
    Happy Word Press migration...I've been glad to have made the switch...though Blogger still rocks in its own way too...all good.

  5. I've taken the tour around and your website is GREAT! This summer seems to be your summer in so many ways. This piece is beautiful...I love the colors. Art making, quilt making in this case the same...enjoy!

  6. Altoon--It takes getting used to--but every time I decide for the studio and not for a getaway to the coast or SF, I feel as if I'm going through a portal into a world as equally beguiling as the one in front of my eyes.

    Thank you Claudine--don't you think that watery blue is one of the quintessential colors of summer?

    It is a good way Dianne--with plenty of delights still within reach in our area--like that frozen yogurt shop on H!

    Why I'm flattered Donna! The WordPress migration, is definitely a big move. Still trying to decide between wp.com and wp.org. Any thoughts?

    Blue Sky: What a lovely phrase: "art making, quilt making, in this case the same..." Once you move into "flow," the differences disappear.

  7. Reading your blog is one of my guilty pleasures. So pleased that you're having a new kind of summer, one that takes you away to new places without leaving home.

  8. Wow Patty-it's first time I've ever made it to anyone's "guilty pleasures" list--I love it!

  9. Keep up the great flow of work. You really are my inspiration, keeping all of the balls in the air and writing lovely posts at the same time...you make it look effortless. Good stuff!

  10. Hannah, I'm so happy to connect on your blog. I've bookmarked so I can check in occasionally. I absolutely love your work and as you know, love quilting. Your work is beautiful and I really enjoyed reading your blog.

  11. Beth--Thanks! Your compliment means a lot.

    Laura--it is lovely to hear from you. The same is true for me.

    Thanks Donna--I'm always amazed by the limitless possibilities internet creates for connectivity...

  12. Putting ourselves out there in new ways is always a challange in my experience and as you know. Good for you to stich your way to October and the exhibition, as well as create a new web site.

    I too could say she lives with her husband and his cats....not too bad a gig really!

  13. Your quilt is lovely Hannah. It's nice to set aside those goals and really chip away at them in such a fun way - creating art.

    Best wishes in your October Show and see you around in the Conspiracy!