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Monday, November 19, 2007
Back from Tahoe
Yes, I am back and nearly caught up on sleep. Sorry I did not post anything from Tahoe but, to be quite honest, I was too exhausted every night to do so and WAYYYYY too busy to do so during the day.

The class with Sue Benner was absolutely fantastic! I made so much progress with my work that I am astonished. Sue really helped me see where I needed to go and how to make progress on the road I discovered when I was at Fabrications with Laura Cater-Woods. To say that these two women have been instrumental in forwarding my career in art would be a gross understatement. I have 7 pieces to finish from this retreat. Now I have to wait until the family goes home on the 24th to do anything!! AARRRGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Anyway, I have no pictures of fantastic food/desserts because, to be honest, there was nothing outstanding about the food at AQT this year. Only one dessert was great but it was a repeat of last year (chocolate cup with mousse in it covered by berries) and the rest were very average (cherry pie that was still frozen, banana's Foster that was not flamed and was way too juicy), boring apple pie. Yes, I was disappointed in the food, especially breakfast. Last year they had these beautiful, huge berries (blueberries, red raspberries, etc) every day and those on top of Musli with plain yogurt were my daily treat. This year the berries did not make an appearance until Thursday and I had to ask for the yogurt (as always, the staff was very accommodating).

We did have great weather; thankfully the snow held off as I did not have chains and did not want to pay $50 to rent some. It was actually quite warm...

I did go to lunch at Sunnyside (on the lake) this year and the view was worth it. So was the dessert. Best one all week.

So, on to some pictures (most of which, unfortunately, are on my laptop which is currently with my son. Will transfer them over tonight).

Multiple abstracted pieces. First we did a little exercise. We each took 5 fabrics and cut them to 8 X 8" and put fusible on them. Then we stood in a circle. You got to choose one fabric from the person on your right and one from the person on your left. Then Sue gave each of us a picture cut from a magazine and we had to make our version of that picture using only the 5 fabrics. Oh, and we only had 20 minutes to do it in. Now, that may not sound too difficult but, let me tell you, it wasn't easy. Ironically, Sue gave me a picture of a "tall ship" stuck in ice. I say ironically because: a) I live in Nova Scotia in the summer and we have the tall ships that come in for a festival plus the Blue Nose II is a raving schooner based in Lunenburg right down the coast from me. I am fascinated with the sea and sailing, especially the tall ships. Ok, the result of this exercise is the pice with the yellow "sky." I actually thought it turned out pretty good.

Next we had to do paper collages of one of the personal images we brought. Paper collage is not something I am good at. This one was tough since I wasn't ready to totally dispense with "realism" (one of my biggest problems) and I had trouble finding blue for the sky so it ended up really choppy. Oh, and the boats were not even close to being a good size. But hey, it gets better.

Next exercise was to take our image and abstract it using 5 different techniques. We worked on 8.5 x 8.5 "canvases" and were supposed to limit our fabrics to 5-7. Again, I had difficulty due to my inability to totally let go of what was in front of me. I started out with a photo from Race Week in Chester (Nova Scotia) and made multiple abstractions of that using different techniques. I got better as I went along and loosened up.

By the time I got done with 4 of the 5 abstractions I needed a new image to work on so I used a photo of a beautiful museum in Australia that I cut out some time ago. I really had fun with this one and would like to do it again in a larger format. I did discover that making the smaller "practice" pieces was great; it not only gave me an opportunity to explore the image but to see where changes could be made to improve the final piece. I am not much of a sketcher so this process was a wonderful discovery for me.

Lastly, I had told Sue that I wanted to be able to make pieces that conveyed a feeling and I ended up going back to the sail boats with the idea of "ominous" that popped into my mind when I pulled a piece of hand-painted fabric from Desi Vaughn out of my scrap bag. I think it was very successful considering I did it in under 5 minutes with only 5 fabrics.

Yes, all in all, it was a VERY successful trip and class. No, I won't be going back in 2008. First of all, there just isn't an easy way to get there and back from here (Michigan). It's an all day "adventure" even tho I was able to deal my way out of going through LAX (I'll tell you how later). And, even thought my roommate was from Sacramento (hi Anna) and was so much fun and such a big help (she's an art prof) and she invited me to come out a couple of days early to visit and drive up with her, I just need a year off. Besides, Sue's class for next year is already full and it was the only one I really wanted to take. There is also the fact that AQT was cut from 2 weeks to one and they kept it the later of the 2 weeks. That makes it a real tight squeeze with Thanksgiving and my family comes here to celebrate. Which means I need to get my butt in gear and go fold laundry and clear off the "stuff" on the dining room table.........

posted by Teri Springer @ 10:42 AM  
  • At 11:51 AM, Blogger Gerrie said…

    I didn't know you were taking Sue's class. That is the one I wanted to take if I had gone. I just love her. She has been a huge influence on my art quilting, for sure.

  • At 8:21 PM, Blogger Shirley Goodwin said…

    Sounds like you had a great time - and a valuable one.

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About Me

Name: Teri Springer
Home: Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
About Me: Studio Art Quilt Associates for the Atlantic Canada Region (New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island). Quote:Apples and Wine: Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough & smart enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree. Now Men... Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the hell out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.
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