Home Is Where the Art Is

home-blocks-2-crop-500 This post also appears on my Patreon page.

Home. It's a nebulous concept, one that's been on my mind a lot lately. These mini quilts are an expression of longing, rootlessness - perhaps "home" is a part of us that we always carry, though it may drift to the bottom with the kleenex and loose change.

The Home quilts went out to my top-tier Patreon patrons this month. Thank you all for being patrons, your support means so much to me.

Following is a more detailed look at the quilt construction process:

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Notes on construction, quilting patterns.

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Drawing a general outline onto the batting.

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Sewing the pieces directly onto the batting, as part of a quilt-as-you-go technique.

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The first one with all three layers (top, batting backing) assembled and quilted.

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Quilting lines look so cool on the back.

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Moving down the assembly line...

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Finished blocks, photographed on a convenient hedge.

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Quilting creates such wonderful textures.

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More stitches. I'm not a fan of stitch-in-the-ditch, but I love getting right up toward those ditches.

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Hand-finished binding, always perfectly imperfect.

Not a patron yet? You wanna get things like this in the mail, too? Sure you do. A pledge at the Awesome Afficionados level or higher gets you an original work of art every two to three months!

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Annual Surprise & Creative Cahoots

collage-process-500 This post also appears on Patreon.

Greetings, all! I have a couple of announcements about my Patreon page.*

*If you're not familiar, Patreon is an awesome platform for supporting creativity by subscription. For as little as two dollars a month, you can fuel the ongoing projects of a real, live, working artist - that's me. Plus, you get real live art in return! Click here to learn more.

First: The Annual Surprise

If you've been thinking about joining, or increasing your pledge, now is a great time. Why? Because the Annual Surprises are going out soon! What's in this bundle of goodies? No spoilers! But I can tell you: there's something to hear, something to see, and something to use.

How do you get your paws on the Surprise? By becoming a Patron, at the $10 level or higher, by November 30, 2016. This year's Annual Surprise will go out in early December, so act now.

If you're already a Patron pledging $10 or more, you're golden. There's nothing for you to do but sit back and wait for your gift.

Second: Introducing Creative Cahoots!

Creative Cahoots is my newest patronage tier. For your $100 pledge, you will receive a personalized, original work of art every other month.

How it works: You pledge. Every 2 months, you and I will have a conversation (by phone, email, Skype, or even in person). I hunker down in my studio and make art based on what we've talked about. You get the art. The art is for you. The art is about you. Click here to learn more.

What questions do you have? You're always welcome to get in touch by emailing sarahatlee@gmail.com. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Cheers!

Pivoting

quilt-diary-201610-500 This post first appeared on my Patreon page. Join today to see everything first!

"Whatever happened to Spweet?* Are they still aggregating Kuhfwangles?" "No, they pivoted."

In the tech startup world, pivoting is "a structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth." (source)

Or to paraphrase Steve Blank: Fire the plan, not the CEO.

I painted so hard in 2016. And 2015, and 2014, and on back. I love the paintings I painted. But I'm tired of painting.

They Grow Around Roads. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2015 They Grow Around Roads. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2015 by Sarah Atlee. Available at Ro2 Art.

I've been a painter for 20 years. It's been my pastime, my course of study, my profession, and a big part of my identity. It's been easy to answer the question,

"So, what kind of art do you do?"

Well, that's a good question. Right now, I'm not interested in making paintings. So how can I tell people I'm a painter? You know what I'm doing now? I make quilts.

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Why Make Quilts?

Quilts inhabit an interesting space between two and three dimensions, comprising both image and object.

Quilts are largely functional works of art, meant to be touched, used, and worn over time. I make quilts that should be used - no hands-off museum mentality here.

Across cultures worldwide, quilts are created to mark time and record history, both public and private. We make quilts to commemorate birth, marriage, transition, sickness, even death. A quilt can simultaneously signify the history of one person and an entire people.

Quilts are a way to make old materials new again. They embody the age-old practice of making do, ever more relevant in our consumer culture.

Are quilts art? The debate plods along. I have the opportunity to expand the conversation about “craft” or “functional art” in “fine art” spaces. As one educated in the traditional art school system, making quilts feels at once radical and yet completely appropriate. Of course quilts are art!

Melee. Detail view of back. Quilted cotton. 10 x 10 inches, 2016

Have I hung up my paintbrushes for good? Certainly not. I need some time to create in this other vein. I think I will return to painting through some side door that I can't see just now. It's going to take new practices and strategies to continue my art business with this new hat on. I'm definitely up for the challenge.

So now, when someone asks, "What kind of art do you do?" I tell them: I make quilts.

I'm a quilter, y'all.

* Okay, you would not believe how many nonsense words I auditioned for this sentence, but it turns out they are already in use, most of them as tech startups. Rejected words include: sploof, tweenge, treeve, alboo, florp, gloove, traeve, fween, spang, splot, ofen, crangle...

Cheers! Martini: Head Clog II

Martini: Head Clog II. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2016 bMartini: Head Clog II. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2016 by Sarah Atlee. $1,080 For purchase inquiries, contact Cerulean Gallery at 214.564.1199.

This post first appeared on my Patreon page.

I would like to thank the fine folks at Cerulean Gallery for hosting my paintings these last few weeks; I’m honored to be working with you. I would also like to thank my Patreon patrons for your ongoing supportyou guys are the best!

Martini: Head Clog II (Detail view 1). Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 2 Martini: Head Clog II (Detail view 1). Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2016 by Sarah Atlee.

Remember that first head-clogging Martini? Here's round two.

About the Glitch Series

In the Glitch series, I use vibrant acrylic paintings to reimagine traditional still lifes for the digital age. My recent compositions combine tempting, succulent foods with "glitches" painted directly onto the canvas. An avocado is interrupted by the irregular curves of a cracked screen. The natural beauty of an heirloom tomato is marred by low-resolution errors and broken pixels.

Historically, still life paintings are windows onto impossibly perfect worlds. This illusion of perfection continues into our daily lives on the Internet, as we live from one Insta-worthy moment to another. Why not use the flaws of online technology to break into that illusion?

Martini: Head Clog II (Detail view 2). Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 2 Martini: Head Clog II (Detail view 2). Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2016 by Sarah Atlee.

Thanks to everyone who came to see the show!

Want to stay up-to-date on my newest exhibitions? Hop on over here and sign up for my email list. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

Sushi Sampler

Sushi Sampler. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2016 by SarahSushi Sampler. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, 2016 by Sarah Atlee. $910 For purchase inquiries, contact Cerulean Gallery at 214.564.1199.

This post first appeared on my Patreon page.

About the Glitch Series

In the Glitch series, I use vibrant acrylic paintings to reimagine traditional still lifes for the digital age. My recent compositions combine tempting, succulent foods with "glitches" painted directly onto the canvas. An avocado is interrupted by the irregular curves of a cracked screen. The natural beauty of an heirloom tomato is marred by low-resolution errors and broken pixels.

Historically, still life paintings are windows onto impossibly perfect worlds. This illusion of perfection continues into our daily lives on the Internet, as we live from one Insta-worthy moment to another. Why not use the flaws of online technology to break into that illusion?

Last week to see the show!

Sushi Sampler is available at Cerulean Gallery as part of the exhibition On Edge Part I, featuring work by Sarah Atlee, Fritz Danner, Nic Noblique, and Victoria Taylor-Gore, on display 16 September – 28 October 2016. Visit Cerulean Gallery to learn more.