Friday, December 8, 2017

go big or go home--part one

Let's face it. Chicago is big. There are lots of people. Traffic from all directions. Buildings that stretch to the sky and then reflect it.

view of Chicago from Merchandise Mart


The lions at the Art Institute are big.

lions outside of Art Institute--Chicago

One of my favorite paintings by Georgia O'Keefe is so big they had to build a special wall just to display it.

clouds--Georgia O'Keefe--Art Institute

So last year after doing OK at the One of a Kind Show I decided that I wanted to go big. Wouldn't my work look great in a larger booth? They give me the hard white walls, the carpet, the lights. Sure the show is a long hard drive from home. The lines for load in and load out are carefully controlled chaos. And the price to do the show is--let's face it--big.

Still I told myself I wouldn't know until I tried. When I was offered a larger booth I decided I had to try. Let's face it, I decided to rebuild my studio because I knew I had more quilts to make and I wanted to make them. Quilts can be more than fine craft and I want to make big quilts that transcend the medium. I spent all autumn working for this show.  I had other fairs to do and orders to fill, but I kept imagining myself in this large space.

Of course I didn't have nearly enough time to get all the quilts in my imagination done. How delighted I was to read that Claude Monet was frustrated that his wonderful stacks of wheat paintings took much longer than he wanted to complete. Don't you love to read labels at the Museum.

stack of wheat--Claude Monet--Art Institute


I set up the booth. Thought it looked great in its largeness and splendor and then waited. Is it the kiss of death if other artists think your booth looks grand?  Or was it because it was Thursday? Did I forget to convey the idea that these are quilts? Does that matter? Should it matter? After all it only takes a couple of good customers.

Or maybe there is more I need to do to achieve my idea. My concept. I'll try to keep you posted. Meanwhile wish me well. If you are in the Chicago area my booth is 4123. I would love to know what you think?

booth--OOAK Chicago--Ann Brauer 2017







Friday, December 1, 2017

red sun

Sometimes, less is more. Up close and personal. For a while I had it hanging so I could see it every day as I sewed. Secretly I have always longed to make it as one big quilt in four panels. That would be a challenge and yet it would command attention. And yet eventually, I put it aside as I moved on to more landscapes. Still, there is a power here that may demand a space in my booth at the
One of a Kind Show next week-end in Chicago.

After all,  it would be fun to look at it again, wouldn't it?

red sun--40x40"--Ann Brauer 2015--image by John Polak



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

the colors of summer

Does this ever happen to you? I start a new series and some of the last of my old work gets put aside. Sure I hang it occasionally but usually I leave it in the studio when I do a show. It is too big for the booth. If it hasn't sold so far, will it actually find a home if I show it. Yes, I do a cost benefit analysis in my mind at every show. Not because I am a strict business person--after all I am an artist--but I also have to think about selling the work if I want to continue to be an artist. That is just the way it is.

Still the quilt sits on my Desktop--I like to have inspiration there when I work on my e-mails or post on Etsy. It is in the studio where I see hints of it most days as I ponder the latest quilt on my design wall. Or study the quilts I have hanging on the walls for guidance and inspiration.

And yes, I think I need to see it again. It may work at the One of a Kind Show. I'm not sure. In my mind I revisit again and again on the white walls. This time my booth is 10x15. What a luxury. Should I have gone for the larger booth? I will never know unless I try. It just felt like the right thing to do.

And yes, "colors of summer" feels like the right quilt to bring. I love the complex colors created by piecing so many thin strips of cotton fabric. I love the change in size that affects the design of the quilt and that tells a story. I love the memory of choosing that bottom green row. Such a hard decision to make--I lingered over that colorway for days-- and yet I feel it anchors the quilt.

Who knows if it is the right decision? I may change my mind at the show and tuck it away. But for now I plan to pack it and hang it and enjoy it in all its geometric beauty.

colors of summer--quilt--Ann Brauer 2013--image by John Polak
What do you think? Does this ever happen to you? And if you are coming to the show please drop by my Booth 4131 and check it out. Thanks.

Monday, November 27, 2017

gentle morning

Sometimes a cloudy morning. The sun rises, the sky brightens but there are no shadows. Still there is a beauty in calm. There is subtle quiet--a time to breathe and relax. A time to admire all the subtle colors and changes. The little stories that combine to create a day, a place, alife.

This is another in my landscape quilts that I plan to bring to the One of a Kind Show in Chicago December 7-10.

gentle morning--40x40"--Ann Brauer 2017--image by John Polak

What do you think? Do you ever just sit and enjoy the moment?  Do you let your mind wander?


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

and the mountain

Sure it is not a large mountain. In the west it would probably be considered a foothill. Indeed the peak is only 1588 feet above sea level.  But to me, Mt Massamaett is like a friend that I welcome every day as it rises just beyond the Deerfield River in such a friendly and almost protective manner.

In the spring I can watch the green move up the slope. In summer it is green with the occasional bald eagle soaring above it hunting for a meal in the river. Of course autumn has the many colors of the trees from the first brilliant golds to the rusted reds of the oaks at the end of the summer. As the days darken I watch the line of the sun shine creep up the slope earlier and earlier. And of course there is the moon rising above it shining bright and full.

So many views. So many moods.

This quilt "mountain and sun" is one of new works that celebrates this mountain and the sky above it. I am pleased that it was chosen to hang in the Fine Art Gallery at the One of a Kind Show December 7-10 at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Yes!!! Quilts are art.

mountain and sun--40x40"--Ann Brauer 2017--image by John Polak

What do you think? What inspires you?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

I get inspired

Sometimes I get inspired. Finally this summer I had time to create a new series of quilts. What a wonderful feeling that is of freedom and adventure. Concentration and excitement. Where will the new work go? How will others see it?

Where did this vision come from? I must say I don't know. For me that is the fun of it. Clearly it is part of my line of landscape quilts that evolved from my new studio. And yet there is a feeling of light and joy in them that draws me forward.

As I get ready for the last day at the Paradise City Arts Festival in Marlboro, MA and then do final preparations for the One of a Kind Show in Chicago I have decided to begin a series of posts that highlight some of the new quilts.

And what a way to begin with mountain sunrise. Sure I have made quilts that capture the glory of the rising sun. One of the best parts about the darker days of winter is that I get to witness it more frequently. This time though I am also influenced by the gentle power of the mountains containing and defining the light. At least that is how I see it. What do you think? What inspires you?

mountain sunrise--40x40"--copyright Ann Brauer 2017--image by John Polak

Monday, October 2, 2017

textile curator

I am honored to have some of my recent quilts featured in the most recent blog post by Textile Curator. Thanks so much. http://www.textilecurator.com/latest-art-quilts-by-ann-brauer/


seasons of the marsh--32x72"--Ann Brauer 2017--image by John Polak