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.

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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

memories of the eclipse

It seems such a long time ago that my DH and a friend of his drove down to North Carolina to see the total eclipse in all its splendor. Not me. I had quilts to make. Sure I went outside and saw the light change color even through the hazy clouds. I even felt a very mystical breath of cool air at the height of the eclipse here in Massachusetts. And of course I looked at the wonderful images on the internet.

Luckily one of the quilts I was busy creating was this custom order of the eclipse for a person who was traveling to the St Louis area to experience totality. What fun I had imagining the sun gone dark with the memories of the warmth and light hidden by the moon. And of course the corona focusing our attention on its marvelous light against the dark sky with bits of stars peeking through.

Sure it is not an exact replica--that was not my purpose but just a broad simple statement of the event.

What do you think? Did you get to witness the event? Have you seen an eclipse?

memories of the eclipse--40x40"--copyright Ann Brauer 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

the color of the thread

OK--this is not the largest decision I will make today. Not
the largest one I will make in the course of creating this quilt. But still--it matters. As everything about the quilt does create the effect of the whole. And if I get it wrong, I can guarantee you that I will not know about it in time to change it. So of course I spend time thinking about it and trying samples.

Let me step back for a moment. This time I am working on a quilt that portrays the eclipse. It is a custom order and the purchaser knew what he wanted. Indeed he told me the colors and the concept which luckily is a concept that I was eager to pursue. Dark red/black center--white corolla--surrounded by deep blue sky. What a great concept. So much power in this quilt.

eclipse of the sun--ann brauer 2017--quilt

Now coincidentally I am loosely studying some of the landscapes of Marsden Hartley. I am not sure I will make it to the see the retrospective at Colby College this summer but I am drawn to the simple power of his paintings and looking at reproductions of this work did influence this quilt.

But now the question at hand is what color should I use to quilt the work. Now the color of the thread adds just a bit to the piece. There is a slight tinge from this stitching. There is also the decision as to how much I want the quilting to stand out.

My technique to decide is simple. I hold up the possible thread colors and step away from the quilt. How do the different colors relate to the quilt? Based on my experience with other quilts, what will the effect be on this piece.

My first choices were either blue, yellow or red.

eclipse of the sun--quilt--Ann Brauer 2017

I have used yellow a lot on my quilts but I think this time it will stand out too much against the dark blues and reds. The blue would look great for the two outer colors but I worry about it against the red which I want to look dark like the whole in the sky the sun became when the moon passed over it.

OK--that may lead me to check out different reds.

eclipse of the sun--quilt--Ann Brauer 2017

Not bad--although I fear the dark red will become totally lost in the center and the brighter red may stand out too much against the blue. Mmmm. Something to ponder.

I look through my thread colors again--what am I missing. Suddenly it occurs to me--red and blue combine to form purple. How would that work. Certainly it would keep the two prominent colors balanced and would tie them together with lines that would show against the white.

eclipse of the sun--quilt--Ann Brauer

What an interesting concept. I'll think about it overnight and then decide. After all, I want to finish this quilt. My mind has been planning so many more quilts and I still have four craft shows to do.

What do you think? How do you choose what color to quilt with? And have you seen the Marsden Hartley exhibit?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

selling on Etsy

autumn sunset--40x40 inches--Ann Brauer 2016--image by John Polak

I was honored to be interviewed by Clara Nartey on how I use Etsy as part of my marketing plan.

I hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think.

The answer to SCAM is:

Nothing can protect you from all scams--sigh. I do use Etsy though as a barrier from most of the scammers. As far as I can figure out, Etsy will not confirm an order until it has confirmed the payment. I have had orders pending for some time as they work on establishing the legitimacy of the order.

I almost always ship using USPS Priority Mail or UPS or FedEx with a tracking number so I can prove that the shipment was received. Etsy does offer a money back guarantee so if they are not satisfied they can return the item. If the same person orders more than one item consecutively I do not ship them together even though it would save them money unless it is someone I have dealt with previously.

There is also a forum section where you can read about the other scams that sellers have encountered and ways to work around them.