Archive for August, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Football (and ART)?

August 31, 2010

"Mixed Salad" (c) 2007 Ayn Hanna, 11.5"x11.5" Textile painting (cotton fabric, cotton batting, cotton threads)

September.  Fall.  One of my favorite times of the year.

The smell of hatch’s green chilis roasting at the farmers’ markets, crisp morning air, Baseball playoffs just around the corner, FOOTBALL season starting, and lots of ART going on!

Thread Tails and Vapor Trails: An Art Quilt Show

2011 Marks the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation and there will be many Naval celebratory events around the country throughout the year.  Thread Tails and Vapor Trails is a Navy art quilt challenge which has been put together to help commemorate this event.  Award winning and traveling art quilts included in this challenge will travel and be displayed at many of the Navel events throughout 2010-2011, starting with the Blue Angels homecoming in Pensacola, FL in Nov 2010.

After learning of this challenge, and having a good friend who’s Dad was a top Navy pilot, I decided that I’m going to make a piece honoring him for the show.  It’s a bit different than my usual approach to making a work of art, as I am starting by doing some “interviewing”, web research, and gathering background data.  Boy have I learned a lot in a very short time about things like aircraft carriers, fresnel lenses, tail hooks, LSOs (landing signal officers), numerous airplanes, and navy pilot lingo.

I’m just in the beginning stages of sketching out a design, so check back here on the blog during the month of Sept to see how it all comes together (entry due date is Oct. 1).  I’ll post some photos of the piece as it progresses.

simply irRESISTible

24 Artists from 10 States Exhibiting Nearly 40 Contemporary Works Showcasing Old and New Methods and Techniques

Two of my Tangled Web Pieces are included in this show which opens Sept 12 and is on display until Nov 14 at the Some Things Looming Gallery in Reading, PA.  There are several events associated with this show.  Click the “simply irRESISTible” link above for full details.  Summary Press release is below:

Reading, Pa—Two-dozen artists from Pennsylvania and nine other states will exhibit 37 contemporary fiber artworks at “Simply irRESISTible,” a major, national salon-style exhibition at the some things looming Fiber Arts Gallery and Studio, 526 Washington St., Reading, that opens Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. It also will include a public workshop, seminar and other special programs.

“Simply irRESISTible” covering “all things textile” incorporates resist-related art—wax, paste, mechanical and/or chemical.  Individual artworks will encompass numerous methods and techniques—new and old—used by today’s fiber and textile artists. Other states represented include California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Texas and Vermont.

According to gallery Co-Director Melanie Mitchell, artists use many methods to “resist” or prevent dye from reaching specific areas of their cloth—creating patterns and ground color. “They can use a wax or paste resist, a mechanical resist such as tying or stitching, or a resist technique incorporating chemical agents that repel.”

Rebekah Ritter, gallery founder and co-director, said, “We wanted a significant show that was inviting, appealing, wonderful, fabulous, enticing, alluring, beguiling, tempting, tantalizing and ‘Simply IrRESISTible,’ and we believe that we have created that excitement.”

"Reaching In" (c) Ayn Hanna, 7"x10", Etching

Proof No. 1:  The Art Lab Printmaking Experience Big Show

Sept 17/18 and 24/25 at Art Lab Fort Collins.  Several of my etchings and woodcut prints will be on display in this group show of contemporary prints made by local printmakers.  The show will include prints made by hand on big old clunky equipment (etchings, woodcuts, letterpress, etc.)

Leslie Gabrielse Workshop

I’m very excited that I get to attend Leslie’s workshop in Estes in mid Sept.  I’ve admired his work and his process of making art quilts completely by hand (no machines involved) ever since I was first introduced to his art, so it is going to be great to get to learn from him directly.  I’m busy gathering my supplies and selecting my fabrics and subject matter possibilities, so I’ll be able to hit the ground running at the workshop.  I’ll post images from the workshop here on the blog.

September is a full plate of artful activities (and there’s lots more coming in Oct too), so stay tuned for updates on all of these events and more over the coming month.

Happy Football (and chili roasting) Season to All!


“Pass It On” Challenge: My First Dream-Inspired Textile Painting

August 27, 2010

"Dream #1 - Alchemy" (c)2010 Ayn Hanna, 18"x24", Textile Painting (cotton fabric, cotton thread, cotton batting)

I completed this textile painting back in Jan this year. It is for an invitational quilt challenge sponsored by Machine Quilting Unlimited Magazine which I participated in along with 11 other artists.  I had to wait to show this piece until the whole group of 12 art quilts were published together in an article in the Sept issue of MQU magazine.

The challenge was titled “Pass it On” and was a fabric art version of the children’s game, “Telephone”.  In the game, one person whispers a sentence into the ear of another, who in turn then whispers what she heard to another, and so on until the final person repeats the sentence out loud (and it rarely resembles the original sentence).

Our fabric challenge consisted of 2 groups of six artists.  The first artist in each group started with the same photograph (“Ironton” by Aaron Angert posted below) as initial inspiration and each made an art quilt based on this photo.

"Ironton" (c) Aaron Angert (original color photograph)

Then each of them sent their quilts to the 2nd person in their respective groups but did not show them the original photograph.  The 2nd quilters then created their own original designs based only on seeing the 1st person’s quilt.  When finished they each “passed on” their quilts to the 3rd person in their group, who made a quilt inspired only by seeing the 2nd person’s quilt.  This process was followed through 6 artists in each group.

We each made a quilt which was inspired purely by seeing the quilt of the person before us and none of us saw any other person’s quilt, nor the original photo used for inspiration until the end of the challenge, when we got together as a group to see all 12 quilts and the original photo.

I was 4th in line in my group, and the quilt I was inspired by was “Nostalgic Moon” by Nora Jones:

"Nostalgic Moon" (c) Nora Jones, 18"x24", Art Quilt

When I first saw Nora’s quilt, it triggered a flashback to a very vivid dream I’d had and I knew right away what I was going to do for my quilt.  I sat down and sketched out a drawing, based on a powerful scene from my dream:

"Dream #1 - Alchemy" (c)2010 Ayn Hanna, 18"x24", Ink drawing

Here is my statement about “Dream #1 – Alchemy”:

Dream #1: Alchemy (Jan 2010) – MQU Pass it On Challenge Quilt

(Cotton fabrics, fusing, machine appliqué, cotton threads, machine quilting and embroidery, hand embroidery, paint sticks.)

When I received Nora’s quilt, I was struck with a vivid reminder of a very powerful dream I had about a year ago, and I knew immediately the image I was going to make for my quilt.  In Nora’s quilt, the black birds, mountainous landscape, and the dreamlike atmosphere all brought my dream right back to me.

In my dream I was on a journey, hiking through the mountains and valleys on a sad desperate search.  As I came over the top of a hill, I saw what I had been looking for – the scene of the “crash site”.  Under a huge golden vibrant tree, there it was – a big black bird that had crashed and died, a pile of feathers – my wreckage.  I had come to repair my bird.  I knelt down and started putting the pieces back together again, reconstructing my bird (myself).  While I worked, I felt a resurgent sense of energy within – not only was I rebuilding my bird, but this time, I was giving it rocket boosters!

As I watched my bird take flight, thrust so powerfully and confidently up into the air and headed for distant adventures, I felt the same rush of energy within me, my spirit healed and flying again.

Something I love about the finished quilt is that because of the size, shape, and color, the dead bird/pile of feathers can be read not only as intended (dead bird), but also on another level as an energized shadow of the living vibrant tree above.  And read on this level, the “tree of life” ultimately aids in alchemically transforming this pile of feathers into a living flying bird again.  This quilt carries messages on multiple levels for me personally, metaphorically, and pictorially.

The 12 artists who participated in the challenge are: Vicki Anderson, Kay Jones, Stephanie Patterson, Janet Pugh, Denise Labadie, Claudia Martin, Kit Robinson, Julie Hallquist, Nora Jones, Maxine Carlstedt, Vicki Carlson, and myself.

The full group of 12 quilts is displayed in the Sept issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine.  The group of quilts is also traveling throughout summer of 2011 and can be seen at the following venues:

Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show, Milwaukee, WI (Aug 3-7); Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival, Loveland, CO (Aug 20-22); Quilting With Machines in Ohio (Sept); The Firehouse Gallery in Longmont, CO (Jan 14 – Feb 19, 2011); Denver National Quilt Festival (April, 2011); and HMQS in Salt Lake City (May, 2011).

Welcome to Golden, CO! Pictures from Evolutions Show Opening

August 12, 2010

Street Fair in downtown Golden, CO

One of the perks of having my brother Paul, a professional photographer, in town for the opening of the Evolutions show at RMQM in Golden, CO last friday night is that I get some fun photographs to post to my blog.

Yep, that’s me in front of my “Wall Drawing #1” textile painting at the show.

The opening was well attended, in part because of the beautiful weather and raucous Street Fair that was in full swing right outside the front entrance to the museum. Who knew what a happening place Golden is? It was lively last Friday night!

And the show was pretty impressive. After seeing the full show, I felt good about my work being included along with that of the 15 other artists involved and also happy that my piece was very different from the others – I think it stood out effectively.  (The museum doesn’t allow photographing of the work, so that’s why all the photos pretty much only show my piece, but you can see some of the museum’s permanent collection of quilts on display along the wall facing my piece.)

It was my first visit to RMQM. The gallery space is really nice and about 2/3 of it was devoted to the Evolutions show and then some nice quilts from the museum’s permanent collection filled the rest of the space.

Here’s a few more photos from the show.  It was really fun to have my family and friends there to support me at the opening!  Thanks everyone!

Simply irRESISTible Evolutions

August 6, 2010

Tangled Web #1 (c) 2010 Ayn Hanna (24"x24") Textile Painting (cotton canvas, cotton fabric hand-dyed by the artist, paint, paint sticks, cotton and wool threads)

Simply irRESISTible

Today I received notice that my “Tangled Web #1” and “Tangled Web #4” textile paintings have both been juried into the Simply irRESISTible textile show in Reading, PA, Sept 12 – Nov 14, 2010.

Tangled Web #4 (c) 2010 Ayn Hanna (24"x24") Textile Painting (cotton canvas, cotton fabric hand-dyed by the artist, paint, paint sticks, metallic thread)

This show will include 37 contemporary fiber artworks created by 24 artists from 10 states.  Each of the works  incorporates some form of the wide variety of chemical and/or physical resist techniques.

The show will be located at some things looming gallery, studios, and boutique, a very cool mother/daughter owned operation in Reading, PA.  There will be an opening reception on Sept. 12th, 4-6pm and a closing reception on Nov. 14th, 4-6pm.


Tonight is the opening of the Evolutions 2010 Show at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Golden, CO.  I’m looking forward to attending with my family and friends, meeting the other artists in the show, and seeing the Museum as this will be my first visit to the RMQM and to Golden.  If you’re in the area and can join us, please come on down.  The opening is from 4-7pm with awards being announced at 6pm.

Crossing the bridge that I’ve come to

August 4, 2010

I’m pissed.  My fierce-ness is flying freely right now and it’s a good time for everyone to give me a wide, wide birth.  I’m responsible for my own happiness, and yep, my own anger too.  Truth is, I’m actually really deep down very, very sad, and mad at myself for creating this situation I’m in.

The past week has been emotional and exhausting.  During this time I have:

– Spent countless hours packing, moving, re-arranging, clearing space and purging things from my home (with wonderful help from my Mom, and my nieces who are visiting from Spain) to get the place ready for the 8/2 arrival of my life partner and her worldly belongings as she and I are taking the leap to live together.

– Worked 50+ hours to complete a new textile painting.

– and done my regular full-time day job.

So many great things are going on right now:

– I’m so appreciative of  my wonderful relationship and I’m happy that we’re now living together (well, the place is a mess right now with boxes everywhere and I’ve been used to living alone for a long time, so it’s going to take some getting used to, but I love it and I’m all in on it!)

– I’m very appreciative of my loving family.  This is my favorite “family” time of year with my nieces and brother all visiting from Spain and the one time of the year that we have all our family together in one spot.  It’s especially special this year with my new life partner moving in as we begin our new family together.

– I’ve been getting lots of new art completed and I’m appreciative that I’ve had work accepted into several shows this year.  My Wall Drawing textile painting (below) will be at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum “Evolutions 2010” Show, opening this Friday, 8/6, from 4-7pm in Golden, CO.

Wall Drawing (36" x 44") cotton fabric, cotton thread, c 2010 Ayn Hanna

So, why am I sad?  And what’s the bridge I’m crossing?

A few months ago I entered this Wall Drawing textile painting in both the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum Show, and a juried Drawing Show happening this fall here in Fort Collins at CSU.  Because of the timing of the entry due dates and notifications of juror’s selections, there was a slight overlap, such that I had to send in an entry for one show before finding out about acceptance to the other show.  At first, I paused and considered not entering the second show, but then decided, well, if it gets accepted at both shows, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.  Besides, what a great problem that would be to have, right?

Well, I’m there.  And it’s really not such a great problem to have.  The textile painting is already hanging at the RMQM through Oct 30th.  The CSU Show opens Oct 6th.

After receiving the acceptance notice from the CSU show, I went back to the organizer of the show and explained my situation and offered an alternative piece to the one accepted (a very similar work in size, look and feel, from the same Wall Drawing series of textile paintings).  But the organizer has declined to even make this offer known to the jurors, since they already completed their jurying last month.  This is where my fierceness begins to flare, because I’m a possibility person, and I tend to see rules not as rigid boundaries, but instead as general guidelines.

And that’s why I’m sad – not so much because I now won’t have a piece in this local show (there are lots of other shows), but more so because this show is all about “Drawing in the Expanded Field” and drawing is such an integral part of my work and my piece was going to be the only textile piece in the show.  So now there will be no representation of the textile medium in this show at all.  That, and my partner who is also an artist, also has had her work accepted in this show, so I was excited for us both to be in a local national juried show together – what a great way to start our new life together!

But, alas, it is not to be.  I’ve taken my best shot at resolving the situation, done all I can do at this point.  I’ve marched across the bridge and offered a creative solution.  But I’ve been met on the other side with a brick wall.  So, I’m sad, but I’m moving on.  Just through the course of writing this blog post, my sadness has dissipated and my fierce-ness is energizing me to get up and get going again!

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