Monday, August 30, 2021

Sherri Lipman McCauley - EIGHT: In Depth, An Invitational Exhibition

 Sherri Lipman McCauley writing about EIGHT: In Depth, An Invitational Exhibition - 

Thrilled to say that I have been invited to show my work with a group of local women artists, “EIGHT: In Depth”, at the Round Rock campus of Texas State University (Avery Building Gallery), 1555 University Blvd., Round Rock, Texas. The exhibition will be on display until October 29. Covid permitting, there will be a reception the evening of Friday, September 10. Please come by if you are in the neighborhood!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Barbara Matthews -- Creative Whimsy Feature Artist

How has your creativity evolved over the years? What triggered the evolution to new media/kinds of work/ways of working?

 I was fortunate to graduate from the University of Washington Fiber Certificate program, which launched my art career.  In the beginning, I had dabbled in weaving, knitting, quilting, and silk painting and I extended these methods to my art.  I loved the radiance of dyed silk.  I took a class with Karen Sistek, a Master Silk Painter, who adhered her paintings to canvas.  I tried the same method on acrylic glass and found the silk seemed to become one with the acrylic.  This allowed me to stand my pieces upright so that light could shine through. 


Discovering this opened-up avenues into laser cutting and woodworking.  I use the laser cutter to cut shapes from the acrylic glass, then I adhere the dyed silk to these shapes.  The process is enjoyable from beginning to end, starting with drawing templates by hand to tracing the images within a software program to the final trimming of the silk on the acrylic form. 


Because I needed a base for my pieces to stand upright, I took classes in woodworking and ultimately became hooked on wood. I love the juxtaposition of soft with rigid--silk with acrylic glass, fiber with wood.  The contrast emphasizes the beauty of both.


Which artists do you admire? What draws you to their work?


Fine craftsmen inspire me, especially those who work with wood, but also paper, textiles, glass, and metal.  The ability to transform a material to a shape and form of art requires not only years of experience, but a deep appreciation and understanding of the material, plus a profound desire for perfection.


Are there recurring themes in your work?

I am intrigued by those things that are larger than life, like trees.  These regal beings have a knowing grace that seems to surpass our limited knowledge of the world.  Their lives span many of our generations, but their strength and sturdiness remain vulnerable to the finality of an axe. This contrast between strength and fragility is interesting and perhaps represents our own vulnerability.   I am shown here in front of a 2,000 year old Redwood in Stout Grove Reserve in the Redwood National Park.

Barbara and redwood 

In ‘Happier Days’ I imagined the inner life of a tree before it is felled. 

Happier Days 18”Hx 38”W x 8”D

Likewise glaciers have an exquisite beauty that is only deepened by our knowledge of their age in millennia.  Still these massive structures suffer a demise at the hand of man. The pieces here are ‘Glacier Cathedral’ and ‘Ice Star’.  

Glacier Cathedral –50”H x 47”W x 12”D

 Ice Star –26”H x 20”W x 3”D 

Perhaps because I am an introvert myself, I recognize the vulnerabilities within people as well.  Am I the only one who sometimes does not feel comfortable in her own skin?  It was that idea that lead me to create ‘Aliens Among Us’. 

Aliens Among Us—17”H x 17”W x3”D 

Then further, appreciating the ‘wabi sabi’ among all of us as humans, I created ‘Perfectly Imperfect’.   The wonder and sometimes burden of being human leads to a never-ending source for my art.

Perfectly Imperfect—15”H x 17”W x 3”D

Do you think that creativity comes naturally to people, or do you think creativity is a skill that people can learn? 

Everyone has the capability to be creative.  Gardeners, woodworkers, cooks, even housecleaners create as a result of their interest or profession.  I would argue that creating is a state of mind.  It has to do with taking ownership and pride in your work.  I have frequently thrown together a dinner that was food and not at all creative.  Likewise, I have taken the time to create a lovely meal.  I made masks for the pandemic that were strictly utilitarian, others took the time and dedication to create well-made and practical masks.  I could even suggest that we could look at our interactions with our children and friends as creating.  We are creating adults of the future and relationships that are lasting and meaningful.  If we thought of the creation aspect, would that not elevate the importance of our conversation with more pleasing outcome? 

When it comes to creating, are you more of a planner or an improviser? 

Creativity for me has been a challenge.  Because of my years as a researcher in my prior profession, I have the experience and proclivity to plan.  A well-designed process has always worked for me and I love that part of my art—graphing designs, measuring angles, engineering pieces.  I also work from a concept, so have the additional challenge of representing that concept without being literal. Because of these tendencies, I have found my pieces sometimes are unexciting and lack magic.

To counter this, I have purposefully started to improvise pieces, so folding and cutting paper to create structures without first graphing the size and shape.  Plus, I have introduced play into my process by doing collages and mark-making without any intention of ending with an art piece.

What do you do differently? What is your signature that makes your work stand out as yours? 

One thing I do is mix my own dye colors.  I love the science of colors (of course) and so only have magenta, cyan, yellow, black dyes, and my own dye mixtures in my cabinet.  I even mix my own black starting with a commercial black, because it is not the black I seek.

I am not aware of others who are applying dyed silk to acrylic glass in art pieces.  Some have applied silk to glass bowls for a very lovely effect.

Do you use a sketchbook or journal? How does that help your work develop?


I use a sketchbook for ideas and a journal to document my process.  I frequently go back to prior dye recipes and these are thankfully documented.  Recently the wood on a piece I had sold years before was warping. I was able resolve and correct the issue by identifying the wood and gluing process I used.


Tell us about a challenging piece. What were the obstacles and how did you get past them?


When I started using acrylic glass, I knew I needed a base for the pieces to stand upright.  I consulted a carpenter friend, who made a prototype.  I then needed to have access to a shop and learn how to use the equipment.  I took a woodshop class, made a coffee table, and learned how to use a table saw, chop saw, band saw, jointer, planer, belt and disk sanders, and router. My design for a base has evolved, my last was version three and there will be a version four.


Do you focus on one piece exclusively from start to finish or work actively on more than one project at a time?


I work on pieces for specific calls for art and so these deadlines drive my process.  I am usually working on several pieces at a time.

Original article published in

 Photography of Glacier Cathedral, Ice Star, Perfectly Imperfect by Michael Stadler Photography





Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Summer Heat

 The intensity of the current fires is shocking, deadly.  This quilt is a response to what is the "new normal" in many parts of the world.   Just juried into Fiber Arts San Antonio!!

Sunday, July 4, 2021

First draft of an idea from Kathleen Cunningham

 " . . . This ability to invite interaction is part of what draws artists to the idea of cloth.
. . . It satisfies because it is active, it is tactile, and it is personal."

This is a first draft/experiment with inviting interaction with images that go beyond surface design. Using stitch to add to the surface in a graphic way. I like the stitching  and the interaction, but it's still just a first pass. As a photographer, I photographed the stitched fabric outside in the shadow of a tree—leaf shadows on leaf fabric. Is the photo the art or the fabric? More to come. . . .


Saturday, June 19, 2021

Barbara James Uses Photos, Stitch, Burlap, and Roving to Give Us an Impression of the Tides.


To make Carried Away 1, I took an original photograph of a downed tree and manipulated it on the computer and had it on cotton sateen. After cutting up the fabric I then collaged and stitched my impression of the tides into a triptych mounted burlap. The representation of the tide on the bottom of the piece is made from the wool batting that was pulled from the back of work and then enhanced with wool roving that I felted onto the batting.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Inspired by the River and What Lies Beneath When the River Recedes by Lynda Williamson


Inspired by the river and what lies beneath when the river recedes. These are 12 of the 15 in “River Series”.  Each 17” x 17” on cotton canvas, worked with earth pigments, India ink and acrylic. 

Next decision, should I mount them in floating frames?

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Lighting the World with Comfort and Joy During a Pandemic
As the sun shone brightly on the sand, patterns emerged inspiring me to create GLOBAL GUARDIAN ANGEL to light the world with comfort and joy during the pandemic. I digitally developed the photo and scanned fabrics and created a file to commercially print on silk charmeuse. This piece is traveling in a SAQA global exhibition entitled “Light the World” and will be in St. Marie Aux-Mines, France, September 2021.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Judy Langille is "Boxed In"

Boxed In by Judy Langille

From Art Cloth Network member Judy Langille

I visited an Italian palace built in the 15th century. It was constructed using 8,500 white marble tetrahedrons. Their carving and positioning created the light and shadows reflected on this building that I was so taken with. 

My immediate fascination with the stories within these stones allowed me to look closely and inspired this piece of 3-D work.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Jeanne Sisson's Subtle Layering Process on 'Carried'


Jeanne Sisson,

To start I ironed fabric onto freezer paper to stabilize it before drawing or painting. Then I used this Arabic calligraphy pen and India ink to draw the figure onto the linen.

The textures above and behind the figure are multiple layers of monotype printing with acrylic medium that will act as a resist when a wash of acrylic paint is applied later. The background was masked with freezer paper and textures were monotype printed onto the figure and foreground with paint.

Lastly, I applied a couple of layers of acrylic paint in washes to create depth.

Carried, 12 x 14”, mixed media on linen

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Walking in Wonder


Enjoy ACN Member Barbara J. Schneider's Latest Solo Exhibition

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

 I was delighted to be invited into the Spotlight on Create Whimsy. Here is  a link to their post.

Friday, March 5, 2021

 You can see ACN member Yolanda Sanchez's work in Miami this month.  Congratulations, Yolanda!

Thursday, March 4, 2021


     Paper holds the folds well.   This is just one piece of paper.  Trompe l'oiel??? 


 During the pandemic I obsessively hand stitched.    Here are some of the MINIMS I made, each is 6" square, banded by needle lace which separates them but allows them to speak to each other.