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.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

A Big Finish for Little Stitches - Mary Ann Nailos

Like many of you, I started the new year cleaning and organizing my studio. In the process I found things that have been overlooked or forgotten. On one shelf, collecting dust, I found 7 ceramic raku picture frames that I made 5-6 years ago. 

The frames are small - about 5 1/2 " square with an opening only 2 1/2 " square. What to put in an opening so small? I had the perfect answer - stitch meditations. 

I was inspired to make these little compositions after watching a video by textile artist Liz Kettle. Each piece is a 4" x 4" composition backed with flannel. Making these little pieces was a way of warming up, got me into the studio and working on larger pieces. 

In order to make the pieces stiffer for mounting to the frames I used a sandwich of the stitch meditation, Pellon Peltex 72F double sided fusible ultra firm stabilizer and a piece of black Kona cotton for the backing. The piece was then cut down to 3 1/4". I went around the outside edges with black paint.

Finally I put a bead of glue around the inside edge of the opening and attached the completed piece to the back of the frame and added picture hanging wire. 

Voila! A big finish for a small piece!

 I am very pleased to have made use of these frames and small compositions. Here are a couple other pieces in black and blue frames. I can see these hanging as a grouping.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A San Francisco museum honors local artists


In early 2020, after the advent of the Corona Virus pandemic, art museums, music venues, and most public institutions closed their doors for public safety.  With this impetus, San Francisco’s de Young Museum initiated an ambitious local project.  Seasoned and emerging Bay Area artists were invited to enter a salon-style 9-gallery juried exhibition called “The de Young Open”.  Out of more than 11,000 entries, 877 pieces by 763 artists had been chosen.  I was honored to be one of those, with my piece “Heated Boundaries.”  In spite of virus case surges and a planned 15 week show open for only 7 weeks, the show did open with mask and distancing protocols in place.

A salon style show is meant to be eye-popping and overwhelming.  It invites you to return because you can’t possibly take in the scale and “wallop” in one viewing.  The sensitivity and subtlety of subject matter also bring you back for exploration.  You can see the show on line (and my piece) until January 31, 2021 at:

My piece “Heated Boundaries” refers to that zone in which populated areas and “the wild” come into close contact.  It is here that we experience one of the many dangerous effects of the warming of our climate.  Extreme fires have devastated communities in California and throughout the world.

The show is wide-ranging, including potent and relevant themes of Black Lives Matter, social justice, the pandemic, Bay Area views and scenes, representation, abstraction, and portraiture.  All media were included.  In viewing the show, I was thrilled to be in the midst of the diversity, artistry, and depth of expression that distinguishes our area’s artists. 

The museum world is changing.  De Young Museum Executive Director Thomas Campbell acknowledges that “looking locally and relying less on traveling exhibitions of internationally famous artists may be a key part of how Fine Art Museum San Francisco (FAMSF) will move forward.”  Timothy Anglin Burgard, FAMSF curator-in-charge of American art, states that “museums have been dependent on the blockbuster exhibition schedule.  Here, we are relinquishing that role for a more populist model that engages community.”

Forest Floor Installation (in progress)

 Here are some photos of the Forest Floor installation piece that I have been working on for awhile. It includes, logs, tree stump, rocks of various sizes, leaves, moss and lichen all created with Fossshape , paint, burning, stitching. I hope to finish it this spring and display somewhere along with an assortment of large tree bark wall pieces and tree ring quilts.  I am currently in sunnier, warmer climes so will not be working on this again until spring.  But someday I will be done! Then have to find a place to show it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

 After mark making on paper, it was an easy transition to mark making on fabric. This fabric was put through several stages of dye and discharge. I have added the circle with heavy body acrylic and a brush. My next layer of marks will come from stitch.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Wounded Sentinels are Growing

Last year I did a series of 7 figures in response to the terrible fire damage in my home state of California.    They topped out at 24".   I have just started a larger version of that series; these will range from 3'-6'.   The first one (40" tall) is complete. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Mark making

 I love taking classes. It is exciting to be amongst fellow artists and learning a new approach . However, at the beginning of the session, if I am told that we are starting with mark making, I freeze up and am filled with a sense of dread. Once again I return to junior high, suffering at the hands of a miserable and cranky art teacher. I have made several resolutions to overcome this negative attitude and tell myself that a lack of drawing skills should not paralyze. 

For this new year, I enrolled in Mark Making with Jane Davies. And, you know what?  It has been fun!

Here is a sampling of the very basic exercises to get started. No completed pieces to worry about, just having fun.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Inspiration for joining ACN

I am so excited to have been accepted into ACN this year. I have been using photos to create patterns for the last five years and I have been experimenting with printing the patterns and colors on fabric. I've been wondering, where this can go? What kind of meaning can be created beyond the surface pattern and the physical aspects of cloth? I am looking at the community of art cloth makers to develop these ideas. I've been so inspired by the work that I've seen in ACN and the way you support one another.This quote, that I found on the ACN website, will inspire me for the next year: 

" . . . 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."

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Excited About My Presentation: Into the Third Dimension




Wednesday, December 2, 2020

A Warm Welcome

Art Cloth Network is proud to present our newest members.  Here is just a peak at the work of each talented artist.  Click through to their websites for an in-depth look at their individual portfolios. We hope you find their work as outstanding and inspiring as we do.  


Yolanda Sanchez

With a Full Heart, Yolanda Sanchez

Don Coulter

Jazz Therapy, by Don Coulter

Joan Diamond

Enduring, by Joan Diamond

Maria Billings

Maria Billings' Spirals

Barbara Schulman

Watchful Eye, Barbara Schulman

Kathleen Cunningham

Wow! Yellow and Blue, by Kathleen Cunningham

Monday, August 24, 2020

Unbound Exhibit Reviewed

We are delighted that Joanne Briana-Gartner of The Enterprise recently reviewed our Unbound exhibit currently on view at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. 

Click here for a link to the article. 

              In Air, by Melita VanderBrooke, is included in the Unbound exhibition.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

ACN member Priscilla Smith talks about our UNBOUND exhibition

Watch Priscilla talk about a few of the submissions to our Unbound exhibition which is currently on view at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod.  

Click here for a link to Vimeo.

If you would like to be a part of ACN, we are accepting membership applications.  Contact Connie Tiegel for details.  

                            Into the Darkness by Priscilla Smith, part of the 

                            Unbound exhibition at the CCCC.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

New Work from Barbara James

 Adding Texture and Interest With Hand Stitching

Over the past few years ACN member Barbara James has added more and more hand stitching to her work. She uses traditional stitches in non-traditional ways to add texture and color to a piece. Stitch detail draws the eye to the center of interest or helps move the eye along a path in a larger work.  Here are three examples of stitch details within larger works.

Moving the eye within a larger work.

Stitching within the center of interest.  

Stitching as the center of interest or focal point.