Artists’ Talk at “Beyond Tradition”

On Saturday, April 5, the Hubbard Museum of the American West held an artists’ reception for “Beyond Tradition,” an exhibit of contemporary art quilts. I have five pieces in the show: two wall hangings, a banner, and two fabric books. Many thanks to Betty Busby for putting together a video of artists’ talks. I speak at about 17:30 and 23:00.


My Artwork for the 2014 SAQA Benefit Auction

 "Arabesque" art quilt by Julie R. Filatoff

Here is “Arabesque,” my piece for the 2014 Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) Benefit Auction. The auction won’t take place for about five months, and this is the first glimpse anyone has had of my artwork. (Click on any image to enlarge it.)

I chose the name because the graceful, flowing lines reminded me of a dancer’s arm extending to the sky.

First I “drew” a design on white cotton fabric with washable glue, and let it dry completely. Then I sprayed thinned-down acrylic paint, let that dry, then washed out the glue and heatset the fabric. Finally, I used my Gelli Arts silicone plate to monoprint on top of that.  Then I pieced the curves, and quilted it with four different colors of thread (lime green, turquoise, teal, and violet).

As always, once we get closer to the auction, I’ll show others’ work and give more details about how it all works. Each piece is 12″ square.

Detail of "Arabesque," an art quilt by Julie R. Filatoff.

Detail of "Arabesque," an art quilt by Julie R. Filatoff

“Beyond Tradition” Art Exhibit Takes Fiber to New Levels

Just Suppose...Juxtaposed is an art quilt by Julie R. Filatoff

Just Suppose…Juxtaposed is an art quilt by Julie R. Filatoff

I’m thrilled to be part of “Beyond Tradition,” an exhibit of contemporary mixed-media fiber art, which will be at the Hubbard Museum of the American West in Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico. Layered and stitched textiles have been a part of human history for thousands of years. “Beyond Tradition” includes work by 21st-century artists who pay homage to traditional forms of expression while taking the artwork to new levels through the use of unusual materials and techniques. The show will feature two-dimensional and three-dimensional work, and the Hubbard Museum will hold educational events. All of the exhibiting artists are members of the New Mexico region of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), an international, nonprofit organization with more than 3,100 members. Continue reading

“Getting Things Done” and the Artist

Artwork by Julie Filatoff

Do you find it interesting how other people organize their lives and their time? I do. True confession: I actually enjoy reading books on organization.

One of the things that people have said about me is that I am very organized. To some extent, that’s true, especially at my day job.

Organizing at My Day Job

I have an ongoing (and detailed) to-do list at work, and every day I look at it afresh and identify the top four or five things, which I then prioritize.

Under my desk you’d find a large box that I call “CYA” that contains documents marked up by project managers. (This is so I can say, “See—that IS how you wanted the text to read.”)

On the other side under my desk you’d find a large box with papers that do not need to be shredded, but do need to be recycled. Occasionally I’ll dump those into the communal recycling bin.

On top of my desk is a wire upright organizer that contains about 10 file folders. These hold my current projects. There are also about 20 hanging folders in a desk drawer.

Organizing in My Studio, Home Office, and Personal Life

A few years ago I started the Getting Things Done (GTD) program, using Microsoft Outlook as the basis (work things at work; personal and JiRaF Studio things at home).

The problem?

I don’t examine my list each week. And the “Someday/Maybe” list is sooooo long, it’s overwhelming; I don’t even want to look at it.

Since late December I’ve been meaning to revisit the whole list. Today I finally did it!

Here’s how:

I have a file folder where I toss notes that need to go on the to-do list—magazine or newspaper clippings, email addresses, Post-It notes, mail (that doesn’t have to be acted on immediately), etc.

I printed out my Outlook to-do list, 2014 calendar (one month/page), and grabbed the file folder above, along with a red pen and a yellow highlighter.

With the pen I deleted many things and added some things (based on the bits in the file folder).

Originally, my Outlook to-do list was divided by WHERE I do stuff. This is the suggestion of GTD’s founder, David Allen:

  • Agendas (Since I’m a sole proprietor and don’t have meetings with my non-existent staff, this contains lists of things to get at the office supply store, hardware store, drugstore, art supply store, etc.)
  • Phone Calls
  • Computer
  • Home (personal tasks, like touching up wall paint)
  • In The World (errands to run)
  • Studio (mixed-media, art quilt, and book arts projects)
  • Someday/Maybe (tasks I don’t want to forget about, but are either very long-term or blue-sky thinking)

After much deliberation, I changed my to-do list by dividing it into “Roles and Goals” a la Stephen Covey (a technique I’d used many years before):

  • Artist
  • Businesswoman
  • Homeowner
  • Human
  • Daughter
  • Friend

This causes me to see where I’m spending my time and energy. If I’m putting too little energy into Person, Daughter, and Friend, and too much into Businesswoman and Artist, my life is a bit out of whack.

I even walked through my studio to find half-finished projects to add to the Artist category. (Let she who is without UFO cast the first stone.)

And all those Someday/Maybe items? I moved them from Outlook into a Word document so I don’t have to look at them all the time. (The steps: export to an Excel file; remove unnecessary items; sort; copy into a Word document.)

Next I delved into the two-dozen hanging folders in my home office. First I removed the tickler files. A tickler file (for those of you too young to know) was a set of 12 folders with a month printed on each one. You’d toss in anything that was relevant to that month. I rarely do this anymore, preferring to use my Outlook calendar (including notations of where to find the tickets I need for the event, etc.).

I also repurposed some folders. “Writing Projects” went into my “Blog” folder, for example.

Going forward I plan to refer to my to-do list more often—once a week at least. We’ll see if I stick to this.

One of the people I really admire is Karen Grunberg. Karen has a busy life as a wife, a mother of two boys, a full-time employee of Google, a coach, an artist, and a teacher. Yikes! She is very, very organized; she has to be. Yet her overriding philosophy is one of kindness. This is a woman I need to learn from, for sure.

How do you organize your life?

Free Digital Ephemera: Old Book Lists

I have an old, old book from an English publisher named Ward, Locke & Co., Limited. My family immigrated to the USA from England in the mid-twentieth century. There are three pages I’ve scanned for your use in projects.

To download, click on the image, which will take you to the attachment page. From there you can right-click on the larger image and save to your computer.

Free digital ephemera 1

The first free digital ephemera download is the New Reward Series, and lists Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales, The Swiss Family Robinson, Don Quixote de la Mancha, The Old Favourite Fairy Tales, Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I love these old book pages include the price–in this case, 3 shillings and sixpence apiece.

Free digital ephemera 2

The next is the Presentation Series, and it looks like these were created for children–possibly as an award for good Sunday School attendance. Included are The Prince of the House of David, The Throne of David, The Pillar of Fire, In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? [and here we thought that was a modern saying, much parodied], His Brother’s Keeper, Jabez Easterbrook, and Bible Steps for Little Pilgrims.

Free digital ephemera 3

Third is The Lily Series, including Little Women [one of my all-time favorite books], Good Wives, The Lamplighter, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Wide, Wide World, Queechy [?!], Prince of the House of David, Melbourne House, and From Jest to Earnest. This page is especially cool because it explains the features of the book and a bit about the philosophy behind the series.

Have fun, and if you make something, please post a link in the comments below. Thanks!

Art Journal Background: Painted Washi Tape

Art Journal Background with Painted Washi Tape

One coat of vanilla craft paint on the right page.

I placed pieces of Tim Holtz Tissue Tape (aka washi tape ) in my Strathmore Art Journal (using matte gel medium underneath and on top to secure it).  Then I painted two coats of vanilla craft paint, let it dry, and trimmed the edges.

Art Journal with Two Coats of Craft Paint on top of Washi Tape

Two coats of craft paint on top of washi tape.

It will be a great background for an art journal spread.  Stay tuned to see what I do.

SAQA Trunk Show: Forest Floor

Forest Floor Art Quilt by Julie R. FilatoffStudio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) often puts out a call for small artworks that they can mount on black FomeCore, place in a clear envelope, and send throughout the world. Sometimes these “trunk shows” garner so many responses that they are divided into several “trunks.”

Here’s my submittal, “Forest Floor.” When I was a child, our family had a wonderful set of encyclopedias about the natural world. As I created this, I thought about a photo of the forest floor I’d seen in these books–brown and green, with a bit of bright color. Continue reading

A Wonderful Start to the Year

Intuitive Painting by Julie R. FilatoffBeing part of an intuitive painting workshop was a wonderful start to the new year.

I was one of nine students. Teacher Julie Claire of Full Bloom Coaching led us in the meditative session. We worked on large (3 feet x 4 feet) pieces of black tar paper used in roofing. The paper was very sturdy, and acrylic paint just absorbed into it. This made us have to keep layering paint, which was more interesting than flat color. Continue reading