Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair!

"Portrait of Lena" took second place in Fine Arts exhibit, textile category! This wet felted piece has been very, very good to me. 

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations! It is a beautiful piece and I'm glad it was recognized as such.
    Tammy

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  2. I am not a bit surprised. Well, maybe at the second place. It's gorgeous!!!

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  3. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy for you. :D

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  4. Great for you!!!! and good to see a sheep picture up there on the wall!!!

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  5. Thanks you guys! It's hung right next to two very stunning sheep pieces, one is an extreme close up photo of a sheep and the other is an absolutely beautiful painting of a ewe and lamb drenched in early morning (or maybe late afternoon) sun. On the other side of it are horse pieces.

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  6. Becky,
    I saw your Portrait of Lena at the State Fair. I know nothing of sheep farming, but I must tell you that it is the first piece of art which has ever made me weep. A complete surprise to me, it reached right in and touched a whole range of emotions - there is some delicate balance of love, dignity and beauty simultaneously displayed in the work which is enormously moving. I left the building teary-eyed! No one could have been more surprised than me because I've never reacted this way to art before. I wasn't surprised when I came back later to see it again that it was already sold. I sought out your website because I was curious about the beautiful being that created it. I also wanted to see a photo of you, but didn't find one on your website. I'd love to hear more about your internal process or feelings about creating the piece - even the technical aspects of how you handle the wool to work with it in this way. Please email me if you get the time, and thanks for the beautiful moment I experienced viewing your work.
    Danielle Johansson
    johan003@umn.edu

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  7. Congratulations, Becky, and Greta, I got tears reading your post! I think because it is such a beautiful thing when art does just that, speaks to someone, and goes deeper than what is visually presented, it is magical!

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  8. I got tears reading that post too! I'm humbled to hear how it touched you so deeply Danielle. And when you mentioned that it is sold, it was a bittersweet surprise to me.

    I am NOT photogenic, but I do have two photos of myself on this blog post from July:
    http://riveroaksfarmstudioblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/photos-from-midwest-felting-symposium.html

    And fortunately I blogged actually about creating the portrait of Lena complete with process photos:
    http://riveroaksfarmstudioblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/mental-health-day.html#links

    Magical is right, felting is magical, art is magical and life is magical. That piece has been magical for me right from the start.

    I never did needle felt any detail into it, what was there was the way it felted while it was rolled up inside the pool cover with hot soapy water. I just cropped it on the right side and framed it.

    The actual sheep Lena was my best Shetland/Bluefaced leicester cross lamb in 2008. I had to trade her for Peppy, our terminal sire ram lamb. Thankfully I had taken that wonderful photo of her in the light of the barn door and I knew I had to paint it one way or another. Denise is right that light is a big part of all my 2-d work.

    Right now I am fantically trying to get the publicity ready regarding the community felting project I'll be doing at Sticks & Stones here in Mora on Sept. 25-26 and the exhibit of my recent fiber art the following weekend, on FeltUnited Day, October 2nd, the 2nd Annual International Day of Felt.

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  9. Becky,
    Thanks, that was really interesting to read about how you created the portrait. I think the fact that you used only the natural colors is one of the things that made it so subtly stunning - reminds me of the beautiful pastels of the old technicolor films (the black & white photo doesn't quite capture the piece). Also, your feeling of being "called" to do the portrait when you were intending to do something else, I think truly was what Quakers speak of as a spiritual calling from our internal connection to God. The place it touched me was most certainly the depth of the spiritual plane. I'm glad with all the work you must have to do that you have time to nurture your artistic talents.
    Danielle (aka Greta)

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