Friday, November 6, 2020

Your Work on the SAQA Website!

Tension by Natalie Skinner in Opposites Attract SAQA Exhibit

Do you have an artwork featured on the SAQA main website yet?

SAQA is currently accepting submissions for their website collection and members are eligible to submit one piece for consideration. Deadline to submit for this intake is November 30, 2020.

Browse the Collection here.

For more details visit here.

Good luck!

Friday, October 30, 2020

Gallery Vertigo Call For Entry

Open Call Fibre Exhibit "X's and O's"

Gallery Vertigo is inviting fibre artists to submit to a scheduled exhibit entitled X’s and O’s. Have you played this childhood game? What about “X marks the spot”? Do you sign letters with kisses and hugs (XO XO XO)? Old treasure maps often had an X marking the spot of the treasure. Those unable to read and/or write often signed with an “X”. Perhaps your thoughts of X’s and O’s relate to yin and yang, crosses and losses. How would you portray X’s and O’s? We are challenging fibre artists to interpret the theme of X’s and O’s in whichever direction your creative muse takes you.

Dec. 15, 2020 Online submission of entry opens

 Feb.1, 2021  Entry deadline at 3:00 pm PST 

All registrations must be in by this date

For details visit this link. The submission form can be found here.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Colour with a U Too Update & Artist Features

Both of these wonderful regional exhibits are continuing their journeys across Canada over the next two years. Artists Michele Craigen and Rosalind Sims have their work in Colour with a U Too now on display at the Signal Hill Arts Centre in Weyburn Saskatchewan until October 31st.

Michele writes about her piece:

How did Through My Eyes  develop? It’s based on views from the car while on the road travelling from southeast Saskatchewan where it’s quite flat to areas where it’s more rolling hills. 
One day in my studio I needed something to do so I gathered fabric, commercial and hand-dyed. I got so far with it and got stuck, so I put it away.The Colour With a U exhibit call was a perfect theme to go back and try to finish. I went back to my photos for inspiration. Techniques used were machine and hand stitching, and free motion quilting. The dead trees were created with free motion on dissolvable Solvey and tacked in place.

Through My Eyes - Michele Craigen

Rosalind Sims writes about her piece:

This winter scene with a silhouetted Polar Bear & the bright Colours of the Aurora Borealis speaks of ‘Colour with a ‘U” in Canada’s skies. After living in the Northwest Territories for 20 years I am still infatuated with Northern Lights!  Can’t you just imagine a polar bear standing in awe of such beauty?

Materials:  Carded merino mix sheep wool, fine merino sheep roving; wool cloth;

wool/polyester cloth; cotton threads and beads.

Techniques:  Wet felting;  needle felting; applique; thread painting; raw edge stitching, free motion quilting with a variety of stiches to give texture; beading and finished with a facing to add structure.

Oh, What a Night - Rosalind Sims

More artist features from Colour with a U & Colour with a U Too are forthcoming. Please contact the blog editor if you have SAQA Western Canada news to share!

Friday, October 9, 2020

The Making of Surging Tides of Consequences

Clare Attwell lives in Victoria British Columbia and shares with us the process behind her piece Surging Tides of Consequences that is on display in the Shifting Tides Regional Exhibit. Shifting Tides is showing at the Pratt Museum in Kachemak Bay Alaska from October 9 to November 28, 2020.

To view the Shifting Tides catalogue online click here.

Here is Clare's artist statement:

Milton Freidman famously used the manufacture of a classic yellow pencil as an illustration for free market economics. Yet Friedman's pencil metaphor  meant many important but difficult to measure variables were not considered. The social and environmental consequences of this approach are now everywhere, from climate chaos to mass human migration and species extinctions. As though we are facing The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. Hokusai's iconic wood cut print, there is a growing sense that life on earth is on an ominous precipice, driven by a system incapable of valuing what really matters.

The result of playing with a wheat paste texturing process – initially I was just interested in creating texture, water – and then added some salmon drawing studies.

Creating & assembling the parts.

-    I got a box of yellow pencils, broke them into pieces and then photographed them, before printing those photos onto cloth.  I then overpainted those photo images.


A design mock-up with several overlays stuck onto transparency sheets

Designing my over-quilting pattern: the inspiration came from The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai (1829-33).

Loaded onto my longarm for the over-stitching (quilting).

Surging Tides of Consequences Detail - Clare Attwell 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Call For Entry Touch: SAQA Western Canada Trunk Show


 “Touch” Trunk Show Our Regional Trunk Show has been approved by SAQA so start creating with the theme” Touch”. 

TOUCH What touches you? What do you touch? Touch can be physical, emotional or spiritual. Touch is part of our well-being, an elemental form of communication, and a lack of touch can affect our physical and emotional health. We say ‘Keep in touch’ to those we wish to have contact with, ‘I’m touched’ as an e

motional response or ‘don’t touch’ to keep people away. 

Create an 8” x 10” piece (either orientation) in response to the theme of TOUCH; these will be assembled into a Trunk Show for Western Canadian members to share with groups in their area. The works will be mounted to an 8 ½” x 11” board but will NOT be covered in plastic when shown; the mounting will help protect the pieces from excessive handling and soiling but viewers will be able to see and visually touch the art without a screen of plastic film. 

A plastic envelope will be used to protect the art during shipping and storage. This should be kept in mind when designing and constructing your art quilt; everything must be securely attached and nothing should extend beyond the 8” x 10” measurement or protrude more than ¼” above the surface. Edges may be finished in any way, be uneven or remain unfinished. 

All information about the piece should be attached to the back of the board: title, artist info, artistic statement, materials and techniques.

Entry information: There is no entry fee. 

Email your entry information to susanlselby@gmaildotcom 

Include the following information:

  • Title 
  • Name
  •  Artistic statement, no more than 100 words
  •  Techniques and materials used, no more than 50 words
  •  Optional information – a sale price if for sale, your email address, website, phone number if you wish to publish your information. 
  • Sales would be handled directly by the artist.
  •  Photograph of the work, labelled Last name_First name_Title 

Entries need to be mailed by March 1 2020

Address for mailing is in the SAQA Western Canada Monthly Newsletter.

Questions contact Susan at susanlselbyatgmaildotcom.

Monday, September 7, 2020

SAQA Benefit Auction - Support Western Canada Members!

It's that time of year again. The SAQA Benefit Auction is just days away. Beginning Friday September 11 you will get the chance to bid and support the important exhibit programs that make opportunities for all members and the public to learn more about art quilts.

Below check out the wonderful contributions from Western Canada members. Not all will be available right away, so be sure to visit the new bidding platform information and find all the details here.  Please check out these wonderful pieces and the hundreds more available for purchase. 

Circles of Red by Ana Buzzalino

Hurricane by Sharon Allman

Tilt by Terry Aske

More Colour with a U by Michele Craigen

The Thing With Wings by Margaret Blank

It Dawned on Me by Jaynie Himsl

A Love of Circles by Robin Fischer

Skinny Strips by Karen Johnson

Ancient Messages by Judy Leslie

Abandoned Cabin by Sandra D. Lounsbury

O = TT by Karlie Norrish McChesney

Thread Painting En Plein Air II by Jenny Perry

Hoarfrost by Susan Selby

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Learn About Contemporary Artists with SAQA

SAQA hosts Contemporary Art Talks through one of their Special Interest Groups. These talks feature artists from different walks of life and mediums to help us all learn and be inspired.

 The goal of this group is to provide a casual, supportive, open-minded place for us to actively learn as we discuss and become familiar with contemporary art and artists.

On July 28, 2020 at 1pm EST the featured artist is Julie Mehretu.

Julie Mehretu is an Ethiopian born, American abstract artist known for her expansive canvases that vibrate with energy. This mid career artist layers drawing and painting to record her global perspective on contemporary life. Join guest researcher Nancy Riffle for this presentation.

Details on how to join in can be found here.

Monday, June 8, 2020

The Making of Help Me

Today's feature artist is Diana Bartelings from Rock Creek, BC.
To view more of her work visit:

Diana writes:

The Pacific Ocean is a part of my heritage, having grown up in Vancouver, BC. To know that we are destroying this part of our world strongly affects me. I chose to focus on the wildlife that is caught up in pollution that freely roams the ocean with the tides.
I began with some of my ice dyed fabric that represented the beauty of the ocean itself. I soak my fabric in soda ash, place some in the bottom of a smaller container, cover in ice and sprinkle the Procion MX dye powders on then continue to layer more fabric, ice and dyes until my container is fairly full. I put a lid on it and then let it sit for 24 hours. After that I wash it out using sythropol.

I used commercial fabrics to make the turtle and, in an effort to recycle, an avocado bag for the netting. The diver was appliqued on with recycled cotton as well. We are so careless in the way we discard our garbage that I chose to add a piece of plastic that holds pop, juice or beer cans together. These are often found on sea creatures.  

"Help Me" Diana Bartelings

Monday, June 1, 2020

The Making of Eh, Utopian Sky

Our featured artist this week is Colour with a U artist Dawn Piasta from Manitoba.

 “Eh, Utopian Sky” Dawn Piasta

Dawn writes:

It did not take me long to decide on a subject matter for my Colour with a U submission. I had the idea swimming around in my mind for years.  The design developed as I was studying the works of various Canadian artists.  The style that struck me the strongest was that of Emily Carr.

My subject matter was to be a mix of wild cranberries and the Northern Lights.  Six months after our wedding, as a young bride my husband took me, for the first time, to his family home in Manitoba.  The skies were alive with the Aurora Borealis every night of our visit.  I was bewitched by their vivid colours.  Three years later we moved with our 8-month-old son to a farm just north of Dauphin.  Shortly after our arrival I met my first friend, Angie.  To me she was like the sister I had left behind.  She showed me how to navigate within the new world I now lived.  She had a lot of secret places to reveal. My most treasured memory was the days we went picking wild cranberries along the Wilson River.  The bushes were amber and chartreuse, the berries were scarlet & crimson. This was the vision that would become “Eh, Utopian Sky” I have sadly had to say good by to my friend, but my memories are cherished and are now memorialized in this quilt.

I sourced the fabrics from a resale shop.  Natural fibres of linen, cotton & silk were used. The berries were made using the Aplquick method of applique. The background pattern developed due to the fact that my fingers were raw from applying each berry and stem by hand (without a thimble). 

For more information about Dawn's work please visit her website.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Colour with a U Video Presentation

When the March 2020 SAQA conference MoSAiQA was converted to an online event due to COVID-19 the organizing committee worked hard to create a video featuring all of the wonderful quilts in both Colour with a U and Colour with a U Too. Below is the link to the video in full. Enjoy.