All The News: Grunewald Guild

Hawk’s Prairie by Larkin Jean Van Horn

For the past 20+ years, I have been offering week long classes as part of the summer program at the Grunewald Guild. For those who may not know, the Guild is nestled in the Plain valley, not far from the charming little Bavarian style town of Leavenworth, Washington in the Cascade Mountains. Over the years I have taught art quilting, fabric dyeing, stamp and stencil making, 3-D fabric vessel making, and more, but have never taught my Extravagant Beadwork class there – until this year.

Summer Dragonfly by Larkin Jean Van Horn

After closing last year due to Covid-19, they are opening up for several weeks of classes this year, with some restrictions in place. They will be operating at about half-capacity, and all those who wish to attend must be vaccinated. My class will run August 1-7, 2021 and you can get all the details at the Guild website: https://grunewaldguild.com

Sea Turtles by Larkin Jean Van Horn

I am really looking forward to offering this class at the Guild. We’ve usually included a little side lesson on beading on fabric in my other classes, but this time the beadwork will be the main show. Students will get to design their own projects, and I will help them get where they are going. The samples I’ve posted here are all detail shots of some pretty extravagant jewelry of mine, but you could also choose to make a beaded doll, add beads to a quilt or wall hanging, decorate the top of a fabric box, or anything else you want to try. The class information says you won’t need a sewing machine, but I will bring one along in case someone needs to run something up quickly.

Spring Rain by Larkin Jean Van Horn

I would love to have you all in class, my little chickadees, but the class size is restricted to 10, so go the website and click on Programs, then on the highlighted Summer Session to get to class information and registration and all the details. Feel free to holler if I can help explain anything.

Be well, stay safe, and carry on! Larkin

All The News: Latimer Quilt and Textile Center

Growth Spiral by Larkin Jean Van Horn

“All the news that’s fit to print”, a phrase coined by Adolph S. Ochs in 1897 as the slogan for the New York Times, has been quoted all over the place since I can remember. As an homage to the NYT and Mr. Ochs, I plan to use the first three words as the start of announcements on my blog that indicate things that have dates attached – exhibits, teaching gigs, etc. So here goes:

My exhibit, “Whirlwinds and Whirlpools”, will close at the LaConner Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum in LaConner, Washiongton on Sunday, August 1st. It will open at the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon on Wednesday, September 8th, where it will remain until October 31st. There will be a closing reception on October 30th (dependent upon the state of the Covid-19 situation as regards to gatherings at that point). I am always looking for a way to get out of the city and out to the coast, so I am delighted the show will travel there. Be sure to check the center’s website for hours of operation and other details: https://www.latimerquiltandtextile.com

Stay safe and well, my little chickadees! Larkin

Stress Fracture by Larkin Jean Van Horn

Whirlwinds and Whirlpools

Abundance by Larkin Jean Van Horn

Long before it became loosely connected to eastern meditation, and massively commercialized, doodling was something nearly everyone did. I have very clear memories of having to copy my homework “without the border decoration, Miss!” School seemed, at times, like one long, not-terribly-exciting program to get kids to conform. And one way they did that was by squelching our artistic impulses. The 11th Commandment might just as well have been “Thou shalt not doodle in the margins”. (I will stipulate that your mileage may have varied.)

A Bright New Day by Larkin Jean Van Horn

Some things don’t change much as time goes by. Then, as now, my doodles are small and usually involve a spiral or several, and lots of curved lines. They are mostly abstract, though I have been known to draw a fairly reasonable dragon head when the occasion called for it. In late 2019 I started playing with the idea of turning my doodles into fabric art. For this, I enlisted the aid of my local photocopy shop to blow the drawings up to a reasonable size. We settled on 300% after a couple of false starts. After scheduling the exhibit, I set two goals: 1) have 45 pieces ready to hang, and 2) honor the experimental nature of the process by including every piece I made, even if I wasn’t too sure about them.

In The Depths by Larkin Jean Van Horn

Though I hadn’t known it would turn out this way, working on this series helped me get through the massive life disruption of the pandemic. Without a deadline, there would have been a whole lot more binge-watching old TV shows and re-reading murder mysteries from the 1950s. (Don’t get me wrong. There was still plenty of that!) So I am grateful to the lovely folks at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Art Museum for giving me something to work towards for the last year and a half. (Shout out to Amy and Jenny!)

Sea Kelp by Larkin Jean Van Horn

I plan to spend the day at the museum on May 5, though there will be no formal reception due to the pandemic. And now, a word from our sponsor (as they used to say when television was live!) Be well, my little chickadees!

The mission of the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum is to present exhibitions and educational programs in all fiber arts that enrich and inspire, honor cultural traditions, and celebrate the creative spirit. The Museum hosts local, national and international exhibits and educational programs in all fiber arts. A nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization, the museum is located at 703 South 2nd Street, La Conner, WA and is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. More details can be found at www.qfamuseum.org.

Walking Meditation (detail) by Larkin Jean Van Horn

NWDC BAM Benefit

Members of the Northwest Designer Craftsmen (including yours truly) are participating in a virtual exhibition to benefit the Bellevue Art Museum. NWDC members were invited to submit work for the exhibit, which were then juried for inclusion. The exhibit opens this Friday at the website address on the flyer below.

My entry is called “Winged Messengers” and is shown right below the date 1/3/21 on the flyer, but that’s awfully small to see any detail, so here’s a couple more photos.

I know I’ve been away from the blog for awhile. Hopefully I will get my blogging mojo back soon, and be back to posting more regularly. Meanwhile, everyone please stay safe and healthy, and have a blessed holiday season amid these very strange times.

Peace, Larkin

Last Saturday

Remember those awful essays we had to write during the first week of school after having almost three months off? The title was always “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”, and it was required that we all stand up and read ours to the class so the more well-to-do among us could brag about their trips to Italy (or whatever), and the ones unfortunate enough to break a leg (or whatever) could play for sympathy. Yuck!

That’s not what this blog post is about. It’s about keeping your eyes open and noticing what’s going on while you are on your way to or from somewhere. This is what I saw last Saturday:

  • Bright blue sky, interspersed among heavy grey clouds
  • The first rainbow of 2020
  • Snow geese, both in fields and flying overhead
  • The flooded fields of the Skagit Valley
  • Several redtail hawks in trees along the roads, neatly spaced about 1/2 mile apart (they tend to be rather territorial)
  • Great blue herons hunting for lunch in flooded ditches
  • The Skagit River, running high and fast
  • Horses standing in muddy paddocks
  • A fabulously colorful sunset behind Camano Island
  • A large bright white full moon in a deep blue sky

And where was I going to and from, you ask, that I got to see all these marvels? I drove up to LaConner for the opening of a new exhibit by the Whidbey Island Surface Design group (WISD). I was a member of WISD when I lived on the island, and couldn’t pass up a chance to see their new show. And it was great to see some friends and do a little catching up. No photographs permitted, so I don’t have any pictures to show you, but I was blown away, not only by the quality of the work, but also the amazing diversity of style, content, and techniques. For more information, visit the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum website: www.qfamuseum.org

That’s all the news for now, my little chickadees! Stay warm and dry, but also take some time to get out there and see what there is to be seen. It can change your mind, your attitude, and your perspective.

Peace, Larkin

Back To Work

It’s nearly the end of January, and time for me to get back to the studio in a more serious way. My exhibit in LaConner has come down, and I have three pieces in the new exhibit on the ground floor which is called “Birds of a Fiber”. If you are in the LaConner area, be sure to drop in at the Pacific Northwest Museum of Quilt and Fiber Arts. I was there while they were hanging the show, and got a preview. There is some truly wonderful work to be seen.

But the fact remains, that I have work to do, and I have been taking it rather easy since Christmas. Partly this is because I got a truly rotten cold in early December that had me coughing day and night for weeks. But also, I tend to take January pretty easy, doing some catch up reading and hanging out with friends (and if truth be told, avoiding driving in the snow. I know, I’m a wimp!).

The work I have to do is part of a series I am working on for an exhibit scheduled for late summer 2021. I have finished the first few, and am pretty happy with the results. The further I go into the series, the more complex and interesting they get. But the early ones were inspired by a simple line drawing in an old sketchbook, that finally had a chance to make it to the work table.

“Trinity” by Larkin Jean Van Horn

Be well, my little chickadees. Stay warm and dry, and mind your health. Peace and many blessings, Larkin.

‘Tis the Season

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it’s kind of hard to escape the fact that today is Christmas Eve. The stores are still bleating at us that it’s the last day to shop. Carols are still assaulting our eardrums wherever we go (some of them quite wondrous, and others truly insipid). Our email boxes are overloaded with offers to deliver whatever we order by tomorrow.

Being a fan of movies, I am reminded this year of the last scene of a Bill Murray film called “Scrooged”, a modern version of Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”. Bill makes this wonderful declaration after having been visited by the three ghosts: “It’s Christmas Eve. It’s not too late. It’s the one night of the year that we act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we share a little more. For a couple of hours of the year, we are the people we always hoped we would be. It’s a miracle.”

In this season of light, however you choose to celebrate, I wish for you a little wonder and magic, the love of family and friends, and maybe a small miracle.

Peace and many blessings, my little chickadees. Larkin

Another UFO (UnFinished Object)

Here’s another lovely little piece from the UFO pile. This one only needed binding, and was ready to move on. In this case, it is a gift for the woman who made the ceramic face, my friend Sarah Jane. I called it “Imagination” because SJ is so full of creative ideas.

“Imagination” by Larkin Jean Van Horn
“Imagination” (detail) by Larkin Jean Van Horn, Ceramic Face by Sarah Jane

For those who like to know these things, the background is fused fabric collage in hand dyed and commercial cottons, and the shattered circle is hand dyed silk organza.

Be well, my little chickadees!

Exhibit at Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Art Museum

Serendipity is a wonderful thing! I recently had a delightful conversation with Amy Green, the Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Art Museum in LaConner, Washington, and took along my “Peace” series to show her. As it turned out, she was in need of something to hang in the first floor Landmark gallery for the holidays, and the series is now hanging until January 18, 2020. The opening reception will be December 7th from 3 to 5 p.m., and will coincide with the museum’s annual open house, where there will goodies and activities for everyone. Visit the museum website for more information: www.qfamuseum.org

I plan to be there for a good chunk of the day, and will hope to see you there! I am absolutely thrilled that these small pieces will finally have a chance to be seen. The piece below includes a ceramic medallion that was made by my friend Sarah Jane.

Peace and many blessings, my little chickadees!

Make Art, Make Peace

From the UFO Pile

Among other things, lately, I have been working on some small treasures from the UFO (Un-Finished Objects) pile. This piece only needed minimal beading, label/sleeve/binding, and was quickly done. Why it landed in the UFO pile is another story, and I couldn’t really tell you exactly when I started it, but the label will say it was finished in 2019. The title is “Woman at the Wall”, and the beautiful porcelain face was made by Diane Briegleb. I leave the rest to your imagination.

Wishing all my little chickadees a very happy Thanksgiving. Be good to yourselves, and travel safely.

Peace, Larkin

Woman at the Wall
Woman at the Wall – detail