I made it a goal for 2011 to get out for “inspiration days” visiting exhibits by other artists to explore how they use color, line and texture to express themselves.

We went to New York City recently and I discovered The Art Quilt Gallery – NYC. It’s a small gallery devoted entirely to art quilts on West 25th St. The exhibit you can see through the window–“Color Explosions” by Carol Taylor–just closed, but it was spectacular. Really lived up to its name! There are some better pictures of the exhibit on her website if you click the link above. It was wonderful to see art quilts given their own space in a lovely, well lit gallery. The website is http://artquiltgallerynyc.com if you want to check out upcoming exhibits.

While we were in the city, we visited the blockbuster de Kooning exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. It’s a retrospective of his work spanning seven decades–an amazing body of work. The thing I found so compelling about the exhibit was the realization that de Kooning never settled on one style of work, he was constantly searching, constantly changing and innovating his art. Some of the work I found most interesting was created toward the end of his life as he struggled with memory issues–it’s spare lines and limited color that somehow seems to be the essence of art.

On another day, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and had lunch at Grimaldi’s Pizza under the bridge–wonderful!

"Southern Heritage" Nancy G. Cook

Earlier last month I had the opportunity to see another art quilt exhibit, Nancy G. Cook’s “Seed Play” solo show at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, VA. The show is up through November 11 and it’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area. “Southern Heritage” at right was one of my favorites. Visit Nancy’s website at http://www.nancygcook.com/portfolio.htm to see more of her beautiful work. This photo taken on my phone because I forgot my camera doesn’t do it justice.

We were visiting our son in Richmond and I’d never been to these gardens before. It’s a lovely oasis just outside a busy metropolitan area–a relaxing place to visit on a fall day.

All of these artists are different from each other and from my work, so it will be interesting to see how their inspiration might influence me in the future.

I’m working in the studio to get ready for my upcoming shows in December–3 Days with the Artists on Dec. 2, 3 and 4 and the Great Falls Studios Holiday Show Dec. 10 and 11. Mark your calendars!