Sunday, April 13, 2014

Artist Residency in Texas was a purely wonderful experience in March... so many thanks to Karey Bresenhan and her team

Guest House Home at the Creativity Centre

It has been awhile since I have added a post, but for me, the past two months have been filled with wonder and adventure. First a trip to Texas and the the beautiful Ranch home of Karey Patterson Bresenhan, President, Quilts Inc., in La Grange, Texas for a 10 day Artists Residency, accompanied by Everton, ON Artist, Susan Johnson.

The Residency was made possible through the very generous gift of Mrs. Bresenhan to the Studio Art Quilt Associates and made available to a member who successfully supported the SAQA Membership Program in 2012/13. As an active Professional Member of SAQA, I have served for the past two years as a Regional Representative for Central Canada. Needless to say, I was blessed to have been able to choose this trip as an opportunity to represent SAQA as I honed my own art skills and shared the opportunity with friend and mentor, Susan Johnson.

What a wonderful rest and opportunity to explore many techniques and do some fabric painting using new brands and types of paints. Experimentation is a wonderful tool, and even though I was nursing a serious back/leg injury, the time in Texas had a profound affect on my design play.

Outside the Creativity Centre where "art happened" for 10 wonderful days
A bit of art underway at Bethany's tables... sans the "plasticized" fabric that mysteriously appeared

Inside the Creativity Centre - so much room to create new work

Needless to say, the adventure was a fun-filled challenge each day, as the beauty of the out of doors was as much of a pull after a long, hard winter in Canada as the space and paints, markers and fabric inside.We were made very comfortable in a beautiful Guest House that provided a safe haven for rest and planning, great food and lots of time for comparing notes on next days projects. 

The days were filled with laughter, planning, a few trials and errors and many success stories that lead to all new work after returning home. One thing I learned was to go with a plan, and to use materials you are familiar with and LOVE when you have ten days to create. Experimentation is meant for the privacy of your home studio. I did love what happened at Susan's tables however, which is a testament to her many long years as a professional textile artist.

Table filled with amazing painted fabric art underway by Susan Johnson


The gardens were beautiful at the Quilt Museum, even as early as we were in Texas
The SAQA "People and Portraits" exhibition curated by Martha Seilman, SAQA Executive Director, was hung in the Museum while we were in La Grange, along with two additional galleries of beautiful contemporary and heritage quilts. The staff were amazing and the visitors we met on our visits to the Museum agree that this is a precious gift to Texas and all who visit. We met amazing staff members like Carol Montgomery who loves her role as a staff member at the Museum, and the fun of working with Mrs. Bresenhan and the team at the Houston Market and International Quilt Festival over many years.

Along the Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX
After the stay at the "Franch" our travels took us to San Antonio as well, and we had a wonderful dinner with Jane Dunnewold and Leslie Tucker Jennison, renowned Texas Fibre Artists and Instructors at the Houston Quilt Show and across the US. Great time for catching up with Jane and having the opportunity to see her new Studio in San Antonio. We strolled the famous "RIVERWALK" that runs all around San Antonio's downtown on St. Patrick's Day when the river runs green as a part of the celebration. The weather was beautiful and so was the entire trip... we even made time for a visit to the Alamo!

So many thanks to Karey and Maurice Bresenhan for establishing the amazing gift of the Residency Program at their ranch for artists. And to Lucy Carr, Quilts Inc. Administrative Assistant who provided us so many tips before and during the trip; to Dora, our lovely Guest House hostess, to JR, the Ranch Manager and to each of the staff at The Texas Quilt Museum for welcoming us to Texas and La Grange. Many heartfelt thanks to my friend Susan Johnson and her husband Quentin for making the trip possible and for the amazing flight accommodation. The trip of a life time for sure...