Big and Loose with Patti Mollica

Patti was the best – she had a clear plan and was very encouraging to all students” – Karen H.

Patti is an amazing teacher. I learned more than I could have imagined.” – Carolina D.

This class exceeded my expectations! Patti had so much content with related projects to get her point across that it was a fabulous learning experience. And the meals were simply terrific” – Joan P.

What more can I say about Patti Mollica’s recent workshop with us. It was a great group and everyone had a wonderful time! IMG 1816
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IMG 1820 The weather during the week was also lovely and the back lawns were a great place to stretch your legs during breaks from class. IMG 1827
IMG 1833 Here is the joyful crew posing for a class photo on the final day. IMG 1844
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An Interview with Elizabeth Busch: Creator of Art Quilts and Kinetic Sculpture

Elizabeth Busch is an artist who draws, paints, sews, and sculpts space. From her workshop in Maine, Elizabeth works in two mediums: Kinetic Sculpture and Art Quilts.


“My quilts are sewn paintings, acrylic on canvas that is then hand quilted. This part of the process allows me to become physically reacquainted with a piece created at arm’s length on the wall, and to add another visual dimension to it. I believe that the work communicates with many because color and mark making are a universal language.”


Elizabeth Busch will teach a five day Workshop, The Painted Quilt: Creating Small Works at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops October 30 to November 5, 2016.


Elizabeth recently explained her philosophy of art, and teaching.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

My first workshop was in 1987. The director of the Fiber Department at the Fredricton New Brunswick, Canada, School of Art saw an article about me and my Painted wall quilts in a then new magazine called Threads. She contacted me and asked if I would be interested in teaching a workshop to her fiber majors. I replied: “I’ve never done such a thing…what would I teach?” She said, “How about what you DO?” … and the rest, as they say, is history.


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What is your favorite part about teaching?

There is nothing quite so thrilling as seeing a ‘lightbulb’ go off for a student. I so enjoy meeting new and former class participants, sharing ideas and problem solving with everyone, using my favorite tools and processes. I absolutely love to teach, to watch others learn and grow in such a short period of time!


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What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

Problem solving with several other people, seeing different results that materialize for everyone, and letting that ‘door open!’ I teach exactly what I do in my own work: it is fun, simple, and freeing. If you liked Kindergarten, I think you’ll like my workshops!


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What are you currently working on in your own art?

I recently finished a large scale Public Art commission for the Maine State Library, Museum and Archives at the state capitol in Augusta, ME. I have supported myself as an artist since 1987, and the major portion of that income is from such commissions. Most of those commissions are my Kinetic Sculpture. I generally teach 4-6 workshops per year and in between do my ‘soul work,’ my own Art Quilts. I am so fortunate to have a balance between my major source of income (Public Art Commissions); teaching workshops (in which I get to travel, meet wonderful people, and share my processes with them), and creating my own Art Quilts.


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Where is your art currently being exhibited?

One of my pieces is now traveling internationally with Quilt National 2015, another is traveling with SAQA Silver. I have 8 new current pieces in my studio that are ready to go somewhere new…I hope! And the Maine Public Art Commission, “Home,” is permanently installed in the atrium of the Maine State Museum. In a few weeks I will be traveling to San Diego as one of three jurors for “Breakout: Quilt Visions 2016.”


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Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

No. I do not have gallery representation. I did years ago, but find that teaching workshops, creating public art commissions, and exhibiting in shows feeds all of my financial and soul’s needs.


Do you sell your work in any online gallery?

No, I do not.


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What is your favorite art quote?

“If you don’t like what you’re doing, don’t do it! It won’t work.” –Berenice Abbott, photographer


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Describe your studio.

I have lived for 40 years in an 1856 Maine farmhouse, complete with attached barn and shed. 40 years ago there were chickens, ducks, a horse and a ‘beef critter’ in the barn. My two children, husband and I ‘lived off the land…’ kind of, but not totally. Now, the children are grown and gone, I’ve been divorced for 20 years, and the barn and shed are my glorious studios! I do share the barn studio with an occasional friendly little mole who skitters across the floor when I least expect it.

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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

Five can’t do without…unsized cotton duck, Textile paints, my Bernina 960, hand needles and embroidery floss, big work walls…and lots of good lighting!

Paint Splashing, Merriment, and Magic

It seemed like a week-long party during Robert Burridge’s Abstract Acrylic Painting and Collage workshop.

Bob makes it fun – very informative, his color wheel made the process easier to understand. I’m very excited to continue and experience Bob’s class!” – Diane D.

They also worked hard in the studio. Bob started each morning with a short lecture and demo, then assigned a warm up exercise to the students to get them going. After that everyone could work in the their own direction, if they chose. IMG 1762
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Chef Mark got to step out of his chef-ing duds and into his painting gear for a little side trip into abstract painting. He enjoyed working in a series themed around cellos (he has recently taken it once again) and other musical instruments. IMG 1776
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Then there was the Bob and Mark after-dinner entertainment show! Both Bob and Mark come from a tradition of entertainment and magic and they traded off with each other presenting fun close-up magic tricks, to the delight of the audience! IMG 1784
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This is one of Bob’s famous floral demos. IMG 1790 More of Bob’s morning demos. IMG 1791
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Mark with his vintage card trick duck! The duck was his fathers, who was a comedian, vaudeville entertainer, and musician. IMG 1797 More rope tricks by Bob! IMG 1802
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At the final night’s dinner, the student’s presented Bob with a card and gift. IMG 1813 It was sad to see such a happy group leave at the end of the week, but Bob will be back again next year in June. Before Bob left, he and Mark had their heads together quietly scheming about an even more elaborate after-dinner show for next year! Don’t miss it, sign up now.

Interview with Cynthia Corbin: Artist as Quiltmaker

Cynthia Corbin’s art quilts have been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and New Zealand. Her work has appeared in many exhibitions, such as Quilt National, Artist As Quiltmaker, Quilts=Art=Quilts, Art Quilt Elements, Speaking In Cloth, Visions, CraftForms, and Fiberart International. She lectures and teaches nationally, applying her passion to the development of each student’s individual voice.


Drawing on her love of both folk art and abstract art, she explores dyeing and painting, intensive machine quilting, and a problem-solving, seat-of-the-pants approach to quilt construction.


Cynthia Corbin first taught at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops in 2015. Her students were so inspired and delighted that most of them immediately re-enrolled for her 2016 Workshop!


Cynthia returns to Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops to teach her Composing Composition five-day Workshop October 23 to 29, 2016  Don’t delay in enrolling if you’d like to work with Cynthia – it’s a great opportunity to catch her on the East Coast, just before she retires from teaching to focus more on Studio work and travel.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching?

I taught my first class in 1974—basic beginning traditional hand piecing.  But I didn’t start teaching seriously until 2003.  By that time I felt I had something to teach that was a true reflection of my own experience.


What is your favorite part about teaching?

I love the direct connection with each individual student—finding out who they are and what kind of art they are interested in making.  Fascinating!


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What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop?

Hands on, hands on, hands on.  Oh, and supportive feedback.


What are you currently working on in your own art?

I am experimenting a lot right now.  I have been staring at weather-beaten surfaces for a good long time and that is figuring in my work. 

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Where is your art currently being exhibited?

I currently have a piece in Quilt National 15 touring (Weathering Out).

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Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?

I do show work in galleries from time to time.  My best advice is to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities that come from unexpected places—places that perhaps show fiber along with other types of work—like pottery.


What is your favorite art quote?

I have two—First one is from Picasso, “I am always doing that which I cannot do in order to learn how to do it.”

Second is from John Ford, film director, “When in doubt, make a Western”.


Describe your studio.

Not big enough, sometimes messy, once in while it is tidy…the big umbrellas provide sunshade from the sky light.  I am fond of umbrellas….


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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.

APQS Millennium Long Arm machine (Millie), my Bernina Aurora 440, rotary cutter, cutting mats in all sizes, DESIGN WALL.  Oh, and pins once in a while.

Egg Tempera with Koo Schadler

Koo Schadler is an exceptional instructor, knowledgeable, able to impart and share her talents – and very personable.” – Kappy P.

Koo is brilliant and she’s a brilliant, effective teacher. She solves problems after analyzing and makes the complex easier with a systematized, logical approach.” – Lea B.

Koo Schadler was here last week teaching her very popular egg tempera workshop. IMG 1727 Koo always supplies the fresh eggs for mixing the paints (egg yolks and pigment). IMG 1725
There was a wide variety of subject matter, from the simple to the complex and Koo’s process made it all possible. IMG 1731
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IMG 1745 Koo will be returning again in 2019! Plan ahead.