02 May 2024

Trying Something New

Naturally the first step is to get everything ready and then do everything except start!

During the pandemic I started doodling. Its a great way to start the day. Life gets in the way sometimes, changes happen, my focus gets pulled in too many directions.

A couple of weeks ago I woke up on a Saturday morning and it was the only thing I could think about. Coffee was made, CBC morning with Bill Roache was on my mind and my journal called.

I always start with a micon PN black fine tip pen to draw the outline of what I'm going to colour in. Then I use my Staedtler fine tip markers to colour. Just to challenge myself I decided to put the markers on a table beside me and I made a rule. I wasn't allowed to choose the next colour. I couldn't look when I went to pick it up. I wanted to see how my doodle would turn out. Especially with colours that might not match being used beside each other.

When I looked at the end piece and considered what I set out to achieve, it made me think of quilts (I know)!

Sometimes the parts that can make up the whole when viewed only on their own, can look ugly, not appeal to us, and we wouldn't normally think to add them into whatever we're working on.

Here's what I saw though. Even the colours I wouldn't normally use, when included in the whole piece, enhanced the overall impact.

Here comes the metaphor ...

When looking at certain events, memories of things that happen in life, maybe not wanting to include them, we might be robbing ourselves of the very things that helped create the beautiful beings we became.

Anyhow, its Sunday now, the sun is shining, windows are opening and my curiosity is calling. I have no idea how this is going to turn out. I want to take my doodle and use fabric to reproduce something I love, just because of how it makes me feel.

Beth Mckay is a fibre artist currently residing in Dartmouth, NS. She can be found at bethmckay.com or on IG @thecraftedpath

15 March 2024


Passionate About a Topic Results in Curation

SAQA Atlantic member, Steph Kincade, is curating an exhibit titled "Invasive" that will run May 1-25, 2024 at ARTSPLACE in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Following up to learn more about what inspired the theme for the exhibit, they explained:

"This past summer there was a surge in the Japanese Beetle population in Nova Scotia and while examining leaves for future embroidery inspiration, I noticed that there seemed to be an abundance of Japanese Beetles on some very specific plants. One such plant was, interestingly, Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica), another invasive organism. This sparked the idea of exploring both invasive species and the larger themes around what it is to be invasive, and what different things or experiences are thought of as invasive. I became curious about how other artists would approach these ideas, and thus the concept for the show was born."

Steph is a Halifax NS based fibre and embroidery artist. The call for entry is available at https://www.arcac.ca/invasive-deadline.html.

06 March 2024

SAQA Spotlight Auction Piece

 Lee McLean

Imaginary Cedar Pods, 6" x 8", 2023This is my response to a lovely piece of fabric I created. I often incorporate thrums, the off-cuts from my friends' weaving, into my work. It feels like I'm extending their energy and weaving it along with my own as I sew. Sun printed fabric, machine and hand stitching, mixed fibres.

04 March 2024

SAQA Spotlight Auction Piece

 Kathy Tidswell generously donated one of her pieces to the SAQA Spotlight Auction.

Using one of her jelly prints as background, she created the swallowtail using inktense pencils. She wanted it to rest on a weed that complemented the background so used she rayon threads and free motion embroidery to create the weed. For the finishing touch she quilted it with invisifil thread.

09 February 2024

Congratulations Lee McLean

 Lee McLean’s textile art, “Lifeblood”, has been invited to Art Quilt Elements 2024 in Wayne, Pennsylvania. This 16th biennial exhibit presents contemporary fine art quilts, drawing entrants from around the world. Three jurors reviewed over 800 images, by applicants from 40 US states and 10 countries, choosing 50 artists. The jurors feel the exhibit serves “as an accurate survey of what fiber artists are currently producing in this field.”

Working in her studio in New Maryland, New Brunswick, this is Lee’s first international exhibit. She feels humbled, excited, validated, and intimidated all at once. Information about the show, which runs from March 24 to April 27, 2024, can be found at artquiltelements.org.

Lifeblood, 34" x 41", 2023

08 February 2024

Invasive - Call for Entry


What is it to be invasive? What comes to mind? For some it may be invasive species, for others it may be invasive illness or medical procedures, and for still others it may be intrusion on personal space (be it another person in our physical space or unwanted thoughts in our own head). Whatever comes to mind, something invasive tends to be aggressive and takes over where they are not welcome or cause harm. Invasive seeks to explore the meaning behind the concept; how do we come to terms with something invasive; can we transform something invasive? If so, how?

This exhibit will be a group show with an open call to artists of any visual medium. Artist will be responsible for getting the artwork to me in Halifax by April 24th

Call for entry closes April 6th at midnight. Questions and submission of artwork or proposals may be submitted through stephaniekincade@gmail.com 

The show will take place in the Chapel Gallery at ARTSPLACE Gallery, Annapolis Royal, NS from May 1-25

A second larger show is in the works for fall 2025, artists selected for this show will have the option to participate in next year's show.

02 January 2024

Alison Dean Cowitz – One Stray Pin

 Alison was happy to share her process for her latest prints.

First she took some pictures and copied them into Procreate. She sketched the leaf prints over top of the pics, moved the sketch around until she liked it and created a series.

Then she executed those ideas on the fabric. She used a photocopier to print the images onto fabric. She traced leaf prints and transferred and placed them onto the fabric. She stabilized the fabric (no batting) and stitched with free-motion the outline shape in her design. Then she stitched another leaf shape over top of the shear fabric and cut away the excess. She also added hand embroidery.



In order for the finished to work to sit inside the frame she cut a window size out of paper and laid it over the stitched pieces to find the best layout, cut and secured the edges with a thin zig zag stitch. Embroidered initials were added.


Squares were attached to illustration board with acrylic matt medium and foam core strips lifted the work. A business card was attached on the back and autographed. Hooks and wire were added so the work would hang flat on a wall.