20 May 2019

SAQA Benefit Auction Contribution - Kristi Farrier, Middle River, Cape Breton

Making Time #1 is Kristi Farrier's contribution to SAQA's 2019 online Benefit Auction.

Making Time #1 by Kristi Farrier (2019) 12" x 12"

Follow Kristi on Instagram and on her blog, Mirth 365.


Time's running out!!
Final deadline to submit a piece to the Benefit Auction is June 1. 
Information about contributing to and purchasing art quilts from the 2019 SAQA Benefit Auction is available here. 

13 May 2019

Abstract Joy: Opening Wednesday, Gallery at the Guild

Melting Sky by Julea Boswell w40" x h30".
Paint and ink on raw canvas. Layered and stitched by hand and machine.


SAQA artist Julea Boswell's exhibition opens Wednesday, May 15  at Charlottetown's Gallery at the Guild. 

Opening reception: from 7 to 9 pm
Exhibition dates are: May 15-26, 2019

Abstract Joy features lively abstract art "providing a nice hit of colour to warm us up for summer.” Julea's imaginative pieces are shaped with a blend of recalled imagery, thoughts and emotion. 

See more of Julea's artwork at:

12 May 2019

Welcome to my Studio: Anne Morrell Robinson, Margaree Valley, Cape Breton Island, NS

My first workspace was in a corner of an upstairs bedroom in a 100+ year old farm house. My next studio was an addition built by my first husband with help from friends, trading labour and material for sewing or farm produce. After my first husband passed away I married another talented handyman and my third studio was built on his old farmhouse in New York State. When he retired, we remodelled the old Cape Breton farmhouse with a two-storey addition that became KingRoss Quilts and Fibre Arts. 

My studio is unusual because it serves as my workspace, my teaching space and my retail space. The upper floor holds the working studio and retail. It’s a large space with a hand-quilting frame, a rug-hooking frame, two 4’x8’ cutting tables, lots of storage and desks in both the production and the business ends. The lower level serves as a classroom, dye kitchen and longarm area.

Basement longarm area

I work on multiple projects at once to avoid repetitive motion problems and to keep me from sitting too long. I tend to work on the longarm first thing in the morning; the standing time loosens me up for the day. For much of the day I go back and forth, cutting, machine stitching, maybe some design work or rug hooking. By late afternoon I usually need a break, move a bit more, get some fresh air, and think through any design problems. I tend to do my hand quilting as a cool down after a much needed ski or walk. After dark I bind or hand appliqué while watching TV with my husband.

 Fabric storage
 The shelves on the left are behind a design wall that hinges in the middle.
I can access fabric even when I’ve got a large quilt on the wall.

Because I’m a long way from the stores, I keep a lot of fabric and thread on hand, all organized by colour, theme, project or size. My threads are mostly stored in plastic bags or boxes to keep the dust off. Bolts and yardage go on shelves, project fabrics are in totes stashed wherever I can fit them and small pieces are in drawers under the cutting table. Nothing goes to waste. I keep a basket under my ironing board to hold trimming for use on small details on appliqué work. Small pieces of fabric go to other artist friends who work small or make paper.

Cutting tables: organized clutter.

The older I get the more light I need. I’ve tried various light sources and the best so far is a combination of windows, ceiling pot lights and track lighting over the areas where I sit and work. My track lights are on swivel bases so I can turn them all toward the design wall for quilt photography. 

Design wall with storage 

My studio is a whole different world, the perfect place to spend my days in total creativity. It's where I start and end my day. I went from working in the corner of a bedroom to a wood-heated studio and now my dream studio. To be able to take two steps from the kitchen into my private work area is just magical. Each of my three studios has been bigger and more efficient than the last. I’m now about to add a real gallery space, connected to my studio. I'm at a stage in my life where I can choose to retire or push forward. I chose to leap forward.

Thanks for dropping by my studio…


Birds and Branches series by Anne Morrell Robinson (2019)
Available as a workshop.

To visit KingRoss Quilts and Fibre Arts, find directions here. 
Tel: 902-248-2466
Email: anne@kingrossquilts.com

Read more about Anne Morrell Robinson on her website, KingRoss Quilts and Fibre Arts

30 April 2019

SAQA Benefit Auction contribution - Holly McLean, Bathurst NB

Wild Garden by Holly McLean (2019) 12" x 12"

Spring has sprung in Holly McLean's garden, and another little art quilt is on its way to SAQA's 2019 Benefit Auction.

HMc: I went back to my ‘roots’ using Gelli prints and layers of fusible collage with free motion stitch and a bit of hand embellishments with hand dyed threads and beads.

See more of Holly's work on her blog, Through my Window

Attachments area

23 April 2019

Abstract Joy: The Natural Beauty that Surrounds Us opens in Charlottetown, May 15, 2019

Abstract Joy series by Julea Boswell. Acrylic, mixed media and collage.

Mark your calendar to join SAQA Artist 

as her exhibition
opens at the 
Charlottetown PEI

Exhibition dates are: May 15-26, 2019
Opening reception: May 15 from 7 to 9 pm.

Abstract Joy features lively abstract art which Julea describes as “providing a nice hit of colour to warm us up for summer”. Her imaginative pieces take shape with a blend of recalled imagery, thoughts and emotion. 
Although the work is abstract it is pretty straightforward. I simply try to capture moments of spontaneous joy and express this in my art. What stays with me from these moments becomes my inner springboard for creation. Like many artists, the amazing natural beauty that surrounds me, especially on PEI, is a primary source of inspiration.
Julea Boswell is a multifaceted artist. Growing up in Charlottetown she was immersed in the arts from a young age - activities that set the stage for her varied creative interests and future path. She attributes the sense of movement and lightness in her visual art to her background as a dance artist. A series of small pieces in the exhibit is a nod to “improv” technique as used in dance and theatre. Her skills as a modern quilt designer-maker are also evident in the show, which includes a work that will be going to Quilt Canada’s National Juried Show in June. This summer, Julea’s work will be featured at The Dunes Gallery in Brackley.

Moving freely within a mix of different materials and forms allows Julea to present a contrast in textures and variations in colour intensity. Whether a crisp and bright acrylic collage on paper, or a painted and stitched textile piece, the common thread in Julea’s work is a feeling of joy. The overall result is a style that is fresh and contemporary.

The show opens with a reception on May 15 from 7 to 9 pm. All are invited to come and meet the artist.

Journey by Julea Boswell  w65" x h45"Each journey is navigated through many new pathways. Poured paint and oil stick markings on raw canvas. Layered and stitched by hand and machine
"Wow! Such colour and freedom. I love your expression of movement."       (show visitor, Ottawa)

See more about Julea and her work at www.juleaboswell.com, instagram @julea.b and Facebook @juleaboswellart

18 April 2019

SAQA Benefit Auction 2019 contribution - Helene Blanchet, Margaree Valley Nova Scotia

Live! is Helene Blanchet's contribution to SAQA's 2019 Benefit Auction. The online bidding begins in mid-September. Stay tuned !

Live! by Helene Blanchet (2018) 12" x 12"

HB: Hand-dyed Cotton, velvet, embroidery floss, glass beads
Stitching, quilting, embroidery, beading - all work done by hand.

It's not too late!
Final deadline to submit a piece is June 1. 
Information about contributing to and purchasing art quilts from the 2019 SAQA Benefit Auction is available here. 

10 April 2019

Welcome to my Studio: Jeanine Gunn, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia

My studio vibrates with colour! 

I acquired a passion for tropical colours while growing up in Brazil. I discovered shibori when living in India and took up hand dyeing while living in South Africa. Also a result of my travels, my studio is a showcase for a collection of tribal textiles. 

I’ve had this studio for about ten years. It’s the second floor of our new-built barn and has an ocean view. The four skylights and four windows fill the space with light. I absolutely LOVE it.

My fabrics and books are organized on shelves custom built by my husband, Bill. The fabrics are sorted by colour but also by type. For example, there’s a Kaffe Fasset and modern quilt fabrics shelf as well as a shelf for batiks and hand dyes and another for conversation fabrics etc.

My "cutting table” is a modified saw table that once belonged to my father-in-law. For lighting, I have four large light fixtures hanging over strategic areas (work table, cutting table, reading and socializing area etc). I also have Ott Lites for worktables and as floor lamps.

It’s a creative, messy space!! I have several work surfaces and two sewing machines so slowly projects and studio items just take over. But I don’t mind clutter and I always know where things are. 

My current favourite gadget is the Martelli Rotary Cutter, designed by a hand surgeon for his quilter wife. It is THE most ergonomic cutter I’ve ever used and great for cutting several layers of fabric. It did take a bit of getting used to though….

In my studio space I can teach or be on my own, listen to music as loudly as I want to and leave a creative mess behind. I can just sit there and admire interesting collectibles from around the world. I can meditate there and just be. When I’m having a thinking spell or trying to resolve a creative problem, just looking at my fabric stash feels very therapeutic!

Lately I've been working on a small series of pieces with the hope of having a piece or two for the SAQA benefit auction. Have a look at what's on my wall right now:

Playing with Circles by Jeanine Gunn, 2019

Thanks for dropping by my studio…

Follow Jeanine Gunn on Instagram at deveau9983 

26 March 2019

Regina Marzlin's work selected for show at the International Quilt Study Centre

Congratulations to Regina Marzlin, of Antigonish NS, who recently got word that her 2019 Benefit Auction contribution was accepted into the special exhibit at the International Quilt Study Centre and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

Thirty pieces were selected for this exhibition, from the 130+ early entries. An online gallery of the 30 pieces can be seen on the SAQA site.

Traces by Regina Marzlin (2019) 12"x 12"

Regina's piece, Traces, includes hand painted and commercial cotton, non-woven material, embroidery floss, ink pencil, monoprinting, painting, hand- and machine stitching.

Information about contributing to and purchasing art quilts from the 2019 SAQA Benefit Auction is available here. 

23 March 2019

World Wide Whispers revealed

Results of World Wide Whispers, an international collaborative quilt challenge, were revealed at the Scottish Quilter’s Guild Show in Glasgow earlier this month. SAQA Atlantic member Kathy Tidswell represented New Brunswick on the Canada team, which was one of five country teams involved. Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands and the USA each hosted their own World Wide Whispers challenge.

The project was described as being similar to a child’s game where the leader whispers a sentence to the next person, who whispers it to the next, the sentence evolving and changing as it goes on.

#1  Old Barn on a Crisp Morning by Kim Caskey (2018)

Team Canada leader Kim Caskey (Alberta) made the first quilt, inspired by a photograph by Lesley Zwaal of Edmonton Alberta. Thirteen artists, one from each province and territory of Canada, each in succession, were sent a photograph and statement of only the most recent piece. Each had one month to create an 18” x 24” piece of their own, inspired by the previous participant’s piece. 

Kathy Tidswell: I created the third quilt in the series. It’s been a long 13 months when we were not allowed to reveal our involvement and saw only a photo of the quilt that inspired our piece. 

The Canadian collection was shipped to Scotland and now hangs with quilts from the other four teams at the Scotland Quilter’s Guild AGM in Glasgow. The entire collection will travel to The Netherlands for a show in April and will be at The Birmingham (UK) Festival of Quilts in August 2019. I plan to attend and will give two, one-hour demonstrations on using Inktense pencils to create appliqués, as part of the Quick and Easy Demonstrations series.

#3 Looking In Looking Out by Kathy Tidswell (2018)

By Kathy Tidswell, Burtts Corner, NB - February 2018 – 3 of 13

Drawing inspiration from Pat Findlay’s landscape and suggestions from my “idea generating” husband, I chose to feature my favourite little owl, a Saw Whet owl. Surveying his kingdom from a fence post, he stares out with that quizzical expression. What could he be thinking? Is he wondering why he hasn’t moved further south before the snow has come to New Brunswick? Watching over him is a stately oak tree clinging to a few remaining leaves. I love to create texture and dimension and if you look closely you will find it.

Karen Henry, an early member of SAQA Atlantic, represented Nova Scotia in the challenge and created the sixth piece in the Canadian series.

#6 Anchor & Drift by Karen Henry (2018)

By Karen Henry, Dartmouth, NS - May 2018 – 6 of 13

At various points in our lives we feel anchored, adrift or in the process of letting go. Any of these three stages could be applied to our evolutions through aging, in creativity, in the growth of our offspring, in our education, moving from one physical space to another, etc. This wall hanging reflects the changing circumstances of our lives.

19 March 2019

SAQA Benefit Auction 2019 contribution - Kathy Tidswell, Burtts Corner NB

Autumn Breezes is Kathy Tidswell's contribution to SAQA's 2019 Benefit Auction. The bidding, on hundreds of fabulous art quilts, begins in mid-September. Stay tuned !

Autumn Breezes by Kathy Tidswell (2019) 12" x 12"

KT: Background painted using Colour Vie pigment system.  Commercial fabric for borders. Leaves created using Inktense pencils. Free motion and walking foot machine quilted.

Information about contributing to and purchasing art quilts from the 2019 SAQA Benefit Auction is available here. 

06 March 2019

Spotlight on Deb Plestid - Two contributions

Deb Plestid, from Tatamagouche NS, recently donated two pieces to SAQA. Her piece Patience will be sold in the Spotlight Auction at the April 2019 SAQA conference.

Patience by Deb Plestid (2019)

DP: Praise the stark beauty of a silhouette against a winter sky. Seemingly devoid of life, trees patiently, vigilantly wait for the warmth of spring.

Deb Plestid also contributed Greening the Earth (below), which will be sold at the annual SAQA Benefit Auction, held online every September. 

Greening the Earth by Deb Plestid (2019) 12" x 12"

Information about contributing to and purchasing art quilts from the 2019 SAQA Benefit Auction is available here. 

The deadline for submissions to the Spotlight Auction is now past. Information about the Spotlight Auction is available here.

03 March 2019

Fiona Oxford Launches our preview of SAQA Benefit Auction contributions from Atlantic Canada

Fiona Oxford, of Waverley Nova Scotia, is the first of our artists to reveal her SAQA Benefit Auction piece.

Skywatcher 3 by Fiona Oxford (2019) 12" x 12"

Fiona says:
My piece, “Skywatcher 3”, represents my hope for a healthy planet.

The annual  benefit auction supports SAQA's exhibition and outreach programs. Almost $75,000 was raised in 2018 thanks to our generous artists and buyers! 

Contribute to the 2019 auction by donating a 12 x 12-inch art quilt. Final deadline to submit a piece is June 1. Details here.

This year's auction will take place online from September 13th through October 6th. Interested in bidding? Auction details here.

28 February 2019

Welcome to my Studio: Hélène Blanchet, Margaree Valley Nova Scotia

I have a brand new studio! 

I’ve been making embroidered fabric pictures since grade 7. I’ve since developed my own unique style of folk art, exhibited internationally and won several awards. Most recently, my traveling solo show “Calgary Days” has been getting recognition.

Yet until now I’ve always worked at the kitchen table. What a delight to have a studio of my own!  

We recently built a home overlooking the Highlands of Cape Breton. It’s deep in the woods and off-grid, so it‘s peaceful and absolutely quiet. My studio takes up most of the second floor. Because of the huge amount of snow here, the roof has a steep pitch and the studio’s “walls” are the slanted ceiling. Although the floor space is 22’ x 28’, the actual standing space is about 12’ x 28’ and the ceiling is 11’ high at its peak. A wide gable on the south side gives me a bit more room. 

The west wall

My studio is a beautiful space with elegant angles and lines everywhere. Two enormous mahogany windows, cobbled from various smaller windows, let in plenty of light. The views are spectacular from every angle. There is no shortage of inspiration.  

Being off-grid doesn't impact my work. Solar panels provide most of our electricity and  a backup generator recharges the batteries when needed. 

The view to the south

I’m a very early morning person – often up at 4am, my mind all abuzz and raring to go.

In those very early mornings the studio is lit up by three big antique ceiling lamps. I also have   spotlights over each work station. For fine detail work, I go to my fabulous tri-spectrum Stella lamp. It’s an LED light that uses very little power to provide sharp clear lighting any time of day. The three spectrums allow me to switch to whatever suits me best – usually daytime lighting. Its elegant curved body lets me position it exactly as I want and it stays there, always. 

I work better in a tidy space so in my studio, everything has its place.

Two small, built-in bookcases hold my library. Other shelving is made from bits of old furniture that I’ve salvaged and painted up. The shorter shelving units are on wheels so I can move them around as I need to and use the back sides as design walls. 

I have baskets for embroidery floss and quilting threads, other specialty threads, my scissor collection etc. I don’t need a lot of fabric, but I have a lot of small bits, stored in small foldable drawers and plastic bins stacked on bookshelves.

I use a lot of beads, gemstones and miniature toys in my work. When it’s time to do beadwork, I just roll my bead cabinet to where I’m working. When I’m not beading I use the cabinet back as a design wall. 

Design wall on back of bead cabinet
bead cabinet

My favourite tools are my Japanese thimble and my Janome Artistic E-Z thread snips.

I am totally lost without my Japanese thimble. This is a simple metal ring that sits between the knuckles on the top part of my finger. It allows me to feel exactly where I want to place my needle and push it through easily - without getting in my way. 

And I love my new Artistic E-Z thread snips by Janome. They’re ultra sharp, always open with a curved tip to prevent accidental jabs. Just grab and snip. Perfect.

My studio means the world to me! Having a place of my own has given me impetus and my creativity is blasting off in all directions.  Perhaps the biggest advantage is being able to work whenever I want, for however long I want, without interruption or fear of disturbing anyone. 

I’ve been trying my hand at abstraction for a couple of years, and having this quiet space is allowing me to pursue that. I’ve recently started a collaboration with two other textile artists, and my contribution will be in abstracted forms. I’m not sure where all this will lead me, but I am enjoying the ride. Here’s a sneak preview.

                              The Pond Nos 1-4, Work in progress

Thanks for dropping by...                                                              

Read more about Hélène on our own 2016 feature interview Folk art in big nature.

Read a review of Hélène Blanchet's current show at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, on view until the end of March 2019.

25 February 2019

Please welcome Kristi Farrier: Our new Atlantic Region Representative to SAQA

Fibre artist Kristi Farrier will be replacing Regina Marzlin, our current regional rep, at the end of the month. Kristi came to Atlantic Canada just over two years ago to begin a new, more creative life in an old farmhouse in Middle River, Cape Breton (NS). “I’ve dreamed of a creative life involving textiles for a long time. I’m slowly making this life my reality; initially by happenstance but more and more by design”. 
(Read Kristi's article A Creative Life, by Happenstance or Design.)

Kristi’s artwork is a visual interpretation of life events, experiences and emotions. Most often abstract, her pieces feature graphic geometric shapes and grids.

When March Dreams of July (detail) by Kristi Farrier (2017)

Regina Marzlin, our rep and leader over the past three years, is moving on to new adventures in textile art. Thank you, Regina, for your constant support and energy. 

Here are Regina’s thoughts on her successor: 
"Kristi’s professional background will be a great asset in leading our group. She has a Masters degree in Public Administration and has worked with both government and non-profit groups on the municipal and federal levels, implementing programs, developing policy and doing research. 

In addition to art quilting, Kristi is passionate about making paper from flax and other natural fibres. Her enthusiasm for all things fibre art, together with the leadership skills she acquired in her past career are strong assets she brings to the art quilting community in Atlantic Canada. 

Kristi is eager to get to know as many Atlantic region SAQA members and prospective members as possible. Please support her as she takes on this new role. We thank Kristi for taking on this demanding volunteer position for our benefit."  

Get to Know Kristi Farrier

Read our 2017 feature interview: Introducing….Kristi Farrier 

Follow Kristi on Instagram and on her blog, Mirth 365.

Read Kristi's article: A Creative life, by Happenstance or Design, on Anna Hergert’s blog.

15 February 2019

Reflections from our Curator

Heather Loney joined SAQA in 2011, after seeing a SAQA trunk show at a Mayflower Guild retreat. She has since participated in all three SAQA Atlantic exhibitions and was curator for our most recent travelling show, Transitions. Today, Heather shares some of her thoughts about her curatorial experience and some suggestions for future curators. 

Publicity for Transitions, artwork by Helene Blanchet

How would you describe the role of curator for SAQA Atlantic exhibitions?

There are several roles involved in running an art show for SAQA Atlantic.

The first involves the art pieces: Selecting and describing the theme, deciding on the number, size and form of pieces to be accepted, dates for entries, jury completion and receiving artwork. Later, seeking help from members for getting the pieces to and from the galleries as well as hanging and taking down the shows.

Another role deals with the galleries: Researching gallery requirements and preparing proposals accordingly; adjusting to their timelines and maintaining contact both before and during the shows.

A third role is publicity: Creating a poster and written material to inform the public about the exhibits. 

What have you learned about the value of these exhibitions to SAQA members? 

For many of our members, selling art quilts is their livelihood. Not only do our shows help them reach a public market for their work, but they also educate the public about quilts as art.

What did you most enjoy about the role of curator?

I had the most fun walking quietly behind visitors as they examined the art pieces, eavesdropping on their conversations. I overheard many comments like “Wow! I didn’t know quilts could be art.” Or “Look at the work on this piece. Isn’t it amazing!”

It was rewarding to make some good connections in the Maritime art world. I also enjoyed being a tourist in places I hadn’t visited, during the few hours leading up to each show opening.  

What was the most difficult or frustrating aspect of the work?

Nothing was particularly difficult. For me, the biggest challenge was being responsible for the whole show myself. Although I frequently checked in with our regional rep, Regina Marzlin, all decisions were mine. All contact and contracts with SAQA and the galleries, collection of the artwork and preparation for hanging, as well as transportation to and from their destinations, and eventually to the buyers, was up to me. I didn’t realize until part way through our show that some galleries didn’t do a lot to advertise our show, so that task can fall on the curator as well.

On the up side, my studio underwent a good cleaning and decluttering so I could store the collection (between shows) and all the mailing boxes.

Do you have any advice regarding the curation of future SAQA Atlantic shows?

I think the next show should be curated by a team of two or better, three, people: one to manage the artwork, another, the galleries and a third for publicity. Tasks such as handling sales and transportation could be shared by the team. 

It would also be nice if the next show could be seen more widely across the region. Our first show, Rooted, hung in three galleries in NS; our second show, Structures, was shown in five galleries, including NS, NB and PEI. The Transitions tour included four galleries in two provinces: NS and NB. None has been to Newfoundland.


We are grateful to Heather Loney for curating our latest and most successful show, and for sharing that experience with us here. Stay tuned to our blog for an upcoming feature of Heather’s own artwork.

Halifax in Transition 1: View from Citadel Hill, Halifax
by Heather Loney w28"x h29"

Spotlight on Fiona Oxford

Glorious Geckos by Fiona Oxford (2019)

Glorious Geckos, by Fiona Oxford of Waverley NS, is our 4th entry into the 2019 Spotlight Auction. Fiona spends much of the winter in Sarasota, Florida.

Here's what Fiona told us about her contribution:
I see these wonderful Geckos everywhere I walk in Sarasota. They have become my muses.

The Spotlight Auction is an opportunity for all SAQA members to have their work showcased at the 2019 SAQA Conference in San Jose, California. The pieces are auctioned at the conference with proceeds going to SAQA's exhibition programs. An online participation form must be completed before March 1, 2019 and artwork must arrive in Virginia by March 8, 2019. Further information is available here.

The Spotlight Auction is also an opportunity for SAQA Atlantic members to have their work featured on our blog, to be enjoyed by those of us not attending the annual conference. If you've contributed to the 2019 auction, please let us have a sneak peek at your piece!

05 February 2019

Spotlight on Holly McLean

Holly McLean, of Bathurst NB contributed Chickadee Friend on the Snowshoe Trail to the 2019 Spotlight Auction.

Chickadee Friend on the Snowshoe Trail by Holly McLean

Here's what Holly told us about her contribution:

This is a chickadee that has been eating sunflower seeds from my hand. Feeding birds always brings me joy, especially when I’m out on a trail and they come to my hands.   

You can read more about Holly McLean and her artwork on her blog Through my Window, and on our own 2017 feature
Holly McLean Interview: Overcoming Distance and Isolation. 

The Spotlight Auction is an opportunity for all SAQA members to have their work showcased at the 2019 SAQA Conference in San Jose, California. The pieces are auctioned at the conference with proceeds going to SAQA's exhibition programs. An online participation form must be completed before March 1, 2019 and artwork must arrive in Virginia by March 8, 2019. Further information is available here.

The Spotlight Auction is also an opportunity for SAQA Atlantic members to have their work featured on the SAQA Atlantic blog, to be enjoyed by those of us not attending the annual conference. If you've contributed to the 2019 auction, please let us have a sneak peek at your piece!

03 February 2019

Artist Julea Boswell talks about her new inventory system and online portfolio

Avant Garde 2 by Julea Boswell w8" x h16"
SAQA Atlantic member Julea Boswell, from Frenchfort PEI (and Ottawa ON) recently launched her online portfolio on a platform called Artwork Archive.  

Julea is an abstract acrylic and mixed-media artist, a modern quilt designer-maker and a part-time contemporary dance company manager. 

Last week, Julea had a chat with Cathy Drummond, about her experience with Artwork Archive.

See Julea's new portfolio: 

Julea, how did you come to choose Artwork Archive as your online presence?

JB:  Actually, I was searching for a simple art inventory system before even realizing it would serve the purpose of also being a public portfolio. Last fall, when I was making several submissions of my work, the job of pulling together all the details for the submissions from scratch each time became a real chore. It was cumbersome finding files, remembering which image was the latest perfectly-cropped final version, finding the details of the piece, dimensions, specific materials used, pricing and so on. My files were a mix-mash! All of a sudden I’d reached a tipping point and had a large enough body of work that I really needed a system to view all my work in one place and have everything readily at-hand. It occurred to me there must be some ready-made web tools and sure enough I found Artwork Archive. 

How many pieces do you have on the site? 

JB: I have 32 loaded in my inventory right now. But there are older ones I'll eventually add, such as the functional quilts I made before I started making art quilts and paintings. With Artwork Archive, you have the option to make a piece public, or not, with a simple checkbox. My priority was to get the ones I wanted to show publicly on the site first.

How simple is Artwork Archive to use?

JB: If you can drag and drop images and fill out an online form, it's literally that easy! Once you load a couple of pieces, you really get to know it. There's a drop-down menu where you can choose the status of the work too: in progress, available, sold, destroyed, archived, etc.

Is it expensive?

JB: It's free for the first month with up to 50 pieces. That was fine for me to get started. There are then 3 levels of payment. The cheapest, at US$6 per month, allows people to whom you give your URL to view your site, and that's what I have for now. If you want your work to be available to anyone searching your name, it’s US$12 a month.  

Is there a way to back-up or download your files if you need to, for example if Artwork Archive should no longer meet your needs?

JB: All the main data items are fully exportable. You have the option to export to a CSV or Excel file anytime. 

How does it work as an online portfolio?

JB: This is what I think is really great. I was at the point where I knew I should be creating a website, but it seemed like a bigger job than I had time for right now. As soon as I saw that Artwork Archive could be a public portfolio too - and the portfolios I looked at were all great - I just went for it. Every time I add a new piece to my inventory it can become part of my public portfolio with one click. Another thing I find really good is the way you can organize the work by "collections". I work in different mediums and my work is varied in style. I wanted to find a way to present both my art quilt pieces and my other work in a cohesive way. 

Screenshot, Artwork Archive

So, am I right to say that you would recommend Artwork Archive to our readers as both an archive and a web presence?

JB: For sure. If you're an artist who would like to create an online presence, don’t hesitate. New tools like this make it easy and allow you to work along at your own pace. The biggest job is the initial upload so don't delay, the more pieces you have the bigger the job becomes!

Julea, thank you so much for introducing us to this interesting tool.  It certainly sounds easy and useful.

Improv Curves 1-2-3 by Julea Boswell w8" x h8"


Thank you to both Julea and Cathy for producing today's blog post. We always welcome members' submissions.

30 January 2019

Spotlight on Regina Marzlin

Perseverance by Regina Marzlin (2019) 

Title: Perseverance
Description: Standing tall in the face of obstacles, being purposeful and resolute.
Techniques: Monoprinting, painting, hand stitching

Regina Marzlin's term as SAQA representative from Atlantic Canada will soon be coming to an end. Regina, we've accomplished so much under your leadership! Thank you for everything you've done to expand and strengthen our community, and best wishes for your future endeavours. 

You can read more about Regina Marzlin and her artwork on her website Regina Marzlin Fibre Art and on our own 2016 feature, Regina Marzlin interview: Textile collages, pieced, layered and stitched.

The Spotlight Auction is an opportunity for all SAQA members to have their work showcased at the 2019 SAQA Conference in San Jose, California. The pieces are auctioned at the conference with proceeds going to SAQA's exhibition programs. An online participation form must be completed before March 1, 2019 and artwork must arrive in Virginia by March 8, 2019. Further information is available here.

The Spotlight Auction is also an opportunity for SAQA Atlantic members to have their work featured on the SAQA Atlantic blog, to be enjoyed by those of us not attending the annual conference. If you've contributed to the 2019 auction, please let us have a sneak peek at your piece!