Monday, September 30, 2013

First Thursday

There are a lot of events happening this First Thursday here in Boise.

1) A reception for Rothko-inspired artwork by local artists Mike Chambers, Lisa Flowers Ross, Lauren Kistner, Anne Klahr, Mike Landa, Troy Passey and Christine Raymond will be held at the Boise Contemporary Theater from 5-8 p.m. on Oct. 3.

Artworks will be up for bid in a silent auction through Nov. 2, in conjunction with RED, a play about Mark Rothko.

Here is a preview of my piece.

 A Nod to M.R.
fabrics hand dyed and painted by the artist,
machine appliqué, free-motion machine stitching, hand stitching
35" x 22-1/4"
©2013 Lisa Flowers Ross
Available for bids at BCT from Oct. 3 - Nov. 2

Detail of stitching

2) Preview night for BOSCO open studios event at the Boise Art Museum from 4-8 p.m.  There will be demonstrations and you can pick up tour maps and passports.  The open studio weekend is Oct. 12-13.  My studio will be open only on Sunday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. I hope you can stop by.  

3)  "Please join Boise Airport and Boise City Department of Arts & History Commissioners and Staff in Dedicating a new mural by Anne Peterson Klahr and new artwork by Belinda Isley at Boise Airport. These are the first public works to be acquired by Boise City by these two Idaho artists and are in honor of BOISE 150.  The dedication will take place Thursday, October 3rd at 9:30 am."

4)  Ten more traffic boxes will be unveiled this Thursday including another one by my friend, Kathleen Probst, whose box will be right under the Modern Hotel sign.  She will be there from 6-7 p.m. so you can stop by and say "hi".  (More info. on her blog. Click on link above.)

So much art to see and enjoy in downtown Boise this Thursday.  Hope you can make it to one of the events.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


It's busy, busy, busy here for me right now.  My studio is a mess, a productive mess, but a mess still the same.  I am working on pieces in several different series.  That is unusual for me since I don't consider myself a very good multi-tasker.  I tend to want to stick to one thing until it's done.

I realize that I haven't shown you the second piece in the Striae series, which has been finished for quite a while.  This series is on hold.  While I have other ideas for it, it has been set aside for now.

Striae II
hand dyed and screen printed fabrics,
machine pieced, machine stitching
43-1/4" x 41"
©2013 Lisa Flowers Ross

It's kind of hard to tell from the photo, but the center rectangular section has fabric that is screen printed with white lines.  I think part of the reason this series got set aside is that I want to explore more ways to screen print/paint/stamp/etc. lines on fabric.  And I haven't gotten to it yet.

Friday, September 20, 2013

In the Studio

There are lots of things going on in the studio right now.

This is the state things are in right now.  I'm going to call this the "before" picture.  On Sunday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., I will be having an open studio as part of the Boise Open Studios Collective annual event.  And the studio will be much cleaner than this. I'll try to remember to take an "after" picture.

I am grateful to have my own studio in my home.  It's not huge, so when the cutting table is all folded out and I have my extra piece of foam core set up behind my sewing machine (several pieces are piled on it in the picture), there is not a whole lot of room left for me.

Many times I have stubbed my toes on my little trash can or rammed some part of my body into the pointy corners of the cutting table.  But the space is mine and I love doing my favorite thing there, making art.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

From the Garden

From what I remember, my grandfather was a good gardener.  Unfortunately, those genes did not pass down to me.  I plant stuff in the ground, water it and hope it grows.  I will admit that I do not take the proper time to care for my garden.  I'd much rather be making art.

But apparently, this year, I am very good at growing lemon cucumbers.  I've had a bumper crop and we can't eat them fast enough (some have had to go back into the compost).  Frank just took a load to work.

I have had some regular cucumbers as well, but not as many as the lemon ones.  The basil I started from seeds finally took root, so I think I will have enough to make some pesto.

Surprisingly, we have not gotten much zucchini, only a couple.  Frank's yellow squash plant was doing well at the beginning of the season.  And he managed to get some "Franken-squash" - weird shaped orange/yellow squash that must have come from some cross pollination with his pumpkin plant.  (We each have several garden boxes we take care of).

He had some monster basque pepper plants with loads of flowers (and we have plenty of bees) but not a single pepper.  I'm not sure what seeds he used.  I managed to get a couple of basque peppers off the plant I purchased.

Soon it will be time to clean out the boxes, but I think there are still a lot of lemon cucumbers growing out there.  How does your garden grow?

Monday, September 16, 2013

SAQA Auction

I am a member of the Studio Art Quilt Associates organization.  Every year SAQA holds an online auction to raise money to help pay for exhibition, publication, administrative and other costs.

Today is the start of the second week of the auction.  How it works is that the bids start at $750 on the first day at 2 p.m. Eastern time.  The first person to bid on an item that day gets it.  The bids drop every day until it is $75 (it changes at the same time on subsequent days).  All the artworks are approximately 12" x 12".

Here's what the bids for Section 2 (pages 2a and 2b) look like:

September 16 at 2:00 Eastern - $750
September 17 at 2:00 Eastern - $550
September 18 at 2:00 Eastern - $350
September 19 at 2:00 Eastern - $250
September 20 at 2:00 Eastern - $150
September 21 at 2:00 Eastern - $75

There is also Section 3 (pages 3a and 3b) that starts next week.

I did not get around to donating a piece this year.  But my friends, Kathleen Probst and Linda McLaughlin, both have pieces in this section.  Go here to look at all the artworks.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

BCT and Rothko

This is a detail picture of the stitching of an artwork I am currently working on.

I will continue this stitching pattern over the entire piece.  When finished, it will be part of a silent auction to help raise money for the Boise Contemporary Theater.

I was invited to participate in this event which is being held in conjunction with their play production, RED, a play written about the artist Mark Rothko.  The artworks in the auction will be Rothko-inspired.

The opening reception for the auction is Oct. 3.  The opening night of the play is Oct. 9.  The auction will run the length of the production with the last day being on the closing night of the play, Nov. 2.  You can purchase tickets for the play on BCT's website.

I just sent out a "Save the Date" e-newsletter with this information and some other dates.  If you would like to receive my newsletter, you can sign up here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Traffic Boxes

Last week on First Thursday, a handful of new traffic boxes was unveiled amidst major gusty winds and rain from a storm.  The artists were supposed to be by their traffic boxes for the "opening".

I managed to stop by two of my artist friends' boxes before they decided that standing next to a metal box in a storm might not be the best idea and left.

Here is Reham Aarti, trying to keep her hat on, with her box.

And here is Kathleen Probst with her box.  She will have another box, which is across the street from the first, unveiled at the next First Thursday (October).

(Looking at these boxes, I'm not really sure if they are all traffic boxes, or just some kind of utility box.)

Two of our friends from Weiser also braved the storm to meet Kathleen at her box.  Then, we all went for tapas.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bruneau Sand Dunes

This past weekend we went camping at Bruneau Sand Dunes because the Boise Astronomical Society was having its Star Party there and the observatory was open.  We went Friday evening after Frank got off work and returned home Sunday.

We had some clear nights for star gazing.  The weather was good.  Although the daytime was hot, the mornings and evenings were nice.

Sunrise at our camping spot (our tent is out of the picture).  As you can see in the background, there were lots of people there.  Just about every camping spot had a telescope set up in it.

I loved the different colors of the scrubby bushes.

Here's a view of the observatory (and sand dune).  We listened to an interesting lecture by a professor from the University of Arizona, which is where Anna is thinking she would like to go for college.

It was a good idea to climb the dunes in the morning before it got too hot.  Although it was still pretty warm climbing.

I thought this was interesting with tumbleweeds and other plant stuff.

It felt pretty hot in the afternoon sun, even though the temperature was probably only in the 80's.  You could look around the campsite and see lots of people sitting in their chairs in what shade they could find, not really doing anything.  Just like we did.

I'm not sure what this bug below is, but I didn't mind it.  We did not like the millions of flys and biting insects that were around.  Anna and I both have many interesting constellations of bug bites all over us. Apparently, they only like girls, as Frank has none.

It was a good weekend.  We saw lots of stars.  I even saw some shooting stars.  But I am glad to be away from the bugs!

Friday, September 6, 2013


The Treasure Valley Artists' Alliance's latest exhibition is entitled Souvenir.  It is currently on display at the Creative Access Art Center downtown (where Wingtip Press is also located).  This is a new venue for the group as the Boise State Public Radio offices are being renovated.

Souvenir: mementokeepsakereminder,remembrancetokenmemorialbombonieretrophy,relic. I'm not sure how a few of the artworks fit into the theme, but there are some interesting pieces.

Here are just a few pieces in what seems like a smaller than usual exhibition (although it may just be the new space).

 Skagit River, North Cascades National Park by Mark McGinnis

 Encounter by Geoffrey Everts

 New Year's 2012 Havana by Lawrence Manning

The Gull House (Poplar Branch, North Carolina) by Mike Chambers

CAAC is located at 500 S. 8th Street.  The exhibition is up through September 20th.  You can view it during regular business hours Mon. - Fri, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fabric Dyeing

I finally got around to dyeing my fabric last week.  I think I dyed around 70 yards in the end, some of which included over-dyeing previous colors that had been sitting on the shelf for a long time and I didn't think I would use.

The colors I mixed this year seemed to be more earthy, muted, less intense colors than what I have been working with recently.  I was especially trying to get some more neutral colors like grays and tans.  I find those the hardest to do because, invariably, they end up looking more like a color.  For example, like a bluish gray, instead of just gray.  Or a yellowish tan, instead of just tan.

Before.  No, this is not seventy yards here.  I went out and bought some more fabric in mid process because I always tend to mix more dye than I have fabric for.

Yep. This was too much dye.  But I was trying to use up some colors I've had for awhile.  The shelf life of dyes is not forever.

During. I was working in my garage.

After.  Some of the neutrals.

Some of the green(ish) colors.

I also dyed some embroidery floss, but I am still working to get those wound on the little cardboard bobbins.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

More Woodblock Talk

The woodblock workshop at Wingtip Press was a precursor for an event taking place on Oct. 12 at the Idaho Historical Museum.  I'm not sure what the official title of the event is, yet, but there will be steam roller printing that day.

BSU students and community members will work on 4' x 8' wooden blocks that will be printed on fabric sheets with a steam roller.  A similar event has taken place in Boise before which I wrote about here on the blog.

While our instructor was here for the workshop, he shared insights and experiences from the annual steam roller printing event that is held in Missoula, Montana in celebration of Dia de Los Muertos.

Below are some of the pieces he brought to show us.

This skull was printed on a sheet that had butterflies on it.  Below are some smaller examples of prints on paper.

The picture above demonstrates a four color reduction print.

I am excited for the Oct. 12 event.  It will be a busy weekend because on Sunday, Oct. 13, I will be having my open studio as part of the BOSCO event.