Monday, February 26, 2007


I was truly astounded by what I saw. It was my first show and I will now visit many more. The Mid-Atlantic quilt festival was inspirational and awe-inspiring. I dont know how these people do it! Such a fertile ground for inspiration. Enough said, here a a few images that caught my eye. I kept wishing my camera had more photo space! I will post more photos and information about the quilters tomorrow. Sorry for the lack of information tonight but I am about to crash. Remember to click on images for details.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Here is a shot of the some of the colors and patterns for the quilt influenced by Mark Helprins 'A Winters Tale'. I have been working every evening for a week on the needlepoint and am realizing two things; one, it won't be done by the deadline and two I don't like the darkest value. So of course that means two things; I have to get over the frustration of not getting it done on time (I really despise that), and I have to rip out and restitch many squares! So, to look on the bright side, I now have time to rip out and rework!

Word of the day:
Optimism Take this test on optimism and find out how you are dealing with stress.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Well, I just dropped off my quilt at Hampton Convention Center for the quilt festival and am getting very excited to go see what it has in store. Also, to visit all the venders!! For all of my friends in Richmond, I will be traveling to the show on Sunday so if you are planning on going I would love to meet up with you there! Happy art making everyone.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


This work will be a 12" x 12" quilted piece. It is following a challenge put forth from Quilted Arts magazine. You are supposed to think about a book that inspires you. Mine is; 'The Winters Tale' by Mark Helprin. I have mentioned him a few posts ago and you can click on past links to view what I had to say. If you have been following my progress (or digressions) you will notice that it is not the 'pink' plan. I have another larger piece in the works but I thought I would try out some specific quilting and needlework techniques before I embark on the larger work. Plus
the smaller format will give me a bit of a break.

For the image; think whites, snow, sparkle, lace and a painted portrait of a young girl. I will post my palette later.

Thursday, February 15, 2007



Here are the shots of the finished "Dreaming" piece. Doing all the finishing details took quite a while because I got distracted thinking about future pieces. This piece was also a challenge because it did not start out as a work that was fully planned. It was not initially going to have embellishment either. I like the way it turned out but I can really see the difference between this and Smoot (which was fully planed as a quilted piece). This one sort of bridges the earlier "ladies" with the planned quilted and embellished ones. I think the work as you go method is great for helping to foster spontaneity and creativity.

Monday, February 12, 2007


My five year old daughter has always enjoyed doing whatever it is that I am doing. Since a very young age she has had an interest in art as well. Here she is doing her own embroidered portrait. This has been very fun for me to see how her skills and art work have developed over time and also to track where my work has been an influence to hers. When she has worked on it a bit more I will post it...of course with her permission.

I am fascinated by how children learn and particularly how they learn art skills and 'vision'. I have some site that I like to visit that touch on this subject and others. I am sure there is tons of information out there but somehow I just cant seem to find the time to research all that I would like to know!

Wikipedia gives a concise explanation of the Reggio Approch to education and also has a great list of books Wikiipedia on Reggio

The Carnegie Mellon University site also describes the Reggio work and gives great links: Carnegie Mellon University

For those of you very interested in children and art here is Prof. John Matthews site. His work is devoted to this matter: Prof. John Matthews on childrens' development of art and here is a link for Maureen Cox's book Children's Drawings. This is an interesting developmental book.

Have fun surfing!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


"WHAT MATTERS IS NOT NECESSARILY THE SIZE OF THE DOG IN THE FIGHT, --IT'S THE SIZE OF THE FIGHT IN THE DOG" - quoted from Danny, the running coach, who quoted from I don't know who?? Anybody know?

Sometimes you just have to dig deep and put up a fight. Tonight I went running, in the dark, at 20 degrees.....crazy...YES, but I made a commitment and I knew if I didn't do it I would not be happy. Oh and yes this is my way of patting myself on the back :) So next time you are faced with pulling out yet again more stitching, beading, having to repaint or what ever it is get out your fight and finish the job!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


So, much of my inspiration has come from past fashions. However, I have to mention here two designers whose 2007 Couture shows I just viewed In New York Magazine. Wow, I really am amazed.

The first is Christian Dior. I love the oriental flavor but the colors blow me away!

The second,Valentino. The techniques applied and the almost all white format (see my previous post on white) is equally as astonishing! Talk about pleating and lace! Well thats alot of exclamation points. I'll let you check it out for yourselves.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


To all my visitors;

Just to let you to know, if you want to know what is new and happening in the Alvarez Art world....or not happening can sign in to subscribe to my site. This will allow my new blog entries to be posted to your email. This is a nice feature if you are checking email and don't feel like browsing around the web. Just imagine the convenience. Of course, if you dont want to be bothered in that way you could always just Bookmark this site and then I'm just a click away. Another FYI; to make a comment appear on this blog you must click the link under the post that says, 0 comment or 1 comment etc. If you click the letter then it will send an email directly to me.

Inspirations for today:

A Winters Tale by Mark Helprin to purchase
Mark Helprins' web page
the color white

Monday, February 05, 2007


Okay, so I have to admit, this work is taking me forever. I also have to admit my work ethic has been less than admirable. However, to play devils advocate, I have to say I have been researching quilts and what I have discovered makes me nervous. The discovery is; there are some AMAZING quilts and AMAZING QUILT ARTISTS out there! I have linked you to the quilt festival site but reallly I have had a blast just checking out fellow bloggers sites!

Why am I nervous you ask....well I am afraid my little novice quilt may embarrass me at the Mid-Atlantic quilt show. That said, I am swallowing my pride, doing my research (a thoughtful friend just dropped me Quilting Arts magazine, Cloth, Paper, Scissors, and a bunch of other really neat magazines) and am going to practice some true quilting techniques.

If you follow this blog at all you will realize I am a portrait/mixed media artist turned quilter of late. I had no idea how involved quilters are with art, mixed media etc. So anyway, it has opened up a new world for me and I am very excited!

All that said here is the last bits of work on my "Dreaming" piece.

By the way did you notice I took the photo with the needle and thread still in it. Too lazy to take it out for a photo :)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Just a thought: I think resourcefulness is a characteristic one must have to be an artist. I feel it is a part of the creative process. Don't have a stencil....make one. What can you use, don't have stencil film....reverse the process and print letters to trace. You must be able to be creative about what is on hand. Tell me some of your tricks. Just an FYI if you are not familiar with the blog process. To make a comment you just click on the link under this post that says 'comment'then follow the directions posted.