Monday, January 28, 2013

Focus on Fiber

Midge and I are very excited to be teaching at  
Focus on Fiber in March13, 14, 15.
It is being held at the Atlantic Center for the Arts
 in New Smyrna Beach FL.
Last week we took a tour of this incredible spot.
It is set on eleven lush acres of land, on the edge of Turnbull Bay.
The studios and cabins are well appointed
and surrounded by the wild flora and fauna of coastal central Florida.
The work spaces are filled with light and great creative energy.

We will have 3 days full of playful experimenting with surface design. 
The class will begin by creating backgrounds of colors with spray inks and acrylic paints. 
We will cover “free form” silk screening and the use of thermo fax screens.

We will  examine different and exciting ways to layer color and pattern and explore the power of simple mark making. 
The class will also dabble with water-soluble crayons, colored pencils and oil pastels. 
Midge and I will also introduce you to what we call 
"desecration creation", 
ripping, tearing and layering to create exciting new surfaces.

 We are calling our class Fearless Surface Design.
So come join us for this great, fun, safe, creative extravaganza.
The possibilities are endless
and if that isn't enough,
 just imagine
how you will leave the class with a  “fearless” attitude and big out of the box ideas.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wowzah!! What a Life

I can't believe that the show has come 
and gone and the last post I did was in Feb.
 Well, I was quite busy doing other things.

A week before  the show 
this rainbow hung over Cocoa Beach for hours. 
It seemed like a great omen.

Set up
And so it was,
Raw Edges was a huge success in so many ways. 
It was beyond what I thought it might be. 
It was full of color and whimsy.

Book signing table

 We were so happy to have my sister Tracy here
 for a month before the show. 
She worked so had to help make the whole weekend a huge success. 
She prepared delicious veggie food 
and yummy desserts for a crowd day after day. 
She made great maps and signs to make sure everyone's trip was trouble free. 
She cleaned and washed. 
Helped set up the show and on and on and on. 

Thanks Sissy, you are the best, we love you
 and we appreciate all that you did. 
(She even made our sign in book on the table above.)

Here's a just a peek of the show.

The theme of the show with Miss Bumpy.

Old ginger jar lamp

 Friends and family came from far and wide 
and so our lives were full of moving, happy moments 
and lots of love. 

Thanks to all!
It was a time that Midge and I will always remember.

Now you might think that Midge and I are resting on our laurels but
it's just not so. 
We are busy making new work to show at the 
We are excited to report that we will have a place in their collection.
WOWZAH! Watch out world!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Just Around the Corner

We have been working so hard and our shining moment is just a month away. 
Friends and family are coming from all over 
and we are trying to stay calm and in the moment.
I have attached our press release.
Save the date and please pass it on!

Date:                 February 11, 2012

Contact:           Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery
                        Mary Shaw,

                        Allison Stilwell, 401 244 5819, 
                        Midge Helen Baudouin, 401 573 3933, 

“Raw Edges” Opens at Jeanine Taylor Art Gallery”
(Downtown Sanford, FL)… “Raw Edges” is the central Florida debut of Cocoa Beach artists Allison Stilwell and Midge Baudouin. This cutting edge exhibition opens on Saturday, March 17th with an artist reception from 10 am to 4 pm.

“Raw Edges” is a collaboration of two artistic spirits, emerging artist, Midge Baudouin and contemporary artist, Allison Stilwell. Both plunge into mixed media bringing a new look to scraps of fabric, threads, and paper that burst with color, texture and whimsy. The result is a collection of visionary art quilts, sculpture, dolls, and jewelry. Both create from an organic place, constantly trying to be fearless.

Stilwell’s twenty years of experience as a fiber artist brings new heights and vision by incorporating recycled material and silk-screened fabric with a touch of humor and politics. She is a nationally recognized fiber and mixed media artist. Allison is a published artist and appeared in magazines such as, Quilting Arts, Cloth Paper Scissors and Art Doll Quarterly. For Raw Edges, Stilwell has been sewing colorful art quilts, sculpting fanciful heads of recycled plastic bags and paper, building whimsical dolls and her “Mixed Up” jewelry is an up beat take on charm bracelets.

Emerging artist Midge Baudouin, spent 45 years building an incredible career in the arts and crafts industry. Baudouin spent most of her life in front of spreadsheets and calculators, traveling from airport to airport as VP of Sales and Marketing, making big deals across the country. She now follows her bliss, stitching and creating. She is fresh out of the gate with an array of all hand-sewn pieces using predominately scraps and stealing fabric from Allison’s stash. Her work is rough, organic and hand sewn. For Raw Edges Midge debuts her “grunge stitching” in colorful fiber collages of birds, bees, flowers and skeletons.

Raw Edges opens March 17 and will be at the Jeanine Taylor Art Gallery until April 15, 2012.  The gallery is located at 211 E. 1rst Street in Historic Downtown Sanford, FL.  Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday from noon to 5 pm.  For more information on this exhibition, please call 407-323-2744 or go to

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Recycled Heads in Cloth Paper Scissors

 It is so exciting to have my first article in Cloth Paper Scissors!
I have been making heads for a long time.
I used to make them from scraps of wood but I couldn't find any here in Florida so I hit the recycle bin and the paper and plastic head was born.
The pile of them above are in my studio getting ready for my show in March.

 They are pretty scary at the beginning stages.
I use a heat tool to melt plastic shopping bags to form each face.
My favorite part is that the melting plastic is so unpredictable that
the head takes on it own personality. It is a great opportunity to
be fearless and stay loose.

Melting plastic can be toxic so take all precaution to keep yourself safe and healthy.
Always work in a well ventilated area and use a good respirator.

It only takes the magic of gel medium and assorted paper and
cloth for them to make an amazing transformation.

This one will be titled "I have a lot going on". It is a work in progress.
It is the head in the middle with the yellow bag in the scary picture above.
I still want to add lots of fun ephemera for her hair.

Well today was a perfect day here in sunny Florida, which makes for a nice ending to 2011. 
I wish everyone a very healthy and happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm quilting again!

I hadn't made a large art quilt in forever. 
In fact, I made the Mary in this quilt 15 years ago and have dragged her
from place to place. 
I could never figure out what to place her on or how to proceed. 
I pulled her out of my box of UFOs 
and was determined to finish her for our up coming show.

We spent time last winter making random pieces of silk screened muslin. 
Midge had the idea to place her on one of the screened pieces.
It was perfect modern, edgy answer.

When I placed her on the fabric on my felt wall,
I wasn't happy with black and blue on the top of the screened fabric. 
So I tore pieces from other screened pieces and placed them over the black and blue.

Taking the dark colors away made it a better composition.
It made Mary the focus and not the dark colors. 
The fabric I added was screened and stamped with simple shapes to make simple flowers 
act as ideal star bursts.

I created Mary's face and hands by painting with fabric scraps.
I work from a pile of scraps, 
cutting small pieces and following the light and dark values 
and she magically appeared. 
I used black and white paint to give more depth to her fingers. 

I embellished the bottom of the quilt with raw edged flowers and birds,
so she was standing in a garden.  
I used embroidery stitches to sew them to the quilt top. 
I almost always work with raw edges these days. It is easy and I like the texture it adds to my work. 
I was a fearless machine quilter and just went for it.
I used lots of leaves and vines in the garden and large circles for the star bursts and connected everything with circles in varying sizes.
I also used variegated threads.

I named this piece "Our Lady of Perpetual Worry".
I worry too much and I am surrounded by family that worries too much. 
My daughter worries, her kids worry, my younger sister worries...
so Our Lady stands to remind us to trust and let go 
and just live.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Where did the summer go?

Bougainvillea at the Getty
I find myself behind once again with my blogging.
But I have an excuse this time.
I was very, very busy. Midge and I traveled the summer away.

Elizabeth, she hates to have her picture posted.
We went to visit our daughter Elizabeth in Los Angeles in June.
It was a great trip, even though I was a bit under the weather.

Now, isn't this the way to do a vacation.
Despite my delicate position, 
we spent a lot of time in museums and gardens. 
One of the highlights had to be spending a great day in Pasadena
with our good friend Lisa Englebrecht 
and visiting Zinnia. What a fabulous store! 
If you are ever in southern CA, you can't miss it. 

We were thrilled to learn that it was Pride weekend.
However, we were startled by people celebrating by riding naked in front of our apartment

Naked men! EEEEEK!
 We even managed to create some art
and made Beth a target for her new apartment. She was thrilled.

Targets seemed to be a hot trend in LA.
We were home for about a week 
before we loaded up the car and drove to RI. 
We stopped in 
and visited cousin Tracy and Jeff in VA 
where we saw my first yarn bomb. 

This was quite the scandal when the locals first discover it.
 We made a quick stop to visit Midge's neice Donna and her family 
and finally got to Little Rhody where there was non stop activity.
Pizza fund raiser for 15O people,

Aiden's first attempt at silk screening. She's a natural.
a non stop Creative Workshop weekend, 
not enough family,

Me, daughter Sara Beth, grandson Gabe, granddaughter Aiden and Midge
 and a little bit of beach. 

 Dreamy Hunting Island State Park
 Then before you know it we were back in the car
and took the coastal roads all the way back to FL. 
We didn't hit 95 until GA and we were back in FL the first week of August. 

We have been home and are still very very busy because we are having a show 
in less then 6 months at Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery in March. 

Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery - Representing the best folk artists.
We are very excited and honored.
So we have been stitching and stitching and stitching,
we take a break to sculpt a bit or spend some time in the garage silk screening. 
With our creative blinders on, we have all of our focus on the opening, 
March 17, 2012.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Making of a Fiber Artist

Midge Baudouin is my life partner. 
Most of her life she spent in front of spreadsheets and calculators, 
running from airport to airport making big deals across the country 
selling crafting products so that our little family could have a really nice life. 
About three years ago, she had to take a surprising and life changing retirement. 
We had to shed a lot of things we thought we needed and 
we worried from time to time that things weren't going to work out for us. 
However, Midge received a great gift because she was now free. 
She was stripped of all the stresses that come with a big fat job and 
she could do whatever she wanted. 

Midge's first quilt.
At first she spent a lot of time on her outside projects, 
like building chicken coops and stone patios. 
When we moved to FL, she painted and fixed up our new home 
and spent way too much time organizing the garage. 
She was looking for a new project and 
I suggested again that she start to sew something.
Who knew she would get a huge case of OCS?
Obsessive Compulsive Stitching.

She now spends hours stitching. 
I say stitching because all of her work in done by hand. 
She has her own style. She calls it "grunge stitching".

The beginning of a quilt.

She starts with a pinned raw edge collage 
and then she spends hours sewing each pc down with embroidery thread. 

The finished piece. 
She is prolific. 
She has piles of work and to top it off she makes her own shadow boxes!
She is busy now sewing the "%$#^&" out of her bee 
(that you see her with at the top of the blog). 
and when she tires of it 
she moves to her "skeletons in the closet" or some other fabulous project.

One of the reasons she likes having OCS is when she stitches,
she only thinks good thoughts. 
I think her work is amazing and I can't wait to see what she does next.