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Painted Circles





a play date for getting my creative juices flowing.


Blue Monday

Some say that today is 'Blue Monday', the most depressing day of the year - kind of a convergence of Christmas bills coming due, seasonal lethargy and depression, regrets over broken New Year's resolutions, etc., etc.

Well, that explains today, anyway, but not exactly the past two months. I haven't made any art for two months, hence I have not posted on the blog for two months.

There was a slew of deadlines to meet last Fall and I was working like crazy. Then, BAM!, it just stopped. When the holiday season commenced I never got my momentum back.

I was hoping for a major shift when the New Year started, but that hasn't happened. In the past few days I have yielded to what is and come to accept the lull. I know that most artists experience an ebb and flow of production, but I can't say it ever feels good.

There are so many opportunities ahead for me this year. Maybe that's the problem . . . . deciding where to start and overcoming the overwhelm.

So . . . I've been spending the time getting my ducks in a row, but to paraphrase Seth Godin, it's time to do something with my ducks!

I will keep you posted . . . .

Until next time-


P.S. I do have one quilt out showing. My QR quilt "Double Talk" is currently at "Form, Not Function" - Quilt Art at the Carnegie. Small consolation that I'm not a total deadbeat.

A Change of Pace

I've been making a lot of small art lately. More saleable work to put at the various venues where I've been showing recently. The small birds and nests have been selling very well - three at the Morris Museum and three more at the recent Hilltop Art Show. Now, if only the large work would sell! Oh well, I do enjoy making the small works too. I noticed that birds were a common subject matter at the Hilltop Show.

TraillWorks Gallery is having a new showing for the upcoming holiday giving season - "Good Things, Small Packages".

For a change of pace I thought I'd get away from fabric for a little while and do something different. Not that I haven't done it before, but I decided to do some paper collage. Little bits of paper instead of little bits of fabric! Still plenty of color though.

Music is my theme this time around. Here is what I delivered to the gallery this week. I will continue to make more of these small pieces, maybe even some birds.


"Duetto"  6" x 6"  © Martha C. Hall


"Do Re Mi"  6" x 6"  © Martha C. Hall


"Fanfare"  6" x 6"  © Martha C.Hall


"Jim Has A New Drum"  6" x 6"  © Martha C. Hall


"Jim Has A New Drum", detail

These pictures are all made on 6" x 6" cradled wood panels. I used liquid gloss medium to secure all the papers and to give a finish coat. My papers are hand colored assorted types, old books and sheet music, scrap and found papers.

The images only show the face of each picture, although the images wrap around the edges on all of them. The detail shot of "Jim Has A New Drum" shows an example of how the picture wraps around.

Messy and lots of fun, so I'll probably make more!

These are all available for sale at TraillWorks Gallery through January 8, 2012. The opening reception is this Saturday, November 12th, 5-8 pm. For the special pre-opening sale on November 11, click here to register.

Until next time -


Hilltop Art Show and Sale

I've spent the last couple of weeks readying smaller work for the upcoming Hilltop Art Exhibition and Sale.

Click on the image to go to the Hilltop Art Show site

Hilltop Country Day School is a small private school here in northwest New Jersey. The Art Show and Sale is their annual fundraising event and draws many viewers from the local area. I have attended as a visitor in the past and this is the first year I have been invited to attend as an exhibiting artist.

This is another opportunity to get my work out in front of the local community of "hopefully" art buyers! A percentage of all sales benefits the school, of course!

New this year is a very fancy reception on Friday evening. Wine, food, etc. - should be quite elegant and fun. Admission on Saturday and Sunday is free.

I do hope you'll drop by to see all the artwork if you're anywhere in the area. There are approximately 40 artists exhibiting in a wide range of media. From the Hilltop website you can click through to see images of individual artist's work.

To better view show hours and info click on this image to enlarge

Now, back to the studio.....

Until next time -


More on the QR


"Double Talk"  66.5" x 66.5"   ©2011  Martha C. Hall


Much of my work in quilts uses the grid as a base. The grid is a soothing and predictable structure for organizing my thoughts and imagery.

I was immediately attracted to QR codes upon first seeing them. What are they? What do they do?

The attraction may have initially been to the grid structure, but also to the mystery of what was contained within the code. It seemed a natural transition to render the QR grid as a quilt. QR could very well stand for “Quilt Related”, although it actually means “Quick Response”.

Many artists, myself included, have used text imagery in their work. I like text because it is a visual representation of thoughts, ideas, and stories.  The QR code enables me to embed text in my art in a different way. There is some mystery to it and one needs to know what the code is and how to access it to read the message. If or when QR codes become obsolete the literal message reverts to mystery, but the gridded formatting of color, line, and movement remains intact to stand on its own visually.

“Double Talk” is constructed from hand-dyed fabrics. The machine quilting alludes to a circuit board, connecting and transmitting data throughout the image. I find current technology fascinating in how it can convey information – equally as interesting as the use of text and pictures to tell us something.



You can clickback to my previous post about QR Codes from June.

Until next time -


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