My Battle With Parkinson: Balance 1

Parkinson

Parkinson’s disease has surfaced as the fastest-growing “movement disorder.” I am one of the nearly 1 million people in the United States who battle this disease. Among the many symptoms that I deal with is balance. Through medication and exercise, I can slightly reduce my balance problems, but they will stay with me until I die or a cure is found. More information can be found at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

One of my art quilts, “My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 1,” is being featured in a publication and has been juried into a Surface Design Association (SDA) Washington regional exhibit. In addition, “Balance 1” will be featured in the seasonal mailing from the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation beginning in December. When I was notified, the editor made the following comment: “This is such a striking pattern; the colors and fragmentation actually unite our message as an organization for people with Parkinson’s.” If you would like more information, contact the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation.

“Balance 1” has also been juried into the “Surfacing” show. This online exhibition, which was open to all SDA members and the public, can be viewed on the SDA website.

Eight of us participating artists were joined by jurors Gail Harker and Francesca Piñol  in a conversation recorded on November 15. You can watch the hourlong conversation here. I’m the first slightly nervous artist to speak.

My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 1
My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 1

My Battle with Parkinson: Balance 1
Size: 22″w x 22″h
Materials and techniques: Cotton fabrics hand-dyed by Liz Axford and the artist, polyester quilting thread; machine pieced and quilted

Statement: When I inherited beautiful hand-dyed circles by my friend the late Liz Axford, it gave me the opportunity to combine them with some of my fabrics to portray “Balance.” Losing balance is one of many Parkinson symptoms as the disease progresses.

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Celebrate! for Parkinson’s

Collage, Nonseries Work

9th Annual Celebrate! Auction

Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation (online)
September 27–October 1, 2021

The Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation annual benefit auction has opened and includes my quilt “Lavender.” Bidding has already begun online. You can also sign up for the digital live event October 1 at 6 pm PDT. All funds raised directly serve Northwest Parkinson’s communities, including the one in which I’m active in Bellingham.

Lavender

Lavender
Size: 12″w x 12″h

I approach the design and construction of my quilts much as an artist approaches a canvas. Each quilt is made up of individual pieces and/or blocks but visualized it in its entirety. Although my work is rooted in traditional quilt making, I continually strive to create works that break the established mold.
I usually work in a series, with each quilt unique but building on a theme. I collage and piece improvisational cotton and silk fabrics that I have dyed myself. I quilt by machine, using lines that enhance the piecing or tell a story on their own.

SAQA Benefit Auction

Studio Art Quilt Associates (online)
September 10–October 3, 2021

Bidding on quilts, including my “Social Distancing” donation, in Section 3 of the SAQA’s annual benefit auction has opened and will continue through October 3. All proceeds help support SAQA’s exhibition programs, publications, and education outreach. You can find full details about how the auction works here.

Fiber Optix at the Cove

Penn Cove Pottery, Coupeville, WA
September–October 2021

The Fiber Optix show at Penn Cove Pottery on Whidbey Island continues through October includes two of my quilts. The gallery has done a beautiful job of hanging the exhibition.

Exhibit and Auctions

Collage, Nonseries Work

Several of my pieces will be out in the world over the next few weeks. I encourage you to check them out, along with the causes they support.

Fiber Optix at the Cove

Penn Cove Pottery, Coupeville, WA
September–October 2021

The Fiber Optix show at Penn Cove Pottery on Whidbey Island includes two of my quilts.

Janet and Me
Janet and Me

Janet and Me
Size: 17″w x 28″h
Materials and techniques: Hand-dyed cotton fabrics, polyester & silk quilting thread; machine pieced & quilted
$720

This piece is a tribute to my mentor, my friend, and former Whidbey Island resident Janet Steadman. When Janet moved more than 2500 miles away, I inherited two large bags of scraps from her studio with joy. This art piece combines some of Janet’s hand dyes as companions to mine.

Ferns
Ferns

Ferns
Size: 21″w x 31″h
Materials and techniques: Fabrics hand dyed by the artist; machine collaged, pieced & quilted
$640

This is one of my older pieces that has been well received in several exhibitions. It has been shown at Women Who Dream Art in Longview, WA; Fabricated Elements in Portland, OR; CQA – Zarzuela in Seattle; Burnt Offerings in Gresham, OR; and the QSDS Invitational 2003 in Columbus, OH.

SAQA Benefit Auction

Studio Art Quilt Associates (online)
September 10–October 3, 2021

The SAQA’s annual benefit auction has opened with any piece in the auction available for $1,000 to the first bidder through Sunday. After the opening, the auction will offer quilts in sections. If it is not sold during the opening, my donation will be up for bids in Section 3, September 27–October 3. All proceeds help support SAQA’s exhibition programs, publications, and education outreach. You can find full details about how the auction works here.

Social Distancing
Social Distancing

Social Distancing
Size: 12″w x 12″h

“Social distancing” of one kind or another has been around for centuries, including political, religious, economic, class, sexism and political distances. American writer Audre Lorde, who dedicated her life and her work to confronting and addressing these injustices, once said, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.” My hope is that we can “recognize, accept and celebrate” our differences and live peacefully together in this society.

9th Annual Celebrate! Auction

Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation (online)
September 27–October 1, 2021

I will be donating a piece to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation annual benefit auction, which opens online September 27 with a live event October 1. All funds raised directly serve Northwest Parkinson’s communities, including the one in which I’m active in Bellingham. I’ll share more about my donation as the event gets closer.