Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Once More with Feeling: Herons, and other Dinosaurs

Friday, January 18th, 2013




I Love dinosaurs. I do. Sorry about that. I never outgrew it. I was taken to the Field Museum in Chicago where they had the grand dioramas of dino life and had to be restrained from climbing in.

fantasiaThat’s still true too. Fantasia had a fabulous bit in it where they swam, lunged along, ate and died.  I’ve made them as stuffed animals and quilted them from time to time.

hot blooded dinosaursBut one book took me to another place entirely.  Hot Blooded Dinosaurs came out it 1977. It was a rage book for a while and then you didn’t see it. I’d borrowed it from a friend.

No more dragging your butt along allosauruses. These were quick moving, wild predators that deserved to rule the planet for a good long time. It was mind blowing. Jurrasic Park was such an amazing movie because no one said it, but that was the whole point. These were not cold blooded creatures. The dinosaurs weren’t jumped up lizards. They were real, tooth and claw. I, for one, was thinking of the dragging tails in the dioramas and saying, “Nope. You’re wrong. They’re  HOT blooded.”

Crocodiles, sharks, turtles and dragonflies are a slam dunk as modern dinosaurs. The fossils are quite clear. They were here then. They’re still here now. But birds.The premise is that birds ‘are direct descendants. And if you’ve seen a heron hunt or look at the skeleton, it’s pretty evident. 

ladyblue (1)So when I quilt herons, I’m playing with my plastic dinosaurs. Again. No apologies. They’re too cool not to. Of course sometimes they’re people I know.


book (1)It was no surprise when the editors insisted on Lady Blue as the cover for Thread Magic. Maybe they liked dinosaurs too.

You’ll find Thread Magic on my web site . It’s a print on demand version. All of the text and pictures are there, but the print suffers from less glossy paper.


Hot Blooded Dinosaurs is on I just ordered myself a copy.


Also on Amazon you’ll find Fantasia, perhaps the most influential art cartoon every made. Thank you, Mr. Disney.



To Kill A Mocking Bird. To Shine a Light.

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Bleeding Heart from Thread Magic Garden

I’m always astonished by media that changes who we are. I’ve always maintained that we are artists simply by our human birthright. It is simply part of a human soul to sing, dance, draw, write, tell stories, and share the state and circumstances of your life.  If you are a person who lives by and with your art, you hope that is resonates with others. When it does, it is transformative.

I was nine when “To Kill a Mocking Bird” came out. I know I didn’t see it as a small child. I grew up later with it. And this incredible scene has always been my favorite part. Where Atticus, who has just made himself a poster boy for every ugly name a  white person in a small town could own, gets ready to walk out after an epic fail and everyone he has fought for knows what he did, and honors it.  It’s become, in the way of good art, a symbol for me of the cause you have to fight, win or lose. It still leaves me in tears, but tears of pride.

Good art makes symbols for us. It takes us past ourselves. It reminds us of our similar humanity. It can take sides, but it’s real side is someone’s honest face in full light. It’s the illumination of someone’s truth.

Last night I stood in church at the Easter Vigil. It too, shines the light on truth. It’s done, wisely enough, at the change of the year when the cold and bitter time transforms itself into warm breezes and green new growth.

So my prayer and my hope for us all is to find a spot in the sun and grow with the new life, and to find a way to reflect that truth in the art that simply springs out of who we are.

Happy Easter!

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