Gifts, Antique Quilts, Wearable Art and Hamilton Watercolors at Art du Jour Gallery
December and January are sumptuous months at Art du Jour Gallery! We are blessed with not just one special guest artist but three, and all three are displaying uniquely beautiful forms of quilting and fabric art. Our two quilt artists are Charlotte Wirfs and Karen Hanken, and our wearable knits fabric artist is Laura Lawrence. Their work will be on display in our Salon and the main gallery in December and January. Featured gallery artist during December and January is our own Dodie Hamilton-Brandon, renowned watercolorist and beloved art teacher here in the Rogue Valley for the past 33 years.
is a talented contemporary quilter and a collector of and authority on antique and vintage quilts. She is displaying several of these priceless antique quilts along with her own work in the Salon and will give a talk on the history of these fascinating works of art from the gifted hands of quilters long passed. “In America, woman often expressed their creativity in their quilt making, sometimes using scraps of fabric left over from their household sewing projects. It has become a tradition to share with others, resulting in ever-changing ways to create beautiful quilts,” Charlotte says. Wirfs is a fifth generation Oregonian who learned sewing through 4H programs in Tillamook County. She made her first quilt while attending Western Oregon University and has since moved from making traditional quilt patterns to creating freeform quilts using newer techniques. She has displayed her work in many Oregon art galleries and other venues and has won numerous awards in quilt shows around the Western U.S. She is also a talented painter and photographer.
first experimented with using textiles in her art while in college in Pennsylvania. During that time, she also studied at Sir John Cass School of Art in London. The attraction of textures and prints has been a lifelong love and it has been her goal to unite them with paints, inks, dyes, and pastels. In 2003 she submitted her first entry into an international quilt show and won honorable mention. Since then her quilts have appeared in numerous special exhibits and have won many awards at major competitions. She is displaying four of her award-winning pictorial quilts in our Salon. “By incorporating the work of so many talented fabric designers, I have access to an incredible palette of color and texture,” Hanken explains. “It is like having the depth of an orchestra backing up a solo performance.” She will give a talk about her quilting art and techniques in January.
Hanken and her husband own and operate Top Stitch Bernina, a quilt and sewing machine store in Medford.
is the creator of My Dancing Threads, a one-woman business she characterizes as “painting with yarn.” She knits exquisite wearable art fabrics and fashions them into capes, skirts, scarves, caps, legwarmers, soft jewelry and other one-of-a-kind creations in soft, luscious colors. “When people see one of my designs, they sometimes think I’ve bought ready-made fabric and simply sewn the pieces together to create the skirt, cape, or whatever. When I explain that I make the fabric into the shape I want, with no need to cut and a minimum of sewing in order for it to flow as a seamless cloth, they’re blown away. Then I explain that that is one of the reasons I love knits—by using a technique called short-rowing, I can make garments that move with the body and have a flattering line with no extraneous bulk from sewn-in darts, pleats, puckers, and lots of seams.” Her display at Art du Jour features a mannequin dressed in several pieces that show the variety of her designs. On the center table are alpaca hats, an array of uniquely crafted scarves, and her “soft-jewelry” beaded and felt alpaca flower pins.
Lawrence’s design inspirations come from her background as a dancer and from the abstract Expressionist paintings in the LA law firm where she worked for 25 years. She is self-taught and has been selling her work in select galleries and high-end boutiques since 2002. Lawrence is a native Californian who now lives in Ashland, Oregon. Her studio is at the Ashland Art Center.
is our featured artist. Dodie has been an Art du Jour member for several years and is also a founding member of Art & Soul Gallery in Ashland. She exhibits in several other Oregon galleries and her paintings hang in private homes, offices and commercial establishments across America and abroad. The long list of awards and honors she has accumulated over many years of painting is truly impressive. Art is her life, and her work is noted for vibrant color and the fluid, sparkling quality of her watercolor medium. Her subjects range from realistic florals and landscapes to mixed media abstracts, but she is best known for her renditions of iris, her favorite flower.
A native of Missouri, Dodie grew up on a farm and was very much influenced by the verdant fields, flowers and changing skies. She attended the Northwest Missouri State University, graduating with a degree in art and English, subjects she taught for many years in California schools. During those years she mainly worked in oils, acrylics, and pen and ink. “I moved to the Rogue Valley in 1982 and discovered watercolor as a medium for painting. It flows and glows and is such a spontaneous way to paint that I became totally involved in it. The results may be bad, good, or indifferent but the process itself is to me totally magnificent.”
Until she retired a few years ago, Dodie taught her watercolor techniques to countless eager students here in the Rogue Valley and is beloved by all. She enjoys traveling and still takes workshops with other well-known artists.
Join us at Art du Jour Gallery on Third Friday, December 18th, 5 – 8 p.m., to meet Dodie and our three quilt and fabric artists and enjoy their marvelous works of art. Our artists’ reception will also feature music by Rick Patsche. Regular gallery hours are 10 – 4, Tuesday – Saturday. For more information, call (541) 770-3190.