Happy New Year!

Reflections 1 © 2019 Natalya Khorover Aikens


Happy 2019!

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you will surprise yourself."


Thank you for being a part of my artistic journey!
~Natalya

thoughtfully repurposed

If my solo exhibit had a title, it would be Thoughtfully Repurposed.

But it doesn't have an official title, and as it's coming down on Friday, I thought it was time to share a few photos. Those of you who were able to see it, I sincerely appreciate that you came, your kind words mean so much to me! Those of you who are too far to come, I appreciate all your well wishes also. Thank you.

art and seed pods at the entrance

Iron Spine 6XL makes it's debut surrounded by older relatives

Rhetoric with Iron Vessels: Reclaim Love and Iron Vessel: Enough

The top portion of Iron Spine/Urban Edge installation

another view of Iron Spine/Urban Edge installation

a small portion of the bottom of Iron Spine/Urban Edge installation

Full view: Iron Spine/Urban Edge

a visitor from the insect kingdom

food matching art/art matching food

viewer matching art

artist with art (Iron Spine/Urban Edge)
What a whirlwind summer!

Quilt National visit redux

It's nearly a month since I have returned from a whirlwind trip to Athens, Ohio for the opening weekend of Quilt National 2017. What a fun weekend it was! My friend Gail was my copilot as we let Waze guide us along the roads of NJ, PA, MD, WV and OH. The routes were all very scenic, but we had no time to stop for pictures, we had a destination to get to!

I have to say that as much as it was a thrill to see my art hanging in this prestigious exhibit, it was even more of a thrill to commune with all the artists who were there!

There's nothing better than hanging out with fellow creative souls. Sharing ideas, techniques, trials and tribulations and just basking in each others company. I was delighted to meet all the artists that I could, and wished every single one could have attended!

Here's the gallery view with my piece, Iron Spine 5XL hanging between work by Paula Kovarik and Kit Vincent, and then followed by Amy Meissner and Kerri Green

Here's moi talking about my work.... apparently I talk with my hands....
The powers that be took videos of the two minute talks that each artist gave about their work and when those videos become available I will gladly share where they can be seen. I always find public speaking rather nerve-wracking, but I was told that I spoke well and made sense. What more could I ask for?

Upon my return home, there was a lovely surprise in the mail - SDA magazine wrote a bit about the exhibit and used my art to illustrate it! So cool!
I'm still reliving bits and pieces of conversations that took place. So much to consider and enjoy remembering!

gratitude

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US. I have many people to be grateful for this year... but here I thank all the readers of this blog! Thank you for clicking, scrolling, reading and commenting! I appreciate that you take the time out of your busy day to stop by... I appreciate the thoughtful and kind comments and suggestions that you leave here!

Thank you!! and happy Thanksgiving to all!


afterglow

The show that I have been preparing for all summer has come and gone.. Funny how that is, isn't it? You think, you plan, you work, rework, work more and more, reconfigure, pack, repack, set up, lose sleep, work the show... and then poof! and it's over. But as exhausting as it was, today I am basking in the afterglow of it all.

I am very happy with the new work that I created specifically for this show. Happy with the older work that I was able to display. Happy with my display too, thanks to the friends from whom I borrowed equipment and the friends that helped me decide on the set up and then helped me take it all down. Thanks to all the friends to who came to visit me at the show and supported me with their kind words.

It was a wonderful weekend in every possible way, from the weather to crowds to the booth neighbors. And to all the lovely people to who complimented and bought my work!

Here are a few pictures of how my booth looked. This was the first way I set everything up. A few hours later on Saturday I reconfigured things, but was too distracted to take new pictures. I have never before talked about my art as much as I did in these two days. People needed explanations of not only my techniques, but also of my materials and my reasons why I do what I do! So it was a great experience for figuring out the best way of explaining it all, over and over. Talk about refining my elevator pitch!




And then on Sunday... I was in for a HUGE surprise! I got an award for Best New Artist! It was a total shocker for me as you can see in the photos below. The award is brand new and is given out in the name of Sylvia Rogers, who was a long time supporter and co-chair of the Armonk Outdoor Art Show. Her whole family was there to present the award, it turned out to be quite a big event.
that's the look of shock on my face..

posing with the whole Rogers family, that's Sylvia's husband in the green sweater
co chairs of the exhibit, Marian Hamilton and Susan Geffen

I am honored and humbled to be the first time recipient of the Sylvia Rogers Best New Artist Award. Thank you Rogers family and the Armonk Outdoor Art Show!!
PS Thanks to Sam Morrell for the pictures. And the video below (hope it works, fingers crossed!)



Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing a wonderful day of gratitude to everyone celebrating in the US. I am thankful to all of you who stop by this little blog to take a peek at my madness and give me encouragement. THANK YOU!
always grateful for autumnal treasures..

a bit of progress

I am slowly plugging away on the latest home portrait. I had a very hard time making the collage decisions on this one, so much precious ephemera, I didn't want to make a wrong choice! But I persevered and have something to show for it.
the sketch overlay is helping me decide on placement
lace from the dress claimed the left bottom corner
the bride wanted to include the maid of honors speech...but what font shall I use?
I settled on two fonts..
I adhered everything and stitched my outlines
diamond windowpanes were the first to be hand stitched
 few more windowpanes
I am looking forward to diving into the hand stitching. There is a lovely roof line to show off, great stucco texture on the walls, and more windowpanes!

The Tale of Tzar Saltan,

...of His Son the Renowned and Mighty Bogatyr Prince Gvidon Saltanovich, and of the Beautiful Princess-Swan.

How's that for a mouthful? That's the full title of Alexander Pushkin's poem that our Russian school put on for our Christmas play this year. Yes Christmas. Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, and with all the holiday festivities and the coordination of other Russian schools plays, we got the last possible time slot... But that's ok! Gave us all more time to procrastinate (ahem) and put on a great show!

I am once again honored to work with such dedicated parents, super creative individuals, and professionals who all volunteer their precious time and donate resources, so that our children can learn about their heritage in such a hands on way!

Here are a few pictures...yes only 15... Too many for a blog post? Perhaps. I couldn't take any as I was backstage, so these are all taken by the artist who painted many of the backdrops and stage props. She shared 445 pictures with me (which means she edited out at least 100!) I managed to get down to 15 to share with you, my readers... edited down to show the costumes as best as possible.. enjoy!!!
three sisters singing by the window
The Tsar chose his Tsaritza
the wedding dancing entertainment
more wedding dancers
evil sister plotting
mother in law plotting
the three comic relief characters plotting
the people reading the order
the best shot we could get of the very fast moving bee!
black hawk fighting with the white swan
swan wings in action
swan princess revealed to the prince
the magical squirrel
the bogatyr of the sea and his army
people taking a bow after all is well again...

Phew... and now I'm off to clean my studio....

and the winner is....

Me! Thank you everyone for taking a look through my art and choosing your favorites! And thank you for the lovely birthday wishes too!
First I'd like to feature a few of your favorites, because they are my favorites too:
Dormition Cupola © Natalya Aikens
The City © Natalya Aikens
Walls Between Neighbors © Natalya Aikens
Sunset © Natalya Aikens
And the lucky recipient of my birthday gift is Anastaija! Thank you so much for your kind words to all of you! and thank you for playing, you have all made this a most lovely day....

a tease...

Because I want those of you close enough to come to see it for yourself and join me for the opening reception, I'm offering just a little tease of what my exhibit looks like for the rest of you...
peeking through the windows
I hung my show yesterday at Etui Fiber Arts Gallery in Larchmont, NY. The show will be on view until Wednesday June 4th. The opening reception is next Friday, May 9th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.
I do hope you can join us!

Here's a little blurb Julie, the gallery owner, wrote up:

CITY LINES is a series of art quilts inspired by New York City:  small alleyways, huge avenues, cracked pavement, glass skyscrapers, brick storefronts, vibrant graffiti, grand bridges and rusting fire escapes.
 
These works are made from 90% recycled materials; however, the recyclables used in Natalya's quilts are undetectable, transforming into something sophisticated and beautiful.  Natalya's manipulation of photos coupled with intense hand and machine stitching produce translucent effects.   The sewing machine is one of Natalya's most important drawing tools creating works visually stunning and complex.

a lovely, well lit gallery
Come on over!

wishing you well..

..and joy and health and peace and prosperity and generosity and perseverance and strength and faith and humility and happiness and patience and creativity and resilience and inspiration and kindness and confidence in the New Year... may 2014 treat us all well!
may your palette be colorful!
Thank you for being a part of my life...
~Natalya

a foodie moment

Cooking has kept me and my kitchen very very occupied for a big part of the week. We turned this weekend into a Russian food feast and I'm showing you the results of my excuse for not stitching much...
Our everyday food experience is rather utilitarian and sometimes even on the run, so an excuse to set a beautiful table and make artful arrangements of food is always welcome.
a feast
molded fish in aspic
roast beef, tongue and kolbasa Russian style
herring under a blanket
lobio, kidney beans Georgian style
chicken pate, my mama's version
olivier the Russian every thing salad
And those were just the ones I remembered to photograph! By the way for anyone non-Russian interested in Russian food, I alway recommend The Art of Russian Cuisine by Anne Volokh. She does an excellent job.

....and now back to stitching...

quilt national

I am awed, humbled and verklempt....

Friday night was the opening of Quilt National'13 and I was there!!! Got there with car tires screeching and flustered, barely making it, but I got there! What a fabulous exhibit, what amazing works of art... and I still can't believe that I am part of it all.... But! Here's photographic proof!
me... like a deer in headlights... thanks Deidre Adams for the pic!

I wish I could have stayed for the whole opening weekend and been able to soak in everything at leisure. But alas I had to drive home Saturday morning. I stood with my jaw hanging open looking all the details of the stunning artwork, was star struck by all the artists that I met, artist friends that I was so happy to see again and all the other artists that I just a caught a glimpse of... oh well...  I will now be reading and re-reading the QN catalogue cover to cover.. and savoring the few signatures I collected.

Meanwhile I can finally reveal my work that has been under wraps for so long! Here is The City:
The City detail ©Natalya Aikens. Recycled paper was a large part of this piece.
The City detail ©Natalya Aikens. Bubble wrap made an appearance.
The City detail ©Natalya Aikens. More recycled paper, this time thick package wrapping.
The City ©Natalya Aikens
For a few more detail shots visit my website here.

a year in review

Aaahhh.... The last day of 2012. How did it get here so quickly??? Well... how ever it did that, I am glad that it's here and I am looking forward to 2013. And that means it is time for the artful year in review. 

As I perused my records (or I should say my photographs), I see that I have only created nine artworks this year, only three of them rather large. That word - only - it's bothering me in that last sentence.... Seven out of those nine are intensely hand stitched, which makes them intensely labor intensive. I like that word - intensely. And the other two are quite large and intensely machine stitched. Works out pretty even as far as labor intensive me thinks, no?

Anyhow, instead of loading this post with pictures of art you have already seen (and one that you haven't seen because it's a secret), I decided to create a slide show of the details of those artworks. Some are in progress details, most are the final details. And most are already up on my website, others will be soon. Enjoy!



Here's wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

wordless wednesday ~ a holiday treat

For the Christmas season I thought I would regale you with the stunning holiday windows of NYC!
Sak's Fifth Ave
Henri Bendel
Harry Winston
57th street and 5th Ave
Van Cleef and Arpels
Bergdorf Goodman
Bergdorf Goodman
Bergdorf Goodman
Bergdorf Goodman
Sixth Ave and 47th street (or close by)
Merry!