Tuesday, February 21, 2017

stitching as driving

An experiment this morning.

After spending some time with the manuscript - and running into mental walls and dead ends - I picked up the stitch and decided on the passage, line and colors I wanted.

I wanted the thread to be substantial, but blend, I mixed three strands of machine rayon and one of the 12wt cotton. Experience said they would not play nicely, but I ignored that even as they fought me at the round-eyed needle. I finally had to switch to an embroidery needle even though the rayon is thin as hair.

First pass = a nasty backside nest. "STOP NOW! and go upstairs and get the damn thread magic.

Once the thread was dressed properly, stitching smoothed out.


 There was no TV or background music. My hands were busy with what was now a rote task with little course corrections and design considerations happening in small bursts without interference from cranky thread.

The revelation came when I started thinking about the story again. Missing pieces materialized. Emotions came clean, reactions true. Details sharpened the reality. I put down the cloth and went back to the little wireless keyboard that hooks to my tablet. Wrote for a while and went back to stitching.

And here I thought I was going to have to drive across country to get this book finished.


Charlie Monday


We went trekking yesterday. He has too much energy to confine him to the apartment if it's at all nice out.

There will be trips to the park in the near future. Next time, I'll remember the ball and the picnic lunch. This day we shared and ate "magic". Don't know if I'll ever have pictures of those gestures.

He told his Dad how he pulled Uncle Colin's head down to the X at the bottom and made him disappear from my phone.

Sometimes he makes my hair stand on end!

Friday, February 17, 2017

sun day

I took the basket to the park today. Sunny and warmer than it's been. Somewhere I have some sheers that I want to layer to make value changes.

In the meantime, invisible stitching.

The bright white spots on the piece below kept calling my attention to how it was. Very hot soy wax dribbled onto a very white cloth. Left to cool and harden and then flooded with layers of colors that I hated by themselves, but got along famously, by accident.

There was a large piece of this cloth. This is the last of it.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

down and dirty

Flipping this one to the four points of the wind before I nail it down with a name.

It's good to take part in the conversation about making art again. Jude speaking on design here.

Art you can see and touch.

If I don't spend all my time on one or the other, I may actually make some progress.

Also, there is a way-crossing of stitching and writing in my future. A natural path for me. The fabric of Fiction.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Charlie Monday


and a chunk of yesterday too. Spending time with him takes my mind off everything else (like it or not). Sunday he was dragging me into my kitchen every twenty minutes seeing what else I would come up with for him to eat. Today, at his house, all he would eat was applesauce.




On other fronts,  posts about QN17 have started surfacing. No surprise that I haven't found any pictures of the winners, but splashed across the front page of the QN website was the very interesting announcement that artists are no longer restricted from sharing their ongoing work on the web or social media.

It's almost enough to make one think about goals.

Friday, February 10, 2017

that moonlight through the pines


The moon was just about to set when it blazed through the window and woke me saying,
"Quick! Find that damn camera, the one with the night landscape setting!"

A talking moon the least strange aspect of last night.

A night full of carnival ride dreams, cross-country horse chases under artillery fire and ocean crossings.


Woke up exhausted, but exhilarated.


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

refocus

Thread by thread (and there were a lot of them) I snipped this scrap away from the whole once I realized that I was letting stitch dominate the conversation so rigidly. I repositioned it and basted it back into place with a constellation of long, gentle stitches. It's not going to hold up to a lot of handling so I'll attend to it soon.

That done, I moved to another place in the conversation and stitched it secure as invisibly as I could, the object being to let the shapes, colors, textures and overall design speak first. After all, those things pleased my eye first.

The vernacular of stitch will be last and more like song than spoken (printed) word. I hope. I have a tendency to overwork stuff.

there really are stitches all over this.
All the while I worked this blueish piece I was thinking about this call for entry.

A friend pointed out that my "voice" might serve that purpose, but in the big scope of an exhibit like this, imagery is going to be key and I have rarely worked in representational fashion. There are so many who do it so well.

The last time for me was also political. The piece was amateurish, thrown together as it was, to make a deadline. It was something I felt strongly about. The beginnings of something very good. A great time for our nation. Things have changed. Strong, passionate and daring voices are called for.

My textile work leaves it to the viewer and I don't see forcing a change to be fruitful in time or resonance. I remind myself over and over that every OTHER person I pass in the street (well, maybe not that many, based on where I live) feels as I do. There is still..
This piece can be seen hanging over the doorway to the meditation/classroom/gallery at the  Phoenix & Dragon Bookstore in Roswell, GA.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

old habits get in the way

My stitching is too tight, too studied. Formulaic. I need to stitch drunk, maybe..

It's too soon to be this specific, this defined. Here's to the joy of picking out hasty stitching.

On a happier front, a brief raw materials hunt today yielded a couple acres of the most incredible cloth I've come across in a long time. Winter white sheets with a density and hand that comes close to chambray. Can't wait to see how this stuff takes up with the dye. It's going to be my '17 debut cloth.  There was no makers label,  only this:

Monday, February 06, 2017

Charlie Monday 2.6.17






He won't remember this small disappointment.




There was a big boy haircut to contend with this weekend, too. And more more molars coming in.



Saturday, February 04, 2017

first pass



same old stitch.
same old comfort.

boundaries will do that.

plans afoot for change. just shaking off the dust for now.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Thursday, February 02, 2017

venturing

I took the river basket (already brimming and mostly untouched from the trip to the mountains) to the park today to get a little vitamin D and a few steps in before I turn into Jabba the Hutt.

I have a little app on my phone that tells me how many steps I take each day. Lately, it's been mocking me as a lame ass. So I lugged everything down to the bocce courts at the park. No bocce players, or anyone else around for that matter.  Took up a whole chess table with my stuff.

For a while, I was a little overwhelmed with too much cloth to choose from. Bit by bit, I found some shapes and a rhythm I liked. Pins everywhere and now for some basting, fudging as I go. It looks like I'm picking up right where I left off, design wise. Not a bad thing. Let the basting begin...I like this part.

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