Sunday, August 14, 2022

under the Sturgeon Moon

Yesterday was the best weather for dyeing that I've had for years. Hot enough to get the colors reacting, but not so hot that I was uncomfortable and therefore NOT rushed.  

I took my time making up the colors while I had my coffee. Forgot all about what I needed in the stash, but instincts drew me to warm colors and stayed my hand when I picked up Raven.

My only regret is that I didn't have more cuts of this linen ready to carry and wrap groups of thread. Shortfall?  I threw the threads right down on the deck boards same as I do with cloth bundles. 

Butterscotch, Sun Gold and Lemon had a field day. Avocado came out for the first time in many years. Prochem has improved it immensely. Bright where it used to be murky. Plays well with others too.

An even better day coming up.  I'll get these washed and laid out to dry in time for a decent pool day. Yesterday, I actually got cold. By the time I hit the water, clouds had moved in and the water is still a little colder from all the rain we had during the week.

It's that time of the year when I take note of each swim knowing that good water days are numbered. 

A peek at the results. I washed and rinsed these an hour ago. Hope the cloth stays as intense as the threads seem to be.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Conjuring colors


I shot this through the sunroof the other day. It was quickly followed by a carwash thunderstorm. 

Today is supposed to be glorious, with no rain in sight. I'm about to drag my fingernails over a bar of soap and start cooking up the colors for a dyefest. 

Updates as the day goes on. 

Monday, August 08, 2022


 Pulled this one out of the trunk of my car. It was in the FREE ART bag, destined to be left behind on a park bench some sunny day. 

I was so caught up and in love with some of the elements that I overlooked how hideous the background is until I stepped back and took a hard look.

I spent some time changing the orientation by 90 degrees. That required the sleeve to be removed and relocated. The original stitching on that sleeve looked like I sent it out for the nuns to work on. Took an hour just to cut and pick all the stitches. 

Now I have to decide what I'm going to do about the background. The fabrics are very "touchy", that is, a cotton/rayon blend designed to soak up spills. Anything liquid applied is going to travel uncontrollably. 

I can't use soy wax to mask and protect the central elements (that pink also needs help) because of the silk satin and more of that thirsty cotton/rayon.

It might come down to surgery and if the patient survives, a new name. Ideas are welcome. It's on a back burner for now.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Mixing in the world


Debra Steinmann

As soon as I found out that five of my pieces would be included in "The Material is the Message" I resolved that I would not be attending the opening. The list of reasons was long and boring. Then I remembered. 
This is your new life. Live it. 

I had no "nice" clothes. Turned them all back to Goodwill. Comfort was key. My favorite Led Zip t-shirt and khaki clamdiggers were clean and presentable. Hair, clean and bunned up. Purple cane ready to rock. 

I drove into the heart of Atlanta under a raging thunderstorm--the order of every afternoon these days-- and let the phone talk me through the maze Inside the Perimeter to my friend's home. Left my car and rode with her because parking would be limited.

Even though we were prompt, the place was buzzing with people. So many people. We all seemed dazzled to be out.  A reporter from some local cultural media outlet interviewed me. She was probably sorry she picked me. Diarrhea of the mouth and all. Pictures even.

I met so many nice people. Got to see some great textile work and meet the makers. (One by one I will match the makers to the work and update this page.)

Lisa Rich and Clare Butler

Then someone nudged me, gestured at Cephalopod, and said, "Look!"  
Hell yeah, I squealed with delight!

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

a catalyst


I treated myself to a very special book. Six, eight pounds? A big book for big art, to quote my son. You'll be lucky to find one in a library and if you come across it in a bookstore, don't be shocked at the cost. It's full of magic.

I have Lorraine Glessner to thank for a FB post about the Joan Mitchell exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art. With a slew of amazing pictures. 

Messy March, 1969. The last gasp of my time at the School of Visual Arts. I was just coasting at that point, knowing that I wouldn't be back in September. 

Cutting more classes than I sat through,  I spent a lot of time wandering aimlessly, tiptoeing around in galleries. One day, behind the plate glass of a closed gallery, one painting took up an entire wall. I could make out "Joan Mitchell" on a cardboard placard on the floor. All I remember was an explosion of energy in line and color.  It was both deafening and perfectly silent. What it did was clarify for me that I lacked the drive, the talent, and the chutzpah to set foot in the same world as this woman.  Joan Mitchell made leaving art school easy for me. I never looked back or regretted that decision. 

How could I have changed the ripples in the pond of my life to not bring me to today?

The first day (digital) of third grade for Charlie.

This year, I pretty much sat back and leafed through a fabulous book of "very messy paintings" in Charlie's opinion. 

But we both noticed that someone had chosen a screen wallpaper for the Art section that looked quite lifted from a Joan Mitchell painting.