Wednesday, January 28, 2009

a flourish of progress

Stabbing myself with pins while laughing at "Two & Half Men" has become part of my routine. I'd like to say I'm going up to the studio to spend some time with this but truth is, the job got to me today and I am just plain tired and I don't want to make any commitments with needle and thread that I'll regret come Saturday. Instead of nattering about the job, I will tip my reading list to the late John Updike, rave about Slum Dog Millionaire (OH! the Textiles!) and the latest issue of American Style Magazine (featuring one of my favorite artists, Eleanor McCain) - in my mailbox 'cause I'm a 9/10ths member of SAQA. Long story for another time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

works in progress

I've been fascinated with Tricia McKellar's "Flourish" series and noticed akinship shapewise with a new piece I started last month. Tricia has generously granted permission for me to interpret her work in my medium. Yesterday, I isolated the stitched shapes with soy wax and got it into a dyebath. I wanted a neutral gray but, as any attempt at black in whatever concentration, you get what you get. In this case a rather nice dusty lavender that will work well in the long run. From here there will be much applique and dimensional work, both hand and machine stitching. Given my new schedule, some real slow cloth in the works. And finally, I finished the last of this set for another summer garden quilt. I think the border/edge on this one will be a series of overlapping leaves. That should take me through April or May.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Personal Archaeology

I started digging out our walk-in closet today. You can put an awful lot of crap in one of those construction weight black plastic bags, but then you have to lift it up. I was appalled to find that much of the clothing I was getting rid of would be rejected by Goodwill. I made the mistake of going through an old art portfolio that I have been dragging from closet to closet for some forty years. A lot more crap went into the bag. Why do we keep some things? Seems as if creatures real and imagined, dark views and riotous colors have always been part of my art heart. This was our cat Moses. Probably the only time I've ever been able to capture a real likeness.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Wheel of Life

It turns for us all.
No, I have not "run oft" with pirates. I have lately been consumed with the logistics of returning to the rat race. I couldn't do it without the love and support of my family.
So far it's a day-long proposition but if and when I get past the training period I will have some time for the studio again.
In the meantime, I put myself to sleep at night putting the finishing touches on a few of the summer quilts and making notes and sketches for future projects.
I've reinstituted my practice of turning a Tarot card while sitting at a light in traffic. This morning - the Queen of Cups.
I have been both chastened and enlightened.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wild Baby Blue Launching Pad

Between setting up electronic banking stuff, general correspondence and the usual ether-wandering I feel like I've spent the better part of the day on the computer. It's stuff I won't have the idle time to do starting tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to starting the new gig. Feels like the first day of school. I'll still find the time to do as much as moves me in the studio only it will be as the schedule says I can. Maybe I'll be more productive with someone else setting up the whens. I finished this little quilt off last night and gave it a good thrash in the washer and dryer just to make sure it's fit for public opinion. It is. An heirloom in waiting, I've just posted it over at my Etsy place just to see what sort of traffic it brings. I've let that little cyber shop languish a long time. There are detail shots and lots of marketing babble over there too.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Changes Afoot

The painting does not go well. A much as I wanted it to, it never did for me. I can only think of one canvas that, once finished, satisfied me. In dim recollection, it was something I dashed off as decoration for the new nursery, some thirty years ago and so had an important purpose beyond my mere need to fling colors around. All the hard edges that we create when piecing fabric become impossible boundaries when recreated in two dimensions with paint. So far,I've only painted ground colors. The need to have to fashion the effects of the texture of fabric and stitching with paint confounds me. Once the studio warms up, I'll give it another go before I gesso over the whole mess. On a completely different note, I'm delighted to have found a full time job. It's going to be familiar - when AT&T dragged us from NY to GA I spent three years of hell taking inbound telemarketing calls - but there won't be any "marketing" in this position. There's room for advancement - my IT skills and experience were noted, and so, back into the workforce we go! I am deeply grateful.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Crossing back over to the darkside

It's been thirty years since the last time I painted a canvas. I had to open some of the paint tubes with a pair of pliers. Jimmy gave me this easel for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. What did he know that I didn't. I had the alligator dream again last night. It was either paint or start looking for drugs. I made this piece while waiting for the paint to dry. It's going to be one of the book's pages I think. Some people are better at waiting than others.

Seeking Grey & Gray

After spending some time with Alligator Dream and stumbling across Tricia McKellar's new series "Flourish" I am provoked to rediscover how greygray brings harmony to my insane pallette where gang wars break out between the various factions on a regular basis. Did I ever tell you that when I was little I worried that if I didn't use each and every color each time I took them out, they got angry with me and planned evil doings like hiding under a chair and getting sucked into the vacuum cleaner.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Alligator Dream

I've had a lot of knee grief in my life. Knock wood all is well now but if I have a rough day there is pain in the night and I dream that alligators are biting my legs and are working hard to twist them off. Or could the pain come from the dreams?

real studio time

I was going to get started last night but I was pinned down on the couch by two cats and forced to watch a re-run of the 1991 World Series 7th game between the Atlanta Braves, my team, and a buncha guys with long greasy hair. After watching John Smoltz pitch a few clean innings I was overcome with boohoo at his defection to the Boston Red Sox. I mean, just how much friggin' money does a person need? Is there no loyalty left in the world? I abandoned the game and flicked over to revisit "To Kill a Mockingbird" and so there ended my creative evening. Here are the fruits of the morning so far. These critters are "Waiting for Wings". I'm still toying with the kid's book notion but for me a book has to put the story first. I don't want to slave over illustrations for their own sake and nothing is coming to me at the moment, preoccupied as I am with finding work and speaking of which I have an interview tomorrow. Cross 'em if you got 'em. This piece is going to involve a soy-wax resist and some dyeing but the house is too cold to even think about any of that right now.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mad Moon

I'm looking forward the influence of this big 'ole moon that they are promising for tonight. Hopefully the incoming rain and clouds won't screw the viewing up completely. Remember this piece? For a while now, it's been staring me in the face from the design wall that's opposite my sewing table and it's subtle charm has been growing on me. I started a companion piece last night by building a damask sandwich that includes that very thick, heavy cotton felt batting. It will be a bear to sew through but the stitches will really "carve" the design deeply. How it's going to take to soy wax resist and dyeing remains to be seen.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Crash Test Dummy

I kid you not. All day yesterday I was in federal court doing a $PAID$ gig as a crash test dummy. Of course, the trial dragged on and I have to come back today to do my little bit. It's totally surreal! Update - more delay, dither and diddle in court, and so I will come back as a dummy again on Monday! Thanks all for the input on the critter series especially Terry - will you be my editor? Today, instead of whiling away the hours with Steven King, I will start work on my own book. Words, pictures and my voice. God help the kiddies.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Food Chain #1

I feel this one. And then I don't. So I won't call it finished but it's the fifth I needed for a deadline later this month. Some paint is called for and maybe more. Being locked into a 12"x12" box chaps my ass something wicked. There are three or four other pieces that were supposed to be a part of this group but I accidentally on purpose let the dimensions get away from the rules. Someone said I should use these critters to illustrate a children's book. Looks like I'll have to write this one myself.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Out with the Old

I meant to post this here.

Hope Rising

"Hope Rising" is on it's way to: Location: Cafritz Art Center, 150 King St., Silver Spring, MD
Dates: February 9 - March 5, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday, February 13th
"This show, organized by Susan Walen, comes from an all-volunteer,
grass-roots, multi-ethnic group of fiber artists from all across the
United States and as far away as Australia. Our work is in tribute to our
new President, in gratitude for the hope and inspiration he
has brought us. We present these art quilts at an unforgettable
historic moment in our country's history."

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Live Humans!

Hopefully this is the last of my "making frenzy" pieces for a while. Not technically focused at all but I took more time than usual cutting the blocks to size and making some sense of them before nailing them all together. Thinking back (and wondering where the hell it might be) this one is just like Picnic In Hell and the Green Monster, which I know is in the custody of my son Jake. What sort of thing do you do when the muse fails or is on vacation and you just HAVE to make something???

Friday, January 02, 2009

"Pardon me while I have a strange interlude..."

and roll, howling, in the 24 pounds pounds of BOOTY that the FedEx man delivered to my doorstep today!!!! They say that the Good get what they deserve. I was never this good but I will try hard to be worthy. If you look hard you will see the source of all this treasure, my own personal Angel. That's Valdani thread there, and silk yarn and ultrasuede and imported Japanese prints and batiks and woven goods and, and....I'm foaming at the mouth and have to go upstairs now. Upon extensive examination, there is much more here than meets the camera's eye. The soft hand and terrific quality of the yardage has inspired me to imagine myself some new duds. I will be browsing patterns this afternoon at HoAnn's and taking the measurements of the adjustable ( heifer-sized) mannequin that's been set up in that department. There will be pictures!

New Year's Intentions

I've never been much for New Years resolutions. Generally speaking, they have a bad reputation for failure. Who wants to start the new wheel of the year wearing that yoke? As the day goes by I will be having more to say about it. Until then, I had a great post about the matter two years ago. Funny how little things change.