Friday, February 27, 2009

the Anonymous Experiment....

....was a resounding success. Thank you all. I'm deeply grateful to all those who took the time to comment publicly and email me privately on the current series. I learned a great deal, had some ideas confirmed, scraped some doodoo off my shoes and was given much to think about . I would encourage anyone who keeps a blog and is serious about their art to take a chance on your readership and have an ANONYMOUS COMMENT FESTIVAL. found in a recent fortune cookie "You will be richly rewarded"

time to stop

I know it's time to stop making these pieces when I'm playing Freecell in the last 15 minutes of my shift. Now I have to spend some time going through my existing stash and planning for what materials I'm going to need to bring something like these studies to life full sized. And, Elizabeth! Who said you could be peeking over my shoulder when I am scribbling in my sketchbook? I am also reading a novel with a thrilling description of a horse race. The note says "horse parts lines".

Thursday, February 26, 2009

nomo #3

Time to restuff and restock the little ragbag that I take in to the office. Last night I went in there with no pins and no thread, but still got this one was composed flat and rolled tight so things would be in place when I got it to the machine this morning. I've been dreaming about how these are going to be made full sized- the layers, the colors, the stitching - an hoping that over dreaming a piece doesn't do for me what putting it down in a sketchbook does..*poof*

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I got an email announcement yesterday that one of my favorite painters, Hollis Heichemer ,would be having a gallery show in NY. I was almost afraid to look at the newest work, sponge brain that I am - it both inspires and baffles me. My problem remains how to create this kind of immediacy and energy with a medium that, at best, is slow as dirt?? Last night at work I fiddled with the notion of motion and came up with this. I had to machine stitch it to keep the scale in order. I'd like to think that this is a tiny study for some much large things to come in the future. And another delightful email - Del Thomas letting me know that she was highlighting "Parking Magik" (2003) on her blog about her quilt collection. It was a treat to see it again as I have misplaced the original digital files. Thanks, Del!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

In the Show!

There they are! I have five pieces in the World of Imagination Showopening March 6 at the APW Gallery in Long Island City, NY. It feels good to have something out there where folks beside my cats can look at it. It may look like a cattle call but..MooOOO!...I'm fine with a great, brawling art event.

sea change

The B&W versions were all composed and assembled (if not finished) at the office but last night, as I poked through the scrap bag, the Crayon People took me over and color just had to have it's way. I've been hand stitching on the color one this morning. The sun streams into my studio right over my shoulder, Jinx and I share the sewing chair, enjoy CBS Sunday Morning and a second cup of coffee and lots gets accomplished. I've decided that I'm going to finish these four pieces by mounting them on canvas and then mummifying the fabric with a thick soaking of clear acrylic medium. I've done this before with smaller pieces and I like the outcome. Of course, the hand of the fabric is lost but that's not an issue with this sort of piece anyway.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


For the first time in ages I am dwelling on my work. It's a total luxury to be able to have it with me at all while I'm at the office. I pin the piece up on the wall of my cube and just look at while I'm taking calls and think about what's going on with it. Then, between calls, I can cut, adjust and stitch, slowly. thoughtfully. only this time I'm not thinking all that much about process or technique. With this kind of time on my hands what could be simpler than honoring the grid and attending to good design elements, each one a wayward and willful sheep? I'm thinking about the cloth and the spirits in it as if possessed. The ground, of course, these antique damask tablecloths that I have rescued from rag bags and dyed, are each full of mystery and history. They came to me mostly white but I feel as if the colors that I have given them reflect something of the character of their lives and service. Some are worn through in places, evidence of what? Years of happy Sunday family gatherings? Years of straight laced enslavement to social requirements? Was this tablecloth washed, ironed, folded and fussed over by a young, Irish immigrant girl brought to New England as an indentured servant before the turn of the century? Did this tablecloth cost more than her family could earn in a year? Did her heart ache as she stood back and watched dinner guests spill wine and gravy on it without a thought? The grid elements are refugees too, all snips and bits taken from here and there. The black here is a messy-when-cut expensive linen taken from a pair of designer label slacks that were incredibly a size 2. Not much fabric here. Each piece of cloth I'm handling is speaking to me of it's origin, it's use, it's history. I hope the finished pieces will convey the fabric's wishes as much as my own.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

juicy days

Yesterday was a fine day in the mines! They's choking at Chucky's, puking at PF's and boffing in the bathrooms at El Toadies. (The names are all changed to protect the guilty, of course) . I may never eat out again! All this goes on and on and I get to be the electronic priestess listening, nodding, murmuring agreements and keying it all into the void and all the while struggling to keep a straight face and not bust out howling with laughter. I'm sorry but tales of guests stabbing one another with forks for dibs on the waitress is right up there with Craig Ferguson's best stuff. If you can stay up that late, you deserve giggle fits. I kept my self-promise to wallow more in the music and wore my Ipod headphones on the drive over to the office (arrest me) and got a great dose of Box Scaggs and John Mayer, both live. Add a dash of Joni Mitchell and for dessert, some Sting. Music like that makes me miss a longer commute. Things were slow when I got there - the river of Whining was running slow as sludge so I was able to get a new small piece of hand work underway and it's developing in a very satisfying way. If you've ever worked in a cube farm you know how it can be very self-contained and isolating but I've chosen a seat in a corner lot that no one else seems to want, the southern light filters through pines and a wall of glass over my right shoulder. It's not like working in a dungeon when I can sit there. It's interesting working on a piece when you are sitting on the corner of Main and Exit. Folks pass by, watch for a moment. Not the place or time for discussion but I can tell they are wondering what I am up to. With a tip of my pointy hat, I'll call it "jude scratchin'#1". Until I can work arms thrown wide again, I'll have this personal investigation into the nature of cloth, the grid, of course, and the spaces left where the warp and weft do their dance. So's not to rush a good thing, I set it aside at the stall point and started a new book."The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy that appears to have been written with the artist's eye in mind. Just wonderful visuals at every turn and I've hardly gotten to know the players. This day has been a feast for the senses. Not bad for a cube rat.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

camera woes

There was a lovely box of inspiration on the doorstep this morning including some lightweight cottons bound for the dyepots as soon as it gets warm enough. I was inspired to root around in the studio and start rounding up everything and anything that will take color and found quite a pile! Now all I have to do is grind my teeth and wait a month or two. I mounted "Alligator Dream #1" on a 9"x12" canvas and finally got this one trued up and stitched down tight but spent two wasted sessions trying to get it and few others photographed. I'm going to take my CanonA95 someplace and have it cleaned or whatever can be done for an aging and well-used digital camera that is just not doing what it used to do. I wasted another hour online looking at what's new and reasonably price in the way of digital cameras but looks like I'll have to go back to school to catch up on all the latest jargon since '05 when I bought the one I've got now. All suggestions, reviews and wisdom are welcome.

Friday, February 13, 2009


With the clock ticking I was able to cobble together this little flag yesterday. Must be the anticipation of the weekend spurring me on. There were lulls between calls last night and some notions actually made it into the sketchbook. I'll have to force myself to drag them out of it this time. Good ideas have been few and far between for me lately. Winter blahs without any snow or ice are insidious. One thing I'm sure of...I have to bring music back into the studio. TV is beginning to sicken me. In the break room at my job there is a set that seems locked onto CNN with the volume set at impending disaster level. There seems to be no relief from the perfect idiocy of most of the human race. I am absolutely sure that good, purposeful people everywhere who are working to help or make a difference come home from work, kick off their shoes and yell "you STUPID @!*&$!!" at the ceiling. Then, I hope they can have a dish of ice cream, smile and get a good night's rest before starting all over again the next day. ADDENDUM ((beeep)) " Thank you for calling the Common Sense Hotline. I am not a doctor or a lawyer but I wasn't born yesteday and I have been paying attention...what is your issue?"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

new cards

I finally took the time and money to order some new business cards. Graphic design is not like riding a bicycle. If the analogy was true, I'd be dead in the street about now. I decided I wanted more art and less information and this snip from "Up on Wheels" and all of "Hopped Up" remind me what I like best about what I do with fabric dye and paint.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Yes! Spring!

Can't you just hear him complaining about my dirty, empty birdbath? ( A word of warning about the sound link above - two of my cats rushed the monitor and speakers!) This charming fellow is one of Nellie Durand's fabulous creations. And for a little more delight for your day, try here: Thank you, Tristan!

Sunday, February 08, 2009


What a great combination - the Ace of Cups and a nearly full moon. After what seems like weeks in the deep freeze, the house is open to a blazing sunny day that may see 65 degrees. Eastern Bluebirds are everywhere here, on their way to someplace else but chowing down on whatever they can find while they are here. I stitched on this through the first four new episodes of LOST yesterday. Finally I've starting to cast about for a new direction for some large work. Makes you wonder if being able to stand up straight without shivering figures into creative output. Supplies are low and I'll have to scrounge for stuff but what else is new in the life of an artist? I'll bet batting is 50% off in JoAnns any minute now. And Jinx know what to do with a scrap of batting in a sunny patch on the sewing table.

Friday, February 06, 2009


A little hand music maybe but I doubt there will be time tonight. We suddenly busy and I'm in the middle of two good books. Reviews when I get a minute. Hail Friday! Last night I found out that I can sign up for Weeks off from work (without pay of course) but still... how civilized!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Scootch closer and hunker down to

"Tales From the Cube-a-torium" ...."Your race please?..... ...What?..... 5K, 10K?....What ? training? ...No, no. I mean, who are your people? I mean.... ...The Dinwiddies of East Toadholler?? No, no I mean your ETHNICITY. ...No, no, I don't need to know about your bedroom doings, I need your ETHNICITY... you know, what COLOR you are. " ....No Ma'am, Summer is not an option here. Are you white? ....Ma'am I'm sorry about the tanning salon incident but can we... ....No ma'am "drowned China man" is not on the list. Are you Caucasian? ....No, not your religious persuasion, I don't need to know about pagan rites and such, I just need to know if you are African American, Hispanic, white, brown know, RACE? ....thank you Ma'am. I'll include your suggestion to the people who write the questions. No, Ma'am. I don't think it's unreasonable to offer Extraterrestrial as an option but for right now...." it was funnier in person and late at night. Try this

The Bloody Shoe & The Quilter's Prayer

For lack of anything artistic to report this morning, I'm going with News of the Weird. Some time ago I posted this photo-shopped image of a shoe. I bought them online and sadly, the fit was wrong for me to the point of pain but it wasn't quite this bad.

Nothing like a little drama and blood to draw a crowd. There's a huge group of folks out there who seem drawn to this picture like it was an image of the Virgin Mary on a Dorito. Go figger. Have a ball guys!

And the runner up in the hit parade? My Quilter's Prayer, which, btw, didn't prevent this particular piece of hand dyed cotton from winding up in the recycle bin in my studio. Bits of it are in pieces all over the place. As a whole piece, the prayer failed it but I have often snatched up a chunk, cut off what was needed and given thanks.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cold 'Lanta

It's sixteen whole degrees outside and not a whole lot warmer in the house. Even the furred folk are happier under the covers. To provoke Spring, I've started the handwork on my latest garden quilt. At the new job we don't have assigned seats so, gypsy style, you squat where you can when you get there. Yesterday I had a bad chair, a flicker-y monitor and bad lighting so hand work was out of the question. Pray for a window seat today.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Thanks Arlee...

My photography is not getting crappier. My camera is starting to have issues. I'm going to leave this on the design wall and stay my hand for a while. Less is more. The hole in the center where nothing lives provokes me eye. I had all kinds of snide and entertaining notions to share about the new job but, right now, I'm not feeling the comedy of things but I am feeling deep gratitude for the generosity and kindness of (almost) strangers. The Card of the Day is Strength and there I abide.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Flourish continues

The time I have to do artwork is so precious all of a sudden. I spent most of this morning in the studio working on Flourish. they have an orchid feel to them although I've never given a real orchid a good hard look. They look more like creatures of some kind than plants. They sell orchids in the grocery stores down here, the most expensive things in the produce department. I'm going leave off with this now cause I've stopped feeling joyful about it - got a cold brewing I think - don't want to run off the rails the way I tend to when working past inspiration.