Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

field trip

Monday, January 25th, 2016
Torn Earth, detail

Torn Earth, detail

Today hubs and I took a field trip to see Earth Stories at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. The stars aligned with a dry forecast, moderate¬†weekend traffic as opposed to heavier weekday traffic and best of all no Super Bowl festivities! We¬†returned through San Francisco¬†on a gorgeous clear,¬†sunny winter’s day. It was well worth the trip and a fun date!

All the work juried into this exhibit dealt with an environmental issue. My work Torn Earth celebrates the work of Architecture for Humanity, a non-profit firm dedicated to building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. The organization’s projects focus on post-disaster development, design and reconstruction of seismic resistant housing.

Torn Earth

 

 

 

I had perused the exhibit catalog but there is nothing like seeing the work up close and personal. It was really intriguing to see how each artist dealt with their own particular cause. I was really¬†pleased that my work was installed correctly and that the journal of my work was holding up well despite lots of travel and handling. Several¬†of the journals were falling apart;¬†some¬†were detailed and interesting¬†while others¬†left me wondering about the artist’s process.

Light Towers by Mirjam Pet-Jacobs

Light Towers by Mirjam Pet-Jacobs

 

 

The pieces I most wanted to see did not disappoint, like Dutch artist, Mirjam Pet-Jacobs’¬†Light Towers¬†about energy saving lightbulbs. The piece was silk organza with lights wired within the layers. The¬†engineering feat alone was impressive, and made an impact;¬†yet it had to be flexible enough to pack and ship abroad.

Another that had caught my eye was Alternative vs. Fossil Fuels by Cynthia St. Charles. Her extensively screen-printed background was stunning and engaging using different texts, in varied fonts but in similar color paint.

Alternative vs. Fossil Fuels by Cynthia St. Charles

Alternative vs. Fossil Fuels by Cynthia St. Charles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy Nida’s¬†Wise Choice¬†was a piece was one that could be examined¬†for hours. There was so much intricate detail. Just beautiful and intriguing work!

Wise Choice by Kathy Nida

Wise Choice by Kathy Nida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both Kathy York’s Crowded House

Crowded House by Kathy York

Crowded House by Kathy York

 

and Paula Kovarik’s Stream of Consequences were chock full of surprise. Kathy decided to count the stuff in her house which took her six months. She then wrote all the 56344 items on the work.¬†After the exhibit will she¬†have 56345?

Crowded House, detail

Crowded House by Kathy York, detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One could’ve breezed by Paula’s and think, oh, pretty work, until stepping closer to examine the stitching which was remarkable. The story lie in the details!

Stream of Consequences by Paula Kovarik

Stream of Consequences by Paula Kovarik

Stream of Consequences by Paula Kovarik, detail

Stream of Consequences by Paula Kovarik, detail

 

 

Hope is The Thing With Feathers by Mary Pal, detail

Hope is The Thing With Feathers by Mary Pal, detail

Mary Pal’s cheesecloth image of Dr. George Archibald in Hope is the Thing With Feathers was really gorgeous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Valya’s He Knew That She Knew That I Know was stunning on a bright red wall. The detail was as interesting¬†as the entire piece.

He Knew That She Knew That I Know, by Valya

He Knew That She Knew That I Know, by Valya

He Knew That She Knew That I Know by Valya, detail

He Knew That She Knew That I Know by Valya, detail

Tender Gardens by Marion Coleman

Tender Gardens by Marion Coleman

 

I also loved Marion Coleman’s Tender Gardens about community gardens in San Francisco’s Tenderloin where there are no grocery stores.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Leni Levenson Wiener’s It’s A Shell of a Problem about the endangered turtle and tortoise species worldwide

It's A Shell of A Problem by Leni Leveson Weiner

It’s A Shell of A Problem by Leni Levenson Weiner

Lynn Krawczyk’s Latte Landfill ¬†was¬†about 40% of stuff¬†in the landfill being paper products and coffee cups.

Latte Landfill by Lynn Krawczyk

Latte Landfill by Lynn Krawczyk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Noriko Endo’s Woodland, another intricate and stunning piece from her woods series

Woodland by Noriko Endo

Woodland by Noriko Endo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exhibit is up until February 28. You might want to go see it!

Earth Stories at San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Earth Stories 

 

 

Earth Stories at San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Earth Stories

 

 

on getting out of my own way…

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

TG Series clothI have spent most of this day fighting the voice that tells me I must go downstairs (to the cold basement) and create two new thermofax screens to print cloth for #11. This sense of urgency is based on two things; that #10 is nearly¬†completely stitched and with 15 more to go, time is a wastin’. Even with all the self awareness work I have done I still seem to occasionally believe that old family mantra that procrastination = laziness. Unbelievable!

Way back last year though I began to see procrastination = process & fermentation so why should I feel the least bit poorly that I am not interested in making those screens right this minute, or worse yet applying them immediately to cloth? After all it is just January 5 and I have 361 more days thanks to Leap Year to make those 15 pieces, or at least ten of them.

So utilizing the best excuse possible of a¬†cold basement on a rainy winter’s day I chose to stay upstairs and stitch more of #10. I put on some Bach and stitched for quite some time. I accomplished a lot not the least of which was I got out of my head. It¬†occurred to me that the real reason I had not wanted to go make the screens and use them was I was not yet content with¬†my choice of fabrics for this piece. I had pinned some¬†choices to the design wall, based entirely on the available length of the fabrics. Today it came¬†to me that I could use instead other fabric I had not even considered; fabric that makes total and complete sense. For the theme of #11 is what I hope will be the last time I tell in cloth the story of my shortening surgeries.

The new cloth for #11 is already printed with imagery. It is a piece from the very beginning of my work on the TallGirl Series. It is printed with tall girl tales for¬†which I had changed the font so the stories were illegible. It was designed a decade ago when I’d just begun to find my voice, but still was fearful of the repercussion¬†of doing so. How totally¬†appropriate and relevant to use cloth from the project conception¬†to put closure on it today.

Thanks be to Johann for the clarity! We must visit more often.

 

quick trip to Cincinnati…

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

cincy.art.zombieLast weekend I made a quick trip to Cincinnati for an art opening. My work Currents #13 was juried into Art Comes Alive 2015 sponsored by Art Design Consultants of Cincinnati.

Currents 13, detail

Currents 13, detail

There was one direct flight from the Bay Area to Cincinnati so I jumped on it, flew all night and arrived none the worse for wear!  I stayed at a really fun hotel recommended by a local friend. the 21cMuseum Hotel was possibly the best hotel I have ever stayed in.

They have an entire 2nd floor in-house gallery, hallway and lobby art with both permanent and changing art exhibitions. They have an award winning restaurant and a great staff. And because I often read hotel directories, while looking for room service menus, I also found they have a great sense of humor. Thus the ICE zombie apocalypse instructions!

cincy.art.hotelartcincy.art.hallway.artcincy.art.hotelart.2Ironically I took more art photos at the hotel than I did at the opening. The yellow penguin snapped in the elevator moved curiously around the hotel.

The reception desk contained molded human hands thrust upright under glass. And the hallway to the lobby restrooms had a Keith Haring vibe to it with motion cameras changing the pattern as folks walked on it! The jungle scene was painted on all four lobby walls with other art by Abano Alfonso installed on top. It was fascinating!

01-Dunham_No.-16.3264.6_SRED-1

work of Natalie Dunham. image courtesy of ADC

The art at Art Comes Alive was stunning¬†as well. Mostly I just took in the scene with my eyeballs absorbing every minute. That said, two of my favorite works, both award winners were: ¬†Natalie Dunham, painted & chopped sticks, which looked a lot like yardsticks, and then fastened with bolt and rod to torque the angle. This¬†piece was was stunning and she won both People’s Choice award (got my vote!) and a contract.

work of Amy Genser . image courtesy of ADC

work of Amy Genser . image courtesy of ADC

 

 

Amy Genser’s work also was captivating. At first I thought it might be fabric but upon closer inspection proved to be paper, rolled in sushi-like parts and constructed on painted board.

It was such an honor to have my work exhibited with this spectacular fine art, let alone designing the sole textile juried into this competition.

 

 

And on the return trip my window seat ensured I captured lots of aerial shots of our beautiful country…literally art is everywhere!

salt ponds on approach

salt ponds on approach

Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountains

Colorado River

Colorado River

this and that…

Sunday, April 26th, 2015
glorious NM clouds make for fantastic sunsets

glorious NM clouds make for fantastic sunsets

Last week I traveled with a friend for a mixed media art class in Santa Fe, NM. Anyone who knows me well knows I am a total NM junkie. It takes little to convince me to go to NM, and this my 14th trip was no exception. This time I spent no time in galleries, the cooking school or on the plaza, however.

All my time was consumed with art-making, eating and sleeping. With possibly 100 great restaurants in Santa Fe, we chose repeats at our favorites! And with preparation I was able to consume everything I loved including an entire week of green chile and blue corn anything.

green please!

green please!

foodWe also crammed in two errands, one to see the SAQA NM region’s Cultural Red exhibit at the capitol roundhouse and the other a visit to our favorite indian jewelry trading post, the Santa Fe Exchange. ¬†It was delightful!

We studied with Betty Busby whose work I have been in awe of for a long while. I¬†bought a piece of her work in 2011 from¬†the SAQA auction and having it hang in my office is such a treat, and¬†daily reminder of all that is possible to explore in this medium. Spending the week with Betty¬†really demystified her¬†work for me and made me appreciate even more its detail and intricacy. Additionally¬†she is such a generous soul and funny person so it was overall a great¬†experience. As¬†I was fully ‘in the moment’ I was also able to appreciate the art immersion, the relaxation and the gift of time away.

painted leaves

painted leaves

We painted non-wovens, such as these leaves and the outline of an aged cactus, which strangely looks a bit like a totem.

old cactus sketch cut in fabric

old cactus sketch cut in fabric

We also painted several pieces of silk under/over textured mat surfaces…

painted silk over plastic mat

painted silk over plastic mat

 

And used Shiva paint sticks to create patterns on previously painted fabrics.   shiva

Now that I am back I am picking up where I left off on the collaboration as well as enjoying an online class titled¬†iPad for Artists which reminds me I best get started…

 

creeping along…

Sunday, March 1st, 2015
the right side of the vintage chenille baby blanket

the right side of the chenille vintage baby blanket

Back in the day when I was a hand weaver, before discovering I could buy fabric already woven, I used to hear stories from brave souls who chose to weave with chenille yarn. The horror stories were how it creeps. Being a non-chenille weaver I never quite understood the creeping properties until this weekend, when I set out to free motion stitch some chenille.

This piece for the collaborative series is partially constructed from a vintage chenille crib blanket. So vintage in fact that it was my own crib blanket.

ridgeback stitching

ridgeback stitching

I spent quite a bit of down-time pondering how to stitch the chenille. I very nearly hand-stitched it. Only last minute while designing the piece did I decide to reverse it so that the rows of sheared cloth would actually be inside next to the batting. I started stitching at the top which gave this really interesting ridgeback effect. Once I hit stride where most of the cut design work was did it get really difficult and began to creep big time.

the reverse side of the vintage chenille baby blanket, clown detail

the reverse side of the vintage chenille baby blanket, clown detail

Interestingly the creep gave it more of a 3-d texture and while it still looks rather ridgeback it also appears stiff as a board. Yet I am so happy, relieved, never need to do that again, over the top, overjoyed to be finished stitching the chenille.

The other portion of this piece is fused images on handwoven wool which might¬†present its own set of challenges but certainly none as difficult as the creep. One hopes anyway…

sometimes my work gets out more than i do…

Sunday, February 1st, 2015
Awakening from Tall Girl Series

Awakening from Tall Girl Series

Last year I was presented with an opportunity to submit work to an international exhibit. Ségolène Diamant-Berger  had recently returned home to France after living in Louisiana and was curating an exhibit on the theme of freedom. She had personally invited several members of African-American quilt guilds, one of whom sent me the prospectus.

At first I had reservation about sending my work abroad as shipping can be astronomical and often one has to pay duty on their own work returning home. Was it worth it? I agonized. After listening to those who had shipped work abroad with success I eventually decided to enter the exhibit. Awakening from my Tall Girl Series: A Body of Work was chosen as it best fit the theme of Liberte! 

I shipped the work to France last spring. Since then this piece has been in four different exhibits throughout France. This is far more exposure than I could have hoped for and certainly more than the work would have had, had I given into the fear and not entered the exhibit initially.

Now I wish I had grabbed my passport and gone with the work!  This is where it has been:

U.S.A. Foundation, International University Campus, Paris, FR 2015
American Foundation for Arts & Sciences, Paris, FR 2015
Angers Catholic University, Angers, FR 2014
Universit√© Catholique de l’Ouest, Library, Angers, FR 2014
Saint Eloi chapel, Angers, FR 2014

on reinvention…

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
carwash

carwash

We have arrived at the reinvention time of year. That time of year when optimistic folks think they need to change the very behavior that makes them human. And being such they lapse back to their comfort zone generally within the first month.

I have not set New Year’s resolutions about as far back as I can remember. It is part of my herd-free¬†mentality. I never want to be doing what everyone else is doing at the same time.

This is the primary reason I have not allowed my hairdresser to color my hair lavender or aqua or green. I will wait ten years until no one is doing it and then if so motivated will go for it. After all, I was the first white woman in suburbia with an afro back in the ’70s. As soon as the grannies got into the ‘fro act I was¬†done. For me it¬†is the same with self-improvement resolutions. I continue to be a work in progress year-round.

For the past several years I have been setting art goals for the year ahead, however. Often they have been quite optimistic yet when revisited have often come to fruition. And yet in December I was unable to find the motivation to set goals for the 2015 year.

And then it hits me. I have not written my art goals for 2015 because I am still thick in the middle of my art goals for 2014. So the primary goal is to continue on, to continue the work that is hammering me physically and psychologically. The work I have chosen to do, the work that further examines how my upbringing shaped my world view. And how I have lost balance, have no leg to stand on, have been rendered paralyzed numerous times in the past six months which has in turn kept me from my work, from my studio, from the progress I need to make to achieve this goal.

I am reminded of a therapist nearly 30 years ago when after months of talking about all the obvious said, are you now ready to deal with your childhood? I said no, I am not. I felt then it would be a gigantic can of worms that I was just not ready to look at. How wise I was then to recognize the can of worms. For now I am in the can, wiggling about, and it is still not very comfortable, let alone without the wisdom of another to guide me. And yet I feel I have only scratched the surface.

My current¬†art goal is to continue to wade through the grief, to unravel the pain, to remember, to forgive, to have compassion, to make the work. And to create yet another body of work that impacts others to look at their own stories. I guess that is what they call ‘pay it forward’‚Ķit informs my life, both as¬†teacher‚Ķand¬†student.

 

 

another day, another dye bath…

Sunday, September 21st, 2014
the finished stack

the finished stack

A little over a week ago I returned from a rather disastrous dye class in WA. Two days ago I decided it was time to remedy that and see what I could do to over-dye some of the 12 yds of fabric which came home in pastel hues. I was a bit more concerned about the water issue seeing as we are in a drought as opposed to WA where everything is green and growing.

While I had used fresh dyes of tangerine, fuchsia and turquoise in WA, at home I used golden yellow, fuchsia and presumably turquoise. I say presumably because the dye was so old I could not read the label but dye spills on the exterior looked to be turquoise!

I pressed on in my wet studio experimentation of this new (to me) process. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to pour the mixed combinations into the baggies set on the wood countertop in the basement and not on my print table, which I did consider for maybe 10 secs.  The reason it was so smart became abundantly clear later when I was sealing the stuffed baggies and loading into a plastic dishpan to batch. Excess dye had run out the bottoms of several bags and literally flooded the wood countertop. I mean flooded. The microwave was sitting in the purple river as were the cords of several pieces of equipment.

So I did what any self-respecting dyer would do. I went to the shelves of fabrics waiting to be transformed with dye and paint and pulled out one large, formerly peach commercial cotton table cloth which I paid $1 for in a thrift shop some years back. I tore it in half and mopped up the river of purple dye.

scrap tablecloth which soaked up purple river of dye on countertop

scrap tablecloth which soaked up purple river of dye on countertop

 

scrap tablecloth covered with leftover dye

scrap tablecloth covered with leftover dye

The other half I tossed into a baggie and poured in all the leftover dye. I also mopped up with an old linen printed dishtowel…you know the kind you pick up at Windsor Castle and it is gorgeous! Crisis=exquisite in my dyers manual!

I left all the fabric downstairs sitting in very small rinse buckets for at least 24 hours so I didn’t waste gallons rinsing out dye like back in the day.

linen printed dishtowel…gorgeous!

linen printed dishtowel…gorgeous!

So what have I learned from this big experiment? Possibly the best thing I could learn is that I can still dye fabric, with old dye, in primary colors and rinse in very little water. The thing is now I don’t have to for awhile as I have 12 new yards of beautiful cotton! Not that I was lacking for fabric anyway…

 

out and about…

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
bucolic snow farm

bucolic snow farm

I just had the great opportunity to visit the East Coast for 9¬†days. There were many special aspects of this trip including my first solo trip in many moons. And I had not been to CT since my folks lived there in the ’80’s.

It took me 17 hours door to door to get there and I joked that I could have gone to Paris in that time. And yet I was relaxed and flexible because really once we walk into the airport our life is no longer our own anyway.

I visited with friends in CT for the weekend, enjoyed the regional SAQA meeting, revisiting with acquaintances and making new ones, sipped lancaster limeade poolside near the beach, ate gelato, and just hung out. One of my personal highlights was also missing the big No CA earthquake as I did Loma Prieta in 1989. Two for two!

On Sunday I was graciously transported back to the airport where I picked up a shuttle to traverse to Williamsburg, MA with hordes of over-packed college bound students, headed to Smith, Mount Holyoke and Amherst.  I spent the week at the bucolic Snow Farm, headquarters of the New England Craft Program, on a Road Scholar trip, studying Metal and Jewelry Design.

pond where a bullfrog or two live

pond where a bullfrog or two live

door of the welding studio

door of the welding studio

One thing every artist knows is how important it is to study outside of their particular media. My week was dedicated to just that. And as a collector of hand-made jewelry I wanted a better understanding of the design process.

My husband was extremely worried I might jump media and become a jewelry designer, whereas I had no expectation of that.  My intention was simply to learn to solder without burning myself (fail) or my clothes (success!); avoid picking up hot annealed metal (fail), to meet other artists also studying alternative media (success!) and to just relax in a different environment (success!).

Accommodations were rustic at best, the food fabulous and well-catered to my allergies and sensitivities.¬†How¬†could I pass up the dessert when it was made specifically for me?! I wouldn’t want to hurt the chef’s feelings, y’know!

copper.pendant

brass sheet metal pendant with braided copper/brass wire works collar

copper.cuffs

4 ply braided copper/brass twisted, knitted cuff and copper/brass serpentine cuff

I can now cross jewelry design off my bucket list.  It was very interesting to learn but clearly I am no threat to the professionals!

copper foil cuff, copper bangle and ring

copper foil cuff, copper bangle and ring

installing new exhibit…

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

“Forming Our Lives: Three Women, Three Phenomenal Stories” July 26-Sept 14, 2014 San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, San Jose, CA

I drove down to San Jose Sunday afternoon to be in position for a Monday exhibit install at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. Sadly traffic patterns control my schedule in this part of the world so I knew it wise to position myself outside of my commute zone.

I stayed at a wonderful Air BnB place which was a treat. This cute little house with the beautiful garden is owned by a fun and friendly gal who frequently rents rooms to finance her home improvements. And it was a scant 10 mins from my morning destination.

We arrived just as¬†SAQA regional members deconstructed their beautiful ‘Northern California Expressions’ exhibit (the one for which I made the two Vineyard pieces that sold right off my design wall in spring, so I couldn’t enter the exhibit). We began to unpack and lay out our work on sheets placed on the floor and as soon as they¬†patched and dabbed paint on the walls, we got to work!

Bonnie J. Smith‘s husband was our main ladder man as he has much¬†experience hanging her work. ¬†After a couple OSHA-inspired tool juggling tricks we got down to team-work and in no time had installed the first wall which is a mix of all three women’s work and the artist statement for the exhibit. Forming Our Lives: Three Women, Three Phenomenal Stories was starting to transform the space and in a beautiful way.

This wall shows work from each of us and the artist statement about the exhibit

This wall shows work from each of us and the artist statement about the exhibit

 

four pieces from Tall Girl Series: A Body of Work

Next we hung work from my Tall Girl Series: A Body of Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

then¬†pieces from Bonnie’s¬†Swimming Upstream¬†series‚Ķabout¬†her rehabilitation from a debilitating work comp injury.

 

from Bonnie J. Smith’s ‘Swimming Upstream’ series

and finally five pieces from Cristina Velasquez Dresses series…¬†a fabulous and inventive parody on all the ‘shoulds’ society & culture put on women.

Christina installing her 'Dresses' series

Christina installing her ‘Dresses’ series

We finished early enough that I had time to hit the highway home rather than staying another night. Of course I was in time for the “pre-commute” traffic!

the joys of living in the 'burbs

the joys of living in the ‘burbs

 

“Forming Our Lives” at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles July 26-Sep 14, 2014 . (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays) Do see it‚Ķand while you are there check out the ITAB exhibit.