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Archive for the ‘color’ Category

overwhelmed by words…

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed by all the input available to me to read, digest and potentially put into practice. When the Kindle came out I was overjoyed that I no longer had to feel guilt for the stacks of unfinished books. I could download onto the Kindle, out of sight, out of mind. If I still don’t read them, they are not physically present to remind me of that. Despite being a visual learner I seem to think I need to read everything in order to learn..crazy!

So why in the past few months have I bought 3 hardcover books, which now languish around the house all with maybe a read chapter or two? Right now there are four magazines and three books on the kitchen table for me to read. One of the books has been there since January!

Beyond the hardcopy books and the Kindle books are all the emails I get with stuff I need to read. Then there are the links to wisdom all over social media. How does one read all this stuff, let alone remember it and have a life? I am finding myself overwhelmed by just too much knowledge. And yet I feel if I don’t read it, or don’t follow it, I am going to become some sort of ignorant dolt.

The irony in this is I am now finishing #12 in the collaborative series. This piece is about my quitting college, which was a big tragedy in my parents’ eyes; yet for me the smartest move I’d made to date. Perhaps this ‘need’ to digest every thing I can get my hands on is a hangover from that time. If I read everything I can keep up with the college graduates, many of whom have not opened a book since!

Years ago I had a healer who told me she never watched the news nor read a newspaper. I thought WOW! And now I get it. For to read some of this stuff,  particularly now in another election year, mostly just makes me angry. Why am I doing that to myself? You can call it ignorant if you want, but I think abstaining from it may really the key to sanity. And yes, I do vote, and in fact already have.

My intuitive wisdom continues to awaken me to the fact that I am experiencing artistic and spiritual growth by simply making art, doing the work and being true to myself. Ah “permission” to just let all that other stuff be. How liberating!

Upheaval 2

Upheaval 2

Today’s image is of my work Upheaval 2 which is currently in the Zeitgeist exhibit at the Petaluma Arts Center (until July 10). This juried exhibit captures the times through art. My work is based on the challenges of a family member with dementia. First it was my parent and now two others have been afflicted so it is a subject with which I have become quite familiar. I was pretty dazzled to see they installed this work on an orange wall. It’s the little things that bring me joy!

this and that…v.12

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016
morning walk: rotted wood, roses, yarrow, red cabbage, potholes

morning walk: rotted wood, roses, yarrow, red cabbage, potholes

I have been preoccupied with life for the past month. I continue to work on #12 in the collaborative series, with 13, 14 and 15 fermenting in my cranium.

And we continue to work on dog training. Mops is coming along so well, aside from the times when she chews up something important. I work diligently to stay one step ahead of her. Most recently she chewed the straps off the face mask I wear to breathe when I sleep! Not very helpful…but we love her anyway!

Mopsy, in witness protection program

Mopsy, in witness protection program

We regretfully postponed a big trip but in doing so got to add more on to it, so in the end it will be a better vacation. We would have been away now so this opens up my studio time. Abundant free time however often makes self-discipline much more difficult!

morning walk: Mops, pond scum, bbq grate, goose poop, weeping willow reflection

morning walk: Mops, pond scum, bbq grate, goose poop, weeping willow reflection

One thing I have been doing a lot of is taking photos of interesting textures, patterns, colors, etc on my morning walks. I then collage on an app and post to my Instagram feed. Many have told me they love my morning walk photos. For me it trains my eye to see the art in everyday living.

Of course medical science would say that to stop and photograph while walking is not exactly stellar cardio. We all have our priorities! ART is mine.blog.walk3

stories of migration…

Thursday, April 21st, 2016
GWU Museum & Textile Museum, April 15-Sept 4, 2016

Stories of Migration at GWU Museum & Textile Museum

A week ago today my daughter & I were winging our way to Washington DC for a long weekend & the opening of Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora at the George Washington University Museum & Textile Museum. 

I am honored to have my work Defining Moments 7: Fleeing the City chosen for this prestigious venue and exhibit, which runs until September 2016.

Defining Moments 7: Fleeing the City

Defining Moments 7: Fleeing the City

Most of the artists whose work was juried into this exhibit ‘migrated’ to our nation’s capitol for the opening. There were many festivities including a videotaping of artists talking about our work, an opening reception for artists, their guest and members of the museum; an artists’ talk during the public opening, a private lunch with the director of the museum, a walk-through with the museum’s curator and a group photo.

In addition we took in three highly-rated vegan establishments for yummy fare, had dinner with good friends of mine also ‘in town’ for the weekend, visited with my long-time peers, artists from all over the country; explored DC by Metro, walked a lot, slept little and tried to get into the Renwick for the new WONDER exhibit, for which we were unsuccessful & and had martinis at the Hay Adams Hotel bar called Off the Record! Then we turned around early Sunday morn and flew home.

IMG_2529

We were dazzled by spring in DC…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always I took many aerial photos along the way. I am particularly inspired by salt ponds, around Salt Lake City and on San Francisco Bay. People always say to me, there’s a ‘quilt’ in that; although a photo often serves its purpose by just being. So many ideas, so little time!

various salt retention ponds

Back to Diaspora…if you plan to be in the Washington DC area before September 4, 2016, go see this exhibit. You will not be disappointed. There are two floors of exquisite work, many pieces 3-D as well as video presentations and many personal family stories of migration. It is a fascinating & interesting exhibit of which I am so proud to have my work included.

Even the staircase is artful! Stories of Migration_Logo

staircase, Textile Museum

staircase, Textile Museum

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

 

 

how long did that take you?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
collage images of DM10

collage images of DM10

There are two very predictable comments made to any person who works with cloth and thread: My grandmother was a quilter and how long did that take you to make that?

Today as I finished stitching #10 in the collaborative series Defining Moments I was reminded of the latter. I was reminded when the stitching of the windows took me 90 minutes while the entire building, sky and sun took nearly 3 hours.

A friend and I had a long conversation about this during her stint in Open Studios last year. She said folks would look at her work, then the price and immediately ask ‘how long did that take you?’

We know that in this society people affix value to something based on its hourly rate. To them it is a dollar per hour equation whereas for most of us who work in cloth it is often a per square foot price. She and I laughed about how we could divide the price we are asking for our work by a number below the minimum wage and use that number as our hours the piece actually took us to make. So when asked this redundant question, we could answer something like 900 hours!

pre- and post-stitch windows

pre- and post-stitch windows

While rethinking an answer to this most common question I am reminded though of all the actual hours that go into a large piece of my work. There are the hours spent in research which for this series has been many; hours spent in the design of the ‘cartoon,’ the hours considering the best materials to use, the hours spent creating the exact fabric to convey my design, let alone if I have to go shopping for same. Then there are hours of thinking about it while out walking, REM hours and sleepless nights problem solving, and never forget the hours of procrastination when I really should be working on it, but would rather play Mahjong on the computer. And then there is the actual construction sewing and stitching!

Someone once said the best answer to how long did it take you to make that is to state my age at that moment; for it took my entire lifetime up till now to conceive and create this work. Actually I think that idea goes over most people’s head so I prefer to just say, oh about 900 hours!

on old dawgs and new rugs…

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Millie Last week we bade farewell to our aged pooch. Millie came to live with us 13 years ago when it was estimated she was about a year old, maybe two. She was a rescue which I believe affected her personality to being one of the sweetest and most grateful creatures ever.

We started with her sleeping in a crate at night but then she became too big to fit so her accommodations became more casual. Her behavior 95% of the time was on point yet that remaining portion she was whack-a-doodle! In her last 2 years she would frequently tear through the bathroom garbage, claw at the toilet roll unwinding several feet at a time, and nest at the foot of the stairs, shredding whatever rug was there. Then she would go back to being normal for some months and we would forget that her whack-a-doodle days might be approaching.  We went through two area rugs in the family room and last winter I just decided to keep the floor bare there and replace the rug when she was no more. After all she was an old dawg!

So imagine my surprise when about a month ago, in the night, she took to destroying the last vestige of area rugs…an exquisite red bamboo area rug in the living room. The first evidence showed up as a bald spot. Apparently she pulled the tuft and ingested it in the night.  I was annoyed and perplexed but the damage had been done so I left the rug in place to discourage her further pillaging the upholstery. A couple nights later she woke me when she actually tore strips from the base of the rug. How could I scold her? She could barely walk!old dawg mischief

Fast forward ten days and now I am spending hours online looking at area rugs to replace the two most recent victims of Millie. I have spent considerable hours looking at rugs and at this point I am thinking…wha? we will likely rescue another pooch in due time. Is anything pooch proof really?!

And then suddenly I realize how my ideals and standards have changed. I used to believe that one day I would have nice things, things not destroyed by kids or animals. And now I believe that it is the kids and animals that are the nice things which fulfill us and make for a wonderful life. The rest is just decoration.

That said…the search continues…

Artists Culture

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
cover, Artists Culture, July 2015

cover, Artists Culture, July 2015

Some time ago one of my fellow artists at the Arts Guild of Sonoma, an “ad man” in a previous life, mentioned ‘casting a wider net’ in our business marketing. As an example he sent a link to Artist Culture an ezine with over 400,000 circulation.  I looked at the current month’s issue and decided to send in an artist submission. I gathered some images and answered a dozen questions and sent it off.

All throughout the questionnaire were suggestions that the submitting artist be thorough in their answers, as readers want to know more…where, when, why, how etc.  So I was very thorough in my responses, so much so that dinner that night was quite late. I seem to often do my best work when I would otherwise be whipping up some gourmet delight.

I had an immediate response that my work and I were accepted and that we would be in the June issue.  June came & went and no article so I checked out July and there it was!  I ordered a hard copy which arrived today.  It’s a Blurb publication, which is well done, with accurate color and clarity on the images.

The ads are a bit humorous though; an alternative for Viagra and Cialis, a steak company and a come-hither gal for a chatline that is also available in Spanish. And I love the cover because until emoji became the norm I pretty much hated the smiley face! Now I am often looking for the perfect emoji to sign texts but never choose Mr. Smiley. I think it a rather odd cover for an ezine about art and yet it makes me happy so go figure!

The other artists featured in the July edition are a woodworker, a painter and a photographer. I am overall pleased to add this hardcover/ezine to my collection. Artist Culture is produced by Steve Bryan, a commercial photographer at Cygnus Studios. He continues to look for other artists to feature in future editions, especially wood and ice sculptors, photographers and glass blowers. You can find out more by emailing the ezine. 

 

art on the iPad

Thursday, May 7th, 2015
aerial shot of Lake Powell in southern UT

aerial shot of Lake Powell in southern UT

For the past month I have been engrossed in an online course titled iPad for Artists taught by my colleague Susie Monday. Since I use my iPad for mostly email, social media, reading and games I decided I might like to really learn other things to do with it.

I downloaded a bunch of apps for drawing, painting, altering, collaging and sketching. The challenge has been to remember what goes with what app. The apps are all designed by young minds that remember easily how to get from one screen to another. In a perfect world I would take much longer to learn each app.

I could literally spend all my free time and my not so free time playing, drawing, painting, sketching and altering images with the ultimate goal to be either print the images to fabric or create a textile from the design. Along the way I have developed a new appreciation for those who are designing fabric commercially.

To give you just a taste, here is an original image of Lake Powell taken from the air on my way to New Mexico two weeks ago. And here are variations of the image. What I find most remarkable about this process is what starts out as an exquisite image becomes rather mundane and ordinary when tiled for printing.  So perhaps that ordinary blue pinstripe suiting may have started life as an extraordinary landscape?

These were primarily altered in MegaPhoto but also in Pixlr and Drawing Pad.

looks like a tapestry

looks like a tapestry

looks like a film-strip

looks like a film-strip

my fav...

my fav…

zigzag

zigzag

mellow chevron

mellow chevron

very tight pattern

very tight pattern

looks like tweed

looks like tweed

tiled

tiled

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…

 

where i have been…

Friday, April 3rd, 2015
spring comes to Prosser, WA

spring comes to Prosser, WA

Holy Smokes…what happened to March?! I can’t believe it has been over a month since I have blogged.

To come up to speed, I continue on with the collaborative series, as I am now designing #7 of the twenty five. I am so enjoying this experience and the ever changing challenges of construction, technique, materials, etc.

Meanwhile I sold all my small scrap purses at the arts guild, so a brief interruption of the series for production sewing. This is something that often challenges me. I never want to do production line anything and yet these sweet small bags pay my rent there, so for now it is worth the tradeoff. If I end up sewing a dozen a month, it will not be worth it however! Each one is a design challenge and allows me to use up most scraps of my self-designed cloth.

scrap bags

scrap bags

Last week we interrupted this program with an impromptu road trip to eastern Washington for a memorial service.

along the Columbia River Gorge, OR

along the Columbia River Gorge, OR

Mt. Shasta, CA at 70 mph

Mt. Shasta, CA at 70 mph

We jumped in the car because it seemed the most expeditious way to get there and although we spent more time driving than we were actually there, we saw some gorgeous nature along the way. We also explored the small town and I stumbled across this incredible tree in an art shop. It was constructed from plastic water bottles that had been painted by someone with far more patience than I.

painted plastic bottle tree

painted plastic bottle tree

Fortunately I was never far from sushi. This beauty was from a grocery store…and it was yummy! So now back at home and back to work!

car picnic: sushi

car picnic: sushi