Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Walk on the National Mall

Two days before the 2017 Inauguration I took a walk on the Mall 
to see the preparations that were begun and are necessary.
As I came out of the Smithsonian Stop of the Metro, 
the first things I saw were the thousands of portable potties.
 They seems to increase all the time as does the kind fencing. 
Walking toward the castle building there were layers of black fences.
 Outside the Freer Museum so much technical paraphernalia was 
behind its own fence, kind of blocking the entrance.
You see this kind of technical apparatus everywhere.
  In front of the Castle Building and looking across the Mall at the 
Natural History Museum you see a field of white.
I knew it was not snow as it has not snowed recently.
So walking over to, what used to be grass, I had to check it out.
 It appears like miles of white tiles. 
They were spongy to walk on (2 to 3 inches thick) and 
much easier than the muddy gravelly walk. 
 Walking on to the Hirschhorn Museum and looking 
in to the Sculpture Garden, everything looked familiar.
 So I turned around and went into the Hirschhorn. 
I had intended to do this for a month now, 
to see the drawings on all of the inside ring of the 
second floor by Linn Meyers,
titled: Our View From Here.
 Going up to the 3rd floor to the window overlooking the Mall
I took this picture, above, looking back toward the Washington Monument.
It was cut it off by the curve of the window.
Then looking the other direction toward the Capitol 
you have a distant view of the National Gallery of Art
with the Capitol hidden by a glass panel.
 Outside the Hirschhorn is Yayoi Kusama's Pumpkin sculpture.
The outer ring of the second floor is now being reorganized 
for the coming exhibition of her Polka Dot art. 
Yahoo Kusama will fill every room with her Infinity Mirrors
and colorful dots when this exhibition opens in February.
 Crossing 7th Street NW I ran into a couple of signs 
that must be everywhere.
Another sign, that got to my thumb in the way, 
as I was debating crossing this line.
 But no problem as I walked on over the spongy tiles and 
down the middle of them to 4th Street, NW toward the Capitol.
Actually I loved walking on this surface and could go everywhere on it. 
 You can see fences to walk between, 
but no one was stopping me from going anyplace, yet.
 Loud speakers and huge screens are up in many places 
for viewers to see what is going on at the Capitol steps.
 From there I cut over to the East Wing.....more portable potties everywhere.

Across the street from the East Wing, surrounding the glass pyramids 
of the National Gallery was more black fencing.
 I do not understand why it is in some places but there is a lot of it. 
 It has always fascinated me the number of white tents 
on top of the buildings along Pennsylvania Blvd, NW.
Many of them are actually for protection of the parade, not just media.
The all glass building is the Newseum and 
the white one with the Maple Leaf flag is the Canadian Embassy. 
I took this picture while standing beside the glass pyramids at the NGA.
I chose to go home on the bus that goes along Pennsylvania Blvd, 
which would be the parade route and saw many of 
these platforms that look like cages. 
There were also several spots with stadium seating being erected.
 Going back to art, at the NGA, is this sculpture called 
a Greek Slave by Hiram Power.
She has chains around her hands.
And at the Hirschhorn, Big Man by Ron Mueck.
Just something to think about.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Current exhibits, this month January 2017

The holidays have ended and now back to work.
 I've shipped off two works for two venues.
This first has been traveling quite a bit. 
Now it is at the Impasto Art Gallery in Longmont, Colorado.
The opening reception is January 6 and it continues till February 17.
 KISS: In Any Language is 24 by 18 inches.
Free-motion machine embroidery over hand dyed cotton.
 This piece I created when I was working with plastic tubing, 
trying many different techniques. 
This was my answer to Quill work.......
colored thread put through plastic tubing and 
then worked into designs on this 
The exhibit takes place at the 7th International Wearable Expressions
 Juried Exhibition at the Palos Verdes Art Center
on West Crestridge Road in Palos Verdes, California
from February 10 till April 16

Now to spend more studio time......

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend, Prep and Finale

As Thanksgiving weekend began........
From my studio window, looking down on the 
neighbors brightly colored trees, 
I love to see this scene change with the seasons.
 From the front door our little maple changes all year, as well.
 Taking a page from our daughter and granddaughters,
 I believe that shoes are part of picture taking.
These, where all the leaves congregate, on our upper deck.
 Getting ready for Thanksgiving often involves polishing silver.
I have not done this for many years and may never do it again. 
 What I really enjoy in planning a dinner is organizing a centerpiece.
Our daughter, Vicky and her husband, Alan 
came the weekend before Thanksgiving 
and moved our furniture to make a longer table in the living room.
The dining room then became the buffet room.  
With such a long table I needed three tablecloths. 
 Deciding on an all-white centerpiece after I painted some dried gourds, 
I began collecting white vegetables.
 Some of those white mushrooms and parsnips and cauliflower 
didn't want to stay white so I added onions and white flowers.
 And, a lot of white candles as we have no chandelier in the living room, 
turned dining room, and it would be dark before dinner was served.
Before dinner Clark peeled shrimp and organized a chilled shrimp platter. 
Julianna Mahley created two delicious appetizers.
Spencer brought 3 bottles of champagne to toast the day.
Alan made rolls and a fancy apple pie and carved the turkey. 
Vicky made two different salads.  .
Julia made her garlic (I think) mashed potatoes, 
and delicious decadent brownies.
Caroline roasted cauliflower and roasted Brussel sprouts.
We roasted the turkeys and made the stuffing/dressing and gravies.
And, Susan Stamberg's Mother-in-laws cranberry sauce 
that was unusual and a good contrast.
Besides the apple pie and brownies there was pumpkin pie. 
And, a special brown sugar pie from Charlottesville,
brought by Rachel and Austin Robinson. 
Another addition was a failed cranberry and walnut tart.
 Alex had arranged for us to play games after we ate
while waiting for some of the 5 desserts.
She also designed the place cards on tiny easels 
with word games on the back of each painted card.
(above: Caroline and Alexandra Fogg, Austin Robinson 
[Rachel was running after the baby, Taliesin], Julianna Mahley, Alan Fogg)
 Thinking about the game we are playing, 
on the left is Austin,  Julianna and Alan at the end. 
Julia Fogg and Vicky and Spencer Fogg's hand on the right.
 Just resting, Spencer Fogg and Clark Adams.
It was a much fun evening, with a lot of delicious food, 
and good company.
After dinner, Clark was washing dishes in the kitchen, 
while the guests moved all of our furniture back. 
And, then they added to the clean up detail in the kitchen.
This is all that is left of the centerpiece. 
The turkey caucuses have been simmered and 
I have a couple of quarts of good stock for soup 
or other future meals............. 
to end the weekend.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Anatomy of a Commission

Late in August I was contacted by Ginny Friend about creating a small 
commission as a gift for a 'retiring' curator (Rebecca Stevens) 
from the GWU &Textile Museum.
Jeanne Benson had drawn and painted several 'illuminated' letters 
and I thought, "why not try embroidering initials" as a sort of illuminated
theme. I started sketching with the R and S of Rebecca's name.
And, I did a lot of sketching. Many of these are on tracing paper.

 Rebecca Stevens full initials are R.A.T. S. I decided to make the 
A and T small and include them within the R and S.
 Further drawing and I decided to make a pattern 
of the centers of each letters to be cut out. 
This way I would be able to try different colors inside the outlines.
 While continuing to plan I sketched in some shading
 to get a feeling of color placement
 The theme for the evening of this presentation was blue and white shibori.  
Yoshiko Wada would also be given an award at that time. 
Part of the invitation is shown here.
 Cutting out the centers of the two letters I started trying colors.
Here black and white
Then a watery aqua fabric. I tried several more combinations of colors, but.....
Settled on some shibori fabric to be the center of each initial. 
Luckily I have friends who had all created Shibori samples 
and gave them to me. I used most all of one of Joan Dryer's fabrics.
Again this is on paper and I tried the colors for the outlines.
 Some of the shibori samples friends lent me.
 Now came the embellishing of the letters. I started planning how and where 
I would add small images to add to or highlight the initials.
 And, more drawing and planning
 Then thought I'd better embroider the letters to see
 how the small images could be attached.
This first R I decided against. The reds are too dark. 
It turned out I made several attempts at each letter and each of the small images.
 Laying the R and T on three shades of blue before attaching them 
and then working on the small images.
 As I said I started to make these small images and ended 
with two or three not useable. 
As often as I have created many subjects with thread
 on the sewing machine I never realized 
how hard it would be to make tiny ones.
Here I have taped some to the paper drawing 
before permanently sewing them on the embroidered letters..
As you can see images were rearranged and 
not all images were used. Here is the final presentation. 
The butterflies stand up a bit.
 However, since this was to be an award 
I thought Rebecca ought to have an original certificate 
that this gift represented.
I worked out the document on the computer and 
wanted it to be printed on fabric. 
I ironed freezer paper to both silk and cotton to print the certificate
and then my printer failed. 
Finally Dominie Nash printed it for me. Her printer used the
cotton beautifully.
 Still looking at the original invitation with hundreds of the 
white cherry blossoms 
I started embroidering tiny ones to be used to surround the certificate.
Here is my hoop with a few of the many blossoms and some already cut out.
 This then became the back side of the hanging.
There is a small casing at the top if it is to be hung in that manner.
The presentation was made last Thursday evening at a lovely dinner.
I cannot see Rebecca Stevens leaving the Textile Museum 
and I hope she stays on as a consultant as well as on the board.