Monday, March 5, 2018

What do you do on a powerless weekend?

Let's go back in time. 
This butterflies piece has been floating around my studio
 for a long time. I have been unhappy with it and ready to scrap it,
but hated to waste all those hours spent making so many butterflies.

At one point I started to create a colorful and realistic butterfly
 to add as a center of interest.
I did finish and added it but this colorful butterfly was out of place 
and did not make me like the piece any better.

 Here above and below details that I kept coming back to, but still was unhappy.
 So in between other thoughts and art I started drawing dead or falling apart 
dried cone flowers. 
Colored pencil drawing on the left with photos on the right.
Friday morning I looked out my studio window and saw these 
 deer wandering around our yard and the one next door.
We do live in the District of Columbia with a very small yard.
How they got through all the traffic and crossed so many streets is a miracle.

Then Friday at about noon, I finally decided to 
cut my butterfly piece in two and make it a pair or diptych. 
 As I cut it in two pieces, our power went out. 
While the NE was having a very bad storm we had the high winds, here.
Now what does a person who would rather shoot myself 
than go without my sewing machine do?
And in the cold........
 Having added a very warm sweater or two,
I sat by a sunny window, as it was still daylight and very bright 
and started to hand stitch a lining.
Continuing on a powerless Saturday and sitting by 
our gas fireplace and a close window
I continued to, ugh! hand stitch a lining on both pieces.
Now must connect all the pieces and add that casing.
About 9 PM on Saturday our power came back. 
We are once again warm and I will happily go back to 
my wonderful sewing machine to finish this pair.
Perhaps in my next episode I will show a completed butterfly pair.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Beginning the 2018

I feel it fitting to begin the year with something 
completed today, January 1, 2018
 I received this amazing and detailed puzzle for Christmas
 from a good, long time, friend, Anne Hatch.
 When I first opened it I was appalled with the really tiny sizes 
of the pieces and the unusual shapes they were cut.
 As you can see that mixed in with the odd shapes 
there were recognizable shapes, so I thought.........
this will be easy.... HA!
 Some of these pieces could be 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 inch. 
The women figures were larger usually 2 inches in length.
 So I started and as usual began looking for edge pieces.
There were not enough for the edges of this 
6 by 18 inch finished puzzle.
So I quit looking for edges and went to color.
 Color was fine till I got the plain areas and that 
stumped me for a couple of days
Giving up what I should be doing I 
  finished it today just to begin the New Year.
 I must admit that I enjoyed the challenge but don't 
want to start another anytime soon, 
despite the beauty of this one.
 The title of the picture is Black-Naped Oriole 
and it is by Ando Hiroshima
Here is the signature chop and in the upper picture, the poem.

Happy New Year to everyone.
May you have happy challenges and much success in 2018.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Chaos in the Studio

It seems that this is the season when the studio is taken up 
with more than creative work, unless one 
considers the enjoyment of gift wrapping.
 Bringing many ribbons, both old and new, to the table,
 I really enjoy recycling everything I can find.
Saving gift wrap from past years is fun to view once again.
I enjoy using old maps and the colored comics,
 plain brown paper and piecing together magazine pages
and so much more.
In the future I may take some photos of flowers and 
print them for gift wrap.
But for now I am finishing up the gift wrapping for this year.....

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Scraps Patchwork Workshop

On Thursday, 11/9/2017 a group of us took a workshop at the 
GWU Textile Museum. 
This workshop and the lecture that followed was in conjunction 
with one of the current exhibits at the museum,
 As we walked into the workshop room we were faced with hundreds
 of pieces of beautiful Nuno fabrics. 
Three artists were shown in the Scraps show and 
Reiko Sudo was one as well as being our instructor for the day.
She gave us each one instruction sheet and then we were 
to choose 7 pieces of fabric to create our own scarf.
This is when we would have liked to spend a day just choosing 
from so many beautiful fabrics. We were like children at a candy store.
I wish I could have photographed the long tables full of all our choices.
 I finally had to choose, although I could have spent all day choosing, 
and then began laying out and rearranging my choices on the floor.
 We did have to stop choosing and taking things back and choosing 
different fabrics again and again because we had to sew it in one day.
Pictured below is my table of four sewing or deciding to sew.
 Scissors, and threads were provided and all we had to do was create.
 Several hours later Reiko and a helper
 (wearing a beautiful Nuno fabric jacket)
started laying out each person's scarf. Here they have arranged 
my finished scarf to be photographed
 They did this for everyone.
 Below, you will see the legs of another helper wearing 
an Issey Miyake jeans design. Very unusual seaming 
when you saw them from the back. 
Sorry but I did not get a picture of him.

 My only photo of a group of scarves, but......
Here is Reiko taking pictures of all of the scarves.

In the evening, she had a lecture for the members of the museum.
Reiko Sudo is the director of Nuno in Tokyo and told us of the 
beginnings of the company and showed photos 
of the development through the years. 
Nuno is primarily interested, now, in using everything with no waste. 
Reiko used the outer-most layer of the silk worm (kibiso)
as an example of waste that previously had been thrown away. 
She continued to work with this thrown away material. 
First she made a paper of it, and now it may be used in screens.
Reiko works at developing and using materials so there is no waste. 
She gave us more examples and is an example herself....
we won't forget her and this philosophy.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Current New, September 2017

Summer's end was so busy with life that I have not written since 
the painted cookies experience.
However, there are now several exhibits that have been opening 
or are beginning to have receptions.

At the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland 
there is a wonderful show by Andrea Uravitch titled Land, Sea, and Air.
Accompanying her show are the New Image artists.
The following are the art works I have in this exhibit 
that began September 16 and will continue until October 28, 2017

A SEASONAL SPECTRUM is 21 inches high by 55.5 inches wide.
 In this detail you can see an embroidered couple of images of my hands
holding and stitching a tree. This was to represent natures studio, but
mine always has a cup of coffee and perhaps something to eat.

 A CLASSICAL PALETTE is 31 inches high by 41 inches wide 
 Again I have an embroidered hand painting the leaves of nature 
for the fall season. 
There are some painted branches on the background and 
the leaves are all embroidered.
 Part of this exhibit had a hall full of 12 by 12 inch works 
by all of us (New Image members) that accompanied this show.
embroidery on a painted background.

On Saturday, September 23, 2017 there will be the reception for our
New Image Artists exhibit of new work 
at the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg, Virginia. 
The reception begins at 11 AM and will continue until 4 PM.

My two artworks in the show are:
CONVERSATIONS, 30 inches high by 40 inches wide.
 This has layers of embroidered images to give us a look at 
conversations among couples. Conversations seems to be leaving our 
time, voices and vocabularies and being replaced by Texting.
On the black(green)board in the classroom it says,
"No Cell Phones, No Instant Messaging, No Texting, No E-mails" 
Many of the people I sketched and then embroidered are members 
of the Fogg family. Also included are my husband, our son, and me.

My largest new artwork, SATIRICAL STILLNESS below,
 I reviewed on this blog while I was in the process of creating it.
It is 40 inches high by 51 inches wide. 
As I mentioned at the time, I was trying to get away 
from the realistic embroidery work I had been doing for several years.
Well, I tried and managed to make a lot of flat flowers and leaves.
 However some realism crept in, but I left out shading, 
keeping all the images flat.
I still am enamored by all the Dutch and Flemish still-life masterpieces
This is my reference to those artists who always had 
many bugs and insect crawling around
on their gorgeously painted flowers and fruit. 
SATIRICAL STILLNESS used many different kinds of fabric, 
pieced together and then embroidered. 
The leaves were all sewn down on the center vein 
and then left to extend away from the background.
This exhibit at the Virginia Quilt Museum will continue 
until December 16, 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Trying a Different medium , Painted Cookies

I have to start this by sending apologies to Maggie Austin Cake.
After taking one of her  two day workshops on classic sugar roses and
reading her book, (Maggie Austin Cake: Artistry and Technique)
 I thought the easiest thing for me to try alone 
were the painted cookies that she so elegantly designed.

 I decided to stay away from Maggie's lovely Impressionist
painted cookies. So, for my first crude designs
 and not knowing how the few colors and petal dusts I had would work 
I plunged into trying to paint trees and then a simple blossom.
 Feeling the first attempts were messy and bland .........I wanted color. 
Remembering Gene Davis' striped paintings I tried mixing bright colors. 
Using some old paste food color I had I soon discovered that 
they take forever to dry and keep coming off on my hands and clothes.
What a mess. Maggie mentioned using Vodka and paper towels help erase.
I erased a lot over the weeks I worked on these cookies.
 Continuing into thinking of simple styles by past artists I thought, 
"AHA, Jackson Pollack and his drip paintings"
The only trouble was I could not get the paint to drip
 so ended up just scribbling with layers of color.
Then remembering the pointillists....tried dots without a design in mind.
 This group of 4 cookies are designs that I let develop.
You have to let each color dry before continuing although
 I tried to watercolor with vodka and some colors ran together.
 Tried Munch's Scream a couple of times and 
ended up erasing a lot of the dark color I had layered 
that kept running together.
I had invested in two black food pens that were not 
fine tips so used a lot of black by accident.
 Just playing with colors and trying light and dark shades.
Each cookie is approximately 3 inches in diameter.
These are sugar cookies (recipe in Maggie's book)
and covered with white fondant before the painting began.
I had bought some wafer paper and tried steaming it as Maggie mentioned. 
Instead I found that painting it gave some 3D shape. 
I drew on the wafer paper, colored it and then cut it out. 
Using piping gel I glued the small images to the painted cookies.

I have a lot to learn and need a lot more equipment 
and certainly more colors and pens and time.
For now I will go back to textiles and using some thread
 and fabric, work again with a medium I know a bit more about.
But, this has been a fun adventure and who knows what else may happen.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Current exhibits in Utah and Virginia

Opening today, June 30, 2017, at the Southern Utah Museum of Art
13 S 300 W,  Cedar City, Utah 84720
PATHFINDERS: New Territories Exhibition

 I have two artworks included in this beautiful new contemporary art museum.
CONTEMPLATING CHAOS is 40 by 57 inches.
 A detail of the center panel above. 

23 by 11 inches
 a detail focused on the Corvette.

Another exhibit opening this week( June 29 to August 6, 2017) 
is at the Atheneum on Prince Street in Alexandria, VA
This show is titled PAIRS: Fiber Art from New Image Artists
I have three pairs in this show.
A CASUALTY OF TIME . Individual pieces are 13 by 11 inches each 
Below is a detail of the right embroidery

 Each of the pairs is 14 by 11 inches
Below,  detail of the left panel.

Below: SILVER LINE; Outside (left) and Inside (right)
 Each Silver Line pair measures 8 by 8 inches
There are 13 artists in the New Image group and all will be showing their Pairs.
The Opening Reception is July 9 from 4 till 6 PM and the 
Gallery Artist Talks are on August 6 at 3 PM.

Atheneum, 201 Prince Street, Alexandria