Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Self-Portraits, Making Aging Choices

How often do artists think about creating a self-portrait? 
Either we need a photograph of ourselves for publication 
or would like to try a self-portrait in our chosen medium.
For years I have used this photo as it seemed to fit catalog
 requirements and filled the aged or aging look I was going after. 

 I tried variations of my photograph.
It seems you need either a photograph or 
to look in a mirror to create a self-portrait
 Over the years I have collected many magazine pages 
and thought I'd make use of some in a paper self-portrait. 
35 by 30 inches 
 A detail shows paper is glued onto Pellon and then sparely stitched.
Several years ago I had started an alphabet series that may never be finished.
Using my old photograph I repeated it with variations
  creating 9 small quilts. 
These 9 were then stitched onto window screening.
This detail of the center square was created with free-motion machine embroidery
The final piece was titled Variations on 'P' (for portrait)
45 by 39 inches
 A few years ago the New Image Artists decided to have 
a self-portrait themed show.
 I worked on the idea of A Page From My Sketchbook
 Embroidered and quilted, A Page From My Sketchbook is 25 by 23 inches
 I had this artwork juried into Pfaff's Self-Portrait Embroidery Exhibit, 
held in France
 A detail of 'Art of Embroidery, with Apologies to Magritte'
Painted, embroidered and quilted, 25 by 17 inches
 After all the years using the same image for most catalogs and articles 
and although I hate the thought of aging,  
I started thinking that I should use a more up to date photo.
Spencer, our grandson took this picture.

                                                 
 Alexandra, our granddaughter, took this one 
while we were having lunch one day.
Just because I wanted to try a changing look, 
I drew a couple of self-portraits taken from photographs. 
 I'm calling this pair  '35 YEARS'
They are graphite and 12 by 12 inches.
(And, what a difference 35 years makes on a body.) 
Not sure I want to create any current self-portraits.
I still haven't solved the photo I might use for publication, problem, yet.
I may stick to my old  hat and dark glasses image.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Drawing, Pipes and Plumbing

I don't know when I became so enamored with plumbing 
or pipes in general, but I do love to draw them. 
 Found this lovely old pipe with the blue top someplace
 in our basement area.
Colored pencil drawing.
 Another drawing of an old faucet in my laundry tub.
 I thought I ought to have a drawing of a new gleaming faucet
 to complement the old one so I found this in the bathroom at a motel.
 Wandering the grounds of the old Navy Training Station in San Diego
I kept finding similar groups of pipes on many corners, 
all painted bright colors. This was just one example. 
Never could get that blueish color bright enough 
or with enough contrast with my colored pencils.
 These two drawings are of pipes I saw in an 
old building against a cinder block wall.
I so liked the shapes and the colors i decided to
 embroider these pipes or plumbing or whatever they were.
The embroidery on the right was enlarged a bit 
more than the original drawing
Finally finished this pair of embroideries....however, 
I felt they needed something so had a couple 
of birds fly in to roost on them.

Friday, May 27, 2016

New York trip continued

So much more art to see in New York.
Our first stop was at the Met's Breuer (formerly the Whitney)
 The large exhibit at the Breuer was a wonderful example 
of art through the ages that was considered unfinished. 
 Part of the artwork did appear unfinished but some did not.
 I had neglected to write down each of the artist's names 
as I was photographing their work and I am sorry about that.
 I am always fascinated when hands are the theme of the art, 
whether drawn, painted, or sculptural.
This one in marble is by Louise Nevelson.
 A small mixed media work.
 Who would ever guess that this 6 panel 
(approximately 5 feet high) painting is by Cy Twombly.
I had to read the signage to discover the artist's name.
This drawing was not in the Unfinished exhibit but off in a side gallery. 
I could not believe that this tiny work was drawn. 
It looked so much like a photograph of basket weaving or a textile.
 Walking to the lower East Side we were searching for a tiny store
we had read about. It is CW Pencils Enterprise, 
a tiny shop filled with all kinds of pencils, erasers, 
pencil sharpeners and a few small notebooks.  
cwpencils.com                                                 
                                                  
 A door in SOHO full of character
 On a rainy day, views from a gallery window on West 57th Street.
We were viewing a very large Gerhard Richter show at the
Marian Goodman Gallery 
 On a warm day we walked up to the Jewish Museum 
on the upper East Side to see the Isaac Mizrahi  exhibit.
As we entered the show, there was a huge panel of his fabric bits. 
In an alcove we saw many of his drawings on two walls 
facing each other with books in between. 
 This canvas coat fascinated me as it was painted after 
being constructed. Gives one good ideas for painting 
after rather than before sewing.
 Mizrahi's Coca Cola dress. Tiny paillets were cut from 
coke cans and then sewn on the entire dress.
 The last stop is the new Whitney down at the beginning 
of the Hgh Line. This picture is of the floor of the elevator.
The final view is from the fourth floor balcony of the Whitney.
Now to stay home and get to work in the studio.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Metropolitan Museum of Art - Fashion in an age of Technology

Five days in New York with the highlight at the Met.
Their Fashion theme, Manus x Machina with 
150 pieces of haute couture and ready to wear from 
over 40 designers was a joy to see and absorb.
These photos cannot possibly show the beauty of each outfit. 
Embroidery, pleating, knitting, lacework, leatherwork, braiding,
and fringe work  were contrasted with......
 3D Printing, laser cutting, thermo shaping, computer modeling,
circular knitting, ultrasonic welding and bonding and laminating.
And on and on.
 Small videos throughout showed techniques.



 Above, listed as a most unusual wedding dress?
 And my favorite, Issey Miyake's classic pleated dress.
Below the above dress flat for packing and storing,
with patterns along the wall.
 A very wearable Miyake top.
Next week I will add many more pictures from this last week's 
New York trip. There will be Whitney pictures, a shop I enjoyed, 
and the Isaak Mizrahi show.
Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Time for Notecards

After a trip to California and to Utah and recovering from
 much time spent on computer illnesses and 
hacked credit cards and non-working phones
I have spent just a few hours each day on notecards.
That is my way of working in a bit of time in the studio
 This embroidered butterfly is on a couple of pictures cut from magazines.
An embroidered leaf on layers of silk ribbons 
stitched to a bit of magazine ad. 
 The top card has an embroidered leaf on a black fabric 
with silver and red threads stitched. 
The second card with the leaf on the black fabric uses the
same advertisement as a background that is used on the beginning card.
 Two cards using the same black fabric with silver and red or copper 
threads stitched. The card just above uses 
window screening for part of a background
This final card has a bird embroidered and appliqu├ęd to
the black fabric with silver stitching and all on window screening.
I enjoy using pages from magazines as well as fabrics
where  I am simply trying out ideas. 
The black stitched fabric in the last 5 cards 
 had paint on it and some stamping with a final step 
of stitching to give a texture to the smooth surface.
Consider these cards as my small attempt to recycle.