Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A change of style ?

Wanting to make a change in my work, 
if not style, then in the method of working with fabric and thread.
 Looking at my sketch books I had always made quick realistic
sketches of flowers, before embroidering them.
These cone flowers were in a pot as I drew them.
 Looking at all sides of some zinnias on this page.
But I wanted to change........
 I started putting down ideas for non-realistic flowers in a sketch book.
 Starting with bright colors and fabrics I began creating these stylized flowers.
 Since I have always loved the Dutch and Flemish still-lifes 
I planned to create my own non-realistic version of a classic.
Several insects had to be included.
 And branches with leaves. Leaves are sewn through 
the center vein so may stand out from the dark background.
 I broke with my non-realistic idea when it came to the vase 
and embroidered an image of a vase that I own.
I did not add shadows, though, so it is flat.
 The vase needed to sit on something besides a table 
so, I stacked some books and worked out fictitious titles for them.
 My still-life needed a plate and a bowl to add 
some balance to the whole composition.
The result is titled Satirical Stillness.
It is approximately 44 by 54 inches.
The falling leaves can be changed in positions.
I doubt my friends will think I succeeded in creating 
a non-realistic image, but I was trying. 
Probably this idea will not become a series.

Friday, March 31, 2017

From drawings to a stained glass window

Late last year a friend, Shirley Derrick, called me as she had remembered 
that I had drawn hands of many and various people for a large art work.
I kept a sketch book with many hands, drawn with colored pencils, in it. 
She was designing a window for a remembrance 
of her late husband, Lonny. 
It would be then translated into a stained glass window 
that would be the centerpiece in an entry alcove of
the Bethesda United Methodist Church in Bethesda, Maryland.

 Shirley looked through my sketch book and found two hands that she liked.
 I must admit that these were rather crude drawings of my husband, 
Clark's hands, but would be the forms that could be created in stained glass.
I remember drawing them with the palms up.
She decided that to fit the theme the hands  would be rotated.
She took the two drawings to the stained glass artisans .
 And, this is the result. The quotation at the bottom says, 
"We Are God's Hands"
The room is quite light but I was using my phone 
to get the image and was pleased to see the sun shining through.
The window is about 5 feet high. 
I was pleased to feel that a tiny bit of my work was
used to create this beautiful stained glass window
in memory of Lonny Derrick. 

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 
TOO LONG COLLAR: Faux Quill.
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.