Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Carry Art

I have been collecting trees.
Each morning I walk the dog. I study the trees we walk past: sturdy, twisting things, with roots that curl within the confines of the sidewalk, and arms that reach for the sky. Each has its own character. They proceed me in the landscape like figures on a canvas.

When I remember my camera, I bring home images to prod me forward. A photo of a sycamore in winter became this wonderful image to silk screen:The spring saw me sidelined for weeks with flu. After that came my girl's graduation, then I was sick again. Finally last week I got to the Big Studio and began to print on blank tote bags as well as various linens and cottons from my stash. The trees came out, and began to dance sedately with birds and text:Then the birds became more playful, while the trees receded:
Finally, the birds sang all on their own:

I'm thrilled. These totes make art portable, and they help you spurn paper bags. Folks comment all the time on the one I use. You will find them for sale at the Boston Handmade Marketplace this Saturday in Somerville, and at Lowell Fiber Studio when we hold Open Studios during the Lowell Quilt Festival. I'll post them some at my Etsy store, too. Meanwhile, I have yards of birds and trees to turn into other forms of art. Can't wait to get to work.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Looking for direction

Sometimes one reaches a pause between efforts. I'm not just rusty, I'm becalmed.I need to grope around in the dark, asking questions. So one question is, how have ideas arrived before? I heard a composer once say none of us know where ideas come from, we just have a set of recipe cards, and we know, if we follow these, we will be there, working, when the idea arrives. This fabric arrived because I was working on something else --- initially this was the scrap fabric where I "printed off" excess ink. Then something started happening, and I noticed, and followed. It's as mysterious as that. Below is the professional photograph of the finished piece.
Today it hit me (duh) to print of paper as well, so I am off to the studio to explore new screens and try to narrow my inquiry into color gradations and transparencies. Probably the humidity will lay me low before I get far, but it feels good to have a path to start on.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Getting around

Feeling better, and remembered my camera today. The dog's walk gets slower when I have to record morning light:
Lilacs and roses:
And the interior of a car just like the one my grandfather once drove. German engineering circa 1955.

Most of the day was in the Big Studio, printing. I felt as shy as a girl going to a dance, it had been so long. Would I remember how things worked? I felt so clumsy. But one just has to wade in. Pretty soon I had fabric all over the place, and eventually found good ideas amidst the mistakes. I printed up a dozen bags for resale,
I brought home with some good fragments, and left more fabric half-finished, so next time I have a place to start. Now my brain's percolating again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

found design

I have been quite punk the past week --- a terrible cough, long naps and no ability to create or cook. I even watched "VOLCANO" start to finish on the TV, in the AFTERNOON. This is unheard of. Clearly the brain is switched to "OFF."

So today I point you to a wonderful sight for those who need to browse while sitting down: Founddesign. Full of delicious photos, listed by city. Boston is well represented. My favorite is the Vegas Boneyard full of abandoned neon signs, piled against each other in the desert. Just the kind of picture I like to bring home. The one above comes from my trip to Grand Canyon, for example. I figure I'll never surpass the formal shots of scenic wonders --- I'll buy postcards for that -- but the quirky, the man-made, the over-looked, that's what I want to shoot.

Speaking of found design, a shout-out to Jeanne Williamson, whose work for several years has been based on her love of found grids, from construction fence to high-rise. Her monoprints won her a no-strings-attached grant from the Groton Artists Foundation this spring. Hooray!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Full Circle

Recently, while storing this piece after a show, I thought "I love this, but it will never sell: It's too personal." Turns out someone fell in love with it, and bought it during the show's last minutes , so last-minute that word didn't reach me until after pick-up. So this week I brought it to its new home.

The piece evolved over several years. The first image was a self-portrait I painted during profound depression. Years later I photo-transfered the image onto fabric. It looked awful, but when I flipped the fabric over, the ghost-image grabbed me. So I stitched on that. Still later, coping with my mom's depression, I worked on the image again, piecing it into a larger whole, then painting and printing on top of that. The whole isn't more than 18" high. "It spoke to me," the buyer said, "I couldn't stop thinking about it." So she took it home.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Spring cleaning

I am cleaning house. My mom-in-law, so tidy, arrives today. Plus, I am tired of tripping over my own supplies.
 So. The basement entrance is now lined with yard-sale items (Barbie corvette, anyone?). I even pried some beads, fabric, yarn and lace loose from my studio. I'll never miss them. Letting go reveals the stuff they were piled on.Since I love ebay but can't be bothered to sell there, I'm posting these and other books on I tell each buyer thank you: you help this artist stay in business.