Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Graphics and design

Current favorites:Everyone in the studio liked the play of the huge flower and the photographic tree and bird. They all thought I'd printed the flower: "How did you do that?" Answer: I printed over some incredibly gaudy upholstery chintz.
Now I have bird ideas popping out of my brain. It is cool again and I want to stay up all night, printing and playing.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Group project

The Lowell Fiber Studio has on two group projects this year.
I am leading one: a centennial quilt for the local Visiting Nurses Association. It is a large piece and I'll blog more about it later. The experience has been eye-opening. All my years in business, I was always a team member, never in charge. Now I'm learning: like parents, leaders don't really know any MORE, they just are responsible that something happen. The real work happens because others agree to play. The leader reminds people about goals, the players achieve them. The best ideas are always a surprise.

The second group project was a collaborative quilt to hang outside our studio. To begin, Merill Comeau led us through questions about ourselves and the group. We each offered images - a flower, an animal, a place - which we thought might illustrate Lowell Fiber Studio. We settled on the dandelion - bright, resilient, spreading ; the dolphin - in motion, supports its group; and the adobe - warm, encircling, plain on the outside but thriving on the inside.The quilt grew, through many collaborative sessions, over the course of months. This week, we finally hung it outside our studio, for all to see.
That's Margot Stage on the ladder, and Gwen Stith assisting. The Cloud Door was painting by Sharon Sawyer, and you can see a bit of my Advice quilt on the left. Cathy Granese did an amazing job quilting and finishing the piece. Notice the curved edges. On the back she put our studio's name. Now visitors can find us, even though we are nearly at the end of the hall. Hooray!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Art in progress

I have been working. The small pieces are for Cambridge Artists' Cooperative Gallery, and for the show at RISD in October.These small pieces are like the scales and arpeggios my piano-teacher mom used to have me play every day. They warm up the art muscles. Usually I place a favorite fabric and then the rest of the composition rotates around that.
The "falling Squares" have long been a motif for my smaller pieces. Do they belong in the larger work?
Two larger pieces are on the wall. This one is giving me trouble. I like best small moments of repeating dark/light rectangles. I think it needs more dark to stop the eye from wandering all over the place. Do the birds belong there?However, this piece I like a lot. It is more still, more like the small pieces writ large, instead of a tangle of ideas. It needs more weight at the bottom, and on the right. Maybe I should just ditch the red piece instead of wrestling with it, and finish this.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Up early this morning, I remembered to take the camera with me while I walked.I read yesterday about one class assignment: take fifty pictures, then choose the five that interest you most. Ask what attracts you to these images. I print organic images, but build my work with rectangles, so I looked for interaction of parallel lines and organic pattern. The shadows on siding, for instance, or the parallel formed by pickets and flowers beneath them:
Small details underfoot make interesting designs.
But my favorite was this blurred tree. A total mistake, and full of life.