Sunday, June 28, 2009

Over and Out

This gorgeous babe (the one needing clothes) is one of four now in our studio: the ultimate dumpster find! A photographer friend, Lisa Anderson-Bisson, happened by as we were hauling them in:
I am off to the ex-urbs of Chicago for a week. My daughter, 15, and I will travel out by train. She stays behind to help with her aunt's kids - three under 7. For her, it's a journey from small family to large, from city to suburb. For me, its a quiet month just a working couple again. Wow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The rain continues. I spent 4 rainy days at the Cape. The cool moisture brings on the quiet. I painted the view out the window, and the veggies on the counter:
During a sunny interval, we made it to the flea market. My daughter and I came home an old photo of a wedding party, so I painted that too:Today I taught my Alzheimer's watercolor class. Very quiet. Edith was back, and tho' she does not remember painting "for several years now" she was more confident than when I last saw her. I stayed late while she finished her piece. "Am I keeping you from anything?" "Just grocery shopping." She smiled.

Dave dozed through the class. I painted him. Edith had lovely things to say about it, which I take as a compliment. I love her work, too.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Working on work

Another Family Album piece finished. This is my mother's sister, decked out for a San Francisco Christmas. She died in childbirth in her 20s. We live each moment - passionately, sleepily, frustrated, happy. Then we are gone.

Yesterday I finished the handwork on for my friend's commission . She wanted it embellished, placed the buttons and hearts herself. So I put on the Ipod and sewed through a rainy afternoon:
In the evening, I began another commission, a wedding gift. The couple is older, second marriage. The buyer picked out an older piece of mine piece she liked. I had a fragment of that "reflection" fabric I'd made, all these years later, so I started there:Of course, the piece is different; years have passed. I work larger now, and use bigger marks, and more of my own colors mixed in the dye pots.

I like the idea of reflection, doubling, as the theme of a marriage gift, and the subtext of roots, drink, time and growth.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


One of my childhood memories is of working on a profile drawing of my grandfather, while he played cards with the grownups one summer evening. I think I was in fifth grade.

Now when I teach my students - all elderly - I study their faces and hands. I want to draw them.

For now I grab moments when the class is contented, and quickly sketch. So much experience and feeling in their faces. This is Edith, one of my best students when I started. She had painted all her life and did such delicate work.

Then she began to forget, grew angry. The last time I saw her she asked "Have I done this before?" She missed the next three classes. I'm just the art teacher, but I'd come to love her. I wonder where - and how - she is.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Motherhood series

I have working with the volumes of photos I brought home from my mother's house a few years back and the quantities of old linens I have dyed:Originally I thought this work would become an artist's book. But each piece has its own energy. So I'm mounting them on stretchers.

Like words, the images start me thinking. A piece of old linen becomes a frame, and then the colors begin to spin around that center:
The fabric's I'm working with now ask for a formal treatment. All those careful stitches, made so long ago. I think about duets I used to play on the piano, and look for "voices" to accompany each picture: the harmony of an old apron, pizzicato of pearl buttons:
I've posted the first piece on Etsy. The pieces are small so that I can price them modestly. Everyone feels so hard up right now. A little love and a little art should be affordable, along with the groceries.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Art Right Here Right Now

Chunghie Lee: My Cup Overflows
Fuller Craft Museum
June 11, 2009– October 18, 2009

Korean-born fiber artist, Chunghie Lee, was at RISD when I studied there. Even then her work was dream-like and powerful. Here's from the website's description of this installation:

The "installation references the anonymous, ancient women who, during the Choson Dynasty, created these functional works of art. Large panels of draped silk, hemp and linen – embellished with images of Korean woman and other symbols of the past – are simultaneously contemporary in their graphic nature. Lee’s works connect past and present."

She will speak about her work Sunday July 19 at 1PM.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

BLog Delights

Reconstructed pottery by Caroline Slotte

From a dear friend to you, the Marie Claire Idees website. No, not the tween fashion mag, but the ineffable French craft magazine. Even if you cant parse the text, drink in the pictures: miraculous transformations of objects, from sweet to mysterious, plus, always, style:

paper sculpture by Yuken Truya

Animal chairs by the Campana brothers

I'm especially smitten with the work of Lisa Kokin. Mixed media, imagination, fabric. Installations and objects. Go and wander for a while.

"Remembrance"Installation by Lisa Kokin 1993

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Inventory Pile Grows

Sunday is the big day for my Etsy Group, Boston Handmade. We will be together at the South End Open Market this Sunday:The living room is awash in inventory:
I have a few pieced scarves and go to the Big Studio in Lowell to dye cotton and silk ones today:
My newest addition is vintage napkins, dyed and printed:

I've got some beautiful totes, too. Will try to get a photo shoot of them today in spite of the grey weather. Last night I couldn't sleep, so at 1:30 AM I got up from the spare bed (in my studio) to fold and put away fabric. So many ideas.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Open Studios Special Guest!

*Wonderful* open studios yesterday at Lowell Fiber Studios. I made progress on my commission pieces. I should get those buttons attached at my family gathering today.

Cathy Granese brought in the most professional Fabric Collage Kits to give away as gifts. People were so tickled: something nice, and free? We said we were grateful they'd made it up to the fifth floor, and on a lovely Saturday, to boot. Lots of happy conversations resulted.

But the biggest deslight was a suprise visit from Pokey Bolton of Quilting Arts:

She'll be printing an article soon by Sharon Sawyer about our fiber studio. This Saturday she came to see for herself. What a pleasure!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Temporarily Off the Air

I have a show today, a show next week, in=laws visiting, a niece graduating and a daughter leaving town --- o yes, I need to get my oil changed and new glasses made, and set up that mammogram too! So, instead, I have been gardening.

Here is a diversion for you. I love old suitcases. This recycled one makes me smile:

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Home

My piece, "Fallen," sold Saturday at the Quilter's Connection Annual Show.The woman bought it for her father, who picked it out of the all the art as the one he wanted. He like the ambiguity of the title and of the piece itself. It feels so good when a piece goes to a person who "gets" it. This piece originated from a picture of grief-stricken men I saw in the news. Originally, when this was a thread sketch, that anguish still resonated. But repeated layers of color and work softened the effect, so that now, truly, what you see is what you bring to the painting.

A lot of little work sold too, so I have to scramble now to restock for BostonHandmade's debut at South End Open Market Sunday June 14. I'll have vintage aprons, reworked with my birds, totes and little bags. I think I'll bring my dyed lace and napkins, too.