Thursday, February 25, 2010

real progress, no photos

Three of us showed up to paint the walls at Lowell Fiber Studio today. Like any painting job, the work required more preparation than expected, but we got it done in under three hours. Follow up and finish up on Monday.

Came home through end-of-the-world rain to my home studio, where I emailed my long list of questions about taxes to the accountant, and then dug a path into my home studio to finish work for the photo shoot tomorrow. Small piece is finished, larger piece stitched but not backed.

Waited an hour in my car for my girl. She is part of a one-act competition this weekend. They loaded the truck in the dark and the deluge. That's a sure way to make memories. Two glasses of wine means maybe I shouldn't edge that last piece tonight. O well!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

tangled up

Tangled Alphabets: León Ferrari and Mira Schendel, at MoMA through June 15, includes the above example of what Ms. Schendel called Graphic Objects. (Museum of Modern Art

After repeated efforts at procrastination, I have finally begun my mother's taxes. Not that they are complicated, just that I don't have a clue what I'm doing, and I hate that feeling. I would rather scrub the bathtub than face an Unknown for which I am responsible. So I've been surfing the net a lot, and cleaning the bathtub really well .

I've been thinking about the use of text in my own work, how it might expand and modulate. One procrastination was to play with text shapes in Photoshop, but I need to get back to printing to push the idea. The screen is nothing without the ink, the layers. My most recent printing efforts have been dull beyond belief. Too much heart and brain power going into daily life.

I am wondering about how to push the gelatin plate printing. Linda Germain's work has made me wonder how to make the medium work harder. My first attempts last week were clumsy, of course. I hope to work with her at a class this spring.
I've also been daydreaming about courses - Jane Dunnewold at ProChem, and a delicious offering at Haystack, Making Prints Without A Press, and Laura Cater-Woods' classes, particularly the one about turning fabric into books.

Time to make dinner.

Monday, February 22, 2010

There and Back Again

I've been on the road. Took my daughter and her best friend to Vassar, where my sister, a professor in English Literature, took us around. A delight for me was to see my work in her office. What a difference context makes. Works that seemed small in the industrial space of Western Avenue Studios looks beautiful in a personal setting:
My favorite place was the theater. Because I'm an Old Lady, I could just walk in and ask to look. Here's the wall of supplies in the costume room. Why didn't I know this could be a career?
Across the hall was the scene shop, with the wolf from Into the Woods watching over all:
Midweek I spent a day with a friend who'd come to town for medical appointments. We walked the city, and talked all day. Here is a view from where we had coffee. Looks like Paris to me.

Finally I spent time with Ami Simms. She's the remarkable woman behind the the Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative, an exhibit which has been seen by over 200,000 people and raised over $350,000 for Alzheimer's research. I took her to the Arsenal Center for the Arts early Saturday. We got to study this view across the street - I like the horizontals and verticals - while we waited to be let in.

I watched her teach, and we had lunch together. Wonderful and thought-provoking. She is a generous, wise soul. I look forward to her lectures tonight.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

outward bound

A picture from last April, when sudden heat brought out the blossoms weeks early. I like the grid of the wall.

Off to Poughkeepsie tomorrow to visit Vassar College with my daughter and her best friend. Suddenly realize I have no civilized winter clothes. Just my working artist jeans and boots. I will look every inch the mom, which, to my surprise, I am.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Work in Progress

I have become increasingly interested in how to merge the printed surface with the painted one. I bought a slew of board -masonite and cradled birch - which hold up better to layered work than stretched canvas. My first attempts were conservative - just a repositioning of work, with some layers of paint on top:Then I took some more problematic pieces - heavily painted linen that had defied me for months, and made it the base for new collage:Yesterday a larger piece of the bird fabric became ground an old photo and further layers of paint and paper. I think there is an idea here. Bad photo, but good idea. I keep circling around trees, text, time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

drawings to prints

My dog in the sun.Working every few weeks at the Loading Dock Gallery, I study other artists' work. They've inspired me to reproduce my own drawings as prints.
Drawing has always been second nature. For me the thrill of printing is, to a large degree, the way it liberates the drawn image, lets me repeat, alter and layer it. Maybe there will be dogs on my next round of clothing.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Icons of Color

I am always interested in Fine Art that resembles Textile Art. Several pieces at this site fit the bill: constructed planes of color, flat, often bright, free of narrative. I find myself wondering, if they were fabric, would they be in this gallery? In general Minus Space is thought-provoking, worth browsing.

I also recommend Joanne Mattera's Art Blog today: an in-depth "visit" to Karen Schifano's studio. Cool to see ideas in progress, from idea board through maquette to finished pieces. As one comment puts it, the work is about risk and inquiry.

My own day was more paperwork, coffee with a fellow artist, and the hunt for a pair of pants that fit. Now it's time to cook White Beans and Sage, which Mark Bittman assures me will taste delicious.

When I am wealthy, I will have a cook.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mounting question

(Picture removed)

So I'm going with no edge. Nada. Just discrete zigzag to hold the layers together. Should I mount it on something solid? Any suggestions? It's about 28 inches long.

Friday, February 5, 2010

More Done

Here's a little (6x6) something from December, just back from the 50 under 50 show at the Loading Dock Gallery.Yesterday I mounted this piece. Once it was framed all kinds of editing happened, a whole new layer.Then I took it to the big studio today, and more happened. I lthink it is a slight detour for me, but I like it. It looks like music sounds:This small study is finally mounted. The intersection of painting and fabric, stitch and line, fascinates me.
Today I edged this piece. Done.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The point

This started years ago, as a print on white. I painted into it with watercolors. Then the back became more interesting than the front. Periodically I would stitch into it, then put it back on the "What IS this?" pile. A piece of painted fabric became its ground. I stitched some more. I painted with acrylics.

John McPhee
, when asked once whether he didn't sometimes wish to change a published work, replied, "The point isn't to get it perfect. The point is to get it finished." This piece, at last, is done.

Monday, February 1, 2010

small steps

I got to the Big Studio in Lowell for 4 straight hours today. My goal was to get one, possibly two pieces Nearer to Done. To warm up, I dyed some cloth, with backings in mind, tho' I wound up using grey I bought last summer (thinking I'd make myself clothes. O well!)I did get both pieces stitched and backed, plus I worked back into both with color: india ink, instaset dye, and tulle. But my camera truncated those files, so here's what Deer Moon looked like after painting but before stitching:
Here are a few other pieces I've gone back into. I am increasingly interested in how fabric behaves in conjunction with acrylics. These three pieces from last summer, for example. Originally they were sweet, but predictable. Here they are now.Ideas are brewing. Now I'm off to hear Nancy Crasco talk about her work. Should be inspiring.