Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sacred Paths and Slippery Dreams

Dscn2254 Can I bear to cover this up by adding embellishments?  I don't think so.  On this one I learned the difference between using a palette knife and a brush.  Palette knife leaves a very smooth surface.  And the green colour are the dyed paper towels. 

Dscn2245 Remember to click any image to enlarge.  The background for the pages on the right is an idea for a quilt design but not with these colours.  This one is sorta my ceiling of the chapel moment.

Dscn2256 oooo, a dream sequence here...the medium is still wet but I'll prolly tone down the white in the lower left corner. 

And someone in the Artful Quilter's blog ring is feeding my book altering addiction :)  More about that tomorrow! 

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Contentment and the Blues

Dscn2242 Dscn2244_1

i know the page on the left is complete.  it gives me a contented vibrations when i look at it and touch it.  the same with the one on the right but i might just find something to add on to the left side of that page. since working with "roundness" is not something my own sensibilities gravitate toward when doing my own work, i wanted to call this page "the birth of the round" lol.   

i'm really am not going to start another blog for altering books but more than likely, altering book posts will become a regular feature at Seamless Skin.

Quilt Design Blues

speaking of blues, did anyone see the Eric Clapton's Guitar Blues Festival  last night on Great Performances on PBS?  fabulous!  eased the day's stress right out of me!  any day hearing and seeing B.B. King sing and play is a good day! and Robert Randolph and The Family Band  acted a fool on stage with that 12 string! i saw this band one other time on Austin City Limits i believe, and I thought my tv was going to dance itself out the door! 

my blues, the quilt design blues, showed up last night.  i came up with another design idea for a themed quilt challenge i'm doing with my quilt circle.  it has to be completed by end of march and while everyone is stitching right along, i've used 2 months to change my mind every week, sometimes every other day, over design and idea.  i've not commited one thread to needle, needle to cloth.  i've questioned my commitment to doing this quilt and thats not it, i do want to do it.  i do know what is the underlying trouble but i will not belabor my lament here since there is a possibility of a resolution soon, plus i don't have a guitar for the blues full effect.

Blogging and Books

blogs with Typepad can have their blogs published into a book.  40 pages for about 20 bucks. more pages, more bucks.  i might consider this for Seamless Skin...poetry, recipes, photos, random writings...consider the possiblities!

Coloring Pages 3

Dscn2241 i knew those dried paper towels would come in handy!  this is a paper towel used to mop up dye spills from dyeing cloth back in June.  i seperated the towel in two for a single sheet which means there is an identical sheet like this one.  then laid it down with regular gloss medium...the parts where the print shows through i'm thinking of filling in with seed beads.

Coloring Pages 2

Dscn2240 stamped first with Staz-On brand ink pads... allowed ink to dry then did a much diluted color wash.  reminds me of kitchen wall paper, 1950ish.  puts me in the mind of wearing an apron and baking a cake.

Coloring pages

Dscn2236_1 (always click to enlarge photo image)  oil pastel crayons, cured for 2 days (not sure curing was necessary though) and then brushed on a thin coat of regular gloss medium.   i like the shadow effect on the left as a result of phototograpy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Last night I emailed my Artist Statement for Negotiating Territory which will be hung in the Form, Not Function Exhibit next month.  Somewhere I came across an artist's website and his statement read: I make stuff. If you like it, its art; if you don't, its not.  How wonderful to leave it fully up to the viewer to decide!  It neither hinders or interferes with my own self definition as artist and yet leaves room for the viewer to also be fully engaged or not.  I've found myself saying "life is as it is" as a way to release myself from overthinking and overanalysis of situations.  Is the common trait of being human is that we really live out our lives based on "belief and perception" and truth, in an ultimate sense of it, is false?????  If truth and justice where women, they'd be living in domestic violence shelters.  The statement:


I have the soul of a poet who is re-emerging as an art quilter. My first quilt began some 20 years ago…a traditional pattern in a blend of commercial solids and African fabrics...99% hand pieced and quilted which took over 10 years to complete. That quilt was homage to my great grandmother, Willie Pearl Usher, who responded to my request to teach me to quilt after I graduated, that the monies paid for my college education went wasted if “that college did not teach me to quilt”. She could not phantom it.
This re-emergence as an art quilter started in March , 2003. Through a series of local workshops, symposiums, classes, and mentored study up through the present, I have evolved to this point. Negotiating Territory was created during a 2 month retreat of rented studio time at Mary Anderson Center for the Arts in Floyds Knob, Indiana and represents a culmination of knowledge and focus to achieve my original design.
Like Baby Suggs, a character in Morrison’s Beloved, I am fascinated with color, followed by shape and line. Negotiating Territory is a range of calm and cool blues and greens (mostly hand-dyed) vying for space, with the negotiations yielding breakthroughs of light in unexpected spaces and glimmers of hope. Beyond this, the viewer is welcome to infer their own take on this particular negotiation.

Altering Books

This morning I put some crackle medium on 2 pages and it has to cure from 3-5 days.  So it will be awhile before I'm able to get back into this one.  I'm back to glueing pages together in the other one.  Its cold and wet today (not like the prediction of warmer temps the weatherman had thought).  I might suit up to go out for more cheap books at the thrift store but I'm leaning toward staying in until its time to pick A. up this evening.

African DNA

Every since I read about the project at Howard University as a result of learning about the African Burial Project which they received the bones and artifacts, I've wanted to have my DNA analized.  The oldest living relative I've found on my mother's side, Katherine Robey, came to Kentucky at the age of 12 with the White Robeys from North Carolina sometime in the early to mid 1800s.  Peter was saying this morning that he wouldn't mind having donating his DNA also given his history and how the slave trade affected his family in Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

A couple of days ago I came across this blog of Mr. Grant who not only was linked to his African ethnicty but actually, by nothing less than divine fate, found his distant relatives!!!!!!  Any African in the Diaspora who has ever attempted genealogy research knows that this is HUGE! I mean REALLY REALLY HUGE!!!!! AND TO A GROUP WHO STILL USES GRIOTS TO KEEP HISTORY!!!!  I hold the impression that the importance and status of griots are on the decline (for reasons that will always remain debatable and multiple).   

Monday, December 11, 2006

Now just how much can I put on a page?

Dscn2230 The page on the left has acrylic paint, gel medium, oil pastel, angelina fibers, aluminum foil, and fabric paints on it. Its the angelina that makes that floating white light towards the center of the 2 pages.

I have 2 books going right now and I just fiddle faddle here and there throughout the day on various pages.  I can't wait to return to the thrift store for more old hard cover books.  Its really all about the colour shape and form for me and its the same with my quilts.  I keep thinking I need to portray something in realistic form or make a clear cut statement about something...but (and it has been this way for a long while) I'm just not in that space with the visual thing for myself right now.  The cognitive (literary/thinking) and the expressive Dscn2234_2(visual/emotional) are residing in two seperate huts.


Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Nothing can beat a good book

to get through winter.  Dscn2227

Altering books is a great diversion.  Its nothing but pure fun as I can pull from any technique and it is never frustration if it doesn't turn out the way I intended because I have no intentions.  Just keep right on rolling along with ideas.

Mostly I've been playing with various ways to colour backgrounds and my favorite thus far is with layers and layers of acryllic paint and soft gel medium.  I like the pages stiff with a soft crackle sound when the pages are turned. 

The first image is The Sojourner Truth Page.  Unfinished. All these pages an ongoing.  Me and my girlfriend use to have Truth's Ain't I A Woman Speech committed to was often a way to alleviate stress and bring some relief after handling some personal injustice or another...we laughed and cried many'a times ab-libbing on this famous speech.  Water colours, ETAL, photo copy, stamped ink, marker, and pen have been used so far...I think it needs some grommets around the frame which is cut from the ETAL.  I ordered this last winter and never found a use for it but I see it will have many appearances here.

Dscn2226 This is tissue paper and acrylics.  Most of the pages are gessoed first with 2 coats minimum.  This one below I think will receive some foil if I find my foil sheets. Dscn2229  Friday I hope I can announce some good news but right now I've got to start an artist statement...this will be only my 2nd one for the public eye and as much as I like to write, I feel a little intimidated.  Just another ledge to fly off of, eh?!