Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I don't know why I was sweating it so much, other than thinking I had to be exact with the colours that Sharon had offered plus allowing this insurance crap to get the best of me.  I thought this was going to end up reinforcing my self-perception and declaration that I'm not a "joiner".  But after I loosened up quite a bit and asked the question "how can I make these colours reflect me?"  I first answered that it had to be abstract and my second answer was, it had to be linear in design.  I flipped through collections of images that I had and came across the decaying structure of a mud house with exposed wood and went from there.  Its a postcard and I like it.  Neocolour II crayons where applied first, followed by some wax pastels, followed by prismacolour pencils.


Monday, January 28, 2008

I respect her brilliance.

Toni Morrison, my most loved novelist, endorses Obama:

News Article

I've been looking online for the letter she wrote in its entirety, but no luck.


Thanks to an online bud of a few years I now have the link to the letter in full which will go into my files! 

Ms. Morrison's letter to Barack Obaman


For the last week and a half I've had the insurance provider blues with hound dogs on my heels (inflection of blues patois) and have been buried in anger, frustration, and good ole' pissivity.  Next week I'm leaving town for a week, going to Huntsville, Alabama.  (Any art/textile related sites I need to see while in Huntsville?)  I'll post my Take It Further Challenge tomorrow or Thursday.  I'll return in 2 weeks with entries. 

Friday, January 18, 2008

Magnify the Sweet

Cleaning out my files I came across these photos.  Img023 These are of a round robin I was in somewhere around the late 80s with a group of quilters who connected through an African American quilting forum on Prodigy. Sadly, my quilt top is now in a suitcase with some other unfinished projects from that time period.  I guess I get it honestly...I had an aunt who worked on one quilt for 30+ years...thinking now, I don't know that she finished it before she passed.  It stayed on the floor frame in the back room of her house. My top is at the bottom on the left side.

Yesterday I carved the last block I had. Img021 Img022_2 I prefer the Staedlter MasterCarve material over the Speedball brand.  It really does cut like butter.  I'm going to get some more next week and start on stamping these on fabric. 

Also, I received work that the KMAC artist-in-residency grant deadline has been pushed back and that the age limit is flexible!  And the day before that, sheerly by coinkydink, I looked at another potential studio space that has 2 options...the most affordable option is better than what I have now (I'm back on the kitchen table), but the space is too open in a shared environment and isn't large enough. Its only better because I wouldn't have to take down my machine and set up so frequently but being in an open space I'd worry about safety of my sewing machine.  The 2nd option really got my juices pumping, so much so that I didn't fall asleep until 3am thinking it over.  The space would be shared but only by a few. It is more enclosed and secure.  I'm negotiating the fee for the 2nd option PLUS the organization needs 2-3 more artists to commit as the 2nd option would be an expansion for them.  I came home and made a phone call to another artist and placed a post on a yahoo group for local artist, so hopefully I'll be out of limbo soon over this. Patience is a virtue...I'm working on it.

After four attempts at trying to find the Feb. issue of Quilter's World on the stands, I finally found it at a Kroger last night.  If you don't get this magazine, go get this issue just so you can read about quilter Valerie White.  It is a great article that captured Valerie's wit well!  Her quilts are so unique and different.  She works on whole cloth and even seeing them up close its hard to not believe they are not pieced or applicqued.  Congratulations Valerie! Your time is here, now, and forever!

I'm participating in the Take It Further Challenge sponsored by by Sharon at In A Minute Ago.  There are 2 options...working in a specific colour pallette or do a work about someone who inspires me or I look up to.  My first choice was to do some embroidery stitches in the colour pallette and then I realized the colours turn me off.  If I go with this option it will be in a 4"x6" size.  The 2nd option makes me feel like I need to do something pictorial in order for it to be undersood by a viewer and meet the challenge criteria.  Once again, my self-awareness declares that I'm about texture and colour in either abstract or geometric.  If I take the 2nd option I'm going with Ida B. Wells (maybe I'll think about someone contemporary) and I wondered what her favorite colour was and then I thought maybe something in black and red since she was a very strong in reporting on lynchings of her day. 

Speaking of abstraction, the Form Not Function show leans heavily this year with abstract and geometric designs.  Its amazing to me how each year the show is different from the previous ones in spite of the same group curating this show.  Thats speaks highly to their uniqueness.  The quilt that took my breath away was by Jae McDonald entitled Red can be seen at the link above.  It is not nearly as breath-taking on the screen as it is in person.

Not one guess on what I walked out with from the yarn store...well, yes, of course yarn...but nine skeins, a book, a crochet needle and a plan...I'm making a felted bag! I haven't crocheted since I was a teen-ager except for a seasonal winter stint in the 80's when I went crazy making baskets out of strips of fabric.  Now remind you, when I entered the store it was for the sole purpose of filling time between appointments!  It was definitely an impulse buy which I'm not prone to anymore at all and have recently become a convert to the Stop Shopping Movement.  If you get the chance to see the documentary What Would Jesus Buy?, take the opportunity.  (Yeah, yeah, I've been informed that it all seems a little extreme and over the top but isn't that the way all movements start that bring about moderate changes even? And after all, IT IS performance meets activism). The docu follows around a performance-based activist group from New York to California in the weeks leading up to Christmas in 2006.  You may have seen Billy Talen, the head-liner being interviewed as his character "Rev. Billy" on tv.  I first saw him on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman and googled him thereafter.  I saw the documentary in the one week in showed here with Petra and Mo, my daughter, who is on the cusp of being a shop-o-holic and often buys impulsively.  I took her along because I'm trying to save her from the Shopocalyspe. 

In the last few days I was reminded of why I started this is bittersweet...I wanted to magnify the sweet.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Carving and Bloggers Who Make My Day :)

I've been carving almost daily since I started this last week...I will have to replenish my stash of carving supplies soon.  Commentor, Sacredartist, sent me this link, McClain's Printmaking Supplies.  Printmaking, I glimpse, has it's own culture, similiar to Quilting.  The danger for me is I do have a fairly addictive personality that has been tempered by my growing will and discipline with age.  Ah, but there are moments when I succumb, out of the blue, for no rhyme or reason, just as I did one day last week when I wandered into a yarn store solely to fill time while I was between errands and guess what?!  No, guess...I'll segue-way back to my carving while you guess.


These are my attempts at representational, or somewhat rep...the stamp on the left was inspired by an older sketch I did of the artist Willie Cole; the one on the right was inspired by a photo of my cousin, Sterling. (Rita, if you stop by and read this, leave a comment cuz!)  I'm going to try another one of my cousin.  I attempted to take the photo and filter it through Photoshop first as a guide to carving the image...somewhere along the line I became confused about whether I was carving the dark or light areas and then thought it would make an interesting image to mix it up...but would that confuse the Dscn2732 gaze?  I'm not sure.

Dscn2720 Dscn2727 Dscn2730

Deborah sent me the link to Elin's blog,  Will Love Logic, where she is documenting a stamp a day for 2008!  Very fantastic!  I'm going to attempt a couple at least a week up until April at which time I'll have a month of studio time at my favorite place on earth.  (Oh, for anyone who orders pfd fabric by the 100 yards, just how big, as far as dimensions go, is it?  I'm worried about storage space if I order that much, but I want to get the cheapest rate per yardage that I can find also.)  100 yards should last me a very very long time since I'm a slow worker.


Gerrie nominated me for her Make My Day Awards:

Here’s what the guidelines for this award say: Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about Blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on.

  1. Cherryl

  2. Juanita

  3. Kyra

  4. Gerie and Acey

  5. Olga

  6. Sonji

  7. Jude

  8. Deborah

  9. Kristin

  10. Judy and Judy

This could have went on and on...but its noon and I've scheduled my lunch and a lesson in Photoshop.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Life is is process...and in spite of everything I'm joyful.  The energy I'm riding on today was generated from breakfast and gallery hopping yesterday with Juanita and Valerie.  After I left them my mind and emotions begin racing around over what I was going to work on when I came home.  This or that, or how about....sooo I had to slow myself down and ease back into my daily life by stopping by the art supply shop...but lo and behold, Juanita had the same idea and we bumped into one another felt a little surreal since I claim Juanita as my quilt guru.  I just knew I had to go home and get my hands "doing".  Picked up some erasers and carving blocks and a sketch pad and black construction paper at the shop and driving home I was feeling pretty confident.  So I walked through the door, handled the mail, checked email, spoke to Mo on the phone, looked up info on glassmaker Stephen Powell and checked the website for Kentucky Musuem of Art + Craft and discovered they are offering a program for artists to be awarded five months of studio space with the approaching deadling of January 15.  I had a small art spasm...but it was just as quickly deflated as there is an age limit which I'm over by 5 years.  I've called KMAC twice to inquire but had to leave messages both times...still, with the delay in actually talking to a person to see how hard and fast the age limit will apply, I'm riding high on the possibilities that lay ahead.  KMAC is located in the heart of downtown and I can just see myself even with my physical limitations working out of a studio that has public access for 20 hours a week.  I don't know if I'm being overly-optimistic (can there really be such a thing as being overly-optimistic? I mean, really?) or sentimental but what harm can there be in giving it a chance. I've long given up on waiting, waiting, waiting for everything to be just right before one takes action...the lights are never green or red all at the same time.

Back to "doing" art...yesterday, I didn't...never got arountuit.  When all was said and done I crashed and have slept most of the day today...but, oh, yeah! when I finally did get out of bed (for good) I was still pumped, yet, more focused.  This is what I'm doing...carving rubber stamps for later use on cloth.  Digging the fluidity of the lines and curves  contained within the block shape in the ones I've carved so far.    Dscn2710_2

I'm going to continue to wheeze (insert pulmonary humour) right along, so I'll catch you on the down swing or the next elevation of life ;) Peace...


Friday, January 4, 2008

Hope for Change!

Slowly but surely I'm getting my bearings after five days in the hospital with pnuemonia.  Its been almost 3 years (I think) or at least long enough for me to stop counting the months from the last time I was that sick.  Five days of bad tv for the most part.  The Iowa caucus lead-ins kept me entertained the best in spite of the glitz and glam of CNN style reporting that I find over done and extreme.  It was Michelle Obama's presentation that I enjoyed the most! That sistah is fierce!  Not in an in-your-face type way but she exuded strength and clarity and love in her spirit and persona that gave me confidence to support her husband for Presidency.  Plus while listening to her I started communing with Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells and they approved so that was good enough for me. 

Early this morning I listened to the victory speech and thought "my lord, what am I witnessing here?!!!"  I'm wondering if the power in this man has less to do with addressing the horrid world political affairs (how can we NOT live with the current consequences beyond just another President?) and more to do with mental and emotional restoration.  I mean, I know I've experienced some post-trauma, especially behind the 2004 elections that I've never been able to recover completely from.