Sunday, August 31, 2008

In Studio 3 Once Again


Well I made it!  This is Studio 3 once again.  I had 3 days of dyeing. 

Thursday I just unloaded and mixed my dye stocks and that was enough.  That was five hours of my time.  I did do something different this time.  I used blenders to mix my dye stock which I didn't mind at all.  I can't shake and stir like I use to (and that goes for more than mixing dye stock although I just listened to Celia Cruz singing and I almost hurt maself ;) ).  All 3 blenders came off of Craigslist for little or nothing.  If you've got the patience it is a great place to find odds and ends for art and studio supplies.


Two other artists where in the house...their names have lost me at the moment but one from Arizona has a month to work on her printing and painting; the other from Indianapolis works in mixed media and was working on etching in metal and some painting.  The artists tend to visit with one another but in a very unintrusive way. 


On Friday Petra joined me.  She isn't an artist but appreciates what artists do.  She accepted my invite to come and play but declined to use the Reduran to remove the dye from her arm.  She said it made her feel like an artist so she wore it home.  I believe she had a very full day.  But the crazy woman plopped one of these


unidentified berries in her mouth until I admonished her to remove it immediately for fear she would fall over dead under my watch.  Geez, can't take her anywhere!


Here are some of the fabrics batching in the heat.  Some of which I left in the containers outside at my workshop when I returned all my supplies today with the help of youngest son who is standing next to his grandmother, aka, my Mama!


He was a huge help loading to go and loading and unloading upon return.


These are the fabrics I left outside just at the top of the stairs leading into the basement, aka, my workshop.  I will get to them sometime toward the end of the week after I put everything back in its place.


Here is the door leading down into my workshop.  Whenever it is open like this it means it is an invitation for every fly in the neighborhood to come party.  Ummm, I just thought about placing a fly repellant by the door to see if that helps.  That way I will be able to leave the door open sometime. 


These, I love a lot!


This is a small isolated section on a small piece.  Reminds me of the tips of spears or arrowheads.


This is a part of the window covering in Studio 1.  I isolated this section with the leaf.  The background is paper.  I find this very calming.



Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ya know, I haven't dyed fabric all year!

I'm excluding the playing I did to see what the iDyes where all about and I'm excluding the painting on fabric.  I mean the get down and dirty, pull out the equipment, and just let go with yards of fabric kinda dyeing.  Well all that is about to change starting tomorrow.   I have a free day over at MACA and I'm going to anty up for an additional day and I'm going!!!!!!!!!!!  Ade went with me this evening to finish loading my auto.  I was going to "FOCUS" this time and not try to squeeze in every single surface design technique known to humankind.  I was almost there until the last hour of packing when I went through that "I'll take this just in case.  I might need that!  Well I can work this in too" and I've over packed...a real clear clue was when I opened the door and my 2 glass jars of thickener (sodium alginate) fell and broke.  If I remember to take a picture of my vehicle before I unload it, I'll make sure to post it here. 

I decided not to dye at my workshop.  The water source and the rinse out methods that I have to use makes it too too labor intensive and uncomfortable.  Plus too much other things are going on in the space and going outside leads back to being too laborous for me to enjoy it. 

Monday and Tuesday I spent time decluttering and replacing items and taking inventory.  Partly in preparation for the Benn/Morgan workshop coming up.  I vascilate between excitement to jitters.  Excitement due to the preparation of having to put a design board together prior to the class and bringing my intent while remaining open to new ideas; jitters due to hoping I can keep up and meet the demands of being in a group setting versus working solo at my own pace.

Yesterday I worked on cutting stencils from file folders as is demonstrated in the book Complex Cloth by Dunnewold.  I used copy-free designs just to practice and will do some more later on tonight if I don't get too tired.  I'm thinking I better try to turn in early though...yeah, better turn in early and not fool around with sharp tools this late at night.





Saturday, August 23, 2008

Congratulations to Ron Davis

aka Bruh Dirt, my one and only brother!  He has been juried into the state's art council marketing program!!!!  Read about it here.  He was one of 7 artists accepted!

And preview some of his work and personal style and words here.   An excerpt:  Commercial fame is an elusive thing for black artists to achieve... so shouldn’t we at least create work that identifies our positions on life/love/society? In actuality, I’m really asking for a lot... this is no small task. Knowing yourself well enough to express who you truly are can be a daunting thing... to make art challenging again, either thru its message or its ambition.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Getting on with life

Am I one of the rare few who hasn't been glued to the Olympics?  Sure, I've caught some of it each day so far and have enjoyed watching, but its like I've caught an onset of adult ADD, not being able to sit and watch tv beyond 30 minutes.  Although, my reading has increased again and I'm loving Natasha Trethewey's Native Guard (for which she won the Pulitzer).  I have the gift edition which includes a cd of the poet reading the poems.  The enjoyment stems for poetry which has geography, history (both personal and collective) as propelling devices central to the work.  I'm a sucker for it, just takes me to the moutain top.  I listened to the cd for the first time on Friday with Ron and Crystal and it has since been a staple in my car, playing it loud with the windows rolled down (incoming throw back song lyrics:  diamond in the back, with a sunroof top, digging the scene with a ganster lean, woohoooooo) Crystal also informed me that Trethewey will be headlined at the Kentucky Women Writers' Conference which is where I was left floored by Jessica Care Moore last year.

The other book that has me mesmerized is John T. Campbell's Middle Passages.  The most effective and fun history class I had was at UofL, taught by a visiting Nigerian professor.  He had us to assume historical personalities and study their writings during a selective time frame for a staged debate with an opposing contemporary of the period.  We had to stay in role for a week or more, never being allowed to answer questions in our own voices but how we understood the assumed character would answer...well Campbell's book is written in a similar vein, making broad sweeps of historical data much more intimate, interesting and meaningful.  He discusses the back drop in which personalities lived, formed and implemented their ideas, contradicted themselves in the face of changing current affairs and how their lives may have or did rub up on their contemporaries.  I'm even thinking about writing the author a personal note to thank him for such a book.  It was one that I had checked from the library and noted it for adding to my own shelf and low and behold I found it at the HalfPrice bookstore along with the book on quilter Mary Bendolph's work...destiny, fate, I tell ya!


Okay, when I'm stressed the one trait that irritates me, hugely shows up in my life: indecisiveness!  I hemmed and hawed over going to the bookmaking workshop this past Friday and talked myself out of it with the decision to put the money toward a large (for me) PFD fabric order.  I did make it to the Carnegie Art Quilt Network bi-monthly meeting on Saturday and showed the progression of the Poetry quilts and received some suggestions for forthcoming quilts in the series which I might or might not consider, but I appreciated very much the different perspectives.  I enjoy hearing perspectives of other artists and particularly non-artists which is why I like having my mother look over my work when I'm in the workshop or having my daughter ask why write on the fabric when I am only going to obscure the writing.  It falls under the heading "tell them so I'll know".

The indecisiveness showed up on Sunday as well...over visiting another quilt meeting.  In addition to the stress over a personal situation, I'm also home a lot less with my workshop being across town and trying to spend at least 4 days there for 20 hours worth of activity which translates into being there longer to get in 15-20 hours of activity that I deem significant and progressive.  I have two other things on the agenda for this week...attending Louisville Area Fiber&Textile Artists meeting and stopping by the headquarters of Embroidery Guild of America. 



The scraps left over from the Poetry quilts will be turned into trading card, post card sizes up to journal size quilts.  I couldn't stand the thought of these scraps which I've bestowed special importance on, languishing in the basket with all the other peasant scraps.  Maybe this mini-series will be called New Lease on Life...or Born Again...or Second Chance Art or Reacquainted or Deja Vue or You Remind Me Of or (enough, we get it already!)


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Big wheels keep on turning...

Today is the first day of school for my youngest child, so we've been busy getting prepared.  I'm still in a funk which will be a long time riding itself out and knowing this is the best resolve to a heart breaking situation. 

I've sewn on a binding to the small work called Willie Pearl and am thinking about doing similiar pieces the same size as a collective genealogical piece.  There is a piece waiting on the line so to speak if I can ever get back into my workshop...again, I'm aiming for Thursday. 

I'm thinking about taking a bookmaking workshop on Friday.  Beginning with the weekend and the following week, there are several textile art related meetings in my calendar...keeps my spirit rolling on the river ;)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Indigo Monday

Sometimes we can damn a thing by day only to find its our light come darkness.  I try not to label so quickly but Monday has rolled up into some bad energy that threatens to take the week.  The way its looking, I will not be back in my workshop until Thursday.  My blues are a deep shade of indigo in the throat of Nina Simone. 

Thanks to all who commented on The Story in the Work, the previous post.  Its good for me to express what goes into the work and why.  The conversations in my head get hashed out so repeatedly that to write about them seems like I'm repeating myself 84,000 times and when I come to blog I too often think about presenting a process or outcome because I can sound more coherent and readers don't have to trudge through my chaos.  Maybe thats what I'm doing with my art quilts, turning chaos (energy, words, images inside of me) into order(control, linear, square, contained). 

I'll be back after Thursday...just gonna ride this deep indigo on out and see where it goes.