Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Its A New Year...Hope and Change ;)

Rolling this around in my head and typing this out loud:  2009 is my designated year to begin to add consistent submissions to juried shows and non-juried shows, re-join SAQA and SDA and the Embroidery Guild, and gain some acclimation to art-marketing skills, and create an on-line presence for finished quilts, (Seamless Skin is excluded as I always want this to be my personal space and musings and evidences for my journey).

Alyson Stansfield's book "I'd Rather Be in the Studio" arrived yesterday...this and another art marketing workbook will be my assignments for the first 2 months. I know up front that I never want to be in a position where I'm dependent on income from my art for basic living...I don't think I'm wired for that type of grueling work that would catapult me into feelings of desperation and uncertainty. Business-wise, I do want to be able to comfortably use my materials without worry over the cost of replenishing them.  What I hope for is to create work that provokes emotion in others to the point that they would want to own/collect what I create and the income from that would support the continuation of making more quilts and educational experiences.  This seems asking more of myself in a way that promotes my mental, physical, and spirtual health and yet offers some edge in utilitizing and stretching my capabilities.  As far as submitting to shows I'm still going for a minimum of 4 for the year and maintaining 20 hours a week in my workshop. 

Although I fell a smidget short of my goals for 2008, overall, I feel like I accomplished much and am pleased.


Yesterday while picking up a birthday gift for my mother I found a really beautiful kinara made out of black soapstone made in Kenya. It replaces my wooden one which I'd like to gift to my brother and his partner if she didn't already have one.  But he never has his cell phone charged which I think is so unprofessional and irresponsible considering its his main phone...but hey, who am I, just the older and wiser sister. 

Happy New Year to all who pass through...Peace.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Casual Lettering with Laurie Doctor

Loved LOVED LOVED IT!  I was dipping into this in order to push my brain to imagine even more possibilities for writing on cloth...which it did do even with only eight hours total of instruction.  I found myself listening to the instructor while simultaneously pushing my tight little brain to "take it further" and "what if?".  More than likely, because of this, I probably am retaining little, but what I'm retaining I'm working it! 

The font she shared was a basic line script using a straight point nib.  But that hasn't stopped me from spending at least 10-15 minutes with daily practice or playing around.  I've purchased new nibs, picked up a book recommendation she gave me from the library, purchased a few more varieties of brands in ink, and ordered a copy of the Letter Arts Review. 

My supplies occupy a shelf by the kitchen table and after the house is quiet at night or early in the morning when the troop is gone I find it very relaxing to practice what I learned from this workshop.  What is most appealing is how my body slows down internally and externally and how my concentration and visualization skills magnify and intensify.  Its the same way with hand stitching when I compare the activities that create the same sense of meditative sensation. 

My goal isn't to become a calligrapher but more than anything else I want to increase my command of visualization and retain my abilities to concentrate.  For now it will stay a daily practice.  I also find it much more accessible, intimate, and personal than drawing. 

Here are photos as evidence of my journey:


above: experimenting with value and design using a variety of pens and pencils in black/grey on water colour paper.  (since I first wrote this post, I added colour to the above project with Derwent watercolour pencils.  The b/w filter was applied to the photo)


black on black writing (used a shell for writing, felt very earthy and womanish) colouring with pencils and water colours and white gel pen on black cover weight paper.  behind the black pieces of paper is a "what if" with colour and layering using inks, markers, and pens on paper.)


front of hand-made book


back of hand-made book:  2 types of white gel pens-one layered writing; black on black shell writing; coloured with prismacolour pencils.


first opening,


seconing opening,


third oepning,


front of pages, accordian fold, little momentos of practices tucked inside pages. china marker, walnut and sumi inks.  (note give Ron a bucket to collect walnuts)


back of pages.


Friday's daily practice using acrylic ink, straight nib (feather quill makes me feel like Phillis Wheatley, I like to strike the pose of the image of her with quill sitting at the table in contemplation).


And here is a very small section of a quilt I assumed was complete and which I liked very much but wanted to dare myself to go back into using block letters and in a different colour.  Once I started, I gasped, but then what could I do...cut it down? nope! I decided to continue on to see where it would lead before I made such a drastic decision.  I think next time I will make the block lettering smaller and more squished up and my cursive on top and larger.  I'm okay with the outcome but I like it more prior to this layer.  Hopefully soon I'll settle down to get good overall photography of the full quilt. 



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

A poem for the season :)

The title of my blog came from a phrase in a poem by this poet...who is one of my favorites!


I have a funky head cold going on...and don't feel much like doing anything...but I am entertaining myself with videos from the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival over on You Tube. Just wanted to see if I could embed videos correctly.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Its been a year of Growth, Blessings, and Grace...and for that I'm mighty thankful!

Winter is not officially here, but its here...this will be my first winter working in my basement workshop and even with the vents open and the ceramic heater going it was a tad on the chilly side making me decide to cut back to 3 days a week.  I set up a small area on a shelf by the kitchen table here at home for sketching and mark making...taking the calligraphy class has kept my wheels turning about writing on my quilts.  I plan to continue studying with her for a little bit just to see where I can take this writing on quilts.  I'll also add this to my altered books which I'll resume here at home now that I'll be spending more time at home due to the season.

In the calligraphy class we've worked on simplified letters since it was only a total of 8 hours over 4 weeks.  She has emphasized expressiveness versus strict adherence to the letter form since the time was so short.  The end product will be a handmade book which I've enjoyed working on at home and will show here later when its finished.  Here is a sample of play-practice:

Img016 It will prolly get some colour and torn up to be placed inside my book...

Here is the 2nd quilt in the Poetry series (yes, I'm still working on the 2nd one) that is 2/3rds of the way quilted.  My love affair with my circular attachment is coming to an end.  The 3rd one will get hand quilting but I'm still creating the fabric for it.  I need at least 2 more of me cloned in order to churn out these ideas rolling around in my head.


It was my plan (laid to rest) to enter this one and the one below into Form, Not Function but I couldn't get myself together to get them properly finished and photographed by the time the deadline rolled upon me.  2009 is designated for the year to focus more on submissions and selling work.  Although, I didn't complete the 4-5 quilts for 2008...its been a very productive year for me full of growth, blessings, and grace.

DSCN3741  Although I was pleased with this one, yesterday I thought it needed more writing, more graphic layers going on, particularly on the left side in the upper half.  I'll work on it next week so that I can let it go and move on. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Odetta has passed on...

A Young Odetta

And Recent Years and again

I have a cassette tape of her singing songs for children.  I'm going to look for it today while I make my peace with her passing. I share a birthday with her.