Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And I ponder what should the New York Post suffer for its gross and cruel offense? (plus I'm still on the journey)

This morning I had a very distinct consuming Black moment...even more discriptive, Black American moment because my reaction (REACTion) was weighted by the peculiar history of the past and the not-so-past that is rooted and steeped in the formation of this country and its rise as a world power and the injustice of it all.  Check out the cartoon in the New York Post today and tailor your response (or not) to your own leanings as I most certainly will.  Beyond this I will not elaborate further as I will again hyperventilate.  For awhile now I've considered creating a cultural blog as an outlet for my essays on a wide range of topics but keep deciding no, since my RL is filled with a multitude of love and personal and intimate connections that I bounce with daily and as often as I need to.  There are joys and pains associated with living consciously and as encompassing as possible in the way I've chosen as an African American Woman...I'm sharing this much as a way to recognize that which is deep and the backdrop to everything I do today while also updating this journey I'm on as an art quilter which is the purpose for Seamless Skin (of which I could re-examine what I now intend by "seamless", but I will spare you and myself at the moment).


Monday I took myself on an artist date and went second hand browsing.  One place is kinda upscale antique mall...4 floors and is located in the building where I had my first job at 14 in a summer youth program.  I worked the same place for 2 summers as a typist and all around office grunt which included running a mimeograph machine which I thought was cool at the time.  I purchased this embroidered round, very sheer, placemat that feels like papyrus of all things.  It was a handmade thing that cost me a buck so I was thrilled.  I want to tranfer an image onto it but for now its pinned up high on the design wall.  I also went to another 2nd hand furniture dive that has great stuff but isn't located in a high rent district and found lots of old creative looking stuff but I only came out of there with a red linen table cloth.  I have this idea percolating around roughness representing hard times...for now it seems connected to the quilts on prayers.


Yesterday morning I reconnected with a dear friend over breakfast at Toast.  Hi Cari!  Its been close to three years since we've spoken, maybe longer, but it energized my spirit and after we parted I made an impromptu stop at Actor's Theatre to see Upfromsumdirt's piece in the exhibit in the lobby.  As prolific as he is I was underwhelmed with the piece he submitted.  He cultivates an "outsider" as in outsider art philosophy toward creating his digital images that he describes as Mythmatics(c) so he isn't all that open to input but if he ever wanted to know what I thought, Hi Ron, I"ve only viewed his strongest work at his solo shows and online and not in his group shows.


Now to my own artistic issues------I completed the quilting on the current quilt and its stretched out on the design wall drying for blocking...BUT! this DSCN3937puckering grates my last nerve and the solution I thought so brilliant a few weeks ago (embellishing with stones) just seemed a notch above stupid yesterday.  So my new BRILLIANT idea is to go whole cloth with 2 sections (the ones without any puckering) and create 2 smaller quilts.  The red section and the yellow one will be a go!  Peter didn't think the green section was as dynamic as the other two...he thought the green needed to be more intense to hang with the vibrancy of the green and yellow and the green is a shaded green and doesn't have as much going on in it as the other 2 panels.  Parts of the green section will be salvaged into postcards like I did with these from another quilt.


I also made my first fiber ATC's. 


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One is destined to Emmy in the Netherlands.  If you'd like to trade with me, buzz me an email.


I have postcards like the ATCs for sale, 3 of which are listed on my new Etsy set-up.  Check here  or click on the page at the top of this blog.



Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sekou Sundiata and Shephard Fairey

thinking about how some artists in being true to their ideas of what art is and should be will challenge corporate ideologies and law and attitudes of the mainstream...sometimes what they do is unlawful or appears so until others who share their beliefs redefine (sometimes through the legal process) what is acceptable and then the change they've ushered in becomes mainstream and a new wave of radicals, outlaws, activists enter the scene once again...ahhhh, the fluidity of history.


I've had the sticker of Obama's image created by Shephard Fairey on the back of my truck since last summer.  Since recent news of the copyright controversy, I've been more interested in understanding why behind his graphic art and if I'm correct, based on what I've read, I'm in agreement with his stance that mega-corporate entities should not always have the last word in defining our laws and culture.  And I think extreme abuses have occured under corporations defining thems as WE the people for an entire nation and world and trumping the rights of people/individuals.  And it does concern me that inviduals will often times place their identities and opinions as if they are or will be or wanna be included in the philosophies and definitions of a nation ruled by corporate culture.  In this, I'm reminded of a segment from Ishmael Reed's novel, Terrible Twos, where Macy's Department store has the copyright on Santa Claus and there are arrests happening all over New York City of radical Santa Clauses...hehehehe...I dunno, I just can't imagine Amira Baraka or Allen Ginsberg not writing with the intent to provoke or challenge commonly held beliefs.  Maybe for contemporary textile artists who are unknowingly steeped in the "idealism" of sweet, civil, sharing women around the quilt frame, Fairey's guerilla tactics with his graphic style is enough to make the stitches become undone. 





Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hangeth in...

Did I ever mention my aversion to winter? Okay, nevermind then. I'll move on.


Guess what this is?  Okay, okay, so what if it is still quilt #2 in the Poetry Series...if I wanted to be all technical about it, I could claim it as quilt #5 if I include the 3 smaller pieces that inspired this series to begin with, so there, now! And no, that is a gum ERASER and not chewing gum sitting on the pointy thing for the circular attachment.  I lost the little knob for it.


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I was at the workshop for less than 10 hours this week, four of which included napping.  With the limited time I was there, I rearranged my workshop space again with the help of my youngest son, so the other hours had to be dedicated to doing the most important which was going in circles on quilt #2 above.  The weather is warming this weekend and I hope it holds through a few more weeks.  I had planned to be there today but I'm honoring my body's request for rest. 


I started physical therapy last week for the sciatica and it helped tremendously but I was unable to make it in 2 days this week due to muscle and joint pain followed by a trip to the ER which turned out to be for dehydration.  But the flip side of all the discomfort is the opportunity to stay still long enough to read through the stack of books about "prayer" I was able to get from the library before all the physical trauma. When I embark on my next series, I'm thinking it will be on Prayer.  If, this will be the 3rd of series work that I have going.  When I first started to think about doing a body of work I imagined that I would work on one quilt after another until a series was complete but that isn't and hasn't been the case.  I know that I could never keep up with what my mind thinks up so I tend to latch on to the ideas that become most compelling due to what is going on with me through experiences, emotions, and ideas.  Even though I'm reading on "prayer", I'm thinking that I'll do another Liberation quilt after I finish #2 in PS.  The Liberation quilts can be seen on my website (which isn't complete) at http://www.wix.com/karoda/karen-r.-davis 


Liberation (LS) was my first attempt at series work.  It came about totally unplanned.  In the first one my goal was to work with foiling and couching and applying metal on a quilt and while working on this quilt I would have this all encompassing sensation of being FREE.  The sensation would start out physically and then move into what is called in African American slang as "being on the one"...everything was vibing on the one when I worked on this particular quilt.  The second in LS, Cilium 2, has been in 3 shows and several locations and a few weeks ago I decided to retire it and hang it here at home in the hallway and the first one in my bedroom.  Here is Cilium 2 hanging up at the Calving Barn hallway at the Mary Anderson Center during a demo I was doing on silk fusion for Magic on the Mount Festival a few summers ago.  A partial view of Cilium 1 is the next photo.


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For next week,  my goals are to focus on lettering/calligraphy and reading and going back through the workshop I took on digital collage brushes with Gail Schmidt from Creative Workshop ning group and a minimum of 5 hours at my workshop toward the end of the week.  Also, to return to physical therapy.


And I was going to leave this photo off, and not gush over the time I spent with my grandson this week but he is an old soul and she is just a wild woman and they brung me such joy :)


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