Friday, December 31, 2010

Chitlin' Circuit: My Studio



Stanzas: Mixed Media Art Quilts by Karen R. Davis @ Iroquois Library Community Gallery - November 2011.

Upcoming Solo Shows

Wayside Expressions Gallery

September 2012

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Juba Jive

Crazy weather! Yesterday it was in the 50s...the overcast kept it cool and it was wet and gray but still I thought I'd make the best of the day and go into the studio.  Its been five weeks since I last laid eyes on the place! For the first hour I sat and and relaxed in order to get re-acclimated.  After solving all the problems of the world I then got busy doing my favorite avoidance activity...rearranging.  I reduced the display area to gain more work space.   Unlike at the basement, I have my portable o2  when in the studio which I sometimes forget that I'm wearing until it falls off a chair or I feel the tug of the tube as I attempt to move around...but it hinders me from moving gracefully (ah! like I ever did without it!) so finding the ideal arrangement is on-going.   The furniture has remained light weight and easily movable.  What I gained was a card table that I'm going to use for overflow items, like containers, paints, rags, etc. which will keep the paint/print table clearer and I can more easily lay the portable at one end without it getting in the way.  Also, I'm only going to keep one quilt up for display except for when I'm actively participating in open studios.  With the extra wall space I'll hang fabrics that I've either completed or are in progress.  

The studio space behind me that I had considered moving into some months ago is now occupied by a fashion retailer for the divas, skinny divas at that.  The shop is only open on Fridays and Saturdays so I didn't meet the new tenant.   A couple of spaces near me have become vacant and when I showed Moriah the one I would consider, she confirmed it was too small even if I streamlined.   I knew that but I just wanted to be hopeful since it would save me some cash.

I'm going to refrain from assessing 2010 but to sum it up, the first six months were great with some dings and the last six months were less than great with perks.    2011 is my Golden Jubilee year since I am FIFTY as of today, so "JUBILATION"  will be my operative word to carry me through the year.  When all else fails, express joy.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Remembering where I left off...

DSCN1727 DSCN1729 DSCN1730This is what I was doing last (the same fabric, 3 layers) in the studio before Thanksgiving, followed by pneumonia and a short stay in the hospital.  My lungs are not quite clear but I'm feeling well, but going just a little bit stir crazy.  The grandkids have been here and the Beloved is on vacay and with the touch of a click, holiday shopping is over.  Hey! just writing this out and I'm getting perked up! This week the only major endeavor I'm facing is grocery shopping for Christmas dinner.  Grocery shopping around the holidays is my coal mine.  I've got a list, I'm on a mission, I'm going in...thats the mental fortitude needed to get this task accomplished.  And you know its bad when drivers with disabilities are fighting over parking spaces!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm sitting in the house,

looking at the clock, can't even, can't even tell the time.....  

thats the way the blues comes and art making going on here...i'm just coasting until it thaws out and warms up...


Decluttering the mind, body, and spirit

My winter hours will be very irregular at The Beauty of Holiness Studio as I'm hoping to return my focus on quilt construction rather than surface design on cloth. For the winter months I'll work mainly from The Basement Workshop at my mother's which will afford me the opportunity to take naps and rest when needed.  Since the weekend I've been on a z-pack to fight the bronchitis, and although I try to avoid making major decisions when I'm not at my best, I started questioning the wisdom (once again) of maintaining the studio at Mellwood seeing as to how the next 3 or 4 months my usage will be very low. Subletting is an option.   The thought of moving all that stuff out wears me down.  If I feel the same once I'm completely recovered then I'll know for sure. Regular readers may know how I tend to overthink a decision, so just excuse me typing out loud so I'll better informed or not ;) 

I've put a notice up for the winter hours under the page tab at the top: The Beauty of Holiness.


Meanwhile here is the attempt to bring order to my art-making practices by taking a queue for Jane Dunnewold which I mentioned in the post below:

What:  Two quilts that measure 40.5" x 18" to complete the 3 quilts for the Crowbonics Series.

Fabrics:  Cottons, sheers, paper, wool batting, stabilizer, matte and metallic threads

Techniques: Writing African American spirituals, text, African symbols on cloth to convey the adaptions and change in the diaspora experience.  Paper and sheer lamination to combine images/text/symbols as an additional layer of meaning.  Screen printing, fusing, and machine quilting.

Tools:  African American Spirituals that have to do with flight. Adinkra symbols that speak to God and strength and endurance.  Symbols from Afrikan Alphabets by Mafundikwa paired with symbols that I create spontaneously.  Paper with the writing I did in Laurie Doctor's workshop and selected images photos I've taken or Ade has taken.  Screens, some used with fluid medium.  Paint, foil, if it enhances the final images.  Various markers and inks for writing on cloth.  Seashells for writing on cloth.

Theme:  I'm using Crows as symbol for African Americans and  "bonics" to denote communication.  I selected Crows for an Audubon exhibit as a way to connect James Audubon to the mother he never knew.


Also, a new page tab has been added at the top for postcards I want to sale.  This is the last of them until next summer if I make any more even then.  A few pieces of older and larger pieces are on the way also before the end of the year.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Learning Curves, Week 4

DSCN1719 Img012

Learning Curves is getting back on track after Thanksgiving week.  I made it to class (class is how I'm referring to each book I'm working with in the Learning Curves) but not on the days designated.  Like today (Thursday, 12/02/10, the day of this writing) I'm working with all 3 books on digital art.  I have continued to reference Visual Language (Benn & Morgan) in creating lines and shapes.  The 2 images above are small cloth samples.  On the top one I cut out random shapes from book-cover plastic (similar to contact paper) and stuck it on the fabric to use as a resist and then dye painted over it. The image directly above is with the plastic removed and then dye painted in the white areas.  The cloth sample has been washed out and dried here.

The Image Transfer Class (McElroy) didn't go this week.  I did order the Transfer Artist Paper and its on its way and succumbed to a Lutradur purchase.  I have 3 weights of it and the extra light offers the highest appeal...I'm thinking it would pair well with silk organza in a statement on transparency or where transparency could impact the overall visual.


Jane Dunnewold will be here the end of January and will have a show at the Hite Gallery on University of Louisville's campus and is preparing new work for the show.  Here, on Jane's blog, you can see how she has written and defined the parameters for her forthcoming works. Here is Jane's schedule for her Louisville agenda. 

When I'm stuck on a piece, I pick up a journal and begin to ask questions and provide answers while actually sitting in front of the quilt/fabric.  When I first started doing this I was going to dedicate a journal by year, then by the series, then by location...but what I really do is just pick up whatever journal is close by, thus loosing continuity in writing about specific pieces and making it difficult to have the writing become reference material because my notes are spread throughout journals.  The one dedicated journal I have is a technique journal that I glue I glue samples into rather than how the designing of a quilt and the message of the quilt are related and what I did to get there. 


Img062 Img063

 I washed out the last of the fabrics I've been layering (images directly above).   Dunnewold limits the variables in order to self-impose focus and I'm going to join her in this journey for the next couple of weeks as I return to Crowbonics.  My next post will go into details.