Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm a convert...

I'm good, I'm very good!  Peter has been on vacation for most of December.  It is wonderful to see him so relaxed and not carrying around work all the time, even though work does make life sweet most days.  

We've been enjoying coffee together in the mornings, and grandkids, watching tv, and listening to music.  I'm actually looking forward to him being able to retire if the "creek don't rise".  

The other thing I've been doing is reading like a mad woman! Thanks to the Kindle Fire Peter gifted me.  Some months ago I downloaded Kindle for the was okay and I like reading between surfing, but still was somewhat lukewarm on getting a reader, etc.  The best thing I enjoy is the back lighting which doesn't require lamp light for reading in the dark.  The 2nd best thing I enjoy is not buying a hard copy book of  books that will not get a 2nd read from me...there are some books that are real treasures to me, but there are some that once I've closed the book, it is over!  Not all reference books require physical space, even if they are art related.  This morning I downloaded Digital Art Wonderland and I just finished reading a book on African American Rootwork and Sacred Symbols of the Dogon.  Although informative, (Sacred Symbols was not quite what I expected), I was reading them to inform some visual ideas I had...somethings struck, most didn't right now...but 1. I didn't pay full price and 2. neither book will occupy space in what is already very limited space and 3.  multiple titles are portable.  So I'm a convert to book readers.

Its been about 2 weeks since I've been in the studio.  I did bring a study piece home to work out some hand embroidery on the "boats".  It boiled down to "yeap, the thread work and colour choices make the boats pop even more which translates to 'gonna take me more time to finish'.  

Boats Thread Color Study114

I'm considering trapunto, which I've never attempted, to make the boats stand out more.  The embroidery will only be through the top layer.  The blue section will be quilted by machine. Each boat is around 3 inces across...the actual top has about 150 boats.  This is what I'll be working on when I stay home from the studio (i.e. too damn cold).  

No further revelations have come to me about this piece in addition to it being my response to Troy Davis' execution.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Honoring Valerie & Robert White

Our Police Chief, Robert White, is leaving Louisville for Denver, Colorado.  The 2.5 years before he arrived were horrific ones marked by vigilante police justice and poorly trained officers that resulted in 10-11 deaths of while incarcerated, one while already handcuffed with his hands behind his back, one mentally retarded man, and so on.  When I think how I've used my own dogged strength (to reference W.E.B. DuBois) from being torn asunder and that my anger and outrage eventually succumbed to brief periods of feeling like my life, and those of my children, had no value in this city solely based on the fact we were a Black People, I understood once again how those with less resolve and survival skills and consciousness fall prey/victim to enemies and the powerful.  Even as I write this and reflect on those 2.5 years, my stomach has knots and my skin is crawling.  Chief White turned the police department around by holding Accountability, with a capital A, for members who took the oath to serve and protect.  He embraced ALL of the community and updated training and focused on community policing.  Still not a perfect system, but SUBSTANTIAL progress was made and it made a difference.  I can't say I'm not apprehensive about who will replace him.


With his leaving, the other loss, is to the artistic community.  Valerie White is married to Robert White.  She is a supremely intelligent and talented and gracious!  She is a blessing not only artistically, but makes me, as a woman, want to nuture the best part of me more than I do.  For that, I know she will always be a part of my soul-circle, but the gift of peeking into her artistic process from time to time will be sorely missed along with her critiques and assistance in my own work.  Valerie has held several shows while here and her imagery and craft never fails to leave me breathless!  No one is doing work like Valerie and it is extremely refreshing!  One of my treasured memories is her riding shotgun to my first time at the Crow Barn where we hooked up with Juanita Yeager, another Louisville artist and treasure who no longer lives here.


Valerie and Robert will leave huge holes in the soul of this city...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Another sign of the times...

When we are in and open to visitors, we hang our "shingle" out. Here is mine with some added bling.

  The ChitlinCircuit2


This article on craft techniques' influencing art made me reflect on my own self-critic on the pace I create.  I do work slow and sometimes, mainly when I want to do a series, I get frustrated that I can't move more swiftly.  By the time I finish one or two pieces, something else has caught my imagination and thoughts and I bemoan not being more prolific as time has passed into months.

This inclination to over think and make life more difficult than it needs to be is rooted into my need to have control and thinking I can "will" what I want into existence. (musical backdrop for this post, Helen Reddy singing I AM WOMAN).  I'm always in some stage of endless flow of accepting and pushing my personal self-imposed (and 0ther-wise) limitations of can and can't do's as measured by my ability to make art.  After reading the NY times article, the part of me that says, it really doesn't matter how slow or fast I create, as long as do as much as I can when I can and do it often enough to appease my soul is what truly matters to me.



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sign of the Times :)

It all started due to a mispelled name on a list for the pop-up gallery.  Deborah spelled Uneena's name with one e and 3 n's.  To make up for the innocent mistake, Deborah made Uneena a sign with her studio name engraved in wood...we all oohed and ahhed over and then each day after that whenever she came in I'd see another sign for another studio neighbor...all the while Deborah was just honing her skills for the best one!!!! TA DA!!!!!!!

P1060639me in my studio holding my new signP1060634 close upP1060636me and Uneena goofing around

Thank you Deborah!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Slide show of Stanzas...

Seeing one's work hang and in place is just as much a part of the creative process as making the work.  Two thoughts, my small and medium sized pieces definitely could use better support when hanging.  Because of the size I thought having a bottom sleeve for a slat would be overkill; and I desperately need better lighting in the studio!

Red and Cilium are unevenly shaped pieced as intended...but the others, I'd like to see hang flatter.  Not sure if I could have pressed them better after being stored or what...


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My thoughts are quiet these days...

so really not to much new is happening in the studio.  Tomorrow is the last day to see Stanzas: Mixed Media Art Quilts at the Iroquois library branch.  It is my intent to make it back over with the camera tomorrow.  Those of you who are in a constant flux of exhibiting and preparing work to go out, I salute you!  It took quite a lot of focus and energy to get the small exhibit at the library ready.  I had to put aside every thing else to prepare the quilts for hanging/framing.

In all of the above doings, the studio had become a royal mess and I was feeling the emotional need for a complete overhaul, but after putting items back in place,throwing out some stuff, and giving away some stuff, I felt un-burdened again.  

The last 2 days I've spent painting wood signs for sign posts that sit outside in the courtyard intended to let visitors know we're in our studios.  I thought about blinging it out with some fabric but I went for "just get it done and move on".   I hope to be finished with these on Thursday with final coats of poly-acryllic.


I'm reading more these current list:  Joplin's Ghost by Tananarive Due (Kindle for the PC); In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa's Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World by Judith Carney and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff; and The Artist Rule: Nuturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom.  The last thing I do before falling asleep is to grab a poem from Mythium-The Journal of Contemporary Literature and Cultural Voices #3.  


Monday, November 21, 2011

She, Reinvented

She hasn't been sewed down yet...the original She was made in recycled teepee fabric and was lost to eternity shortly thereafter but not before I had scanned this is She, Reinvented.  It about 1.5' x 2'.   Looking for moonlighting Elves (heard they work well in winter) who are willing to work for warm cookies and hot chocolate...tell them to in-box me...

Light and shadow110

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Technically speaking...

winter hasn't started, but I don't give a crap about technicalities once temperatures dip into the low 40s and today starting this afternoon, the temp will fall into the 30s.  For any new readers, I hate winter!

The mixed media artist's panel at the library went off very well.  After a 50 hour week of watching 2 of my grandchildren, I made it on Saturday to the panel with my oldest and dearest friend Mary J.   Organizing artist Makalani was right, for the short 2 hours, it did take the ache out of my body and I enjoyed the poets and the one musician.  It was a great accompaniment to my exhibit.  After everyone had presented we formed a panel for about 30 minutes of discussion where I got to talk about my process of creating and how it relates to poetry.  We wrapped up by taking photos in front of African Delight, the very first quilt I made before I started this visual art journey.  

Karen Peace (isn't that a great name?) hung the show and did a great job (we do have a pretty cool library system here)!  By the time I returned home I had a pretty high temp and called my doc...I avoided a hospital stay but did an er run yesterday morning...turned out to be pleurisy.  I'm home and loopy from pain med...and hungry from the steroid.  Adorable grandchildren are being watched by their Great Aunt and a cousin this week.  

My current goal is to get at least one day in the studio before next Thursday and be there on Friday for the all day F.A.T. Friday Trolley Hop.  We've formed another pop-up exhibit for that day, November 25th.

Here are some photos I snapped of last Saturday..I was trying to wait until others posted some of me included with the other artists.  When those are posted, I'll share as well.  

Makalani prepping to read from his first full length book of poetry, Hellfightin', dedicated to the Harlem Hellfighters.

Poet Jerriod Avant reading to the audience

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Poets, Chris Mattingly and Jeremy Clark

When we walked in, Norbert Blocker, guitarist, was playing.  While listening to the poets I was reminded how economical and portability the art form is compared to the other forms.  


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My love affair with a book

How excited have you ever gotten over the purchase (when you actually walk into a book store and buy it) or arrival (ordered from Amazon or some other online seller) of a new book?  

Months ago I pre-ordered this book:

El Anatsui
          El Anatsui/When I Last Wrote to You About Africa (isn't the cover so damn gorgeous!!!!)

and it arrived yesterday.  After washing my hands and sanitizing them, I flipped through and read passages and looked at some of the art work, but for me to really sit down to read this book, I must first create a ceremony that goes like this...

                I'm home alone, (no human sounds at all).  I'm sitting in the comfy chair, the blinds                 are open and the day is bright.  I'm wearing my favorite frumpy clothes and I'm                 drinking tea or wine depending on the time of day.  One of my journals is close by to                 capture thoughts as I read and meditate on ideas and images.  I'm in no rush to do                 anything...laundry is done, dinner prepared, and I'm not answering the telephone.

Do I need to tell you how often I have days like this?  It will be awhile before I can savor this book...but I feel like the woman in the Kohler commercials who pulls a faucet out of her hand bag and says "design a kitchen around this".  I want a day designed around this book.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Slowing Down...

My seasonal hiatus is going to begin earlier than I want it to.  My goal is to get through my November committments and then coast til Spring.  I did make it to the studio this morning and this will remain on the print table for the season...its the "boats" quilt which I wrote about a few posts back.  Because finishing this quilt will be slow-going due to its size, there will not be much for me to blab about over the next few months.  


Artists interviews will start again in January with the emphasis being artists located at Mellwood.  I'd like the questions to be unique and fun.  If you were being interviewed what is the one question you'd like to be asked?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Checking in

November will be the last month of regular and weekly time in the studio...from December till March/April will be hit and miss.  About 1-2 days a week, maybe 3 some weeks.  Hibernation is my vibe til Spring.  I don't like it but it is a reality of the season that I have to contend with.

Around noon today, my brain finally kicked in and I was able to paint these 5"x7" canvases and mount the last of the Urban Egression postcards.  The exhibit at Iroquois branch library will not go up until after 5 tomorrow.  These will be included.




Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pop-up exhibit

This studio is located just inside the courtyard corridor.  It was recently vacated by a business that did something with the Derby events planning.  Myself and 9 other artists went in to occupy (ummm, interesting choice of words) the space during trolley hop yesterday.  If its not rented we plan to do another 1 day rental for the Friday after Thanksgiving.  The location is much better for foot traffic and we entertained visitors with art, cookies and hot apple cider.  It was fun watching what people gravitated toward since the art is an eclectic mix.  

The ChitlinCircuit1(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Confession...

I am not an artist.  Surprised to hear me say that?  Let me tell you why I'm taking this stance...

Some people I've met, who like myself, have such a deep abiding love for the role of artists in our world that they speak to me as if I've arrived or as if I know intuitively the sacred magic that artists must have that they do not.  

My confession is that visual art is not something I was acclimated from birth...I didn't spend hours locked in my room drawing or looking at pictures as an adolescent, but reading and writing.  It was poetry that liberated my spirit.  My young adulthood was spent philosophizing around the written word and with others who knew the joy and pain of carving out a phrase into syllabic play that was larger than the words on paper.

It wasn't until 2004 that I began this visual journey, although my love of quilting goes back a couple of decades.  What I do is attempt to learn and experiment with the goal that the knowledge will become just as intuitive in my soul as the poetic drive once was.  So I continue to plug and forge ahead because I cannot not do so. This journey is impelling and I don't spend a lot of time asking why it is so because I know to trust the process.   The need to touch cloth and understand colour as a way to explore my personal limitations and sense of freedom drives me to keep trying to be "that artist" and to share and be open about what I've done and am doing with anyone who stands still long enough to listen.  Even if it takes me 'til I'm 99 for the light bulb to be rewired from over my head to in my heart, I will not regret one single day of this journey.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

When keepin' it real goes right!

Its been a busy exciting and overwhelming week so far.  I'm still riding on cloud nine from hearing one of the best journalist of our time...Amy Goodman!


 She was here for the annual ACLU fund-raising dinner and my daughter said Al Sharpton spoke at St. Stephen Church on Sunday...and Julia Butterfly Hill was here yesterday at Bellarmine University.  When I first heard a radio story on Hill when she was still up in Luna, the tree, I was on my way to work and had to pull over to the side of the road because the story, the dedication and the sacrifice, moved me to ball like a baby.  The other time a radio story had this effect on me was listening to Regina Carter cuts from her cd Paganini: After the Dream.  I didn't hear Sharpton or Hill but the fact all 3 dynamos where in the city so close together, puts some jazzy joy in my heart.

I'm going to hang 3 pieces (Cilium 2, Crowbonics: The Scroll, Crowbonics: The Prayer) in a pop-up group exhibit on Friday for trolley hop and then for the month of November I'll have about 8-10 pieces at the Iroquois branch library.  This coincides with the release of poet Makalani Bandele's debut publication, Hellfightin' (Mud Man, my brother, did the cover).  Bandele will be doing a reading at the branch and myself and one other artist will be present to talk about our art forms afterwards.  I don't know the details really, so I'm rolling with the flow for the most part.  

Wishing you peace and joy, beloved...

Friday, October 21, 2011

letting go and moving on

I let go of the November 7th is an annual show and there is always next year...too much had to be done for a new piece to be completed.  However, behind that decision, I pulled out most of my smaller works that I have left and will loan them to the Iroquois Branch Library to hang for the month of November along with some of my cloth.  I have to put sleeves on some, others will go into frames...I also will be in a pop-up show next Friday along with my neighbors at Mellwood.  The pop-up show will be in one of the vacant studios just off the courtyard where a live band will be playing so we're aiming for more visibility.  


Below is the 1st piece I was attempting to complete before November 7.  This one is done with dye paint...I applied wax over the boats yesterday and scrapped both sides with a mixture of jet black, turquoise, and navy.  I have another one that is done with fabric paints which will be the main piece.  This one I'll complete for practice and preparation for the other one.


the fabric on the right was using up the last of the dye and print is stamped with crookedly cut potatoes.

and inspite of me cleaning off the surfaces of my desks earlier in the week, this is how they look now, just a few days later...

The ChitlinCircuit

and thanks to Paradise Videos for filming and EDITING the short clip of me talking about what I do!  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

1 dead line met

and I'm still alive!  I made an accountability agreement with Juanita...I would email her daily photos of what I did each day in the studio in preparations to meet deadlines.  Form Not Function was met just with a smidge of a second to spare.  I spent a couple of hours reducing the size of my images with a finicky internet connection due to network issues (the man believes we have been the victim of malware).  I am slightly worried about the quality of my photos but I did the best I could with the time and equipment I had.  I borrowed a photo tent from Uneena, a studio neighbor at Mellwood and there was a slight learning curve with it and the lightening, etc.

Tomorrow I'll return to working on the boats for a November 7th deadline.  I'd like to be in this exhibit, but the juror has been the same juror for the last six-seven years and I don't know why they keep doing that.  It would help, possibly, if I was a fan of his work but I'm not and the exhibit has gotten predictable.  Textiles have been in previous shows but I was personally embarrassed by the shoddy care in construction and not by any means am I hard to please when it comes to textiles and fiber, since I'm excited by all of it.  But it was my impression that the artist threw it together without much thought or concern but just to have something submitted to the exhibit...and luck had it, that the piece was accepted.

Its that time of year where I start thinking about goals...what I'm pondering is placing myself on a production schedule for smaller work like the 12x6 or 10x10 sizes or either dedicating a month to an entire quilt from start to finish.  This might be too far reaching since winter is coming and I just don't handle the season very well at all.  I tend to pick the Learning Curve curriculum back up during the winter as it keeps me somewhat productive even if I'm not actually bringing anything to completion.

October 28th is the next trolley hop for Mellwood and Frankfort Avenue...myself and other studio neighbors will have a pop-up exhibit for that day.  Come by and do your part to help Louisville stay WEIRD :)  Plus the Canadians have come check it out!



Thursday, October 13, 2011


between this Boats111 or this  Boats112.

Giving myself 2 days to look at them and then will decide.

almost there

Two sides of the facing to sew on and then the sleeve...tomorrow I'll focus on photography and then I'll meet the deadline for Form Not Function.  My next deadline is November 7th, but unlike the piece I'm finishing up, I started a whole new piece for the November 7th deadline.  

I had a brief off-task activity thanks to a short trip into JoAnn's Fabrics.  I was enticed by these liquid beads described as I sampled them yesterday.

DSCN2698 DSCN2697
If you know of any elves looking for work or willing to do charitable work, send them my way!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mail by Snail

I just popped into a blog and saw that the U.S. Post Office released Romare Bearden stamps!!!!   I predict they will sell out!  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Indigo: In Search of the Color that Seduced the World by Catherine E. McKinley

Kweli recommended this book to me by way of Facebook.  Being a fabric designer herself she was really provoked to think deeper about the state of contemporary fabric production of African fabrics and the history behind it.  I downloaded the book to my laptop but I should have trusted her judgement and purchased a hard copy of the book, because now for 14 bucks I have it on my computer but for 3 dollars more I could have had the hard copy and after reading it, I wished I had.   Not realizing my assumption before hand, I thought the book would be an informative straight forward historical read, but it was much more than documents one American woman's obsession with Indigo and the reason she is trying to discover why.  On a Fulbright Scholarship she journeys through West Africa looking for authentic Indigo production and use, but the cloth, not being in vogue compared to its past, is elusive.  Her adventure is told in antedotes which helps the book move ratherly quickly, but there are times I wanted more details of the story and wanted to get to know more about her feelings in relation to the people and places she visited.  But it is the search for Indigo that compels the story and the human relationships and geography take a back drop.

When I get taken with a book like I am with this one, I go off on a google search to find out more about the author and ended up requesting a FB connection only to find out she has a friend here in Louisville who I consider a good art-friend and has visited here before.   So I'm hoping there will be a chance to meet her and hear more of her stories sometime in the distant future.

McKinley's book led me to order In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa's Botanical legacy in the Atlantic World by Judith A. Carney and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff.  I started it last night and I tell ya it starts my mind spinning because I'm wondering if I can create a narrative in cloth around the crows, the faces I've sketched (the old woman who can be seen in older posts below), and my immediate challenge is to get centered and just listen for a bit.


Yesterday I started a do-over, from scratch...hand-painting with fabric and acryllic paint mixed with Golden 900 vs using thickened dye like I used on the first start.  Its fairly large and detailed for me and I just hope I can meet a mid-November deadline for a regional fine art show.


Remember when I said I was in the studio the day after Davis' murder by the state of Georgia and had the intent of doing one thing and then I heard this phrase in my head?  The phrase was, These are the Boats Carrying Us to Heaven.  I decided to put aside my intent and explore what this could mean.  As a result I have over 200 small "boats" to paint with distinct markings on cotton with a working size of 5 feet by 4 feet.  I would like to hand quilt it as the piece has a RAW art vibe on it.  But no way would I make a November deadline if I decide to hand quilt it.  


Also, yesterday, in preparation to attempt meeting another deadline I sent a completed quilt into surgery.  I wasn't happy with one side but did love the I removed the facing and, today will attempt to square it up better.

Tuonane baadaye (See you later in Kiswahili)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Meeting deadlines

okay, I have at least 3 coming in October, one in November, and one in January.  I'm infamous for missing them because I can't work as fast as my head finishes a piece and secondly, because I don't hold to a strong dictate of what I'm going to do when in the studio.  Like last week, I had every intent of picking something back up when I arrived.  The world was feeling different for me the day after Davis' execution.   Also, I was in the middle of reading a enthralling travel book on a woman's journey to West Africa in search of Indigo and it's meaning, Indigo: In Search of the Color that Seduced the World by Catherine E. McKinley.   It was both of these I believe that came to bear on a change of plans.

Now what I had observed about myself that day was I was moving slower and quietly both physically and mentally. Shortly after I arrived at the studio a certain phrase came to me and held me spell bound and I chose to follow it in cloth and ended up starting a whole new piece, and thus far, I'm very pleased with it.  The size is large, for me, and I'm wondering if I can have it ready for one of the looming deadlines...maybe I should change deadline to lifeline...meeting it could mean a whole new life for a piece of art.  

This week I played around with video taping in the studio...I think I need one of those twisty style tripods.  So far my camera man (youngest son) hasn't been convinced of all the exciting things that I do while at Mellwood and hasn't jumped at the chance to film me.   I mean what 20 year man wouldn't want to party like this!?


 dye painted cloth wrapped in newspaper waiting to be steamed

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I believe

that the key to nuturing faith is finding joy and having fun and gratitude...but the flip side of that nuturing is also to recognize pain and wrong when it shows up and shows out and today at 11:08pm the state of Georgia in the U.S. of A. was wrong.

I am Troy Davis.

It was a smoky black indigo day...

Yesterday was a really looonnnnnnngggg day...I was out for over 12 hours straight.  After taking my oldest grandson, Adrian, to his school bus, I kept going and a headed to the studio, (by 1:00 I was ready for a nap and thought about my comfy chair which I miss).  I worked on trying to redeem my bruised ego from last week's disappointments.  I started 3 new cloths and reached the point were I was ready to steam them before going any further.   Here they are wrapped in newspaper with the ones I did last week and forming a sculpture in the window...

DSCN2637 DSCN2635

While I was there Petra called me to remind me of a presentation at The Filson Historical Society that started at 6 which I thought was going to be on Thursday.  My shirt was filled with dye stains. Petra lives close to Mellwood and the presentation was also not far away.  Petra agreed to loan me a shirt to keep me from having to go all the way home.  So I stayed at Mellwood until 5 and headed to the presentation...Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History.  These 3 authors are powerhouses alone in their respective fields and the book represents 15-20 years of research on their individual efforts and 5 years of working on the book collectively.  

After the presentation Petra treated me to dinner at Smoketown USA.  A place I kept promising myself to go to but have never tried, mainly because it is not in a high visibility area.  But the food was good, the joint was crowded for a Tuesday night, and the back room is a yard sale room where you can purchase other people's junk that you don't need.  Cool.  

I'm not sure if I'm going to the studio today...the spirit is willing but the body is weak.  I might just stay home and curl up with my laptop to read a downloaded book, Indigo: In Search of the Color that Seduced the World, by Catherine E. McKinley.  


The Birthday Boy


There is something about turning 3 that looses that baby essence and entering little boyhood.  He is shedding his baby pudginess and sprouting taller and fits less comfortably in Nana's lap...


Dinosaurs are his newest interest.  

We had cake and ice cream on his actual birthday and then Ms. Sharonda threw him a party on Saturday.  


The party crew...cause this is the way we roll!



Thursday, September 15, 2011

I just couldn't make it happen today

I had a lazy vibe and it showed up in my attempts today...nothing was falling like I envisioned it...the best I did was like this colour combination....but the lazy practice resulted in dye spots where I didn't want them...


this view (above) is the cleanest section of the cloth. The next one was an attempt to use up dye I didn't want to throw out...but again, my print table was too saturated and needed changing, so dye spots appear where I didn't want them...


I used a foam cup to stamp...and crazy enough, it wasn't as much fun as using the toilet paper insert...

So after these 2 blahs, I thought I would do an old stand-by technique of writing on fabric...but that didn't go well either...


Of course, all this rigamarolling means I'll be in trying to save them mode for the next few days...maybe I should just put them away and start anew.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I think I know who she will become...


I started this sketch by looking at a photo, but as I continue to flesh her out, she is taking on her own life and although I thought this was just a sketch practice, it came to me today while she was peaking at me through the white cloth drying on the clothes line, that she is to go into a quilt I roughly scribbled last year.  A quilt design I did after perusing through a book of Romare Bearden's work.  We shall see said the blind man...we shall see....

And this is a shout out of thanks to the impromptu artist-visitor, Tommy, who popped into my studio and took the time to share what I consider in-depth pointers to give her more dimension.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hear me and remind me what I said...

about 9 months from now...I'm going to take a leap of faith and get a booth next year for Mellwood's September Art Fair.  There. I said it aloud and wrote it in the blog, so it has to happen!  Last year, being a newbie to Mellwood, it didn't make sense to me to pay for a both and I ended up being thrilled with the visitors and sales.  But the bulk of the crowd is outside and in the event room specifically set-up for the fair.

This weekend was slower than last year's, but overall I still enjoyed it quite a lot.  Any time I get to talk to visitors about what I do in my studio I count it as a great day!  Selling one of my favorite pieces made it superbulous!  Aubergine Apple has found a new home.  The lady came in and knew exactly what she wanted without hesitation.  I was dye painting a piece and had paint all over my hands so I was being cautious not to get it on her or  the piece, but on the inside I was like "wow, she gets me, she really really gets me".


This was Aimee's, (studio mate), first fair.  She was there on Saturday and received a commission from Abraham Lincoln! I kid you not!  He and his wife (Mary Todd Lincoln) go into the schools as impersonators to teach...and he was looking for an artist to illustrate their presentations. Aimee is a history major and her father does similiar historical enactments!  She was the only artist he actually stopped to talk to!  Is that not fate, sychronicity, destiny, or what!!!?!!!!  I love it when life reveals to us that we are suppose to show up exactly when we show up and immediately know why! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Just hanging out doing my thang...

Can you believe it is September already?  If you been with me through that season which I'll not call, you know how it is soooo not me! But enough of that rushing away the days!

Here is the progression of my sketch...

I can only do a little at a time before I start loosing focus.  It was the first thing I attended to yesterday after arriving and after about, oh I'm guessing, 20 minutes, I had to stop because I could'nt think of where to go next.  It is good for me to return with fresh eyes before I continue to draw on it.

I walked through the complex yesterday like I do at least every few weeks or so and met the weaver, Stephanie, and Cathy, another textile person, (that makes 4 new textile tenants all within the month!) who works with repurposing cashmere.  New tenants always brings renewed energy but it is super special and personal for me when they are textile folks :)

Yesterday's time in the studio ended with more toilet paper roll stamping.  


The ozone alert is too high for me today so as much as I want to push it, I'll hangeth back and veg out on movies and reading and making beef and bean enchiladas and mexican rice and salad for dinner today.   And yall enjoy the weekend!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shake dem Bones!


Maybe this is preparing me to go through a Georgia O'Keefe phase.  These are the beautifully unique to me gifts that I was given by Penny Sisto, artist-sistah-friend that she is.  For this city girl, these are like WOW!  


Penny lives in a rural area and picks these up on her walks and people bring them to her as well so she has a growing collection.  Okay, if I was going to pick up items where I live I guess it would be soda and beer cans because that is what people do who live in cities, right?  So not as interesting to me as these beautifully shapped old decaying cow and deer bones.

Adrian, my oldest grandson, said "cool" when he first saw them and Carter, my youngest grandson, said "ewwww, thats nasty"  A studio neighbor asked me what I planned to do with them...honestly, do I have to have a plan?  I don't think so, but I'm thinking about drawing them for awhile...I think Penny said she used a small bone in one of her recent pieces now showing at the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Ind in a solo exhibit...Carnegie is the place that hosts annually Form Not Function.

I did make it into the studio yesterday and although I was productive it wasn't with intent...i finished the discharge.  It was killing me to stamp so orderly so I loosened up...but looking at the outcome, I wish I had forced myself to continue on with the more controlled pattern...ummm, process (right hand) vs outcome (left hand)...which will have priority next time????


That orangish glow is from a back light bouncing off a painting by Aimee, studio mate.

and this is me attempting to sketch directly on and on for about a year or so I've been sketching faces...the seed hasn't developed wildly enough yet that any but I'm getting there...

this is the start...sketching from the photo in the collage below.

A Day at the Fair....

Its not the rides, cotton candy, or deep fried butter...its not the horses, music concerts, or 84,000 ton tomato...for me, its all about the exhibits.  I love seeing what people make, create, and collect throughout the state.

Last Friday, I spent the day browsing and even though I was there for 4 hours I can tell you it wasn't enough time.  When I got to the quilts the first quilt I ran into was from someone I use to be in a guild with.  Willie Pride, she had 2 quilts entered.  She buys all of her material from thrift shops and they are mostly men's shirts...she loves plaids!

another Pride quilt below


Below are some snap shots of things I saw and liked...

aquariums exhibit...just loved the blueness of these fish.

walking/hiking sticks (2 have been stolen)

cake decor

and check out this cake meets political commentary


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antique fine china (it was the yellow cake set that wowed me)

miniature kitchen in cross-stitch!

KY State Fair 2011
for Deb, my sister, you does heirloom sewing

KY State Fair 20111
art from recyclables (you might enlarge this photo to see the music conductor in coat hanger wire)

and art by LAFTA members

KY State Fair 20112

I was completely exhausted when I left there on Friday, so much so, that I was unable to make it to open studio for Trolley Hop.  I slept most of the evening and stayed in most of the weekend and Monday to recuperate...but it was worth it...where else could I see so much diverse creations in a public event under one roof???!!!!

And I made it into the studio yesterday and finally snapped pictures of my special this will be a 2 post blog day! ;)