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 PC...it 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 suspects...one 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.


DSCN2909
dignified 


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.


DSCN2912
story-telling


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!