Friday, December 20, 2013

More Piddlin' Around

I should have my ass in that chair running that sewing machine.  I just woke up from a nap and have flipped through a couple of books, did a sketch assignment from the book Spirit Taking Form on drawing my dream studio.  It is a round clay building with a patio looking out over a busy city street. On the patio is a longe chair and a table.  Flower pots, probably with silk flowers whispered the plant murderer,  are around the door. The door is a heavy wood door imported from Nigeria and has carvings that tell the story of the poet-art quilter peasant woman.

I dabbled in my journal and pinned face to the design wall which was the outcome of yesterday's piddlin'.  It can be seen on my Facebook studio page.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Wall of inspiration

The small amount of time in the studio has been spent sitting in my comfy chair and staring off into space and feeling content.






Monday, December 2, 2013

Knowing Myself, Showing Myself

Watching the clock, but can't even tell the time...so the song lyric goes.  Let me hit the repeat button..."I hate (Mama always warned us of using the h-word) do not like winter".  Such a cruel trick of fate, I say, that my geography even includes below freezing temperatures.

As always, December finds me slowing down from any activities in the studio.  I've been reflecting on the year.

This is what I wrote in February:

Joining The Kore Gallery at the end of January necessitates a do-over for 2013 goals.

The Kore Gallery:
  • Keep a minimum of 5 pieces in the gallery
  • Take gallery photos bi-weekly
  • Maintain FB page
  • Develop website

The Chitlin' Circuit Studio:
--> Complete Access to Market (A2M )
          Business Plan
          Personal Website
--> Complete 10 new pieces
          2 Crowbonics
          2 portraiture
          2 Graffiti quilts
          2 inspired by Toni Morrison novels (Bluest Eye, Sula)
          2 Boat
--> Complete 20 small pieces
--> Maintain spread sheets on time, expenses, sales, etc.
--> Submit to 4 shows
--> 2 Outreach art activities
--> Continue Learning Curve (working through books/online workshops)


Most of my creative time was spent on surface design.  I completed about 20 or so small pieces, most of them where the Mojo paper quilts, most of which have found new homes and where purchased from the co-op gallery.  XX and The Mid-wife were the only larger size quilts I completed. I have two others on the design wall that are near completion but they do not fall into the category of quilts I outlined in my goals.

the A2M program was completed.  I do not have a business plan and will not create one.  After immersing myself in art/business lit for the year, I'm coming away with some tips on promoting and organization, only to conclude I'm serious and passionate about creating but "business" is not what I'm doing.  I am not trying to make a profit. I want to sell my art to buy more art supplies and share what I create with others.  I do not want to run workshops, but am happy to have others come to my studio to explore technique and talk art and life.  End of story.

The co-op gallery fits the bill for me...it is a partnership, it provides the space to show and sell what I create. It is flexible...just reduced my gallery sitting from 12 hours a week to 6.  And it doesn't come with the weight of being self-employed.

Getting back to my goals...I have 2 sketches for the Morrison quilts.  I created the website for the gallery and have my own near ready.  I used WIX.com.  I kept the spreadsheets for a quarter of the year until the laptop I used went belly up.  Learning Curve was hit and miss...not structured that way that I'd like to maximize benefits.

Submission was to 2 shows...with 1 acceptance for next year...The 20th Annual African American Art Exhibit at Actors Theatre of Louisville...both XX and Crowbonics: The Prayer will hang and there will be a purchase catalog created.

And for closing here is the outcome of the fabric shown in the previous post.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Breakdown printing

Carter, GS, has learned to do the duck dance from school and is very entertained by it as i am watching him while I dadadadada the music to it.  We told Papa to watch and learn.  I put him on the bus this morning and slid into the studio where I am piddling as a form of self care. 
I have some dried screens, very old dyes, and some print paste going bad so I am seeing what sticks with Breakdown Screen Printing. 

I don't expect much from this but while doing it I kept wanting that ethereal appearance like with encaustic paintings. It is sopping wet in this picture and with the materials being old the depth of color will be no way near this.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cold weather, foggy mind...

My time in the studio as already slowed down due to cooler to down right cold temps.  A month earlier than what I expected.  This year has been a good year thus far.  (no hospital stays! yeah babee!)

My goals have been a guiding force for the year and I've held to them even though I didn't achieve everything I set out to do.  I move slow but steady.  I know at least one thing I need to let go of for next year....being a office holder in the artists' group at Mellwood.  Artists are hustling trying to make art and hold jobs and attend to family and health and studio turn over is too frequent to keep momentum going on projects.

This was a year I immersed myself in reading marketing books geared at artists.  I kept thinking I was missing something in the Access2Market program with its emphasis on wholesaling.  Two or three of the books I've read take a tone of slight arrogance and too expert-y which comes across to me as a 'hustling books mentality instead of living what is written about'. 

The exception, the one that reads like real talk, is The Artist's Guide by Jackie Battenfield.  I don't regret reading the other books which I'll not name.  I seem to constantly need the affirmation that I do not want to be a "business" in the strictest sense of the term, yet I'm serious (as defined by absorbed) with creating with cloth and I'm joy-filled when someone even inquires about my art and when someone purchases a piece I really can't feel my feet on the ground!
Kore Art Gallery
 

Most of what I do for the co-op is online and my winter hours will reduce my gallery sitting to 4-5 hours each week and about 8-10 hours in the studio...maybe 15 in a good week.  My body started to rebel a few weeks ago.

My major focus for next year will be the Novel quilts...at least starting the first one and possibly continuing with a smaller series like the Poetry quilts or paper quilts.  I'd like to take on 2 or 3 workbooks...but I always fall off the wagon about 1/4 of the way into the year.  My real challenge is not to fall into the rabbit hole of surface design.

I returned to the book Spirit Taking Form tonight.  Need to slow the train in my mind and find artistic clarity.

Peace,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Warming up

This is a practice study for free motion quilting for the lungs and heart. 

Human anatomy

In stitch, a heart and lungs.  I am reconsidering hand stitching the outline of these innards and then sketching arteries and such with machine thread.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Love the cloth?

Yes, she said.  Then you must not despise the iron, said the peasant-woman to her post pubescent girl-self.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Gone quilting

It took me a few hours of piddlin' and conversatin' with friends and a lunch break, but this is how quilting gets done.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

For filling small...

amounts of time and for settling the mind down from over-thinking and relaxing the breath, slow cloth is good medicine

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Good kind of heebie jeebies.

I am wanting to undertake a project that causes me to get the heebie jeebies when I think about it.  I've pondered it for some time as in years and actually did a preliminary sketch for the first one. 

I want to make a series of quilts inspired and based on the novels of Toni Morrison!   Similiar to how August Wilson wrote a  play for each decade of the 20th century.

The presence of me talking out loud here on my blog translates to me becoming more obsessed about it.

What frightens me is how large I envision each quilt...it would mean working with larger than comfortable size quilts and risk completing a top only to mess it up in the quilting.  I could hand quilt or have a long armer take that on but I think the stitching is too important for this project considering I don't know a long armer who shares a twin mind with me.

If I took it on, it would be a soul/sole devotion and leave little room for little else inside my studio. 

Another question I posed to myself was 'would all the quilts gave to be the same in process'; all applique, painted, image transfers, combination, half the series one process, the other half another process.

One thing I do know for sure is if it has haunted me thid long, I probably need to at least start on the first one.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Studio night

This piece which started out with the title "double minded" is morphing, quite unexpectedly,  into "mirrors at the funhouse" where how easily I laugh at being creeped out by my image being distorted. 

Don't have much to say beyond that...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Studio morning

I'm sitting here drinking a cup of McD's coffee and flipping through a sketchbook. I don't recall referencing this sketch for The Midwife, but I think it would make a solid companion to it. She would be The Nuturer.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Thinking stuff over...

Here I am facing the last quarter of the year...assessing my goals and monitoring my body's responses to the change in the season.

I went back to look at my goals for 2013 here.   Where I need to gain strength is completion of quilts, especially the ones for series.  Also, I need to have more defined limits about experimenting...when to start and stop.  The dyeing, marbling, breakdown printing, took over much of the summer months.  It was a journey to get back to quilting which the Mojo series (my paper quilts) was the boat that carried me. 

After going through the Artist2Market program (1 more session left), I am affirmed that wholesaling is not for me!  It doesn't fit into my already given responsibilities or ambitions and dreams.  Being in the co-op  this year has been good for selling my small pieces.  Seeing my larger pieces hanging has helped me identify technical areas I need to address.  I put a lot of time into the Sunflower quilt and because I didn't have a large enough table to properly square it up, it hangs badly.  Also, I'm going to consider metal bars for hanging instead of the plexi-glass or wood slats.

In answering the question of my idea of a successful artist, I think, I'm not an un-successful artist.  I put the time in, the time is about process, other than what I referenced above, it is all good.  Joining the co-op gives my art a place to be when it is complete and that was a goal.  Where I need improvement is submitting to other juried exhibits across the country.  My ultimate is to have a piece in Quilt National or Quilt Visions, but I'm not focused enough yet and am not ready to force that focus. Summing up my idea of a successful artist it would be, "Create, Hang, Submit".

I love love love it when my pieces are purchased and commented on by art lovers...it sends my spirit flying.  Art lovers who purchase and comment get me through the periods of  "why bother".  But I don't have them that often and they have been short lived because I turn my ear back to the first part of the mantra in "Create, Hang, Submit" and that is my healing balm.

2013 has been filled with adjusting to the co-op gallery and being an office holder in the 501(c)3 organization formed by the tenants and artists at Mellwood called AiMave (Artists' Initiative of Mellwood Avenue).  The goal of this group is to pull together our resources for positive marketing, ideas, and events.  The leasing agent and owner are often associated with negative publicity which makes our tasks necessary as we are all there for the same reason, affordability.  I didn't foresee this at the beginning of the year and I think it will be my last year as secretary.  The goal is to write grants to support the artists and involve us in community outreach. 

When I look at the full circle of my life and what I'm responsible for on a daily basis, being a professional artist isn't in the cards for me.  I'm serious about what I do and how often but I think the lack of appeal to embrace my art as a business that I want to depend on to bring in an x amount of $ each month brings that feeling of a size 20 trying to fit into a size 8 dress.  Creating, whether writing or visual has always been about inhabiting a spiritual realm where I can listen to myself feel and think, where I can honor God's presence in my life. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Twerking in the studio

You know, twerking was a word I had never heard until it made the news with Billy Ray Cyrus' daughter doing the dance on tv some weeks ago. The topic was coming up on so many news feeds that I you-tubed it. I was traumatized. On soooo many levels it was horrid. I hope the child gets help.
 
But enough, I am doing an emotional twerk in the studio. I was here yesterday and did NOTHING. Today, I am quilting.
 
This is Double-minded.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Growth

We really had a fabulous time over the weekend.   Wish we had more weekends like this 3-4 times every year.  The crowd was great for the September Art Fair and Kore Art Gallery did a trial run in the expanded space.   We are growing from our 4 members to eventually 15 or 16.  It is both scary and exciting and one of those take the leap and learn to fly on your way down moments. 

By us being a new gallery we are looking for members who can offer commitment, enthusiasm for challenges and who are willing to do grass roots marketing and decision-making as a part of a team.  So far the new members have been guests artists prior to joining and who have dedicated studio practice.  If you're interested or know someone who might be, they can email koregallery at gmail dot com or read info at the website, www.koreartgallery.com .

David Wolff, JiSun Mudd, Me

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wall of fabrics

This is what you'll see if you walk by my studio window. Fabrics waiting to get it on with other fabrics and threads.

When I arrived, a local morning news show was here interviewing artists who will be set up at the art fair here this weekend. Justin and Nathan, owners of Baz and Bea boutique were among the artists. Their place is inside Mellwood but they will also have a booth.  They also work with dyes and love to experiment and we can get going on some real talk (my love for slang is showing up) about dyes.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September Art Fair at Mellwood


Looking back over August.

The exhibits at our state fair do rock!  I know Dennis Shaffner and the troupe of volunteers deserve much kudos for putting it together year in and year out!  Thanks Dennis!

Here are some of the pieces that struck my fancy...

3 cakes



tie quilt made by the daughter of the man who hired Peter at his company 20 years ago.  The man is now retired and these were his ties.

vintage dress
 
altered phone in the floral arrangement exhibit
 
children's art
 
sorry for the poor photo, but his is a batik print by LAFTA member Judy Banks!
 
 what do you do with your garbage? 
 
this is a fountain made from dishes and a sink! 

 
another piece by Judy Banks that is also an award winner!

 
high school sculpture from cardboard!
 
ghostly elegant art!

 
this might have been a high school student art. the layering is beautiful as well as the urban feel and calm of the human figure


I'm still sketching America Shannon. 

 


and the prayer wheels have received blue...

I really love this picture of Anaya and I.  Thinking about putting it on a canvas frame via a photo service.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Can't sleep

So I took to sketching again...things on my mind, starring at the clock, can't even, I say I can't even tell the tiiime...

Monday, August 19, 2013

always questioning, always searching, but still trying to do...

The theory goes that drawing everyday will improve skill level, right?  Well here is today's rendition of America. 

I always see what I need to work on (proportion, light source, etc.) but can't quite get the eye-hand-mind coordination in sync.  On this particular one, there is improvement on the mouth and the brows and brow bone.  When I put this on fabric I want to mimic the old photograph.  I will cloth her the way I did The Midwife. 

I'm also working on a cartoon sketch for a quilt to represent The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.  And another quilt sketch is forming in my head on the food of my childhood.  And I'm asking myself what is the bend toward narrative and metaphoric work versus abstracted metaphors.  And I think it is okay since I'm not a "branded" artist. 

Can I just say how problematic that word is for me..."branded". It gives me the heebie jeebies. It is on my radar because I'm reading a concentration of books/articles about the "business" side of art.  The language of capitalism is burdensome.  The history at this juncture in time is burdensome and doesn't offer a sense of freedom and liberation and well being I want for myself and those who are interested in my art and those who step forth to purchase it as well.  Just sign me "still in search of transcendence"

Friday, August 16, 2013

Showing up...

I showed up today...prepped a few silk screens, was on duty at Kore snd painted yesterday doodle. It kept my hands going while I pondered life over.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August's N*a*k*e*d L*a*d*i*e*s

You know it is August when you see these lovelies!


I just absolutely am intrigued with these flowers!  Although this year they were not as plentiful around town as I've seen in previous years.  A couple of summers ago I planted some that were given to me in my mother's back yard.  They did not come up the following year and she has since moved into her apartment and I find myself each August since wondering if they are up.  The flowers come up over night the end of July, the first week of August and enjoy about 2 weeks of glory before they wilt and fade from the landscape. 

This week in the studio I've been listless.  Those thickened dyes  I was worried about still sit in the fridge...it felt like too much effort, I couldn't even muster interest in my Mojo paper quilts which was the creative life line that got me going last time and the few days in Yellow Springs revved me up the last 2 weeks, but this week, blah.

I attempted to just push the feeling aside and at least do something! So I drew another sketch of America Shannon using crosshatch and made some doodles (see here) that I'll paint with opaque paints tomorrow should the blah-ness continue. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

My first mobile post

Downloaded a blogger app because my life is so thrilling I need to blog on the go...zzzzzzzzz....oh sorry, I fell asleep between my exciting adventures. 

No, seriously, I am riding shotgun with my daughter, 2 silly acting grandkids and a fast talking great niece who can switch topics fastet than superman can fly.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Loving Life...

The months June and July 2013 will go down in my personal history as an emotional smorgasbord.  I already referenced June in the post about my cousin visiting and selling 2 pieces of art.  (a couple of posts below) 

With my Mother, children and grandchildren, we visited my father's gravesite on the 3rd anniversary of his death.  For me, it was my first visit.  So many thoughts were tied into the visit...looking at a headstone with my Mother's name on it even though she is still with us while being present with my children and grandchildren made me think of hope and dreams, dreams materialized, un-materialized, and dreams on the way of becoming.

Then there was the verdict.  The verdict.  The verdict.  It sits in the stomach. 

The end of the month we took a day trip to the Children's Museum in Indy.  Seven of us, four generations riding in a van. 
Indianapolis Children's Museum

I also married my Partner of 27 years!  I couldn't have done this 25, 20, or even 15 years ago due to my perspective on marriage as an institution combined with my own hypocrisy I experienced from my first marriage at the age of 20.  I think somewhere I read, heard Ms Maya Angelou say, a woman isn't fully grown until she is at least 40.  The last 13 years has been an opening of clarity about what love is and isn't for me.  This was the year the conversation changed for us both...instead of "we'll get around to it" it turned into "let us do this and do it now".  And although I can't name it now, it does feel like we're seeing with new eyes and wearing new skin since we jumped over the broom.

We took a brief getaway to Yellow Springs, Ohio with stops in Athens to see Quilt National 13 and Cincy to Saint Theresa's Textile Trove inside Pendleton Art Center and Krohn's Conservatory, and to the Air Force Museum in Dayton.  The breath of fresh air had me itching to return to my studio. 
National Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio

Krohn's Conservatory in Cincinnati, Ohio
Studio work July/August 2013