Saturday, March 23, 2013

Niddly Piddly and Willy Nilly, The Crazy Days of March

How has your March been?  Quite a few folks in my immediate surroundings have had crazy making days back to back to back, including myself. I have 1 week left to be out of the old studio which is for the most part empty except I need to pick up niddly piddly type stuff and sweep the floor.  The new space is crammed with boxes and today me and my men went to the storage unit to unload even more boxes which came to almost 1/2 of a nearly full 5'x15' unit.  It felt good though to see my fabrics which I haven't seen in nearly 2 years...and my art books as well.  For the rest, I'm done being the keeper of stuff out of sentimentality.  However, realizing that everything has value, I do not want to dispose of things willy nilly but would love for them to move on to another place of appreciation.  I need to exercise patience with the belief that the destiny of old stuff will find it's new place.

I did take time out to attend LAFTA on Thursday as I was needing the uplift the meetings provide.  Sarah Fredericks did a presentation of her handmade papers and books along with other book/paper makers...ooooo and ahhhhh.  Our grab bag had loads of wonderful fabrics from a woman who retired from making custom purses and a designer who donated sample books...I got some really good quality fabric!  But the exceptionally great affirmation for me was finding Sunshine Joe at the meeting.  All the while when my children, all 3 of them, ages 22-32, were in elementary school, they were exposed to the art embroidery of Sunshine Joe.  I had not thought about him much at all since then, but in the last 10 years of me being on this journey of visual art with textiles, he crosses my mind at times, especially when I am hand embroidering.  He is from Mississippi and tells the story that he became enamored with stitching at the hand of his great great grandmother who had been enslaved.  Sunshine Joe is much older than his youthful appearance suggests.   It was a jolt to hear someone in 2013 having contact with a person who was born in slavery.  But in thinking it over, I am 52 and knew my great great grandmother who had been born shortly after Emancipation.  

The quilt he shared at the meeting was 4 years in the making and documents news events.  The base of the quilt is made up of neckties.  The other gentleman in the picture is Robert Hartley who is known for color all the time everywhere all day long...this was a black and white challenge he participated in.


  1. Beautiful work. I like the one with what I think are random thoughts. I am learning about quilts as a art medium in a new way, that I have never seen before.

    1. Letting go of the notion of "quilt" as a bed covering opens up extended defintions that can only be limited by the perspective of artist in conjunction with the viewer! I'd love to have you in my studio to see part of my processes.

  2. Ohh I love that piece by Sunshine Joe, what a treasure. I thought the black and white was great with the little bit of color around it, like he couldn't stand not to have some color added!