Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Art therapy...

Slinging dye-paint around today felt so good!  Colour therapy at it's finest!  My only intent was to use up the last of the thickened dye.  I laid a piece of  wet soda-ash soaked cloth down and went at it until the cloth was pretty saturated then  I covered that piece with plastic and laid another piece of wet soda-ash soaked cloth down over the first one and slung dye-paint again. I did this 5 times and will leave them to batch at least til Saturday. 

When I got to the last of the dye-paint, the very last of it...I took a notion and brushed it on thick water colour paper.

Do you think I should roll it in newsprint and steam it? then give it a good rinse and hang to dry? The paper didn't receive any soda-ash but there is some residue of it in the dyes.  I left the paper hanging from the clothes pins like you see here.

I still have some more dye concentrate to use up and I think I'll just do low-water immersion and then get back to sewing for the month of June.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Dead Do Talk

I started hunting around in junk stores/antique stores when I was in college and having a fairly rich personal legacy of family photos that my great grandmother taught me to value, it would pain me to see old photographs in these one left to care for them, treasure them, or wonder about them.  When ever I came across old photos of African Americans I always felt a strong urge to rescue them.  My first encounter with this I've never forgotten.  I was a junior or sophomore in college and found a photo of 5 children, siblings, dated in the 1800's.  These African American children were born 1400 miles in the interior of West Africa.  They were children of African American missionaries.  The picture was 25 dollars which I had just gotten that morning from my mother to purchase a textbook.  I was really really torn.  I walked out of the store saddened but knowing I needed the textbook which I did purchase.  A few days later I had gotten paid and went back to the store only to be told that someone came in a few hours after I did that day and purchased the photo.  Although I've resisted buying most photos because I have wonderful old photos from my own family, that is the one that haunts me to this day. 

So a few days ago I see my favorite junk store posted some old photos on their fb page and I went with the intent of buying some old rusted bells and "looking" at the photo that I wanted...well after I saw it up close I knew she had to come home with me, but Tony, the store owner, was not willing to break up the set.  Everybody wants the Black woman he said but they go together, they were found together and you have to take the set for the full story, so I did.  And it did make sense and although I don't know yet if they will find themselves as part of my textile art or not, I did hang all 3 of them in the studio.  Take a look and overlook the shaky photography...

The one at the bottom has the last name "GRANT" and they were found by a mother and daughter in a family trunk with items over 100 years old.  They had not a clue as to who any of them were or even if they were family at all.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fabrics of the Week

These are the 2 successes thus far...

this one is 2 sides of the same cloth

The Art of Dating

Whew!!! so relieved that my mojo just took a short vacation!  Good actions breed good actions!  This mornring Peter and I headed to the Y (first time we're doing this together, say "ahhhhh"), then we left there and went to see the art work of G.C. Coxe at the Kentucky African American Heritage Museum.  There are only a dozen or so pieces from private collections but I'll be going back several times to study the work before it comes down in August.  It is such an honor to see his work hung together and I believe a first since his death in 1999.  This is my favorite piece, Totem Pole with Little People, (oil on canvas, 49"x64 5/8") because of the transparency and that the geometric figures in black represented "people" for Coxe in the same way the shape in the following photo represents people for me.  It made me feel in excellent company.

Below is the state of the dye session as I left it today...a screen with dried thickened dye and fabrics in reds and greens dye juice in plastic containers.

The other delightful treat was to go see Form Not Function exhibit!  I love every single piece in this year's show, but my vote for Best of Show would have gone to Units 27: Sunburst by Benedicte Caneill and my personal favorites were Letters to Myself-Page 2 by Denise Linet and Soliloquy I by Peggy Brown.  The exhibit doesn't allow photography but there is a catalog that accompanies this exhibit.  Will be making more trips to see this exhibit as well.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Still Here

Today was my first day in the studio this week.  Since I couldn't recall from last week what my train of thought or intent I had for this dye session...I pulled out screens and printed. Me thinks today was my contribution to the slush pile.  I did learn that my thermofax screens need replacing.  Overall, I just could not gain control over the process today.

Fabrics from last week are in the washing machine as I type...hopefully when I dry and iron them, I'll recall what my intent for this round of fabric dyeing and hopefully will regain some sense of direction for tomorrow and Saturday.  I'll leave you with a poem by Langston speaks to how I'm feeling at this moment...

Still Here

been scared and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me,
Sun has baked me,

Looks like between 'em they done
Tried to make me

Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'--
But I don't care!
I'm still here!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Marbled fabrics

The one on the left was taken with a camera phone, the image on the right is truer to colour....same with the 2nd image.  In the 2nd image is how it appeared on the right before I added another layer of marbling as seen on the left.

Colours are more intense then they appear...taken with phone camera.  These might possibly receive additional layers next time I marble.

Monday, May 13, 2013

High Steppin'

The last group of marbled fabrics are in the washing machine and today was devoted to cleaning up the marbling table and preparing to make it a dye table.  Dye concentrates were mixed and before I left today I sat out 2 quarts of print paste so when I return tomorrow I can roll right into it.  I did forget to wash my screens so I'll wait until next week to use them and will primarily stamp and make direct hand marks with the dyes.  I might even put my foot in it (African American colloquialism which translates to doing one's best, topping it off with one's best, taking the extra step, etc)

Mo will have 2 surgeries on her knee Wednesday...she inherited my father's knees, poor thing.  I don't think she has given thought to having/needing to give up her stiletto stomps...or at least the wisdom of doing Mama always said you can wear cheap clothes but you can 't wear cheap shoes.  There is no substitute for a good shoe that supports your entire body and not just look good on you while you're standing still.  But mind you, when I was 23, I too loved my heels but I equally loved my earth shoes and Bass sandals.  At 52 I've totally given up the heels...yet, there is nothing like a solid, new and well worn earth shoe or "earthy" type shoe.  At 18 I was guilty of walking across campus in my my pointy toe stilettos but the more I studied feminism, the more self assured I became in walking (pun intended) away from anything designed to exploit my body in the name of pain.  Mo tries to convince me that today's mile high shoes do not hurt the feet when walking....yeah, if its to the mail box and back.
studio shoes

For the next few weeks, I'm going to suspend the weekly accountability and just "flow" with it.  We'll be pitching in to help Mo and the grand babies anyway we can after her surgery.  My time in the studio will be catch where catch can.

Friday, May 3, 2013

John 14:2

Celebrity sightings all over the city, but I am home after a long productive day.  The thought briefly rolled through my head to go out on Central Avenue (the main entrance for Churchill Downs) and hang a sign around my neck "buy my art" know I heard Langston Hughes sold his books from the trunk of his car at one time in his career.  Gotta love grass roots marketing eh?!  

But with that said, Archeology, (apologies for the poor photography)

is hanging in Churchill Down's new development, "The Mansion".  It can be seen on this video at the 40 second mark and again at a minute and a half in the background.  At the 42-3 second mark, another textile artist, Ramona Lindsey's work can be seen in the background on the right.  The pieces were selected from the walls of Kore Gallery and also included 10 pieces by resident artist Donald Cartwright.  The work will be there for 100 days.  Kudos to Churchill Downs for selecting art by local artists to enhance their space.

Today I was at the top of my game! I was up early before Peter left for work and decided to have him drop me off at the studio.  We are down to 1 car but I am giving praise and feeling grateful because the other car was totaled in a wreck 2 weeks ago and no injuries were reported.  He was coming home from work on a Friday and a mile from home when a young man ran into the back of a van and the van ran into the back of Peter and he had to slam his breaks to keep from ramming the car in front of him.  The young man was speeding and had a baby in the car but at the time of the accident no injuries of all involved were reported and for that our inconvenience is like water off a big deal.

But I was in the studio at 6:45 am, no, make that 6:45 AM!  take a peek at what I did inside my own mansion....





 I will take the above photo and draw some aspect of it 3-5 each week until I feel I can see enough to  begin it on cloth.  This is my first day and what I did was to outline shapes.  From here I'll add looking for changes in value.

I doodled feathers.  I finally have a quilt where I think feather quilting will be enhancing.  I've never quilted feathers other than practice.

And the below images are fabrics that I designed yesterday and today...

It is this last piece that it hit me why I love marbling...not just the process which is fickle but the out achieves the same ethereal appearance that encaustic art has.  I've decided to let the notion of experimenting with encaustics go...(just not prudent) and let the marbling be my encaustics.