Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Strip of Fabric is A Line in the Story

The previous post was going to be the last post until late Winter/early Spring....but I want to share and I want this to be apart of my blog.  The last project I completed in the studio was dyeing strips of fabrics for a community art project.  Stephanie Brown is the Educational Coordinator at The Little Loomhouse.  We were studio neighbors at Mellwood for 2 years before she moved her studio over to the Hope Mills Bldg.  Stephanie pulled the partners together to make the collaboration happen.

The strips I dyed are sent to a variety of organizations around town and people write their stories on the strips and returned to the Loom House for cataloging before going to fit a loom set up a Kentucky Musueum of Art and Craft (KMAC).  You can read more about it HERE on KMAC's website..

Please stop by tomorrow and write your story cloth....

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Change is Gonna Come....

I started this blog November 4, 2004.  This was my first entry>>>>>here.  Yesterday I closed down my studio.  Five years.  Five years.  When I first moved in it was with dear dear dear Sistah-friend Estella who provided me the courage to take the leap.  We shared the space for maybe nine months and we called it The Beauty of Holiness.  I flew solo for a few months until I shared the space with another artist, Amy Dingman...then for 3 years I was in the studio by myself and the space (long before) had begun to change into a real working chaotic space and the name changed to The Chitlin' Circuit.

We packed and hauled (shout out to Ade, my youngest son, for being the glue that made it possible to do so much in such a short amount of time).  I have no regrets about closing it down even though I will miss the interaction with fellow artists and visitors.  It hit me when it was over...watching everything that I had packed into the space, not just materially, but seeing all that I had going on, I realized once again how much spirit and Spirit was in it for me.  The tears poured for a few hours. Ade didn't know what to think and Peter as always, was gracious about what he half-way comprehends.  I didn't bother to attempt to articulate.  The flushing was a good thing.

Our goal was to be moved (our living space) by the end of October...that didn't happen...we moved the goal forward to the end of January.  I finished the commission to dye the fabric strips just in the nick of time and everything is in storage. Also, on my way out I stopped by Kore and learned my good friend Bev had sold one of her high-end paintings.  It had been at the gallery since her solo show in May.  Affirmations magnified!

I'm going to spend the season drawing and reading and taking a break from blogging until I set things back up in the Spring.  Until then, Peace, Blessings, Love

Friday, October 3, 2014

Still Here

I had to put thought into how to even write a blog entry.  I'm a month out from this blog's anniversary.  I'll be here even when no one comes...sort like the woman living alone in the woods, but I'm not that nature friendly to be living in the woods...maybe like the woman living in the basement apartment.

Mama, age 85 and her Great Granddaughter, age 4

My creative making has experienced a boat load of interruptions this year.  Considering how it grounds me and centers me, there has been a lot of groping through the light and the dark this year.  I feel it on my skin.  I've done my best to be adaptable, nurture and hold on to faith, and just be without over thinking which I've have a tendency to do...and by God's Grace, I'm standing and holding my own.
view into the studio window

We were anticipating moving by the end of October, which included my studio as well.  So far, nothing has fit our needs.  The plan is (God stop laughing), as I was saying, the plan is for this to be a last move.  So it needs to "fit", otherwise whats the point.  My studio is in disarray and my strong inclination is to let go of household "stuff" and simplify simplify simplify.  But Peter and I cannot see eye to eye on what is or is not "practical".  Like beauty, its all in the eye of the beholder.  But this is the least of my concerns.

An exhibit deadline is fast approaching making me aware of just how little I have completed this year.  I'm not going to meet it. The photos below were taken by Mr. Bud Dorsey, The Urban Photographer here in the city.  This was the opening reception and panel discussion held in September at the Kentucky African American Heritage Center for a group exhibit.  I have 4 pieces in the show.  It is one of the hallmarks for this year.

Still Here by Langston Hughes

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! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Meeting other artistic spirits.

Edus and myself
I was looking forward to meeting and seeing the art by EDUS and made it to the reception yesterday evening with my friend Brittany.  

Edus' work is bright with color and filled with personal narratives and social statements.  The piece that I fell in love with was entitled Life is Like a Bicycle which tells the story of her missing the bus to school and her father taking her on his bicycle.  A very moving story and the piece has a minimal palette in blues and white portraying a face with bicycle wheels for eyes.  A small partial view is to our right in the picture.

There will be another reception next Saturday with live music.  It is at OPEN gallery at 2801 S. Floyd Street right across from UofL's stadium.

Monday, July 28, 2014

literary seeds

for visual ideas.  "...gliding over the unburied." said by Aminata Diallo in reference to sailing over the ocean of drowned Africans of the slave trade in Lawrence Hill's Someone Knows My Name.  The line gave me an instant visual for a quilt and immediately jumped up to outline it in a sketchbook so I wouldn't loose it. There is another visual for a "boats" quilt also.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


I woke up knowing that this piece is indeed a study.  I named it Together We Keep Watch.  but the visual story is incomplete as it stands now and I now know what I need to add.   I work so slowly that I really wanted this piece to be finished, but I will do a 2nd one.

As I see it now, it is about hearts and minds being in sync and of one accord.  If this is about keeping watch over a community, the landscape, being witnesses, then I need to indicate that.

Have a glorious day!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

We Rise, again and again and again and again.....

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.   ---excerpt from Still I Rise By Maya Angelou

Let me just say this blog break was unexpected.  Not to bog the blog down with details, I'll summarize the important stuff, the highlights thus far of the late spring and early summer:  

Mo and I have been 2nd hand shopping for furniture and just short of dumpster diving we've been out nearly every day scouting furniture for her new apartment for a new phase in her life.  (God be with us.) The furniture finds filled my studio and we ventured with her leading the way into painting with chalk paint.  

We'd go at nights to paint so we could  pull the furniture out in the hallway...(and the AC was out in the building, luckily enough, the nights were cooler and somewhat tolerable).  The other furniture pieces are still in storage.  A couple of dressers, a headboard, and a buffet left to go.

Mo's car completely died leaving 4 adults to depend on 1, ONE car (feels really retro, but we've adjusted quite well given the circumstances).  And she is now without a job related to her continued knee issues and asthma.  But being the hard-headed determined woman she is, she is rising.

The hub-man and I decided to house hunt for a rental and after weeks of looking we were 2, TWO, days late given notice to our complex and the best the apartment manager would do was to give us a 3 month lease because missing the date BY TWO days automatically locked us into a year lease.  And we came close to deciding on 1 of the 4 we had viewed...a 3BR, 2BA ranch, wood floors with a basement.  After five years of having a studio at Mellwood, I'm ready to bring it home and am envisioning a basement studio  So you see, looking for another place is the key. But as it stands now, October will be our deadline to move.

Somewhere in the midst of it all, I had 2 bouts with pneumonia but didn't require a hospital stay, but did do time home-bound with rest.  Also, several significant people in my life made their transition and passed on, a good friend who was my best friend in junior high; a neighbor, one of "the mothers" on the block I grew up on; and my God Mother who was my Mother's oldest, dearest friend, Ms Trudie Mae Wickliffe.  She was 98 and in her right mind.  (Thank you God for the blessings)

Ms Trudie and my Mother arrived in Louisville around the same time, sometime in the late 40's and worked at the Brown Hotel together while staying with a cousin of my Mother's who lived by the racetrack whose husband was a horse trainer.  They eventually moved out together and shared apartments sometimes with another friend, Grace.  But it was Ms Trudie, 14 years older than my Mother, who remained a staple in her life and later in my life growing up.  One of the most important affirmations I received from her when I as a young woman who left a marriage after just 1 year...she got me without me having to over-explain or apologize to what appeared as irrational to others.  She later gave her understanding of me wanting to live outside of marriage with my now husband (of the 28 years we've been together, we've only been married this last year).  It may not sound like much now, but back in the 80s, in my family, it was still a dramatic thing to do and cause for too much talk.  

Maya Angelou's passing was a have one so significant in my culturally relevant formative years leave this plane jolted my eyes to open to examine how i'm living and how I've used my talents and re-evaluate how to move forward.  I love this photo of her dancing with poet Amiri Baraka taken by photographer, Chester Higgins dancing on top of Langston Hughes' ashes buried under Rivers: African Cosmogram created by Houston Conwill (a native Louisvillian).  Now, the photo itself says JOY, but when I let all of the above just marinate for a minute or so, that JOY just intensifies and I start laughing out loud!  Living is a beautiful thing!

The last of May ended my time with the co-op gallery.  More of a financial move for me since my lower priced work is depleted and my direction is not to make more right now.  It is what has sold.  I do not want to devote my efforts to "what is selling" right now.  

The piece that had been in Form Not Function 2007, Negotiating Territory, was donated to an auction at Spalding University to help with establishing a scholarship for African American students.  But then a month later, I turn around and miss a deadline for a group exhibit of African American Women Artists at a local gallery.  Even though I have a tinge of regret, I have to believe that all things work toward good in my life and its okay.  

I'm still crocheting, but not as with much gusto since I'm no longer on steroids, and I missed a friend's birthday for which this shawl I have on my hook is for...but there is always Kwanzaa, Christmass, Valentine's Day, or any other day to celebrate just being.

Reading. I've been reading a lot and I simply must tell you about 1 of 2 books by Estella Conwill Majozo (sister to Houston, see above).  First, Sister,  Please, Can You Stand A Little Honesty.  A collection of sermons that Majozo has presented over the last 10 years or so to various faith-based audiences. Each chapter is a offering of faith-based and culturally relevant steps we can take to keep our souls intact and not just as individual women but in a community of women.  I don't know about you, but I require certain thoughts and feelings, as oxygen, that speak to me, my soul, in order to ward off the numbness that grows as a result of stress.  The offerings in the book, helped and will help me to facing forward, nurture the desire to spring high and rise.  I've been carrying the book with me when I go out and re-read parts at night before going to sleep.  The 2nd book I'll talk about in my next blog post.  It also holds personal meaning for me and my family.

And finally to ward off the melancholy that occurs when I'm unable to be in my studio space creating something, I've picked sketching back up...specifically sketching faces.  A face a day is what I'm doing and then I upload to my personal FB page.  

Until next time, peace....

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Because She Can

I'm aware that something is going on with me physically that I cannot quite first I contributed it to the never-ending winter coupled with the extended care of my grandchildren and my mother paired with a couple of bouts with bronchitis. I've not been able to quite snap out of the lethargy and am riding the wave of up and downs.  I'm keeping my docs in the loop and there have been some changes to my meds, but thus far, I feel like I'm still pushing boulders up hill with some spurts of energy and enthusiasm along the way.  I'm happy to say I think my Mother is doing so much better and my daughter's schedule has changed and now I get to go back to be fun loving Nana.  My 4 year old granddaughter called me "boring" 2 days ago.  When I asked her what boring meant she said "its when you don't want to go anywhere".  That was said in reference to me not being ready to leave the bookstore.

Yesterday, my spurt of energy came from a visit from two friends; one, Mary, is walking across the 31 states east of the Mississippi River...she is taking a reprieve here in Louisville.  I will not seize to be amazed that I know someone who is so bold to undertake such a venture!  She started October of last year in Boston and has 19 more states to walk through before she returns home to Boston.  Over lunch I sat asking questions and listening to her tell stories in that Bostonian patois about the people she has met and her experiences.  Mary has a facebook page called Because I Can where you can follow along and read about her positive experiences on the road.

I used the spurt of energy to further progress on #2 in the series of Morrison quilts.  Here is the progress thus far on Fallen Through the Crack (working title) based on The Bluest Eye.

Quilting should begin on this piece sometime next week and the next quilt in line will be based on Tar Baby but I'm still working on composition.  I see 2 shared elements in the first one I did and this one...before I name them I'm going to see if they will continue to show up in the quilts to come.  There will be more encaustic pieces in between.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Captured thoughts...

I received the Kentucky State Fair catalog and while flipping through the sections on Craft/Hobby/Fine Art/Antiques...I realized I could submit in all those categories.  I'm going to aim to submit a crochet shawl/scarf, an encaustic piece(s), and a textile art piece.  I might get it together and submit one of my great grandmother's dresses or the one I have that belonged to my great great grandmother.  I need to do something to keep them better, they are beginning to dry rot  .I've thought about putting them in a quilt, a shadow box or in an airtight vacuum bag.

I picked up 3 more birch panels for encaustics and also 3 small bottles of the Golden High Flow acrylics that I'll use for marbling sometime in the next few months.  I decided that I would only work in one size for encaustics, 8"x8" panel with 3/4" or 1" (can't remember) deep.  Did I mention the Shiva sticks play well with the beeswax?  Everything I create will go on a wall here at home until I decide what to do with them...the same with the Morrison quilts.  Don wanted the one I've completed to hang in the gallery.  That didn't feel right...I'm not about production.  I want a group, a body of art, to make a statement...not a quilt one, hang one, quilt one, hang one, etc.

While painting today the ghostly figure with changling blue eyes...I thought of a woman who I knew back in the 80s who thought she appeared white after she sprinkled herself with white baby powder from head to toe.  She wore wigs that were bone straight or bone straight and blonde.  My contact with her was only a few weeks before she returned to prison for prostitution.  I had not read about Post Traumatic Slave Disorder back then, but now, I see her as having a very extreme and severe mental disorder.  What comes of someone, a woman, who is so disconnected from her own story, truth, mind?  It was the quilt for The Bluest Eye.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Breaking Bad and Cooking

with beeswax and damar resin.

 Starting out with 2 experiments today, working with paper on the first one and cloth on the second one before I launched into working with intent.

Shiva oil sticks plays well and I have one R&F pigment oil stick in pale yellow and a blending stick.  These are the 2 pieces on birch cradle boards which I actually thought about what I wanted to do design wise. The board is on top of a teflon cooking sheet.  The watercolors were used on the cheesecloth as well as the the first layer on top of the board (allowed to dry with help of the heat gun)

Don is also playing with encaustics.  We started out experimenting together in his studio which was fine and went well, but I had to be alone in my own studio to really pay attention to what I was doing and learning and thinking.  I had to own the process in my own space.  What is interesting is how Don, a painter, approaches his experiments compared to how I, based in surface/design/cloth/quilt, approach.  I'll try to remember to get a few snap shots of Don's pieces tomorrow.

I mixed my own beeswax and resin earlier in the week with a imprecise measure of 8:1.  My mixture gave a harder surface (the one in the post below) than the the Jacquard pre-mix (the ones in this post).  I prefer my mix to the touch over the pre-mix.  The pre-mix still feels pliable...maybe a couple of days to cure will change that.  Tomorrow I'll add a pinch of damar resin to the pre-mix.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Waxing it

encaustic experiment #2 with wax, wax pigment, dry paper towels with dye, metallic pigment powder

Did this yesterday.  It is a small piece, guessing around 6"x5".  With this I practiced putting each layer on thinly to  reach a build up.  Putting the layers on thinly gave me more control and more time to think about what I wanted to do.  I'm more interested in using paper/fabric for color and wax for the clear keep this going, I have all the supplies I need for the most part.  The addition would be keeping in beewax/resin and wood supports.  My heat source is for fusing the layers is an embossing heat gun which I already had and I purchased a candy thermometer and melted my wax in a dedicated sauce pan.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I'm So Excited

And I just can't hide it, I'm about to lose control and I think I like it... (disco ball, black lights)....

Michael A built the frame to size and Mike K spray painted the edges with enamel.  Thamks guys! 

This will support We, Together, Keep Watch, 15 7/8ths x 10 1/4th. 

It isn't adhered to the support yet.  Need to investigate which adhesive to use and see what I have on the shelf.

Some questions I am posing to myself about this series are, do I want them the same size; if not, what by way of construction,  technique, or/and imagery will unify them; do I want to do cloth studies for each one. 

I have the cartoon sketch for Song of Solomon complete, but I think to do it the same size will crowd the space (I might do it anyways just to see).  The themes I see in the sketch (and the book) are masculinity, a coming of age/walking the crossroads, vulnerability,  violence, and escape.  I aimed for showing the tension and constant sense of drama in the narrative.

My friend Bev will be here soon...gotta go.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easing into

The studio by finishing up a piece.  I don't know what the working title was but i am naming it Spilling Out.  And I have plans to return tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The adventure in crochet continues

This is my yarn stash hanging on the inside door of a storage closet. My rule is I cannot have more yarn than this will hold.

I am starting my next project today.  It is a shawl with a fine weight.  This will be my first time using such a light weight yarn.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Honey, I Love*

okay, So in my crazy mad crocheting, I thought I was ready for a sophisticated Interweave or Vogue pattern...(never underestimate my delusions)  I'm not quite there yet, but I could create a yarn bomb explosion...on you if you stand still long enough.

Also, I told myself a lie...because I'm going to have a small yarn stash, nothing massive or anything like collecting fabric (although I've noticed this could become competitive between yarn vs. fabric). 

I started another scarf tonight.  This is my 6th project in less than a month.  I'm going to block these made with this fine microfiber yarn just to see what that will do.  What I can gleam so far, there is a debate among the yarn heads, to block or not to block.
wave pattern

window pane pattern

Also, at the moment, as in the last few weeks of moments, I'm leaning toward blowing all the creative goal setting.  I'm going to walk into the ethereal realm creatively speaking and see what I leave behind on the trail of time. 

What I want to do hasn't is the pace in which I will do it that will.  In the slow re-read of Beloved I have been so struck by how LOVE is a force, energy, power, action that it has reminded me and shifted the midst of this is the almost daily care and life with 2 small children (I thought this was all behind me) and the experience with my mother (early dementia) is showing me that at any age, all ages, change is truly inevitable, change that you can sometimes control and change you have no control over at all and at the end of the day none of it matters but that which is in LOVE, that force, energy, power, and action of existence.  This is what I'm choosing.  (remind me down the road lest I forget). 

So I think from here on out on my blog, among the artistic pursuits, I'm going to wax off my tongue and just talk about whatever I'm led to say.

*title is a reference to a poem and book by Eloise Greenfield.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Craftual Healing, Wake up, wake up, wake up*

Winter hasn't driven me mad, but nearly a month away from the studio has turned me into the mad crocheter.   I've been home resting and recuperating from a bit of bronchitis.   I am taking a steroid and it mucks with my sleep, meaning I'm up most of the night and take cat naps during the day.  Sooooo, I had a notion once again to learn to crochet.  I purchased 2 how-to books on the Kindle,  ordered hooks, picked up some yarns and away  down the rabbit hole I went.

This is the start of my 5th project in a week, week and a half.
a spring scarf with light weight cotton yarn on a 4mm hook.
I am a bit compulsive with this...I find with the attention and constant hands in motion, that my thoughts are at rest and listening with intent is improved.  Mostly I'm here at the desk, in front of the computer, listening to a podcast, or the news on TV, or music. (Moth Radio Hour and Democracy Now are the podcast and Valerie June is the songstress).  And it dawned on me while listening to MSNBC why I've decreased following the Mon-Friday evening shows...The shows spend too damn much time keeping me informed of the so-called conservative that they are indeed giving them way much more air time and coverage then they really need.  Don't get me wrong, I believe in knowing what the enemy is up to, but the coverage  doesn't go in depth of what so-called liberals or progressive movements or thoughts actually stand for.  The weekend shows do most of this with round table discussions with various povs by people who are self-respecting, intelligent on subject matter by way of study and/or activism...the weekend news and information is more civil in tone and engages me as if I'm in conversation. 
Before this need to rest began, I did bring the projector home for the purpose of enlarging the Sula inspired quilt on a white vintage table cloth.  But where I put it down, it still sits.  To paraphrase artist Kevin Cole "making good art is about making a series of intelligent decisions".  To enlarge the quilt would require intelligent decisions and a "flow" that I can't muster.  The crochet patterns and the counting, the either it is right or wrong that goes along with it, is a strong branch to make my cocoon right about now.
Peace, *title is reference to what song by which artist?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Day 5

Gallery sitting.  Steady stream of visitors.  In between visitors, this is what I am doing.

Friday, February 28, 2014

We, Together Keep Watch

Michael is making a wood panel frame that this will be permanently attached.  This piece was inspired by Sula by Toni Morrison and is a study for a larger piece that I will start on next week (if the creek don't rise and the winds don't blow). 

I named this small piece (16"x10") We, Together Keep Watch.  It speaks to the friendships and connections of women and knowing ways of some women. 


Friday, February 21, 2014

a scarf for my Beloved.

This will be a scarf for Peter when its complete.
I'm reading Beloved...Sixo is holding my intrigue.  At some point he decides there is no future in speaking English.  And I'm trying to SEE Sixo, a man the color of Indigo with a red tongue, muscular in my mind, moving against the horizon of a September sunset.
Last week I began quilting the Sula study.  I used a variety of thread weights and types.  King Tut looked the best. At some point I considered the overall look with some finer threads sinking into the fabric, coarser threads sitting above the fabric and some laying close to the surface...the visual diversity could perhaps serve as metaphor for the community of inhabitants within the novel.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Woman proposes, God disposes....

This describes Monday and Tuesday of this week.  This week resembles nothing! Nothing! NOTHING!! like I had planned.  Crochet is the prayer I offer through my hands. Teaching Anaya Lift Every Voice and Sing is faith I'm practicing.

Monday, February 10, 2014

No Honeymoon for Uneena, She Has More Jewelry to Create!

The other event that added to the dynamics of my weekend was the Meet the Artist Reception at Kore for member Uneena Jackson.  It was Uneena's first exhibit showcasing jewelry she designed with "love" in mind for wedding parties.  She went all out with a wedding cake and her niece wore a wedding gown and modeled some of the necklaces during the evening and music teacher and student Chris Mudd played the keyboards setting a melodious backdrop. 

Spikes and Pearls Necklace by Uneena Jackson

I was kept pretty busy writing sales receipts and running the square which doesn't like me very much.  I had to keep asking Don or Uneena to run it as it seems to go the first or second time when they do it. 

Her exhibit will last through the end of February.  For the next week I'm certain she will be busy creating new pieces to replace what was sold, so if any Mellwoodians see her around gabbing...send her back to her studio...but I must admit, the woman does create well under pressure! Congrats Uneena!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ohhhh What a Night (hearing The Dells sing that line in my head)

For me it was an intense and busy weekend.  Friday was the day I had been anticipating since December and although I had to push it in the back of my mind in order to handle the day to day with my grandchildren and my mother, it indeed did come and I was ready.

It was the reception for the 20th Annual African American Art Exhibit (with a free catalog) held at Actors Theatre of Louisville each year.  The art/artists is a good mix of Louisville artists and artists across the country with about 4,000 in award monies. 

The receptions at the theatre are always held on First Friday Trolley Hops and right before a play opens its doors, so the attendance is always good.  The art is hung in ground floor and mezzanine lobbies with a jazz band and open bar.  The awards are presented in the atrium of the first floor (which isn't built for sound and hearing in a crowd is difficult).  BUT I did manage to hear my name called for one of the merit awards given.  I didn't know my piece had received that until I got there and saw the ribbon hanging.  The show went up the first week in January and will come down at the end of this week.  I'll return to view the exhibit when there is no foot traffic to hinder really looking.

Here are some of the photos from the night:

 Crowbonics: The Prayer, Jeffery and Susan Callen Merit Award

mezzanine lobby

love and I standing in front of XX, my other quilt in the exhibit.
The advice I received from Kevin Cole, the juror, was to work larger. Advice Juanita gave me years ago.

Mo and Anaya
(Anaya had interpretive dance moves going on with the jazz at the reception)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Keep Swinging

Here it is the first week into February and I've not committed to goals for 2014 for the Chitlin' Circuit Studio. I've ruled out taking any major workshops this year even though Dorothy Caldwell and Jane Dunnewold will be giving workshops here locally.  I know, I know.  How fabulous...but it is not showing up cowrie shells, or tea leaves.

My focus is getting through winter and I must recognize that I'm doing better than previous winters.  My granddaughter is back in the hospital and has been there this time since Monday of last week.  She is 3 and quite spirited and mature for what she is experiencing.  The medical team is quite encouraged by her energy for the pulmonary diagnosis she has.  I'm encouraged and can't wait til she is well.  In March we're, well she, will start ballet.

Back to this goal-setting.  The first quilt study inspired by the novel Sula is prepared for quilting -
the heads have since been painted in.

I'm not sure I will do a study for each one...the next one up is The Bluest Eye.  What I'm hoping for this series is to teach myself to narrow the focus of the techniques I use.  But to recognize my own growth to this point, the idea to do these quilts came to me way back, like in '06 or '07, but didn't feel at that time I had the skill and confidence to go beyond just thinking about it.  I'm now at the point where my confidence is not intimidated by attempting it and I hope to learn something about myself at the end of this year.  My goal is to have 3 or 4 finished.

I will continue with this series as my main focus for "making" but will have other works going on between these quilts.

For my learning curve, my focus is doing Zentangles.  I've been looking at the zentangles and quilt lines of Nysha Nelson for awhile now and thought I've finally get down to trying them myself for the purpose of broadening my free-motion quilting ideas.
this is Day 1, working through the book One Zentangle A Day (6 weeks total)

My reading material will be continuing to read and re-read books on art and marketing to assist with the co-op gallery (current book is New Market for Artists which focuses on online markets) and do 1 day a week for gallery coverage.  I'm also, re-reading the novels of Morrison (Beloved is the current book) and will begin reading through the books that I have from the David Driskell Series (started the one on Keith Morrison last week).

And lastly, in light of missing a recent deadline for a juried exhibit, I want to submit to 4 shows (yet to be identified) this year.

In the words of Hank Aaron, I'm going to "just keep swinging".


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Artist's Statement

3:00am.  I’m reading a book on writing about one’s art and now I’m propelled to write about the series of quilts based on Toni Morrison’s novels.  It hit me some weeks ago while I was sketching the design for Song of Solomon that I had been wrestling with narration of the books (Narrative Quilts is not something I associate with my own work) versus my emotional and cognitive responses to them.  It is the latter that I’m trying to capture; it is the latter that keeps me re-reading her novels. 

By focusing on my emotional and cognitive responses, I will in turn, create more authentic pieces and maintain artistic integrity.  It was a wa-la! moment for me and I could breath.  Why on earth would I attempt a narrative in visual form behind Morrison, the Divine Queen Narrator? 

I have 3 sketches, 1 for The Bluest Eye, 1 for Sula, and 1 for Song of Solomon.  I’ve started on the study for Sula because it is the one that is most rooted in my own emotional imagery.  I’m digging what I’ve done with the other 2, but I’m believing they require something more before I transfer them in cloth.

The book I’m reading is Art-Write: The Writing Guide for Visual Artists. It was the prompt question “How did you make this?” that started my wheels to churning to the point that I rose up and came to the computer to write this post.  The detailed answer to this question would vary depending on each quilt. I love the freedom in creating art quilts; the freedom in the variety of processes to explore. The finished piece is quilt as metaphor and symbol. The quilt as documentation of my living: breathe, thought, soul. 

It took me 45 minutes to write this.  I'm heading back to bead to sleep.  Peace.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sketching to stay warm

Just wanted to pop into my blog to wish everyone that stops by a happiest of new years.  I coasted through December and the year is behind me.  I've been mulling over directions and steps to take in this 2014 but haven't decided on anything. 

My blog break reflects my desire not to keep repeating how much strong STRONG dislike I have of cold weather but since the temps are predicted to drop to 1 degree F with a wind chill of minus 20 degrees F, I need to say it! I hate cold-ass weather!  There, I'm good for the moment.

I don't know when I'll be brave enough to return to the studio.  In the meantime I'm just sketching around.