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.