Monday, March 28, 2016

What's Going On?

I have been neglecting this blog and neglecting my studio.  I have maintained patience with myself but not I think it is time I openly explore why.  It is not as if I'm given up on "making"...oh no!  I have turned into an obsessed crochet (again) but this time it is even more compelling than in 2014.  When I first started buying yarn way back when, it was with the intent of couching it on my quilts because I love me some visual texture and that process.  I also thought I would use it to machine felt which I haven't done much of.  All my yarn fit into an over the door shoe holder and it has been sufficient...until now.  My favorite yarn to use is lace weight and I love making shawls and am ready to dive into making sweaters which calls for tons and tons of yarn per sweater.  My yarn is just beginning to spill over and I'm having to think about "organization".  I want a full blown stash...I can't afford to do it, but I want one...like a wall of yarn...but I'm in the basement (my dining room does remain empty however) and I wonder if my yarn would me a nice warm spot for spiders.

Have I given up on fabric and mixed media quilting?  Heck no!  Other than the collaborative piece (see a few posts down) I have not done much or really enough to say I'm doing anything at all.  I started making a piece I had done a study of and wanted to enlarge and designed it with fussy cut diamonds on the bottom....when I say they are a PAIN IN MY ASS! to sew, I can't get closer to the truth!  I have about nine put together of a nearly 30 something total.  I've consulted other folks, YouTube, books...it just isn't clicking how to sew them right the first time without getting them uneven...I'm sewing on the bias too! Good lord!  The thought of changing the design has entered my mind, but I can't just now as I still feel it is the right design for the overall quilt.  Soooo, I've done nothing.  Nothing.

I was drawing faces...and I just stopped going downstairs to do it.  My 500 coloured pencils where coming off the wall so I took them all down and not sure where to "organize" them so they are all just thrown in box until I can figure something out.  I didn't want to permanently attach the pencil holders in place so I used double sided tape...they held up for a long while before they began to drop off the wall.  It always happened overnight...so I'd go downstairs the next day and have to find and pick up at least 25 pencils off the floor.  Then my drawer on my drawing desk broke completely off the desk...then looking at the drawer I was getting ideas of how it could be used in an assemblage...that overwhelmed me and I have not been back to the basement since...about 2 weeks ago at least.  And I've already mentioned it was cold even with running space heaters...and the lighting is poor...I have 4 Ott lights, 1 overhead shop light, and 3 spot lights...and the iron doesn't even have to be on to trip the breakers.  I have been thinking I'll do some mono-printing on cloth, but it will be outside.  I wish I could chalk it up to remnant effect of winter leaving me cranky and irritable, and maybe that is some part of my avoidance...who knows....

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I always have at least 2 projects going on the hooks.  I'm on a mission.  No, really...I am on a mission and each piece is an intended gift for someone.  I have a list, a fairly long list that I want to tackle so I can go on to make pieces for myself.  I wake up to crochet and before I know it the day has filled itself with hooks and yarns.  If I can't sleep in the middle of the night, I crochet.  I mentally project if I'm going to begin to create my own patterns; sometimes I ask the question of how can crochet and quilting be married; I'm considering getting customized labels for my finished projects; I wonder if I should make enough items to set up booths at local craft shows; and then I tell myself, "lets keep this purely a hobby".   If you're on Ravelry, I'm Karoda2, look me up!

My next several posts will probably involve continued exploration of why I'm avoiding my studio.  Feel free to share your own issues with studio avoidance and how you resolved it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

2nd Biennial Exhibit of African American Women Artist, 2016

Me at opening night at the 2nd Biennial Exhibit of African American Women Artist.  I"m standing by one of the two pieces I have in the show.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Collaboration and Co-signing

I've read articles about women who began their artistic life past their 40s, 50s, and well into the Crone years.  Although I began way before those decades of my age, I am thinking over how my creative life has changed and wondering if it's post-cancer, over 55, or living with illnesses or some combination of all three.

Unlike some cancer patients, I couldn't engage in my own artistic endeavors and once again found crochet, following patterns created by others, as a way of staying calm and relaxed.  My own art is on-going decisions and questions and physically engages my whole body and being.  I gave myself a pass last year and was alright with that....but kinda imagined myself going gung-ho (I wonder where that term originated from) in my basement studio.  My days creating remain hit and miss as the basement is colder than I anticipated, even with a heater, and the lighting, even with supplements,  is sub-standard.  But I've been getting a little something done and thankful for an opportunity of a collaboration, I completed my first art quilt of 2016.  

THE COLLABORATION 

This collaboration really highlights the beauty of the internet and social media.  Some years ago I was interested in doing a group art project with a few girlfriends and was looking for short term art retreat spaces and contacted the owner of A.I.R. Studio Paducah.  The retreat didn't pan out but he became a reader of this blog and we became friends on Facebook.  Hi Alonzo Davis!  He was invited to create a piece with The Smith Center for Healing and the Arts...a Center he was familiar with...after we had a phone convo and looking over the call for the exhibit we knew this was something we could create as a team instead of the invited artist interviewing someone and then creating a piece based on the interview.  The medium that all the artists were given to work with was a wooden cigar type box.   Alonzo had the outside and I did the inside.


My process was first to flip through my sketchbooks.  I found this image based on a poem I wrote in the late 90s or early 2000s and the poem was based on an African folktale I read back in the 80s. Getting in my groove, I adapted the sketch several times, played with different ways to transfer the image onto cloth....
and the weather was unseasonably warm during this time too!  

The poem and the drawing illustrate the ability to change, adapt, camouflage if necessary for survival and growth ...my great-grandmother would say "if you don't change, life will sho' change you" and this was always co-signed by my grandmother and my mother.  My very good sistah-friend, Estella Majozo, use to say in reference to writing (and life) "it's all process, all process"  Living with chronic illness and then coming out of cancer has me co-signing with "Lord, yes!" to both of them.

After I mailed my small 8 in square piece to Alonzo and he mailed me back the photos of the finished piece, all I could think to say was I want to buy it now..:)




It was a beautiful experience with a beautiful outcome.

If you live in the D.C area, you should consider attending the opening and acquiring this piece....it is the only one that was the collaboration of work by two artists!