Thursday, June 29, 2006

thanks

To all of you who left me messages - you have NO idea what your words mean to me. I know so many of us have been there/done that, so thanks for the support! Deb - I have been following the travails of your Auntie E and the move and I am so glad it's working out. And LizzieB - I know what you're going through. So, a public big hug to all of you. On a more cheerful note, I plan to go to the Norton Museum this weekend to see the Front Range Comtemporary Quilters traveling exhibit. Will report back.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

hope springs eternal

I took this picture yesterday, after a rainstorm in which I could not see the white lines on the road. The deluge hit as my brother and I brought my mother back to her apartment in West Palm from the rehab place. Without going into details, suffice it to say I need to be reminded that SOME stormy periods have rainbows at the end. My sister-in-law and two kids are stuck in a motel in Monticello, NY in the tsunami that has hit Pennsylvania/NY state - en route to taking my niece to camp. It is a disaster area and they got the last motel room in the area. My brother Jon and I are trying to keep our senses of humor. My mother has lost hers.

Antidote to aggro: art. I set up a bridge table late this afternoon on my mother's porch - and tomorrow, I hope to get some fabric printing done. Hope - not expectation. But we shall see. I do not have a wireless signal here and am using my husband's dial-up AOL account. We never use AOL but keep it as an emergency backup. Thank goodness. I will try to check in periodically, and if there is anything art-related, I will let you know. I want to go home.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

more Asheville

No visit to a city is complete unless I check out the local version of my favorite store. Sadly, I found nothing to buy. I should say that the ladies' room in the bookstore (graffiti in last post) provides piles of colored chalk so that people can write. The place is covered in it, and none of it is nasty. We went into the bookstore for coffee and I could have spent ages there, among the shelves. The best gallery was a place called Ariel. Their website doesn't begin to show the beautiful, beautiful work that is there. The Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a showplace for high-end crafts made by members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. A must-see if you are in Asheville. My hostess Rita works there, so I was lucky enough to visit the place twice. AND - let's not forget a visit to the famous Earth Guild, at left, mecca for crafts supplies of all sorts. www.earthguild.com but their website seems to be down. Color and texture everywhere. Looms, basket supplies, dyes, paints, you name it. Yummy. And Ellen was able to find Golden's GAC 900 there so she could use her acrylic paints on fabric without changing the hand. Gee, I almost forgot to mention the workshop. Everybody had such a good time that they have invited me back. So if you were on the waiting list, you'll have another chance in 2008.

Meantime, I need to have my morning coffee and continute unpacking/re-packing for my next trip to spend 2 weeks in West Palm Beach. Need to bring a ton of supplies so I can work while I am there.

Friday, June 23, 2006

downtown Asheville

Is this art-related? You BET! The day I arrived in Asheville, my hostess (or is it "host" these days?) took me shopping. First stop, a warehouse the size of New Jersey that houses the Habitat for Humanity thrift shop - although that's not what they call it, exactly. Lots of STUFF - but not what I was looking for. In one of the antique malls, however, I did find a photo and a page of handwriting from 1911 that were just the ticket! Then, there was downtown Asheville. I didn't get pix of all the interesting people, but oh well - this will give you the idea. I was sort of embarrassed to take a picture of this guy (on the left) but my friend Ellen said that if he looked like that, he deserved to have his picture taken. Sixties redux - a whole era that I missed because I was married in '63 and was supposed to be a groan-up. I am so sad that I never got to be the person I really am when it counted. Moving right along... Remember Woolworth's? Downtown Asheville kept the sign and the lunch counter and made the rest of the building into gallery spaces for artists. What a delight! Ellen Levine and I had a wonderful time wandering in and out of all the booths and I bought a beautiful basket woven from copper and brass and whatever-else-metal strips that I didn't actually NEED - but am happy I now own. The artist, a young woman who just graduated from college, does some amazing work with wire and I was happy to give her a boost because I really love this piece.

The artist literally skipped to the register when I came to the counter to buy it. I also told her she should raise her prices. Downtown Asheville also has other assets. The bookstore's ladies' room is a feast for the eyes - LOL. Baskets of chalk so that people can write graffiti to their hearts' content. I could not resist taking a picture of this civilized ladies' room. What a great idea! Such high-class graffiti.

Oh, time warp. I figure that it is better to post something than nothing, so I will continue tomorrow. Tonight was our 24th anniversary and we went out to a lovely dinner. I am still recuperating from my week away and getting ready to leave on Tuesday for Fla. -- so I shall turn in early for a change. To be continued.xxx

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

still here

But I don't have a way to upload my photos because I don't have wireless access and am using my host's computer. Last night was my lecture at the guild and a good time was had by all. Today, I'm off to teach the workshop and tomorrow is a recreation day. I suspect you'll have to wait for photos till I get home.

Monday, June 19, 2006

hey from Asheville

I was amazed to find that it is actually hotter and more humid in West Orange, NJ than in Asheville, NC. Gee - and I left almost all my long-sleeved shirts at home. No pix to upload tonight, but I'll try to get some tomorrow when I am feeling more lively. The Blue Ridge mountains are - uh - blue. Very nice. I'm staying in a gorgeous place up in the mountains and there are bears (although none today) and other animals around. Tomorrow, we will do some antique malls and galleries and tomorrow night I will meet the guild. I've been up since 5:30 a.m. so it's time to call it a day.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

oh my goodness

Is it already Sunday night??? I am nearly packed to leave tomorrow morning for Asheville. This afternoon, as I was packing supplies, I suddenly decided to experiment a bit with my new syringes, which are slightly smaller than the ones I normally use. Hmmm...they are a bit different and take some getting used to. However, in last-minute mode, I printed a few new fabric samples to take to this traditional guild,which I think is having its first surface design workshop. So I went to work with some found objects, textile paint, and a spray bottle full of water. The pieces below are more cheerful, but I suspect the cloth above will fit better into one of my more muted pieces. We spent Father's Day with Marty's sons, our daughters-in-law and grandkids and it was a lovely afternoon and evening. Now, however, I need to finish packing and make sure I have all the phone numbers I will need while I am there. I will be coming home from NC and leaving a few days later for Florida -- a two weeks I am not looking forward to. But that's another story for another day. I hope to post Asheville pix while I am there. Yikes! Leaving at the crack of dawn for the airport.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

the mysteries of discharge

Last weekend I worked with discharge for two days: not nearly enough time to explore the vagaries of this process. The people who took the five-day class had more time to play around with both bleach and thiox (not simultaneously, of course) and discover what worked and what didn't. It is simply amazing how different the same fabric looks when discharged in bleach vs thiox or discharge paste. You never know what is under the black and how it will look when you remove the black dye. Shirt #1,below. Helene Davis is selling these and wanted to know how they discharged, so I tied it with rubber bands and threw it into a thiox bath at QSDS. It turned out so gorgeous that somebody bought it before it was even washed. Notice the pale beige of the discharged areas. Since I was out a shirt, Helene gave me another one in its stead, which I wore while it was black. Tonight,at home, bitten by the discharge bug, I decided to take a break from packing/organizing and throw the replacement black shirt into a thiox bath at home. I did a stitched resist and discovered that to see it, I have to wear the shirt inside out. BUT look! A lovely shade of light olive green, with black where the stitching was. Olive! The shirt was black. Same supplier as shirt #1. What excitement! Now I wish I had another one to try. You just never know what you are going to get - and it is always an adventure. But you do need to wear a respirator while you are working with the discharge agents.

finishing up

Once we left the Wexner, the scenery became more interesting. This wonderful grass was growing outside the museum - one picture taken looking into the sun, the other with the sun behind me.

This grate would have been lovely without my shadow, but oh well.

Don't know why this bench reminded me of Paris.

Huh?La pièce de résistance.

Enough of this idle chit-chat. I have to finish my laundry and pack again. But I'll try to check in before I leave on Monday for Asheville, where I am looking forward to seeing my friend Pam Morris and putting more faces to names.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Goodbye Columbus

Another day yesterday of being too tired to blog. Oh, dear. Back in the airport waiting for my flight home, so I'll catch you up with Helene's and my day yesterday. We went to see the Extreme Textiles exhibit at the Wexner museum. It had been at the Cooper-Hewitt in NY but I missed it. Now I know why. This is the museum, which is on the Ohio State campus and is attached to the arts department. In any event, we walked into the building and the first thing we saw was WALL ART outside the ladies' room. Wow! How excitiing!

After that, it was all downhill.

The building is nice, but the exhibits were sparse and it was like the Emporer's New Clothes. This was the most interesting piece in the Extreme Textiles exhibit; the rest were astronauts' suits and such. But the guard followed us around and pounced when i took this photo, so that was THAT. Quite honestly, I found more interesting pictures on the street after we left the Wexner.

I am at home now, but will post this and get the rest up tomorrow. BED.

Monday, June 12, 2006

another day in Columbus

By the time yesterday was over, these were done, plus a few more. When I get home, I'll continue to experiment with taking the color out and creating interesting patterns - probably in conjunction with other surface design processes. Today, Helene and I did the shopping circuit, stopping first at Friends Fabric Art booth in the hotel, where we each dropped a small fortune in Gill paints and books. Then, on to Chico's, a splendid bookstore, and Byzantium, which sells beads and other exotic items. I bought two more wood blocks for printing. As IF I need them! Tomorrow, we go to the Wexner to see the fiber exhibit. I went out without my card in the camera today, but promise to take what I can tomorrow. Meantime, it is late and I have an appointment tomorrow morning, so we need to get an early start. This piece of purple African brocade cotton yielded a rather whimsical result, which makes me smile. Maybe I'll have pleasant dreams - and I hope you do, too. More tomorrow.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

too tired to blog

But pictures are worth a thousand words. Today's discharge class with Judith James. Below, Shelly Baird and Mary Jo Bowers in gear. We did (machine) stitched resist and used bleach on some pieces, thiox on others. Picking out the stitches is not my cup of tea, but some of the results were interesting. Tomorrow, more experimenting with stitches and screening.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Hello Columbus

The view from the airplane window, somewhere between Newark and Columbus. Got up at 5:30 for this view. Landed around noon and spent the rest of the day meeting & greeting. Today was setup day for the vendors: Judy Robertson is here with her fabrics, St. Theresa's Textile Trove is here; Friends Fabric Art is here with tons of books and lots of gorgeous paints, and Helene is here with her fabulous hand-dyes. Heaven. There are a few more vendors, but I am too tired to remember offhand who they are. I spent time catching up with Helene - and giving the cookies to Bob, who will use them as energy bars so he can keep up with all the customers. Truly a feast for the eyes - and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Below, shirts that Helene has dyed just like her fabric, only to wear. Yummy! Below, a happy camper. Do you think he's smiling because the chocolate chip cookies I brought to him are so good? Goodnight Bob. Goodnight everybody. Tomorrow, alarm goes off at 6:30 and it's a class day.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

these may not look like much

... but they are treasures, to me. Twice a year, Ahmed brings his truck full of antique and new beads, silver jewelry, wood chests, garments, and printing blocks to the home of an artist I know, for a two hour stop en route to the next place, and all the artists on her mailing list descend happily on this bazaar. Some are jewelry makers who wanted the huge turquoise beads; one woman was buying dozens of these wooden stamps to print on fabric, another was going to use them for encaustic, and someone else wanted them for clay work. I'll use them with wax and perhaps for discharge. We'll see. Ahmed is from Afghanistan and so are the items he sells. He has laundry baskets full of large and small wooden stamps - most of them new, and much more ornate than these. I found these two simple small ones I liked, and when I asked whether he had any others, he replied "only some antique blocks." 'Bring 'em on,' I said. And I selected these two large ones, which are relatively simple and have a design flexibility I like. Of course, being antiques, they cost almost twice what the new ones cost. It figures. I am tempted to take them with me to QSDS - but they're heavy, so I'm not sure. I am packed and restless. Ready to go. Gee, it's a whole year since I took pictures in Columbus and posted them on the blog. I'll have to remember to shoot different things this time. Will post from there if I have a signal.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wednesday night

I tried to take a picture of the rain, but that didn't work too well. Then again, who wants to see such a picture? If you're really dying to see the river, click on the picture for a larger version. Today, I accomplished a lot of things on my virtual checklist, but I couldn't cross them off because I hadn't written them down.

1. baked 4 doz. choc. chip cookies this morning and did not eat ANY. 2. packed QSDS supplies, including cookies. I hope the suitcase inspectors don't eat them. 3. packed another small suitcase with a few clothes, leaving room for the following purchases in Columbus: Helene Davis' hand-dyed fabric, Helene's hand-dyed t-shirts, clothes from Chico's. 4. found and packed slides and a few quilts for Asheville lecture. 5. watched a riveting PBS biography on George Gershwin and am still humming, and sighing over Fred Astaire. Considering that I NEVER watch tv, this is noteworthy! 6. refrained from posting a long, boring, off-topic qvetch to QuiltART about Blogger's huge amount of downtime in the past 24 hours. 7. decided that I am happy with the piece on my wall and will put it together when I get back from everywhere I am going. I'll try to post tomorrow, between the raindrops.

continued

Finally! Here is Mary Elmusa's piece, in which she used some of the fabric fabric she printed in the two-day workshop on Gelatin Printing and Layering Text & Images that Jette and I taught for the Kansas Art Quilters a few weeks ago. It is called "Disturbing the Peace" and it is a knock-out. Thanks for sharing, Mary. Raining cats and dogs again today: my poor plants look as though somebody has beaten them up. Wet feet for my tomato plant on the deck - not good. Here are my newest daylilies as they looked before the rain. You do not want to see the 'after' picture.

But it is a perfect day for the cookies I am baking for a special person in Columbus. Just hope they're not crumbs by the time I get there. Otherwise, multi-tasking: packing clothes, leaving phone messages and waiting for return calls that must be taken care of before I leave, looking for slides and gathering quilts to send to Asheville for my lecture/trunk show, and other things too numerous and boring to mention. If all goes well, I will check back tonight.

Don't forget to post your three best excuses for not doing whatever it is you don't want to do! I need a laugh right now.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

pictures, pictures

Here is the newest piece in my art collection: Karen Stiehl Osborn's "Enlightenment," which I purchased at the Katonah gallery and which arrived yesterday.
This spot on my wall is perfect for it, although you can't really tell from the angle of the photo. I can't take a straight picture (TED O - where are you when I need you????) and I finally figured out it must be because I am left-handed. Don't ask me what that has to do with it, but it is an excuse that works for a lot of things. Here are my three best excuses. Couldn't live without 'em.
  • I'm too old
  • I'm an artist
  • I'm left-handed
  • What are your 3 best excuses? Maybe we could trade them so our friends and family wouldn't get so tired of hearing the same ones all the time.

    But I digress. I have more to show you. I was so excited when Mary Elmusa sent me a picture of the piece she made, incorporating some of the fabric she printed in the Kansas Art Quilters workshop. Unfortunately, Blogger is up to its trick from yesterday, which includes NOT uploading photos. So, tomorrow, Mary will have the gallery wall to herself. In the meantime, I give up.

    Sunday, June 04, 2006

    sunday in the park

    Riker Hill Art Park is a former Nike missile base -- a series of cinderblock buildings in which there are studios that the county rents to artists for a nominal sum. I think this picture was taken when the place was still a base, but the building in the photo is typical of the former army barracks - now studios.The army left in 1963 and some of the buildings are still boarded up. Of course, the heat doesn't always work and there is no AC and the artists have to fix up their own spaces and the bathrooms are shared and you don't want to be up there alone at night. But otherwise, very nice - LOL. I am thinking about calling the county tomorrow to see if there is wet space available. There are sculptors, glass artists, potters, jewelry and metal workers, painters, and a printmaking studio up there. We bought a coffee mug for me and a sugar bowl, the glaze of which is the color of my kitchen walls.

    Meantime, back in my home studio...I've been working intermittently and the piece keeps morphing. None of yesterday's pieces exist. Here are today's auditions.

    Small differences, but differences nevertheless. And once I get there, it will change again as it is being sewn together. But we're not there yet.

    Saturday, June 03, 2006

    yasou & back to the studio

    Marty and I went to the Greek festival at St. Constantin & Helen church tonight. A lively scene and a nice change from the restaurants we usually visit. This is the first time we've been around on the weekend of the festival. Next week is the festival at St. Mary's Armenian church - but I'll be in Ohio. Ah, well. The food was reasonable and homemade, and we dined on spanikopita(spinach & feta pie), tiropita(cheese triangles), lemony stuffed grape leaves, moussaka, Greek salad and red wine. Entertainment at no extra charge. Sorry you can't hear the wonderful music. On our way out, dessert to take home. Baklava for Marty and a kataifi from this tray for me.I am enjoying this with some Greek coffee I just made. I will probably be up all night, with this fragrant and delicously bitter coffee that is a counterpoint to the sweets. STUDIO STUFF: Recently, I uploaded a picture of a piece of fabric I had printed. Here it is again. As much as I love the whole cloth, I knew it needed to be cut if I was going to use it. So I bit the bullet (why is this so difficult for me??) and ripped. Late this afternoon I started playing, and since I shot several permutations to see how the various versions looked, I thought I would post them here as I continue my journey. I was really hoping to do something minimalist, but I don't think that word is in my vocabulary. I know it seems like a year since I posted some actual PROCESS photos, but I guess it is time to get back to my blogging roots. The surrounding gray is the wall. Try to ignore it; I couldn't be bothered to crop these views, three of which no longer exist.

    With that, I've had enough coffee, dessert, and art for the night. I am going to put my feet up and read the latest adventures of P.D. James' detective Adam Dalgleish for a while. Tomorrow, Randy Keenan, Diane Savona and I are going to the open studios at Riker Hill Art Park, which used to be a Nike missile site when I first moved to town. The county owns it now.