Wednesday, November 29, 2006

back on track

I've been away so long that Blogger made me sign in tonight. Burrowed, getting ready for the solo show I hung today. Temple B'nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, NJ, has a gallery and every month they invite a different artist to have a solo exhibit. Last month it was a very well known NJ artist who makes her own paper and does beautiful work. This is the first time they have had textiles. When the cantor walked through as we were hanging, he asked how I would like this art to be identified, in case anybody asked what the medium was. "Is it batik?", he asked. I replied that some pieces were - but that it was mixed media on fiber. "Ah, fiber. Thank you," he said. I smiled. Twenty pieces: three of them just didn't work with the rest of the exhibit, so I ditched them. I had help from 3 volunteers who, in the end, moved things around a bit so they worked better. When I left, there were stickies on the walls where the labels would go. Moveable walls - partitioned. Far from ideal (you can see the Walker system rods hanging) but it will be fine. I did straighten out that one piece after I took the photo and I'll stop back before the opening to make sure they look okay.

Meet the Artist a week from Friday and I will be interested to see what kinds of questions I get.

In between redoing sleeves for this system, I have been spending time in my print studio, mostly experimenting and mostly not getting anything I care to post. But that is ok because Blogger won't let me post any more photos tonight:i guess i've used my quota. Anyway, the spot just below my neck is tingling so I think I should get off the computer.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

the blues

Blue is a color I rarely use in my work, but lately it has been cropping up in my surface design. In another feeble attempt to clean up the studio tonight, I came across this piece of batik. The good half was sold at QSDS last June, but this isn't bad, either. As I recall, it was quite a time-consuming process and the piece turned out completely differently from the way I had envisioned it. That'll teach me to envision things! Then I found a piece that I printed as a demo piece when I taught soy wax batik with dyes recently at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Not bad for a demo piece and believe it or not, these two look pretty good together on my wall. But that's enough for tonight. The pecan and apple cranberry pies are done and ready to make the trip to Brooklyn tomorrow. The cranberry-orange relish is in the refrigerator, the flowers are bought, the bridge table is ready to go out the door, and I am going to bed. Wishing you all a sweet Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

revisiting an old friend

Spent the morning finishing the sleeve stuff and putting sticks in all my pieces. And I spent the afternoon with an old friend. This was the first piece I made with screenprinted fabric and it was juried into the first Art Quilts at the Whistler in 2002. It is 18" square and because I didn't know then about gallery wrap canvas, I built my own stretcher bars. After a few years, it was looking rather saggy (like its owner) and today, I added some stitching and restretched it properly. It will go into my upcoming solo exhibit. I have renamed it "Night Visitors." Please do me a favor: click on it to enlarge and then tell me what you see.

Now I have to think about pricing it. In 2002 I did not want to sell it, so I put an astronomical price on it. It makes me so happy to look at it that I think I will treat myself to working on a piece or two tonight. And if I get anywhere, I may check back later.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

you know I'm desperate when I

take pictures like these. In case you don't recognize it, it's my avocado and herb farm. I think these plants are happy, being together. The top of my studio bookcase is crowded, but I don't care. I brought the basil and rosemary in from the deck and am determined to keep them alive, since I actually use them in my cooking. What a luxury to have them fresh -- even though the basil is looking a little peaked. The fragrance of the rosemary makes me very happy. I think it must be related to lavender, but it smells better to me. I am still sewing sleeves on quilts. I keep losing my needles - does that tell you anything? I am writing this by way of procrastination, but I do have to go back to work. I don't watch tv while I sew, but I do watch my design wall in case anything interesting is happening. Here is what I am looking at right now. It's the paper I printed and a piece of Helene's screened fabric along with a few others of hers I threw at the wall. It may become something -- or not. In the meantime, it perks me right up to look at it.NOW - when you leave here, you need to go read the ArtQuilt Reviews blog. There is an interesting discussion going on there and people are busy throwing rotten eggs and tomatoes at me. Join the conversation.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

other stuff

I can't do any creative work yet because I have to put sleeves on a number of pieces for my solo exhibit. They have to be delivered the day after T-giving wknd - ack. Will I ever learn to put sleeves on when I make a piece? Probably not. However, the images below may inspire me. Sunday in Raleigh was wet and cold. On the way back to class from lunch,a few of us were walking together and Scott Murkin spotted these in the street. I grabbed my camera. While they look like random formations of leaves in the wet gutter,Scott said he thought there was nothing random about them: they had been blown into their patterns by the direction of the wind. They remind me of sand formations, also blown by the wind. Scott maintains that everything has a pattern, whether we are aware of it or not. In nature, this is probably true. Then, of course, there are behavior patterns -- but that is another subject We found out that these are the leaves of the willow oak. We were talking about oak leaves on the way to lunch (the sidewalks were full of them) - and about the different kinds of oak trees. A student overheard us and came running after us with a ton of information about oak leaf shapes. You never know who is listening, or what you can learn when people volunteer information.

more on Raleigh

Since the weekend was a SAQA Southeast meeting, the group met on Saturday night for some business discussion followed by the de rigeur show and tell. They showed and told and I watched with pleasure as some of the SAQA members shared their work. We all ate the brownies and cookies that Jill Jensen and Martha Degen - current co-chairs of that chapter - provided. Here are Jill (l.) and Martha (r.) applauding some of the yummy work being shown. Of course, I didn't get everybody's pix because by then, my battery was going from having run all day in the classroom. Nevertheless...

Marni Goldshlag, showing a couple of her delicious layered sheer silk pieces.

Priscilla with her remarkable landscape and Donna with her whimsical fish. The pictures really don't do them justice.

This SAQA group is very active and focused and I think it's great that they are so well organized. They are geographically spread out but manage to meet once a year and have a workshop or other interesting activity. They should be a role model for some of the other chapters in SAQA. I was pleased to be a guest for the weekend.

playing catch-up

The plane finally took off from Raleigh at 8:45 pm (it was a 3:20 pm flight) - weather over Newark (what else is new?). A most congenial group of passengers - we made the best of it, and there was lots of conversation and laughter. Two people missed their connecting flights to Europe. The steward distributed peanuts, pretzels, soft drinks - and the pilots were out and about and chatty. When we finally landed at 10:pm (instead of 5:pm) the steward thanked us for being so nice: he said usually he has people yelling and screaming at him in a situation like this. Can you imagine? At any rate, a few more pix I didn't have a chance to post from the workshop.
I had asked everybody to pick one thing they had printed so I could take a picture, but the variety was even more staggering than this!

Barbara, Kathy, and Scott display samples of their work. Barb and Scott used masking tape as a resist in these particular pieces.

On day 1we stamped, screened, rubbed. Day 2 was Layering Text & Images and we worked with a variety of image transfer methods and used Thermofax screens. Both Judy and Tama had images of houses in their pieces - very different results from very different methods.

Priscilla loved using the syringe and shows off her Jackson Pollock results, while Donna was more representational and used her watercolor pencils to great effect.

To be continued.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Raleigh

Has it been more than a week since I've posted? Oh, dear. Well, there wasn't much to say in the few days between trips. I've been in Raleigh, teaching at the SAQA Southeast Regional Meeting. Here I am, trying to be serious and somebody made me laugh. How can I possibly be a dignified teacher when that happens?? I got here on Friday. Marni Goldshlag met me at the airport and we and set up the room at the Pullen Arts Center. Over the weekend, 12 of us printed and played and put various processes to work on fabric. Here are Martha Lee Burelson, Scott Murkin, and Sarah Williams hard at work. Everyone, from novice to experienced surface designer, ended up with fabrics I wished I had printed myself. Even though everybody was using the same processes and even some of the same tools to print with, their fabrics couldn't have been more different from one another,despite the fact that Marilyn, Martha Lee, Marni and Sarah are all holding pieces with similar palettes! (click for larger view) I am sitting in the Raleigh airport on the plane, on the tarmac. It is 7:15 pm. I have been here since 1:pm. Don't ask.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

back to real life

This is the Inn at Stockbridge where we stayed over the weekend. Built in 1906 and absolutely elegant, on 12 acres. I was wondering how many servants they needed for this enormous house. It was built as a summer cottage (cottage???) for a lawyer and his family.

You can see that the leaves are pretty much gone from that big tree. And it was COLD. During wine and cheese hour on Friday afternoon, it started to snow. The flakes were so huge that we all ran out with our cameras, trying to capture them. These are stuck to my lens. A little bit stuck, but by Sat. morning it was gone. Marty and I took the day and went to North Adams, MA. North Adams is reinventing itself and turning some of their old mills into live/work artists' studios. We visited Mass MOCA to see the rather strange and interesting art. Some of it is interactive, and most of it is social commentary. Much of it is weird, and sometimes it helps if you have a docent - but we were there between docent tours, so we figured it out for ourselves. There was a couple there who told us they like to come and look at everything themselves and come back a second time with the docent. They don't like anybody telling them first time around what everything is or what they should think about it. I agree.

Since you are not permitted to take pictures in the galleries, I confined my picture-taking to the basement facilities. This is as much a piece of art as anything upstairs. Very Marcel Duchamp, dontcha think?

Enough for tonight. Tomorrow, it is back to work. Putting sleeves on pieces, getting slides out, etc. etc. etc. All in all, a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday in the Berkshires

No wireless signal here but the b&b hosts have an available computer, so I'm coming up for air. Can't post pix yet, though, till I get home. Gigantic snow flakes yesterday late afternoon, which settled into a dusting and then stopped. Brrrrr - glad we brought our winter jackets, and I threw in socks. The trees are past their sell-by dates, but that's okay. Time for 4 pm wine and cheese with the other guests in the living room of this gracious and beautiful mansion. Will check in tomorrow once we are back in still-autumnal New Jersey.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Surface Tension

Who is this woman and why is she smiling? It's Sandra Sider, juror of Surface Tension - the art exhibit opening we attended last night. Sandra is standing in front of her artwork but I've airbrushed it out because I forgot to ask her permission to post it on my blog. She is looking happy because the hard work of jurying and hanging is done! Who is this man and why is he not smiling when he is surrounded by a bevvy of artists?? Judy Langille, Rachel Cochran, and Diane Savona look pretty happy. I think he looks grouchy because he is tired of standing. There are never enough chairs at art exhibits.

There were lots of people at the opening - a number of the exhibitors, their friends, and people from the University. Afterwards, we went to dinner with Judith Plotner, her husband Stan, and two other couples whom we had not met before but who turned out to be delightful company. There is something to be said for midweek art openings -- they make you feel like it's already the weekend.

At any rate, our official weekend starts tomorrow. Marty and I are leaving in the morning to drive up to the Berkshires for a couple of days. We haven't been away for more than a year and I've been traveling so much we haven't had a lot of time together. Well, three hours in the car is a good start! I'll take my camera and my laptop and see what develops. Let's hope for good weather

blind mice

Mice. Or is it mouses? In the past month, I have lost two USB connectors for my wireless laptop rodents. The first one broke off in the computer. I had to go buy a new one because, of course, they no longer make the wonderful first one I had. Please understand that it is impossible to go to Staples or wherever and just buy a USB; you have to buy the whole package. You then have a mouse with a USB and a perfectly good mouse that is unusable. The second one had a storage place under the mouse where the USB upposedly clicks in and stays there while you travel. It did not stay there; it fell off in the hotel room. The housekeeper threw it away because she didn't know what it was. God forbid she should ask someone, or turn it into the desk. The hotel just shrugged. Logitech is turning a big profit. The third one had a storage place inside the mouse but it was too small and I got cramps in my wrist, so I returned it. I went back for another model that was larger, but they stopped making it last month. So I bought a duplicate of mouse #2.

FINALLY, in desperation, I called Logitech to see if they would sell me just the little USB connector for these two mice. Why didn't I think of this at once?. For $10 each plus shipping, they are sending me a gizmo for each of the two mice I own. One I will take with me when I travel; the other I will leave at home as a backup. But I still think the stores should carry replacement USB connectors...