Tuesday, April 29, 2008


For those of you who have asked about my kitchen, here are a couple of pictures. We're in, we love it and are actually using it, but it still isn't done. It is very easy to keep neat and clean: notice the relatively uncluttered counters. Of course, all the 5 billion pencils and batteries and staple removers and rubber bands and crap , along with god-knows-what papers and mail and user manuals for appliances I no longer own, are all still downstairs in the basement. Shall I throw them out without looking? Can't do that.I won't even mention the cartons of glasses and pots and baking pans and blah blah blah that are also still downstairs in the guest room. But we have guests coming in June, so I will have to do something. But what?? I am getting along just fine, bringing things up one at a time as I realize I need to use them.

Of course, the kitchen won't be finished till the backsplash is done - my continuing saga, which nobody wants to hear about. Even I am throwing my hands up in despair.

Yesterday, back at the studio(yes, Tall Girl, twice in one week) my studio mates suggested I take one of my fabrics and have it made into tiles. Great idea, but I'd have to intersperse them with bought ones because it is somewhat pricey to make your work into 25 sq. ft of tile. So last night I brought home a couple of pieces to audition them for color. These two have that blue-gray, plus the other end of the spectrum. I am really needing warm colors in that cool kitchen. It is a serene place, but it needs some punch! Too much serenity will do me in - LOL.

Today I worked on a slide presentation and finished my article just in time for the deadline. Tomorrow morning, off I go again, fabrics in hand. And then, I expect to be back in the studio, where there is good light. Anyway, the rent is due.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

a flimsy excuse or two

1. The dog ate my blog.
2. My computer was impounded and the blog was locked up.

3. Somebody stole my blog.
4. I forgot how to type.
5. I was abducted by aliens.
6. I had nothing to say.

Well, you get the idea. Which one is the truth? Ha- you'll never know. I took a self-imposed, although unplanned, vacation to give my brain cells a rest. I haven't either posted or read any blogs. I've been writing an article, getting ready for my all-star début at market in Portland, and looking in vain for backsplash tile. That sums it up: Wasn't that boring? Now you know why I haven't bothered to post.

But I am back from mental vacation, although not quite caught up. And I am finally, finally in the studio for which I pay rent every month but have hardly used since January. Let's hope the second half of the year will be more productive, at least in a way that does not involve paperwork.

So far, this afternoon, I've been busy going back into some of the less happy pieces of cloth I have made. And because my battery charger has turned up by some miracle after much too long, I'm documenting. So, here's a work in progress.

1. Original piece of printed fabric. This next exercise is called "couldn't leave well enough alone."
2. I printed several other things on top of the grid, then decided I hated them so I discharged, which made it even worse. Then I printed those ugly circles which compounded the felony. So, by this time, I am blocking out parts of the circles for the next step.
3. A rather unsuccessful attempt at more discharge, which I then painted back into. Except it washed out.
4. Here is what this cloth looked like when I brought it into the triage unit today.

5. And here is what it looks like now, after another bout of treatment.

I will let it sit while I go back to some of the other patients. I promise to keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New fabrics from Helene Davis

Now that Paducah's gearing up for the big show, it's time for you to visit Helene Davis' new site. You'll find the latest scoop on Helene, her fabrics, her quilts, and her awards, from her biggest fan -- an artist in his own right. Aha - I see that Helene and Bob have been doing shibori - and from the details, I can see that they are unique! I got to Helene's new website from this post on a really interesting blog from another Paducah artist. Wish I could be there - but I'm doing my usual 300 things between teaching trips and still dealing with the kitchen. Right now I am stuck in the basement waiting for the first two coats of polyurethane to dry on the first floor. Back later.

Monday, April 14, 2008

shifting gears

This morning, Rachel and I went to pick up work from four of the Studio Six artists who had exhibited at the Mikhail Zakin Gallery in Demarest, NJ. One of Rachel's pieces sold (hooray!) and the newspaper write-up was very flattering to the show. Thanks to all of you who came to see the exhibit and who left such nice comments on my blog and in the guestbook. I hope we get another opportunity in a couple of years to exhibit there again. What beautiful space!

We treated ourselves to lunch and then I dragged Rachel to the tile store because I am still dithering about the backsplash (well, if you make a mistake, it is an expensive and permanent one) and needed to look at the tiles again. I narrowed them down and brought home two samples -- but one is not even a contender. Guess which one is out of the race?

The light in the kitchen is dim at best, and I didn't even try to rev up the contrast for this blog post. Still dithering but gettting there.

One note on the topic of "what do you call yourself?". A few years ago I responded to a call for art from a corporation who wanted to display (without renting, of course) art in its lobby.
When the woman in charge asked me what medium I worked in, I unfortuately responded "art quilts." The response? "Oh, no, we want REAL art, like photography." That was the last time I made THAT mistake. I offered to send images but she was not interested. End of story. This morning I had a Google Alert; my profile and some of my images turned up on a website gallery for the Women's Action Network...under mixed media. Oh, good.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

idling in neutral

Intrigued by the results that came out of the shibori classes at Breaking New Ground and sorry that I had not been able to take them, I decided to do some experimenting of my own with clamping. Here are a couple of the results from yesterday's experiments. Forgive the fuzzy pictures, I just couldn't get the camera to hold still. This was a hideous piece of orange fabric. The dark dye is a combination of whatever I had lying around - black, chino, and one of the reds. I like the way they broke down and I obviously need to do more of this.This started as white fabric. I forgot about it till a few minutes ago, when I tooked it out of the dye bath. My camera can't seem to focus tonight. After having spent two weeks with my friend Marlene who was here visiting from England, I realized that we hadn't taken a picture of the two of us. So, just before we left for the airport I handed the camera to Marty, who snapped this picture.We had spent the entire day at home in the basement, screening, dyeing, working with soy wax, and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. The above pieces were what I managed to get done.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Later on Wednesday...

Conference is over, classes are done, and Marlene and I are back from another too-good, too-big dinner out. Feet up, she is reading and I am here talking to you. We're hoping to sleep later than the requisite 6:30 at which we have been getting up since Saturday. But we shall see. Tomorrow, the 2 hour drive home and a hectic rest of the week till she leaves Sat. night. It has been lovely.

IN THE MEANTIME... my class was lively and creative and they said they could have used one more day. Ah, well, best to leave 'em wanting more - LOL.

Judy Dales, known for her amazing curved piecing, decided she might want to use the paints that have been languishing in her cupboards. Although she claimed to be a novice, she clearly has innate talent for design. Here she is cutting freezer paper for a screen print.
This piece was made early in the week - and this one was done today. In between, there were lots of other goodies from everyone. Candy Edgerly produced a ton of beautiful cloth: this is the first of many.
Louise Ludecke had more than a few beauties.
and Kathy Angel Lee...
Too many more to post, but it was very exciting to see the variety and enthusiasm. Now - feet going up for the rest of the evening in this hotel room.

a day behind

Or is it two? Life has sped by in the past two days - full classes, hurried lunches, lovely dinners out in some of Wayne's good (and not-so-good) eating spots. Janet Lasher and Marina Salume were enjoying their dinners Monday night, and so were the rest of us.
This place was so terrific we went back the next night. Any guesses about what this fabulous dish is?

All kinds of good fun going on in the other classrooms - and certainly in mine. Considering that the students ranged from super-experienced to never having done any surface design, everybody turned out some remarkable pieces of cloth. Christine Wellman
Maryann Stewart
Wendy Anderson, who is an expert on digital printing at Philadelphia University but wanted to do some actual printing by HAND...

Margo Clyma, who had not done screen printing before.

Yesterday we discussed everybody's work and brainstormed about whether a particular piece needed more or was done, was a whole-cloth piece or could easily be cut up, etc. Lots of food for thought. Then we went on and got out the soy wax. Some people stayed with paint, others used dyes.

Off to class - more later.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Catching Up and Breaking New Ground

Last Sunday my friend Marlene arrived from London and we spent the week gallivanting. Tuesday we went to the Met to see the Jasper Johns exhibit,which was wonderful. If you are anywhere near NY, you should go see it. For us, at least, it was food for lots of thought. Afterwards, we walked down 5th Ave. for about 35 blocks till we simply had to take the subway. Along the way, we saw this sign. What do you think it means? Who determines what noise is unnecessary? Unnecessary for what? Last time I looked, there were no noise police in New York (or, for that matter, anywhere else). Wed and Thurs we shopped and we still can't decide which was more fun - New York City or the Eileen Fisher warehouse sale in NJ - very successful for Marlene, I might add. Friday we drove to Wayne, PA for the SDA/SAQA conference and the opening of Art Quilt Elements that night. The place was mobbed and it was almost impossible to see the work properly through the throngs! Pokey Bolton, Karey Breshahan and Linda Fowler were at the opening; I missed Karey but had a chance to spend time chatting with both Pokey and Linda. Too busy, of course, to take pictures - and anyway, I would only have gotten backs of heads. Saturday's conference sessions ranged from the sublime (Michael Olszewski & Jason Pollen; Susan Brandeis) to the disappointing, but on the whole, it was an exciting and valuable day of networking and discussion. Sunday, although the buses were intolerably late, we had a day full of art and stimulation in Philadelphia. First stop, the Design Center at Philadelphia University and a fun textile exibit that included a Drunkard's Path made of underwear. Then, we had an interesting tour of the textile labs at the University, where they learn about everything they need to learn to go into textile design/interior design/fashion design - etc. While they are really into digital printing these days (see examples below) they still have a hands-on screen printing course. I would KILL for a screen storage system like this - and as many screens on hand. Later, at the Crane Building downtown, we saw an installation of what looks like my husband's shirts after they have been through the wash. I don't remember what the price was, but maybe there was not one because this installation was priceless. We finally made it to the fabulous biennial at Snyderman Works. To die-for. Get there if you can!! Outside, a mini-bite of spring. and a piece of natural street art I couldn't resist. Philadelphia is always a treat.

soup weather in June and a little more

DISCLAIMER: Blogger is giving me grief tonight, which you will see by the varying sizes of the type. Ye p, soup weather and it's ...