Tuesday, December 27, 2011

art and happiness in Chelsea

I don't usually take an art-in-the-city day during the week but one day last week was an exception.  Went in with  a friend and we met another friend in Chelsea for lunch and some gallery-hopping.  We ate in a small Italian restaurant with house-made pasta and great salads, and when we saw these words on the menu we thought they were kidding.  They weren't.  Just to make the point, they posted this sign. Fortunately, none of these beverages is ever on my to-order list; I stay away from them all like the plague

After lunch, we stopped at the sundram tagore gallery at 547 27th St.  The spiritual art by Sohan Qadri blew us all away with its meditative rhythm, texture, and saturated quality of dye on paper.  These pictures do not begin to do the work justice. The exhibit is up till January 7 and you should go if you have a chance.

In the same building, an exhbit of Miriam Schapiro's work.  Feminist, ahead of her time, and insistent on using cloth and mother media in her work. she collaborated with Judy Chicago and other artists at California Institute of the Arts to create iconic feminist art in the early 1970's

After that, we stopped to see a Joan Mitchell exhibit.  I admire the energy in her work but it does not speak to me.  

 This plywood piece by another aritst, however, made me smile.


And I was completely crazy about Gordon Moore's work at the Betty Cunningham Gallery and would have bought this drawing on photo-emulsion paper if it had not already been sold.

This painting was huge and was the favorite of all three of us who were there. 
After the galleries, we walked the High Line from 20th to 30th St, where our car was parked.  There is always something new to notice as you walk the High Line and since it was a weekday, there were not as many people.  Weekends, it si always crowded.

                   That's it for now!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

slow design

Before I run out the door to NY I wanted to update you on what I've been doing with this mess from last night. Here's where I was when I posted in the wee hours this morning.

And here are the permutations I've played with, using "what if?" in the past little while. I take pictures as I go along so I can remember what to go back to later after a million more "what ifs." At first, ad hoc design. Now, working with slow design. Very slow.

true confessions

I have so many bits and strips and units leftover from both my therapy sewing and the ones I made for the book that I am overwhelmed.  It is almost 1:am and I have spent the evening sorting stuff into small piles of stuff that feels related, at least for now.  To the uninitiated, it looks like a mess -- but it looks very neatly categorized to me.

small pieces-in-process with bits that might work, pinned to them. This one is a redone UFO vintage block. Now, what?
very bright units.  I know I will need to sew some strips to rest the eye before I start playing with them.

bits with a more contemporary feel

light or muted strip sets in neutrals.  I have some ideas - these are good starting points.
Auditions around a sewed-together module. Now it needs some slow design - this is too much the same and too chaotic.

With that, I leave everything as is till tomorrow night.  In the morning, another jaunt to the city -- this time, for lunch and some galleries in Chelsea.  I hope it stops raining.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

chanukah, etc

Last night was the first night of Chanukah and I lit the menorah, as I will for the next seven nights. Since the holiday lasts for eight days, my kids and grands will be here on the 27th for potato latkes.  The idea of potato-apple latkes (NY Times, of course) is appealing this year. In the past, I have made sweet potato latkes (which are to die for) or zucchini pancakes.  I'm willing to experiment but everybody wants potato.  OK.  Since the miracle of this holiday was in the oil, it doesn't matter: jelly donuts, called sofifot, are also traditional (but not in my house) and people make those, too. Hmmm....

If you want my recipe for potato pancakes (fabulous any time of year,whether you are Jewish or not) -- and whatever else I have blogged about this holiday in the past, go here.  It's more fun and much more interesting than this year's post!

Yesterday in the studio I printed scarves, although I had originally intended to sew.  Too late for Xmas gifts( although Chanukah runs for another 7 days) they nevertheless were fun to do.  I screenprinted, painted, and sprayed some with water so they look as though they were caught in the rain. Graffiti scarves - not supposed to be neat and pretty:-). 

# 3


# 5
# 7


 If you want to treat yourself or give a Winter Solstice, Boxing Day, Chanukah, or even a belated Christmas or New Year's gift, it's first come/first served.  Silk, machine wash gentle/machine dry low. $60 first class mail. I take check or Paypal and ship in the U.S. only, this time. As usual, there is one I am reluctant to part with (but will). Can you guess which it is?

item # - fill in the blank

Happy Solstice to all - the days get longer, starting now!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

back to art

Yesterday was the Studio Six crit group meeting and all five of us were there (we started as six, went to 15, to six again and then Kerr Grabowski moved back to Mississippi). We didn't think we needed to change the name of our group every time. 

This is part of Rachel Cochran's latest piece in her Celestial series; it's going off to an exhibit in Botswana. Rachel does fabulous surface design but she started as a traditional quilter and is a quilt historian who co-authored the book on New Jersey Quilts and recently, on the quilts of Florence Peto.

Hollie Heller, who works in mixed media, showed us the amazing new series she's working on and we gave her our feedback and some ideas for variations.  Her work is highly original and simply wonderful.

Judy Langille went high-tech and brought a jpg of the piece she wanted feedback on.  Amazing! We loaded it into the laptop and bingo! -- we could see all of the permutations and we unanimously agreed that she needed to back to an earlier version.  What a great idea!

Diane Savona, who just returned from a month in Hiroshima, Japan, showed us her in-process piece of a map of HIroshima. A real work of art with artifacts attached, which she had scavanged from the beach at low tide.
The area on the lower left is Hiroshima's Ground Zero.

Diane recycles and repurposes and works completely by hand.  Mind-boggling.  The quilt is loaded with fragments of every day life that have washed up on the beach at low tide; Diane collected them while she was there.  Broken crockery, shoe leather, WWII era coins, unidentifiable metal objects...some more recent, but many (like this melted glass below) - casualties of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Still washing up on the beach at Hiroshima, nearly 70 years later.

After seeing Diane's mind-boggling piece,  my red shibori in-process piece was anti-climactic, but I came away with some ideas of what else to do with it.  I also brought some books to share (always good to do when there is nothing else to bring).

On the subject of maps...a few months ago, when I was at the P.S. 1 art book fair in NY, I was tempted to buy this book, but didn't and was sorry afterwards.  Published by the Hand Drawn Map Association, it is whimsical and wonderful and makes me smile.  Anything/anybody who makes me smile is welcome into my life with open arms.  This book is no exception. 

I also brought this book to share - which I have not yet had time to read.  Kathryn Sylvan recommended it in October and I finally bought it.  The history of stripes and how they have been used/what they have symbolized through the ages.

This one might be the best one I bought (also at the art book fair), published, astoundingly, by MIT Press. I might have mentioned it at the time I purchased it but even so, it bears repeating.

Last night I went back to my therapy sewing and now I am going to grab lunch and go to the studio for a while to do some more work on whatever strikes my fancy.  I have been feeling very disorganized and since I was too tired last night to write this blog post, I have spent time this morning doing it instead of doing things on my "must do" list.  That includes a visit to the supermarket - UGH!  No wonder I am writing, instead.  I am having company for dinner on Friday night and it would be nice if I had something to serve them, so I guess my avoidance tactics won't work for too much longer.
Meantime, I have at least blogged about something besides Miss Emma (on her way to Wisconsin for the next 10 days) and my New York City adventures.
TTYL :-)  xoxo


Sunday, December 18, 2011

at the Brooklyn Museum

So - another trip to my favorite boro to bring Emma her chanukah gift before she leaves for Wisconsin for the Christmas holiday.  But first, a stop at the venerable and underrated Brooklyn Museum.

There were several interesting exhibits there, including this amazing piece of art.

 There were two quilts which made me wonder what the curator was thinking and why these qualify as art.
  For me, the stunner was the Eva Hesse exhibit.  I know her fiber/sculpture work but did not know she had been a painter.  The exhibit was of her self-portraits, along with some group pieces and since it was ok to take photos, I took some of my favorites.

After the museum, over to see Emma and give her two Elmos - one little one that does nothing and a bigger one who sings.  Guess which one she prefers.
  Here she is on her mother's iPhone, telling her friend Neve about the Elmos she just got. LOL
The day was topped off by an encounter with a bunch of Occupy Wall Street guys who had just gotten on the subway with their backpacks.  One had biked all the way from Oregon; another had come up from Florida.  They had left the park and were hoping to get a hot shower somewhere.  We had a really good conversation and I hope they got settled and warm somewhere tonight.

All in all, another good day in New York.

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 ...