Wednesday, October 22, 2014

classmates aware assimilable

  Lao Tzu– “At the center of your being you have the answer; 
you know who you are and you know what you want.”

Yesterday in driving rain, I got myself up to my pod meeting, the second one I've attended.  I am not thinking this is for me-  they are doing little cooperative projects, ATCs due in December-  I'll take part and try it again, but I don't need hand holding, I need some good kicks in the pants and someone to be responsible to for getting there to do my part.  I want serious crit, I need straight talk, I need feedback, and I don't need to be the one who knows it all.  And also I want to meet like minded souls but these nice women are mostly beginners and still taking classes trying to find their voices.  In short, it's appearing just like a guild with the block-of-the-month projects, assignments I neither have the inclination nor the time to do this kind of stuff.  And a guilt trip if you don't 'participate'.  I want my old crit group!
(Here's to keeping the Crazy on the INSIDE)

Anyway, it was a deluge of rain when I left and it was slow going down Route 1 to home-  I found out this morning that we had 9 (NINE!) inches of rain yesterday.  No wonder I got a hot foot running to the car!

Today I had to be at the studio to wait for Comcast because Sandy Got No Internets there for a week or more.  My appointment was from 1 to 5 so I was there at noon working and waiting.  No internet guy by 4:30 so I called back to the Mother Ship and they told me he was here at 1:11.  Bullshit, I was there the whole time, lights on and door not locked.  And I don't even have a radio so no way did I miss him at the door.  The Home Ship had the right address and my phone number-  why didn't the Guy?  So they rescheduled for Friday because *I* missed the appointment!  I was spitting' all the way home, because they say he will be there at 8 sharp.  Means I have to get there at 7:30 and probably sit outside on my car watching for him.  (Truth be told, there are 5 buildings in my Industrial Park.  Each one of them has a different street address, but all 5 have offices numbered from 100 to 1200.  I think he probably went to the wrong building. 
Bless His Heart.
and I mean that only in the Southern way.

But I have a treat in store, Bunnies!  Wait till you see these 'taxidermy' animals!

  Lucky are those that own a piece of sculpture by Frédérique Morrel. Her one of kind tapestry covered animals, skulls, and furniture pieces and are highly sought after. I discovered her work in the latest issue of Hi Fructose magazine, where you can read about Morrel and her enchanting fanciful beasts. 
Morrel and her husband creatively take fiberglass taxidermy molds which are later injected with expanding foam, to covering the form. She begins each work with fiberglass molds injected with expanding foam and then reinforces them with steel rods. Then the vintage tapestries are applied by hand to the form.

They then cover these forms with vintage tapestries and embroideries she collects. They use tapestries to convey a narrative through the use of tradition, erotic  and kitschy pieces they find in flea markets and antique shows. Morrel also uses real antlers, teeth, feathers and fur. She makes a point to reiterate she uses all found materials; no animals are hurt for these creations. 

 If there is, indeed, nothing lovelier than a tree, Connecticut-based artist Bryan Nash Gill shows us why. Creating large-scale relief prints from the cross sections of trees, the artist reveals the sublime power locked inside their arboreal rings. Gill creates patterns not only of great beauty but also year-by-year records of the life and times of fallen or damaged logs. He rescues the wood from the property surrounding his studio and neighboring land, extracts and prepares blocks of various species (including ash, maple, oak, spruce, and willow), then makes prints by carefully following and pressing the contours of rings and ridges until the intricate designs transfer from tree to paper. The results are colored, nuanced shapes—mesmerizing impressions of the structural integrity hidden inside each tree.Bryan Nash Gill - About Bryan

Finally!  I found my new 'Twins' quilt in the series.  Trouble is it kind of looks like the bottom squirrel is wearing the pelt of the upper squirrel as a headdress.  Hmmm.  Maybe I could make him a little tapestry pelt like Frederique above.  I'd have to use 
petit point

Oh sometimes I kill myself.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


hophophop hophophophop hophophophophop hophophop hophop hop

                 Whoa, that sure puts me in a hoppin' mood!  Gotta love this bunn!

I have been asked to be part of the Around the World Blog Hop by Lee Anna Paylor, creator of the blog NOT AFRAID OF COLOR.  And believe me, she isn't.  The idea is to have a never ending blog hop all over the world.  So, here is South Florida chiming in!  I really enjoyed Lee Anna's blog because she also talks about her life experiences and things that make her happy as well as annoyances.  Her life experiences turn into blog fodder, so much fun to find myself nodding my head in agreement!  I have never been a fan of deadly serious art blogs talking about professionalism and the business of art.  This is all stuff each person has to find out for themselves because everybody has different life plans, different energy, and different self-esteem!  Some of the biggest blow-hards manage to produce the worst art.  You'll have a good time over there with Lee Anna!

1. What am I working on?

Right now I am trying to clear the decks in my house because we are trying to sell it-  all the 'chowder' has arrived in my studio which means I've had to move stuff around to make room.  My husband just now brought over another pick-up truck full right after I snapped this mess.  I know the disco ball isn't going to make it...  I'm very lucky to have the space to move junk to while the house is on the market to fool then lookers that I live a neat and tidy life-  wish I could leave the dogs here too!  It all makes accessing things in my shelves a bit difficult.

what a mess

But that isn't what the question asked, so here is a little detail of what I'm wrestling with now- Kantha stitching:
This is taking way too long, don't know why I started it other than I had made a woven landscape piece I was pretty unhappy with.  Stay tuned to see if I can pull it out of it's hole!  The IDEA is that I am trying to modify colors and soften edges with the stitching.  What is happening in REAL LIFE is that I'm in over my head and tolerance levels, 
and kinda bored with this whole thing, especially threading that thick thread through a tiny needle over and over and over.  Frankly this was started as a sort of 'placeholder' to work on while the rest of my life was upside down.  Trouble is that things are getting right side up again and I have this self imposed rule that I have to finish a thing before I start a New Thing.  'Finishing' on this might simply be me declaring,
"ENOUGH SANDY, LET''S MOVE IT ONWARD!"  (and folding it up)

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I don't think anything I do resembles anything else in any genre  (three 'anys' in one sentence!)  Basically I don't repeat pieces, prefer to explore and try new things with every piece.  If you go up to the '
QUILTISH' tab in the menu bar you can check a few of the more recent pieces I've finished.  Some things do repeat, like my complete obsession of twins, but each twin piece is different, different techniques, different materials even though all come from vintage photographs I find and use my unending stash of vintage fabrics.  All my textile work is basically collage.  So's my encaustic work, and also the books.

3. Why do I create what I do?

I only do what I want to do any more, never play to a show theme-  if I have something that fits I send it along.  I'm in the end part of 40+ years doing work with fabric so making stuff is just an ingrained part of my life.  I simply can't NOT do it.  I can't stand to do blocks in a piece, I am bored at the second one!  My side passion is artists' books.  It transitions nicely from my collaged fabric and collaged and encaustic papers, plus I can actually print the story alongside my work!  I've taken a couple of basic classes to learn the forms but now, like quilting, I prefer to explore and re-invent the wheel again and again!  Now go to the 'Collages, Encaustics, Artists Books' page up there in the menu bar.
4. How does my creative process work?

I'll talk about the process for the 'Twins' series here-  first I find a compelling photograph-  usually it very tiny because snapshots from the early part of the century weren't big.  I actually like that I can't see details because it allows me freedom to make changes, modify, add or leave out details.  For instance, the two middle aged women dressed in bathing suits and Cuban heels was taken in front of a garage door-  I felt they needed to be on a beach so I added that to the full sized drawing I make as a template.  If I need to make a pattern for a part of it, say the shape of a bathing suit, I trace it off onto tracing paper and use that as my pattern-  I don't make patterns for the whole piece.  I wing it.  Then I do the background first and sew it to a backing fabric before I add the women.  Sometimes I appliqué by hand, sometimes I raw edge machine stitch, and sometimes I just fuse pieces down.  OK, I admit sometimes I glue too.  I don't see the 'Twins' as finished, there are 6 now in the series and I don't currently have a compelling photograph to work from-  but I know one will appear when I'm ready to start something new.  Maybe boy twins next.  

The final cool part of the blog hop is to pick two other quilters-

and of course I can't do that-  so instead I have picked FIVE OTHER ARTISTS, all of them somewhat connected to quilting, but like me, off on their own 'thing'.  

I want you to go visit Terry Grant over at And Sew it Goes.  Terry is an amazing graphic designer who just returned from a fabulous trip to Spain, so her blog is full of her photography.  I've been watching her for a long time and I can guarantee these photographs are going to reappear as her meticulous quilts.  She overdyes commercial fabrics to be used in her work. Terry draws digitally every day and it's fun to see that work develop too.
Next, I want to refer you to Ragged Cloth Cafe, a blog written by a group of quilters about art in all varieties.  This has been around for a long time, with contributors cycling in and out and back again so viewpoints and information is always changing and interesting.  For instance, the current article by Olga Norris is about endpapers in books, fascinating! 
To see some embroidery work by Susan Lenz, try her main blog or go poke around at one of her other blogs like THIS-  I just realized that all my suggestions are for artists who work with discarded and recycled fabrics, and Susan is no exception-  I guess that's what initially attracted me to her gigantic tablecloth installation and her massive thread collection hanging in baskets from the ceiling!  Be prepared to spend lots of time here.  There is a great process series on that second link I sent. 
One more MUST SEE, is Teddy Pruett's blog.  Teddy also uses 'found' materials to make her story quilts and when you study them for a few minutes your sides will split from the humor included.  Teddy is also a certified quilt appraiser so she has a very scholarly side she saves for that work.  
And finally, for a completely different take on quilting arts, you must see Deb Lacativa's blog, More Whiffs, Glimmers, and Left Oeuvres.  Deb dyes and discharges fabric she finds and uses her pieces to build up layers and layers of fabrics as you would add paint to an abstract painting.  Her work is nonobjective, but it always has meanings and secrets she works in to surprise.  She sells both her dyed fabric and her completed works off her site.
                                                  Tell 'em all I sent you! 

now I have to go find a squirrel for tomorrow's post...

Monday, October 20, 2014

rinehart cites stationer

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. (Louisa May Alcott)

Today I went tot he appliance store, got a salesman who was so nervous I had to finish all his sentences.  In theory I spent a ton of money.  In reality I walked out with my dignity and some ideas.  I nixed the high, HIGH end and took myself down a peg to more normal.  I love love love a giant industrial refrigerator with a glass panel in the door, drool all over it but reality tells me that my unmatched Tupperware and half eaten rotisserie chickens wouldn't look 'pretty' in there.  So I banned windows in the refrigerator and 'saved' a couple thousand dollars.  I went down two notches in the dishwasher, I'm perfectly happy with the KitchenAid I have now, all I care about is it being quiet and it is.  Saved hundreds.  And the range-  I took my want list from a 48" 8 burner 2 oven giantess back to the way *I* cook and I'm back to a 36" model in a less expensive model that has everything I want-  saved $1500 plus it comes in these colors, I just pick and they deliver-  cool!
I may have to add this to my color wheel page!
After being fleeced at the appliance store, we went out for lunch to the fish market and brought home a couple of varieties for me taco on my OLD stove.  I have no idea what color to pick, but I'll tell you the lavender (second from the bottom on the right) is gorgeous but I doubt it would be big in the resale department.  I'll be more conservative.

This picking stuff out is daunting.  I don't know what I'm doing.

And hey, I don't know diddly squat about most art, but I do know what I like.  Sometimes I don't like the things I show you but they tickle my ironic bone or tweak my curiosity, or make me ask WTF???  Here's one now.

After a weekend of controversy and attacks, Paul McCarthy's so-called 'Tree' has been taken down in Paris.  Here are the before, during, and after:

 Of course such an 'art piece' attracts proponents of seeing it in a new site-  too funny!
After a rough start for Paul McCarthy’s 80-foot tall “Tree,” which included a few punches and name calling by people unhappy with the artist’s provocation, the inflatable green sculpture has been, well, unplugged. Within a day of being unveiled, “Tree” was already the target of critics, who turned off the fan keeping it inflated on Friday night. Later, several straps that were keeping the work securely in place were severed, according to Le FigaroEventually, authorities decided to deflate the sculpture after the artist agreed that its time in Place Vendôme was over.

 Yes, it’s that time of year again for the world’s largest flower parade, Corso Zundert in the Netherlands! Located in the small town of Zundert at the Belgian border, the annual parade features 20 giant floats created by various districts within the city. To encourage a wide breadth of creativity the parade never has a theme, leaving teams free to design whatever they want as long as the floats fit the within 20 x 10 meters and are completely adorned with dahlia flowers.

And Away I Go----  I need a drink too.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

barrymores catalyst proclaim

“The professional loves her work. She is invested in it wholeheartedly. But she does not forget that the work is not her.”  Steven Pressfield, author of the War of Art

I've been lax, I guess I must be busy, or more probably 'bizzy'!  Still fighting with keeping the house picked up and ready for visitors but alas, none through the place yet.  Good thing, I am out of Windex and have nose prints about 18" off the floor on every low window.  I*forgot*about*that.  Hope that when this hits MLS that we will see that all this polishing was worth it.  What a pain.  Meanwhile I spend all my time online (not on Blogger apparently!) looking at flooring and wallpaper and faucets-  next I am gonna need some online therapy because I am going quite mad.  And it hasn't even started yet.  

In the art department today, I guess it's WOOD, some fabulous sculptures, some very usable items, and a bit of fantasy thrown in!

Furniture-maker-turned-sculptor James McNabb just opened a new exhibition of work titled Metros at Robert Fontaine Gallery in Miami. McNabb continues his exploration of architectural shapes using an improvised form of woodworking frequently described as “sketching with a bandsaw.” Without regard to the design or stability a true architect might utilize, he instead works with more abstract shapes cut from repurposed and exotic woods which in turn become component pieces for larger sculptures resembling wheels or tables.  To die for...  

Freelance illustrator and graphic artist Martin Tomsky is gifted in the art of laser cutting wood. He creates everything from tiny pendants and brooches of small animals to these intricately layered sculptural works depicting entire illustrated scenes. See much more in his Etsy shop

Designer and woodworker Frank Howarth has a passion for building things with his hands, he makes everything from shelves and chairs to toys and tables. But there’s one thing he might be even more passionate about: showing people how he does it on his YouTube channel. In some of his most popular films, the Howarth removes himself completely to create stop-motion animations with thousands of photos, where the objects appear to build themselves.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

goldstine divulge incoherent

Taking care of housekeeping first:  I got a note from Sue who sent this about a show of Lisa Kokin's out in Mill Valley.  I've been tooting her horn the last few blog entries.  If you are anywhere near, GO!  And of course then tell me about it!
Artist talk with Lisa Kokin

This Saturday, October 18
5 - 6pm


Facsimile: Lisa Kokin

October 1 - 30, 2014

The photography day went well, but as soon as the photographer left I was faced with finding all my stuff and putting it back where I use it!  It was nice to see my countertops for awhile plus they are preserved in pictures so I can remember what it's supposed to look like!  I don't know when it will be online, just hope it brings a few folks in to look. Meanwhile nothing has happened as far as building goes.  Tomorrow we get pressure washed and get the windows washed (hopefully) and that means I will be holed up with the canines in the studio to keep the barking down-  they are quite unhappy when there are men crawling all over their property!

Tonight TY wasn't feeling well, a bad headache,  and neither of us get those very often.  Fortunately we now know he doesn't have Enterovirus, but he takes small comfort in my charts-

But he's now resting comfortably and I have the remote to myself.  And thinking compulsively of gingersnaps.

So instead of giving in to a need to make them, let's talk some ant-speak!

Collage artist Travis Bedel  continues to make intriguing collages with imagery acquired from field guides, textbooks, and vintage etchings. Bedel, who works under the moniker Bedelgeuese, makes both physical and digital collages that form a wild amalgamation of botanical, zoological, and anatomical imagery.

Using nothing but wire, sculptor Clive Madison creates tangled trees that grow from wooden bases into dense clusters of leaves and branches. Each piece is made by hand without glue or solder, using single strands of wire that start at the base and terminate at the top. You can see many more pieces on his website

And we'll take our leave with this spooky costume show-  More of these to follow, of course, interspersed with squirrels.  This is actually how we used to trick or treat!