Friday, August 07, 2009

Yakkedy Yak

Just got back from a full day in Lowell at the Quilt Festival, or at least parts of it. The MA/RI section of SAQA had a regional meeting at the museum with a good turnout. Rosemary Hoffenberg gave a slide lecture and it was great to see all her work together. I've always admired her quilts, plus she was one on the jury of the Whistler show. We started talking and found out we have both sold a quilt to the same guy out in San Diego, the funny thing being that the two quilts are so closely related: neutral colors, and circles being the predominant design focus. So, here's a 'hi' to Roger and a thumbs up on his good taste!

After the SAQA meeting I got to see my quilt from the museum's permanent collection hanging with several others from my crit group in a little glass room. I love seeing it there once in awhile and even still actually like it. I'm very happy it has a good home.

We then trotted off to the Whistler Museum for the first opening. My piece is right in front of the door as you walk in, prime real estate. Some of the pieces were beautiful, others I kind of wondered about but excitement over the show was high and it was fun to reconnect with many people who I haven't seen for a very long time. The big news at the Whistler is their acquisition of 28 pieces from Archille Gorky's family that will be on permanent loan after the opening show on September 16. Every Armenian in the state will be there to celebrate, but there is more to celebrate than just his 'Armenian-ness'. He was really one of the first Abstract Expressionists and this collection is a major coup for the museum. It will be on permanent display on the second floor, but try to get to the opening show in the gallery behind the Whistler house.

OK, lots of cheese and crackers later, we headed back to the Brush Gallery for the second show. I felt this show was a bit more cohesive and the pieces related to each other a bit better, but also it was smaller and the gallery more intimate. There were some stunners here, all very much quilts with many techniques and individual visions. I'll get back without the crush of people and get a longer look at everything soon. And yes, more cheese and crackers here.

On the way back to the car we stopped to see the show at the ALL gallery too- not quilts here, but all textile related in some way. The standouts for me were two pieces, one a print by Linda Branch Dunn on a vintage dresser scarf, and then a series of wire knitted necklaces and a beautiful knitted cape by the another woman. I hung around waiting to talk to her but she had a little knot of people around her while we were there
so I don't know much about her. Some very interesting things in this show, though small. And more crackers and cheese.

We never made it to the Boote Mill, the Textile Museum, The Gerald Roy show, or the Tsongas Arena. We'll see if I can hike back up there tomorrow (doubtfully!). Sylvia and I rolled back home by about 5 PM after having put in a full day's work chatting and listening and introducing and admiring. I need CPR I am so tired.

Mark your calendars for August 24th- St. Bartholomew's Day, an auspicious day for Book Artists. St. Bart is a patron saint of bookbinders.

Yesterday I spent several hours readying some images for Spoonflower for printed yardage. One in particular was a pesky problem- the image is a composite of 3 photographs of a dumpster side, and for some reason it didn't want to bend to my wishes. Here it is----

Ordered 2 yards- do NOT click this image unless you enjoy crashes.

Fair warning, I also have a second one that I just used the straight image as I photographed it, but arranged it in a mirror set-up so it formed some cool patterns with the diagonals. If you haven't used Spoonflower, try it- easier than shibori, neater than dye, less toxic than batik. I was very pleased with my last order, but unfortunately it's just like any special fabric- too pretty to cut.

I only got a yard of this one, but in sateen and it's 53" wide- should be enough for something. I love love love this picture (one out of a series of about 20 I took one day on a walk) and have always wanted to use it somehow so here we go.

I know you are all sick to death of me ranting about the new studio but frankly I cannot get my mind past it for more than a minute and a half. When a friend stopped me the other day and gave me a big hug and congratulations I was so happy- started talking immediately about the new space and my stuff and how I've waited and hunted for so long, etc etc, She looked at me blankly, then said she was happy about my daughter having a second child. Oh yeah, that too, I forgot. Sigh.

Robert Genn today:
Back in the new studio, lighting, elbow-room, Feng Shui considerations and lack of accumulated clutter can annoy the muse and send her packing. Seemingly inconsequential changes like the placement of furniture can be blockers as well. (I knew a woman who left her husband because he moved their dining-room table. To be fair, there was another factor--he was a regular user of tomato ketchup.)

Easel placement and time-and-motion considerations for palette, equipment, etc., are vital. You need to keep moving things around until they feel right. Here are a few ideas:

Try not to have your back toward a door.
Move sound-volume controls to close at hand.
Consider increasing the amount of general lighting.
Get a speakerphone. Get comfortable.

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