Thursday, April 10, 2014

Down Time

My Bernina is in the repair shop, which , like many of you, is causing me lots of frustration because I spend most of my days sewing.  I'm trying to turn it into a positive by immersing myself in this new to me encaustic process.

Most encaustic is made using a board or hard surface under it.  I have lots of these boards, but I am drawn to using just fabric.  In fact, if I think about it, I'm not really doing encaustic, I'm basically coating my fabric in wax to try to achieve a more textured look.  I love what fiber artist Debbie Lyddon is doing, check her out here

My biggest issue right now is trying to seal the wax and get a smooth surface without setting the cloth on fire.

I'm a work in progress on that one, as you can see in the photo below with the singed area in the lower left corner.  I'm thinking I need to use more wax if I'm going to try using a torch on it.

I'm working really small right now, just 6 inches,  but I'm already thinking about some larger pieces I want to make.

My machine won't be ready for another week.

I've sorted and reorganized all my art books, gone thru my shoes for Goodwill donations, cleaned my desk, and spent way too much time surfing the web. Today I'm thinking about cleaning out the kitchen drawers, hopefully something will come up to distract me from that.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New York

We spent 9 days in New York/New Jersey recently attending artist receptions for the two exhibitions I'm in, and while there we were able to get to a few museums. I haven't counted, but there must be a hundred museums in New York, and it's a bit overwhelming to try and decide what to see.  I have two favorite exhibits to talk about here.

The first is at the Guggenheim and it is a 30 year retrospective of artist Carrie Mae Weems

This exhibit was not in the main area of the museum, the wrap around area, it was in two side rooms on different floors. We wandered in, taking a break from the main exhibit, which was Italian Futurism, 1909-1944. Not really my interest. But the minute I walked into the Weems exhibit, I was caught up in her stories.

Weems describes herself as a "Socially Engaged Artist"  and I can't think of a better description of her work.  She works primarily in photography, but also text, fabric, instillation and video.

To see more of her work, check out her website

The other art we saw that made an impression on me was at the Museum of Art and Design

The exhibit I like was "Out of Hand" and was all about digital fabrication, including 3-D printing.

I apologize that I didn't write down the name of the artist who made this light, and now I can't find it anywhere on the site.  Look at those great shadows.

I always think of Valerie Goodwin and her experiments with 3-D printing

The museum had a hands on display where we could put our hand into a holograph type computer and make our own 3-D images.  Very cool.

We walked into the Met at 2 in the afternoon one day and were immediately overwhelmed.  We tried to concentrate on specific exhibits, but barely made it past the first floor. I was talking to a volunteer and she mentioned that we have lots of large museums in L.A.  Nothing like this.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New York and New Jersey

What an incredible week this was. On Monday night I had the opening of my solo show at The ArtQuilt Gallery in the Chelsea area of Manhattan New York. This is a wonderful gallery space next to The City Quilter store, run by Dale Riehl, Cathy Izzo and Judy Doenias.

The artwork looked so great up on the wall, it's always a thrill to see my work anywhere other than the guest bed.

Look at the flowers my local crit group sent, they have been such a huge support in my growth as an artist.

I've always thought of myself as somewhat shy, but it seems when I'm talking about my art, I can't shut up. The show will be up until April 19th, so if you get a chance, please stop by and check it out.

From New York, we took a train up to Princeton, New Jersey, for an artist's reception of the "A View Within" show at the Princeton Brain and Spine Institute. This show was put together by Madelaine Shellaby, curator of Art Times Two. Paula and I were supposed to attend an opening here in early December, but polar vortex cancelled our plans. Since I was already on the east coast, Madelaine arranged this reception.

Paula and I rarely get to see our work together, so this was a real treat for me, Paula will have to rely on my photos.

The reception attendees commented on what they felt was our ability to make something beautiful out of something that is usually stressful,

and I heard that the Drs. and patients enjoyed having the art in this environment.

In the mean time, it was 20 degrees in New York today and 75 in Los Angeles, where I'm headed home

Monday, March 3, 2014

More Encaustic

I knew I would be sucked in to encaustics, and I was right.  I am spending my mornings working with wax, and my afternoons stitching.  I know I'm just touching the tip of the iceberg, but it's all new to me, and I feel like a sponge.

I switched over from encaustic board to pieces of muslin, which is way cheaper, and easy to manipulate.

I'm adding rust, tissue paper

India ink, string, and heat setting it between each layer.  I have water handy because applying fire to fiber, even with wax covering it, can lead to scorching and burning, which is another interesting effect.

I'm folding Organza, then pulling it back apart,

I'm gathering it up, then relaxing it.  And I haven't even added colored wax yet.
I'm happy to be showing something on my blog again, since I really can't share the fiber I'm working on.
I love the times when I'm thinking "what if", and that's happening a lot right now.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

When It Rains...

It actually is raining here, but that's not what I'm referring to.

Yesterday, Paula and I gave a brief Skype talk to META , which is a group of scientists, engineers, and artists who get together monthly and frequently find common ground in their very different fields.  Madelaine Shellaby, from Art Times Two Gallery the meet up and it was really fun to  talk about our work to people from other walks of life.

Today, I took some time off from fiber art to play around with encaustics again.  I tried stitching some cylinders out of organza, then applying wax and manipulating them into different shapes.  This lead to more questions than answers, but that's what's so fun about all of this.

Next Thursday I am heading to New York for the opening of my solo show at the Art Quilt Gallery in the Chelsea district.  This has been in the planning stages for several months and I'm really excited to be able to see it in person.  ( I just realized my name is wrong on the announcement!)

It almost seems like a retrospective, since they are showing work from as long ago as 2010, and it will be interesting to see how my arts has changed over that time.

I feel crazy busy right now, but it's all good things so I'm not complaining at all.  I am looking forward to some serious studio time when I get back though.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I've Been Cheating

on my fiber art.  My husband took an encaustic class several years ago, and as soon as I saw it I knew I would love it, which is why I've been resisting for so long.

When a class became available in nearby, I decided to take the plunge.

I was right. I love it.  We had 3 full days of messing around with hot wax, and it was so much fun.

I came home and set up an area in my already crowded studio for hot wax work. I'm still waiting for a few supplies before I jump right in.

My sewing machine stares at me with a sad look on it's face whenever I enter the room, but I don't think she has to worry, as I'm hoping this will complement my fiber art, not compete with it.
There's still a lot of learning to do, but it is all so much fun.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Year, Old Resolutions

I'm not much for making New Years resolutions, for me it's a set up for failure, as I instantly feel pressured to do something, even if I like doing it.

I already exercise, but being the lazy people that we are, my husband and I have a trainer, Brian,

who comes to our house and takes us for a walk three times a week.  He does a lot of bone density training for me, and balance training for Ted. I'm not showing you the front of Brian on purpose, because he is definite eye candy and I don't want you swooning. We've been doing this for four years now so it's not a resolution, just a continuation.

One thing I did start shortly after the New Year is a class called Pen, Ink and Watercolor through Crafty You might think this is a resolution, but actually it was a sale that attracted me in the first place.  I'm hoping this class will improve my focus on lines.  I'm into a black and white phase right now and want to let the lines do the talking.  This is a sample I made for some pieces I'm working on interpreting MRA's  (Magnetic Resonance Angiograms).

I do have a few pieces of completed or almost completed work.  This is the replacement I made for the Gravida piece that sold.  This is called Gravida 2, Para 1.

So, no resolutions, just a continuance of what I have been doing, since it seems to be working for me.

This week we are going up to San Jose Quilt Museum to see the Fiberart International 2013 exhibit, then on to the De Young in San Francisco to see David Hockney. Lots of inspiration coming my way.