Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

My artist talk video

June 15, 2017

In conjunction with my solo show last fall at Mitchell-Giddings FIne Art gallery, I gave an artist talk jointly with fellow fiber artist, Jackie Abrams. If you’re interested, here’s a link to the full talk. I cover a lot of ground! Including my inspiration, materials and techniques.

Boy, is it weird to watch myself!

Seed Dreaming VI 72

 

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Life Drawing

January 26, 2017

This fall in order to try to stretch my creative chops, I took a semester long Life Drawing class. The last time I did this was a hundred years ago in college and it took some time to get used to the messiness and loveliness of working with charcoal again. Each week we had a different model, all shapes and sizes and drew for over 2 hours.

nude-1

I loved it. I’d leave each class covered in charcoal dust. I do think it was helpful for me to do something away from fabric and get back to looking and drawing again.

I have some ideas brewing on how to integrate elements of these drawings into my next fiber piece…we’ll see.

nude-2

Under Construction

January 19, 2016

It seems I often grumble about how difficult it is for me to gather enough clarity and confidence to actually jump in and start a new piece. So for a change, I thought I’d focus on the sweet place of being in the middle.

seed construction zone

seed construction zone

Lots of ideas a poppin’. Every time I walk past my design wall (which is in my bedroom!), I want to try a new placement or color or fabric or juxtaposition. Nothing linear here… Just lovely chaos!

And though I will still have moments of doubt, the general feeling is one of excited possibility.

This is why I keep at this art thing.

Dreaming seeds return

December 16, 2015

“The plant is the dream of the seed.” Australian Aboriginal saying.

This quote has inspired me in the past…

Seed Dreaming I

Seed Dreaming I

…and is inspiring me again. Large seed shapes are taking root in my studio!

New Seed

New Seed

Stay tuned.

Glimpses of breath

October 19, 2015

During this past summer, due to other obligations, my artmaking was fairly fallow. Periods of time like that leave me uneasy and both eager to get back to it and anxious that it won’t come easily. Though I wasn’t dyeing and stitching much, my mind was playing with an unformed, vague idea that I wanted to do something about Breath. This connects to my (mostly) daily meditation practice and the role  breath plays. It also fired up my curiousity to understand more about respiration both in us and in plants and how the miraculously efficient and rapid exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. And this (of course, to me!) lead to thoughts about the interconnectedness of our world.

I get excited about making art when the seeds of an idea are connected on multiple levels like this! I felt a series coming on…and about a month ago, I got to work!

There are several new-to-me materials I knew I wanted to include one being silk organza (lovely but tricky) as well as attempting to sew bombyx silk directly onto fabric and felt. Many mistakes were made! A lot to learn! Here are a few glimpses-close up detail shots-of the workpiece in process on my design wall right now.

glimpse 1

glimpse 1

glimpse 2

glimpse 2

glimpse 3

glimpse 3

 

Hmmm…hard to believe these are all coexisting in the same piece! Hopefully I’ll finish it and post a photo soon.

Cultivating Connections II

November 25, 2014

My newest piece continues my exploration of combining various raised felted textures with richly shimmery silk charmeuse. The original seeds for this composition were images of purkinje cells-some of the largest neurons in our brains. They have fantastic branching dendrites.
Maybe my fascination with how these tiny connections in our brains basically enable us to do or think anything has to do with my growing awareness that my own aging brain’s connections aren’t always so reliable!

Cultivating Connections II

Cultivating Connections II
31″ x 44″ (approx.)

Zooming in:

Cultivating Connections II detail 1

Cultivating Connections II detail 1

Cultivating Connections II detail 2

Cultivating Connections II detail 2

 

A peek at the secret piece in process

May 23, 2014

I’ve been pretty quiet on this blog recently because  I’m creating the work on my design wall ” under wraps”. My wonderful daughter, Caitlin is marrying wonderful Alex this July here in Vermont and I am making them a wall piece that will double as the chuppah (at a Jewish wedding, it’s a canopy the couple gets married under). They’ve decided they don’t want to see it till their wedding day…thus this hush hush business.

But here’s a peek at a small detail:

 chuppah peek 1

chuppah peek 1

They made some genersl choices about colors and looked through my portfolio to let me know which pieces of mine appealed most to them and left the rest up to me!
I’ve been surprised at how much it means to me to be working on a piece that I know will live in my family for a long time. I feel a much deeper connection to the work.

 

Slow Worlds

April 6, 2014

My ongoing fascination with teeny tiny changes that happen on a microscopic level  increases my own awareness of how much of our world is beyond our perception yet of course equally exists every moment. That world is invisible to us due to size but there are also wonderful things invisible to our limited human senses due to time.

This video by Daniel Stoupin  uses time lapse photography to capture the very slow but deeply beautiful movement of coral. It is stunning.

 

Jerry’s World

October 30, 2013

I promise i will post about my own current work in the next few days BUT I had to share this first. It’s rare that I get so blown away and excited to see how a person can develop such an original and brilliant artform. This should be inspiring to any creative  folks out there!

jerry's world-very small detail

jerry’s world-very small detail

Jerry Gretzinger has been creating a stunning sprawling map of a detailed imaginary world panel by panel for 50 years. This visually sumptious creation- made of paint, ink and collage-now spans over 2000 sheets of paper that fit together to create this world. And his process…how he decides each day what part of the world to change and develop…well you just have to watch this 9 minute video:

AND a portion of this artwork will be installed at my own local Brattleboro Museum this week. I can’t wait to see it in person.

Batiking in Ghana 4 (last one!)

September 4, 2013

Dan was also working on his own pieces while he taught us. When we arrived we saw a pile of large bundles of 2 color batiked fabrics which had been widely folded accordian style and bound. These were awaiting final resist dyeing.
Dye bowls were placed tilted in a drainage gap in the floor. Dan mixed dyes into the bowls.

Dan mixing dye for his own work

Dan mixing dye for his own work

You can see three bundles in the foreground ready for dyeing. Each bundle will be stood on its side to pick up that color and then stood on the opposite side to pick up a second color and to allow for color combos along the middle. Hard to explain but easier when you see the picture hopefully:

Dyeing the bundles

Dyeing the bundles

I really wish I had taken more close up pictures of his finished fabric so you could understand why I was so taken by the uniquely  intricate patterning and rich colors. Here’s another shot of fabrics for sale at the shop. It does not do it justice.

fabrics in the shop

fabrics in the shop

So back to finishing my piece of beginner batik: After the second block printing, dyeing and drying, the fabric was rinsed in the outside bathtub.

bathtub rinse

bathtub rinse

Then Dan plunged it into boiling water from the heated oil drum to melt off the wax. He deftly moved the fabric around using two sticks like tongs.

wax off

wax off

Et voila:

finished

finished

Notice the heavy handed moments. Dan and Elizabeth made it look easier that is was!
I hope this vicarious experience was interesting for some of you. It was wonderful for me to relive that day!