Archive for the ‘Motivation’ Category

A Deadline Motivates!

July 4, 2016

The opening of my solo show at Mitchell Giddings Fine Art gallery is 6 weeks away. Despite trying to balance my day job and my elderly Mom here for the summer, I find I’m being much more productive during the precious minutes of studio time I can carve out.
big seed 3 detail2
detail-in progress

No dilly-dallying! No endless indecisiveness and tortured second guessing! It all feels a bit scary but so satisfying!

The first two large convex seeds are mounted (with rigid rug padding inside) and the third one is mostly finished. I’ve also simultaneously begun working on several smaller pieces for the show. This is all such a revolution in my usual only-work-on-one-piece-at-a-time style.

Once the show is hung and my mom has left, I wonder if I can somehow keep myself creating in this way…

Advertisements

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.

The chuppah done

August 3, 2014

My daughter’s wedding three weeks ago was an absolutely lovely day. My major contribution (besides my wonderful daughter, Caitlin) was creating the Chuppah that the ceremony would take place under. It was months in the making and was first unveiled at the ceremony. I created a piece that was a wedding gift to Caitlin and Alexandra and mounted it onto a larger panel of dyed silk gauze. This whole baby was then suspended by tall beech poles. Because of its purpose in the world, I found creating this felt very different. Lots of emotion went into this!

Here’s a full view of the piece which is titled “Cultivating Connection”. It now hangs on their wall.:

Cultivating Connection

Cultivating Connection

And a closer look…

Cultivating Connection detail

Cultivating Connection- detail

And here’s how it looked moments before the ceremony began…(sniff). The two on the right are my other wonderful children.

Chuppah at the ceremony

Chuppah at the ceremony!

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.

 

Worlds Apart

December 14, 2013

I’m continuing to experiment with combining areas of felting with areas of stitched silk. The felting in this new piece began last summer when I felted with my 90 year old mom and began using resists to create channels .
The composition of Worlds Apart was partly defined by those sections of felting I wanted to include. I like beginning a piece with some external constraints-it helps my indecisive and dithering mind to focus!

Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart

The title came instantly to me. It satisfies my need for a piece to be exploring many metaphrical levels at once (at least in my mind!). It is essentially about the relationship between two entities that share some similarities but have fundamental differences- be they cells, people, ideas…

Worlds Apart detail

Worlds Apart detail

As always, the felted areas were dreamy to stitch into-like carving into soft clay!

 

 

Possibilities take shape

May 27, 2013

I wrote last post about the inevitable times of frustrating dead ends that seem to be a part of every journey I take to a finished piece.  But this eventually leads to some sort of shift-and what was keeping me stuck becomes clear. In this case, I was operating with the confining assumption that this next piece would be a third in the Beneath series (see here and here). I had more of that avocado shaded felt from those pieces so  it seemed logical to continue that series…

Not until I let go of that could I see that (obviously!) the material I had called out to become a new Seed Dreaming piece ( see here and here). I suddenly got excited by the possibilities of metaphorically using the complexities of the felted surfaces  to express my intent of the Seed Dreaming pieces.

So now potential possibilities are present (say 3 times fast). Lots of decisions to come but I’m confident I’ve found a path to move forward. Here are some peeks of order emerging from previous chaos:

Work in Progress_Seed Dreaming I_1

Work in Progress_Seed Dreaming I_1

seed-iv-new felting

seed-iv-new felting

seed-iv-wip-texture

seed-iv-wip-texture

 

 

 

Back in the Saddle…

November 11, 2012

After months of focusing on that large commission and attending to some family business, getting started on a new piece of my own was more difficult than I predicted. I’m jealous of artists who seem to be always teeming with ideas for future work. My brain can only work on the joys and problems and decisions for the piece at hand. When that’s finished, then new ideas coalesce and bubble up.

But this time the bubbles were not so forthcoming. Perhaps creating the commission and all the negotiating that entailed had knocked me off balance?

I tried my usual jump start techniques. I drew some. I sorted fabric. I looked at other art. Nada.

Finally I forced myself to just start with much less of a vision in my head. Risky business. I did know I wanted to use some beautiful green silks and some  gold/ green/ orange nuno felting I’d dyed and created for the commission but which didn’t make the cut.

After a month of “beginning”, I think this piece is starting to find a direction:

November 2012  work in progress

November 2012 work in progress

November 2012 detail-work in progress

November 2012 detail-work in progress

I start stitching today. I have a rough idea how I’ll use the nuno felt and some mulberry embroidery thread will also find its way in.

We’ll see where this goes…

 

On another (tiny) note…

June 14, 2012

This New York Times article, ” In Good Health? Thank Your 100 Trillion Bacteria”  is the kind of read that fires up my imagination!

Human microbes

Human microbes

Favorite quote #1:
“Humans, said Dr. David Relman, a Stanford microbiologist, are like coral, “an assemblage of life-forms living together.”

Favorite quote #2:
“Humans, he (Dr. Barnett Kramer) said, in some sense are made mostly of microbes. From the standpoint of our microbiome, he added, “we may just serve as packaging.”