Friday, December 14, 2012

That was then and this is now....

Too bad the artist can't develop as fast. Here are my finished "tiles". The original image was a closeup of my face, taken by obliging Tatiana, another of the artist group, and processed, with transparencies, varying degrees of intensity xeroxes, by Donna Senopoulos, the gallery manager and manager of this project -- she's an artist, as you can guess. So here's where it's at.

The charcoal drawing is one I did many years ago, not of my own face, but resembling it somewhat at that period, as most drawings of faces tend to resemble the artist. Then there's a paper weaving with a stenciled nautilus image, in another, and a "series" of artist faces in another, superimposed on paintings, and a painting of my workbasket packed with scraps and bits, in another. That last one is probably a good analog of the artist mind, come to think of it. Anyway, here it is.

And here am I. This is the day before my birthday, so I thought it was a good way of leaving the old year with a bang!

Portrait of the Artist as a Work in Progress...aren't we all

I'm part of a group project, referring to the town I live in, and the people who live and work and play there. One part of this, which will be exhibited in due course, once everyone's had his or her say, is a series of small self portraits, artist style, on illustration board. They'll be shown tiled, and I'm working on mine. The first three, one still to think about, are at this stage of realization:

More will happen, and they'll be trimmed down to squares, but this is where it's at right now. As I say, the artist is a work in progress, and so is the art!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Home and Away

At home, here's the big Douai bible and the little Douai bible (same bible, different print and page size), in their new covers, as planned yesterday.   Some fabric left over and I'll figure out what its destination will be at some point.

Then, a rescue work:  among the belongings of the local EGA chapter, one of the outgoing Presidents found the banner, unfinished, and all forlorn. 
So she presented it to me when I became one of her (three!) successors,and I've hemmed and dowelled and pressed it, and plan to hang it at our monthly members meetings, in case we forget what chapter we're in...I just wanted to honor the stitchers who designed and almost finished it.  There's a pencilled in place for an escutcheon, too, which will probably house a stitched emblem of the chapter, but that can wait a bit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Catharsis hurts

Sometimes recycling hits home in a way that is hard to handle. This current piece is the opened up bag, which originally contained the ashes, in a container, of Handsome Partner. The ashes long since scattered in a favorite place, the bag, a dark blue velveteen, has been sitting in the coat closet on a shelf, because it was such a dilemma. You can't toss such a thing. You can't use it as a bag, though it was designed as a drawstring bag, so it has sat there, causing a stab of pain when I went in for a coat.

Then today it occurred to me that HP would have been very amused to see it given a new lease on life. I cut it open, and have stenciled, in metallic turqoise and copper, a natural design. This will be a book cover, probably for my Douai bible. And there will be more fabric left over, to use for some other respectful kind of cover.

This feels much better. And handling it when I handle the bible, will feel good, too. But all the same, suddenly I feel very tired.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Pairs Project continues

Here's the latest pair which has emerged:  a film photograph collage, which I made some time ago, choosing subjects very close to my house, and a tapestry rendition of the same concept, using embroidery floss,crochet thread and beads. 

Marginal photo rendition, darkest day of the year, I guess, despite my adding light here and there.  click to see better, though.  Size of photo piece about 5 x 8 inches, of the tapestry about 5 x 12.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Silk dyeing for upcoming workshop

This is the later stages of my preparing for a workshop for my embroidery buds.  I'm leading them in a session of free form embroidery on silk.  I've taken habotai silk, handrolled squares, and hand dyed them with silk dyes, various techniques.  I did twenty, each an individual artwork, and probably there will be a couple of extras after enrollment is filled.  I showed a couple as a preview at the holiday party, and they went over well, so I hope this will be a good experience.  Click to see these better.

Many hours in the studio to do this!  after this I decide whether to use a fixative -- these pieces are for stitching and framing, not washing -- and I have to press all the pieces for best presentation. Then wave them about to release the static!  but great fun all the same.  And I have to wrap a bunch of hoops to protect the silk as the stitchers work on it.   And write the how to guide for seeing, deciding, choosing stitches, colors, areas to work in, and so on, for people most of whom don't have experience in the fine arts, but whose stitching skills are off the charts good.

Aside from the days I had to empty the studio in case the walls had to be cut into for the famous leak situation...but all is calm now.

This experience, of teaching a stitching group, is a real crossover for me, working in fine and applied art at the same time.  I already know the people, and they're very receptive, so it ought to work.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Local art association

By way of a complete contrast to the more formal event last evening with the embroiderers, we had a regular meeting of the local artists' group, with some excellent new artworks on display, and discussion.  Nice group, good friends there, too.  Tatiana, this means you!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Embroiderers' Holiday Shindig

This is the main holiday party I'm going to this year. Everything else is low key and few people.  But this was the firstEGA holiday party I've been to since I joined the embroiderers, and it was great.  Wonderful dinner, all chef cooked, pastry chef did the desserts, wine, atmosphere, everything.

And a big turnout, most of the chapter came, and we had a business meeting in between present giving and awarding of awards for various activities, the extent of which would make a person's head spin.  This is a busy group, what with outreach teaching and membership promoting and donating needlework materials to people who need them.  And we did a show and tell of work completed this year, a fraction of what actually took place. Also in attendance at the bash were the husband of one member and the mom of another, caught them both in the fourth pic down.

All the members do embroidery in all its forms, needlepoint, cross stitch, hardanger, pulled work, crewel, and some also do quilts -- some miniaturized quilts seen here -- and my own door prize was a great pattern for pulled and drawn threadwork, one of my favorite stitching adventures.  I showed a few of the silk pieces I'd dyed for the workshop I'm teaching in early February, seen in the second to last photo, end of the table,and the participants perked up on seeing them, so I think this will go well.

Some of the pieces on the show and tell table are rescued -- including the Princeton chapter banner, stitched on heavy linen, and now in my custody for my term of office, newly installed tonight,the banner found in the general stash, nobody sure of its history, but we plan to take care of it. 

All in all, good to be us!