Sunday, January 29, 2017

Urgently needed break for art and nature

Since recent events, many frightening and some very heartening and exciting, are consuming a lot of attention and activist energy, I thought it was time for an art break.  A trip to Princeton University Art Museum, to be exact.

Current major exhibit is of Indian art, from the 16th and 17th centuries, with technical notes as well as narrative explanations. In there I bumped into two friends, and had a great visit.  

 We are all on the same page politically, and plunged into a mini meeting!  I was wearing my pussyhat pin and explained I don't do well with hats.  They had evidently just been saying something like that, too, and were interested in my pin.

Upshot was that I gave one friend a pin from the extras I now carry in my purse, and she pinned it on immediately, very happy with it, and with the safety pin part of the design.  I explained that it was two messages in one pin. 

They were not yet aware of the safety pin movement, so now they are. And the other friend who said she was not a pussyhat pin wearer, decided that she would put safety pins on her outfits from now on, to declare herself a safe person.  So this was a very happy meeting all around.  I feel like yeast!

Then I went off to the other galleries, to see a wonderful show about things bigger than ourselves, the sky, space, huge paintings and prints and anime of massiveness and response to overwhelming events. 

 Very instructive to see right at this moment.

And a visit to the early Roman and Greek gallery, to admire again the tesselated pavement from ancient Antioch.  It's one of the items I always pay my respects to in the museum.

This is where I force information on you, dating back to my days of studying classical Greek.  Tessera, also written as tettera, is the Greek word for four, or square.  Hence tesselations.  I like that the Greeks had alternative spellings and pronunciations for this word.  Maybe it was the passage of time that did it.

Moving right along...feeling very much better for seeing the art and the friends, on the way out, I noticed the forsythia in bloom, early, must be a sheltered spot outside the museum.  

And looking the other way, the background of the big Any Body Oddly Propped installation, outside the Museum, with people for scale.

Good, if freezing cold, afternoon. The longish walk to and from where I'd parked counted as my day's walk today.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Plainsboro Library Staff Show Reception

Just to show yet again, that artists are people with day jobs, here's the first ever gallery show presented by the staff of Plainsboro Public Library.  Any staff member could enter work, and most of them did. Some were exhibiting work for the first time.

The array of talent, in painting, photography, including  glass prints,  book art, video (yes, a mesmeric changing and dissolving montage of the ocean at Virginia Beach, must see this), font design, weaving, pottery, 40 pieces in all, the work of eleven artists, just has to be seen. It's only up for a few more days, so if you're local, hurry over.

Deputy township mayor Neil was in attendance, here center, talking with library staff

and the library director MaryAnn, left,very happy with the quality of the show and the attention it was getting

and food is important, too, another quality feature

It's just a lovely experience to study, slowly, and appreciate the work of our staff when they're not running the library. 

Sharon M, seen here admiring other artists' work, is the creator of the video seen in still image below. It runs continually, on a loop, all the hours of the library opening.
Center are two of Regan T's photographs, atmospheric and magical

Nicoleta is well known to the young stitchers at the summer EGA outreach program in the library, since she volunteers to assist at the sessions to lend her considerable stitching and teaching skills to their efforts. Her weaving and pottery are wonderful.

Here's Sharon M.s video, but you have to go see it in person


This book art with collage, work of Vanessa J., is one of the most moving items in the show. It's a book about how young people of color don't always know what their older generation went through. A lot of feeling and fact packed into a small artist-made book.

 Darren's work studies fonts and blueprints.  It makes you look!

And there's more! this is only a taste of what's there.  I came early to get pix before the crowds arrived for the reception. Thank you all, library staff, who are all also friends, for creating both a terrific gallery show and a great library atmosphere every day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

AIR 2017 prep in progress

As soon as I agree to a project, currently the four week residency for AIR 2017, Artists' Books, I initially plan to think about it later. It's not till April, plenty of time, I say to myself. Need to get on with weaving and spinning right now.

Then I start getting ideas and need to do something before they get away.  So I start like this:

 and that unleashes a whole lot of other ideas, some for teaching, some for exhibiting, some for my own need to Do Something with the huge portfolio of drawings and paintings under my worktable.

Organizing them into artists' books serves several purposes, so that's part of the process.  And since there will be four sessions, I have a bunch of empty folders for collecting said ideas.  And then I need a crate so I don't go wild searching for the materials when the time comes.  

The participants will see the crate and a selection of reference books and materials when they show up, but probably have little thought of the chaos that preceded the organization.

Then I go back to the original thought I had, and had made a few examples for participants to reverse engineer.

This book idea's a folder for installing separate pages or photos or other items.  And I realized, since I'd changed the original idea I got it from, I should do some diagrams to remind myself show participants how to proceed.  So far so good.  This is just the first draft of instructions, and I need to organize them ready to copy off.

This little foldy thing is fun to make, once you get the directions working. I did it from written instructions and quickly decided I'd better whip up some drawings otherwise it would be at least difficult if not hopeless, to convey this to speakers of other languages. For a lot of people stopping by at this sort of event, English is their third or even fourth language, fluent in everyday use but not necessarily up on the mildly technical terms needed in art. Diagrams and demo work best.

In the course of the search I also unearthed a couple of huge portfolios I'd made for other purposes, so I'll upcycle them and use them to show how to make a portfolio for even quite big watercolors and drawings. That big one in the foreground of the top pic is one, monotypes and stamping and other things going on.

The danger of pulling out old stuff like this is that the trip down memory lane can get a bit lengthy, with all kinds of new ideas flying out at you and demanding attention, while you beat them off like a cloud of gnats, trying to keep to one point at a time.

If anyone wants to try her hand at the foldy book thing above, take a shot.  I searched but did not come up with anything in video on this design, but if you do, let us all know.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Pussyhat Project interrupts our weaving odyssey briefly

If you want to be part of the Million Woman March on Washington the day after the Inauguration, you don't have to march to be in it. There are marches in many cities, as a women's solidarity action, to show our numbers and strength and encourage each other to keep up the good fight for our continued rights.

If you want to see how I'm taking part, right in my living room, go here 

I'm knitting a PussyHat, or maybe two, if there's time, I found out about this a bit late, to be sent to organizers of the project who will distribute to marchers to wear on the day and keep as a symbol of support.  But go to the Field and Fen link above, and you'll see more.