Thursday, January 31, 2013

Say Squeeze

 I struggled to finish this painting today. I had a hard time with Grandpa, and in the end, failed to capture the endearing look he bestows onto the cheery, content Grandma.  Still, I like the character of this painting.  I can always try again another time.  For my last trick, I will paint this lovely pair again, but standing up.  Yes, there will be another three piece suit involved. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Pressing

 I finished Grandma ironing today.  I'm happy with how some unexpected things worked out (i.e. drip)  The print in the background is from her favorite nightgown.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Paper Dolls Painting

 I finished my fifth painting over the weekend.  It's based on a photo of my Grandma and her younger sister in their First Communion dresses.  I just love their expressions and the contrast between the neatness of their pristine dresses and shiny shoes and the shabbiness and roughness of the porch they are standing on.  I saw the dresses as blank canvases themselves and so painted them flatly with patterns.  The last photo is of my next painting also based on a photo of my Grandma ironing, one of her favorite chores.

The Art We Make

 During our girls' weekend, my Mom painted rattles, my sister felted, knitted, and painted, and my sister-in-law learned to crochet!  We spent our last couple hours playing the board game "Clue."  Judy won both times.

Patterns in Nature

 We had our annual girls' weekend in the woods this past weekend.  My Mom, Sister, Sister-in-law, and I spent the night at a retreat house on Martha's property.  (Martha is from Martha's loom mentioned in previous posts)  We talk, make art, play games, hike in the woods, and watch movies.  It's something I always look forward to as a hallmark of the year. 

I have posted several pictures of patterns in nature witnessed while following a pair of great horned owls which I attempted to photograph.  Despite their large size in actuality they are imperceptible specks once captured by my lens. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

And then there was this one . . .

Penelope showing me her sun drawing in her sketchbook
 I may be obsessed with rearranging my studio.  Truth be told, I'm no happier than when I can shift furniture around and reorganize, and my experience has proven that it is hard to get it right the first time.  My latest set-up makes great space for painting standing at my easel and room for a guest to work at the table.  (I like sharing my studio, too.  You want to come and read or work?)  Now where can I squeeze a couch in here?
 This is painting number four of my painting blitz.  I'm halfway to my goal of eight new paintings in two and half weeks.  I'm having a hard time explaining this painting, but I can list for you the concepts that were swirling in my brain while painting it. 

1. We the people:  Monday's Inauguration ceremony was a moment of pride for me.  It's rare for me to feel patriotic or have a nationalistic identity, but listening to our President made me realize that I am tired of the criticism and tearing down or our leaders as the source of our nations' problems.  It's like blaming teachers for a broken educational system.  We the people, are as responsible for our fates and how we operate in this world.  Ask what I can do?  I made this crazy painting. 

2.  Pee-Wee's Playhouse:  I was listening to an interview with Wayne White discussing his varied career as an artist, set-designer, cartoonist, puppeteer, and more.  He got his big break on the set of Pee-Wee's playhouse as a designer and puppeteer.  He mentioned how Paul Reubens hired outsider artists particularly from the cartoon world to assist in his TV production.  These were artists who associated with another of my inspirations: Keith Haring.  Long story made short, they created something entirely fresh and new.  The fact that as kids we were exposed to such satire and Dada like silliness was a miracle, and I am entirely thankful.  It's artists like these that make me think anything is possible and can be delightful---bliss, in fact.  

3.  Massacre:  The mass shooting in Connecticut was horrific and incomprehensible.  However, I still don't understand why it receives more attention that the massacre happening only miles away from me in Chicago.  Our youth are being slaughtered and they barely get mentioned.  As you may have noticed in a previous post, I'm going to be posting the names of those killed in gun violence through-out the year.  I want to turn this into a bigger project, but haven't decided how to develop it yet.  My first thought was to embroider all of the names--to really take time stitch by stitch to honor each life, but the murder rate is so high that I don't know if this feasible.  Got any ideas?  Bottom line: our youth have to be safe from us. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

2013 gun related homicides in Chicago as of 1-21-13

Jovantay Alexander, Marshall Fields-Hall, Jorge Valdez-Benitez, Tyrone Lawson, Curtis Porter, Gregory Bady, Damian Barnes, Rey Dorantes, Victor Vega, Marcus Wallace, Tyrone Soleberry, Brian Cross, Johnny Taylor, Tyshawn Blanton, Darvelle Brown, Lavonshay Cooper, Marcus Turner, David Kartzmark, Name Unknown, Michael Kozel, Ulysses Gissendanner, Kevin Jemison, Myron Brown, Devonta Grisson, Octavius Lamb,

Process of Building Painting


Blocked in


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Take A Seat

First of new paintings for Prarie Title show.  I wanted to do add to current chair and bed paintings in order to round out those themes.  I like chairs and interior spaces for their metaphoric message of place in the world. 


Collecting finished paintings for show
 I've recently toted that I'd happily spend ten hours daily in my studio if I was able.   Well, now I'm going to try to log those hours at the easel over the next couple weeks.  I've agreed to fill in for an artist who has withdrawn from the next OPAL Prarie Title Show scheduled for February and March.  While I have some finished pieces, I need to generate many more to fill 25 or 35 feet of hanging space.  It's exciting and scary, but definitely a fun challenge.  I'm trying to bury feelings of inadequacy and power ahead into creativity.  I do have to say that I'm disappointed to put the breaks on my weaving project.  I was having great thoughts while threading about how I was creating order and space and very much looking forward to passing a boat shuttle through the shed.  It will have to wait until after the show.
view from back of threads through the reed

View from above of threads;  They are two per dent

Monday, January 14, 2013

Zipper - Check!

Magic Mushroom House Embroidered Pouch
 I don't recommend powering through the flu.  It doesn't work.  I spent most of the last 10 days feeling miserable.  When I did muster some energy, I managed to finish embroidering my magic mushroom house piece which I intended to make into a zippered pouch.  I had envisioned a coin purse shape instead of the standard square or rectangle.  It's a little wonky, but I'm OK with it.  Somehow my brain was functioning well enough to follow a zipper installation tutorial.  I made one trial attempt and then the completed the magic mushroom pouch.  Finally, I sketched out a Dutch House embroidery which I began working on last night. 

So, It's nice to cross zippers off my list of resolutions, but I would like to build on my basic knowledge to learn more sophisticated and varied installations.
Interior of experimental version
Dutch House Sketch and Embroidery
 It's been a week since I've gotten back into my studio to finish winding warp for a wool scarf.  Today I did just that, soaking up the beautiful sun.  I even began to dress Martha's loom, and am surprised that the process is smoother than expected considering the fine, fuzzy 528 ends with which I'm working.
Luscious Yarn

Winding Warp
Wound Warp Resting on Loom
Studio at Night, Beginning of Threading Process