Dedicated to my children… Watching Bob Ross paint was a favorite time when then were little. His voice was so soothing and his message so positive.
Write the to-do list when you are more than 1/2 way through it
If you’re a list-maker like me, don’t you find it disheartening to create a long list of intentions and then only get a couple checked off? This weekend I purposefully didn’t write the list but kept it in my head to write down today. It’s so much more motivating to see 6 items checked off with only 4 left (which don’t all have to get completed today). I wonder what theory of time management this falls under?
My to-do list
sell the HP Envy x2 on eBay
bye-bye Windows 8!
take old electronics to town recycling drop-off
get a decent deal on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
bake a ham
mend some kitchen projects
visit with friends
Ham: hope mine looks like this in an hour
- purchase requisitions for school
- work on assemblage/collage for MCS exhibit at Zhou Brothers Gallery
- load new apps on the tablet
Dropped these two collages off yesterday at the Downers Grove (IL) Public Library for an exhibition of “Book/Art”. The library has an annual show for the Midwest Collage Society. Both of these are extensions of some ideas of artwork I created last year.
Quick Changes is based on a page from a 1938 magazine advertising sewing patterns for fashionable blouses. There is a foundation of painted wallpaper, sheer cream-colored check fabric, and an orange/red satin. I over-layed it all with a red sheer and embellished with rosettes made of spiral-cut book pages and sewing pattern tissue. The collage is mounted on a painted 11 x 14 inch gallery wrapped canvas.
Garden Pages is one of a series of five abstract florals in acrylic and ink on a 6 inch square chunky canvas. This one is embellished with a section of fluttery pages from a book spine and book page rosettes.
While I don’t wear much white clothing, I do have an appreciation for it. As I rummaged through my closet I found a white cotton blouse with a peter pan collar – reminiscent of the parochial school uniform blouses I wore long ago. Not much need for such a garment to hang in my closet as I am quite sure my days of dress-up are long past. So into the pile for cutting up it went along with a lace camisole. Next stop was the sewing room where choosing white, off-white, and natural fabrics was a breeze. I also have a stash of cotton lace and doilies that will make an appearance in some slow cloth stitchery I am starting along with about a 100 new friends in Jude Hill’s online course (mentioned in a previous post). Here’s my initial stack.
Whenever I think about “white” it rarely seems to be intense white like freshly fallen snow, clouds against a blue sky, or the glare of my smartphone in the middle of the night. White to me is more ivory like the lampshades in my living room or ecru cotton lace doilies. Most frequently over the past few years I recall the above photo when I think of white. It is of my grandmother, Katheryn Skelley (lower right), her brother Tom, sisters, Ann and Elva, with my great-grandmother, Katherine Riley Skelley in the center. I’m quite sure they were all wearing the most blindingly white clothing with all the fine tucks and lace adorning it. But as the photo is over 100 years old, it has faded into sepia and creamy ivory with a curious blue tint crossing Tom’s face. But it reads as “white” in my brain.
That photo was the inspiration for “Enchanted Excavation“. While it often photographs “white” (as light encaustic paintings are notoriously difficult to capture on inexpensive cameras), it is really full of many underlying shades and tints that appear through the many layers of transparent beeswax. I’m not exactly sure how I can convey this quality in cloth as well as I did in the wax. More pondering about this process of fading and layering ….
For the past couple of evenings I’ve been reviewing instructional videos from Jude Hills Spirit Cloth online class in preparation for the ”What If Diaries”. The videos have reinforced what I thought about her stitched work whenever I would view them on her website. So, I now know that my instincts to begin fabric weaving were good, but my fabric choices were based on color and texture and not on the ease of sewing by hand. Still, I think I’ll be able to use the panel I began, but just in a different way.
I like Jude’s philosophy of making do with what you have. So many crafty project instructions seem to be more about selling products than about the creation. Jude reinforces my way of looking at art, whether the medium is paint or fabric or wax or beads, that it is about exploring a process and then making it your own.
So, I began this morning with washing a laundry basket full of fat quarters and longer yardage of cotton that I have stored for oh so long on open shelving in the basement. Much of it is about 20 to 30 years old – when I was piecing and quilting and making clothing for my then young children. I have scads of cotton solids when I was in my Amish quilt top phase. The problem is, that one laundry basket full of cloth doesn’t even put a dent in my stash. It doesn’t even include this basket full of assorted pieces I’ve auditioned for other projects in the past year!
Nor did I touch the rest of the stashes in a couple of other places in the house. Fabric-holics and stitchers, you know what I am talking about!
In anticipation of enrolling in Jude Hill‘s online class, “What If Diaries”, a couple of weeks ago I improvised a fabric strip woven background and started to embroider in a free-form style. Weaving has always fascinated me, whether it is paper, fabric, or fibers. I’ll be interested in pursuing fabric weaving in a series of textile art.
The strips are a white crinkle cloth cotton, ecru linen from a thrifted blouse, and a cream home dec remnant in a dobby weave.
Yesterday it was unseasonably warm in north central Illinois – 43 degrees in mid-January with no snow cover on the ground. Daughter Laura showed me the venue for her late summer wedding (since I hadn’t been there in 30 years!) and we drove around the perimeter of the golf course to see Matthiessen Lake and the shelter that has seen better days.
Matthiessen Lake at Matthiessen State Park, near Utica , IL.
Shelter at Matthiessen State Park
The peeling paint and weathered wood have a grungy charm though. We think it may make an interesting background for a wedding party photo in September.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, I hope you get an opportunity to view this wonderful exhibit of paintings from my FusedChicago colleagues.
Precious Fragments is my latest series of textile interpretations of memory. The idea is that a small, humble button, a snippet of fabric rescued from a garment, a bit of lacy trim can evoke memories of another time and place. It is a type of involuntary memory that flutters past the subconscious into a brief surprising visit into the consciousness. Many items in my studio find their way into these naive little quiltlets, brooches, and cob houses. Lacy bits and bobs, vintage mother of pearl buttons from the collections of my mother and grandmothers, embroidered linens liberated from second-hand shops, and repurposed quilt blocks find their way into the fanciful bits of textile art. The stitchery and sewing is free-form, rather automatic, evolving in its own direction as the piece progresses. Sometimes the lace and buttons are the starting point and other times it is the foundation block, reminiscent of crazy quilts. In either case, the meditative nature of rhythmic hand sewing is what appeals to me. The running stitches and tattery bits are a nod to the Japanese boro stitchery from the 1800s and early 1900s. These cards and more are for sale at The ARTery, 1629 2nd ave in The District, Rock Island, IL.(309) 781-7668