Monday, January 26, 2015

Off to See the Wizard...

Actually, we are not off to see a wizard, sadly. We are, however, off to Kansas to see family, and perhaps we will encounter a wizard there. One can never tell, and I like to remain hopeful, on that score.

I have not posted here for a bit, but I have made some small progress on the 'July' tapestry. I have also been making several inquiries/contacts about exhibiting the series, and I will keep you updated on that!

In other 'breaking studio news:' my husband has made me a stunning, and to-be-envied gift!

He is a wonderful woodworker, and he made me this beautiful box easel! It is of hardwoods, and has an adjustable slanting top, and a drawer that opens in both front and back.

The drawer has a sliding, removable brush or pencil tray in it, made from wood from an apricot tree that we had to have removed from our yard.

So now, I am itching to fill it with tubes of paint and brushes (Oh, but I do hate to mess up the beautiful wood - and I am such a messy creator!) and to do some painting. I have not painted in such a long while! I am not even sure that I remember how. Maybe I will take my beautiful box and some canvas to Kansas and see if I can do some wizardry of my own. So then, I am off to BE the wizard! I like that....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Re-thinking Studio Tuesday....

Today was a Studio Tuesday. I have begun to see some problems with this one-day-a-week intensive work-day schedule. I came up with the idea of having a dedicated studio work day, because I was beginning to feel the need to make sure that I would get ANY work done, at all. My life and schedule has changed a lot lately. I used to have full days, even full weeks, of work time. I could get up every day and work as long as I wanted or needed to, with the exception of my husband's off days. And I usually worked at least some every week day; often working a great deal. Because my husband worked long days and weeks, I made a point of only working when he was home if I had a deadline creeping up on me.

But now my husband is retired and home all the time, and my parents have moved here, which is also new, so I need to change my way of scheduling work and family time. Thus 'Studio Tuesday' was born, and everyone has been very supportive of that being my work day. 

But here is the problem. One day a week just is not enough. Tapestries grow very slowly. And stopping for a full week between work sessions is problematic. I posted about the struggle with 'beginnings' in the past (here.) If I haven't worked for a full week, it takes me a good 45 minutes to figure out where I had left off, and where I am going next, each work session. That is not the case when I leave the studio at the end of one day, then re-enter the work the next morning, as I did in the past.

Also, I am only weaving about an inch each workday, so this tapestry will take me about 3 more months to complete! That is too long. I will have lost my passion for it by then. In fact, working so sporadically, I have just barely found my passion for the piece! In fact, it was just today that I could see that this will be an image worth weaving; a tapestry I can love.

So... my new work plan is to get up early and go to the studio and work a few hours each morning that I am able. I have to confess that this 'new plan' does not excite me. I am not a morning person. I like to sit in my sitting room with a cup of coffee (or two) and my journal for a bit in the mornings. I am actually a morning grump. But I need to weave: not weaving also makes me a grump. So it is definitely worth the attempt. I need to get used to seeing the sunrise through my studio window.

 I'll let you know how it goes......

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Studio Tuesday, and 2015!

I spent most of yesterday becoming re-aquainted with my loom and the tapestry on it! I did get a bit of weaving progress made, but mostly, I spent time pulling yarns from the bins, and choosing colors for the work ahead.

Although the tapestry on the loom is not a large one (only 18x18 sq. inches,) this photo I took on the Harvard School of Design building this fall came to mind as I worked in the studio. It came to mind because 2015 is THE YEAR I have been planning for a long time to have the series I've been working on, the Calendar tapestries, completed, and hopefully, the year I will find a venue to exhibit them all together for the first time, along with the Four Seasons series pieces. And that, my friends, has been No Small Project. I began the Four Seasons tapestries in the summer of 2003. Those four large tapestries were completed in 2008. I began the Calendar series pieces then in 2008, and have been working on them since that time. The tapestry on the loom now is "July," the eleventh tapestry in the series. I still have the December tapestry to weave, and it is forming in my mind as I weave this piece. I have contacted a few galleries about showing these works together, and I now am in a position - weaving-wise - to 'guarantee' that the work will be done in time for an exhibit either late this year or next year. 

It has been 'No Small Project.' It has been Life Work, a labor of love.

If you know of a gallery that you think might like to show these pieces, let me know. Several of them have been seen separately. One is now in the ATB10 exhibit. But when it comes home, and they are all together and completed, they will represent in work time, and in images, 12+ years of my life.