Tuesday, November 29, 2016


I finished the small "Graffiti" tapestry. It is a sampler for a larger tapestry I want to do. I haven't been feeling great the past few days, and haven't finished sewing slits, etc. on this piece, but it's small enough that I could just scan it into the computer without having to do a photo set-up (which usually requires that the piece be finished and mounted in some way.) It is about 8x10".

I don't know that I regard this as a great work of art, or Art, in any sense of the word. Visually, I don't think it is all that appealing, except that it truly expresses my emotions while creating it, as true graffiti should do. Because it is a tapestry, I did pre-plan some shapes, but the colors were chosen as I went along, based strictly on my mood, which has alternated between small moments of hope, and larger periods of frustration and rage. A few unplanned things showed up along the way, as well, like the pink wings on the peace symbol and the little 'escaping man' in the upper left corner.

The larger tapestry that this will lead to is still 'fermenting' in the mind of my muse, but it is definitely working it's way towards the loom!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Still weaving graffiti...

We went to the mountains for a couple of days, but are back now and I am still working on the small graffiti tapestry. These are not 'my colors' and I am uncomfortable working with them, but I think maybe part of the point of graffiti is to make us uncomfortable. So... achieving success, I guess!

Thursday, November 17, 2016


I am never sure where my inspirations and ideas come from, but I have learned to recognize when one percolates to the top of my consciousness, and to see it as something that has been struggling for my attention for some time. 

This happened to me a few days ago. I suddenly found myself interested in, and wanting to create, graffiti. There are a number things  about graffiti that appeal to me. First, the artist has an 'urgent' message to share, and is willing to take risks to share it. Also, it is usually done in primary, in-your-face colors, to be seen. 

Well, I have some 'urgent' messages to share. But I am not a graffiti artist; I do not really know how to handle a can of spray paint. And I am really not the type to sneak out in the dark to make art on some blank wall. My night vision is not all that great, for one thing.

Besides, I am a tapestry weaver. That is my medium, I know how to 'handle' a bit of yarn. So I have begun a small graffiti 'sample' on my small loom. I have a partial cartoon, of sorts, but haven't chosen color ahead of time, except to gather a basket of primary colored wool to choose from. I am also 'winging it' on the background areas.

The differences between spray can graffiti and woven graffiti are, I am finding, pretty big. The biggest difference is that, if you paint something you don't like, you can just paint over it. So pre-planning is not really a big necessity in traditional graffiti.  Also, weaving as I am on this piece, on a small scale, the necessary outlining and shading to get that distinctive 'graffiti look' is a bit of a challenge on the woven grid.

But I am going to keep going. In my head is a large tapestry of woven graffiti. As I weave this small piece, I am learning the things I will need to know to create the larger work. Because I have some big things to say right now, and I want them to be very visible. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

November 11, 2016

My sketchbook seems to be filling with expressions of grief this week. Today, with all passion spent, I can't bring myself to add color to my sketch.

Leonard Cohen's music has a pretty big playlist in my heart. When I was in high school, my best friend and debate colleague and I would go to the local college to study. We would go, not to the library, but to the basement of the Student Union. There, beyond the pool and ping pong tables, was a small, almost always empty 'music room.' It had a console stereo and a stack of records. The record I always looked for was "Wildflowers" by Judy Collins. On it, she sings Leonard Cohen songs. 

I was heartbroken when we went one day and the album was gone, taken, no doubt, by a poor student thief with great musical taste. I worked to save, and after awhile I earned enough to buy my own album. Since then, I have listened to (over and over) Judy, and Joan, and Bob, and Jeff, and Jennifer, KD, and Roberta, and Leonard himself sing songs that express the times of my life. The songs of a Canadian singer-songwriter, who left us yesterday, at a time when we really need his take on this crazy world.

Thank you for leaving your music for us, Mr. Cohen. Thank you from a young girl trying to make sense of her world in the 60's, and thank you from this woman, who is still looking for sanity in this crazy world, but who will have to be happy to settle for 'dancing to the end,' loving your music.

Hey, I know 'that's no way to say goodbye,' but it's all I have today. Hallelujah.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

On Exhibit!

Last week, my husband and I went to Topeka, Kansas, where his family still lives, and where we both grew up, went to school through undergraduate school, met, and got married. I had helped arrange to have both the American Tapestry Biennial 11 exhibit and a smaller invitational tapestry exhibit shown there. 

The smaller exhibit was of the time related works of Tommye Scanlin, Janet Austin, Janette Meetze, Geri Forker, and myself. The exhibit is called "Time Warp... and Weft" and it is open now at the NOTO Art Center in the NOTO (North Topeka) Arts District. Janette Meetze, my husband, and I spent last Tuesday hanging the exhibit. 

The Art Center is a refurbished old Post Office building. This was at the end of the day - which is why I look so tired!

My Calendar Series tapestries have never been shown publicly all together, so this is pretty exciting for me! They look small, in comparison to some of my work, but they represent eight years of weaving!

At the right of this photo is one of Janette Meetze's pieces. (I was so busy both when we were hanging and later, I did not get a good set of photos, so apologize for some of these images.)

Above; Janette Meetze, and below, Tommye Scanlin's piece on the left, and Janet Austin's on the two right walls.

Tommy Scanlin, the two left walls, Janet Austin on the right wall in the background.

Geri Forkner's piece, with my Calendar Tapestries in background.

The ATB11 exhibit at the Mulvane Art Museum on the Washburn University campus was also stunning! I would love to post all the photos I took there, but will just tell you that you can get a catalog of that exhibit on the ATA website. The Mulvane is a beautiful space, perfect for this exhibit!

The exhibits both had opening receptions on the First Friday. They will have First Friday receptions in December, as well. They were well attended, and I got to see a lot of friends and family and art lovers there... and to meet a few new friends, as well!

The artists who could be at the NOTO reception, Janette Meetze, Janet Austin, and myself, even got to meet Topeka's mayor!

But the sun set over our Kansas trip, and we headed back home, where a taut warp and a pile of lovely weft wool is ready for me to begin a new tapestry....... perhaps even a new series. (I think there is one percolating up there right now!)