Wednesday, August 7, 2019

"Graffiti Garden" progress

The "Graffiti Garden" (working title) tapestry is about a quarter of the way woven now! I am really having fun with this tapestry; each day the work seems like a little tapestry of it's own! I am not trying to be literal with this piece, and I'm sure that is already visible. The 'flowers' are not really any recognizable flowers: they are just flower-like shapes and colors, as you can see in the detail shot below.

A video of weaving this in progress can be seen on my FB page here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Sketchbook Project

I've mentioned before how important my sketchbook, and the practice of keeping a sketchbook, is to me. For this past Christmas, my son gave me a #SketchbookProject sketchbook. It was a project I have watched others participate in for some time, and it was on my 'someday' list. Well, with the gift, 'Someday' came! The sketchbook was filled and sent in shortly after the first of the year. It is finally up online, to be viewed! You can access it here.  Then you can also see other sketchbooks! If you are in the Brooklyn, NY area, you can also go and check my sketchbook out to see it 'in person.'

I think my scans of the sketches are quite a bit better than the ones they have put up, but then, I only had one sketchbook to scan, and they are trying to get thousands uploaded! You can see some of my scans here  and a flip-through of the whole book here. As I filled the sketchbook, I also posted every sketch on both my Instagram and Sktchy pages, and they are still there.

Just letting you know, as I promised I would!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Studio Tuesday 2; Graffiti Garden tapestry....

Although it may not look like much to you, I have made what I consider to be impressive progress on the new tapestry! My goal is to weave 1.5" per week up the warp, and I have almost completed that for this week! The warp is about 30" wide, as the resulting tapestry will be.  I do need to weave a bit extra this week, as my grandson will be here next week, and I fully intend to spend as much time doing what he wants to do as possible, and I'm pretty sure his choice will not be to watch me slowly weaving a tapestry!

I will be pulling a lot of yarns from my bins, as this is to be a very colorful tapestry. To keep track of colors and color blends I'm using, so they can be repeated throughout the tapestry, I weave a tiny bit of each new butterfly onto my small Hockett-style loom. As the tapestry progresses and disappears around the lower beam, this record of color and yarns used will be very important to me.

And here is another sketchbook page. It was inspired by a photo on the #Sktchy app; a lovely wall of graffiti flowers!

The sun is not yet down... a bit more weaving time for me on this Studio Tuesday!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Graffiti Garden, from the very start....

I have had a new tapestry design working it's way out of my head for awhile. In the process of making it visible, it has gone though a number of changes, not only in how it will look, but in the concept itself. The image that finally made it's way visible started with the pastel sketch above. It will resemble the sketch, but even that has undergone a number of changes. It seemed a good starting point to share, however.

After working on the design, I needed to warp the loom. The photos above represent three days of work this week; sleying the warp threads, tying them on and tensioning them, and weaving a header (to evenly spread the warp threads) and a hem.

Yesterday, I enlarged the cartoon. So today, I am ready to begin. Beginning is always a daunting thing for me. Once I begin, I'm fine. I realize then that I know what I'm doing: the hands know how to pass the weft through the warp, the eyes know how to choose colors. But until I actually get to that point, I wonder how on earth the design I've imagined will become a real thing: a tapestry.

I am planning to post updates on my progress (which will be slow) weekly. My goal is to weave a couple of inches/week. Believe it or not, for this design, that is a very challenging goal! I am determined to reclaim Studio Tuesdays as total work days, so that should help, barring complications and interruptions in my personal life (always ongoing...)

In the meantime, I'll share a page from my sketchbook of one of my favorite summer pastimes!

Monday, June 24, 2019

There and Back Again....

We started our recent trip to Pennsylvania by driving over the mountains to Denver to deliver a small tapestry to the Foothills Art Center 'Amuse Yeux' small piece exhibit, and to see our grandson graduate from 8th grade. ( I made an attempt to sketch him, but sketching people who are truly special to me is a challenge I've not yet mastered! The quote was one painted on the Denver Museum wall.)

While in Denver, our 2 grandchildren went with us to the Denver Art Museum. My grandkids are all very creative, and all appreciate seeing good art. One of the featured exhibits at DAM now is of very large paintings done by Jordan Casteel, an artist formerly from Denver, in fact having gone to the high school my grandkids go to. 

Another exhibit, "Serious Play," is a mid-century modern exhibit. I especially liked the textiles, of course. The only woven piece was the large rug (in middle) by Marianne Strengell. It featured a lot of metallic yarns, which I wouldn't think would have worn well, had the rug been used.

After our short stay in Denver, we flew to Pittsburgh, for the opening of Fiberart International 2019 (see previous post.) The photo above is the baggage claim area, after everyone else had collected their bags. Ours did not come until several days later, just in time to check it again to go home.

We had included a day to rent a car to go see Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's beautiful nearby creation. We had been to Chicago to see his studio there and a number of his other buildings in Oak Park, a few years ago. On our way back to Pittsburg, we stopped and purchased a very few things to get us through the next few days without our luggage, still hoping it would be at the hotel when we returned, but it was not.

After two amazing days at the galleries for the FI2019 opening and Fiber Forum, we had an evening to walk around Pittsburgh a bit. We had heard proud residents tell us that it is the 'city of bridges' ("as many as Vienna,")  the 'city of colleges,'  the 'city of rivers,' and the 'city of cathedrals.' Indeed, there were all those things in Pittsburgh! Cathedrals alternated with colleges on every other corner, it seemed. And the two amazingly combined in the Cathedral of Learning, a very tall 40-story tower in the heart of the city  on the University of Pittsburg campus. We wandered inside to see that it truly is a gothic style 'cathedral,' dedicated to inspiring students to excellence. It is still used for classrooms, and I would absolutely have loved to have had a 'study hall' like this when I was in college! Even though the academic year was ended, the cathedral was open and available to visitors.

Our bag finally was delivered to the hotel, so we took it back to the airport, and headed home. I came home inspired to work, but am still struggling with getting a design out of my head and onto the loom. Maybe I will work small until that happens...

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Fiberart International 2019

I recently got back home from a trip to the Fiberart International 2019 exhibit opening and the accompanying 2019 Fiber Forum. It was a big trip for us, so I'm going to just post about the exhibit and associated activities here, and will post in a few days about the rest of the trip.

The Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, PA hosts the Fiberart International exhibit every three years. I was amazed and impressed by their organization for the event; the support for both artists and attendees was superb! I have been a part of many fiber and art organizations over the past 30 years, and am not easily impressed.... But I was very impressed! Months before the exhibit, participating artists were contacted about what we could expect, about housing options, and were even given a way to contact the other artists to arrange meals, travel, etc. I do not often travel to exhibit openings, as just getting my work there is often expensive enough. But all the contact and plans made me really want to be there; to not miss out!

I arrived Thursday evening, missing a party for the artists that evening while my husband and I waited (unsuccessfully) for our checked bag to arrive. The Opening Reception for the exhibit, which was held in two galleries, was Friday evening. I did not take any photos at the reception, as it was my first chance to see the exhibit. Awards were also given out, and I was thrilled to receive the award for Outstanding Weaving for my "Graffiti" tapestry!

Saturday was the Fiber Forum. Before participants arrived, I managed to take a few photos in the Contemporary Craft Gallery, where my work was hung, and where the Forum was to begin. Adrienne Sloane was adding marks for days to her knitted piece, "Marking Time" across from me in the gallery.

Each artist who was present had an assigned assistant, asking questions and taking notes as we talked, so gallery docents will later know a bit about our work.

Nicole Benner's life sized crochet performance piece, seen here in the middle, had an accompanying video to show it in motion.

And the large glass case to the right in the above photo also had supportive materials, showing several of the artist's inspirations or design methods.

You can see my "Graffiti" tapestry in the back of this photo. I had packed a small supporting tapestry, a sketchbook and a few other support materials in my checked bag. The bag finally arrived after I left the hotel for the Forum on Saturday, so my husband brought my 'stuff' to me. Forum participants were interested in everything, and they were also interesting! I met so may other tapestry weavers, of every skill and experience level. That is a rare gift for me, as I am a geographically isolated tapestry weaver.

After a delightful catered lunch, with one of the juror's, Jane Sauer, giving a Keynote Speech, we all went to the Brew House Gallery for the afternoon session of the Forum.  You can see Michael Rohde's "Interrogative" tapestry on the back wall in this gallery shot.

The works chosen to be in the exhibit include quilted pieces, felted works, several punch needle and hooked pieces, knitting and crochet, sewing, stitching and embroidery, as well as weaving.

The exhibit is up in both galleries through August 24, 2019. If you happen to be in the Pittsburgh area, it is well worth seeing. In addition, there is a beautiful color catalog, which I am sure you can get through Fiberart International.

Friday, May 17, 2019

On Exhibit....

Opening tonight, I have a small tapestry in this exhibit in Arlington, MA.

In a few weeks, we will go to the Fiberart International opening weekend in Pittsburg, where my "Graffiti" tapestry will be on exhibit in the Contemporary Craft gallery.

I just got a tapestry back home from an exhibit in Rhode Island, which I didn't get to attend.  And I also got notification that another small tapestry was accepted into the Amuse Yeux all media small piece exhibit, at the Foothills Art Center in Golden, Colorado. It opens June 6th, and runs through the first of September.

I have not had this many pieces coming and going to exhibits for several years. It is not because my work was not accepted; it is because I've not been getting to create much work to even enter for the past few years. 'Back in the day' when I was really a working artist, I had to keep a separate calendar for my exhibit schedule, with exhibits color coded, and tapestries going and coming carefully recorded and documented. That was a lot of busy work to keep up with, in addition to the designing and weaving of 3-5 large tapestries per year. I loved it. All of it. And I miss it, so this little dip back into the art world has made me pretty happy. I want... no, I intend to keep it up as long as I can.