Archive for April, 2011
I first saw the Koi Watercolor kit when Jon and I were at a Wellness Talk in Vermont and the woman sitting next to us was using one to paint the audience and panel. A week later, Jon got me a watercolor kit of my own.
That was about a month ago and I still haven’t used the watercolors.
Jon thinks I’m a wussy, but it always takes to me while to start something new. And the kit is just the cutest thing, it all folds up into a box the size of a post card. All you have to do is fill the brush with water and paint. Part of me just likes looking at the smooth Chicklet colors. I don’t want to ruin them or use them up. But that’s really an old part of me. The kid who used to go to the stationary section in Woolworth’s and stare at all the empty notebooks, ledgers and receipt pads. Dreaming of having so much empty paper to fill.
The newer fear comes from institutions like The Watercolor Society. There is definitely a “way to do it”. I know this is true with all the arts, but for me it’s somehow different when it comes to watercolor. I was on a NYS Grants panel recently and one of the applicants painted, what I thought were, lovely watercolors of flowers in glass vases. When we started to discuss the work, I found out I was wrong. Apparently, she handled the glass well, but the flowers were poorly done. By the end of the discussion even her glass vases had deteriorated to less than adequate. What do I know about Watercolor?
I personally like the philosophy that if you don’t know what you are supposed to do, you are completely free to do as you please. But there is also the truth that you can’t do something if you don’t do it.
So now that I’ve analysed it and know all the reasons for not using my Koi Watercolors, I’m still where I started, I’ll either do it or I won’t.
I’m calling my new pieces Streaming. It was my sister Fran who referred to them that way and it seemed right. When someone else used the same term it seemed an affirmation.
My latest, is called Love Me a Lesson. I’m still figuring out the process. For this one, if one image didn’t lead to another, I stopped and stared at the space around the images until I saw a picture or words in the blank space.
I found my self drawing a hooded sweatshirt, an article of clothing I’ve been wearing since I was a teenager. I was going back in time. Then the image of a wire hanger came to me and with it all those associations I haven’t thought of in years: using a wire hanger to break into my car when I locked the keys in, a “sculpture” my grandmother made in the doorway of our living room hooking wire hangers on each other forming a curtain, abortion horror stories and Mommie Dearest.
The border came to me slowly, but once I found the silk blouse I knew it was right. Alternated with the darker rayon blouse, it reminded me of gold leaf. The inner border is from a “Gees Bend” fabric collection that someone sent me a while ago. (Thank you!)
All of it sacred in it’s own way.
This one makes me a bit nervous.
Making this one made me pretty nervous. Not the drawings, they come naturally, but what to do with it next. It’s different from my other work because it’s spontaneous but also because it’s not functional. I thought of place mats or using it in a quilt, ( it’s about 22″x25″) but it didn’t seem right. This one just wanted way to hang on the wall and be what it is.
I didn’t intend to put the “crow foot woman with the future coming out of her head” in the center, but there she is. I get the feeling we’ll be seeing her or her sister again.
I’ll be showing this at the Orange Cat Cafe in Glens Falls NY for the month of May (see my events page for more info) and if it doesn’t sell, I may put it in “From the Everyday to Art” in the Pig Barn in June.
I got the invitations for the show in the Pig Barn Gallery yesterday. It was my first time using Vistaprint and it was easier than I thought,(of course I had my problems, but eventually figured it out) inexpensive and the quality is great.
One thing I did forget was to credit Jon for the photo on the front of the invite. I was bound to forget something. On the first version, I forgot to put the times of the show. Better to know when to come than who took the photo, although not everyone might agree.
Anyway, I think the photo is great, it makes the Pig Barn look alive! Hope you can all make it to the show.
I was listening to Avivah Zornberg interpreting the Exodus story as one of awakening and freedom. She said that an important part of the Israelites being able to free themselves was that they had to be able to think differently about who they were. To rid their minds of the structure and beliefs, imposed upon them through slavery, about themselves and their lives
She said one way to free the mind was through play. Like allowing ourselves to color out of the lines. By being playful and joyful we let go of the rigid restrictions we or others impose upon us and the mind can go places we didn’t know existed. Like dreaming, new worlds and possibilities open up.
So in keeping with the season of freedom and awakening or rebirth, I sat down at my sewing machine, and starting with the image of a teapot on a stove, began to draw. Like stream of consciousness, or automatic writing except with images. When words came to me, I wrote them in, then meaningless squiggles to fill the space, which demanded to be filled.
When I was done and looked at it, I thought of ancient Islamic art and horror vacui, the need to fill in every space on a surface. I thought of the psychedelic art of the 1970′s. I can imagine the first person with a free motion sewing machine created something similar. It seems the natural thing to do with a line. I thought of the hundreds of jigsaw puzzles I’ve done in my life. But I also saw a freshness and spontaneity in the drawings. And although all the images in this piece are familiar to me, my aim is to go to an untapped part of me, to reach beyond the structure I’ve learned to work in and pull the unknown from the hidden pockets of my mind and heart.
Went to Cambridge NY this morning and took a video of Jack Metzger in his Gallery and Antique shop. This time my flip was working. I still have to edit it, so stay tuned.
Then Sara Friedman showed me how to disconnect the sound on my videos from the image and move it to other images. Now I can do even more creative editing. Can’t wait to try it out.
I got my lights for the Pig Barn. Four 22′ industrial ceiling lights. The building is too tall for track lighting, but these should light up the barn with and even white light. They’ll be installed next week. And an email from Vistaprint informed me that they shipped the invitations today.
Then I pieced together, backed and started to tack my latest quilt for the Third Thursday Art Walk in Glens Falls. I’ll be hanging it the first week in May. I’m hoping to get another small quilt done next week and have 2 quilts and 7 or 8 potholders to show.
Serena Kovalosky came over yesterday with some of her work that will be in the first show in the Pig Barn Gallery. In keeping with the theme of the exhibit, From the Everyday to Art, Serena makes art from gourds.
Gourds were made into some of the first vessels used my Native American to hold food and water. They were eventually decorated and became functional works of art.
Serena works with this history in mind and intuitively carves and burns designs into the gourds. Evoking religious iconic paintings, she often gilds the insides transforming the gourd into a complex and personal piece of art.
I don’t have a title for this one yet, but the colors came together for me when I was meditating this morning. I know, I’m not supposed to be thinking about my work when meditating, but what can ya do? That’s why it’s called a practice. And what isn’t practice. From learning who we are, to raising kids, to growing old. We don’t know how to do any of these things except by thinking about them and doing them. And as soon as we think we know something, it or we change and we’re practicing something new.
Yesterday I was stumped about what this quilt would look like and now it’s all coming together. Tomorrow when I sew it together it will be something different. Today it’s pink, green, blue brown, kinda girly, kinda grandmothery. Comforting I guess. And why not?