Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Defining Anonymous

"Defining Anonymous"
mixed media sculpture

This is the fourth and last piece in my Anonymous Series.  Not for lack of ideas or way  to continue but because this body of work hinges on that blue and white quilt which has very little left to give.
In this work I was grappling with the ideas of identity.
Identity of unknown quilt makers.
Identity of quilts that were unsigned, undated.
And the transience of identity when one thing becomes another thing.

Initially a blue quilt that I owned made by an unknown woman (most probably a woman) was deconstructed and remade into an object that was more akin to a collage or painting.  A work that hung on the wall.  While I am more than aware of the 1970's installation of Amish quilts that were hung in an art gallery in New York City creating the first public awareness of "quilt as art object", my intention was to go beyond that concept.  To create a work that used a quilt, or parts of a quilt, both front and back, inside and outside as collage material for a 2D work that would be more related to painting than quilt.
Changing the identity of quilt as functional bed covering to an identity more closely aligned with painting.

There are three of these quilt-become-paintings in the series.
(See March 3, March 12 and March 25 posts to view this work)
While they definitely read, to me at least, more as a painting object, their quilt-ness is still quite prevalent.
My intention was not to delete their relationship to quilt but to distill it into an unexpected form.
The next step seemed to be to make the work sculptural.

There is a solidity to "Defining Anonymous" that is not present in the previous three pieces.
As a sculpture it inhabits 3D space, as it's presence reaches out away from the wall.
It is solid and heavy.
It has an interior that is both inviting and mysterious.
There is a strong reference to quilt in the folds and the way it seems to still want to be a functional object.
Yet there is a strength of character, if you will, that transcends the ideas one associates with quilt.

Have I changed this blue quilt's identity in this work or the previous three pieces
enough to go beyond the functional, traditional notion of a quilt?
Or have I just reinforced the true nature of a quilt that offers /suggests comfort, home, tradition.

For me the transience of identity is in the change from traditional functional bed covering to three
dimensional wall sculpture that certainly references the blue quilt's past, suggesting comfort and perhaps
an essence of memory but establishing its own character as an art object.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Rusting, Burning, and Printing...Oh My!

Oct. 17, 2017 collage
mixed media on paper

Oct. 22, 2017 collage
mixed media on paper

I am loving working with these rusted and eco printed papers.
It is pushing my color choices and my thought process.

Both of these pieces have a section of a bright pink paper that I bought some time ago and just never used.
This particular pink is not in my usual color palette but I bought it because I liked
the metallic silver chandeliers that are printed on it.  Of course you don't
see any chandeliers on these pieces, in part because the sections I used are small and also because I think I may have used the reverse side of the paper here.
I rusted the paper and now really like its look and texture.

Also incorporated in both pieces are some eco printed papers and some areas that have been burned with
a wood burning tool.  The rich dark brown areas are from the black walnut dye Robbie Grodin made.
We tested the dye last week and it is already to go for the workshop on Oct. 29 at her studio.
Come join us for the fun.
Just click Robbie's
 name above and it will take you to her site.

You can see more small collages incorporating eco prints, black walnut dye and rusting along
with other process and materials on my web site.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Eco printed greeting cards dyed in black walnut dye bath!

We have a black walnut tree in our back yard. The squirrels usually get the benefit of the nuts as they are difficult to shell and turn your hands black.  I guess the squirrels don't care about black hands!
And neither did my mother!
Mom would often go to my grandfather's home to gather black walnuts which she loved and used in baking.  That's a lot of work Mom!  She also used the stain from the nuts to touch up nicks on the furniture. My interest in the past few years for these nuts is the beautiful dark brown dye they make.

Enter Robbie Grodin, owner of Alpaca Fiber Studio in Chagrin Falls OH.

After meeting Robbie Grodin this past summer, we struck up a friendship based on the many interests we have in common.  She took my encaustic on paper class.  Soon I will be taking her eco printing class where we will use botanicals to print designs on silk scarves.  And finally we will be teaching together, combining her knowledge and love of eco printing on fabric with my love of that same technique on paper.  

All of the images in this post are of eco prints on paper, some in a black walnut dye bath and others just steamed with the botanicals releasing their tannins to make beautiful prints on the paper.
You can see the effects on the scarves by visiting Robbie's Alpaca Fiber Studio.
Come join us for the fun on October 29th from 9AM-3PM!
You will walk away with a scarf to wear and some papers to use as cards or as inspiration for other artwork.  And with a whole lot of new knowledge about working with all of the gifts Mother Nature offers us.
Signing up is easy:  Just go to Alpaca Fiber Studio and you can sign up on line.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Thanks Oklahoma Arts Institute!

Last weekend I was thrilled to be teaching a mixed media collage workshop at Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain.  I had a wonderful experience which can be contributed to the fabulous staff who organize this event, the incredible teaching faculty they pulled together and the creative and talented teachers from the Oklahoma school systems.

We started out working on small pieces where everyone had the same collage materials to which they could add other elements.  From there some began to work larger and from their own imagery and ideas making work that was narrative and personal.

All of the pieces pictured here are from the participants in my mixed media class.  I can't show all the work they did but wanted to share with you the great variety of styes and final products they created.  Thank you all for making my weekend at OAI so memorable!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Keeping Up With It All

Untitled collage
mixed media collage on paper

Some times it is hard to get it all done...the social networking, blogging, art making,  marketing, teaching, gardening, house keeping, putting by the produce from the garden.  The list goes on.
So some of the items from above get neglected.  It seems that I concentrate on one or two of these
aspects of my creative life and let others slide by.  For awhile it was the Instagramming that got neglected.  I have barely looked at Facebook in at least a month. And this blog has also suffered from my lack of attention.

But the garden is beginning to wind down, although these warm October days are keeping
things going longer than usual. I am seeing that I will have more studio time and hopefully more time to
write, both here and in my journal ( another neglected element).

I love all these aspects of my life.
But I need to put some perspective on some of what I do and perhaps narrow
down my expectations for what I can accomplish and accomplish well.
Fall is a good time to "fall back and regroup", assessing how I can keep up with it all.
Or perhaps find those things that are the most relevant and keep up with those.

Lest you think that blogging is one of the elements that I will terminate, I am here
to tell you that I am not ready to give this up.  I find that it allows me to make some of my inner musings
more concrete through the act of writing or typing.  It is a way to sort my thoughts, prioritize,
clear my head, prep for the day.  The blogging may be less often, but I need it in my daily ritual.