Sunday, August 26, 2012

Viewpoints9 Challenge #3

Seven Sisters: 18”x24” artist dyed, painted and stitched

Our third challenge was posed by Lin Hsin-Chen: "Horizon" refers not to a real line but to the infiniteness of the line which can only be perceived by feelings.  Therefore, we should not search line, but rather find a way to perceive the line.  Lines are indeed a medium that can spark human beings' creative genius, as well as their impulse for communications, by which the texture of knowledge is born.

Nature is separated into upper and lower sections by the horizon, generating spatial vocabulary and dialogues.  Humans unknowingly come to accept the linear attributes captured in time and space, and meanwhile some sense of awakening, some sort of subtlety, also arises in their hearts.  Yet, where on earth do these feeling come from?

Delicate lines carry emotions and expressions, and also other aspects than that should be explored.  I want to challenge all kinds of prospectives about lines and discover the touching consonances and fascinating textures composed by lines.

I started with ‘horizon’.  I didn’t get too much farther in my thinking with ‘line’.  As I began thinking about horizon, with ‘lines’ in the back of my brain, I began looking at the heavens.  In my research the words Astronomical horizon had captured my imagination.

I’ve always been intrigued with instances of groups of people, quite separate geographically and culturally, coming to very similar places in their descriptions of their environment, their explanations of the outside world and their mythologies.  While I was looking heavenward metaphorically, I remembered that many peoples have similar stories of the spirits and deities that reside in the heavens.

Pleiades, for example, is know as “seven sisters” to Australian Aboriginal communities and the Nez Perce of North America, “daughters of the night” to the Berber, and “seven sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law” for the Ben Raji of Nepal.

We are all similarly hard-wired with a need to survive.  To survive we must understand our environment and, sometimes, that means we impose meaning on natural phenomena.

Across the world peoples have drawn imaginary lines in the sky, describing creation tales of morality and explanations for earthly people, and, of course, those that navigate the globe.

Be sure to check the Viewpoints9 blog for other, sure to be interesting, interpretations of Lin Hsin-Chen's challenge.

post-script:  You might remember seeing this fabric pictured as it was being dyed.  The post was Dyeing in someone ELSE's yard on Sunday August 5, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

k.d. lang and Linda Branch Dunn

Those two names, in all likelihood, have never been spoken in the same sentence together.  However, this past Saturday they were the two names on my mind.

A selection of Linda's work was on exhibit at the ALL Gallery in Lowell Ma.  Most of it was from a collection that she referred to as 'abandoned' fabric and I thought more descriptive than, say, vintage.   I've always enjoyed her work (see my post of Aug 13), so I decided to buy this one for myself.  The one with a black bird in flight AND rick rack had my name all over it!

 The gallery staff really wanted all the work to remain up, at least for another week.  So, I didn't take it during the Lowell Quilt Fest last week.  Instead I stopped by on my way to the k.d. lang concert in Lowell this past weekend.

Saturday night we met 'old' friends and had a wonderful dinner together.  After which we ambled to the nearby park and enjoyed Lang's incredible voice....sitting on our lawn chairs, under the stars on an absolutely gorgeous night.  It doesn't get better than that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Following the Rules...or Not

 Maybe it was growing up in a military household where following orders, chain of command, commanding officer, first sergeant, k.p., restricted to quarters and insubordination were concepts dealt with almost daily, but I really....really...hate to follow orders.  And, interestingly, that translates into "directions".

When I get a new gadget, toy, tool, device...I see if I can operate it before reading the instructions.  If I can't, I will resort to reading the instructions or directions.... but I always start at the bottom and read up to where I "get it".  Infantile.  I know.  It's just so darn hard to break the pattern.

One of the challenges on the design wall for Sisters is to use postage stamps selected from Vivika Denegre's stash of vintage stamps.  As everyone felt a bit overwhelmed at that moment, the decision was made that the dimensions for this challenge would be "small".  We had just had a demo from Jane Davila on mixed media and were chomping to get started.  While not explicit, the understanding was that this was to be a small, mixed media piece to show along with a larger work at our December exhibit at the Guilford Free Library gallery.

We also had already committed to a "larger" challenge using Indigo as the basis.
Too Close to The Sun 171/2" x 19 1/2"

Too Close to the Sun detail

I didn't want to use the stamps themselves so I printed them.  The idea to use them came from the recent Mars exploration of NASA's Curiosity...of course, there isn't a stamp for it...yet.  The other bit of synchronicity was my purchasing two schnibbles of marbled cloth at the Lowell show that looked like the surface of the sun.  That's when the concept began to jell.  I used stamps commemorating Viking missions to Mars, Skylab, Pioneer Jupiter and First Man on the Moon.

I'm sharing this on Friday at our regular meeting.  I guess I'll find out how off message I am with my piece that is not really small and is not mixed media.  Anyone have any words of wisdom for me...besides psychoanalysis?   ;^)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekend in Lowell MA

Two viewers in front of my Whistler entry, Miyajima Nocturne, and that of Pamela Allen on the right (nice company to be in, no?)

Last year I vowed not to return to the quilt festival...the auditorium is/was dark, not showing the quilts to their advantage; the vendors, likewise, were in the dark and many fewer in number from years past; and the show did not stay open on Saturday past 4pm and not at all on Sunday.  Then, I changed my mind.  Fortunately, I had not vowed to too many people that I couldn't change my mind without a lot of explanation or an eggy face.  This year's festival was better than I'd expected...although the lighting is still poor and most of the other conditions still exist...there were many other venues added to the weekend, any one of which would be worth the trip.

Particularly interesting exhibits around town were:  Material Voices, juried by Sylvia Einstein.  I really liked Sandy Donabed's Twins with their red nail polish...made me smile; the ALL Gallery,where I actually bought a small piece of Linda Dunn's.  I have admired her work for years.  Usually I purchase one of her cards with the intention of sending it to friend or family.  Somehow when those occasions arrive, I find some rationale to keep it and send something else.  I won't have that dilemma and the subsequent guilt to deal with this year...I'll post a pic when I receive it following the end of the exhibit.  The exhibits at the Whistler House Museum and The Brush Gallery did not disappoint.  

Friend Judy Ross with her gorgeous piece

A tired, wet 'me' with my End of Summer at The Brush Gallery (r).  Behind me is Sandy Gregg's beauty(l)

 I have taken a photo from this viewpoint on the bridge outside the auditorium numerous times, but this is the first with a bicycle submerged in the foreground.  The whole is a mess of discarded tires and debris.  A bit of a metaphor for the town.  There are deconstructed architecture...reclaimed mills...wonderful art spaces...many restaurants to recommend...and a cheerfulness and helpfulness in the residents that invites one to return (often).  It feels like the town is on the cusp of something wonderful, if only the economy would recover.

One of several quilts in the new venue Boston Modern Quilt Guild exhibit.  
This quilt tickled me.  All the fabric relates to Edward Gorey one of my favorites.  The Boston Modern Quilt Guild is a new to the weekend addition.  They hosted an exhibit in one of the reclaimed mill's entry spaces.  The place was well lit and the many entries were a breath of fresh air.

 The weekend was a great time for me.  I saw old friends, made new ones, and energized myself.  So no vows that I can't rationalize later.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dye-in Results

I will start with pics of my ice dyeing.

 These last three were dyed using dry dye on damp soda ash soaked Kona cotton.  Two of them were then pinned on a line where they were sprayed with more soda ash solution from a spray bottle.

 The first one was then brushed downward with my rubber gloved hands.

 This second one was another damp, soda ash soaked piece that I blotted over the first one.  It picked up some really random colors

The last one was just sprayed after I had sprinkled three different blues over the surface.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dyeing in someone ELSE's yard

Yesterday several of the CFAC (CT Fiber Artists Collective) met at Carol Eaton's home for a day (a REALLY hot, humid day) of ice dyeing and soda ash spray dyeing.

We started with guest Carol Ludington's demo of her 'parfait dyeing' from her recent Quilting Arts magazine article. 

Guests Barb Adams & Carol L with masked Mary Laughlin ice dyeing in the heat
Carol Ludington with her soda ash spray.  She was sure she "saw" a person in her  fabric...I think she has her own Rorschach Test
After we ice dyed we started a new project under the direction of Carol Eaton:  spraying with soda ash.  I had never heard of that before and was delighted with the results.

Carol's other spray pieces

Carol V and Carol E with Roz Spann working with spray dyeing

My first go at spray with soda ash

Second go at may see this in an upcoming challenge...just sayin'