Saturday, May 30, 2009

Feeling Better

I have no patience with being ill.  I guess no one does.  
One of the frustrations is the feeling of paralysis one gets from not being able to get anything done.

I'm feeling much better now that my asthma is under control and the cough is diminished significantly.  I have spent some time in the studio which is always satisfying.  The next 8x8 piece of my little series is underway.  This one will be a collaged paper finish over the wrapped canvas frame.  I'm not sure where it will go next, but I like the look of it so far.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Illness & "Urban Activity #1"

"Urban Activity #1"
wrapped onto an 8"x8" canvas

I contracted a virus while traveling.  Fortunately, I was able to make it home before really getting sick...Ugh!  This little piece represents the sum total of what I have accomplished since my return on the 19th.  
Working with cloth over a stretched canvas is an intriguing change for me.  I appreciate the additional dimension that the frame offers my work.  I plan to do a series of these pieces using a combination of cloth and paper.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Welcome to our world of toys.....

A visit to FAO Schwartz in New York City doesn't seem quite the same without the big clock tower at the front of the store and the "Welcome to Our World of Toys" song, but it is still a fun, magical place to visit.  We never get tired of coming here, and the New York store is the best!

My daughter hangs out with Lego Ron, Hagrid, Harry, and Hermione

We had another birthday party to attend, and since this was for a 3-year-old we had a great reason to pay a visit to our favorite toy store.  

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Philadelphia: Breakfast at Reading Terminal Market and a Visit to the Fabric Workshop & Museum

My trip to the Northeast had me bouncing all over:  first to White Plains and Purchase, then into NYC for a late-night fashion show at a trendy club called "One", in Chelsea (the designer was one of my oldest daughter's room mates and a fellow RISD graduate), then on to Philadelphia to celebrate my daughter's 26th birthday.  She had a great party with lots of wonderful food, including a fantastic "rice krispy" cake made by one of her friends!

The morning after her birthday party we had breakfast at the Reading Terminal Market, a large urban farmer's market.  If you ever go, I recommend the "Dutch Eating Place" run by an Amish family.  Here are my 3 lovely daughters.

My oldest daughter and a friend stand in front of the beautiful old windows
in the Fabric Workshop gallery

It was fun to revisit the Fabric Workshop.  My oldest did a print-making fellowship the year after she graduated from RISD.  The current work on exhibit is mind-blowing.  The life-size felted whale is beautiful.  I was not allowed to photograph the piece, but have included a link to the website where you can see an image.  The photo does not do it justice.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Brian Gladwell, Artist-In-Residence @ SUNY Purchase

The work of Brian Gladwell, Artist-In-Residence 
at SUNY Purchase, Spring 2009

His work is constructed from fused layers of cardboard
which he sculpts into shape with a band saw

very strong, ultra gorgeous!

I was in Purchase/White Plains NY to assist my daughter in moving out of her dorm (and studio).  While emptying out her studio locker she gave me a little tour of the visual art building, and it was a pleasure to view the work of Brian Gladwell, a Canadian artist.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Evenings on Billie's Porch

Hanging out on Billie's porch

Freshly-cut lilacs in a vase standing next to one of my old oil paintings
I gave to Billie many years ago

Here is where we sit at night to visit and watch some 
great Kansas thunderstorms

This porch is a source of many great evenings, sad discussions, pep name it.
My dear friend, Billie, has hosted me for so many of the years I traveled to KS to spend time with my mother during the last years of her life.  Billie's hospitality and many kindnesses made a difficult situation more bearable.  Try as I might, I don't think I'll ever be able to adequately thank her for the great gift she has given me:  a shelter in the storm (literally and figuratively).
It is a ritual to spend time on the porch.  It has to be REALLY cold to keep us from it when I come to visit.  We have witnessed many thunderstorms from our vantage inside that porch.
When I arrived this weekend, Billie had vases of her lilacs in the house.  The aroma is such a "scent memory" for me, having grown up with lilacs in the spring.
Today we decided to drive by all the places we have lived in Topeka.  What fun!  We grew up in the same neighborhood and lived close to each other in various parts of town.  We even stopped at one of her houses and talked to the woman who bought it from her, walked through the garden, and she got to see her old dog, Dickens, who stayed with the house when she moved.
Despite the fact that I was not with my own family today, I really had a great Mother's Day with Billie.  I talked to all my girls, and the guy who made me into a mother.  It was a lovely day!


"Cityscape" detail
"Edge of Information:  A Cityscape of Paper and Cloth"

Curator's Art Quilt "Edge of Information:  A Cityscape of Paper & Cloth"
Pacific Coast Fiber Artists and Friends present "Edges" 21 art quilts in this Special Exhibit; 36w x 48H Vertical Format will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach in July 2009. Jamie Fingal is the co-curator. The artists are: Frances Holliday Alford, Betty Amador, Loris Bogue, Paula Chung, Joanell Connolly, Cindy Cooksey, Muna Elias, Desiree Habicht, Carol Henke, Stacy Hurt, Pamela Price Klebaum, Jane LaFazio, Gwen Mayer, Jeannie Palmer Moore, Karen Rips, Carolyn Ryan, Julie Schlueter, Terry Waldron and Kathy York.
Sponsored by Quilting Arts Magazine 

revisiting the past

Leslie at the front door of our house on Moundview Drive
circa 1955

same house, 2009 
(it was white with a red door and fence when we lived in it, & no windmill)

On Mother's Day Billie and I decided to revisit all the places we had lived in Topeka.  We grew up in the same neighborhood but didn't know one another as children.  Our paths crossed many times over the years before we became close friends.  We had a great time looking at our old houses and talking about memories of growing up in Topeka.  
It was a cloudy, rainy day.  We stopped at a local dairy that makes Brown Bread ice cream.
Both of us have fond memories of going to the neighborhood dairy for brown bread ice cream as kids.  I would be curious if anyone who reads this has heard of it.  My guess is that it was a regional thing.  It sounds super-weird, but it is amazingly good!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Playing in "other" media

"Hummingbirds" is a watercolor painting created in 2007 for an artist-book round robin.
(These pages are in the book of artist Linda Rael)

"Hummingbird Nest" watercolor painting
(finished page sizes:  8x10 inches)

I enjoy the challenge of working in media that I am less familiar with than fiber.  Twelve years ago when we moved to Texas I promised myself that I would find a painting instructor and learn about oil and watercolor.  I spent 3 years primarily focused on the world of paint and where it could take me.  Painting was a very "zen" experience for me.
Around 2000 I stumbled upon the idea of art cloth and took another artistic detour.  At first I felt like I was abandoning the painting process (or that it had abandoned me).  I felt like some sort of door had slammed shut in my creative process.  It made me anxious.  I started thinking that my creative drive had "dried up".  Gradually, as the love of creating unique cloth with personal imagery began to unfold and I saw the potential in my quilt work, I realized it is all part of the artistic journey for me.  Learning to paint opened up some new avenues of creativity for me that have enriched other areas of my work.  Although I do not paint on canvas or paper as much as I did a few years ago, I will occasionally take out my supplies and immerse myself in that world again.  
The hummingbird paintings were such fun to create, and I love that they belong to Linda as part of her lovely book.
Taking risks, trying a new media/technique is both scary and wonderful.  I am continually surprised at how a bit of knowledge from one type of media can contribute to work created in another.  The other lesson is that, when challenged and "stuck" in one area of art, it is sometimes helpful to revisit a completely different media to get the juices flowing again.

Friday, May 1, 2009

"Ties That Bind" show opening reception @ Fiber Artspace

Lisa Kerpoe, one of our featured artists, discusses one of her pieces with a guest

Susie Monday (2nd from right) talks about her work with a guest

We were graced with lovely guitar music during the opening reception

Last night was the opening reception of "Ties That Bind" featuring the work of artists Lisa Kerpoe, Susie Monday, and Linda Rael.  Thanks to curator Suchil Coffman-Guerra for coordinating such an incredible blend of work by these artists!  The gallery positively vibrates with energy from these gorgeous pieces.  I can't encourage you enough to stop by if you are in the San Antonio-area.  Eight pieces received "red dots" on opening night.  "Ties That Bind" will show through the end of June.  There are additional works by the gallery partners (Laura Beehler, Laurie Brainerd, Laurel Gibson, and myself).  Our work changes frequently, so stop by the gallery often.