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Workin’ on it
Its a struggle around here to summon creativity and energy. It’s going to happen, but at a slow pace. I have been going for coffee several mornings a week and sketching ideas or reading. I’ve posted to Instagram and Facebook. And today I wrote my newsletter. Subscribe here. And I’m doing lots of reading. Lots! Escapism all
If you’re a member of HGA, you might have read the latest issue of Shuttle, Spindle, & Dyepot. There’s interesting articles and lots of inspiring pictures. Getting your COE in dyeing article kind of inspired me to think about it, but quickly reject. The article I liked best was one about working in a series, probably because I’ve been thinking about that anyway. The sketches mentioned above are a series that’s not fully formed yet.
I’ll always miss him
So much, then sadness
- In March, my family and I took a trip to Rome. We spent a week seeing the sights and much art in Rome, then traveling on the very fast train to Pompeii for a day trip. I could have spent much more time there.
- After returning from spring break in Rome, I started tackling the defunct flowerbeds, planting them with native plants.
- In the meantime, the Fort Worth Weavers Guild is hosting the biennial conference of Contemporary Handweavers of Texas here in Fort Worth in 2019. I have been working on the vendor portion of that conference. https://www.weavetexas.org/
- Then there was the “From the Lands of Asia: The Sam and Myrna Myers Collection,” which I visited several times. Frankly, my reason for visiting was the textiles. They are simply amazing! The last time, our guild had a special tour by a docent who is also a weaver. It was so interesting to be able to learn more about the whole process and techniques used. https://landsofasia.kimbellart.org/
- Not to be outdone by the Kimbell, the Modern also has an Asian connection. The Murakami exhibition is fantastic. To be honest, Asian art is not my favorite, but both of these exhibitions are exciting in completely different ways. https://www.themodern.org/exhibit/tm
- The Fort Worth Collective has an exhibition of work in the Keller Town Hall, so art was delivered there. Artwork to Keller https://www.cityofkeller.com/services/administration/city-manager/public-arts/current-exhibit
Now for the really hard part of what’s been going on: My son passed away in Flagstaff on June 29, 2018. It is so unbelievable that I will never see, talk to him, or touch him again. He was a good and kind person. He was quirky and unique (and ahem, perhaps bit sarcastic and cynical like his mother), with a dry sense of humor and a love of words and books. He could always throw out a word that you probably have never heard spoken out loud or maybe never seen in print. His brain held obscure knowledge about things you may never have ever thought much about before. This happened recently in a discussion about the Murakami exhibition mentioned above during out group family texts with the word hental. (If you’ve seen the exhibition, you’ll understand.)
In the social media world that we live in, I learned good things about my son that I never knew. It was so comforting to read what friends and acquaintances said about Chad, to “see” another side of him. I am so thankful that we were able to take the trip to Rome this year and to London last year on spring break. I am grateful for the new closeness that we developed over the last few years with that group text thing we started which included his wife Tina and his sister. I will be forever grateful for the funny, quirky discussions we held there.
Hug your kids! Your family! Anyone you love!
Friends and family have posted comments and pictures on my page and others.
I’ve written about Chad and Tina before here and here. They are both creative folks.
So, on Friday, in my continuing effort to get out more (and have some fun), I took a studio class at Kimbell Art Museum. It’s called Deawing/not drawing. Evidently there will be a series of four classes, all with this title
in this class, we “drew” a chair with tape. Easier said, than done, as they say. After the chair is done, you paint the whole page, let it dry, and remove the tape. With less aggressive painting, there would be crisp white lines when the tape is removed. I painted aggressively with a large brush, kind of like using a sponge. I have fuzzy lines, but I’m not unhappy. Great way of thinking of things in a different way
I sent out my newsletter the other day. You can sign up here.
Not busy with weaving, but with all kinds of other obligations. Since In still have not overdyed the yellows for the next project (weather and busyness), I had to have something on the loom. After all, the warp is ready, tied on and spread. So, even though I say I’m not going to, I decided to start of of those multi-colored pieces, using only churro from the Churro Club from Weaving Southwest. We’ll see how long I’ll continue this. As you can see, it’s not centered because I cut off the left side a bit.
Part of my busyness was teaching this class at Country Day School. The students were part of the Honor Society Art students. As you can see, girls signed up. It was great fun, but as usual, when you do something for the first time, I learned a few things also. Like warp the looms before The Day.
Why do I start these multicolor projects? In frustration! I had intended to do some dyeing for the next piece, but the weather did not cooperate. Ice, freezing temps, rain–lots of it! It’s like there was a line drawn from north to south, where just west of me there was extreme icing, huge broken trees, no power. I missed it this time.
At any rate, with all the time spent indoors, I had to have something to do, plus there are all these churro club yarns lying around. So, here we go.
It’s a big deal to me!
See those buds on my orchid? Those are the first ever that I have had with all the orchids that I have had over the years.
Just in case you have ever wanted to weave with wire, Christine Miller is teaching a class in Dallas this summer. It will be at Cedars Art House. I have no idea where that is in Dallas, but I’ve heard this is a great class.
What to write
What can I say?
There’s really nothing going on around here. Even studio time has been on hold because of other things, both planned and not planned. A family situation, taxes, working on a planned trip, you know, all that STUFF.
Yesterday, my brother-in-law came over to cut down some tree branches, a couple of which were pushing against the electrical line from the pole to the house.
There was a dead branch actually just kind of hanging on it, and not a small branch. When that branch came down, it had some interesting bark and insect holes, maybe from birds. Why am I drawn to this stuff?
While listening to an online podcast, I worked on finish work, a kind of activity that requires not much from the brain.
Driving home from my advocate training the other day, I happened to notice that this old building on the corner of Hemphill and Magnolia still included the words from its past. Dyeing, anyone?
And last, but certainly not least, the art group of which I am a member, will be showing work during Spring Gallery Night. More info here.
Not moving very fast
When I started stretching these yarns on the board, I wondered if they were too similar to the previous project. Both projects are shown here for comparison, and what I’m calling the magenta project is different enough, but maybe still a partner to the other.
However, since I’ve just been plain lazy, not much is getting done. I’m wondering if I need to just start something on the Cranbrook and go.
What to do
I think that part of the issue is that I want to branch out. But branch out where? Who knows? I am also-paradoxically-enjoying the beginning of my training as a victim advocate. Lots of new information. We visited a hospital with a SANE program last Tuesday night. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.
As I sit in the training classroom, this is the carpet on the floor. Tiles like this one make up the whole. I can see using this swirl as a design sometime. The training is about 33 hours total. Some of the training is on really cold nights when I just really want to stay home by the fire.
And speaking of fire, my area is constantly in high fire danger because of the wind and dry conditions. I love our native grasses, but they do burn, especially this time of year when they are so dry naturally. If you want to see these grasses moving in the wind, go here. The video deleted itself from my photos. Yeah, right. How’d that happen?
I ran across this image when I was going through some old SD cards. Wonder how I could use this?
Getting personal and studio stuff
Here’s the personal part
For a long while I have thought about volunteering at the Women’s Center of Tarrant County. Then I would check into it, see what kinds of things volunteers would do, looked at the application, see that it asks for references, and with that, ignore the whole thing. I guess nothing appealed enough to go to the trouble to ask people to be a reference. Shows you how dedicated I am!
Recently, however, I heard a program on NPR about mentally challenged rape victims and had a visceral reaction that I needed to help. I went to an informational meeting. I signed up to be a volunteer for rape crisis and victim services. I’ve filled out a detailed questionnaire and the volunteer form–yes, with references.
I go for an interview today. If I am accepted, there is lots of training involved and a time commitment of 18 hours per month made up of three 6-hour on-call segments. Frankly, that’s the scary part: the time commitment. For a year. I’ll worry about that later. If I pass the interview.
In the studio
The ikat with blues and purples that I wrote about here and here, is finally off the loom. Above you can see it as woven. Below, you can see it if I hang it vertically. I kind of like it that way. I was aiming for a painterly effect, so I just kind of let things flow as I was weaving and didn’t worry too much about the ikat edges.
I haven’t decided on the presentation yet. Mount on canvas? Hang from a board? I’ll wait until the ends are taken care of and try a couple of things out. It’s only about 28.5 x 15 inches.
Magentas with a bit of red, purple, and aubergine. And more mohair.
Experiments, first to last
This first picture is not really an experiment–yet–but it definitely has possibilities. After sitting at the table looking at some books at the library, I got up and noticed this carpet, which then led to losing my library card. Thank goodness someone found it and turned it in. Love libraries!
The above experiments are mostly self-explanatory, just playing around with whatever yarns are on hand. Directly above was designed to use up the many neutrals on hand, colors that I don’t envision using very much. I ended up throwing in some red in bits all over the piece. Neutrals only can be tolerated for so long.
All cut off
The above pieces have been cut off and are ready to hem. Once they’re hemmed, we’ll see if they continue a life or become extinct.
Below is an experiment terminated. It didn’t fit what was in my head. Using the same colors, a different play on the design. The new weaving has begun, so we’ll see how it goes.
Below is the combination of mohair and wool in different shades of blues and purples, stretched on the ikat board. Ask me what I’ve learned about using a singles mohair yarn in this type of situation.
The same yarns after tying, dyeing, and partially untied.
All the yarns have been untied and skeined. Looks nice, doesn’t it?
During the untying and untangling process, the singles mohair broke and tangled up with the other yarns. That’s why I skeined the yarn. Now it is time to unskein it and start weaving. Why am I postponing that and continuing the small experiments? Maybe because I foresee more tangling. I don’t know, but by next week I will have a report.