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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.
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 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?
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?
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.
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.
Wow! It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted here. BUT I have been busy with studio stuff. First, I want to go back to the retreat idea. I have spent a bit of time on that. My first day was spent in the library, not the one closest to me, but in one a bit farther away. Why? Because it has individual study tables that are conducive to not being disturbed. I did a bit of studying, sketching, and researching. I found a design book by Miró that was interesting, and some books on prehistoric art.
Because the weather has been so bad, my outside hikes with sketching have not happened. Soon I hope. The few good days we had were spent outside preparing beds for planting later, something that is good for my soul.
One of the things I wanted to explore was the idea of variations on a line. I’ve played with this before, but the post by Meg Nakagawa revived this interest. When I commented on Meg’s post about the book creations on this page, she sent me an actual book! The back of the envelope is depicted above. Lines!
I have a whole folder of line ideas, so it’s time to focus. As I consider that, I have been weaving on a Baby Wolf loom in a strictly experimental way. One of the things I wanted to do was use wire or sticks as part of the weft. That experiment was a failure, but one I haven’t given up on. The others have been experimenting with hatching and color, just doing what ever with yarns on hand, and using a bunch of what I consider neutral, boring colors. More on that next week when I take that warp off the loom. By the way, a black warp is difficult.
One of the results from a few years past, experimenting with variations on a line :