It was a bit of a strange week, I actually felt myself sinking into the black hole of depression, but luckily, think I only got as far as my knees, when things started to look clearer and rosier. I find that a full moon can have quite an effect, some months are better than others, but this wasn't quite so good. I never suffered, or don't think I did in the UK, and think it must be to do with less light pollution where I live now, ie., no street lights, just a sky full of stars. Once I find out the reason for feeling the way I do, it's a lot easier to cope with.
The end of the previous week, I had challenged a friend to turn out a piece of intuitive art every day for five days, (more to the point, she got me started on challenging her, I used the same parameters, it had to be totally intuitive, no thinking, just pick the fabric and go. The only difference was I didn't have a subject to work from). Probably a lot easier to do with paint and paper than with fabric, but I actually had a lot of fun with it. I made myself choose a piece of fabric every day without looking, and had only one where I felt I had no idea what I would do with it.
Day 1 - the fabric I pulled spoke to me, I could see leaves in the dye patterns so decided to use Inktense pencils to intensify and then machine stitched around the edge. Not a bad effort for my first piece!
Day 2 - this awful purple piece caused me to scratch my head, and I had no idea what I was doing so decided that abstract might be best, although it's not that easy to do. Not my favourite.
Day3 - I was in Cincinnati in April and took a workshop with Cindy Walter, we were painting fabric, diluted and undiluted, this was a clean up rag stuffed in a beaker. I quite like this piece, I saw a dragon in the colours and then added a branch of cherry blossom.
Day 4 - this piece of fabric just yelled stormy skies so that's what I did. Used wool roving and silk roving and cheesecloth.
Day 5 - This piece was interesting and I really just started playing with it, out popped a waterfall and I was pleased with the overall result.
I posted the results of each days piece on Facebook which is where I am in contact with my friend, and I was able to see her pieces too which I really enjoyed, they are getting more confident the more she does, and I really love them. I think I should continue the challenge - is anybody game?
I also had a very interesting morning on Tuesday. A friend from church had asked if I would like to meet her friend from the Netherlands who had been taking a workshop in the States and was coming up here for a couple of days. Oooh, yes please!
I am always interested in meeting other artists and connecting with them, no matter what their medium is, paint, fabric, metal, print, I really love it. I have plans to get together with an artist friend who lives locally as I would like to do prints on fabric, and he has a printing press, so I want to see him very soon, I'm a big fan of Tony's work, and want to learn more from him, he was unwell earlier this year, but is now on the mend, and I will see him after I get back from Houston. Oh, didn't I mention that? Give me time.
Anyway, I had a lovely time with Margo van Strien, she told me about the workshop she had taken with Nancy Crow and showed me the work she did, and showed me her website and her work, which is lovely, and so different, and then I showed her mine, which is completely different in style to hers.
I always find it interesting to see and hear the reaction to my work, it gives me hope. Interestingly, Margo asked if I sold my work. I told her that I had space in a lovely Gallery in Port Stanley, and while I can't keep up with the demand for my fabric postcards, (a snip at $10), the "larger" pieces, which I try and keep to a smallish size, and reasonably priced, don't sell. I think the reason for this is that when Joe Blow goes to a gallery and looks at a painting, they see the size of the canvas, paint, colour and, the fact that they can't/don't/won't/ couldn't do "this", "it's" worth the money. With a textile artist, they look at it and think it's fabric, why should I pay what they're asking? They do not see the cost of dye to "paint" the fabric, fabric paints, acrylic paints, watercolour pencils, Inktense pencils, (my personal favourite), the design, the different materials, silk rovings, wool rovings, cheesecloth hand dyed or painted, the DESIGN, (this doesn't happen on its own and takes as much thought as a painted canvas would), mulberry bark, again a favourite, silk cocoons, carrier rods........ the list is endless, BUT the art is as important and just as well thought out.
One of the things I really love to do is perspective. I love to make my work look as though it has walkways, paths, hidden spots and dimension, after all, isn't that what all the great artists would do?
My space in Port Stanley at the Art Emporium - please help an impoverished artist.
A quilt I made for my friends Mother
I really like this piece, canvas, tyvek, cheesecloth and colour vie paints.
I'm a big fan of Pre Raphaelite art. When I was doing my Diploma in China Restoration, I got very friendly with a couple of girls who hailed from Liverpool, (probably my most favourite city on this planet), and the husband and I would often go and stay with either of them for the weekend if I was taking my class. Did you know there were NINE Museums in Liverpool housing some of the best art in the UK, if not the world? Especially Pre Raphaelite. My favourite was the Lady Lever Gallery in Port Sunlight, I could spend hours in there just breathing in the art and ceramics. Another was Sudley House. I think my jaw dropped when I saw the Charles Rennie Mackintosh furniture housed there plus other pieces from that period and whenever I was asked where I wanted to go, it was high on the list.
Our very first visit to Liverpool consisted of going out for a meal with both sets of friends, and then driving around at 1 am and visiting all the sites mentioned in Beatles tunes and singing at the tops of our voices, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, John Lennon's home, which was just down the road aways, it was magical. I remember going to the Theatre in Liverpool and watching a play about the life of John Lennon, "Imagine". The tension was palpable, this was their son, so get it right. I just wanted to get up and dance and sing. I can report that the show was well received and got a standing ovation, phew!!
But, back to Art..........(to be continued at a later date).