Observations on life & art and the inspirations I see around me

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Smiles & Barbs

I ran across this critter the last time we were in San Marcos.  He/she doesn't look too friendly at first glance (that barbed tail)  but the quirky expression does make me smile a bit.

Life has been a bit like that lately mixing the barbs and smiles.  A couple of Sundays ago a group of us did a workshop with Margie Woods Brown.  Deborah wrote eloquently about it in her blog on 7/14.  It was lots of fun and I can definitely recommend Margie's workshops.  Most of all it was a lovely day to be with friends before we part ways (at least geographically).  The barbs of missing friends are mixed with the smiles of pride and hope the future.   
The next weekend I did an assemblage workshop with Beverly Mangham at Eye of the Dog Studio in San Marcos.  It was fun, creative, and used up some of my "treasures" plus some of Beverly's.  She is an  amazingly talented and generous lady.  Her art is featured in the gallery at the Center among other places.  That experience was definitely smile worthy and has carried me through some of the less fun days of late.  

Last Friday our small art group got together to share our round robin books started last fall.  If the others feel as I do these books will be long treasured and the source of many smiles.  It was a great day of sharing, laughing, eating and feeling a sense of camaraderie that is rare and beautiful.

The biggest barb lately have been the lack of time to make art.  Mostly we've been working outside where the heat, humidity, dirt & grim are pretty prickly, not to mention exhausting.  I am smiling at the progress we've been making but have to laugh at the realtor's assistant's comment that we should get the house very "pristine" - not a word I've ever used to describe my abode but we're working on it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Good Week

It's been a good 3 days and Lu took the finished top home this afternoon to start  quilting.  This is small section with a silk that I shiboried some time ago.  I pulled it out of the drawer and it was "just right" for what we are saying.  We're both super excited about how this all came together and we've come up with several more ideas individually and together.  Hey, there might even be a series,  "Yours, Mine, and Ours".   I'm not sure when we'll show the whole piece.  It feels rather fragile right now.  We will be passing it back and forth to quilt as Lu is the master of precision grid work and I do the crazy stuff.  

Speaking of crazy..... I was always the odd child so I perked up this morning reading an article in the July/Aug. issue of "Whole Living".  In "The Perfect Brainstorm" Frances Lefkowitz puts into words something I have long experienced. She talks about the need to have something to obsess about and quotes Eric Maisel, who makes the case for lossing ourselves in big ideas.  As the child who was scolded for day dreaming and lauligagging I appreciate Maisel  saying, "Almost nothing beautiful or brilliant happens unless a person has thought about it a lot".  There are even tips on how to be Obsessive-Propulsive". 

So how long did someone obsess to develop a smart phone?  Only a few years ago, who would have thought of people taking pictures of dinner with their phone.  I don't remember if I've mentioned that I've joined the "i cult".  This move was percipitated by the only signal on the property seeming to be ATT.  The gadget has so many addictive features that it should probably be banned in Boston & Brooklyn & all points west, at least for some number of hours of the day.  It is definitely a life changer and I hope time saver (haha).  I am in learning mode and pick up a few new things every day.  Any one want to play scrabble? 

Our weekend plans of major work outside probably won't come to fruition as it's rained every day this week and more is forecast for the next 2 - VERY unusual for Texas in July. While the delay in getting the house ready for market is problematic I really can't fuss too much, without the clouds and rain it would be over 100 and that is definitely not fun.  Oh well, there's still plenty to do.  Hope everyone finds some time to have a happily obsessive weekend.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Start

This is a tiny peak at the first new work since I signed on to blog about process.  It is the beginning of the third collaboration between Lu Peters and me.  We started last Friday meeting for lunch to brainstorm and pick thru a box of fabrics, many of which I had dyed or otherwise altered.  This afternoon she came up to audtion more and get the sewing started.  Some of the fabrics we're considering are "left overs & outs" from our last piece but really there's a major jump in color & theme.  

The deep purple is discharged and every thing else so far "circles around" it.  There is a feeling of x-ray or shroud about this fabric. I think that's often true of discharged fabrics and have heard others make similar observations.  Our idea and working title is developing from here. 

It is a very intersting process to work with someone who has a very different approach to design and sewing.  Friends who know Lu and I have asked how we do it.  We agree that it is amazingly effortless.  Being good friends helps I'm sure and we seem to bring good energy, balance and flow to the whole process.  It's invigorationg for both of us and we're jumping into this one while I can take a bit of a break from the moving prep duties.  I'm excited that's she's coming back tomorrow and have some work to do tonight.  I'll give updates as we move along.   

Saturday, July 3, 2010

While I haven't created much art of late I thought I'd share some images I had the opportunity to enjoy on Wed.  These are the work of Jane Ruestmann.  She was the June featured artist at the monthly art dinner at Carrino's in Denton, a joint venture of Oxide Gallery and Carrino's which seems to be a successful idea. 

I met Jane 25 years ago when we moved to North Texas.  She and her husband were wonderfully welcoming and made us feel like we'd found a good place to grow roots. Our families have shared many special occasions while seeing our children grow to adulthood and welcoming grandchildren.  We will miss them when we move away. 

Jane is an artist of marvelous vision & depth.  I have watched her express her talents in varied ways over the years while she focused most of her energies on being an incredible art teacher.  While maintaining a standard of excellence in teaching it has been exciting to see what she has created in collage and mixed media lately.  I wanted to share some of her work here and say, "Congratulations, Jane, for finding your voice.  Your work is beautiful."