Monday, May 25, 2009

I Travel Not Alone

Given my recent declaration about the business of art a fellow blogger Claire very kindly directed me towards this New York Times Article, titled "Tight Times Loosen Artists Creativity, and I thought, uh huh! Yep! Exactly! It is really nice to know I'm not alone.
"Many artists echoed Ms. Holland, testifying that the recession had strengthened their commitment to their work or allowed them to concentrate on their art".

It's funny but once I made the decision the creative floodgates opened.

Before Art
I did this about 7 /8 years prior to taking up art in 1995 at the age of 40. It's interesting to look at the differences before and after.

This is done from a transfer and is very traditional, and pristine.

After Art
I am discovering that my embroidery is not much different than my painting in that I like a little rough edge, not so precious and with some evidence of the drawing/materials beneath.

I was inspired and wanted the challenge of doing a skeleton after seeing Angelo Filomeno's work, but I found in the process that as beautiful as the work is, it looks perfect technically. I LOVE it, but I seem to like that human imperfection, that raw quality. I used a fabric marking pen to draw the skeleton out on the reverse side of synthetic silk. I also want some of the drawing lines to show, and the satin stitch NOT be perfect. Because I had no reference for what type of stitching or stitching direction I just had to figure it out which in my mind helps reinforce the imperfections and fragility of life.

I have a new blog link called MrXStitch and if you want to see something different then check out the most amazing examples of contemporary embroidery around.

Yellow Springs Ohio
On our daily doggie walk I came across this and was delighted that someone took the time to leave a note and my cheap horrid but much loved sunglasses on a tree stump. Whoever you are, THANK YOU. It was a lovely reminder of why I love living in Yellow Springs & the simple kindnesses here that make it is so special.

I wonder how many times people walk past this beautiful iron fence in Kings Yard and never notice it. The sun was making everything sparkle one day, the shadows danced across the path and I saw it for the first time, I mean really saw it. What a beautiful piece of ironwork.

Hum, I wonder if I can use it in an embroidery :)

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Sheree Rensel said...

No Jaf, You aren't alone. I read that NYT article and I understand it thoroughly because I have lived it over and over. Since I have been an artist so long, I have seen this kind of rising tide over quite a few decades. Like the article suggests, I created my "Plan B" a long time ago. Yet, all the hard times in my life have given me the resolve to keep making art no matter what.
It is true that leaner times gives the artist time for the work and to think in new directions. In fact, this is what I have tried to explain to so many artists who have a "business only" attitude. I learned a long time ago there are times when you sell and then times when NOTHING sells. This is why I collect my "Plan B" paycheck and work away in my studio regardless of the momentary economic climate. Being flexible and creative is the true "business" of art. That and the determination to just do your honest work without the thought of surrender.

JafaBrit's Art said...

sheree, thanks for your words of experience. I think my one saving grace is that I never wanted to rely on art as a means of income. I just didn't expect so little in return for the amount of time I put into the marketing side, but I tried. I gave it my best shot. I don't regret that, but now I am enjoying my new journey.

Bill Evertson said...

I'm just amazed at the amount of creativity in your embroidery links of late. Thanks so much for continuing to search them out and share :) I had my eyes opened a few years ago to the possibilities at an exhibition of kimonos at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts; but the edginess of these contemporary artists is another world altogether. Seems like your needlework continues your own preference for a bit of a rough edge also. (whats gotten into Corrine, didn't she used to be so traditional and pristine? ;)

JafaBrit's Art said...

lol Bill. By the way I want to thank you for sending me a copy of your paper. I really got a good sense of the dynamics that allowed for the witchhunt mentality. Great paper! If it was graded paper I hope it was an A.

Claire said...

I will keep sending links to you and making sure you don't EVER quit, I wont let you :)

Seriously, I am glad you liked the article, as soon as I read I thought of you.

Susie Q said...

What a great I am no artist but I do know that my sensibilities have changed so much since I turned 45. Now, at 53, I look at the world so much differently...
Those who create art create life...

I love that fence...I need a good dose of YS soon. Just walking and looking and photographing.


Ralph Ivy said...

Jafa, there are depths to your creativity as an artist I too continue to find, echoing Bill Everston's commentary. The first "you" I encountered was the "saucy" tongue-sticking out image you presented as you on your blog. (Definitely not "tongue-in-cheek".)
Then came your defining the meaning of "J-A-F-A", and that gave me a big chuckle. Wished I had thought of it.
Then, seeing your posts on discussion groups, often with humor, but wide-ranging, and back to your blogs, your art, your replies to other comments, the topics, the depths lengthened. And here, the remembrance of vets, the commitment to your art despite hard times, the skeleton - then matched up to the "bones" blue song. Good. Very, very good.

Thank you.

JafaBrit's Art said...

Claire, I am NOT going to quit LOL! I promise.

I hear you susie, and yes that fence is just gorgeous. Oh street fair coming up, woo hoo!!!!!!!!

Thanks Ralph :) I don't think I have completely explored those depths yet, but maybe we never do eh? That's what makes this journey in life so darning interesting. My curiosity seems to know no bounds.

Judith HeartSong said...

oh I have a show opportunity for you my Friend...... have to figure out how to read the article, it is asking for a password.....

Judith HeartSong said...

Good article and so true. I am fortunate to work part-time as an art director at a corporate art consulting firm, which helps to pay expenses and yet gives me plenty of studio time.

If you are doing what you love to do, nothing will change that.

Kerin said...

Love that embroidered skeleton!!! OK that's a serious understatement but words escape me!

I'd be thrilled to have you as part of my Mixed Media Art site. It's at