Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Peace Sign: Up or Down

Ever had one of those brain fart moments?
Nancy and I did for a minute when putting up our new peace sign and couldn't remember which way to put it, duh! The version we know was designed by Gerald Holtom , a pacifist, who was promoting Nuclear Disarmament. The image isn't a new one though, the current version is an adaptation of the Algiz ( (Rune of Protection). I rather like it this way as it also looks like a tree or a person reaching out to the sky.

Talking about Peace
ScreenPeace Fest is coming to the Little Art Theatre Oct 4 thru Nov 8.


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Intrigues of an Artist

"Cage believed that for artists of his and Rauschenberg's temperament it was necessary to develop an inner toughness and an almost total indifference to the opinions of others-not an angry, go-to-hell indifference but a firm conviction that the opinions of others were their affair rather than yours" page 66 2nd paragraph Off the Wall

I am really enjoying this book and some of the reminders I'm getting from it. One in particular is that a piece can take a long time to develop, not just in the mind but in its execution. So often we fall prey to the idea we must produce something all the time, and yet I read of so many artists whose artwork can takes weeks, months or years.
I am also reminded of why I like Rauschenberg's work. It it that bringing together of various elements and making it into a whole that intrigues me.

Odalisk by Rauschenberg
watercolour, crayon, photographs, newspaper, dried grass, metal, glass, oil paint, pastel, fabric, printed reproductions, wooden post and lamps, castors, stuffed rooster, pillow, steel wool
Image Source at About.Com

Perhaps that is why knit graffiti appeals to me, not just the knitting or crochet, but seeing it out of context and part of a new whole.
vinyl, sprayed lace, reverse painting on plastic, oil paint on canvas, glass beads, 
handmade turkish beads, and metal heart earing, charms.

I dismantled this peice several years ago (wishing I hadn't now) because now I like it. Not in the same vein as Rauschenberg of course, but there is that mix of elements. It seems a precurser to my current need to integrate textile and paint.

Happy Monday Everyone

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life Drawing

30 minute pose

We had a fabulous model at the drawing session who is really experienced in poses. This one looks easy (or maybe not) but the foreshortening isn't, at least for me. The length and angle of the legs were a real challenge, as was the arm. Hands, arg! I am going to have to really practice drawing hands, my major weakness. 30 minutes isn't very long pose and it takes this length of time just to get the basic form down on paper.

wow factor

Mantegna Andrea

"Dead Christ"
source: wikipedia


I worked with my left hand also which is supposed to help improve drawing skills.

I am hoping the phrase "practice makes perfect" works.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mixing paint and embroidery

Work in Progress
Experiments in mixing media
"You begin with the possibilities of the material"
Art Quotes

I like that quote and that's what I've been trying. I experimented with a photo transfer of one of my paintings (which has been used for sticker street art quite a bit) on muslin to embroider over. I painted on the embroidery floss itself. I did the lips in white satin stitch and then added gentle strokes of acrylic grey wash over the embroidery. The black area is long and short stitch in embroidery floss. I've been itching to incorporate embroidery into some sort of assemblage, but still trying to figure out how. Somehow I just want to tack this up on some wood.

I am reading about one of my fave artists, Robert Rauschenberg
(Off the Wall by Calvin Tomkins) whose work I've always loved and been intrigued by.

Image source

I have such difficulty with bringing so many elements together (one of the reasons I love graffiti too), particularly incorporating text into a painting. Somehow it is easier with embroidery, which is odd. Rauschenberg was a master at bringing elements together and recontextualizing them with his "combines". Somehow I have to figure out how I can put my work into a piece that becomes part of a bigger picture.

"A Cat Visits"

and decides to sleep in my bowl on my front porch. I think it's a stray and been trying to adopt us. It has camped out at our front door for the last few days. Normally my dog chases cats but this one seems to have soothed his doggie ways.
Update: It deserted us when a neighbour gave it some of their cat's food.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Book Front in Stitch

Tea stained linen, iron on transfer, embroidery, seed beads

I decided to start a textile sketchbook titled Oops!, which is something that can be ongoing and filled with experiments, sample stitches, text and images. I also started working on another project and laid the groundwork today. It's a little daunting because it's quite large, but I figure there's no hurry and I can pace myself.

I won't bore you with health issues, but let's just say I feel closer to Frida Kahlo than I want when it comes to back problems and the constant hum of pain.

"The Broken Column"

I feel those tears
the isolation of pain
the constraints
the fragility
There is a kinship of understanding
in this painting

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mr.Plato At the Radical Craft Show

It took Nancy and I almost 7 hours to put the Radical Craft show together for the Yellow Springs Art's Council and while I bemoaned the lack of entries, and the disappointment of no shows I think I was a little bit glad. So, it's modest show that I hope people will enjoy. I am happy that we could showcase Tom's work and dedicate the show to him. Trying to pull together disparate elements into a whole isn't as easy as some imagine. I have a great deal of respect for curators of group exhibits (phew!!!!!!!) Much thanks to those artists who contributed work to the exhibit, it is much appreciated and a real pleasure to showcase.
Tom Blake, Tom Hawley, Florence Wang, Sue Rudolph, Bette Kelley,Karen Russell, Laura Carlson, and works by the Jafagirls, Nancy Mellon, and little old moi.

I feel somewhat ambiguous about mr.plato aesthetically as a whole (although I love how it's done). Nancy and I became enamored of the process, which took months, but I'm not sure about it. I don't think I like seeing him in a gallery setting. We had envisioned using mr.plato as street art, and I think our instincts were right about that.

Reception for the Radical Craft exhibit is tomorrow, more info on the ys arts blog

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How To's and Every Which Way

How to make a stencil

How to
translate a pattern for needlepoint, knitting or crochet with Knit Pro
From the Ladies Fancywork Society

How to
Cover a Painting with Resin

How to
make LED graffiti throwies
Found at Graffiti Search Lab

Jafabrit's Studio
This That and Every Which Way
I went mad with the crochet and did thistop one for the new Peace Pole on Dayton and Corry Street in Yellow Springs
Work in Progress

Tea and coffee stained muslin, photo transfer and embroidery

I decided to make a textile book titled "oops!"
patterned somewhat after my art house sketchbook project.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yarnbombing and Spray Paint

Dayton and Walnut Street, Yellow Springs, Ohio

Thought I would experiment using a Stencil I made couple of years ago and spray painting a recycled piece of knitting (by my daughter) from the knit knot tree. I really liked how it turned out and might experiment more with meshing the two together.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thrift Shop Art and confusing differences in English

Thrift Store Art Renewed
I have seen this done many years ago and always meant to play with the idea.
Maybe I'll go and pick something up next week at the thrift store (charity shop) eh!
Today I picked this up.

Wonder what the heck I will do with it.
Stay Tuned

YarnFul Frustrations
I learned to crochet in England and I wanted to reacquaint myself with how to do a granny square. So I went online for instructions and got quite discombobulated, all gobbledygook and then I realized, duh! terminology is different in the USA.
Crochet Pattern terms: differences between British and American
So I gave up and just muddled on and on and on until it came back to me.

No matter how long I live here, there are moments when I get confused, especially if they are terms I don't use often. Sometimes when I've tried to find or describe something people haven't got a clue what I'm talking about.

methylated spirits vs denatured alcohol
pelmet vs valence
skirting board vs baseboard
handbag vs purse (but to me a purse is what you put your change in)
The first floor is a second floor in America, that still gets me sometimes.
Pavement in England means Sidewalk in the USA, BUT a pavement in the usa is NOT a sidewalk but is a paved road.
Differences List

One of my first lessons in these differences back in 78 was when a shop assistant in the men's department at Rikes asked if I needed help and I said, "oh yes, I'm looking for a jumper for my husband". His reaction was a little odd until we discussed it further. For British readers a jumper in the usa is a pinafore dress not a sweater, arg!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Contemporary Embroidery & Experiments

"Naked in the Garden" by ©Gavin Fry
Photo used with  permission

Gavin Fry describes himself as a "sunday embroiderer" lol, and boy he sure uses that day well. What I like about this work is the mixture of modern and traditional, the foreshortened figure (which is always a drawing challenge),the beautiful border, the colour of the fabric and of course the stitchwork.


hand dyed muslin with acrylic paint, floss, photograph and beads.

Thought I would experiment integrating a photograph of one of my paintings (operation candyman) into an embroidery piece. I thought about printing it on the fabric, or using a photo transfer but somehow I wanted the actual photograph . They are very clever at making people see what they want to see, BUT how on earth did Garrido, with a brutal history, manage to fool the parole board into releasing him after 10 years of serving a 50 year sentence? "They just didn't view Mr. Garrido as that serious a threat, because he had been on parole a long time," Simon said. "He was living with his wife, he was fully employed." WHAT!. Anyone who has spent time learning about sexual predators knows what their modus operandi is, knows the recidvism rates, knows that therapy hasn't proven to be effective.
Being on parole a long time, living with a wife, being fully employed is NOT proof of anything.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Stealing Images: copyright violation

This is NOT cool, I found this poster using MY artwork on the comment section of this myspace page! by someone called twinkyproductions. advertizing the band on the their my space page.

I wonder if the band likes to get paid for their work?
Nobody asked me. I did not give permission.
When I sent a message asking about it
I was told I was a Mother Fucker

Copyright Law

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Love this Photo

so much I ordered a print

Image used with permission:It's by Nathan Leach-Proffer at Speed Photos
Graffiti Alley Ann Arbor MI

I love it not just because it's my knit graffiti camo doll, but because the photographer has transformed my art to create his own art and vision. I love the whole angle and mood , the quality of the photography, the colours. It's like she wants to break free and fly away wheeeeeeee! It's also kind of interesting to see what happens to knit graffiti and how others view it.


Here the question is: signs of mental illness or excessive creativity unleashed?
Regulars here know the answer to that LOL!
Ho Ho Ho Green Barbie OR One of Captain Kirk's ladies
another Captain Kirk reference, but me thinks he whisked her away
She got marked

Alas she is no longer in the alley, she flew off and found a home in the
Twilight Zone

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones