Saturday, January 30, 2010

It Starts with a Picture

and pictures always tell a story
Here is a wonderful journey called The Story Beyond the Still
A competition by Canon "to interpret what story
lives beyond this still and to tell that story with the new Canon EOS 7D. Vincent Laforet's "The Cabbie" will be the first chapter of seven, each ending with a still photograph for the next aspiring filmmaker to interpret. Posing the question to everyone, what do you see beyond the still?"

The Story Beyond The Still: The Cabbie from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

It's always fascinating how people bring their own interpretation to an image, to a painting.
Meanwhile Jafabrit is still AT it with needle and thread
I finished doing the arms and decided to do long and short for the arms and satin stitch for the fingers. I thought it might look odd but I am okay with it. I like how the fag turned out and used french knots for the ash.
Still figuring out how to do the hair.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Nosing Around Odd Crafts

"the aliens could be "right under or noses – or even in our noses."
Scientists Say

Location: Dayton Street above sweetie shop door
Meanwhile in Jafabrit's Studio
Some new textile art to leave around town somewhere
Questionable Crafts for YOUR Consideration at kraftomatic

Questions about Knit Graffiti

OutdoorKnit asked a very good question.
When do we stop?
What's the point if it is mainstream and no longer seen as subversive? "
My answer was, and I will reiterate here, that I didn't really see it as subversive when I first started doing it.I remember someone asking me when I decided to become a guerrilla knitter and I was floored. For me it was just another way, an extension, of what I have already been doing for a while, street art. I think, however, that even if it is seen as once subversive and now mainstream it still has value in that people enjoy it. I don't see me doing it forever. I am not a knitter. I am an artist who uses knitting and crafts for my art and like a lot of my art it will evolve.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I just HAD to share this, it had me in stitches.

Oh talking about STITCHES!
I finally faced it, stitching the face that is. ARG! I was just so nervous about how to go about it, what thread to use, what direction the stitches would go in, etc. I ended up using a cotton polyester thread rather than embroidery floss. Still haven't figured out the hair yet. What I am MOST happy about are the parrots, especially the one on the left where I used cretan stitch for the feather tail.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Drawing Inspiration

A friend of mine, Michael Fleishman, just published his sixth text book (Delmar Cengage Learning) and whee! looky here.

Double Whee! my paintings are in chapter 16, Drawing Observes Page 261. I am truly honored to be included in this book, thank you Michael and congratulations on a fabulous book (The colour plates are just gorgeous)and YES! inspiring.
Here is a video about the book.
I am also really happy about the donations in lieu of permission fees being used to support the arts.

Readings of the Month

Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What is this?

I saw this very strange stone animal in Yellow Springs
(outside Sam& Eddies)

Am I seeing what I think I am seeing?

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Urge Overwhelmed Me

I had to draw and then paint.
work in progress

Originally I planned a couple months ago to paint a dog on an orange background on canvas. I painted the canvas a yummy orange and there is sat in my studio for two months. Yesterday I had an urge to draw so I painted over the canvas in white and cream acrylic. It is wonderful to just draw on it with charcoal and wipe off with a soft cloth. So I played around with that for a while. Out of that is growing a painting. Some of you may recognize the eye. For some reason I just wanted to put it on the neck. Perhaps deep in my mind is the thought of how one gets a lump in their throat when they see loved one's hurt?

It Vexeth Me
like gnats on an summer evening when others decide what the driving force is behind my creative need. In answer to a recent comment. No, I don't use art to cope, nor is it therapy of some kind (even if I do work that addresses issues I have experienced).
Sometimes there just isn't an agenda beyond the desire to use one' s hands in creative pursuits, or to use art the way you use your mouth to talk about things that interest you.

Art Muse Rules
I'm at it's mercy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Stories that Embroidery Tell

They speak of our times, of our struggles, our joys.The most famous being the Bayeux Tapestry (which really isn't a tapestry but embroidery) and the saga of conquest in 1066.
OOH, this is fun!

Create your own tapestry.

Prisoners of War Quilt Embroidery

changi quilts

Image Source: British Red Cross Museum Collection


"During her time in Holloway Prison, Janie Terrano embroidered a handkerchief, as was a common way of marking significant events at that time. The handkerchief marked the hunger strike held from April 13-19 by the suffragettes imprisoned and force-fed. "

Image source: Fabric of Resistance

Meanwhile my story

Still a work in progress

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Let it Not be Said

only the young and female create pieces for yarnbombing. These gorgeous pieces were knitted by a local professor, Gary Pierson for Olga Ziemska's "flock of hands" sculpture.
Thanks Gary they are gorgeous.

Knitting in the News

Dave Cole takes Knitting to New Heights

Meanwhile back at the Studio
I am slowly working on pieces for Olga's "flock o
f hands" sculpture AND knit knot tree II. I am also working on some craft bombing pieces to leave around like this one below or attach to something.

It's all very eggy

If anyone would like to send us some knitting or crochet for "flock of hands" or the knit knot tree II please check the links above for dimensions and email me at

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wedneday: Snowy Wreath

-->Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen
Because thou art not seen
Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bit so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friedship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
They heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.
Act II, Scene 7 from As You Like It by William Shakespeare (1600)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bleeding Eye

WIP: embroidery on muslin with acrylic
This is part of a piece I'm working on for a Embroidery Guild group exhibit in Yellow Springs in February. So, my skull embroidery is on hold until this is finished.

Sand Art that speaks of things that break the heart

Monday, January 11, 2010

Classical Figure Drawing: practice practice practice

" Figure drawing is arguably the most difficult subject an artist commonly encounters, and entire classes are dedicated to the subject." I agree and I always approach life drawing with trepidation. So why do it, right? Because I need/want to continue practicing my drawing and observation skills. It really helps to have a good model and this week ours was FANTASTIC, what I would call a real professional. You could tell she had experience and understood the importance of good (challenging) poses. Some people think you just plonk a nude in the room and that's it, but having a bad model (lazy, inexperienced) can be really frustrating.
My approach to drawing a live model is anatomical and I use modeling to get a sense of the muscles and the bony landmarks
to get a sense of proportion. You may notice that I don't bother with the face of the models. That is intentional since my main focus is getting the structure of the human form rather than a portrait of a model per se.

Figure Drawing LAB Guide to Human Anatomy: Skeletal...Muscular

Art Glossary for Artists

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Art of Sign

Lady Gaga's hit song, Bad Romance
signed by Michael DiMartino in his video interpretation of her song.
"Michael aspires to bring mainstream music to the d/Deaf and Hard of hearing , so they can enjoy music the way everyone else does."

All copyrights go to their respectful owners.
No infringement intended, educational purposes only.

Original Lady Gaga video

Sign Language Posters/Prints
ASL Art Resources for the Arts


professional news
Knit Knot Box Hits the News in Israel

studio updates

Mostly long and short stitches that take hours and hours to do, but so worth it. Kind of nervous about doing the face and arms. I had to do the face on the marmite is evil piece three times and still not satisfied.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Gringo Granny Strikes: Graff Pics Skate Town Puerto Rico

I was taking photos of the exterior of Rincon Skate Town in Puerto Rico and these three young men just stared at me the whole time, not in a nasty way, but in a curious way like they were wondering what this middle aged tourist was doing lol!
I felt like I hit gold, the whole building was covered in graffiti, and what a great place for skateboarders. Inside walls are also covered in graffiti as you can see here.

Front entrance side

side wall

rear side wall

Monday, January 04, 2010

Heart Art and Cool Knitting

Please do share or use my image without permission

I had so much fun painting this series of hearts, but I wonder if I will trying to do it in embroidery. Planning the stitches to get a similar effect will be a challenge. I have to do a heart embroidery for the Embroidery Guild display in Feb so I need to get cracking dying the muslin and drawing out the design. I am also planning on doing a little craftbombing so January already looks like it will be a busy month preparing work and doing it.

Talking about Craftbombing
Check out what
deeply superficial people have been up to lately

Cool Knitted Stuff

Knitted Clock at the Conran ShopDon't let the seemingly benign nature of the knitted house by Freddie Robbins fool you, there is more to this than meets the eye. The artist has a whole series called Knitted Homes of Crime. More about this artist at Cast On.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Cracker Jokes and Rainbows

I love christmas crackers and the jokes this year weren't too bad. Did you know that cracker jokes can be as controversial as Brussel Sprouts (YUM). Well that's what the BBC says in their article: What Makes a Good Christmas Cracker Joke? Here is one I think is worthy of a slight happy groan.
What bow can't be untied? answer below

Rainbow in Puerto Rico Dec 2009

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Oh! The Lucky Poo

ThinkGeek Explains
"the kanji for "lucky" in Japan is very similar to the shortened form of the Japanese word for "poo." Hence the brilliant Japanese played with the pun and the Lucky Golden Poo was um..born."
Alice Gordenker Explains in The Japan Times the long history of poo related worship and how the golden lucky poo originated.
My son brought these stickers back from Japan and I decided to use them on my new 2010 Sketchbook. They even have smiley face ones :)

I found the feather around town and added it to symbolize a new beginning. Other meanings from The Doorway to Symbolism
"The real essence of art turned out not to be something high up and far off - it was right inside my ordinary daily self"
Shinichi Suzuki

Friday, January 01, 2010

A New Year begins

"The object of art is to give life a shape."
William Shakespeare

I grew up hearing this phrase in the Northeast of England.
I didn't frame the finished embroidery piece because the person I am sending it to (Yay Bill got it yesterday) might want to do something with it, add to it, incorporate it into an assemblage, hang as is, or just frame it.
There are Other variations of this saying.
My glaswegian neighbour says.Tell tale tit. Yer mammy cannae knit, yer daddy cannae go tae bed Withoot a dummy tit .
The New Year
begins with another thread translation

based on my skull painting
"Homage to Frida Kahlo".

I used 12 different colours in this small parrot
which tells me this embroidery is going to take a while to finish.

Happy New Year