Monday, April 30, 2012

a bundle of paradoxes

time to get up and get cracking in the studio. 

"The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies  every morning to keep it late." Ogden Nash

 My Bed by Tracey Emin (yes, an unmade bed)
Woman in Bed by Ron Mueck (giant sculpture)
Amazing painting Empty Bed by Helen Masacz
who knew
Flickr has a group (of course) for empty beds

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bullion Stitch: YouTube to the Rescue

It wasn't that I couldn't see how to do it in my little book of embroidery stitches BUT the video shared something the book couldn't, how to slide the stitches along the needle and thread.

I was doing the claws of the little needle painted bird last night and getting my feathers into quite a ruffle trying to figure it out. YEA for YouTube and thanks to dimenstitch for sharing your simple tutorials.

It's not perfect, but this is my first attempt so I'm not going to be too hard on myself.

Links & Resources 
 Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread 
has an extensive library of how to videos, tips & techniques, patterns, as well as an ask & share section.

Sharon B's Pintangle has samplers, worksheets, free patterns, online classes, etc.

Crafty Sheep is where I saw the review for the Needle Painting Embroidery book and her review was spot on.  It's more of a personal blog but  shares so many wonderful projects and ideas. I particularly like her monthly colour challenges.

The excellent exploits of Mr.X Stitch, a veritable showcase of contemporary embroidery and needlecraft from around the world.

and just because I want to share, check out Anna Torma's incredibly complex large scale embroidery works, phew!  
Fans of Tilleke Schwarz may already know this, BUT for those who don't, Tilleke has a new book out called New Potatoes. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tea Room and Needle Painting

 We decided to covert the dining room into a small tea room and media room for reading and listening to music. It's a great room for light to sit next to the window and embroider. We got tired of this lovely room being used for one purpose and taken up with a huge dining set. 

 Needle Painting is coming along very nicely and I love the quiet time as I do it.

It's true creating is good for the soul but this is for the men; research has shown appreciating art/culture is good for mens health.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Needle Painting: bird

more info
It is very time consuming, but not the actual stitching. It's getting all the colours organized and labeled correctly and setting them up so one does NOT get into a kerfuffle. I am enjoying exploring new ways of doing embroidery, and hope by the end of the year my doodle cloth has plenty of new stitches.

Reading: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and one review said if one is going to read his work this is NOT the book to start with. Too LATE, and I am hooked even after 5 pages.

Favourite Thing
I am setting up my dining room into a tea room and this little jug sitting on the welsh dresser always makes me smile.
I bought it from my favourite art gallery in town, IN A FRAME.

 “Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording… but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.” Seth Godin
Found this above quote on Gwarlingo, which has an interesting article about the writer Lewis Hyde.

ps. I really agree with Seth's entry about don't expect applause in regards to the creative process.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Studio Shelf

The painting is finished and will sit on the shelf for a couple of months to dry before I figure out the way I want it framed.

I got this lovely book for my birthday
I had seen a link about it on one of my fave blogs, "feeling stitchy", and thought it would be fun exploring needle painting on my doodle cloth.

Interesting Article in New York ART called "how to make It in the Art World" with a list of rules (not the usual how to rules). Okay, I am not into the art "rules" as a rule ahem! but these seem more like helpful observations than rules.   

Monday, April 23, 2012

What do feminists look like?

I'm always astonished when I hear someone ask that question. Some of the views are strange, check these one's out.
 That anyone has to ask it just goes to show the propaganda has worked ;)
Photograph of Vintage Embroidery manipulated on adobe with added tie dye,  embellished with embroidery and ribbon edging. Quote is  R.L.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Lights are Too Bright

Embroidery of Sunglasses 

I read an interesting commentary about artists wanting attention and I sort of agree in that yes, there are some who want to be famous, some hope the work is famous, and some who love to share what they do, etc.  What I don't agree with is the notion that by virtue of displaying one's work on blogs or elsewhere artists just want attention for themselves, or are desperate for attention ;)

People like to show what they love doing and  artists are no different. 

 My only desperation comes when I'm unable to do art for some reason (and I know many of you relate to that). I do have a need to show what I love doing, and I do really appreciate it when people notice my work. However in the grand scheme of things I am generally ignored in the bigger world of painting and embroidery.  Does that mean one stops doing what they love and showing it, I think NOT!  

Meanwhile back in the land of Yellow Springs, I continue to help jafapal Nancy prepare the gallery,and install the upcoming grand re-opening exhibit.
Les put up the new sign.

Come Friday we may be too exhausted to get down and to the funky chicken at the disco party.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When is a painting finished?

Sometimes it's so easy to know and other times, arg!  At first I thought I would be doing the whole painting in colour but it being primarily black and white seems to fit with memento mori. 
When my husband saw the rose he said it looks like a dead rose. "it is!", I exclaimed with joy. So I'm glad I was able to convey that.  My challenge now seems to be how much more colour do I put in it, or to leave it alone and just tweak it here and there. This is a conundrum many face, but one I enjoy.

Found a great example of how an artist several years later decided a painting needed to be finished. While the difference may seem subtle, it nevertheless has improved it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cultural Differences: Hairy Mary

 Even after living in the USA over 30 years I can be taken off guard and at a dinner party last night a guest said she didn't believe me when I said Hairy Mary is a reference to furry caterpillars. I think she thought I was joking, but I told her to google it. I grew up in the UK calling any furry caterpillars a hairy mary. I thought it was cute, and since the jafagirl mannequin was dedicated to the 18th century women's rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft and the issue of body hair I thought calling the (controversial) Mannequin Hairy Mary made sense. WELL! how would I know "some" people only know it as slang (sorry not all of us -including americans -are aware of slang terms )for a vajayjay. ugh!

So this is what you get if you google it.

It's also the name of a fishing fly 
and a commonly used for name for gardening business' and florists in the USA, vintage stores, hair salon's etc.
According to the Urban Dictionary it's any woman with an extremely hairy body, specifically the face and/or armpit. I have heard that in New Zealand they call kiwi fruit hairy mary's but can't find any evidence of that online.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Scrapbook Snippets 1971: Mad About Aprons

NOT! I thought the drawing and the design cute. I did find it odd that a teen mag was promoting an item that many viewed at the time as a symbol of drudgery. I suppose they were trying to convince us teens that we could enjoy looking cute while we were dragged into the kitchen kicking and screaming to do the dishes. I don't think so ;)
Kind of funny to see how aprons have become such a trend. Aprons are Back in Style with a Vengeance .   This article asks Can Feminists Wear Aprons? My answer is sure they can ;) 

Hairy Mary Models Jafabrit's apron

You're reading art by corrine bayraktaroglu originally posted on Jafabrit's Art. 

Thank you for dropping by.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Inspiration and Unusual Results

I saw this on Bit Rebels and they do a great write up about the artist Hong Yi. I love her use of unusual materials/objects to create art and particularly what inspired the work in this video.

War on Women: it's a bitch huh!


Why the media assault on Ashley Judd is larger than a puffy face-Forbes
Attacking Sexual Orientation

Thursday, April 12, 2012

WIP: Memento Mori Still Life

It's coming along slowly and each day I work on a section to define the objects. Seeing it here I can see some areas that need work.  You'd think looking at the actual painting I could see the flaws, but funnily you get used to seeing them and it's only when we view it through a third eye we notice them. Another traditional method is using a mirror, and always handy to have in a studio.

Pioneer of Still Life Genre Fede Galizia

While I have used the french style of underpainting called Grisaille what is Verdaccio and why do it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


"Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,And munched and mumbled a bare old bone"


Well these one's are cute and fun to paint because they are weirdly cute.

However the other one's are just weird. I'm talking about those creatures that troll the internet looking for a host for their pent up  resentments or grievances. Some don't hide behind anonymity but harbor a free floating hostility.They disguise their trolling as concern for an issue and resort to attacking and flaming anyone who doesn't agree with them. They post a little flamebait and off they go, with other nasties joining in.

What is Flamebait?

Best Tip
 "don't feed the trolls"
 just paint them

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Setting up a Still Life

I decided to create a still life light box  over the weekend since I have  a yen to do a few small still life paintings. This video gives you an idea of how it works.
I have a thing for shadows (can't see in the cropped portion but it lurks in the back) and it has a bit of a sinister feel to it, and my still life has become more of a memento mori.

I wasn't planning that, but I guess after reading the news and seeing so many people dying suddenly the sense of mortality was preying on my subconscious. 
It's proving to be a real challenge as the skull is a hologram image in a block of glass, argh! Did I pick something easy lol!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Egg Head Wisdom

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence." Einstein

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Hairy Mary She Was Scary

Dear Visitor, thank you for visiting and my apologies. Unfortunately due to the continued infringement, mining and exploitation of my images by individuals, spammers and companies I no longer have the incentive to show my photographs and artwork

The handy thing about having a doodle cloth/sampler is that in between projects I can play, experiment and practice stitches (version of the cretan stitch, buttonhole, running, couching).
 LINK: Embroidery Stitch Guide at the UK Embroidery Guild

It seems my next project is going to take a lot of time to even get started. Not because of the embroidery part, but the support requires experimenting with different materials and figuring out which is going to be the best surface for the embroidery. Frustrating because I just want to get on with it, BUT preparation part is very important so I know it has to be worth it.

Friday, April 06, 2012

OutDoor Art Gallery

"But a do-it-yourself, street-level arts culture is flourishing. Some of London's hipper, scruffier quarters have become so art-encrusted that they are now tourist attractions in themselves, with a burgeoning street-art economy."

This is something I have enjoyed doing with the Jafagirls. As this artist says in the above article "It's very, very accessible,...."

More and more it seems artists are taking their art outdoors, not just for free art fridays or murals/graffiti but installing  3 d works. For example the art collective, luzinterruptus, which has a playful way of confronting social and environmental issues.
This installation is highlighting the Spain's water problem and neglected water fountains.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Saucy Craftbombing ,eeeeeeeeeeek where's me smelling salts

well this would really put some into the vapors around here lol! Felt Vagina's is the new Yarnbombing.  
Just looks like a bit craftbombing with craft felt, but you know the actual statue is rather saucy already ahem!
Where's Millie Tant when you need her eh!

Meanwhile the jafagirls yarnbombing is rather tame, and modest, and meant to compliment the beautiful beads Susan hung in the tree. Two young men visiting town walked by and wanted to shake our hands and thanked us for all the fun artwork around town. I guess we are doing something right eh!
Note:no it doesn't hurt the trees, it dries when it gets wet, it doesn't smell, bugs don't nest in it,  and it doesn't cost the tax payer a penny for removal. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Public Art Policy Yellow Springs Council Meeting

On the whole I felt the viewpoints shared at the meeting were respectful, and I appreciated the comments by council members as well as everyone else who spoke up. Some good questions to ponder on both sides and I am pondering.  Someone brought up the point that the village doesn't display the Ten Commandments even though some would like it too.  We have Separation of Church and State and no government has the right to endorse and promote religious morality onto the community, anymore than they have a right to dictate what artists can and can't say with their work. Steve's painting is not representing the government but is a personal opinion and he violates no law in doing so, a government entity putting up the ten commandments would be considered a violation of the constitution
One woman brought her personal experience of why Steve's painting (part of the Yellow Springs Arts Council Permanent Collection) isn't appropriate in the village building. I empathize, I too have been a victim of violence and trauma and understand all to well how images can trigger painful reminders. Whether we like it or not however is beside the point, are we supposed to ban/censor EVERY image that bothers us politically, aesthetically, personally, etc. What a pickle that would cause! There are some in the village that despise the sculpture "flock of hands" which is on public property, are we supposed to remove it?
Also the question of what sort of message does the artwork send to visitors to our village. I think the message would be obvious, we value free speech, creative diversity and tolerance. 

Either the village allows a gallery that was gifted to the village by a previous village manager to continue or it doesn't.  BUT it really can't have it both ways and value freedom of speech and then censor work based on the personal taste of a few. There are creative ways of dealing with it, without resorting to a blanket policy that hurts the core of everything this village values.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Respect goes BOTH ways

Thought I would add her to the Doodle Cloth since she is an issue right now and sparked a wave of nude art being added to the "women's voices out loud" exhibit. 
There will be a village council meeting which will address the public art policy and a call for respectful discussion and consideration for everyone's feelings. Oddly enough that courtesy seems to be one sided considering  how the artists and curators were treated initially was less than respectful without any opportunity for discussion and means to address the situation. Nancy and I would have have been MORE than willing to find a fun way to deal with it that would have been respectful of all concerned. 
Some have offered their complaints about what is and isn't appropriate to put in a community gallery and I wonder where have they been all these years? The Village owns this gallery and many of these types of works and the rumbaugh painting have been displayed off and on for years in the Bryan Center Community Gallery and the village (and the naysayers) have had ample opportunity to discuss the content of the work prior to the last two exhibits. Taking offence AFTER the fact and a village employee using borderline legal claim (our work being borderline sexual harassment of village employees and obscenity) against local artists is not conducive to supporting the arts in Yellow Springs and building respectful partnerships.

Author of You Can't Say that David Bernstein " decries the trend by which issues of taste are turned into issues of sexual harassment, thus allowing the most prudish to dictate the public's taste in art." 
Uh huh!