Let's talk about goals for a minute. I make short term and long term goals for my creative/business life each year. They are part of my business plan and keep me focused on spending my limited studio time wisely. In case you are thinking I'm a super-organized amazing person - I don't ever make personal goals farther out than a day or two because I never meet them and it's depressing. Instead I say "today I will go to the gym. (or not yell at my children.)" and that seems to work.
So I keep it simple. This year I wanted to:
1-turn my blog into something worth reading and find some readers. (Hello all you lovely readers!)
2-have a solo show with work that looks cohesive.
I think I made both goals. Hooray! I have learned, however, that one must be pretty specific about goals. I did not say "I want a solo show in a nice gallery." I am very happy with the community center and the show will be up during at least two very heavily attended town events. But - the town has other much nicer venues. They have concerts or events here every once in a while but mostly basketball games and exercise classes. The thing I am very happy about is that now I have a larger body of work that is fairly cohesive and can be used to apply to future shows.
The main lobby is crowned by a large and lovely glass pyramid, letting natural light flood the whole area. For a community center, it's quite a lovely space. I'm pretty sure they'll have a big Christmas tree in the center of the room during most of December. It was fun to challenge myself to work within a holiday palette - without creating holiday themed works.
The back hall does not have a gallery hanging system. They have three hanging hooks on each side and are adamant about not putting any more nails in the wall so it often looks a little odd. I had intended to put two big quilts in the hallway, one on each side. They hung down far too low though so my flying ladies line the hallway. The town's art director really likes Malachi's promise so I hung that in the spot they were going to reside in.
The artists reception for the show is Saturday, December 4th from 3-5pm. There are a number of big events in the building that morning so I think I'll go mingle and meet people for a while then. I'll bring hand work during the actual reception hours to keep me busy as I have the feeling the place will clear out a bit. Stop by and say hello any time!
It's a mad dash to the finish line here. (Hanging the solo show next Tuesday.) I'm simply blown away at how much art I can get done when I spend the whole day in the studio working. Of course, I've gotten a sitter for little guy, have left middle kids on their own to do (or refuse to do) homework, and the house is a wreck. I haven't made a good dinner for a couple of weeks.
These are still in process. As are quite a number of other works. I must say I've quite enjoyed myself - madly playing in the studio.
I chronicled the beginning of these two pieces here.
I find it so interesting that the purple cloth I didn't like turned into something I love. Both of these pieces were created on a severely limited time schedule. We were in the middle of having our floors refinished. The entire ground floor, including my studio, had to be moved out.
After dye work is done I love to lay down an overall texture by discharging some of the color. In this case I used some of my favorite images of ammonite fossils in a thermofax screen and discharged with Cascade dishwashing detergent. Great stuff! It's thick like paint so that I can screen print with it and has enough bleach to take out the dye - but not so quickly that I can't print several yards at once.
Next I use the same motif in similar colors to layer the visual textures in the cloth. Can I just say right now how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE my thermofax machine and whoever invented this process? The ammonite screens are available on my website by the way - and I can also do custom screens from your own images.
This was one of the first times I've simply played with the design of the clothing in a very free and improvisational way. I looked at the cloth and had a general idea of where I wanted to end up and took my scissors and began to cut. Bear in mind that I've been sewing clothing for almost 30 years now and have put in quite a number of hours doing things the "right" way with measuring tapes and patterns and such. I also knew I want to purposefully make these pieces larger than my size. The first layer is a simple tunic dress with very low arm openings, meant to be worn over a nice fitted t-shirt.
The second layer is another tunic but the sides are open so it flows when you walk. I love things that flap and flow when I walk. It has lovely little buttons and beads and loops so that you can play with draping it many different ways.
The shrug has two lovely vertical lines extending down the front. Long vertical lines that bring the eye up to your face are a very good thing in clothing design. I think the shrug, with its lovely little beaded edge and some whimsical yet understated beaded fringes that hang under the arm will look lovely over a black dress all on it's own.
The blue tunic is nice - but I think I'll work on it more when it comes home. It's cut on the bias, has raglan sleeves, and a veeeeery long tie so that it can wrap around several times. It's also open on the sides up to the waistline. I sent it without the skirt. Not every experiment is a success. The skirt turned out to be almost a size six - tiny, while the tunic is very loose and could probably fit up to a size 18. I'm thinking something lovely with beading along the neckline - or perhaps some gorgeous mother of pearl jewelry to accentuate it. Who knows.
Again - scroll down to the last post to see detailed show information. These will be in Martinsville Virginia at the Piedmont Arts Association show,
The Art of the Quilt until December 30th.
I'd love to hear your comments. Any more ideas for the blue piece? Want to come try them on when they come home?
A wonderful student saw this and passed it on - I'm going to have to try these paints for leather. Especially as I recently had bit of an ebay boot buying binge and have a few pair patiently waiting in the wings for their day of glory.
"Angelus Acrylic Leather Paints are brilliant and opaque in color and are used for decorating, staining, or edging smooth leather and vinyl articles. Ideal for painting special areas on western boots, belts, tennis shoes, purses, jackets, etc. Angelus Leather Paint, when dry, will not peel, crack, or rub-off. Waterbased for easy clean up."