Saturday, February 28, 2009
Selecting Empowering Partnerships & Alliances
This eighth chapter of 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women (which I'm reading as part of the book blogging group, The Next Chapter) was probably the least helpful to me so far. I think that making this decision on whether to partner up with other or create and pursue alliances is something that might be in the future, but doesn't apply too much to me at the moment.
In the chapter there is a pretty extensive self-assessment to do around the issues of what kind of partner you are, your managing style, your collaboration style, etc. And after doing that, I've realized that being on my own with what I'm doing now is the right choice for me. At least for now.
But as the author, Gail McMeekin says "Working closely with others on a creative project expands the available net of ideas, skills and experience." I've absolutely found this to be true on the collaborative projects I've worked on in the past, and definitely recognize the value of this idea.
But on the other hand, my favorite quote from the chapter is "Your playing small serves no one." - Marianne Williamson.
So perhaps more thinking on this subject of expanding my notions of what I'm doing, and whether or not I need to involve more partners or alliances is achieving my goals.
As McMeekin says "In this age of the Internet, you don't have to work alone, unless you want to."
Friday, February 27, 2009
Consulting With Guides
Getting back into the swing of reading along in "12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women" with the book blogging group, Next Chapter. I'm a week behind, so there will be two posts in a row to catch me back up.
This seventh chapter is all about how to overcome the challenge of isolation and loneliness as an artist/creative, with all kinds of great questions to consider about the guidance you got as a child from your family, later in life from people outside your family and what works best for you and what you need in the future going forward.
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes,
Twyla Tharps' great book, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life
and although not all the essays are written by women the anthology edited by Rick Benzel,Inspiring Creativity: An Anthology of Powerful Insights and Practical Ideas to Guide You to Successful Creating
Those are just three that I can think of right off the top of my head out of the many books I've read over the last few years. Advisors or guides in book form are convenient for me, as I don't always feel up to having face-to-face interaction with people. This is just reality for me, so I'm really lucky that the internet exists with all those interesting and inspiring groups out there, just waiting for people to jump in and participate from whatever point they happen to be at.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
View Through Rain
Thursday, February 19, 2009
This Cake video of their song "No Phone" perfectly illustrates the current situation at home: No Phone!
No dial tone, thus no DSl. And no repair appointment until Tuesday next week. grrrrr.
Although I did see three AT&T trucks cruising around the neighborhood this afternoon, fingers crossed that they are fixing the problem right now this very minute. I have a feeling the outage is due to the recent mudslide which took down power poles and the phone lines with them. We didn't lose our phone service even though the power was out though. Just after a few very windy days. I bet they didn't re-hang the phone lines correctly. As a layperson guessing that is..
So if you're trying to call me, hopefully you have my cell number.
At least there is free wifi at the coffeeshop down in town which is where I'm posting from. Sitting here drinking expensive chai and watching the rushing river way down below.
Well, that is one way to lessen the interruptions at home and get some work done in the studio, I got a lot accomplished today. No internet, no interrupting phone calls, pretty cool. But more on that later, with pictures.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
How I Spent My Holiday Weekend
This is what the road down our hill looked like yesterday. A couple big trees that had been perched up on the mountainside fell over in the big rain/wind storm, causing a small mudslide. No big deal, except, they of course fell into the power lines. Very big deal. The fire department and tree service people were there right away. But they couldn't do anything because the live wires were wrapped up and in and around the trees. Several hours went by before the power company showed up and got to work.
It was a problem because this is the only passable road down the hill for a few hundred folks that live up here. It is possible to walk down our little street to town, but you can't drive anymore. Dear husband had to walk down and up twice, once with the teenagers that were having a sleepover and needed to get home, and once to fill up the gas can for our generator. It was quite a social scene with more people than usual out of their houses (in the pouring rain) griping about the power company and scheming on how to get down off the mountain.
We had a LOT of time for reading and quiet, which was a nice way to spend the holiday.
Power didn't go back on until 1:30 am, which I know because of course we had left the bedroom overhead lights on. What a way to wake up. Nice to have the power back on.
Today we're having a ton of hail! And wind, which knocked the power out again for a few hours. Good time for a nap, so I took advantage.
Here is what the trampoline looks like. Wouldn't that be a cold and slippery jump?!
And I'm fascinated by the sizes and shapes and colors of the hail.
Well, that's why I didn't post yesterday!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I think handling the external ones is pretty easy for me. Although I haven't encountered a lot of criticism for my work so far. Probably because I don't attend artist groups where they do critiques. And the judges comments that I've gotten on works from various shows have usually been helpful in some way or another. Even the ones that rankled ended up being useful. I tend to usually take everything very personally and deeply, but somehow, criticism about my work I'm able to handle (at least so far), because I can separate what is intended as useful, and what is not.
The internal saboteurs though are a bit harder to handle, but I have learned some good techniques to shut them up long enough to be able to get the work done. The ones that are strongest are preventing me from getting my work out into the world. This realization that I haven't conquered all of those internal saboteurs makes me say to myself: "Prepare to do battle!" It seems strange to have to prepare to battle a voice or impulse that is coming from one's own mind, but that's where the conflict is.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deep fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - Marianne Williamson
The picture in this post is of one of my favorite quilts that I've made, As Above, So Below is made from various woven plaids and ikats and quilted with a very thick cotton perle.
Finally hanging where I always had envisioned it, above our bed.
It looks good against the biscuit colored wall.
No matter what anybody else ever said about it.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
All You Need Is Love
I hope today, Valentine's Day has been absolutely filled with LOVE for you.
hey, even and especially Self Love
My valentine and I are now off to dinner (kid-free too!), hopefully the road is open by now. If not, I guess we'll have to turn around and have something to eat at home. And hopefully the power stays on, as it has been iffy today with the stormy weather.
Friday, February 13, 2009
The Paws That Refreshes
Don't you love it when your cat is so deeply asleep that they don't wake up and you can take super close up pictures of their paws?
Usually Rexie wakes up or at least hides his paws from me, but this time he was sound out recovering from a wild and woolly night out in the rain.
This time he was so asleep that I was able to get to him before he clenched up his relaxed paw. I just love the look of it against the flannel quilt.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
This is written by quilt artist Katie Pasquini Masopust and Brett Barker, a fine art painter and teacher. It makes for a different kind of how-to improve your quilt design book because of this partnership in presenting the information. Basic art concepts presented with the quilter in mind. Because it is such a different medium than drawing or painting, learning to make that connection with the basics can be hard to master.
This is what I've accomplished so far from the Contour Drawing chapter.
First step is to set up a still life, lit with a strong light from one side so that you get highlights and shadows. This particular one was rather pungent, what with the very ripe banana and spicy onion. I had to restrain myself from eating that fat little mandarin orange while I was still working with the still life setup.
A blind contour drawing, where you hold a paper above the one you are drawing on so that you can't see the drawing so far. This helps keep your eye on what you're actually drawing.
You really have to concentrate on the shapes and how they relate to one another.
Then using pre-fused fabric, doubled up , then you freehand cut the basic shapes out, no marking, just cut with the scissors.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Roll With It Baby
Here's the first step after you've got the colorful strips sewn together, baste on some flannel to the wrong side. You could also use a very thin quilt batting also.
Look at all those colors, all laid out and ready to use. Looking at this picture makes me want to go sketch in my sketchbook *right now*.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Mischief (and Mess) Managed
This first picture shows my main work area. The area behind my blue chair is a door-free closet space that has stacks of plastic boxes filled with fabric. And what do you know, they are all accessible now, because all the stuff that was in front of them is now across the room, which you can see in this next picture:
Here is most of the rest of the room, click the picture so you can read the labels I added. There are still several large boxes to sort through, but they aren't in danger of falling on anyone now which is an improvement.
So, that is my big start on making my mark on this room, zing, shazam, this is now my studio!
Monday, February 09, 2009
Taking My Lumps
After I shared the manipulated fabric experiment last week, I decided I wanted to try and use this now very 3D fabric surface in a 2D quilt. So I thought to keep it coherent and complete, I'd just use the silk skirt fabric that the lining fabric came from as the base for the quilt. Turns out it makes a very effective base to play off of with its graphic undulating lines and interesting use of space. And I really like the idea of this complete recycling of a silk skirt! (except the zipper, which on second thought, I should use on the back for the label...
The first picture shows how I originally had the whole shebang pinned together before attempting the sewing part.
Here is how it looks after quilting and re-arranging and folded and stretching and tucking and trimming. I used invisible thread on the 3D fabric, and black rayon on the background.
Not sure if there are still to be beads in and amongst the lumpy bits as was my original thought. I think I'll try beading a section and see how it looks to me. There are some swaths of fabric not currently quilted through, so they need some type of anchoring otherwise they'll pooch out too much after hanging for any amount of time. (learned this by personal experience, oh yes I have!).
The title of this finally came to me: Taking My Lumps
and the size is: 31 x 37"
Let's call this Quilt #2 of 2009!
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Committing to Self-Focus
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Or watching this cat on YouTube?
I have my own silly cats to watch, but this online one is so no-fuss, no-muss and much funnier than my cats are.
Friday, February 06, 2009
The Queen's Reign
Here's the front cover of my altered board book for a round-robin collaboration project with some of the artists of Traveler's Hart.
If you are participating in this group, and don't want to see my project until it arrives in your mailbox, then
This former children's board book about dinosaurs was sanded down, and the cover and back was heavily coated with gesso. After that dried I painted with several different purples and metallics. It looks much different in person than in this picture. Metallics are so hard to photograph well.
I honestly was stuck for a theme for my book, so I took out a bag of game tiles and pulled out a handful telling myself that if I could spell something with the random letters then that would be the theme. And what do you know, I pulled out Qu E N S, close enough I thought.
The wavy stuff that the letters are set on is part of a former gift box that I thought was really cool and threw into a collage box, figuring I'd use it eventually. I just love the texture and dimensionality of it. I painted it in yellow and gold and I love how it pops against the purple of the cover. The letters are surrounded with a glittery glue, and I bet you can't guess what the queenly, crown-ish points are...
They are a former 5-pointed kid's plastic Sheriff star which I cracked apart with pliers, plastic shards were flying all over the place. Another good reason to wear glasses.
This is the page I did, using a postcard showing the Queen AS Country, aka Sovereignty. One of my favorite themes in literature, fantasy stories and history. There are also metallic papers, and old, but not quite vintage Canadian queen stamps.
This is the sign-in page which was painted with the same purples and a bit more gold, and gold-leafing too. A library pocket was also painted, and set on top of some silver paper. A strip of checked silk is on the bottom.
Included to "sign-in" on are 7 Queen cards from my growing collection of unusable decks of cards. Somehow with teenagers, this collection seems to be steadily growing, hmmmm. Well, they are useful for collage, right?
The reverse of the card, which I roughed-up with purple paints, and gold leafing, another Canadian queen stamp.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Getting Ready to Make a Mess
But first I have to rearrange my studio furniture so that I have the room. Right now the way things are arranged, there isn't enough space for a larger quilt to move around easily. I think I've got it figured out, made a floorplan and measured several times. Finally today I think I actually feel well enough to accomplish it. This isn't something one wants to attempt when there is a question on whether it will actually get finished!
That reminds me, I better take some before pictures so I can show you how my workspace changes for the better.