Modern Art Kimono

August 19th, 2015

chagall_haori

We had a very interesting talk and showing of kimonos at our local SAQA meeting today. Lorenz Hermsen collects kimono and haori from the early 1900s, concentrating on kimono that was inspired by modern artists. Here is what he says on his website:

The first quarter of the twentieth century, especially the Taisho Era (1912-1926), saw Japan’s interest in Western art and culture increase dramatically. Japan was entering the modern age, and with that came greater ease of travel, a flow of information, women entering the work force, and, for some, a departure from traditional Japanese values.

During this time, kimono remained the mainstay of clothing for women. While their structure did not change, their surface design began to reflect increased contact with the West, as some designers looked to Western art and design for inspiration. These ‘modern’ kimono represent a melding of traditional Japanese sensibilities with new, Western–influenced ideas. They are also valuable as objects of art, as these kimono designers were not mere copiers, but creators of original art synthesizing East and West.

Movements such as Arts and Crafts, Impressionism, the Vienna Secession, Art Nouveau, Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, Art Deco and Constructivism are recognizable. Many of the major modern artists are represented, such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Paul Klee, Raoul Dufy, Marc Chagall, and Joan Miró, as well as important textile designers of the era—William Morris, Sonia Delaunay, Ruth Reeves, and others.

I just loved seeing these kimono and the fabrics. I was totally unaware of these textiles and I was mesmerized.

The haori up above was probably inspired by the work of Chagall. Here is a detail:

collagemodernkimonodetail

What blew my mind was how this was done. It is a form of ikat weaving called meisen. Here is what I found on the web regarding meisen:

Meisen was patterned using chemical dyes that were mixed with rice paste and applied through stencils on to warp (vertical) threads woven with temporary weft (horizontal) threads. After application of the dyes, the latter were unravelled and discarded and the true wefts woven in. This was a speeding up of the traditional kasuri (ikat) technique, by which sections of yarn were hand-tied or compressed in certain areas to prevent the colour penetrating when the skein was dipped in the dye bath. The new method produced the characteristic blurred outline of kasuri, but also allowed for the creation of more complex designs, particularly when a system for stencil-printing wefts as well as warps was developed.

This was a lovely indigo kimono:

indigomodernkimono

And a detail of the very modern print.

indigomodernjimonodetail

And another:

yellowgraymodernkimono

And detail:

modernyellowkimonodetail

I loved the colors in this one, that looked art deco to me:

artdecokimono

artdecokimonodetail

Here are some details of kimono and haori:

This piece was inspired by impressionist trees.

impr_trees

impressionistkimonodetail

I just loved the wacky orange and black graphic lining in this one.

wildkimonoliningdetail

This was a very modern design done in the old shibori method. The colors were wonderful.

shiborimodernkimono

He also brought lots of kimono fabrics to sell.

kimonofabricforsale

And even though I fell in love with this one, I did not buy anything. Those who have been around a long time must know how hard that was for me as I used to use a lot of vintage Japanese fabrics in my work.

faveorangekimonofabric

I am slightly immobile again since by other knee is in lots of pain. It is a week of meetings, High Fiber Diet last night, SAQA today and STASH tomorrow. I delivered my tree quilt to SAQA today. It will probably be traveling for a couple of years.

odetotreetravelbag

Quilt Knit Stitch- See the Quilts I Loved

August 17th, 2015

qksredapplequilt

I know I have been missing in action, but for a good cause. I helped to coordinate an information table at Quilt Knit Stitch 2015 for Surface Design Association. We set it up on Wednesday and the show ran Thursday – Saturday. We had a display of swatches of samples of surface design techniques by our members and lots of journals to peruse.

QKSSDAtable

 

The opening quilt up above was in the red quilt show that debuted in Houston. I liked the more modern versions of the red quilts. That one was made by Betty Hahn, an artist that I really admire.

qksredapplemaker

Here is another innovative red quilt.

qksredquilt

qksredquiltmaker

We were next to an exhibit of work by students in Jane Dunnewold’s master class. Some of these pieces were my favorites in the show. Here are some I especially liked.

qkspoppies

This piece was so gorgeous – hand dyed and discharged and some applique of poppy heads.

qkspoppymaker

qksstoryhasholes

The hand stitching on this is really lovely. It has sections of hand-dyed gauze laminated to the surface. It needs to be seen up close.

qksherstoryhasholessign

qksjanefeatherstudy

This is one of Jane’s pieces that is digitally manipulated and printed by Spoonflower and then quilted.

qksjaneduunewoldsign

qksuntitled3qksuntitled2qksuntitled1

These 3 pieces had such gorgeous surface design.

qksuntitledmaker

qksgraffiti

Another gorgeous piece with surface treatment.

qksgraffitimaker

Here are some other random pieces in the traveling special exhibits.

qksdennisleaf

Sue Dennis of Australia makes such lovely quilts using leaves. She does rubbings, printing and applique.

qksleafmaker

qkssafeharbor

Another fabulous quilt by Betty Hahn. It is painted!

qkssafeharbormaker

qksbigpink

This is a small modern quilt with Big Pink, our iconic building here in Portland.

qksbigpinkmaker

I always love a Betty Busby quilt. This one was in the SAQA Redirecting the Ordinary exhibit.

qksbusbycorrosionsigh

qksbusbycorrosion

My regular readers may recognize this as the big sister to a SAQA auction quilt that I purchased.

qksbeyondwords

qksbeyondwordsmaker

 

And here is the little sister.

 

 

Lombrozo

Hope you enjoyed this sampling of quilts from Quilt Knit Stitch.

Encaustic/Fiber Day Three

August 6th, 2015

graffitiwax

Are you tired of seeing this piece? Here is the final incarnation of what I was calling a hot mess. When I came into the classroom this morning, my first goal was to work on the pieces I had started and figure out how to finish them. I added more wax to this one to seal in the collaged materials, then scraped wax and added a bit more black. It was telling me it wasn’t finished. My tablemate had an electric encaustic tool that you could dip in wax and then make fine lines. I grabbed some cadmium red and borrowed the tool and added some graffiti and wow! I loved it as did the teacher.

waxstencil

This brown silk piece was needing something, too and there was too much wax medium which was obliterating some of the details. Lorraine demonstrated how to use a stencil on our work so I grabbed some sequin waste and added the turquoise dots and then threw some turquoise pigment in the other corner. The dotted area is finished off with a blending of brown Shiva paint stick. Then I went to work with the razor blade and the little mini-iron. Here is how it looks, now. Lorriane thinks it needs something else.

brownsilk

The cheesecloth piece was making me very happy after the wax had dried, but it needed a focal point. I picked up a magazine at the store last night and started looking for things I might collage in the work. I found several bits with varied stripes and I like what happened. Lorraine said this was her favorite of my work. Now that I know how to stencil with the wax, I can see how I could make little rectangles of color using pigmented wax. Just to recap, I started with a piece of hand-dyed cheesecloth that was rusted, adhered to the board and then branded before the final wax coating and collaging.

cheesecloth

Lorraine encouraged us to do some drawing with wax to show the hand of the maker. I had an indigo dyed dryer sheet which I adhered to a board, covered with wax medium and then drew circles with the cadmium red.

makingwaxmarks

I had an indigo pigment oil stick that I picked up at Dick Blick and rubbed the piece with it. I love what happened.

indigopaperwax

I had time to do one more piece. I just love the idea of using my unique fabric as a base for encaustic work so I grabbed a piece of shibori silk organza and adhered it to a board and went at it with a brush and wax. I also had some copper foil with me which I rubbed on to the piece.

shiborifabric

I felt it needed a focal point so I started looking for things from the magazine. Not sure this is it – still needs some work.

silkorganzacolorcorrected

I enjoyed this so much. I am feeling that I want to pursue encaustic as a second medium for my work. Hope I can make it work.

 

 

 

Encaustic/Fiber Day Two

August 5th, 2015

encaustic1 with collage2015-08-05 12.13.43-1

We started today by putting yesterdays pieces on the table and critiquing them for composition. She then showed us how adding elements can enhance or improve a composition. She thought the black lines on my piece were two big and that I should scrape them down. I collaged in piece of a net onion bag and some horsehair lines. I just love the look of the lines made by the horse hair. Almost everyone in the class loves this piece, but me not so much. I really like a simpler more serene composition. I think changing the orientation to the top one, helps.

Next on the agenda was learning to wrap a board with fabric. I had a nice piece of funky dyed silk that I think Kristin La Flamme might have given me. To wrap the fabric, you put a very light layer of wax on the board and then press the fabric on the board and smooth it and iron it with a Clover mini-iron to adhere it to the wax.

fabric to board

Then, the board edges and back are carefully waxed and the fabric is wrapped and the corners are trimmed and ironed down.

fabric corners

silkfabricencwrap

Next, we used a soldering iron like tool to burn marks into the top.

silkencwithbranding

Here is this piece with more wax and some horsehair spirals. The wax was not completely dry so it is still opaque in areas.

silkencwith horsehair:wax

Here is a board wrapped with the rusted cheesecloth fabric with marks burned into the surface.

_DSC7440

I then covered it with wax and added some pigmented wax and some perle cotton. The wax was not dry on this when I left.

cheeseclothwax,perlecotton

I am enjoying the class so much. I got to have a session with Lorriane and she looked at the encaustic I have done and my art quilt portfolio. She saw a definite relationship with how I approach art quilt composition and my encaustic compositions. That felt good.

This and That

August 4th, 2015

EBhomeworkJuly

I promised an update on what has been going on in my life. First of all, lots of good things. Mr C and I got to take a preview ride on the new Orange light rail line that crosses the Willamette on a brand new bridge and goes out through our old neighborhood. We watched it all being built for the last few years. So that was fun.

My art quilt daughter, Kristin La Flamme and her family, have made the move to Portland. I am so excited to have them here. There worldly goods are not arriving until the end of this week and so I had them over for dinner in our air conditioned condo on a 100° plus day. The highlight was the homemade peach ice cream that I made.

We also had a double date with Lisa and Clay and saw the very funny Amy Schumer movie, Train Wreck.

Icing on the cake was a visit with my long time interwebs friend, Mary Manahan from Philadelphia, whose daughter is starting law school at Lewis and Clark.

My disappointment last week was not getting into the High Fiber Diet Making Our Mark show. It is the first time I have not had a piece in the annual show. Such a bummer. I was really despondent and had a crisis of confidence regarding my work. Here are thumbnails of the the two entries:

MarGECfinalGNPweb

I will be interested to see the pieces that did make it in. Some were given alternate status, meaning they would get an airing when the venue was large enough. I’m sure glad I am not an alternate – that would tie up two pieces for over a year with no guarantee of being in an exhibit.

I did, get great news a couple of days ago. Ode to a Tree made it into the Oregon SAQA show and if I had a choice of shows to be in, it would be this one. They have quite a few venues lined up already. Here is a thumbnail of Ode to a Tree:

Ode-to-a-Tree

There was one other fail which I can’t discuss at this point. I might show the piece at some point.

The piece up at the top is almost finished for my July master class – late because I had a heck of a busy end of July. The theme was rhythm. I have to finish quilting it when I get home. I really like it

I am currently on the coast in Lincoln City in a cabin with Mr C and Scooter. We arrived last night.We are staying in a cabin at this funky motel on a cliff looking out over the Pacific Ocean.

seahorseinn

We awoke to a beautiful sunny morning.

morninglincolncitybeach

Today was day one of a mixed media/encaustic/fiber workshop with Lorraine Glessner at the Sitka Art and Ecology Center. It was awesome. I felt so refreshed and relaxed and happy when I came back to the cabin tonight.

Here is Lorraine getting ready to lecture.

lorrIaine Glessner

Our first task was to learn about how she rusts fabric and do some of our own. Here is a sample of her rusted silk.

Lorrainesrustedsilk

Here is my salt water soaked fabric with rusty bits doing their thing. I have a piece of dyed cheese cloth that and a couple of pieces of cotton.

rustingbag

Here are some of the goodies that we are working with.

encaustictools

pigmentedwaxpots

We started out just learning how to use the wax and to scrape it to expose layers. She made us get up and move to another persons piece and add a mark and some wax and we kept moving around the room. It was very liberating to leave our precious piece to others and to them work on someone else’s piece. I really liked what had happened to mine when I came back to it.

Here it is:

encaustic1

Here is how I left it tonight: (iPhone photo is a quite blurry, but I really love it.)

encasutic1final

So, there we go. I have such a great life. I have to move on and not let one disappointment take me down.

Just took this at the end of our street.

lincolncitysunset