Archive for April, 2008

Just Another Tuesday

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

I am having this problem of having my days get away from me and not accomplishing very much on my mental to do list. It is not as if I am lounging by the pool. I am getting lots of things done, but life gets in the way of what I really want to do. Take today, I had some SDA web work to do. I went to the grocery store to shop for the next few days. I took Maggie for a walk. Steve picked up our tile sample for the bathroom so we decided to drive across town to the other tile store to look at tile for the floor. By the time I got back home, it was gong on 4 pm and raining again. Instead of a walk, I did a 20 minute upper body weight training video. Then, I have to watch Keith Olbermann. I made a delicious dinner of maple syrup/balsamic glazed salmon, roasted green beans and a Caesar salad. The day is over!!

Here is the tile. I love the weave that they have created from the colors I chose. The tile in the back is an Italian tile in a taupe – it is not as dark as it seems in the photo – that will be the floor. We have to do our final design and order the tile next week because the renovation will start a few days after we get back from Israel, around May 26.

My foot is feeling much better. A pair of orthopedic Crocs arrived today. They are made for Plantar Fasciitis problems. They feel great on my feet.

A Critique with Fine Art References

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Yesterday was my inaugural participation in the critique which included 15 fiber artists from across Oregon. There was some excellent work on display. The critiquers were a couple from Portland — Tad and Mary:

June has a more detailed description of the even on her blog.

We had submitted images of our work for them to see before the critique. At the session, we each got to show 2 pieces and have a critique in 15 minutes, which can seem interminable!! I thought they were too nice, especially if it was work that I was not that fond of!! Tad gave a slide who of fine art and talked about the Aesthetic Tools for Fine Art, using fine art examples. For each  of us, he gave us a list of fine art references to inspire us in our work, based on the work we had shown.

I loved much of what he said: art is not practical, a beautiful scene in a forest is not art if no one is looking at it, art requires the participation of a viewer. He mentioned that non-objective artists let go of all references to the real world and he felt that the work I showed fit that description. This was very comfortable for me because I showed two of my construction pieces. The three pieces they saw as images or at the critique were:

The fine art references for my work were: Hans Hoffman, Howard Hodgkins, James Lavadour, a local artist, the Bauhas, Japanese Scroll painting and kimonos. The middle piece, my first construction piece was received very well. I got lots of excellent feedback. The piece on the left is still at the Good to Be Green show. The piece on the right is just not working and now I know why. those pieces of complex cloth were to precious to me and I treated them as such. I think I need to take this apart or cut it up and reassemble it and do some more layers. I think it needs some black. Stay tuned. My work is very different than anyone else in the group because a lot of my creativity and work comes in the making of the fabric through dyeing, discharge, painting, etc. I am trying to find a way to use the fabrics in compositions that honor the fabric, but look like a piece of art, when completed. Tad mentioned my use of color as one of the stronger characteristics of my work.

I was not familiar with Howard Hodgkins. He is a British artist. Here are some examples of his work:

I am familiar with and love Hans Hoffman, a San Francisco artist.

James Lavadour has a show in Portland which I want to get to see. I am very intrigued by his work.

It was a long and arduous day. The chairs were very uncomfortable. The Portland foursome had to lug lots of supplies and food to the location so we were quite done in at the end of the day. But, it was so exciting and empowering for me to be asked to join the group. I know that I have a lot of work to do, and I was really feeling in a rut. Now, I want to dig in and see what I can do with my new found courage.

Mia’s “Sick” Day

Friday, April 25th, 2008

M & M have been home sick all week; Miles went back to school today, but Mia still had a bit of a cough and needed another day away from the classroom. Steph’s washing machine stopped working in the middle of a load of laundry. So the two of them came over and spent the day. I had a wonderful and relaxing day entertaining Mia — or was it the other way around? Stephie did laundry and worked on the final edits of the book of their 3191 blog — A Year of Mornings. It was a win, win!

It was a pretty nice spring day so Mia and I took Maggie to the Rhodie Garden.

We saw these beautiful tulips along the way:

I love taking photos with my new camera. This blue heron was way across the Crystal Springs Reservoir:

This squirrel was looking for a snack:

But, Mia had given all the corn to the ducks:

I love this photo with the purple rhododendron:

Love, love the subtle spring colors in this photo:

You can see the rest of the photos on my Flickr set. When we got back to the house, Mia drew a bird on some fabric, and I set her up to embroider it.

I have been invited to take part in a state-wide critique group for fiber artists. They meet every six months. We are meeting here in Portland tomorrow. The critique is done by a non-fiber artist. I think there are 20 some artists participating. June and Terry have been part of the group for a year. I am a bit nervous. But, if I want to call myself and artist, then I guess I should be able to take the criticism.

Wednesday Potpourri

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

I honestly don’t know where the day goes. I always have a plan to accomplish way more than  I  do.  Wednesday  is WW day and that takes a chunk of the morning. I was down a bit, but I have basically been bouncing around the same weight for weeks and I am frankly beginning to feel fat again!! My plantar fasciitis has gotten a lot better so I have added back the afternoon walk. I found a set of great over the counter orthotics that made it better almost instantly. My sister told me that she uses a night splint when hers acts up, so I have ordered one just for the heck of it.

After lunch I spent over 2 hours getting new color and a trim for my hair. I love the color and the haircut. I told Kevin that he is a keeper! Here is a sneak peek:

I spent a little time in the studio. I used my new “crayons” to do some highlighting on one of my quilts per a suggestion from my crit group.

One of my ideas for the water challenge for 12 X 12 is to do a rainy day in Portland with a rainbow caused by the ubiquitous sunbreaks. Here is a peek at photo that I printed on fabric:

In Photoshop, I manipulated the photo to make it lighter and amorphous and printed it on organza. Here it is over the other photo. What I am attempting is a look and feel of a very damp and drizzly day.

I am thinking of cutting the organza in strips and have some of the other photo show through.

Here is our beautiful cherry tree in blossom, from the deck:

Yeah!! Tomorrow is STASH. Can’t wait to spend some time with my friends. I am feeling the need of some good laughs.

Speaking of which, I love the Pickles comic strip and have really related to the theme this week: the wife is grumpy. You can see the strip here. This is especially for Dee!

Is it Monday?

Monday, April 21st, 2008

I had sort of a lost week-end. I didn’t do much. Had some SDA website stuff to take care of. I started some preliminary work on the 12 X 12 challenge – water, but I can’t show that yet. The weather has not been conducive to lots of energetic activities. We actually had some hail and snow flurries.

Steve lugged rocks from the stone yard to our house in the back of the Jeep. So the fountain is looking better and sounding lovely. The water has cleared up and the bubbles on the surface are mesmerizing.

Since I have  no eye candy to show, here is a photo from my daughter Lisa’s kitchen. Her kitchen is featured on Design Sponge today. Go take a look! Everything she does, she does with style!

I am off to  make lasagna for a potluck tonight. I am trying a slow cooker recipe. Have a good day.