about the artist

Archive for May, 2009

Winding Down

Sunday, May 31st, 2009


This is a photo of the spider sculpture on the front lawn of the Kemper Art Museum. One day, I caught this squirrel hanging out on the spider.


Most every one has departed from Kansas City. We have one week of post-conference workshops that start tomorrow. I will get latecomers checked in tomorrow morning. After that, I am taking Digital Photography for Textile Artists — a one day workshop. I will be packing up and heading home on Wednesday.

This morning, I heard a lecture by Jerry Bleem about Unconscious Advice for the Self-Conscious. His premise was that we often enter our studios with goals: the next show, the next sale, success. He asked us to see what we might learn from artists who ignore career, market and style. He proceeded to entertain us with the wonderful world of the self-taught and the visionary as he entertained us with slides of outsider artists. This is something that I often think about. Just doing the art for the sake of doing the art can be very fulfilling.

Next, I enjoyed a demo of Using Soy Wax Three Ways, by Jane Dunnewold.


The three ways are stamping, folding and dipping and stenciling. Here is a piece with dye brushed on after stamping with a stamp cut from a sponge.


This is a piece that was dyed, soy waxed, discharged and then printed with a screen to get a very complex surface.


I added some more photos of the wearable art to my Flickr.

Tomorrow is June 1 and the reveal of the latest Twelve X 12 reveal. The challenge was identity. Be sure to go over and see what we have done.

Sensory Overload

Saturday, May 30th, 2009


This morning, we heard a lecture on the amazing textile life of Vicoria Rivers from UC Davis. She has had such a full and interesting life as a textile artist.

The rest of the day was filled with demos. First up was Kerr Grabowski’s demo of making water soluble elements permanent of fabric. She used charcoal, Caron d’arche, and other non-wax materials. The image is made permanent by screening a layer of textile extender or gel medium over the print. Above is  print made with such materials. And here is the always entertaining, Kerr.


The next demo was encaustic with Daniela Woolfe. I love, love encaustic paintings and I would love to use this medium. I think I can try it out without investing to much in equipment.


After lunch, I attended another Kerr demo. This time she did deconstructed screen printing, That was a ton of fun. I have every thing I need to do this.


After a bit of a nap, I got dressed up to attend the juried wearable art fashion show at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. ShaSha Higby of CA, creates these elaborate costumes and does a wonderful performance with puppets. She start the evening festivities.


Then a plethora of wearable art paraded by.



You can see more photos of the fashion show on my Flickr Site, here.

We finished off the evening at a local KC BBQ restaurant.


I could hardly make a dentin this sampler plate, but I enjoyed trying it 3 ways.


I am really tired so G’night.

A Great Day in KC

Friday, May 29th, 2009


The rain and clouds disappeared and today was absolutely delightful, despite the demeanor of the Crying Giant. I got to have an extra hour of sleep as I was given the morning off from the registration table. Yesterday was quite grueling as I had to stay in registration for most of the day and I missed some of the sessions. I did enjoy a picnic with every one on the lawn of the KCAI and dessert and the Vendor Fair at the Marriott.

Today we had a great speaker in the morning, Ray Materson, who started doing embroideries in prison using the yarn from athletic socks. He makes the tiniest most intricate scenes. He told his life story of becoming a drug addict and how the craft turned his life around. This afternoon, we took a bus to the Crossroads gallery district where most of the galleries had fiber art. What a treat. Here are Judy and Carol Soderlund waiting for the bus with me. I have enjoyed getting to know Carol.


Our first stop, after lunch with my new friends from Texas, we headed for the Belger Art Center. A huge space that held 4 of the SDA shows — the member’s show “Surface Matters”, Alice Kettle, Ray Materson, Jennifer Angus and an installation by an Asian artist, whose name has left me. It was a thrill to see my piece hanging in the Belger: (bottom right)


Here are some shots of the space:


Rayna’s piece: (on the right)


And Natalya Aiken’s: (top left) I love this.


We took a freight elevator up to the third floor to see these pieces:

An installation of hanging consisting of tiny bits of found and recycled objects such as twist ties and bottle caps that are connected with bits of wire.


Alice Kettle’s amazing machine embroideries, all done from the back side.


A room totally decked out in patterns created from insects.



And houses, a church and a school all bedecked with bugs. Amazing!


We arrived at the Cohen gallery just in time for Regina Benson’s talk. I am a big fan of her work and it was great to find out how she produces this beautiful stuff.


We also enjoyed the encaustic work of Daniella Woolfe:


And this exhibit – I forget the artist’s name. This was dyed and screenprinted scrim.


Back at the hotel, we enjoyed the member’s trunk show – some really beautiful work. Judy’s husband arrived this afternoon so I was left all alone. I joined some friends from my workshop last week and we had dinner at the Kemper Art Museum cafe. I must say that I had the best time that I have had since I arrived. We ate and drank and talked and laughed and I feel happy. I need to get some sleep – sorry for the lack of links. Night.

A Very Busy Day

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

This was the day I have been dreading — finishing my workshop and supervising the registration of the 200+ people arriving for the conference that starts tomorrow. I survived, but I am tired. I have to do this one more time – in the morning – and then I can relax and enjoy the conference.

I managed to do a few more stitched samples in the workshop. I didn’t get photos of everything. Here are a couple. The first is a collage of bits of fabric with bobbin wound thick thread and a loose tension. This was, of course, stitched on the underside.


This piece was done by stitching with a double needle. I had batiste on the bottom and cotton organza on the top. I then pulled yarn through the channels with a tapestry needle and cut little holes for the yarn to poke through.


For our end of class, Ashley, our workshop assistant, created some delightful props for a tea party.




So we had tea and cake while we did our critiques.

The place is really buzzing now that all of the conference attendees are showing up. We start off tomorrow with regional breakfast get togethers.

This tired old lady is off to beddy bye.

Where is My Sewing Machine?

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Here is the missing photo of my mini paper assemblages:


Here is the adorable Alice demonstrating for us.


My only problem with my workshop is the cramped space and the lack of sewing machines in good working order. As an SDA employeed (even though I did not get a discount), I want others to have a chance at getting their work done so I often find myself machineless or footless, as I was this morning. Someone absconded with the regular foot for the machine I was using. So, I was off to the embellisher.

Here is the side on which I laid out the yarns.


Here is the other side with beautiful marks and lines that almost look as if they were drawn with a crayon.


I cut up some of my “Bits” (Alice’s term) and did this stitched collage.



Did you know that I love, love dangling threads?

I had a free motion foot on a Bernina for a bit so I did this bobbin work piece on a piece of scrim. I first did lots of stitching in two different greens with a yellow on top and a loose tension. I then wound a chartreuse thick embroidery floss on the bobbin and did some free motion swirls. Next, I did red circles with red heavy weight thread. This is all done with a hoop on the reverse side so you are quite surprised when you see the end result.

This is the top side as I was stitching, but the back side of the piece.


Here is the underside with the bobbin thread which is the actual top.


We did a show and tell of our work this afternoon. One woman blew me away with her work – Pam Sullivan. Her work is all about water. This is her folded organza piece of the Kansas river – detail first and the class holding it, second.



The classroom sort of looks like my studio at home!!

I did one other piece today that I did not photograph. I’m not sure I know where it is!!

That’s all folks! I need to get some sleep. Big day tomorrow – last day of class and then I have all the conference attendees showing up to register.