Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

a short jaunt

June 28, 2015

A short jaunt to New Bern, North Carolina’s first capitol, was enlightening. I could have stayed longer but we had a little further to go. Still, we had a chance to examine some of the old gravestones around Christ Episcopal Church and what I thought were stained glass windows.

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in the churchyard

Viewing the windows from the outside was a draw, of course.  I wasn’t leaving that town without seeing them in full color.

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So, I did go inside and learned that they were not stained glass, but hand painted.  The guide said “museum quality”.

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Then, we drove on to Beaufort, where we caught a ferry to Shackleford Banks where the wild ponies roam.

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We didn’t see them this trip, but the fresh air, soft sand and other natural aspects of the island were refreshing.  Another return trip for sure.

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Home again – working on my son’s curtains and preparing for 2 weeks of youth camp at Artspace.I will make a point of finding time for my personal explorations. Definitely. It’s still June, after all – my month.

花見・Hana mi/Flower viewing

March 25, 2015
closing in on Art in Bloom

closing in on Art in Bloom

The NC Museum of Art opened its doors to 花見・Hana mi/Flower Viewing with Art in Bloom last weekend. It was a grand welcome to spring. Read Dana Watson’s description and photos of the event. You’ll see what I mean.

inspired by Aaron Douglas' Harriett Tubman

inspired by Aaron Douglas’ Harriett Tubman

I spent a part of two days walking through the exhibit. It brought a fresh perspective to the collection, seeing pieces I hadn’t seen or remembered from previous visits. More explorations are in order, I suspect.

Lenten Roses

Lenten Roses

Another place for flower viewing was the NC Governor’s Mansion. I visited there with my sister and friends. The gardens there are just getting started, but their raised beds were an inspiration.

raised beds - Governor's mansion

raised beds – Governor’s mansion

It warmed up just enough this week, making it possible to put some small napkin or hankie sized pieces on the line. These are still in process and look forward to seeing the results.

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linen napkins in indigo

There should be some reflection of the season in them.

pampas grass, rabbit ears & indigo

October 2, 2014

Last weekend I spent a day with art students at Meredith College. They filled an old familiar dye studio and worked with various tools for shibori: needle & thread, string, small clamps and boards and plastic pipes. Then they dipped their pieces in the indigo vats and strung them on a line. It was a most refreshing and satisfying day – had a grand time.

at the vats

flying

flying

It’s also the season of viewing that certain nighttime orb – Clouds have obscured its view lately, but it was a golden-orange last night. It didn’t need to be full to make a statement.

10-1

tsuki

Tsuki mi udon

Tsuki mi udon

Some of the symbols of the season are pampas grass, rabbits, the moon and other things autumnal. Gourds, dragonflies and autumn leaves…whatever makes the statement.

Pampass grasses

Pampas grasses at Meredith

This imagery is one thing being considered in my upcoming class at Pullen Arts Center. Describing this kind of imagery through nui shibori (stitched shibori) is the focus. Details are on my “Workshops” page. There are still a few openings…

月と

月と

In the meantime, I am breathing deep and contemplating the moon glow.

** a little “vocab”:

月・つき・tsuki = moon, tsuki mi = moon viewing, tsuki mi udon – moon viewing noodles (note the egg).

exhibit

September 25, 2014

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It’s more than obvious by now that the exhibit is now open. I’ve mentioned it on more than one occasion. Suffice it to say, that finally, on viewing, all of us in the group are quite pleased and happy to see how the folks at Meredith displayed our work.

All My Relations by Cheryl Harrison

All My Relations by Cheryl Harrison

It has been a while since I’ve had a chance to view Cheryl’s work. It was good to see it and it affirmed its strength and her skill.

What Remains by Peggy Clover

What Remains by Peggy Clover

There’s much more than meets the eye with so many of these pieces. They tell stories, life stories. It’s heart work, so they are not always what they seem. In viewing them again, in this context, it’s all I can do.

Connections (the exhibit)

September 12, 2014

I would be remiss if I didn’t post this:

Connections-pstcrd1

We are less than a week away and I’ve been mentioning this, but a post devoted to it was needed.  The above image is linked to the site for more information.  You can also find the same on my “Events” page.  We (Threads group) are thrilled to pieces about this, also honored and deeply touched as it also celebrates Cheryl Harrison who was a part of our group.  Hope you can join us!

autumnal

September 11, 2014

In spite of the heat, humidity and rain, autumn is revealing itself and I’m thinking ahead to that season – just thinking. I don’t want to rush anything as there is so much to savor in this between time.

ripening kaki1

For one, the “kaki” are ripening, coming into color, softening to eat and sometimes they drop on the ground before they can be picked. I’ve been looking forward to this time and finally…the fruit is mildly sweet, so far.

polewrapped earlyresults1

Between the summer workshops, there has also been “paced” progress on a wedding gift for a good friend of my son. He and his bride requested table linens, The stitching is complete and finally the dyeing aspect has begun.  I’m pleased  and also surprised with these early results.  There’s always a new aspect to this craft.

CdC-longsilk1

This ストール (sutōru), stole (above) will soon be making its way to West Jefferson – a fund raiser I believe. It’s an ample sized Crepe de Chine wrap or shawl that has been needing completion for some time. Yesterday, the sun came out just long enough for it to dry.

 Preparations are also in progress for a workshop at Pullen Arts Center.  The theme centers on autumn and a selection of traditional Japanese motifs. It begins in October and runs through a part of November (see “Upcoming Workshops” page).

My portion in next week’s exhibit at Meredith College has been delivered. The opening reception is next Thursday – details are on this blog’s Events page. As a member of Threads, I welcome you.  We are looking forward to it.

late summer haze

September 4, 2014

As my writings seem to be settling into a  Thursday to Thursday pattern, the week begins on Friday. Rather than a week ending, it’s a beginning. This week began with the opening reception of Matsuri/祭り at the NC Japan Center, where Yoshiko Sumikawa’s gentle but joyful watercolors illustrate aspects of the diverse matsuri (festivals) that take place in Japan throughout the seasons.

Matsuri!

Matsuri!

Typically, though, they are summertime high energy events full of color, music, dancing, food and fireworks. They’re also a reflection of tradition – something I am always attracted to.

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low hanging “kaki’ – tempting the deer?

The rest of the week? It feels like we’re in the dog days and I’ve been looking at what is surviving in these days of high heat and humidity.

the Argentine Sage is abundant

the Argentine Sage is abundant

The delivery date for the upcoming Threads exhibit (see the Events page) is coming soon, so focus has continued to be on the stitch.

it goes where & how it wants

the thread goes where & how it wants

Still enjoying it and the textures it creates.

continuing

continuing

Some threaded guidelines are disappearing as I complete the above. It’s nearly complete – a few more rows – perhaps today. I look forward to seeing it in the gallery.

preparation

August 28, 2014

In my last entry, I mentioned an upcoming group exhibition. More information is included on my “Events” page. The opening reception is on September the 18th and of course, the public is welcome (and I am looking forward to this).

As a result, most of my time over the last week has been spent completing a few last pieces and preparing all of them for set up in the gallery. I’m continuing stitch work on two pieces, one is the ensō which I mentioned earlier, and another is a much smaller quilted piece.

Kotobuki-front

It contains the kanji 寿(Kotobuki) with shibori wrapped around the character strokes and its form is slowly emerging.  I’m enjoying the work – one stitch at a time.

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But, yesterday I changed the week’s work routine to dye a few scarves.  The weather was almost autumnal (except for the mosquitoes), low humidity and a breeze, good for drying things. There are always questions about fibers, how they respond to the dye, the techniques, how they read, and then again the dye and its response. The results are always unexpected and give me new things to consider.  It’s never backtracking, simply  practice.

ita-1

And they are back!

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other scenes

August 7, 2014
Rodin garden

Rodin garden – a welcome

Did someone say “Welcome to my world?”  Maybe… a “dip” in that incredibly refreshing environment was needed – a place that took me to another place, even if it was for a moment. I suspect that’s why it’s there.

Rodin2A

The lush bamboo greens, darting blue dragonflies (and a butterfly) hovering above the pink and salmon blooms, floating on a deep blue black reflecting pool brought some relief from the morning’s heat and humidity.

Garden1B

This week has mostly been devoted to prepping for upcoming workshops in West Jefferson (next week) and tending to some planning for next year. It has felt a bit non-stop, so the museum visit was a welcome break.

Ships in a Stormy Sea off a Coast - Ludholf Backhuysen - circa 1700-1705

Ships in a Stormy Sea off a Coast – Ludholf Backhuysen – circa 1700-1705 (NCMA collection)

A new source of inspiration was the museum library, so made a point of exploring the stacks, then moved on to the galleries where I explored 16th and 17th century painting by the Dutch. That was inspired by a recent book club read, Nathaniel’s Nutmeg by Giles Milton – sometimes challenging because of the vivid and brutally honest descriptions about events, personalities and their actions in the development of those early trade routes, particularly the Dutch & English East India Companies. I learned a good deal, it’s well-written, but more than my imagination needed at times. It doesn’t need saying that all too often history is glossed over or romanticized.  This was not romantic.

an iron trunk also in the NCMA collection

an iron trunk also in the NCMA collection

I’m reading a lot of history these days, following different paths, but it seems to be where the indigo is taking me, on different journeys – herbs, spices, dyes…they have their stories.

W.J.tile1

Next week, as I mentioned earlier, Janine LeBlanc and I will be presenting indigo and shibori in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a few days. I’m looking forward to a different landscape – a different scene.

in summer’s heat already

June 19, 2014

Working in the heat is a foregone conclusion. It’s what I look forward to after winter’s chill. Indigo prefers the warmer environment and I enjoy working outdoors. Generally it’s quiet, there’s birdsong and insect cry. There’s also the light.

value

When the cloth pieces are in natural light I get a better sense of color and its value. It’s about color here, definitely, but it’s also the depth of it. I’ve added more indigo this week, but I’m wondering if it’s enough. I’ll give the vat a rest and a refresh for a few days and add a few more layers. At some point this has to stop. It’ll be an arbitrary decision.

progress

This week’s piece is still in progress, but it’s nearing the end. It’ll acquire the needed color at this weekend’s workshop. It’s an exercise, practice in technique, experimentation, something I’ve wanted to try for a while. While working on it last night though, I wondered about taking the idea in different directions. This was after my encounter with Shonibare’s work, the new installation on the museum grounds.

Shonibare1

Yesterday’s stroll in the heat was well worth the effort. I’ve been considering connections between pieces in our museum collection and the workshop – are there any and if so, which ones?.   To answer that, yes, there are a few that relate in regard to indigo. This is something else however, and I wonder how this weekend’s participants will respond? I look forward to a discussion.

*about Yinka Shonibare and this piece:
“None of us have isolated identities anymore, and that’s a factor of globalization ultimately. I suppose I’m a direct product of that. The fabrics I use look like they could be just African, because they are used a lot there. But what you see on the surface is not really what you always get. The fabric has a complicated history in its trade routes: it was originally designed as an Indonesian fabric, produced by the Dutch, and the British sold it into the African market. It’s a perfect metaphor for multilayered identities.”

 

 


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