Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fresh Start

An assortment of surface cloth treatments. Starting from the left is a brocade strip which I have touched off with embroidery, the yellow and purple squares began as paper napkins which I applied a momigami (Japanese}kneading technique. This technique allows the paper to become more clothlike and easier to sew. The bundles of cloth with rubber bands are folded cloth ready for a bleach bath and the stamped cloth is another step after the cloth has been bleached, dyed and now stamped. Not sure where these will fit but it is good to have these ready options.
The events at Boston had a profound affect on me and I've lacked the energy to go into the studio for art making. I've watched all the horror on TV news since my early 20's but some hurt me more than others. I did get into the studio with these explorations and I'm feeling better this weekend. I'll begin again this Monday with a piece I had started before Boston. During this down time I also had my carpets cleaned and yardwork done...another way to step into fresh starts and feeling hopeful again.
I just don't understand how we all live on this one planet?!

Monday, April 15, 2013


12"x14", newsprint, papers, satin, digital photo transfer on cloth, flour paste resist, machine stitching, embroidery and beads.
This was my first effort in using diluted wallpaper paste, a way to attach papers to cloth thereby having an easier time sewing by hand and with sewing machine and allowing less rigid edges.  What is nice is after the glue drys it is still possible to lift a piece of cloth....I'm always changing my mind! The center piece and the circle piece were created in part using the flour paste resist process and the result is a crackled design which I like very much. I took the photo of an oasis while watching my DVD on tv and it came out a little blurred...also turned it into sepia toned. Funny, I bought this newspaper when I was in NY about 25 years ago....the ever wonderful gifts of the collage box!

Thinking about the journey in the desert brought to mind my own traveling. We drove across this country in our twenties and for years we took family road trips. We planned ahead with reservations and all but occasionally the road and circumstances would leave us entering our destination after sunset. The gas stations lights glaring, street shadows and neon signs flashing gave a rather unnerving feeling to our road weary selves. So it was easy to wonder about the ancients traveling in the Sinai. Approaching an oasis with babies crying, animals hungry and everyone tired and thirsty. Again moving shadows, a place of safety or not? Settling into sleep and bundling for the desert cold...hoping for the morning light to chase away the fears. Actually daylight has a wonderful way of calming worries.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Leaving Egypt"

9"x10", newsprint, digital cloth transfer, satin ribbon, printed cloth, leather trim and machine stitching.

I've been thinking about the act of leaving of moving, not so much about where one goes but rather about the place left behind. I lived many years in the central valley of Calif and never liked the area. I had plenty of reasons, conservative politics, unbearable summer heat, small town thinking but in the last year when I was packing up and selling, I took to really 'seeing' what I was leaving. The green fields of asparagus in spring, the acres of sunflowers in summer, the waterways, bridges and islands, the warm evenings and the geese in fall flying overhead. I said goodbye to the parts I loved and when I drove out of town I never looked back!
So this piece relates to the biblical account of leaving Egypt and I couldn't help but wonder besides all the bad there must have been, that last look appreciating  the marshes and the fertile Nile. This piece represents a vestige of what was left behind.
A process I have been exploring has been how to best combine paper to cloth so the piece is not too stiff and can still be machine stitched and soft enough for embroidery. I'm not interested in creating 'quilts' but the composing is tricky for me...anyway I tried using diluted matt medium and next I will try diluted wallpaper paste. Can you see the loose threads representing marsh grass?
Have a great April...!