Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Simple Still Life Object with Shadow

Well, this one threw me for a was hard. First to find something interesting and second to get a shadow that had real depth. I have not decided....and am open to a matter of! When Debra gives you a challenge, it is truly a challenge. Hope all y'll had an easier time than I did. Now much thiking required.

last possibility #3 Posted by Picasa

shadow still possibility #2 Posted by Picasa

Still life with shadow #1 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Addendum to Last Post

Just copied this from Liz's blog and thought it went straight to the point. Hope you enjoy her thoughts. The in bold is mine because it says it all....when did this movement start? Why can't we celebrate our diverse talents instead of having to be like everyone else. It seems we are trying so hard to be different that we are all ending up the same.

"I can't agree with you more Gabrielle! Everyone has the potential to be creative and I like to help people discover that. It does not mean, however, that they are artistic or artists. And, as you said, there is good art and then there is....whatever.
This all harkens to the belief that we are all equal in everything we do. I sure can't dance very well and I really don't think lots of instruction and practice would made a difference or make me an artist. I do enjoy moving to the music in my own way but not out in public where I would embarrass myself!
Some of our creativity needs to be kept private and some of our forms of creativity are great to share with the world.
But, not every one is an artist!"

More on Artistic Responsibilities

Somehow in the coversation we got side tracked into what was everyone is creative (not necessarily true) and what an artist is. Debra suggests maybe we need a new or better lexicon for these terms. She also suggests just because you have creative potential doesn't necessarily mean you can bring it to fruition. When I was younger, we called that "born with the genius, but not the talent." I prefer to re-phrase that as "born with the genius, but not the discipline."
Becoming an artist is just like any other job. It takes hard work, discipline, study and practice. When you only draw, paint, make quilts, every now and then your skills have to be re-discovered, leaping through a huge learning curve. When you work at a constant pace, your learning curve increases with each piece driving you to explore more; instead of have to re-learn what you already knew.
If I designed, appliqued, or quilted once every six months, I would be at a huge disadvantage. Instead, I do some art every day. Realizing that is a luxury everyone doesn't least, once a week makes all the difference.
Becoming an artist is much different than being creative. We are all creative in some way but that in no way means artistic.....there are many artist who are very creative and tons of creative people who aren't artist. My thoughts are we are mixing apples and oranges when we use these terms interchangably.
On another note, nature is not art. It is creative and beauty but it is also violent and chaotic. It is our responsibility to take this chaos and make order from it. Beauty surrounds us everyday but if we don't capture that moment somehow it is gone forever. Art is a way to keep that moment and reveal it to others.
Okay, I know I'm on the soap box again and Val and Caity will be having headaches from all the thinking.....but if we don't know where we are going how are we going to get there. If we don't have some intention, direction, desire or vision, how can we bring it out to ourselves much less the viewer.
And yes, I definitely agree with Val that art is a dialogue between the viewer and the artist. Through our images we are speaking to someone, somewhere....and that dialogue may or may not bring about a change within the viewer...but hopefully, the image will make them smile, think, or just be engaged with the beauty.
Enough for now.....thanks for all the great conversations...hope we can continue from time to time to discover the answers to some of these questions.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday...Body Parts

feet and legs
This month's theme has been interesting..sorry I missed last week...but we focus so much on faces that we forget how important all our parts are.....too bad no x-ray machine available to show some of the inside parts.Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 26, 2005

In Response to Pat's Comment

Pat's Place said...

I don't believe it's our responsibility to evoke a response in others... We can merely offer our version of our truth. What happens after that is totally out of our control and certainly NOT our responsibility as to what or even IF the viewer gets anything out of it. I'm not even convinced it's our responsibility to SHOW our art to anyone else. But I do believe it IS our responsibility to CREATE.
Just my opinion...

First Pat, thank you for your comments and I completely agree that it is our responsibility to create....but I might respond to what end? Certainly, I believe in art as therapy but that is not the subject to which my post was directed. As a matter of fact, your "version of the truth" is exactly what evokes a response in the viewer. You are right what the viewer think or doesn't think is out of our control which is what I meant by the artist is responsible only to themselves.
However, I am reminded of the "tree falling in the woods" analogy regarding your comment about not showing our art. My true feeling are artist are meant to bring change to the world; if this art isn' t seen how can that change occur. That change doesn't have to be social or political but merely a statement of beauty.
And I know this is going to get me in a whole whirlwind of trouble but I do not believe everyone is an artist. Everyone is creative and has the right to self-expression but that is not being an artist.....guess I better shut up before I get in too deep.

An Artist Responsibility

After the goofy hair post, which I am sure you enjoyed immensley, I am back to the philosophy session. Deb at RSR just don't read any further, I don't want you in the floor in a fetal position. So here's the deal, it all started when Nicky posted a marvelous, thoughtful post on authenticity. If you haven''t had a chance to read her post, get there immediately.

To summarize, an artist must remain true to their own vision and voice; regardless of what the market-driven world is pushing us to do. In light of her thoughts, I decided to list a few things that strike me as an artist responsibility. Take it for what it's worth....kevlar vest back from the cleaners.

An artist is responsible:
To bring their own voice, loud and clear to their work
To only themselves and not the viewers
To constantly play, explore and observe
To quit worrying about what other people will think of their work
To give up the idea of perfection...the nemisis of creativity
To follow the work where it leads them, not force the work into a piegon hole
To devote as much time as possible to their art
To evoke some response from the viewer whether good or bad
To stop making art in your head and start making art in the world
To remove from your life people who don't support you in your passion
To remove from your life people who suck you dry of your creativity for their own use
To be passionate, dedicated and slightly obsessive about your need to create

Add comments as they come to you...thanks Nicky for waking us up to how important being authentic really is.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Personal Day

Never happy Belinda works until it is exactly like she wants it

With so much heart-wrenching events this week.....I had to clear my head for awhile of all the suffering. What is better than having a bunch of people pamper you? So this is the continuing saga of how Gabrielle has red hair.....and it happens about every 4 to 6 weeks....wonder what color my hair really is now....too scary to even imagine.

Anyway, just for grins, this is how I spent my Saturday. Lest you think I have been a slug, I did actually quilt two whole lines last night....woo that rate the quilt will be finished in '07.

Posted by Picasa

My other favorite person in the world, Belinda, my stylist Posted by Picasa

Tanya, my colorist, and her DH, Norman owners of my Toni and Guy Posted by Picasa

A pretty girl is like a melody...could this be a new trend Posted by Picasa

See that nasty green blond...gotta go Posted by Picasa

I really enjoy this even though it doesn't show Posted by Picasa

Tanya about to keep my hair red Posted by Picasa

Purple glads from Charles and Christy Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 23, 2005

Way Cool .....but would I do it?

Pentagram tattoo
(Note: this symbol is NOT satanic... It is the sign
of Venus. It means beauty SO BE HAPPY!)

Just to show you how much better I am....a quiz....predictable, no? I have always wanted a tat but was just to know the pain of it all. When Mel of Fibermania was in Texas visiting, I tried to feed her enough Margaritas so that we could get a tat at the same time....didn't happen, but there is still should I? What will the future hold for me and ink?

What tattoo would you have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Moving On

Thanks to everyone who commented and emailed. I am better today...still pushing through some sludge but seeing the end in sight. It is rare that I get this overwhelmed so I guess I had a good one coming. You know my type, happy to be alive, every day is a joy and working like there is no tomorrow....guess it all just caught up with me.
Mary's post about the autumnal equinox struck home. Every career I have ever had in the arts, the new season started in the fall. For me this is a time of beginning, when nature starts to go dormant, preparing for spring's arrival. It is my favorite season for the beauty of it's own and for the beauty it is about to bring. Thanks Mary for reminding me of how important this time is in my life.
However, what really made my day was a nice evening with Charles and Christy. Charles has become interested in model railroading....just so happens there is a shop close to our house. Killing two birds with one stone, he got to visit the shop and then they arrive here with the most beautiful arrangement of purple glads (one of my favorite flowers) brighten mom's day. Did I do a great job bringin up these boys or what? Actually, I think it was Christy's idea...what a sweetheart.
Speaking of Christy, remember her knee replacement surgery.....amazing...looks like she could run a marathon. Don't do it yet, Christy but she is zooming around all over the place. What a gift from medical science.
I know many of you are very far away from this time in your life but I have the most wonderful daughters in law on the planet. First, they all love my sons and have been supportive through thick and thin. They are great mothers to the grandkidlets.....your turn next, Christy. Without Kelly (Craig's wife), there would be no DVD's on the market....and she has been a rock going through all the difficulities of premie twins. I am hoping she is finally getting to exhale but now since they are teething and trying to crawl, the fun is just beginning.
Jillaine, Chris' wife, kept the home fires burning while he was is Iraq....always staying in touch with him to keep his spirits up while explaining to their daughters, dad will be home soon. She is a pure, sweet soul...always thinking of others....and now Benjamin Jace's new mom.

I realize all this is off topic but I hope my sons realize what wonderful women they have in their lives....wishing them long and happy partnerships. "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?" Hope they reach many anniversarys even after Ronnie and I are gone....of course, but not forgotten.

With that said, off to work...not sure if it will be office or studio but work it is today....still with loud rock 'n roll, wine, unfortunately taking Lipitor so must monitor alcohol intake but may treat myself with a cookie...and rowing to Canada tonight on Deb's suggestion....last night got lost at sea with family fun.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Trying to get out of a Miserable Funk

With everything going on in our world, I am fighting a deep, low down funky blues. Before I left for Long Island, I was firing on all cylinders, but as soon as I got home, the blues hit. Haven't even been in the studio since returning....haven't taken a stitch in the newly layered quilts....haven't been working on Quilt Market stuff because who knows if that will even happen.
I have every reason in the world to be in a good grandkidlet, new work but I am overwhelmed with a sense of deep, down to the bone tired...mentally and physically.

This is just a part of the creative cycle I am sure but I feel as if I need a good kick in the butt. How can all this be happening at once? The obvious bungling of the Katrina disaster is shameful. Now here comes another major disaster...will we be better prepared? Everyone says yes but that won't stop the power of mother nature.

My heart keeps telling me that I need a good old fashioned break down and cry, but I'm afraid if I start I won't be able to stop. I am holding on tightly to the love of my family. Charles had surgery that went well and he is on the mend. The twins are growing like weeds. Benjamin Jace is patiently waiting to meet grandma.....and sweet Ronnie is throwing all kinds of love my way...."you have just been working too hard"....."you need to just do nothing for a few days."

Guess the cure is waiting for me in the heals the heart and maybe that's the solution...will try to do something, anything to get my head straight....feel some fabric and play loud rock 'n roll. Take some time today to let everyone know how much you love them....our time together is all too short for anything but compassion.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Rita is a Comin' this Way

We are all glued to the weather and NOAA sites trying to track the path of another category 5...sure do wish that pesky global warming thing wasn't important. Although I live miles away, our weather guessers are predicting 6 to 8 inches of rain for us. Start building the ark...we are very flat land with no where for the water to go.....but counting my blessings...and keeping the Gulf Coast in my heart and thoughts.
Karey Bresenhan posted to Quilt Art this afternoon that all the quilts are being moved to safety. Her staff is evacuating and the offices will be closed until Monday at least. Hopefully by that time, we will know what Rita has done. Everyone keep good thoughts that Quilt Market and Festival are still on so we can find some beauty during this time of devastation.

Okay, Old I'll admit but Obselete..Yikes!

It 's comforting to say that 'practice makes perfect'....
You are 'Gregg shorthand'. Originally designed to
enable people to write faster, it is also very
useful for writing things which one does not
want other people to read, inasmuch as almost
no one knows shorthand any more.

You know how important it is to do things
efficiently and on time. You also value your
privacy, and (unlike some people) you do not
pretend to be friends with just everyone; that
would be ridiculous. When you do make friends,
you take them seriously, and faithfully keep
what they confide in you to yourself.
Unfortunately, the work which you do (which is
very important, of course) sometimes keeps you
away from social activities, and you are often
lonely. Your problem is that Gregg shorthand
has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

The Long and Winding Road

This year's teaching schedule is over. Always mixed feelings since I love teaching and the Long Island Quilter's were a great group. We had so much fun and I met some of the best ladies ever.
However, it is good to be home. Traveling and teaching is the best job in the world but it is almost like waiting to exhale....worrying about flight schedules, making sure you packed everything you needed, shopping for Ronnie and, of course, missing your new grandkidlet's arrival. Life is all about compromise and flexibility for me....go with the flow....and get to see the new baby this weekend.

Thanks to all who sent congratulations on the new arrival. We will probably have to wait awhile for any more new little mean there might be more? Oh yeah, my gene pool is becoming an ocean. Charles and Christy are waiting until her knee surgery gets the okay and then there is Thomas, our baby boy, has no babies...of course, he doesn't have a wife either, clearly a problem where trying to have babies is involved. Indeed, there are future Swain's in the pipeline just not for awhile.

Came home ready to focus on preparing for Quilt Market only to discover lovely Rita (this post appears to have a Beatles theme) is headed straight for the Texas Gulf coast. As long as it misses Louisiana....those folks don't need any more damage. Oddly enough, I think Texas will be ready but Houston floods at the drop of a hat....lived there for five years and often had water rushing down everyone keep your fingers crossed. Galveston is as well prepared as possible, but lots of small costal towns between Houston and Galveston and further south. Ronnie has his computer set on NOAA as an opening page so we will be tracking closely.

Just don't worry about us, we live in north central Texas...262 miles north of Houston and about 200 miles south of Oklahoma City. Our whole family is close so we might get rains but no major wind.

Ages ago Diane asked what magazines we subscribed to and I forgot to answer...among many things I forget. I subscribe to only two: Real Simple and the American Quilters' Society, because I am am magazine with membership. Books are another subject....we are surrounded in every room by books...can't seem to control ourselves. Surely, someday they will find us both crushed under the weight of our obsession.....right after finding me buried in my fabric.

Back to the real world...have lots of tops to quilt and nowhere to go until January, discounting market, which may be in question. Now if I can just get myself off this one eye monster and go to work, I might be a quiltmaker again...what a concept!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Lest you think I have lost my love of Quizzes

Your Hidden Talent

You have the natural talent of rocking the boat, thwarting the system.
And while this may not seem big, it can be.
It's people like you who serve as the catalysts to major cultural changes.
You're just a bit behind the scenes, so no one really notices.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I Found Me

Apparently I am at the bottom of the side bar, but only in IE and if you want to see me scroll forever to the end of the page. Am working to correct but coumpter whizzo son, Craig is on the hunt also. Just when I think I am beginning to think i might know what i am doing, i realize i a getting dumber.

Update: Never understimate your brilliant, genius son....all is fixed faster than a speeding bullet. It is a problem in the code...but more tech than I can explain. Man, am I glad I gave birth to this gorgeous kid....and he and Kelly made me the grandma of twin boys.

Speaking of births, of course, as predicted Benjamin Jace was born at 7:20 a.m. this morning when I am 1300 miles away. Mom and baby are doing great...Dad is busting buttons....and I have to wait until the weekend to meet the new member of the Swain family.

What Have I Done Now

Okay techno! I joined women bloggers, got their code, approved by ring and went active.....except it has erased all the information in my side bar. When I remove their code, everything appears. Should I just forget it or is there a fix that someone can help with. I am lost without my artful quilters ring, simple still life and self portrait Tuesday buttons....bare nekkid side bar very useless.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

You Knew I Would Have to do This

Oh the cruelty of it all. How could Deb,, do this to me? I used the year I graduated from college since most of you are too young to even remember the year I graduated from high school. In Bold are the songs, I don't remember, in color my favorite....all which I will be singing while in Long Island.

1. Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkel
2. (They Long To Be) Close To You, Carpenters
3. American Woman / No Sugar Tonight, The Guess Who
4. Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head, B.J. Thomas
5. War, Edwin Starr
6. Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Diana Ross
7. I'll Be There, Jackson 5
8. Get Ready, Rare Earth
9. Let It Be, The Beatles
10. Band Of Gold, Freda Payne
11. Mama Told Me (Not To Come), Three Dog Night
12. Everything Is Beautiful, Ray Stevens
13. Make It With You, Bread
14. Hitchin' A Ride, Vanity Fair
15. ABC, Jackson 5
16. The Love You Save / I Found That Girl, Jackson 5
17. Cracklin' Rose, Neil Diamond
18. Candida, Dawn
19. Thank You (Fallettin Me Be Mice Elf Again) / Everybody Is A Star, Sly and The Family Stone
20. Spill The Wine, Eric Burdon and War
21. O-o-h Child / Dear Prudence, Five Stairsteps and Cubie
22. Spirit In The Sky, Norman Greenbaum
23. Lay Down (Candles In The Rain), Melanie and The Edwin Hawkins Singers (Woodstock, for those of you who don't remember)
24. Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today), Temptations
25. Love On A Two Way Street, Moments
27. Which Way You Goin' Billy?, Poppy Family
28. All Right Now, Free
29. Julie, Do Ya Love Me, Bobby Sherman
30. Green-eyed Lady, Sugarloaf
31. Signed Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours), Stevie Wonder
32. Ride Captain Ride, Blues Image
33. Venus, Shocking Blue
34. Instant Karma (We All Shine On), John Ono Lennon
35. Patches, Clarence Carter
36. Lookin' Out My Back Door / Long As I Can See The Light, Creedence Clearwater Revival 37. Rainy Night In Georgia, Brook Benton
38. Something's Burning, Kenny Rogers and The First Edition
39. Give Me Just A Little More Time, Chairmen Of The Board
40. Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes), Edison Lighthouse
41. The Long And Winding Road / For You Blue, The Beatles
42. Snowbird, Anne Murray
43. Reflections Of My Life, Marmalade
44. Hey There Lonely Girl, Eddie Holman
45. The Rapper, Jaggerz
46. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother, Hollies
47. Tighter, Tighter, Alive and Kicking
48. Come And Get It, Badfinger
49. Cecelia, Simon and Garfunkel
50. Love Land, Charles Wright and The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
51. Turn Back The Hands Of Time, Tyrone Davis
52. Lola, Kinks
53. In The Summertime, Mungo Jerry
54. Indiana Wants Me, R. Dean Taylor
55. (I Know) I'm Losing You, Rare Earth
56. Easy Come, Easy Go, Bobby Sherman
57. Express Yourself, Charles Wright and The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
58. Still Water (Love), Four Tops
59. Make Me Smile, Chicago
60. House Of The Rising Sun , Frijid Pink
61. 25 Or 6 To 4, Chicago
62. My Baby Loves Lovin', White Plains
63. Love Or Let Me Be Lonely, Friends Of Distinction
64. United We Stand, Brotherhood Of Man
65. We've Only Just Begun, Carpenters
66. Arizona, Mark Lindsay
67. Fire And Rain, James Taylor
68. Groovy Situation, Gene Chandler
69. Evil Ways, Santana
70. No Time, The Guess Who
71. Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time), Delfonics
72. The Wonder Of You / Mama Liked The Roses, Elvis Presley
73. Up Around The Bend / Run Through The Jungle, Creedence Clearwater Revival
74. (If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can't I Touch You, Ronnie Dyson
75. I Just Can't Help Believing, B.J. Thomas
76. It's A Shame, Spinners
77. For The Love Of Him, Bobbi Martin
78. Mississippi Queen, Mountain
79. I Want To Take You Higher, Ike and Tina Turner
80. The Letter, Joe Cocker
81. Ma Belle Amie, Tee Set
82. The Bells, Originals
83. Yellow River, Christie
84. Somebody's Been Sleeping, 100 Proof and Aged In Soul
85. Vehicle, Ides Of March
86. Gimme Dat Ding, Pipkins
87. Lay A Little Lovin' On Me, Robin Mcnamara
88. Up The Ladder To The Roof, Supremes
89. Travelin' Band / Who'll Stop The Rain, Creedence Clearwater Revival
90. Come Saturday Morning, Sandpipers
91. Psychedelic Shack, Temptations
92. Without Love (There Is Nothing), Tom Jones
93. Are You Ready?, Pacific Gas and Electric
94. Woodstock, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
95. I'll Never Fall In Love Again, Dionne Warwick
96. Look What They've Done To My Song Ma, New Seekers
97. Walk A Mile In My Shoes, Joe South
98. The Thrill Is Gone, B.B. King
99. It's Only Make Believe, Glen Campbell
100. Call Me, Aretha Franklin

Oh, the background stories, but that would take ages. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young...the anthem of a generation. The Hollies did their best ever right after losing Graham Nash. Eric Burdon had just gone solo from the Animals. The Kinks were getting banned until FM took over because of the content of Lola. Mountain was big; Felix Papalardi used to produce the
Rascals. Sweet Baby James was the man every girl wanted. The Beatles were no more and the White Album was still riding high. The Guess Who was soon to turn into Bachman Turner Overdrive. Edwin Starr gave the protest a theme song.....and I still get chills when I hear Bridge Over Troubled Water. Art asked Paul who could possibly sing that song...the key is outrageous...Paul replied I wrote it for you....and what a great job you both did.

Friday, September 16, 2005

My Humble Thanks and Off to the Races Again

I have been totally blown away by the responses to "Why do you create." I hope everyone who has the time reads through the stories and statements. They are not only personal stories but amazing statements on the need to create. Thank you all for lots of grist for the mill. You know I will be using these from time to time to inspire students...with, of course, credit given to the author.

Yesterday's trip was a whirlwind but fun. Gotta to visit with an old friend, Marit Kucera of Art Spoken Yardage...use her fabric almost exclusively as a beginning canvas. Saw some gorgeous quilts. Ate way to much off diet food and was home by 11 p.m. Now to get ready for Long Island....fooled you..have been working on this all week knowing time would be at a premium. Speaking of premium, gas in Texas is 2.79.9...that would be 2.80 a gal....and we are where most of the production plants are along with Louisiana...but we all know those plants will be off line for awhile.

Judging for Houston is this everyone keep your body parts crossed. I entered one of my new abstract pieces...Earth Strata I....made it past the jury but judges get to see them up close and personal. Hoping I at least don't get thrown out of the show. The winner calls should start next week so keep your phones close.

Today is filled with last minute details like getting the clothes in the suitcase, going to bank and grocery store and maybe getting my nails done. They are in a sad state from paint and other surface design materials....ought to at least make an effort. Having to do a slide show in LI since my entire body of work (the ones I still own) are in San Antonio. Wish me luck haven't done slide show in ages...usually do trunk show but all I have to show is work in progress. Hope they won't be disappointed at the lack of real quilts.

Will try to post some pics from class but this is a quick turn around so if you don't hear from me until the 20th, it's just because we are cooking. Once home gonna be swamped getting ready for quilt market....who's big idea was this anyway?

Always wanted to retire to a loft

You Belong in New York City

You're an energetic, ambitious woman.

And only NYC is fast enough for you.

Maybe you'll set yourself up with a killer career

Or simply take in all the city has to offer

What City Do You Belong in? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Addendum to Creativity Question

This all comes from when I was taking some graduate level art amazing fiber artist as head of the department. I have mentioned this before in some past post but thought I would re-post as food for thought: "If you can't talk about your work at all, there is something wrong with you. If you have to explain the work too much, there is something wrong with the work."

Totally Zen concept....that grea yin and yang balance. Thought it might help any of you who are struggling with this idea of visual to verbal.

Rest of my week: Fly to San Antonio tomorrow to do art talk as invitation artist...see why you have to be able to talk about the work, leaving at 2 p.m.; returning at 9 p.m. Talk about your whirwind trips. One day off Friday, and then off on the 17th to Long Island Quilter's back on the 20th. Thankfully home until market. Ain't this too glamorous?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Reading through the Ring

Woo hoo! We are almost a hundred strong...and if you read through every single one, it takes some time. However, that is exactly what I did everyone's blog. Some of us are mad daily bloggers; others of us just drop in occasionally. Regardless of how often you post, I noticed a thread that made me curious.

We are either all working at a break-neck speed or questioning why we aren't working more. We all seem to be in some transition in our voice.....either trying to find it or pushing the envelope.Very interesting....what is the cause? So fellow bloggers, what exactly is your motivation to create?

There have to be as many reasons as there are members, but I would like to hear from some of you personally. Whether you are a professional or beginner, why are you working in fiber? What drives you to make show your inner self or just play?

In my longer classes, three to four days, I ask all my students to pick five words that describe either creativity or quiltmaking (just depends on my mood). They have to trade a word from their list with their neighbor and then make a cogent statement on the subject given. What's the point? I am trying to teach how to turn the visual into verbal....and in the long run, give them a head start on how to write an artist statement. I posted some of these earlier this year...after Asilomar.

Now, I guess that is what I am asking you without the trading and word selection....turn your visual into verbal. A couple of suggestions...don't use I to start every a matter of fact, try not to use it at all.....second, forget about technique...we all work in different ways so that is out of the doesn't matter how but instead why.

Oh boy, now she's getting bossy...sorry..don't mean to be terse. This is just meant to be fun. Hoping you will take the challenge, I await your comments.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Since I Couldn't get the Color Thingy to Work

Your Inner Child Is Surprised

You see many things through the eyes of a child.
Meaning, you're rarely cynical or jaded.
You cherish all of the details in life.
Easily fascinated, you enjoy experiencing new things.
How Is Your Inner Child?

It has been a week, hasn't it? I promised Teri I would not do this for a whole week. I am shameless, unable to control myself, and down right a fool for these quizzes.

Self Portrait Tuesday...Body Parts

left hand

When thinking about body parts, I immediately knew my first self-portrait would be my hands but since you need a hand to use the is my left hand. Hands have fascinated me all my life. I remember being a small girl looking at the hands of all the men that worked in the town where I lived. Their hands told the story of their lives....what kind of work they did...their gestures told of gentleness or self-sacrifice.

I continue to have this fascination....especially since as an artist, our hands are one of our most important instruments. However, it goes beyond that for me....our hands reveal the texture of the world to us. The grainy quality of the earth, the softness of mushy or crisp our food is. One of my guilty pleasures is eating with my fingers things that you normally would use a spoon or fork for. I love the heat or cold that your hands bring to your awareness. Of course, being a quiltmaker, some days it is all about touching the fabric....letting it glide through your hands into art.

Even though it is Monday, thought this better get posted tonight because there is still no Benjamin. I am sure he is waiting for me to go to Long Island to teach before making an, what are you gonna do with 'em? He is taking his own sweet time even now.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Oh No There's More

The Moon Card
You are the Moon card. Entering the Moon we enter
the intuitive and psychic realms. This is the
stuff dreams are made on. And like dreams the
imagery we find here may inspire us or torment
us. Understanding the moon requires looking
within. Our own bodily rhythms are echoed in
this luminary that circles the earth every
month and reflects the sun in its progress.
Listening to those rhythms may produce visions
and lead you towards insight. The Moon is a
force that has legends attached to it. It
carries with it both romance and insanity.
Moonlight reveals itself as an illusion and it
is only those willing to work with the force of
dreams that are able to withstand this
reflective light. Image from: Stevee Postman.

Which Tarot Card Are You?
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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Back to Work

Wasn't yesterday fun? Thanks for all the sweet comments on our love story. Check out Deb's story at: Red Shoe Ramblings and Val and Martin's coming together at Dyeing2Sew.
Learning so much about each other is one of my favorite aspects of the blogworld....even though we are all so far away, we feel like friends....and when we do meet as Deb and I recently did in California, you find we do have so much to talk about and share so many interests beyond quiltmaking.

We have not as of yet gotten anyone to take on the script of the Ronnie and Gabrielle story but I am voting for Johnny Depp and agreeing with Deb at RSR that if he takes the deal, I will play myself just to be in his presence.....sigh! But enough of this foolishness, back to the real world.

Working like a mad fool in the studio today because grandkidlet number 8 is due tomorrow. They live 2 1/2 hours away so grandma and the super black Nissan will be flying down interstate 35 to be there for Benjamin Jace's arrival to the world.

A couple of pictures to show you the decisions I made on the sky piece and the progress of the leaf combo piece. Spending a couple more hours working on the leaves and then layering up the sky piece and the aerial earth strata from ages remember looks like New Mexico.
That should give me a good start on next year's show circuit....the tryptich abstract, sky, and earth strata...and remember I hand quilt.

The good and bad news is after market I am free until the end of January.....the bad news is neither one of my Art Quilt Tahoe classes made....why didn't y'all sign up.....but I am betting after Quilt Market I will be a wee bit exhausted so all's well that ends well.

Will keep you posted on baby arrival....back to work.

Close-up of to do more Posted by Picasa

Lest we forget the leaf and abstract combo Posted by Picasa

The single rectangle is more like a "chop" kinda singature feeling Posted by Picasa

Final composition....decided a single rectangle would do the trick. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Ronnie and Gabrielle Story

Okay, I got absolutely nothing done yesterday except paperwork and business stuff.....and even though this is an art quilt ring, I am going off topic to tell you the Fairy Tale love story of us.

Ronnie and I met when I was 23 and he was 26. He hadn't been back from Viet Nam long and was wound tighter than a clock. I was doing my master's work in World Religion (don't even ask) at TCU. The best part is I was living with (shock, horror) a guy that he knew from the National Guard.
During their summer camp for the Guard, I decided to drive down one weekend to see my guy, who wasn't Ronnie. I get on post and am driving down this dirt road...coming up the road are the grungiest bunch of guys you have ever seen. I stop and ask directions to HQ...Ronnie is one of the guys who tells me how to get there. He says it was love at first sight. I even remember exactly what I was wearing, a purple halter top (no bra, of course, remember this was1971) and hip hugger jeans.

I arrive at HQ and their CO, Donnie Talley (can you believe, I remember all this), says to another young Guardsman, "Put her in that room and don't let anyone else in." They had been there a week with no women so I guess he was concerned. Off he goes to get my guy, we spend the weekend together...he sleeps the entire time because they have been out in the field...I take him back to post and come home.

Suddenly, every time you turn around Ronnie is at our house (bird dog, shame, shame). My guy is always working on his race car so Ronnie and I get to know each other very well. He is brilliant, the most intelligent guy I have ever met. I always tell him I married him for his mind, not his body...sorry sweetie...but he is 5' 8" and only weighed 120 then.

Skipping over lots of stuff...guy and I break up and guess who is Johnny on the spot to comfort poor me. We date for a while, but way to soon Ronnie asks me to marry him. Hold the phone....first he is still so intense from Viet Nam I am a little concerned, plus I am doing my master's work and just broke up with the "love of my life." Can't tell you now how glad I am that I didn't marry the other guy....whew! saved by the bell. However, we are all still friends and he has been a part of our family for over 25 years.

Okay to bring this to a close....I say no...break Ronnie's heart because I am the love of his life. We go our separate ways. I end up quitting school, getting involved in metaphysics and meet "the Hunk." Gorgeous, soulful man but as I was soon to find out a wee bit irresponsible. We move to Houston, I am doing theatre and metaphysics, get a job offer in we go.
The hunk has a hard time keeping a job because he is too busy buying funny tobacco. I discover it is easier to support my family without him...sorry sweetie time to go bye-bye.

I should interject here that when I was younger, I didn't put up with S@#$ from anyone, much less a husband. Anyway, he's gone. I am working in Norfolk/Virginia Beach area....for some reason I think Ronnie might like to see this beautiful place. I call and invite him for a visit....but..he's living with another woman....looks like he recovered from broken heart....and doesn't think it would be a good idea. End of story...but wait, there's more.

Both my father and grandmother become seriously ill at the same time. My mom needs me I quit job...pack up kidlets and come back to Texas. Home for about a year, working a day job and doing theatre and decide to call Ronnie to come see the play I am directing. We go to lunch and sparks fly.....the time is almost ten years after we met, we get married.....and this May it will be 25 years of the Ronnie and Gabrielle story. Now ain't that romantic?

Occasionally I miss this person

Just for Karen, here I am at 17...don't cha just love the hair? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Just for Caity...if you think he is cute now..what does this do for you girlfriend....he was seventeen in this to Viet Nam Posted by Picasa

Just an Old-Fashioned Girl

Okay so I got side-tracked and didn't get the quilting pictures posted until tonight. Gotta admit Mel's close-ups are better than mine but that is an operator problem not a camera problem. Also thought I would share a few pictures from the week's work.
In defense of hand quilting, which is hard to defend I know these days with everyone machine quilting like crazy, there is a difference in the line created by hand quilting. Hand quilting produces a soft line. The line is soft because there are spaces between the stitches. Machine quilting produces a hard line (not a negative comment just a description of the line) because there are no spaces between the stitches.....each stitch is directly connected to the next.
When you are hand quilting you can adjust your tension to ease in areas that I call fluffy. You don't have that luxury with machine quilting, the tension is even or should be. Neither one is bad or good just different.
Last but not least to go all metaphysical on you....I feel closer to the work when it is in my hands not separated from me by the machine. I am giving part of my self to the work by having it in my energy field so closely. There is a Zen like quality to hand quilting (for me) that I don't have with machine quilting. Hand quilting is quiet, meditational and allows me to slow down in this fast paced world in which we live. It allows me to reconnect to myself and to the piece.
So Mel, my dearest friend in thin, this girl will just have to stay out of the 21st century.....maybe I should quilt by candle light.

Evidence of a week's work Posted by Picasa

Ronnie wondering what is she doing in this room all the time Posted by Picasa

Busby guarding the suitcase so I won't leave home Posted by Picasa

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