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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Working Through the New Gabrielle

Things are going along well in the studio. However, there is no sewing being done...but what fun to be designing new works. My "big plan" is to design as many pieces as I can....until I get sick of the process and need to sew. Today I finished one design completely, have another ready to fine tune and another to enlarge with my overhead. For a hand applique, hand quilt freak this could be enough work for the rest of my life...heh, heh.
I am being a bad blogger not sending each of you emails in thanks for the responses to the transitions post and my last self portrait, but please know they mean the world to me to hear from you. I take everything into know me and thinking....but the urge, compulsion to work has me in its grips. So please accept this blanket " Thank you so much for your encouragement and comments."
With that aside, I am going off on another tangent with you, dear readers. You know I cannot be trusted to keep these thoughts to myself. Sweet Ronnie always asks with some trepidation, "You talk to these ladies about this stuff?" He is used to my eccentric behavior but is concerned that you might think I am suffering from a small madness. Isn't that sweet?
Okay that being babbled here is the tangent. In my transitions post, I mentioned that I did not think art had to be political or social to be relevant. I still hold to that position. There is nothing wrong with sheer beauty...gorgeous colorwork, excellent composition, etc. However, I realized after some thought that there is an political side to my work...yours also.
Here goes: The fact that we have decided to create art in a craft media is a political statement.
We are not working in the accepted fields of the art world...painting, sculpture....we are working in what has been traditionally considered women's domestic work. We have moved outside of the "dead white men" construct to create in a medium that speaks to us for a variety of reasons.
So with this thought in mind, I am eating crow....I do political, social work because I create art outside of the accepted venues.....and ya know what, I am going to keep on doing just that....proudly thumbing my nose at anyone who says this isn't art.
What are your thoughts on my new ramblings? I gotta a million of them....some not as good as others but that never stops me.
Tomorow I will try posting some of the new drawings but they are in black and white so not sure how they will photograph. Plus some look very complicated in the drawing but will be very easy in the construction.......that is if I ever get back to needle and thread.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday November 29

Who am I really? Is it the words that I speak that give me identity to others? Do I keep secret parts of my identity by not speaking them? How much of language is who we are? How much of silence is our identity? Posted by Picasa

Self Portrait Tuesday November 29

For my last exploration into identity, the choice seemed obvious. Hiding and revealing...leading a very public life but keeping parts of who I am hidden...sometime even from myself. Posted by Picasa
this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, November 27, 2005


As the year draws to an end, we usually reflect on the experiences of the past 365 days. What would we like to pursue, what would we have done differently, exciting and moving experiences that we shared with others or experienced alone. Warning: You can tell already that I am about to do one of my life unexamined speeches. Stop now if you aren't in the mood.

Instead of doing all the normal end of year reflections, I have chosen to turn my life upside down and inside out. It is time for transitions. The first transition, of course, is in my already well taken care of...don't call momma to get them out of trouble any more. Why make a transition in your work if you are experiencing a modicum of success? Why make a change in work that comes easily to you? Crank it out over and over in the same formula, get into shows and "make a name" for yourself. Answer: Exactly that, you are doing formulaic work that requires no thought, all looks the same and holds no meaning. By that I mean, you aren't investing yourself in your work. It is safe and comfortable but empty. Where is the artist in this work? What part of the artist has been revealed to the viewer?

So, in that vein, you may not be seeing much new work from me for a while. I have made a conscious decision to push myself out of my comfort zone into unknown territory. IMHO, art is meant to be evocative (we have discussed this before), but also it should come from some inner exploration of the artist. It doesn't not have to be political or socially revelant, but it must be infused with the spirit of the artist. Artist are the soul of our society; if we don't do anything but mass produce imagery, we are leaving society in a void of commercial, it looks good over the sofa concepts.

For the past few years, I have been trying to express my feeling about our environment, how delicate the balance is between man and nature. Occasionally, I have succeeded in this endeavor; often, it has just been make another leaf quilt. I do not want to be absent from my work, mindlessly working without intention just to get another quilt done. I want to be fully involved in making meaning....looking inward and bringing this out visually.

This is the most impossible task I have faced (other than learning to sew a straight seam). However, internally there is something at work forcing, pushing, asking me to take this leap of faith. As artist, we constantly work toward a vision, when we find that vision, we work it in every way possible and then reach a plateau. It is up to us whether to stay on that plateau or to try a climb to another level. Whether I can do this or not isn't the question? Maybe I will fall flat on my face and make some of the worst art ever. Still not the point, the impetus to move forward, to seek, to make mistakes and learn from them, to look deep inside at the reason why I must create is the answer.

Yada, yada...are you all sick of this coversation now. Okay, good cause I'm moving on to another transition. The second transition I have decided that needs to be made in my life involves marketing. Yes, I have started the dvd business and that will continue. Why? Mainly, because I do like teaching, think I do a fairly good job at it and want to open new possibilities to students.
The marketing of this part of my life will continue along its natural course.

The marketing I am transitioning away from is the market of my work. Of course, it is exciting to get accepted into shows, get offers for writing magazine articles, make the cover of the Rolling Stone, so to speak....and marketing is a necessary evil. However, it takes time away from the work. Your mind has to disengage into a completely different mindset. My mantra has always been it's about the work, it's about the work. I have even been chastised in the art quilt world for saying so. "No, it isn't about the work; it's about the marketing."

Well, dear readers, sweet Ronnie, is in the market business and can tell you that you can sell ice to Eskimos if correctly marketed. They don't need the ice; it may not even be quality ice but you can make them buy it through clever manipulation and demographics. I hesitate to mention Thomas Kincaid because of the firestorm it might start, but this work is a perfect example of why I have chosen to take on this transition.

Not bored enough, yet? Lucky you, I am drawing to an end this tome. The final transition I have chosen to work through is to not take every teaching date offered to me. This is very hard to do. I do love teaching, the traveling is hell, but the students always inspire me in my own work. However, at the end of this year, I discovered I am losing valuable studio time and quite frankly, somewhat exhausted....wanting to work, but just not having the energy. Don't panic, I am not retiring from teaching just picking and choosing a more reasonable schedule that allows more studio time.

As 2005 draws to an end, I find myself right back where I started 22 years ago when I first became a quiltmaker. Excited about studying in a new medium, without a clue as to what I want to create and un-educated about the principles required to create the work.

Maybe we all need to re-evaluate where we are going from time to time....don't go there if you aren't feeling the need....but for me, the times they are a'changing.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Yousers... I am late with my simple still life for Nov

Trying to maintain the quality of the glass and ink, I only used a few filters, and enhanced the color. So groovy, don't you think? Pleased though with the way it maintained the qualities of the glass and ink. These are such good exercises for learning Photoshop...although I consider myself a novice at best...I am enjoying learning the process. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Time to Give Thanks

Hope you are all baking and cleaning in anticipation of the arrival of your loved ones for Thanksgiving. While this holiday is steeped in history, it has become a time for families to share and delight in each other over a wonderful meal without the pressure of shopping for the perfect gift. It is a time to get re-acquainted and delight in each other's company.
We are having a small Thanksgiving this year due to my work schedule for the past few months. Sweet Ronnie, Thom, the youngest, a family friend of twenty plus years and possibly Charles and Christy, if they feel like getting out. This will be one of the first years that the whole family hasn't as least stopped by for a visit and a bite. However, I know a good time will be had by all. It also means I have less work to do....ya hoo! Still giving me time to get some art in.
We all have so much to be thankful for so I just thought I would take time to mention a few of the things that have given joy to my life this year. I hope you take stock of your own life as the year comes to an end.
First, the twins are healthier and healthier all the time. They will still have some medical things to deal with as they grow older but they are doing great...a miracle right before our eyes.
Chris and Jillaine are not only the proud parents of a healthy baby boy but will soon be moving back to our part of the world. Chris is officially being discharged from the Army in January. However, he has enough leave time that they will be here this month. Now I will have my two lovely granddaughters and the new baby close.
Thomas, just finished the fall semester of his second year at law school. Seems like only yesterday he dropped out of pre-school. They made him take naps so remember even drop-outs can succeed in the world.
Charles and Christy are spending more time with us which is a wonderful blessing. They are such a perfect couple.....and too good to me.
Market was a success and am hoping after the first of the year orders from distributors will be coming in....don't want that inventory sitting around before the end of the year.
My work is going well...if not slowly...but the transition from realistic to abstract is finally sinking in. Since all of our deadlines are self-imposed, I am taking my time with this transition...again trying not to push the river.
Sweet Ronnie and I are enjoying our lives together with no children....we love them, don't get me wrong...but now it is time for us to start over as a couple. I really won the prize with this guy. He is my biggest fan, lifts my spirits when they flag, and always encourages me to try something new....never worry about mistakes, just do the work.
Last be not least, I am thankful that I have met all of you on the ring, as well as some wonderful students this past year. You have all given me much more than I could ever give you.
With all that said, eat, drink and be the ones your with and then get back to the studio to feed you soul. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Find Fairies in the Garden

If you look hard evough, you do find fairies in your garden. This fairy happens to be my daughter in law Christy. After reading my blog yeterday, she couldn't resist making my dream come true. Thanks Christy for bringing laughter and joy to my day. Posted by Picasa

They Do Exist

 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday November 22 Listening to the Conversation

Since I was a child I have believed in magical, special moments.....fireflys at night, the rustle of leaves full of life. My entry for this Tuesday's identity is to always hold on to the magic of your childhood. Posted by Picasa

Self Portrait Tuesday November 22 Do You Believe?

Spotting the glow off the wings of a fairy. Posted by Picasa

Self Portrait Tuesday 11/22 Searching for Fairies

They are there I know I can hear them whispering. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday, the weirdest day of all

Sunday is a strange, scattered day. Supposedly, the last day of the weekend before you get back to the grind to the weekly work. Rest, relaxation, family visits; All of this escapes me. Sunday is the day when all I that I can think about it what the week will bring. How busy I should have been last week? How I didn't get enough done the week before. In other words, Sunday isn't my favorite day because it reminds me of the week ahead and the week behind.
Did I accomplish everything I had in mind...never. Did I get all the paper work done..never. And yet, I can't seem to be motivated on Sunday because it is the last day before the onslaught of the week.
I could clean house but that takes so much effort working around Ronnie. I could and often do, sew, but with no great enthusiam because it is Sunday. Sketching and designing is also a possibly but easily distracted by something, anything. In other words, Sunday, for me, is not a day of discipline. Not a day of lazy musings about the next week but instead a day of fractured concentraction....going from one thing to another. This is a personal problem but one that ought to be resolved.
Sundays are like looking back on the past year and evaluating what you did, where you need to go and what has yet to be accomplished. Yet, we are only talking about a week not a year so time is rather compressed and doesn't allow for too much forward thinking....after all, we are only looking toward Monday, not 2006.
Not one to make too many resolutions (since I never accomplish them or remember them), I have decided that Sunday is going to be my official day off. A day in which I do nothing (you really believe that?) Okay, let's just say I won't do anthing that I don't want to. Certainly, sounds simplistic since most of us do that all the time (those of us without small children, that is).
What brought all this on...I realized this weekend that I have an incredible ability to focus on one thing at a time at the expense of all others. Good and bad, that thing gets done, but everything else falls apart. So today, this Sunday, I shall not plan next week or even worry about what I need to get done. Today I won't reflect on anything but the fact that this is Sunday.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I Swear , It's Deb's Fault


You are one of life’s enjoyers, determined to get the most you can out of your brief spell on Earth. Probably what first attracted you to atheism was the prospect of liberation from the Ten Commandments, few of which are compatible with a life of pleasure. You play hard and work quite hard, have a strong sense of loyalty and a relaxed but consistent approach to your philosophy.

You can’t see the point of abstract principles and probably wouldn’t lay down your life for a concept though you might for a friend. Something of a champagne humanist, you admire George Bernard Shaw for his cheerful agnosticism and pursuit of sensual rewards and your Hollywood hero is Marlon Brando, who was beautiful, irascible and aimed for goodness in his own tortured way.

Sometimes you might be tempted to allow your own pleasures to take precedence over your ethics. But everyone is striving for that elusive balance between the good and the happy life. You’d probably open another bottle and say there’s no contest.

What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Coming soon from the studio

Lisa kindly asked what the next dvd was going to be (thanks, Lisa, so glad you like the Borrowed Tools) so here's the next release. Creativity on Demand.....what? Have you ever bought one of those books that has all these exercises designed to make you more creative? Or purchased a book on design and composition, read it and went "Huh?" Speaking for myself only this has happened to me but by trial and error finally figured out what the author was wanting me to do. Guess I am just too visual...if I see it done or watch someone work through the exercises I get it immediately. Assuming there are other folks like me, this dvd was born.

It will be full of ideas that you might not have thought to use, simple ways to kick start you during a time when the well seems dry and exercises to open new possibilities for design. The material is basically art 101 that is accessible. I will be doing the exercises with you (rather for you) giving you the explanation of what is going on and how you can accomplish the same work.

Hope this excites quiltmakers because I think we need to focus more on play and experimentation. Also, you can never know too much about design etc. As soon as my director moves back to Fort Worth (November 25), we will start shooting about a week later. We have to have the filming finished by mid-December, edited by January and released February 1.
Wish us luck...will keep you posted.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Decisions, Decisions

Thanks for all the commments on the fabric choice. Now that I know what I am doing (in theory), I think I can crank this out rather quickly. However, there are several quilts waiting in the wings, some layered I have decided to put off working on the fabric until January 1.
After all, if it is a good design the fabric company will take it when I get it to them. More importantly, I am a quiltmaker and want to get back to that.
There is something so seductive, as we all know, about touching that cloth. Got to quilt most of yesterday and plan on finishing up the long section on Sea Stones tonight or tomorrow. When opportunities, like the fabric line, come your way, you shouldn't ignore them. However, since the company that approached me isn't interested, I will have to shop these designs around. That's a whole nother ball game which to me means I have time to really think this through.
The other think lacking in my life at the moment is my exercise program. Putting so much energy into the painting, I was completely absorbed. Fell off the wagon on rowing and going to the gym and am really feeling it physically.
Time to take stock and re-evaluate how I spend my time. Add into the mix the filming for the next dvd starts in late November or early December.....gotta look good for the camera so some pounds need to go. Besides, I want to look fabulous for Australia in January. It will be summer there so no where to hide those extra pounds in summer clothes.
Wish I had time to knit, paint fabric designs, applique and quilt, exercise and run the business but even though I multi-task well, some focus is required. Now if I just had a wife to do all the other stuff (house duties...ugh!), it would be a perfect world.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Fabric Chosen to Build Collection

Posted by Picasa

The Tale of Two Folds

First, let me report that it is colder than you know what here today. That's what we love about Texas 90 F one day; this morning a brisk 37F. If my mum are fried, I will protest big time. Enough of the weather report, except to say, I am not leaving this house...brr.

Now to the important report: Last night Charles and Christy came over again to fold brocures. To say they deserve the good family merit badge is an understatement. We folded 1,000 brochures last all time high record for us. We usually get so busy talking we forget what we are supposed to be doing. Next Tuesday, they will again graciously come over and finish the which to the distributor.

Just to brag...Christy is so angelic looking; Charles compares her to Venus Rising. You just look at her and sweet vibrations flow over you. On top of that she is smart as a whip, can keep up like a pro with out witty (well, we think it is) reportie. My son is a very luck man which he freely admits to....way to go Charles, you get to spend the rest of your life with this beautiful woman.

Not like you needed a family update but Chris is being officially discharged from the Army in January. Thank you, thank you. He has enough leave saved that he will be off starting November 25. My precious son will soon be out of harm's way...except for the fact that he still drives like he is on the AutoBahn or on the streets of Iraq in a tank. Not much call for either in Texas.

Craig, Kelly and the twins are doing well. Craig is working incredible hours, runs aroung with his blackberry buzzing all the time; Kelly obviously has her hands full with two about to be toddlers; and now has the major decision of exactly how to color her bangs. Well, you know I would suggest multiple blond shades but she gets to decide and I know it will be gorgeous. She has the perfect coloring for it.

Last but not last convesation with Thomas. "Are you coming home for Thanksgiving? "Yep" "How's school going?" "It's finals week, I gotta you mom and Happy Birthday"
A man of few words but at least you know what is going on.

Sewing accomplished: nada.....what is the matter with me? Yesterday spent at the grocery store, bank and the shippers. Got home in time for the folding party...went to bed exhausted. My poor needles are feeling so lonely. I must visit them and soon.

Another fabric update: Talked with a friend and fellow fabric designer yesterday....many thanks even though she will remain nameless. She gave me great direction and explanations that the first fabric company should have know like author submission guidelines. Now I have a plan, thanks to dear friend, so I am not going to give up on this just yet. Stay tuned for the progess. The biggest compliment she gave me was that there was nothing wrong with my favorite design; instead the fabric company just didn't know how to accomplish it. Above is a photo of the design I will be building a collection around.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday November 15

Woman's work is never done! Being self-employed is a great life but somehow you are always working. Falling asleep at the computer...yeah that's the good life. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 14, 2005

And Now the Waiting Begins

Important Update: The fabric company loves my sense of color but not my designs...not suitable for fabric. At least the wait wasn't long even though it was a lot of work. I shall now frame some of the unsuitable fabric designs as Christmas presents for my kids. Heh! Heh! And they thought they were getting some really groovy presents...fooled again. Sorry folks, no Gabrielle Swain fabric, but it was a good exercise....had fun painting....nothing lost but time.

Talked with the fabric company this afternoon...told them there were several designs ready...and lo and behold! she asks me to scan them in and send them to her in jpegs. Now this would be fine but my flat bed is smaller than the paper I paint on so there was lots of re-arranging and re-scanning....but I got the job done. Now the waiting....sigh! It isn't like I am the only person she is working with and I would have been able to explain everything so clearly sitting across from her...but it was not to be.
First, we have to pass the jpeg test....they will print them out for all to see and then decide if I am someone they want to work with....better put someone who fits into their stable.
You know I will be neurotic as can be until I hear. It isn't the thought that they won't like them, it is the waiting. As long as I know what is going on, I'm good.
There is a bright side to this dilemna.....I get to sew! Somehow 20 minutes or so a day just isn't enough for me. Tomorrow, with needle in hand, I will be a happy quiltmaker.....and will try not to think about the decisions being made without me.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Stripe

This had so much potential until I had to get some dark in the stripe. I fear all is lost but the idea was good. Posted by Picasa

Homage to the ' 60's

Once a hippie, always a hippie. Posted by Picasa

My favorite

Again the color is too gray, but I love this one..they will probably hate it. Can' you just see this on drapes or a sofa? Posted by Picasa

Leaf detail

I think my camera is on's really clearer color than this. Posted by Picasa

Another leaf possibility

This is a terrible photo..couldn't get the color right. Posted by Picasa

A Small Clarification

Wow! what great comments on the last post. Amazing to be surrounded by such thoughtful, creative women. To the point, probably should have explained a little better what was meant by getting my ego out of the way.
1. I want to come to each new work free of the baggage of the last piece.
2.Of course, I want my voice to be visible but not at the expense of the work. This is a hard one to explain but I would compare it to production work. Does that make sense? Where you find a formula and do it to death....never moving beyond that safe place.
3. While it is nice that people like your work, I want to be in a space where the viewer's opinion doesn't effect my approach to the work. My move to abstract from representational this year was my declaration of this premise.
4. Not sounding too metaphysical, I want to step outside the work and let it lead me....instead of me forcing it.

Hope this helps explain my thoughts. Whether I accomplish any of this is yet to be seen, but it is the new approach to my work, successful or unsuccessful. At this point (please no offense meant) in my career, it isn't as important to me to get into every exhibit on the block or even worse, to make pieces that will win big prizes. I just want to do the work so that I can grow as an artist and human being following an uncertain path that leads to many places.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Re-visiting an old post on art

I am reposting a question from last week because I have been pondering both the question and Lisa's thoughtful response. Do you think it is just me or is it the medium itself? My work is trying to remove my "ego" but not my opinions on the nature of man and the nature of nature. How we are all one and so often forget that. Please comment freely...the way we learn is be observing and listening...and I am always ready to tackle a new aspect of myself or the work.
So here is the original post with Lisa's comments....hope you find them interesting and thought-provoking. They have been for me.

Original Post

While Charles and Christy were here on Tuesday, we got into a conversation about art being evocative and self-revelatory. While he agrees that my work is very evocative, he does not find it self-revelatory.....that the human is missing in the work. My explanation to him is that was my goal to take my ego out of the work as much as possible so that the viewer responded only to the references to nature....the world we live in. What do you think? Am I hiding behind this imagery?

Lisa's reply

Interesting question.

First of all I'm not sure I agree - I think there is quite a bit "you" in the earth strata series. Having never met you and just knowing only what I have read on this blog these pieces just fit. To me there is definitely some self revelation going on here. I do agree that some of the more representational work has less of that.

But that said here's my take on the subject.

I definitely see your point about wanting to get out of the way and just let the viewer respond. But in the end don't you have a story that you also want to tell? Isn't that part of what being an artist is about?

You have a lot to tell us in this blog, and it is very interesting and relevant to your art. To also include that in the work, in my opinion, would only make the work stronger.

Maybe your ego doesn't have to "get in the way" but can instead add to the viewer response. Then the reaction to the work becomes not just a reaction to your references to nature but also to you as a person.

So yes - in a sense you are hiding when you don't put that part of yourself into your work because you don't have to risk possible rejection if the viewer doesn't like the work.

As is, if the work is unliked it can be attributed the the subject matter. If you feel you have put more of yourself into the work then the rejection is more personal and that's a scary place to be.

7:38 PM


Friday, November 11, 2005

Who's That Girl?

Today I am twice as old as this girl. This is one of my head shots from when I was acting. I miss this girl in some ways; glad she is gone in other ways.
Now you know why my hair is about your big hair. It is short not for lack of hair but for way too much hair.

So I guess this is a milestone. I was born on 11/11 1949 (which I consider 1950, I mean it is so close) at 5:24 in the afternoon which totals to 11 and today I am 56 which also totals to 11......must go buy a lottery ticket immediately.

I look at this picture and remember what a golden year this was...working in theatre, living with one of the great loves of my life (shock!horror! don't tell Ronnie), we were both actors so you know that one was doomed. I already had three sons and was supporting them myself......and I love how all that made me who I am today.

When one of my ex daughters in law saw this picture her reply was:" You were so beautiful." aren't now. Maybe that is part of the reason she is an ex daughter in law...heh, heh. But hey, everyone is beautiful at that age. The key is learning to love the way you are no matter what age you are. I can attest that all the insecurities hidden in this picture are long gone and that's a very positive thing. My life is less chaotic (that might be an overstatment) so let's just say chaotic in a controlled way. I feel much more in tune and in charge of my destiny, whatever that is......and all the boys are grown and married to wonderful women.....except for Thom , who is married to law school at the moment.

While I miss this girl on occasion, I am glad she has made it this far and look forward to seeing where she is going next. You've come along way, baby, and still have a long way to go.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Obviously It's Contagious

Resisting as long as possible...finally overwhelmed by the meme.

Three screeen names you have had:
gabrielle, mgabrielle, mary gabrielle

Three things you like about yourself:
My pink hair, the discipline I have about my work, I enjoy being alone; don't need lots of social life to make me happy

Three things you don't like about yourself:
The fact that I am very opinionated, that I can't seem to lose the weight I gained back recently, I am selfish with my time

Three parts of your heritage:
Sorry only have two: Irish and Italian

Three things that scare you:
People who talk on their cell phones while driving, not being independent when I get older, having to climb open scaffolding

Three everyday essentials:
Diet Coke in large quantities, doing something, anything creative, spending time with sweet Ronnie

Three things you are wearing right now:
Pajama top and bottoms, wedding and engagement ring

Three favorite songs:
Totally bogus can anyone have only three..but I'll try. Spoonful by Cream, Can't Find My Way Home by Blind Faith, and Darkness, Darkness by Jessie Collin Young

Three things you want in a relationship:
Humor, trust, respect

Two Truths and a Lie:
Three of my sons were born at home
One of my ex-husbands is dead
I have met my birth parents

Three Things You Can't Live Without:
My work, my car (no mass transit in Texas), my best friends, sorry but I have to add shoes even though I know that is four things

Three Things You Just Can't Do:
Make a decent pie crust, keep my house clean, never buy shoes again

Three kids names:
Again, can't leave anyone out so the four in order of birth are Charles Dale, Craig Anthony, Christopher Benjamin and Thomas Harlan

Three Things You Want to Do Before You Die:
Build my career to the point where Ronnie can retire early, make all the quilts that I want, see my children and grandchildren happy and enjoying life

Three Celeb Crushes:
Collin Ferrell
Johnny Depp
Clive Owen

Three Favorite Musicians:
Again, torture pure torture: Crosby, Stills, and Nash; Joni Mitchell; Diana Krall
sneaking in Lorenna McKennit

Three Physical Things About The Opposite Sex That Appeal To You:
Beautiful eyes that look deep into your soul, mesomorphic body type, great hair

Three Favorite Books:
Oh puleeze, how can you do this to me? Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig, The Coming Plague (can't remember the author),
Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland

Three Things You Really Want to Do Right Now:
Be successful at this fabric design thing, spend more time at home, eat anything I want and not gain a pound

Three Careers you've Considered:
Lawyer, Research Scientist, and one I accomplished...performing arts

Three Ways You Are Stereotypically a Boy:
I am handy with tools and fix most of the things in our house, I would rather act than talk (hate overthinking), I could be a bachelor and be happy

Three Ways You Are Stereotypically a Girl:
Shoes! Clothes! My must do visits to Toni and Guy

Hope this isn't too boring...but I lead a fairly mundane life.

What I Did Today

Absolutely the best piddling ever....cleaned the kitchen, watered the yard, bought more Bristol board, stopped by Blockbuster and picked up some movies. Did one new design for the fabric. Took a nap in the middle of the day..unbelievable! Took a long hot bath with smell good stuff....went to the gym. End of story...not quite, going to quilt tonight while watching movies. Is this boring enough to qualify as a day off? I think so. What actually happened was...I had so many things I wanted to do, enlarge some new quilt designs, paint, applique, quilt, that I couldn't make a decision.
Indecisiveness led to...doing nothing. However, there is an appealing meme on DebR's blog. Maybe later because that would mean doing something. Now for tomorrow...shall I piddle away another day?
While Charles and Christy were here on Tuesday, we got into a conversation about art being evocative and self-revelatory. While he agrees that my work is very evocative, he does not find it self-revelatory.....that the human is missing in the work. My explanation to him is that was my goal to take my ego out of the work as much as possible so that the viewer responded only to the references to nature....the world we live in. What do you think? Am I hiding behind this imagery? Oh no, she's thinking again....gotta run before this turns into doing something.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Today's Progress

First, a little explanation, having never done this before some of the painting is experimenting with using acrylics. Second, explanation, when you design fabric you have to include over all designs, geometric designs and backgrounds. None of these may make the cut but I am enjoying the exercise. Honestly, I haven't a clue what I am doing but I sure am doing it fast. More leaves tomorrow, also some tulips in fairly large scale....something for everyone, I hope.
Had the most fun doing the backgrounds. Don't know if you would agree with me but IMHO, most background fabric is just boring. Not enough color...all that tone on tone is just too tame for me. My hope is that the fabric company will like these because the market really needs something interesting in this arena.

Thanks for all the comments on the painting. I appreciate all your suggestions and take them all into consideration. After all, you are the quiltmakers I want to reach. Sorry that I haven't taken time to reply to everyone individually...but know that it means so much to me to hear your thoughts.

On a less interesting note, it is still hot in Texas...yuck! Come on folks, it is almost the middle of November and it is 86 F today. Tomorrow is predicted to be 71 F....I will believe it when it happens. My poor pansies are mums are is fall all you weather makers. Time for some cool weather.

Stopped painting early today...even though it is fun....I need to touch fabric. Not sure I have completely recovered from market...running out of steam, rather, exhausted at the end of each day. Result: haven't quilted for a couple of days.....haven't appliqued since before market...eeek. Neurosis is sure to set in at any minute. Ronnie keeps telling me to take a day off before I burn out...I think I am already toasty....but a day off..hmmm? What would I do on a day off? Sew, of course, so I guess that really isn't a day off but it would be doing what I love.

Scarlet will think about that tomorrow.

Beginning of stripes

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Background # 4

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Background # 3

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Background #2

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Detail of #1

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Series of backgrounds #1

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More detail

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First leaves

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