Friday, July 31, 2009

drawn lace.

Wow, is all I can say about the unbelievably gorgeous "lace" drawings of artist Aric Obrosey.
Aric recreates the beauty and complexity of lace through graphite to honor and call back to a time were products were made by and and with care.

The result is simply gorgeous.

I cannot put his work into better words than this press release from 2006 so I will not try:

In this exhibition of new drawings, Aric Obrosey continues to mine the rich tradition of lacework, both for its formal qualities and as a symbol of a bygone economy wherein all consumer objects were laboriously created one by one. For the artist, the lace tradition parallels a personal devotion to the work of the hand as well as a love of detail, complexity and linear structure. His drawings repeat various gestures derived from lace, such as knots and twists, to form a modular network or background structure known as the "fond" in lace-making terms. From a distance, the meandering pencil lines appear to the viewer as interwoven threads of differing textures. Close inspection reveals that the texture of each thread is actually a finely detailed pattern, either abstract or representational. The content of the patterns suggest industry, mass production, handwork, obsolescence and technological advance. As the threads tangle, twist and come into contact with one another, multiple associations and interpretations are suggested regarding the interplay of culture, technology and handcraft.

To further his concept he often includes a mandala-like center of a recent mass produced object such as a cd, lp, or other object.

To read a review of his work by Roberta Smith go here.

sweet dreams, not today...

Do you think it would be ok to do this all day 'cause I am exhausted?

But no as much as I would like to be in dream land as C is in this newest piece. I cannot.

Today, I am installing my comforts... piece at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in Manhattan this afternoon.
I am excited that the work will get to be hung in such a fabulous place for 3 entire months. Come on Martha film another show there give me some exposure. Oh how I wish!
But- I am a little nervous as the piece is very heavy and normally is installed on the wall but since it will be hung on a brick wall it need to be suspended from above? So I have worked with it alot to prepare it- but once all is said and done I will sigh a huge sigh of relief.
Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

hot & humid.

Woo-hee it is hot and humid today. The weather has definitely entered summer- finally.
We have had a very mild summer in NYC so far and lately lots of fabulous thunder and lightening storms. Growing up in the Ohio Valley I love storms and miss them since we do not get as many this north. So I have been soaking in those sweet sounds of rain and rumble.

But today my studio is like a little oven- I might need to venture to an ac filled coffee shop to do some work.
I just finished another piece and am taking it a little easy- working on some faster easy things today and tomorrow. And then next week I will begin one of my most ambitious image pieces to date.
Cannot wait to share more.

I also have lots of wonderful things in the works that I will be excited to share with all of you soon.
Show possibilities, classes, and more!

Painterly threaads.

In researching for yesterday's post I saw the name of UK artist Alice Kettle mentioned and looked her up. Alice makes extremely texturally lovely thread paintings. They must be called paintings because of her expressive painterly style executed in how she works with thread and fibers.

Her images seem to explore the deep and complicated experience of human nature.
She states:

The work does seem to strongly speak to myth and ever present truths in the myths that survive to our lifetimes. The truths of human nature and human existence.
Often Alice's work is of quite ambitious scale and I can imagine how much more powerful the work feels in the actual presence of the size and detail of the work.

To see more of Alice's work go here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

threaded words...

See my article here on the lovely work of artist Cathy Cullis.

WARNING- a little naughty word.

another little piece that I am working on. It will eventually say "fucked up and flawed."
I am really liking how it is turning out - but I secretly wish the linen has some stains or rips or "flaws" itself. But the shape was right so I used it anyway.
It is on a lovely white, round linen with eyelet.

and after all we are all a little bit "fucked up and flawed."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

art watching.

The MoMa was great yesterday and as usual I was moved by unexpected things. The Song Dong project was fascinating. The placement in the MoMa was perfect as it was at the bottom of an atrium so you could see it above from many levels - This is how I most preferred it. It read as a giant quilt of life and everyday.

Once you got down to the ground level it lost some of its magic. Becoming a simple cataloging of objects- many of which were downright garbage. The corresponding text was very well done and helpful in reading the work. But since my experience with Chinese cultural is minimal to none I read it totally as a westerner. And the sentiment still stood up causing me to reflect on the consumer and hoarding civilization we live in. It actually was a bit sad.

The highlight was an unexpected piece that was part of the performance space. A piece entitled Measuring the Universe by Roman Ondak. It was so amazing. Roman has a guard or himself measure folks that come into the small gallery space. Marks a line on the wall and writes their name and the date. Therefore as time goes on the walls fill with the remnants of people's heights. Metaphorically it is so lovely and visually very satisfying. I am so glad to have seen it. Was a very uniting image.

Another highlight was a gorgeous painting that was almost invisible by Carol Bove. You might not even be able to see it but it is so lovely. It is titled Jane B.

It was especially nice to just let myself be free of my own work and just look. Absorb. and Be quiet.


I have already had a super busy and productive day. Yeah. But now I am feeling a bit tired. Wish I had a nap spot in my studio. Maybe I should work on that? This is an image from a piece I am sneaking up on finishing...what is it about sleeping faces that I love so much?
I swear I have 2 new ones planned where the eyes are open- be it still in bed.

I am particularly happy with the hands on this one. I actually just love embroidering C's hands it gives me a special connection to them.
But the lips need work- they look too pouty. It is nice photographing my pieces in process as it really helps me see what see receding and what is not.

Tomorrow I have to tackle hot yarn and finish my piece that I install later this week.

Monday, July 27, 2009


not feeling overly expressive today.
no work was done this weekend- just visiting and supporting some friends in a gorgeous, rural world.
no package from Joanne's with long awaited thread in it.
no inspirational insightful brainwaves- mostly just quiet ones.
no motivation to do much but get coffee and get to the MoMa.
Blank as a Chalkboard.

scribbles and lines.

Many of you most likely recognize the work of artist Cy Twombly. Twombly is a highly successful artist who emerged int he 50's and has been showing and selling strongly since then. I have been lucky enough to see a great number of the work up close and personal which I am glad for- as the work does not translate well in image- The scale and subtly of line is lost.

I have long enjoyed the scribble works of Twombly as they seem so direct and honest and immediate. He also often interweaves words and language- often indecipherable. Recognizing and honoring words as symbol.

Recently I have been being inspired by the line quality of his work. a line quality that often could be recreated in thread. The idea of a scribble thread drawing is exciting. Taking such a casual line of a sketch or scribble and painstakingly recreating it through stitch.

Here is an image of Twombly in front of his work to give you a sense of the scale and color. So lovely.
It's nice sometimes to see the tendency of thread in another medium. Twombly's work is definitely something I intend to poor my eyes over for awhile now- I sense something in it for me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

restful sleep...

Here it is. I am feeling really good about it. Now that it is all ironed and hung on the wall it seems complete.
I think that it will stay a wall piece. Generally, I actually use pillows for my "pillow" pieces. But this one seems fine as a drawing and less sculptural.
I may put just some slight padding in it for some dimension- but am not sure. What do you think?

Today we are off for some rest and good sleep ourselves as we are going to rural PA to visit our friends and there new farm. They are going through a very stressful and scary time right now in their lives and I am so excited to get there and lend my ear and my hugs. The lady part of the pair is one of my dearest friends- often someone who feels more like a little sister then simply a friend.
So I look forward to long talks on a porch in the woods.

Have a great weekend.

collecting consumerism.

In the excitement and mental preparation to go see the Song Dong piece at the MoMa on Monday, hopefully, I was delighted and intrigued by the work of artist Portia Munson. Portia is an artist who takes collecting and organizing collection to the max.

In pink project- Portia examines the cultural stigma and loading of the color pink. Collecting cheap disposable pink objects that all seem to work towards perfecting the body she strongly comments and critiques on the marketing of femininity.

The garden is on overwhelming explosion of color and pattern all created from artificial nature. A sensory experience which makes us question the artificiality of our lives and pleasures.

Green Piece: Lawn
explores showing how marketing manipulates us in its creation of all things "nature" being a sacrine green color. Regardless if it is good or bad- if it is for our use in nature it is green. The installation reminds us of the suburban lawn and its artificiality in its chemically treated over watered grass and all the accoutrement's of modern suburban lawn living.

Portia's work is eye candy but also a poignant comment and critique on our consumer culture and how we are manipulated to buy and want more.

just out of the box

Portia also creates many other works including paintings and sculptures. See more here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Started to add some paint to this piece, yet untitled, and am happy with how it is looking.
I am always so nervous to take the step of adding paint, never sure if it will work, if it will add to the work or take away.

These images were taken in process- but now it is all finished.
I am going to sit with it for a few days on the wall to decide what I think- if any changes are needed.
I do like the addition of patterned fibers in the applique process. I am experimenting with this- as I have 3 larger pieces in mind but for the sake of the insane amount of time they will take to make- I need to consider applique added in with the embroidery. What do you think?

the longing of love...

After the post I did on Susan Graham yesterday the lovely Knit-R -Done shared her own fiber work dealing with guns with me. I am oh so glad she did- because her embroideries illustrating guns are gorgeous, technically speaking, but even more moving to read her personal motivation and story behind the guns.

Knit-R is married to the military. Her husband is proudly serving in the US Military and in a way to feel close to him she has recreated the weapons he carries with him every day while away from home.

I find Knit-R's honesty toward the experience of her husband being away incredibly moving she writes:

Would I have known how much I love my husband if he hadn't been taken away from me? Would I long to know every aspect of him? Would I take him for granted? Would I push away his hands rather than lie awake at night thinking of the strength and warmth in them?

A question we should all ponder towards our loved ones. Loving them fully while they are near.

Knit-R also makes countless other truly lovely things and has a lovely way with words.
visit her here and here.

Thanks for sharing. and thank you for your own sacrifice.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

perfectly imperfect...

To all our sweet imperfections....
for some reason I have been able to recently let go of some of the pressure I feel and just be...
and realize it is perfectly imperfect this lovely life....

sweet violence.

I decided to go to the library yesterday and just spend some time gleaning information and inspiration for a few hours. Though I was greatly disappointed in the fact that literally every single book on historical embroidery was a reference book and not able to be checked out. Annoying right?
I was still able to see find a number of artists to feature here in my little corner of inspiration.

my father's gun collection

One such artist is Susan Graham who is quite known for her sugar porcelain guns, which appear to be crochet. Some of which I have seen in person at her previous gallery Mixed Greens.
Her guns made of delicate sugar and porcelain are meant to be a metaphor for the moment before violence. That moment which occurs in the space before it happens.

Susan states:

There is a moment before or just at the first awareness of an occurrence of violence where the brutal outcome can be known or imagined. It’s an instant of stillness, suspension, where nothing has yet happened but dread sets in. Some of the film loops, photographs, and sculptures I have made imply this quiet moment or else they imply possible violence but they never cross the line into action and so remain innocent. The lacy filigreed gun sculptures I have been making out of sugar or porcelain function in a similar way, as they lay prettily inert in their cases. These sculptures also embody a basic ambivalence toward guns that is particularly American, though not specific to America.

Vessel for Safekeeping-Scissors

Susan has an excellent and very thorough statement on her website if you would like to read more.

Detail from Beautiful Ohio

Being from Ohio, and an alumni from the same undergraduate school as Susan, I loved and relate to her piece Beautiful Ohio. Transferring her technique to Miniature traffic. Ohio being aplace many people drive through but few people stop to get to know.

She has created a number of other lovely works dealing with issues such as insomnia amongst other things.

You can see more of Susan's work along with her pinhole photographs, installations, and films at her website here.