Friday, February 26, 2010

archiving life...

This is a bit of an anti-climactic post as there is very little online info on the weaver and embroidery artist Marjorie Durko Puryear . But there definitely needs to be more.

Marjorie creates highly detailed and very lovely diaristic weaving, that layer text and image to remind us all of our past, our history making, our family, and in general the archive of our lives.

I wish so wish I could see more images and larger images of Marjorie's work but this teaser will have to do for now.

But next week I have 2 artists already lined up to feature that I know will blow your hand knit socks off. What am I talking about hand knit socks. I wish, I always wanted a pair.


a perfect sentiment for the sweetest of linens. And quite a bit of what I am feeling lately.
My cup is overflowing with blessing and though at times I am very overwhelmed with my schedule and everything that is going on I need to remind myself that in the end I am so very blessed.

I never thought I would be able to be at this point in my life working full time in my studio, or that I would ever find a sun filled studio that I could afford in NY. But here I am. And though my life is about to change dramatically I am trying to remember that this venture into mommy-hood is simply a new adventure and will no doubt enrich my studio practice, my identity, and my life.

And if I really think about it most of my favorite artists are mothers themselves and they managed to balance it and become the inspirational women that they have become so I have hope... and indeed I do hope.

Have a blessed weekend:)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

gray thread...

There has been no yellow and just gray in the NY sky today. I awoke to a flurry of snow and had to trek into Manhattan in the slushy snow. And to my 8 month pregnant body it was exhausting!
Though I did get the pleasure of seeing a lovely Deborah Turbeville exhibit. But the trek left me super tired and grumpy so I trekked home instead of to the studio.

I think my body and mind needed the rest since I know my next 2 weekends are hectic. But I was disappointed as my floating face piece has been moving along really well and I am excited to continue working on it and to get my other piece started soon too.

But I may just finally have to accept that I am super pregnant and that I may not be able to keep up my usual crazy schedule for awhile...
Which terrifies me. I will be honest that I am so afraid of not being able to maintain the commitment to my studio practice once this little one arrives and how I will balance the studio and the babe. But my hopes are high and we will see.
How do you artist mama's out there do it?

image from here.

the muse in stitch...

Wowza!! is all I can conjure up to introduce the amazing embroidery work of Marilyn Pappas. I wonder how she has eluded me for so long. But I am so excited that she will also be in the exhibit Designing Thread at Mt. Ida College,

Marilyn creates extremely detailed large scale embroidered drawings inspired by Greek statues and sculpture.

The hand detail of her work is amazing and I can only imagine the time that must go into each and every piece. I am highly impressed by her skill level and the obvious dedication to her studio practice that is evident in her work.

She has explored conceptual threads such as western concepts of beauty throughout time...

the thread that connects modern and ancient times...

and the dignity of the destroyed.

Marilyn's work is truly beautiful, I especially enjoy when she allows the fabric to hang and pile organically onto the floor- and seeing such a large body of work of such ambitious scale inspires me in my pursuit of my life size sleepers series.

To see more of Marilyn's work check out her website or make a trip to Designing Thread at the end of March. I doubt I will be able to make it to the opening since I will be only 2 weeks from my due date but... I will definitely be trying to make it to the exhibit before it closes to see some of these amazing artists works up close and in person.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

beautiful losers...

While working in the studio today I watched the documentary Beautiful Losers. I highly recommend this documentary about a handful of artists working in the early 90's who challenged the norm and created a new direction for the art world simply by being themselves. It features such inspiring artists as Margaret Killgallen, Barry McGee, and Geoff Mkfetridge amongst there equally talented peers who explore graffiti and street culture as art.

You can watch it via netflix. So worth the watch.

And if you have the patience for it to download this short film made for levis is super beautiful.
Back to regular features tomorrow.


I have been totally absorbed with my studio work today. Stitching strands of hair and just loving the absorption of the work. Not really in a thinking set of mind just wanting to let my fingers go.
I have almost half the hair sewn on and hopefully by the end of the week will be 3/4 done. It has gone quicker than expected.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

oversize samplers

I am loving the samplers, often over sized, by the artist Bren Ahearn. Bren will have one of his works in the exhibit Designing Thread at Mt. Ida College an exhibit that I am also participating in.

Bren makes work that appears as a traditional sampler but is usually quite subversive in its quotation by questioning and challenging the ideas of masculinity.

In addition he has also made some very beautiful embroideries of male wrestlers sparring.

Stripping the images down to a simple contour drawing on a thin organza or similar material. You are left with the heaping bodies laying a top of one another.

His older work often is a bit tongue and cheek in there critique and concept but just as intriguing.

His statement mentions his closet craft practices:

Growing up as the son of a craft-loving English teacher, I spent many hours pursuing crafts and playing Scrabble. As I grew older, I believed that in order to fit in with my peers, I had to be in the closet about my crafting, eventually stopping my creative activities altogether. My Scrabble playing, however, continued and turned into a life-long love of the study of language that intersects with my current art practice...

In 1996, I signed up for a textiles class, thereby reawakening my dormant artistic side. I am attracted to textiles because textiles are like language – both are subtle, yet powerful. Also, both can protect, expose, reveal social position, and show affiliation. I later learned that the words textile and text are derived from the same root, and several of my earlier pieces are focused on this text-textile connection.

See more of his work here.

more little works...

some new small works up at my etsy site and a few more to be added tomorrow. It has been nice working on small stuff at home and such and having these more ambitious projects in the studio.
But I need to come up with another smaller or text piece to work on at home as I have kind of gotten caught up on all the ones that I wanted to do...

I might go back to some more simple autobiographical ones, since I am starting to hit the freak out phase of OMG I am about to have a baby.

Today still working on the hair of my floating face...but am starting to get excited.

Very excited to announce that 2 of my works will be in this super awesome exhibit in Massachusetts- look at the talent I will be showing with.

Monday, February 22, 2010

floating in thread...

Since I am working on my self portrait float, for an under the water themed exhibit I thought the work of Katie Park was perfect for my feature today. Plus I am feeling a bit exhausted and need to just feature simple lovely embroidery work without needing to talk much conceptual talk.

Katie submitted her work to me awhile back and I really enjoy her illustrative style and use of negative space in her thread drawings.

Katie says:
My family has a long history of recording personal experience through traditional fiber techniques, including embroidery and knitting. Through my current work, I seek to continue this tradition by using these crafts in a new and modern way. I embrace the absurd, and use it metaphorically to journal my own life, sometimes seeking to find humor in even the most heartbreaking situations.

Katie also makes super awesome little knit plushies.

My favorite has to be this adorable little abominable snow man. You can see many more of her plushies at her etsy shop here.
Or follow her blog here.

Future Heirlooms

In case you missed the announcement over at the fabulous Mr X Stitch I am very excited to announce that starting March 10- I will be writing a feature with this super awesome embroidery blog. I was delighted to be invited to join the team of Mr X Stitch and am very excited about my twice a month segment:

Each feature will be an interview with a contemporary embroidery artist. I am so excited to start to be able to share and celebrate these artists and their work through their own words. Allowing us to get a behind the scenes view of their process and work.
I already have about 6-8 phenomenal artists lined up that will pack quite a punch so look forward to it in March.

and a thanks to C&B for including me here and for the good karma here.

hair floating out...

as my belly grows my ability to focus diminishes. So I am glad that I got a good start on cutting out the hair for this piece. Today I am getting caught up on submissions and open calls but tomorrow I will get back to cutting and then to the applique. It is going to be a bear. As there are LOTS of hair strands in order to get the texture that I want.

Glad I have almost 2 months to get this done.

What do you think?

Friday, February 19, 2010

whimsy in a heart.

I am loving the whimsy of Karen Lederer's installations. Perfect for a valentine week.

I love how she uses found mass produced items of saccharine love and sweetness to make fun and dynamic installations. They are so playful and sweet and yet a little tiny bit horrific.

I would love to fall upon a gallery filled with her collections, drawings, and sweet hearts.

Her work reminds me a bit of my friend Kim Hennessey- their work is actually quite different but how they approach their material and installation speak well to each other.

See more of Karen's work here.


My show was extended until March 2, yeah!!!, So if you have the chance please check it out.
All details here.

floating face...

Here is the drawing of my newest portrait I am working on the hair and trying to work it out. I am trying to have some whimsy in it and add some wacky colors to the hair but I am not sure how it is going. I am on the fence of how I feel about it.
But we will see. I will put some pictures up next week to get your feedback.

In general I am really happy with the drawing and hope it turns out well.
Back to work.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

color and crochet

Check out my article on Portuguese artist, Joana Vasconcelos, right here.

home alone...

I so enjoyed the luxury of 2 days in my apartment alone. Since C works form home it is rare that I get time all by myself. So I took the last 2 days to get a break from the studio and the computer, something my brain needed, and get some major organizing and paperwork done all with crappy tv blaring in the background. It was perfect.

And just as I hoped I now feel excited and ready to be in my studio again. I finished 3 pieces this week from big, to medium, to tiny.
The bullshit piece you see above is heading off next week to U-turn gallery in Cincinnati for exhibition next month and April. I added some falling petals from 2 of the flowers and in white thread added the text he loves me, he love me not.... she loves me, she loves me not. It is very subtle and almost reads simply as a texture. But then you get close and read it....What do you think?

Now I am getting started on a smaller scale portrait piece for exhibit in May. I am excited to get started as the drawing looks awesome. I will share pictures tomorrow.