Tuesday, June 30, 2009

whimsical wonder...

Through a sweet flickr comment I stumbled upon the very sweet and whimsical work of Karen Grenfell aka MimiLove. She combines lovely watercolor paintings with stitches and embroidery. Under her hand the two mediums flow perfectly together.

The detail and color in the work is quite amazing and inspiring. I always play with the idea of layering patterns and words into my work and just have not yet explored it...But Karen's work makes me want to try.

Mimi uses layers to build meaning in the image, in the above piece Spider, she has the main spider image, little tiny black spiders, a spider nursery rhyme, and a drawing of spider man. Love it!

She even has a little Yellowbird piece. A lovely lady after my heart.

Karen has a website, blog, etsy shop, and even more.

So leap over and see more.


It so annoys me how an apartment or home just keeps getting dirty. It, the home, is sometimes like a perpetually needy child always needing care, attention, and help. Sometimes it drives me crazy. Why can't my table sty clean and beautiful.

I am choosing to ignore the cat hair, sticky counters, unfolded clothes and escaping to my studio.
Thank goodness I can.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Back from sunny and hot florida... where we mostly did what is demonstrated above...sleep.
No actually we did a lot of swimming, eating, and sipping of cocktails too.

And it was just what I needed a long break of guilt free laziness.
I now feel recuperated from the last months busy schedule and resulting burn out and am ready and excited to get back into my studio, my work, my aggressive applying for shows and such, and as soon as my new computer is bought a thorough updating of my website and re-design of the bird here.
Though it may take a few days for me to suck it up and go spend the money on the computer...but as you can tell from the horrible image above- I am still unable to open Photoshop. Kind of a major issue for an artist & blogger.

So do not worry I will not forget to post images of line... once computer problems are fixed.
And with my new found energy I suspect some fabulous new images of work in progress soon.

To see a better image of the above embroidery check it out here.

woah, gorgeous...

Such a lame post title, I know, but...that it what I thought when I saw the work of artist Ari Tabei.
A friend from grad school just forwarded me her info and I swooned-

When I saw her use of texture, shapes, layers, and garbage... I was enthralled. I particularly love her texture and the way her garments both flow and also clog- both protect and constrict. Very complex and satisfying as a visual experience.

Ari is a performance artist, originally from Japan, who creates home and womb like garments to explore ritual, healing, her ancestral culture, and transformation.

Ari states:
I make garments and bags to create nests that are like my own home, my own world. These function as cocoons for me, to heal and nourish myself so that I regain strength to survive when I emerge from them. Interacting with the garments and bags, I invent ritualistic play that revives my childhood experiences and interprets the influences of my culture. In my current series, I use different materials and processes to explore specific meanings. With these materials, I package my body to disconnect myself from reality, but also to tie myself to it.

My interest in rituals lies in my experience, as I grew up in Japan... I am attracted to the power and beauty of rituals such as tea ceremony, kimono-wearing, and traditional Japanese wrapping techniques. They are all based on the adoration of the beautiful in everyday existence. This aesthetic teaches us purity and harmony and the mystery of the nature of human beings...As I engage myself in the performance of ritual play, my intention is to reach for understanding and transformation. In this practice of conscious engagement, I seek a truth about self and a transformative process which reveals both desperation and hope.

Desperation and hope- A theme we can all relate to, and one I hold close to my heart.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Forgive me for my next few days of absence....

I am heading to Florida tomorrow...very early
I am so looking forward to the sunshine-whom is hiding here at home,
the beach- my favorite place on the earth,
and endless rest and peace...

We will be visiting with family... but have our own house with the sister's.

Forgive me
for the poor photo and lack of lovely ones-
once I am back- a new computer is the first thing on my to do list so I can start sharing my new work and the images of line... with all of you.
I feel lacking with out them.

back to my knot of last ends to tie up before leaving.


NC 30 January 1998, One Honey bun.
DE 19 April 1996
Crab cakes with tartar sauce and cocktail sauce, fried potatoes, asparagus, rolls and butter, apple pie.

The last supper, is a project by painter Julie Green, in which she depicts the final meal requests of death row inmates. Painting a sad and moving portrait of a lonely and perhaps hopeless moment.

ID 6 January 1994
Prime rib, lobster, 2 pints of black walnut ice cream, rolls, 1/2 gallon milk, 2 liter bottle of Coca Cola .

The watery blue of the paint and the delicacy of the white plate- adds to the content of ceremony, sadness, and stillness. A graduate school colleague did the same project but documented the meals through meticulous still life drawings and prints.

AL 25 October 2006

Julia states:

This on-going body of work began in 1999 in Norman, Oklahoma. At that time, I was disturbed to find the final menus printed in the morning paper at the time of each execution. The daily Norman Transcript included Associated Press releases such as:.... He asked for a final meal of three fried chicken thighs, 10 or 15 shrimp, tater tots with ketchup, two slices of pecan pie, strawberry ice cream, honey and biscuits and a Coke.

OH 19 February 1999
Spaghetti, salad, strawberry shortcake, pop.

Because of the content, The Last Supper is challenging to produce and may be challenging to view. While painting, I think about the death penalty, the victims, the heinous crimes committed, the individuals executed, the large number of minorities on death row, and the margin for error in judicial process. I think about food, choice, and whether inmates are able to eat the food they order. Specific food requests, often regional specialties, sometimes tell where the individual lived and may provide clues on the one’s race and economic level. Inmates in some states are limited to food available in the prison kitchen. There is a great deal of red meat but few lobsters, and no sushi or Godiva chocolates. I make art as a way of processing information. I am opposed to the death penalty and hope this piece will help generate discussion that could result in positive change.

VA 27 April 2006

I am inspired by the courage in her work to look at and question something so difficult.

Monday, June 22, 2009


guilty about lack of motivation.

broken computer.
too much money.

letting go.

portraits of home

I stumbled upon this piece, Like Father, Like Son, made by Ohio Valley artist Alma Wallace Lesch. And the combined elements of simplicity in technique, collage of actual objects, circular framing, and folk art sensibilities caught me. I found the work moving and somehow very honest.

I then looked further and found a blog dedicated to Alma's work- showing some incredible figurative works using found and used clothing such as, Salt of the earth, above, and a few examples of her Mother & Child series below.

The use of real clothing shaped in human form is arresting and moving. The framing and compositional elements both simple and sophisticated.

Alma had a career with an array of work- most of which is only reproduced in black and white and the whereabouts of long lost. Information on her is not readily found but apparently she had quite a successful career and eventually taught fibers at a few Kentucky colleges.

Seems to me she had much wisdom to share. I am incredibly moved by her work and charged by what seems such an authenticity to her materials. I have played with using clothing to increase the size of my portrait embroideries and feel encouraged by her work to experiment with it.

I continue to constantly be amazed at the beauty put out in the world by such artists.

Friday, June 19, 2009

handwork from the heart...

I am so inspired by the lovely and diverse work of artist Mariska Karasz, a Hungarian artist working mostly in the late 40's and 50's. I discovered her work while searching the collection of the Museum of Art and Design. Her alphabet sampler (above) is so gorgeous- in its playful composition, many colors, and script. It makes me want do do another myself, but make it better then my last one.

I am really drawn to her more abstract embroideries and weavings, her use of color is phenomenal.
But she also created witty and playful narratives and portraits:

In Hungarian, embroidery is called K├ęzimunka, which, literally translated, means handwork. By and large, embroidery has become just that. Handwork . . . done with the hand, but not with the heart; worked without thought or emotion. And this should not be so, for the beauty of fabrics and fibre, their thinness or thickness, smoothness or coarseness; those endless varieties of color in harmony or dissonance deserve to be brought together with more than just the work of the hand. The relating of background to thread and stitches can become not just an exercise in manual skill, but an exciting expression in texture; an expression of mind, emotion and inner joy.... Mariska Karasz, 1950

Mariska sounds like an artist ahead of her time. I think she would be delighted to see all the creative ways artists are utilizing the hand made again.

Yes, Yes.

Tonight my work is included in the opening at YES Gallery and Studio in Warren, RI (near Providence)
So hopefully any of you folks out that way can stop by.
The opening is from 7-9 pm.

Otherwise the gallery is open every weekend through July.
A nice big chunk of my work is included.

Let me know if you make it.

lost & lace.

I am lost without my computer. It is shocking how reliant I have come on its tools and ways.
And since C works from home on his computers I can hardly get the chance to read my emails.
I remember when C and I first met he had to teach me to to use email...oh how I have changed.

But in reality it is just not as fun sharing my work and practice with you without sharing pictures. Regardless, my portrait piece is coming along really well. I am excited and happy about it- and I have 2 more ready to go.
Which is a good thing because my brain is a bit burnt and coming up with a new idea this month seems unlikely. So I can just sit and embroider the ideas that I have not had time to do.

Also a big sweet thanks to WhiteOwl for the sweet feature on my etsy shop.
Just so you know for one week I am offering 15% off everything- to clear the shop out for many new additions from line... & other things. Take advantage.

And you should definitely stop by White Owl to see these two sisters AMAZING and GORGEOUS necklaces made out of reclaimed lace. I have two. They are so so lovely.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

sad computer.

awesome image from here- might watch tv while folding laundry.

So sad to report, no computer for 3 days or more. I feel lost without my little electronic friend- and am incapable of posting any of my photographs until I get it back.
But in actuality I am taking it a little easy these next few days, recovering from the busyness of the last few weeks and breathing it all in.

Today spending some time on digging my house out of being neglected for a month or more. Lucky for me my apartment is only a wee 750 sq ft.
Ahh- don't ya love NY.

And I am working on a new portrait piece- it is coming along really nicely and will soon show some images.

sweet, simple lines of thread...

Read my article on the amazing work of embroidery artist Megan Ileana and her lovely visual diary here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

letting go...

image from here.

So still computer troubles, pictures soon- but...

I went to de-install line... yesterday. All that for one weekend. It always hurts a little to let go.
But nature blessed me with an oh so gorgeous day, sunlight and shadows dancing on the words I chose with care.
Reminding me to take it in.
Move slow.
Consciously remove each piece.
Smell it full of rain and sunshine.
Fold it.
Smooth it.
Place it in its pile.
It ended up being a wonderful experience to take the work down layer, by layer.

Letting the sun warm me as it had warmed my work.

Thank you for sharing this experience with me.

lost beauty.

I am beyond sad, disappointed and just plain bummed that I missed this amazing installation from the ever awe-inspiring artist Ernesto Neto. With the 3 major projects in front of me this past month I have not been aware of anything going on in the art world at all - and with sadness I missed this, by one day!

I have long loved Neto's work- when I was an eighteen year old Freshman at Ohio State he did a womb-like piece at the Wexner Center and I was incredibly moved by the safe and beautiful space he created with such intense fragility- yet allowed people to enter and affect it none the less.

The piece at the Armory in NY was a large scale womb structure, huge, with chairs, pools of balls, giant pods of spices, and oh the light.

I have long wished to create spaces in which you enter them in the way you enter Neto's work, but have never been able to remove myself from the narrative of my work to do it. But someday I hope I can merge my desire for narrative and my fascination with safe and welcoming spaces.

Neto's work is a profound inspiration and I am truly bummed that I missed out on experiencing it in person. At least we have pictures.
Read the NY times article here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

sunshine on the line.

So my computer is still very sad. So I cannot upload the really lovely photographs that I took of my piece or the other great pieces from Figment yet. I am going to go to the computer doctor tomorrow and hopefully they will have a wonderful remedy that is not too expensive.

Regardless- I felt the work was a great success. I loved watching people interact with the work both in a playful nature as well as truly spending time reading the words and emotion of the work. And finally on Sunday it was gorgeous and sunny and I got some great shots of the sun on the linens and the wind blowing them. Just how I really had imagined the work.

I appreciate all your encouragement and feedback during the process of the piece and am excited about the directions it might take me. I have ideas on how to bring it into a gallery wall on a smaller scale... and hope to see it re-installed new again someday.

I promise, promise good, gorgeous pictures soon.