Friday, July 30, 2010

wet toes.

I will happily be enjoying time with C, family, and a lake next week. So I will be leaving my computer behind to fully be present with kicking back, relaxing, and dipping my toes in the water.

I look forward to seeing you in a week. Keep your needles busy.

scars and skin.

I am not going to be able to make it to this exhibit as it closes on Sunday but it looks awesome.


Look at me here.
Thanks to Jamie for letting me know.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Did you know bout this journal: The Journal of Modern Craft?
I did not and it looks awesome- to get it in person is way out of my price range but it is open to submissions with academic merit and has a great blog with similar content as the journal itself.
Check it out.

I feel like there are a ton of great fiber and craft journals that I just do not know about...What are you favorites? I love reading intellectual work about fiber.

teaching and stitching together.

Here is a student, Maya, at my embroidery class at the Textile Arts Center. We had our last class yesterday and it was so exciting to see what my students had come up with and the places they were already going with their work. We focused the class on making work from a personal and autobiographical place... and they took the idea and ran with it.

Maya is making an incredible piece on a found linen dress, where there are "burn" holes in the back and text about political unrest in Peru on the front. The text is tiny and meticulously done, with her hand changing the color to reference the burning. Her plan is to make some pieces inspired by the stories that her father tells about his life in Peru during political unrest. I always admire political work and Maya truly has the sensibility to make some powerful stuff so I cannot wait to see what she does next and how these projects turn out.

By far my most prolific student was the super sweet and lovely poet Jill Magi. She came to the class brimming with ideas and enthusiasm and on a teachers schedule she was able to delve right into them during the month of classes. I loved her first pieces where she ran pages of text through her printer and then embroidered gorgeous areas and designs of color. As an experiment it showed a ton of potential in this process and helped teach her the stitches.

A larger project that she started, which I hope she follows to completion and hangs somewhere is using found and family linens and responding to the existing monograms. Each linen will have a line from one of her poems embroidered onto it- so in the end there will be a number of pieces that can be hung to display the entire poem. This one say his intellectual arms.

She also started to play with some simple line drawing works. Jill was so inspired as a word smith to get her work out in this new form and I honestly think she will make some great things as a result. She has played with making her poetry visual before- you can see some work at her website here.

Irene took on an ambitious project and the challenge of working on a black surface. She is making a large "heart" piece that references forms of arts like tattoos, Chicano arts, and folk art- but is making it very personal by having all the sections of the heart represent something that is meaningful to her. I wish I took a picture of her drawing so that you could see the direction the work is going in. I think that in the end it will be a bright, loving piece that reflects the warmth and love that Irene exudes.

Alex had to miss the last class so we only got to see her work just get started but it is going to be a super sweet and meaningful piece. She is doing a portrait in memoriam of her boyfriends 2 family dogs. Her illustrations look gorgeous and once the love of the stitch is built in it will be even more lovely.

But as always the best part of teaching is meeting new and interesting people introducing them to how easy and wonderful embroidery is, and sitting round stitching. I will genuinely miss this class as all the students were really fun to get to know (they taught me just as much as I taught them) and the Textile Center was very successful at attracting students that were interested in doing something less traditional and expected- which as a teacher I loved.

I cannot wait to teach my next class with them in September- -maybe you can join us?

and don't forget the deadline for the show at their space coming up.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

24 hours is not enough.

This is the back of my work that I am currently working on.

What I am realizing that I did not expect is how hard it is to focus with the baby. I thought that since my work is easy to pick up and put down that I would be able to maintain my work practice reasonably well. But what I am finding is that it is very hard to "pick up and put down" my work emotionally & mentally.

Before lil't I was able to very narrowly focus my mind on my work for hours at a time, at the time I did not think that was important to my process but as I am trying to move forward with new work with lil't around I am realizing that it is hard to make choices for my work when I am fitting them in during short naps and moments of quiet. And my pleasure with the work is decreased because the entire time that I am working I am worried that he will wake up or trying to work fast in order to try to fit as much work in that I can.

So in short, I am realizing that I have to re-visit how I am going to meld mommyhood and my art.
I feel that in reality I need blocks of time without him in order to get anything constructive done at all. So at the moment I am thinking that I am going to be a studio early bird. He likes to sleep in and so does his daddy. So the days that I do not teach in the a.m. I technically could go and fit in a few hours in the am before C has to be in full work mode... and the idea is getting more and more tempting each day.
For years I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to go to work at a coffee shop. So now maybe I will go back to that and start waking up at 6:30 or 7 a.m. to get some work done in my studio. It won't be as much as I am use to but it would easily be 8-12 hours a week- and if you focus you can get a lot done in that amount of time.

To those of you mama's or artist's with day jobs- how do you find the time to make it to your work?

a memoir

Check out the amazing work and eloquent words in my interview of artist Leslie Schomp over at Future Heirlooms via Mr. X Stitch.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


What would you choose. Some linen options for a custom text piece.

"re-enchanting the world" one pillow at a time.

Some super awesome work by the french design team, Frederique Morrel & Aaron Levin. They re-purpose old vintage tapestries into fabulous sculptures and items for your homes. The
life -size unicorn above is amazing and filled with fantasy.

But if you go for a more traditional trophy they have an array of deers.

or life size humans that you can position however you like...

OR for the more faint at heart a number of items such as poufs, footstools, trays, and more for your home.

I want, I want, I want.

The genius behind the work is their use of collage and the combination of traditional embroidery motifs with that of kitsch- such as cartoon characters and sexy bodies. This is the secret to their works success and all my favorite pieces include that.

They do not stop their wacky wonderfulness at their work but check out the amazing family portrait they had done!!! LOVE IT. I want to go to a party they host...

Their philosophy on life and art is inspiring:

They seriosuly make some cool work and their website also shows you how they construct their works which is pretty darn interesting to see and they make a super awesome outfit for their dog.

They also have a huge collection of vintage tapestries online for you to peruse so that those of that are lucky enough to be able to afford a piece by them can select the type of work you would want inluded. Or if you are like me simply to be inspired by.

Go visit peruse and desire their loveliness

Monday, July 26, 2010

bit by bit.

making just a bit of progress... a little bit each day is about all I can ask for right now.
I need to re-draw the mouth as it wasn't quite right the first time... but so far looking good.
It just is going to take me forever to finish work right now and I am attempting to simply accept that. Taking each day moment by moment. I will finish something, I will.

Hopefully you are getting great things made and if you are don't forget to submit to my upcoming call for work- the deadline is sneaking up.

the every man.

The incredible and a little off-putting stitched portraits of Scott Ellegood.

Scott creates high contrast, pixelated portraits of men on a dark black background- making the colors and face move forward in space and leaving a lot of ambiguity on the context of the male. A bit foreboding, very unspecific, and yet vulnerable and lost...

Scott states:

The embroidered portraits are an attempt to examine how we see ourselves and how we see other people.

We all approach other people with a predetermined set of historical and cultural expectations. Expectations are placed upon new acquaintances, strangers on the street, and even onto our most intimate friends.

We also create our own masks. We attempt to “be seen” in a certain way. We may wish to be noticed, or to blend into the background; whether consciously or through some internal defense mechanism...

As part of the design process, images are digitally manipulated to a point (or past a point), in which they no longer resemble the original “model". I attempt to create an “every-man", in which many different people can be seen in one image.

The surface is compromised, we can “see” what is beneath. We have a way of navigating a space, exploring an undiscovered (hidden) world. Possibly enabling a path to really seeing the truth within a person.

His erasure of the individual into an "every man" is very successful in my opinion and says something about out culture and the experience of being a human in the digital age. I do wonder why he chooses embroidery as a medium and how he began to use it.

See more of his work including one detail- he needs more as I can imagine how lush and amazing these are up close- here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

stitched lines

I am loving the stitched work of Lithuanian artist Inga Liksaite. Her works are large scale stitched works on black fabric and super beautiful.

I really love this diptych with the simple image of plants in a window and the portrait. Something about it really evokes the emotion of solitude and longing- but not loneliness

Some detail shots give you a sense of how the works are built up by simple stitching and the images develop from the closeness of the lines.

I really enjoy these 2 triptychs- the use of the white space and the landscape of the portrait. I get very excited by the above image and how the texture of the hair changes from one panel to the next. I wonder how her working process made her decide to make that choice- as it really pushes the work further.

So in love with this one with the clouds merging into the face...

I wish I knew more about her work and her process and so wish I could see this work in person.

See more of Inga's work here.