Friday, December 30, 2011


Wishing you a Happy New Year and lots of fun this holiday weekend...

Full of colors, and sparkles, and sounds....

Perhaps you will have some booze, have a toast with me...

but not too much or you might end up like her, ack.

party here.

Instead be the life of the party.

Ringing in the new year with warmth and joy.

Hopefully spending a little extra time in bed on New years day.

But hoping us all the gift of being in a happy place for 2012.


Wishing you the best!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

so good.

I know I have talked about her before but sometimes you just need to do it again and again and again. I seriously LOVE the panels pieces of Elana Herzog. Somehow I ended up on her website again and the drool started to drip out of my mouth. To me they are that lovely "drool worthy."

I am particulary into her white ones as I myself am doing a lot of white on white stuff.

Seriously something about how she abstracts the rugs and blankets into these gorgeous patterns and color fields while walking the line of keeping them as recognizable domestic objects just gets me everytime. She ends up mixing every thing I love about modern painting and textiles together into this AWESOME soup of GORGEOUS. But gorgeous in this wonderful way of falling apart.

I must say I do prefer her older works over her most recent but I would imagine as an artist she is at a place of pushing and changing her practice to figure out were it goes next. You can only do the same thing so much.

I hope she has some exhibits soon as I would love to see some more work in person. Go drool here.

re-connect to the self....

Yesterday I was lucky enough to have Elizabeth of Squam Workshops over for tea. First of all how happy am I that I now have an apartment that is large and comfortable enough to have people over for tea! But I digress Elizabeth was an incredibly warm woman who is passionate about the mission of Squam workshops. If you do not know of Squam you should.

I am not sure how I found out about them but when I saw that
a. they were at Squam in New Hampshire a truly magical place
b. The talented and fabulous Rebecca Ringquist and Cal Patch were amongst there esteemed teachers
c. they were all about inspiring creativity in everyone and building community to boot!

So sounds like my kind of place.

Now Elizabeth and her team have expanded into holding workshops in multiple locations and manage a whole team of incredible creatives from artists, to writers, to chefs, to yogis.

There mission states this:
We teach, inspire and heal. Our community receives encouragement, training, inspiration and experience that expands their creative spirit. We help dissolve restrictions and limitations on the definition of what it means to be an artist. We celebrate joy, fun, pleasure, beauty and the natural world.

Now that is a mission that I can get behind. I have loved that most in my own teaching- that I can help to open a student up to their untapped potential as a creative being and the fact that these special workshops do just that is wonderful.

Looking at the images and talking to Elizabeth makes me think it is kind of like a Kripalu of creativity. Kripalu is an amazing yoga retreat center that I use to go to every year (when I had the $$.) I would go to refresh and become re-inspired about my practice and my inner self. The wholesome food, gorgeous environment, and people I met would leave me feeling totally new. Squam seems to me like a place to refresh and renew all your creative juices, even if you didn't know you had them....

Go see their beautiful newly vamped website, and maybe even sign up for a workshop.

in the studio...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lives They Lived

Anyone that reads this here blog knows that I am a public radio addict. My favorite show being this one.

So I was intrigued to see that Ira Glass of This American Life was a guest editor for the NY Times Magazine's annual ‘‘Lives They Lived" issue.

His section just like his radio show will warm your heart, make you cry, and make you remember that life is filled with ups and downs but with the right mindset they all have their own kind of beauty.
The issue is on newstands now but you can also see it in its entirety here. Worth a look when you have a little chunk of reading time and a good cup of tea.

Thread Reviews-Anna Torma

Read my article on Hungarian born artist Anna Torma over here at Thread Reviews....

a sneak peak is a quote from a recent article on her work:

"The art, the art history and my life itself are not disconnected. My work is a tapestry and a mosaic of my life ... The story is my life and how it manifests on different pieces of fabric or in a drawing. The continuity of the process makes you happy. It really makes you happy to get up in the morning with a clear head, you can think what needs to be done because it's a meaningful activity for the day. That's exciting... You try to live your life richly - not get into trends or get caught up in the art world that can be restrictive at times - and the art comes from that life."


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

full of love.

I hope your weekend and holiday, if you celebrate, was full of love and warmth. Ours was very mellow since we opted not to travel and be with family. But it was very nice and gave us all time to settle in even more into our new place and for me to get work done. I ended up applying for a few residencies as I would love to do one either this winter or spring, It is nice to get out of my own space at least once a year, and now with my studio in my house I think it will be even more beneficial. With the kiddo in tow there are not many to apply to but at the same time more then you would think. Small residencies are pretty accommodating and/or ones with private living quarters. I have been meaning to make a list of them for all you readers to use as a resource.

I also had a meeting and scheduled my first workshops here. They will happen in the Spring. I am looking forward to teaching to the new community here and getting involved with other teachers. But I am also very much looking forward to teaching my workshop in Brooklyn at the end of January.

Otherwise I worked, worked, worked. I got a ton of stitching done but now have run out of black thread so am on hold. I think I will need to make a thread run later today.

Until then I am working on a 2nd piece. There is always something to do.

letters, maps, and wreaths, oh my!

I recently came to the work of artist Gina Dawson. She works with both paper and the stitch often being a little tongue and cheek but simultaneously creating a form of portrait.

Her work is quite conceptual and I always love conceptual with traditional medium. Disappointingly her website is a very simple blog that does not have very much info, enough pictures, or big enough pictures. Her work is really all about the details so it is frustrating to me as a online viewer to not really get any of the details. Medium is also generally not mentioned.

The first work I saw was her Hollywood map a highly detailed cross stitch map of Hollywood recording the spots where celebrities reside or have resided.

I found it to be clever and hilarious that she also stitched the receipts from Blockbuster that represent the movies she watched while working on the piece. It made me think of the awesome work by my friend Amanda Tiller.

She also did an art universe map, I would love to read all the names of the people at the center of the universe.

Her most recent work in stitch are the recreations of her "rejection letters" I always find it interesting when artists glean from these for their work. Orly Cogan did a series of pillows that dealt with rejection and Kate Kretz did a series on "Art World Truths" that has a similar resonance.

Orly Cogan

Gina inspired by the language of the rejection letters then went on to make her "Wreaths."

funeral wreaths with text pulled from my personal rejection letters. I created these pieces after stitching some of my rejection letters and becoming fascinated with the language used to let someone down. Both the funeral wreath and the rejection letter are objects of consolation that can't possibly make up for the loss. This work is still in progress.

I think the wreaths are made from paper and they look like they are pretty incredible in their detail and I would love to see detail shots of the wreaths and the selection of words on them. I was surprised to see how small they were, as I thought they were life size on first impression. I would be interested to see them in person and experience them on a small scale.

I like Gina's way of thinking a lot and would be curious as to what she is focused on now. Since she is Brooklyn based maybe I will have the chance to see her work in an exhibit someday. See more of her work here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

mystery, magic, and then loss.

I had my first "I love having my studio in my house" moment last night. One of the many changes we made when we moved to our new house was get rid of cable- so we essentially have the basic, basic, basic channels. This was mainly done to curb my addiction to terrible Bravo reality shows and the desire and drool that occurs from watching HGTV. So anyway... I was in the mood for some tv and there was nothing on and I saw a show called The Woodmans, I thought hmm what could that be a documentary on "woods men?" So I switched to the channel and to my delight it was a documentary on the family and the life of the incredibly magical photographer Francesca Woodman.

If you do not know Francesca's work she made incredibly beautiful, surreal, and evocative images, mostly self portraits. I always felt that they were investigations of identity. But in truth it is somewhat unknown. She was working in the early 80's but her work still looks completely fresh and contemporary today.

If you look at much of today's fashion photographers or many photo majors work you can see that her work has permeated the photographic mind. Sadly she took her own life and all we are left with is her images.

This was written about her work:
These are psychological portraits: not the visual records of daily existence but episodes in which the expressive capability of the artist's imagination is intertwined with the richness and intimacy of her own life. Yes, we know, it takes a great effort to become an angel, and yet her pictures are still fluttering somewhere around our minds.

But in watching this documentary I of course started to think about my own work and when I turned the t.v off. I sat in my studio, looked around, touched things, rifled through some old drawings, some current photographs, wrote myself a note, and went to bed way too late. But I felt so lucky that after seeing the work of this amazing and unusual artist I got to walk right into my own studio and reflect.

Sorry to have written about 2 photographer in a row but obviously this is what my mind is open to this week and for all of us sometimes it is good to look at something different and out of our pattern. See more of Francesca's haunting and moving work here. You can see her work in person at the SFMOMA.

the magic of words...

My sister sent me this link to the amazing account of mysterious paper sculptures being left in esteemed places that collect and preserve the art of writing. 10 sculptures slowly and mysteriously appeared as "gifts" to the institutions- all with magical little notes.

This ones note read:
For @scotstorycenter – A gift in support of libraries, books, works, ideas….. Once upon a time there was a book and in the book was a nest and in the nest was an egg and in the egg was a dragon and in the dragon was a story…..

Go here to read the article and see all the works of art and share in the magic. I promise it will make you smile.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I am computered out!!! With all the me sending emails and questions to other folks for my research and me sending images and answers to them for their research, to applying for teaching positions, to corresponding about said teaching positions, to posting on this here blog, to normal email insanity. I am so sick of my computer, though I love it. SO I think for today this is it. I am going on a strike. OFF LINE.

Ok realistically this will last like one hour. But the above work by Jean Shin titled TEXTile and done in collaboration with the Fabric Workshop & Museum is awesome. Read about it here.