Artist & Teacher

embroidery

New Year – A New Spin

12-15-19 Gingko TreeSM

Ginkgo Tree in Late Afternoon Mid-Winter Sunlight 12/15/19

In 2019 I started playing with the time stamp idea of combining technology, textiles and mindfulness. I know this doesn’t seem like a natural fit but I want to embrace the convenience of marking a moment, catching beautiful colors, or an capturing an interesting pattern in the moment with the amazing art tool in my pocket – my phone. When I’m hiking or in the case of this glowing ginkgo tree, while I’m driving (don’t worry I stopped and parked), I can snap a few picture drop a pin on a map to mark my location and hold the experience in my phone. Later I edit and decide what needs to be moved forward into art. But the practice of stopping and marking the moment with a photo is valuable to me.

In the past I created what I called “Time stamp” fabric collage pieces experimenting with this idea of capturing a moment with tech then translating to textile. See Time Stamp #1, Time Stamp#2 and Time Stamp #3 & #4  . Those pieces where my first dip into the idea. This year I want to draw out my practice of observing more and put my inspiration in a sketch book, to better define and document the creative process from inspiration to art for myself and perhaps for others as well. This is my first in depth into this process – embracing both the accessibility of technology to capture inspiration and the more introspective process of breaking that inspiration into it’s communal parts of color, form, pattern and composition.

Notebook page GingkoSM

My sketch book pages focused on the golden Ginkgo

I hope you enjoy the process and perhaps find a way to mark the things in your daily life that take your breath away or draw you in to look close or even the transient moments of delight – what ever tools or practices help you be in those places more often are worth embracing.

 


Time Stamp #3 & #4 a series continued….

I’ve posted a couple of these little exercises in the last six months and I’m here to share two more. My goal in creating these is to mark a moment; they are little meditations or, maybe more accurately, an ode to a fleeting experience. When I’m on a walk or hike I’ll stop and take a photo of something interesting, maybe take a few note in a note book about the colors, scents and sounds. I also mark a google map with a pin to find the GPS location and with the date I try to incorporate this into the small, 11×14” fabric piece. I have an aspiration to create on each week but that hasn’t been happening… perhaps I’ll get there and you’ll be the first to see it if I do. But now with no further ado…

#3: 9/11/19 8:24am GPS 38.5388525, -122.8744546 stand at 13ft above sea level. My notes remind me it was a sunny, bright dry morning. the trail is lined with remarkably tall and fanciful thistles dry and beautiful. The California Towhee we out in abundance calling out a tic of a warning to let there family know I was walking through.

9-11-19 thistle

 

#4: 10/12/19 11:36 a hike in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Ridge Road (somehow my map pin drop failed me and I didn’t get my GPS). Hot dry day, first walking through cool redwoods then rising out on a ridge where a fire had been some years ago. This bare tree towered over the terrain, dead but teaming with life as bird fly in and out and as the wind caressed it’s smooth branches Oct 12,2019I off to NYC this week so I hope to get some Time Stamp inspiration to share with you soon.


Slow stitch: a lesson in leisure

3 primary panels

For those of you who have followed for a while you know that I’m am a wandering artist. Trying this technique and then that teaching what I learn along the way. Sometimes I lament that I’m not a Monet type, you know, painting my metaphorical lily pond every day. But I’m really more of a Picasso (not the boorish, misogynist part), just when my audience knows what they like about my work I change it. Lately I’ve been doing more stitch in my mixed media work, you’ve seen that in my most recent posts. When I first started art quilting, I was all about the machine stitch…. don’t slow me down just get it done. But increasingly I’ve been drawn back to hand stitch. A participant in a workshop gave me some feedback that having a hand stitch option for a workshop would be attractive to some people, so I set about making some examples to satisfy that request. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it would be also attractive to me, that in sitting down with needle and thread in a comfy chair with a podcast or music or friends that I would find a quiet beauty in the doing. Something different than the feeling of accomplishment at finishing quickly…. sometimes in my life I have measured my success by how quickly and efficiently I could complete a piece of work or art to my satisfaction. The act of slow stitching does not check off that box. I let my stitches be improvisational and move where they want to go, sometimes sparse and sometimes dense, complicated or simple; each section of the piece tells me what it needs. Adding this leisure and slowness to my work has added a richness, a texture and a fullness that was not achieved by the machine and by speed. The hand at work is evident, the art was clearly held, nurtured into existence.

I hope you can find your leisure in the doing. Perhaps its baking something special to bring to a friend’s house or maybe taking time to prune the roses in your yard of faded blooms, maybe even slowing down your power walk to hear the birds and watch the breeze sway in the trees.

Whatever it is be well, take care.

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PS. I’m teaching a workshop about this Fabric Cut out technique in October – contact me if you want more information.