Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Well, I'm thinking this is supposed to be the first Tuesday we post thoughts, responses, whatever, to Ted Orland's "The View from the Studio Door." Got the book over the weekend, read through the intro and the first chapter. Like "Art and Fear," I'm finding that I need to read it more than once-
I can't separate my training as a clinical therapist from my reactions to what Ted Orland writes. Initially, some seems so obvious to me- we create (that is what artmaking is, right- creation)because we are more than instinctive beings, like his cat Feather. Feather doesn't theorize about his world, he responds based on genetic programming and learned experiences. He certainly doesn't waste any time contemplating his navel, or other uniquely human activities.
At the risk of flirting with topics that raise some folks' hackles, I was struck by the reference to our human, fallen condition- although he puts it in different terms, asking if our "conscious separation of the world into self and not-self makes it impossible for us immerse ourselves in the totality of experince, and so we try to recapture that totality through our art." My take- creation in the largest sense is a Divine activity- and wasn't that what the conversation between Eve and the snake in the garden was all about, becoming like God? And, wasn't the beginning of "self-consciousness" in the garden? Yes, I think creation in the divine sense is why we make art- as well as resolving issues, emotional release, giving form to our experiences, and making statements about what is important to us. Eleven years in social work has certainly taught me that. And, making art beats the heck out of talk therapy!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

It has been a busy two weeks,what with high school graduation and an all too short visit from my brother. I've been relaxing this weekend- not much incentive to go outside, the temperature dropped thirty degrees this weekend and we've seen rain yesterday and today. Look outside our windows, and the snow line isn't far above us. Oh, well, good excuse to stay in the studio.

But, first, pictures of my daughter the graduate!!

And during the ceremony, getting her diploma. . .

The last of my children to graduate!! We are proud of her, she has come a long way and dealt with some challenges over the past year with our move. We love you, Shannon!!

I have actually done some quilty-type work the past two weeks. I finished my May journal quilt, and have them all emailed off to Houston- a week early. I was rather pleased at my solution to the problem posed by the mess-up on the sunprinting. But, you'll have to wait until November to see it!

I also got my manatee sliced quilt layered and pin basted, and the intial grid quilting done this weekend.

This is a project started two and a half years ago, with quilting friends spread all over Utah- from Salt Lake to Moab. We each did a piece of the picture which I chose- without seeing what anyone else was doing. I think the result is interesting, and hope to meld all these "visions" together with the quilting. If I get it done this month, I may enter it in the Springville Quilt Show- or, it may wait for all the others and get entered in the state quilt guild show next October. We'll see.

And, I've made up my mind to enter the QA abstract quilt challenge. I have til September, which gives me plenty of time. I've been studying art compostion- both on my own, and in Marilyn Belford's QU class- although I haven't given that the time it deserves, I do have the materials for future reference. But, I've determined that setting deadlines and goals for myself does make a difference.

And, finally, I'm joining an online discussion of "The View From the Studio Door." I've finished "Art and Fear", am re-reading it- so thought this would be a good opportunity to share thoughts about the reading.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

It has been a beautiful, sunny and warm weekend- the kind that tells me we are going right to summer, no long springtime here. We had our granddaughter Bentlee with us Friday afternoon until this morning, and she and I did some dyeing- a swimsuit and sundress for her, a tank top for me. Here she is proudly modeling the swimsuit--

I tied off a heart with stitching, bound it with rubber bands, and dyed the heart in a deep shade of red, the rest of the suit in a slightly lighter shade. Both of us were pleased with the result.
Of course, she had to try out the new suit in water- so grandpa rigged up a homemade slip and slide on the hill by the basketball court behind our home. Both Bentlee and Jaden had a ball with it!!

I've also managed to try some fabric painting- now that it's warmer, I've been wanting to try sunprinting again. I have an idea in my head, and after five tries I still don't have it right!! I did get one piece that I really like, the dandelion heads show up like little ghosts, just like I wanted. When I went to heat-set the paints, however-- argh!! I'd laid it on a piece of insulation foamboard in the sun- and the printing on the board showed up on the bottom of the piece---
I have four panels with pretty much the same colors on them. Only this one got the dandelion heads like I wanted. So, I think I will be cutting them up, and making a patchwork collage. I love the colors, I have really been in a lime green and yellow mood. (My tank top was done in lime green, twisted pattern with lots of white showing- very springy.) Hopefully I will be able to come up with something I like for my May JQ, I only have a week left before I have to send pictures to Houston. I did manage to finish my April JQ today- nature based again, and I really like how it came out.
The next week will be busy. Shannon walks for her high school graduation on May 23, and my brother Paul will be coming up from St. George for that. Then the week after Memorial Day my friend Judy will be here to run the Salt Lake marathon. As to that one, all I can say is better her than me.

Monday, May 08, 2006


I decided to try another file format for the picture I've been trying to download all weekend- saved it as a .jpg rather than the .tiff I keep a lot of my pictures in. And, it worked!!
So, yes, the inspiration for my latest JQ is a lowly dandelion. I found them all over the golf course, on the fairways, in the rough- took quite a few pictures. And, I'm pleased with the results so far. I think I'll do another one- after all, dandelions do change form over the course of spring and summer.
And, for other inspiration- there is the ever-present, always around sagebrush of the desert southwest. More to come--

Saturday, May 06, 2006

It's been almost two weeks since I posted- a lot going on.

First, the exciting news- my oldest son has finally decided to leave the singles scene. I was surprised at the depth of my reaction- I am ecstatically happy!! I'd known he was seeing someone, but he never said much- so the news did come as a bit of a surprise. And, thankfully, it's not a spur of the moment fling- they've known each other three years. So my son continues to show us what a wonderful adult he's become.
And, she will add new spice to our family, she is from Colombia. I'm hoping I can resurrect my high school Spanish to at least some degree! I'm also on a quest to learn about the cultures of Colombia, I am woefully ignorant outside the obvious- at this point, coffee, Shakira, and the nasty drug business. I have been cruising the internet in spare moments to see what I can find about the arts and culture. I want to make them a wall quilt, hopefully incorporating fabric from Colombia. We'll see what I'm able to learn, I've also posted a question to the QA list.
As for the fiber work- I have been thinking a lot about how I want to approach this year's JQ. I've only done the first two, and will now be playing catchup to get them to Karey in time. Last year I focused on techniques- this year I want to work more from a theme, so will be doing a series of nature based quilt pages. I've noticed that I'm more observant since I started blogging- and I'm also trying to use those same observations to inform my JQ's. In an effort to look beyond the obvious, I won't be doing flowers, as much as I love them- but looking to those more subtle manifestations of the natural world around me and the changing seasons. I wanted to post a picture of what inspired my next Journal Quilt, but I've been trying to add the photo since yesterday morning with no luck. Hopefully tech support will be able to figure it out soon, I've not had this trouble before.
And, next post I'll need to be talking about what I've read in "Art and Fear." Heard so much about it on the QA list that I had to get it.