Saturday, July 23, 2016

Stitching life

I began work on a new small piece as I often do by thinking about a technique I wanted to explore a bit further. I had been experimenting with lines of stitching of varying value and thickness to suggest depth and thought they might work in a landscape using some of the cheesecloth I had dyed this year. So I began securing one side of the cheesecloth with machine stitching, which also stabilized the quilt sandwich I was working on.

But then emergency rescue vehicles appeared on our street and rushed away with a neighbor who was having a massive heart attack. I spoke with his wife to see if she needed any help and she was her usual calm, take-one-thing-at-a-time self, worried but handling the situation. That evening when she returned from the hospital, I went over to help her put some things away in the yard and, after a few minutes, it was evident that her calm exterior was only an exterior.

And when I returned to my little landscape the next day, the horizon line no longer separated up from down but inner from outer.
It ended up being a rather minimalist piece and now bears the title Psyche-scape. It can of course, as all abstract pieces can, move in many directions, but that was the main theme that generated it. It will hang in the Newburyport Art Association's 8 x 8 Exhibit and is therefore wrapped around an 8 x 8" wrapped canvas, a requirement for the show.

Its theme is an obvious truism--that we often present a face to the world that has little to do with what we are experiencing or have experienced. It is something I have seen in myself again and again, but it is so easy to forget when we are looking at another person. Perhaps now that I have felt it in my fingers, I will be more likely to remember.

There is more fiber art to explore at Off the Wall Fridays, where I am linking this.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


I have a website! Well, I have unofficially had a website for a while that my husband was building from scratch, which meant that not only did I have to find the time to make decisions, prepare photos, write text, but he had to find the time to manipulate them into the site. Consequently, the website had been under construction for years. A couple of weeks ago a great salesman from my website hosting company called and successfully sold me their website building services. For reasons too complicated to list, I ended up with a deadline of ten days to get a reasonable version of my website up and running. Deadlines can undercut the enjoyment of lots of other things in your life but they also mean that you get something accomplished--especially if it's something you do not find particularly fun.

Choosing how I use my time has been a constant effort for me. Since Tom and I both no longer have a work schedule determined by a larger entity, each week must be given some attention. Sometimes I just tumble through, which can be a wild success, or more often, becomes a succession of scheduling repairmen, spending too much time on Facebook/email, making shopping trips--ending in a depressing feeling that I am dribbling away my life.

To market or to create--that seems to be an easy question to answer. When I finally sit down to try to come up with some appearance of control over this finite quantity of time allotted me, uninterrupted time in my studio is way up on the list and sitting at a computer creating a website is way down near the bottom, almost as far down as cleaning closets. But yet a website, like a clean closet, has a certain usefulness, particularly when I enter a show that expects all its artists to have websites or when someone expresses an interest in buying one of my pieces but lives too far to visit in person. And, like a blog, a website provides an opportunity to reflect on work I have done and perhaps even may inspire a new path to take.

And so I now have an official The name comes from the nickname my mother bestowed on me that seemed to fit with the crazy nature of some of my experimentations and the nature of the muse that orchestrates this passion of mine. Already it needs to be updated since several newer pieces are not on the site yet, but that will happen another day. No closets have been cleaned but I did manage enough time in the studio to finish another piece. More on that soon. And I even got a picture of (and identified--one of my priorities this summer)  an eastern pondhawk dragonfly--an eight-winged one!

And if you are still reading, thanks for the company!