Can someone please slow down the merry-go-round? :)
Tomorrow it's back into the studio to work on my freeform crochet project. I'd post photos, but it's for an INTFF challenge and cannot be shared prior to publication in the annual book from Blurb. If you're interested in prior year's books, check them out!
With the holidays, time has been speeding up, and it was busy at Wild Ruby, too. I'm feeling pretty well, other than the fatigue, but I've been making it into the studio each week to work on the fiberfall, Five Spirits. My mind is bursting with several new ideas -- one is going to be the Namibian Camel Thorn trees in felt, and then I'm toying with an idea for a view of terraced land from the air. I've got the background felted for the thorn trees, so that ne will be first.
Wow, if anyone's following me, you must have wondered if I dropped off the face of the earth. Nothing quite so dramatic, but I've been dealing with having GIST cancer and being under treatment with a medication that makes me quite fatigued. Additionally, my sister is having her own battle with a much more serious inoperable brain cancer, and I've been worried about her. In any case, neglecting the blog has been one of my coping mechanisms. I'm going to try to be better.
I've been working on a few things since last we met.
One is finishing up my mother's crazy quilt. I have completed my square and am waiting for a few others from various family members.
Second, I finished and mounted the Grand Canyon Sunset, which will be on display during the Saxonville Studios "Open Studios" event - December 1st and 2nd - from noon until 5p.
Third, in March I purchased the Wild Ruby Artisan Galleria (http://www.wildrubygalleria.com) and hired a store manager and friends to help out there. I do the business end of things, and they do all the day-to-day stuff. We sell hand-crafted goods from mostly local and USA artisans, and a small amount of fair trade items.
Fourth, I started on a fiberfall called The Five Spirits, and I will be posting photos soon of its progress. It's a 4' square frame of wood, suspended 15 feet up in my studio, with freeform crochet fibers falling from each side. Side 1 is air, Side 2 is water, Side 3 is land, and Side 4 is Fire. So what's the fifth? It's "Spirit" -- you, standing inside the fiberfall.
Open Studios is over, and I had a great time talking with all the visitors. Most had never seen "painting with fiber" before, and wanted to know all about wet- and needle-felting. The Ashland Library volunteer art curator has asked me to do an exhibition, and is booking about 14 months out -- that should give me time to get enough pieces complete, as he needs 15-16. In between visitors, I was working on my current piece, and between then and this week when I'm on vacation, I've gotten a lot accomplished.
I've added some needle-felted detail to the lower right side, with suggestions of vegetation.
I needle-felted in the rocks and cliffs so that the waterfalls are defined. Added some striated cliffs. Still more to do on this for the first fall at the top.
Filled in more of the sun-glinted water and the sand bars. Needle-felted some rocks in the river.
Worked on the waterfall and rocks as well as the elevations to the river on the lower left.
Next I need to work on the wrinkles on the upper right, to define them, and then finish up the sun rays at the top left, and the remaining detail. I'd say I'm about 60% done right now.
Looking forward to being in the studio on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday!
We're open Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5p at 1602B Concord Street in Saxonville, Framingham. Gallery 2B is open with a completely new group exhibition, and all of the artists' studios will be open, too. Plenty of parking off Watson Place. This is a free, family-friendly event!
This weekend I spent getting things organized for Open Studios next weekend (11/12 and 11/13 from noon to 5p). Unlike last year, I'm not going to stage educational stations -- it's going to be my working fiber studio, warts and all (although some of the warts are hidden behind a screen).
Hope you can come! 1602B Concord Street, Framingham, MA.
Last Saturday was more quilting of the wrinkles. This Saturday will be more quilting of the wrinkles. This project will last at least through my lifetime. My mother had a hooked rug that was her lifetime project (waiting in her attic for me to take pity upon it and try to finish it), and I think this is mine.:)
Of course, the real wrinkle is that we're expecting a hurricane on Sunday.
Oh, and don't forget to pick up a copy of the Metrowest Daily News on Sunday - there should be a short profile of me and my fiber art in there.
I got tired of putting in the background stitches, and decided to do the waterfall area in detail. So that's what I worked on today. Although you can't see it unless you click on the image to expand it, there are all little specks of gold, green, copper, and blues in the waterfall. I've started filling in the water flowing to the falls with other blues as well as the glint of gold where the sun hits the water. I needlefelted in some rocks above, and then needlefelted the striated rocks on the right of the falls with embroidery to mark the fissures in the striations. The falls end in a froth of needlefelted white wool.
I managed to get the temperature at the studio down from 100+ to a "comfortable" 85 so that I could work on Grand Canyon Sunset these past weeks. Working on felt in these temperatures is not always pleasant!
So I've been stitching and stitching and stitching the past weekends, and it's starting to look like I've actually been working on this project! :) Size 30 and 40 thread gives lovely detail, but it's tediously slow. It was much faster with the size 12 turquoise thread in the waterfall. Even so, I suspect this piece will take at least my lifetime.
My sister came down to work on her jewelry (actually to shop my beads is more like it!). It was nice to have the company. She has a show coming up in the fall, and she'll have her things at the Saxonville Studios Open Studios event - save the dates for either November 12th or 13th. This year, instead of having educational displays up, folks are going to see my "real" studio - a working studio. Hope to see yout there.
Also, one last bit of news: Julia Spitz is going to be doing a "What's Your Talent" series in August, and I will be one of the featured people. I believe it will run in the "A" section of the MetroWest Daily News. I'll post the publication date when I find out.
Between a bout with bronchitis, I've managed to start a large new piece. I've wet-felted the background, and now I'm going to have fun embellishing it.
I've got some gorgeous eggplant-colored silk yarn, and I'm going to use it to suggest the cliff-tops and mesas. I'm laying it out, and then I'll couch it onto the felted background.
Above you can see me playing with following some of the felt colorway with the eggplant silk. And below, I'm needle-felting on various yarns to highlight the top of some cliffs with vegetation on the right.
I'm thinking of suggesting a river, far below, meandering through. Will post this in progress as I work on it.
Was getting organized yesterday for some upcoming submissions. I'll be submitting for 6x6, the INTFF 2011 Challenge (for which I need to write something up describing it, and which I can't show you until after it's published!), and Peace Felt. And starting to get piles of things together for Elegance in April.
Neal worked on his ship and put together a couple of display easels for me for EinA. And Donna came by to work on some charity items for her crochet group.
I was noodling around with some roulags of wool, and had a glimmer of an idea on a possible piece using them.
So really, the studio looks like a wreck, but there is some method to my madness!
My sister's coming by to work on her jewelry (she'll be at Elegance in April with me on the 30th at St. George's in Framingham), and I'll be photographing stuff for various submissions and finishing up Moon Kissed.
I'm thinking of submitting Moon Kissed (and two others) to the Danforth Off the Wall juried show this year. It was so fantastic to be juried into last year's show and such a great experience, that I want to do it again!
An evening of artistic and cultural wonders for your review. So break out your fancy attire and be swept into the world of local artists as you meander garden paths of paintings, photography, fiber arts, stained glass, book and poetry readings. And all surrounded by soft music, samples of wine, cheese and various culinary treats to accent your journey.
Like what you see? Make a purchase and take the elegance home.
A silent auction is also available.
When: Saturday, April 30, 2011
Where: St. George Parish Hall, 74 School Street, Framingham
Time: 7:00 to 9:00 P.M.
Cost: $25 (early bird $20 - March 20 to April 10) - no tickets at the door.
Proceeds: To help defray the cost of St. George Youth Ministry team's pilgrimage to Madrid, Spain in August for World Youth Day.
Although I'm not able to post a photo of the freeform crochet piece I'm working on for the 2011 International FreeForm Guild's themed show (fairy tales, stories, myths), I have also been working on a wet-felted piece with needlefelted detail that I'm calling Moon Kissed. I finished wet-felting the background of wool and silk yesterday, and today I started on the three-dimensional needle-felted detail.
It's a tough one to take a photo of, because of the dark colors, but I hope this gives you an idea of the background and the three-dimensional tree.
I really haven't meant to ignore this blog, but life has gotten away from me. You know how it goes. Sick me. Sick Neal. Sick critters. Root canal. Neal in hospital. Neal in surgery. And then you look up and it's been weeks and weeks since you've blogged... or gotten to the studio.
Had a great time at the Danforth, showing the teen docents how to needlefelt. They had fun, and I think I've created new needlefelters.
Am also working on some items for the Elegance in April event at St. George's. My sister (with her jewelry) and I with my needlefelt will be there. Should be fun!
The primary piece in progress is for the International Free Form Guild's theme show. It's due in early May, and I can't show you what it is -- it's unveiled at the online show, and published in a book that comes out in the summer. The theme this year is Myths, Stories, and Fairy Tales. I'm having fun planning and executing my idea.
I've got this coming Monday off, so I'll be in the studio all day Monday instead of Saturday. Or perhaps in addition to Saturday -- not sure yet. But if you're in the area on Monday, stop by (10a-3p).
I was excited to find that the book, 100 Artists of New England, shipped before I thought it was going to from Amazon. E. Ashley Rooney has put together an interesting collection of emerging artists. This collection includes my bud, Lynette Haggard (p110) with her fabulous encaustic. The book is organized by each state in New England, with luscious full-color images of the artists and their works. It's a visual dessert of a book.
I spent yesterday getting the studio back to working order. Neal's going to be building a wooden ship over the winter, so I need to re-organize all the beading supplies. I've ordered shelving, and will jam it in somewhere! I figure one more day for re-organizing and I'll be able to play... err... work. :)
Open Studios was a rousing success, with a good stream of folks coming through... including almost all of my friends and family members! It was great fun, including having my sister and her jewelry there.
Now comes the job of putting away all of my displays and getting the studio back into working shape. It's been weeks and weeks since I've been able to work on my art, with the run-up to the event.
Remember, if you're in the Saxonville area on Saturdays, I'm usually there from 10a until 3p. Come on up and ring the bell.
Our Saxonville Studios Open Studios 2010 preparations are in high gear. Gallery 2B has a fresh coat of paint and a new carpet, and will soon be hung with artwork from all of the artists. Our flyer is ready to print out and distribute. Invitation postcards are ordered and will be mailed out at the end of next week. We're all spiffing up our studios in readiness for you!
I hope you all can come to this free and family-friendly event. We are a really diverse group of artists and artisans, and will have everything from oil painting, acrylics, watercolors, encaustics, silk painting, photography, jewelry, sculpture, textile and fabric art for viewing and holiday shopping. Stop in and view the art, chat with the artists, and see working artists' studios.
Saturdays are the only days I seem to be able to carve out for the studio right now, but I make them pretty inviolate. From 10a until 3p, you can find me there. Sometimes earlier. Not usually later. My friends are always welcome to come by to visit or play-- I love having company while working.
Today is a mixed kind of day. I need to put together more embellished purses for the museum store, but I also need to make a fabric skirt around my sink (it's a LONG sink-- eight feet long but four inches deep -- perfect for felting) to gussy the place up a bit for the open studio event the first weekend in November.
You are coming to the open studio November 6th or 7th, from noon to 5p, aren't you?
Good. It should be fun. The Saxonville Studio artists are hosting an event where you can meet all of the artists and see their work. Come see how we work in Saxonville's old mill complex. It's a family-friendly event, and free! More as we get closer to the date-- but please put it on your calendar now!
My sister joined me in studio Saturday, making jewelry. Lynnette came in for lunch. I like company and visitors.
I needlefelted detail on Peace Felt 2010, and it's complete for mailing out in a week or two.
Finished Pink Pockets. Pockets is turning into a theme. It's very lightly needlefelted. I like the feel of fluffy batts of wool, and coaxing pockets into it.
I did another piece in my "Times of My Life" series, Baby. Baby is a very lightly needlefelted piece. So I have Baby, 8, Hippie, 28, and Bride. I need to take photos of all of these. Hippie is the first piece of textile art-to-wear I ever made, back in the late 60's-- a pair of hip hugger bell bottom jeans that I patched and embroidered (NFS of course).
I started a needlefelt background for a rocky beach, and worked on another piece that's a birdseye view of sea and marsh that needs to be wet-felted before I needlefelt detail.
In more mundane efforts, I threw all of the loose stuff in front of the shelves into bins, so it looks a little more organized. Open Studio is coming up the first weekend of November, and the studio needs to be accessible and I need to have display space.
Counting down the days until I get back in the studio next Saturday. And vacation week follows-- up to Maine for Monday through Wednesday, and then home and studio. Need to gather together new things for the Danforth Museum Shop for the fall season.
Today was an abbreviated day at the studio, but I did finish up the Peace Felt project piece, and worked on a new landscape. Pockets is completed. And I worked on a felt purse that I'm just adding needle-felted embellishments to, for the museum store in the fall.
I'm going to try to get down one afternoon this week to dye some pashminas. I'd like to solid dye them, and then later try some shibori with bleach and see how they come out. Total experiment, but it could be fun!
I had a productive weekend in the studio, spending most of Saturday and then Sunday morning starting a few new projects. I'll post some photos soon.
1) An abstract called "Pockets" that has an under-sea feel to it that's lightly needlefelted.
2) A wet-felted abstract piece with varied shades of purple wool and silk hankies.
3) A needle-felted purple abstract piece for my Peace Felt Project recipient.
4) Several hyperbolic crochet pieces for the Smithsonian Community [Coral] Reef Project.
As I said, a productive weekend. Very satisfying.
Some other pieces from July...
Whither Blows the Wind? (Gulf Coast Summer of 2010)