Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fabric Annex Redux

Several years ago I wrote about my Fabric Annex. When I made the move away from commercial fabrics, I stored them in an inconvenient location. In order to retrieve any fabric, which I have been using for backings, I have to crawl on my hands and knees (ouch) underneath and around the model train foundation. And I'm running out of the larger pieces which means there is a considerable amount of piecing necessary in order to get a backing large enough. Needless to say, this has all gotten quite tiresome.

I could use the fabric I have already dyed, but it's a very tightly woven broadcloth and it's difficult enough to sew through one layer of it. Making it the back layer also would make it impossible to do any hand work at all. Not that I do all that much, but sometimes I like putting some big stitches in by hand.

Well, duh, why not get some looser woven fabric and dye that for the backing? I ordered 50 meters yesterday from Testfabrics. I got the 400M, their cotton print cloth. And since they're so close, it showed up today on my doorstep and I've already cut off two large pieces and dyed them for backs for the current pieces. They're in the washer now.

So, timewise, it's difficult to say which is more efficient. Actually, getting fabric from the annex probably takes less time. But crawling around on a hard wood floor is becoming less and less appealing as my knees get older and older. Probably should send one of my grandchildren up there to pull fabric. I'm sure they would love the little cubby hole.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More results

People are talking about their recent acceptances to Art Quilts Elements (formerly Art Quilts at the Sedgwick). I entered this show but unfortunately it seems I didn't get in, since I haven't heard anything. But I did send in my registration for the joint SDA/SAQA show that will be held during the run of AQ Elements, so I will be able to see not only this show, but several others that will be on at the same time.

This past weekend was the Beaux Art Fair, a local event to benefit the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Last year I sold a piece in this show, but not this year. It's a great event, with a champagne preview party that's catered with lots of wonderful food, including caviar. And unlike many other charity events that sell artists' works, this one splits the proceeds 50-50 with the artist.

And since it often seems that events run in threes, I expect my rejection from CraftForms to arrive any day now also. Notifications were supposed to go out October 17; maybe they have already sent the acceptances.

I finished a new piece last week. It's the one I started last May but had to put aside because of all the other stuff that has happened over the summer. I do my own photography, which is incredibly fiddle-some. I do it indoors with tungsten photoflood lights. I know that lots of people do it outdoors, but there is not a level place in my yard in which to hang a quilt. Plus there also aren't any places that are totally shade-free. I have a spare bedroom all set up with a hanging apparatus. And in spite of the digital revolution, I also shoot slides. I know it's possible to make slides from digital, but for less money I can shoot and process an entire roll of 36 slides. It was a shock to send off the processing mailer - with the new postage rules the mailer is now considered a package because of its thickness and it cost $1.13 to send. Used to only cost 54 cents. Ouch. And sending it off to be processed will take up to 2 or even 3 weeks. Doesn't work for last minute stuff. Except nothing works for last minute stuff anymore, even the local place takes 4 or 5 days because they send them out.

I wonder how long slides will continue as a viable process... with Kodak no longer making projectors, there soon won't be a way to view them. I wonder if projectors will become like thermofax machines - hot properties on eBay for those who really want them.

This is a detail shot of the new work. It's red.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Interesting experiences

First off, thanks to all who expressed support and understanding for the situation with my Mother. The good news is that she is recovering and is currently in the nursing home. From there she will go to assisted living. She has decided to give up her independent living apartment, which was a big and difficult decision. I will be going out to Chicago again at the end of the month to help with the moving process.

Yesterday's interesting experience was attending a live performance of The Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. The show played at The Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore, a restored vaudeville palace that opened around 1915. It's a wonderful old place with all kinds of gilded decorations. We also have season tickets to the Broadway across America shows, but this was a different kind of audience. Lots of chit chatting, clapping, singing along, and audience participation. Carole King was the guest singer and she has the most wonderful voice. We had lots of fun.

Today's interesting experience was a studio visit from the group from Maryland Art Place. I wrote about being accepted for this show last month. I showed them work that I had submitted for the jurying process and talked about my processes. Then I took them down into my studio and showed them examples of the different kinds of surface design that I use and they were most interested. The critic told me he thought I should be entering fine art shows, painting and such like, because the processes I use are the same as what painters are doing. Very nice words, indeed.

I haven't put any pictures up in a while so here we have a picture of moose-watching tourists at the Tetons.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Where's the Art?

I've been dragging around a piece that has been in progress since May. May! I haven't had much of a chance to work on it. In the time since then I've been to Chicago, gotten a new granddaughter, been to QSDS, taught at Miami U, family reunion at the Ocean, trip to Chicago, vacation to Wyoming, weekend retreat, and another trip to Chicago. In between it seems that there just hasn't been much time. I did spend several weeks doing deconstructed screen printing, so at least I've been in the studio. I got caught up in the planning for my guild's quilt show. It just seems that I haven't been able to get back to the art part.

And those three trips to Chicago... the first was quite enjoyable, but these last two have been emergency trips. My Mother is not doing too well, in and out of the hospital and emergency room with various problems, some serious enough that I wanted and needed to be there. She turned 95 in August and up to now has been quite healthy. So with this going on, my concentration has been elsewhere and not on much art. And I'm not sure how productive I'm going to be in the near future either.