Monday, January 28, 2008

Art Experimentation

My new design wall, directly behind the sewing table - which has wheels on it to roll it out of the way so I can access the design wall easily.

Finally, I'm back working in the studio!
Painted, stamped canvas done a few years ago and today embellished with Pearl Ex Pigments by Jacquard.

With a border fabric laid along side...

Below I've added some painted cheese cloth to the surface to add a dimensional effect. At the moment, it's not adhered to the canvas.

And here it is with the border fabric laid along side.

While I was experimenting, I took out some more bare canvas and, with Liquitex Acrylic Paints, painted the raw canvas with brushes, sponges, and splattered paint.

Here is my studio with the rolling table in the middle - my only real work surface aside from the sewing table and the computer desk top...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Studio 2008

First, here is the OLD studio - pre-flood. This photo was taken last March. My studio was in the largest room of our townhouse - the living room.

We chose to make the living room the first thing you see as you enter the front door - since we hope to retire within a year or so, sell the house, and move to PA. Here is the NEW living room - former studio space:

In the OLD studio, large lateral files were side-by-side creating a workspace. My art quilts and various supplies are stored in the drawers.

Since I was moving into a smaller room, the lateral files are now stacked to take up less floor space. The large wardrobe, which stores my fabrics, is to the left.

This is my computer desk - it looks about the same as it did in the living room only now it sits in front of the family room fireplace.

My computer desk is next to the kitchen - all the better to supervise my cooking, should I do any...

This is my former sewing table - I designed it and our son made it for me using an old dresser with a new 40x60" formica top. We made a shelf below the top for my sewing machine and used the plastic whatchamacallit to complete the surface for quilting large pieces. This piece of furniture was one of the few lost in the flood.

In my new studio, to the right of my desk is a window and a wall, is the replacement for my lost sewing table: a Quilter's Dream Sewing Cabinet from Horn along with their storage cabinets:

I absolutely LOVE the sewing area - which can be doubled by using the drop-leaf which is closed against the wall in this photo.

My large bookcase has migrated to the garage - only a few books will be in my office on the top shelf of the storage unit to the left of the sewing table. My huge collection of threads now live in the small drawers of the storage units. Well, MOST of my threads are stored there!

Please note: the studio will never be this clean again! Hip, hip, hooray!!!

Warm Weather Wonders

This is in central NJ - taken yesterday afternoon. Today isn't much cooler, but there's quite a wind blowing. Shall we call this "Indian Summer II?"

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2007 and 2008

What an interesting year 2007 turned out to be! I can almost divide the year into quarters or, perhaps, fifths:
first quarter - plan for and go to Ireland and Scotland for 3 weeks
second quarter - plan for and work with David Walker to create my web page
both second & third quarters - retirement research, house-hunting
third quarter - curate and execute the Fiber Revolution exhibition at the American Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY (through Jan. 22, 2008)
fourth quarter - household "flood" - washer hose breaks in 2nd floor laundry room, flooding both floors, necessitating motel living well into December...

As for new artwork in 2007, there was precious little. Many ideas but no studio time. However, I did make a number of sales, which is rewarding, to say the least.

2008 will be another interesting year, to be sure. We are moving closer to retirement and we now have a much better idea of where (State College, PA) we will move and what kind of home (ranch) we hope to find there. Our current home is like "new" having all new flooring, all walls painted, everything cleaned, shiny and bright due to our "flood" and subsequent rebuild. Hopefully, all the better to sell when the time comes!

As for my art, I plan to continue my monochromatic series (white) which was begun in the fall of 2006. And I have a new series of work envisioned and somewhat researched, and some of the materials collected for it's execution. Ideas abound. Creativity, which has been involved in so many other directions over the past year, can now bubble up into new art forms. I'm curious to see what this 'new' work will be, how it will manifest, what will actually appear from the ideas in my mind and the work of my hands. It will be an exciting year, to be sure.

One of the many surprise benefits that has come of our little disaster is a new sewing table and storage units. My old table (17 years old as a sewing table, at least twice that as a dresser) was made by our son to my specification. We cut apart an old dresser and removed the top. Mike then cut a u-shape out of a 40x60" piece of plywood just where my machine would go. He covered the plywood with white formica and installed a shelf for the sewing machine that placed it even with the top of the table. It was WONDERFUL and oh, so affordable! But it wasn't very stable - the dresser drawers didn't go back 40" so three legs were installed in the back for support. Those legs were damaged during the rushed moving of furniture when 2" of water stood on the main floor of the house. Then the formica top started to separate from the plywood due to the tremendous humidity in the house and the week-long drying time with industrial dehumidifiers and fans going full blast in every room. It finally fell apart when the new hardwood flooring was installed and one person tried to move it without help. Currently on order is a new Horn quilter's dream sewing cabinet and storage unit. It should arrive sometime next week - just about the time I will have rehung all the curtains, drapes, wall decor, etc. and put away the last of the boxed items that were removed from the house at the time of the disaster. I'll post "before" & "after" shots of the studio once the new unit is here.

By the way, my studio is now smaller - I used to have the living room and have since chosen to have the family room (smaller and at the back of the house, not at the front door!) as my sacred space. It's right off the kitchen, making cooking somewhat more convenient, as if I cared about cooking! So photos will follow of the dramatic transformation of our home - once we're really transformed...

Meanwhile, the "official" 2008 Color of the Year is Blue Iris. Haven't you always wondered who came up with such things and how colors 'become' popular? Evidently it's a well organized marketing process... I wonder if I even have any 'iris blue' fabrics... probably not. Not after having my fabric collection cut in half due to the flood. It certainly isn't part of the new series in my mind - at least not at this point. But one can never tell.

Happy New Year to all! Make it a good one, no matter what may happen.