Sunday, January 27


My fingers felt like these tree branches. The weather has been bitter cold the last week. We had snow on Friday, and it hasn't melted yet. When I got to the studio the thermostat on my space heater said 35 degrees. As I worked, it only got up to 37. I stayed for an hour and stitched a bit. Ironed some things hoping for some residual heat. Finally I gave up when my toes got tingly. I am impatient for warmer days when I can spend more than an hour or two in comfort. The romantic in me imagines artists throughout history working through winter chills.
I brought a small piece home and stitched in my 70 degrees instead. So much for moving all the art to the studio.

Saturday, January 26

Dye monoprinting day!

 I have some very proud printers this morning in my Saturday Silkscreen on Fabric class at Fleisher. We started the semester off by preparing our screens for monoprinting by painting sodium alginate and dye print paste directly on the screen. When the alginate dries it creates a resist stencil, but as it is printed it starts breaking down, changing the print as it goes. Since each print is slightly different it's considered monoprinting.
 This is the most ambitious group of silkscreeners I've had yet. They played with mixing dye colors and managed to print a basic repeat. This experiment will help them later on do a proper repeat.

Wednesday, January 16

In progress

Just a little peek at my corkboard in the studio. The shibori landscape has been basted to a background cloth and I started stitching some concentric ovals in the icy water section. The patchwork window is almost done: There's just a little more stitching in the figure left. I might leave it hanging for a while longer- I don't really know if it wants more or not. I started a little grey, white, and green study for a potential new "wall" piece. I really loved the large brick wall in red, cream, and blue I made during grad school, and I want to continue doing some larger pieces. New to my repertoire is working with sodium alginate dye paste. So I did a small winter tree test piece to see how viscous the dye needed to be to paint with. I was surprised how crisp the results were- just a little bleeding on some of the edges. I used up the extra dye paste to do a dye monoprint with silkscreen. I can't wait to get back and rinse out the print repetition I did on Monday.
I'm trying to do some stitching, some surface design every time I'm there. Eventually I want to chuck out all the old interior design samples I've hoarded for the last 7 years, since I really haven' used any commercial fabrics in my work for a very long time. I just want my own materials.

Monday, January 7


It's so different, going to a studio to make art versus making art at home. I go and the time is so much more focused and productive. There are no distractions. Everything is in one place, not spread throughout the whole house. I know I have to use my time wisely, so I don't dilly-dally. I've been bringing things over bit by bit, and now there's enough supplies to actually get things going.
I've started a shibori piece inspired by the panorama I took at John Heinz refuge with the trees reflected in the ice. My goal is to do a lot more surface design-based projects. I also started a small applique study for a larger wall piece I'd like to do. And I've finally got back to work on the piece I was working on over the summer. It began as a window, and I debated a long time about putting in a shadow figure. A little organza overlay added a narrative element.  I can't really believe how long this one has been in process since I first pieced and dyed it.
Being in the studio is making things happen. I hope this creative energy keeps flowing, because my biggest fear in becoming an art teacher in a school was the fear of letting go of my artist identity. I want balance between both. This feels so right.....