Thursday, September 30

Watercolor thoughts

We're figure painting and I'm not into it, so I'm trying to abstract a bit. I feel like I'm making Colleen McCubbin Stepanic paintings (she's a former Tyler grad and friend of mine). Wonder if there's something like a "Tyler aesthetic"....

Anyway. I'm thinking about pattern as texture. Here's what photoshop thinks my next watercolor project might look like:
My schedule is kicking my ass right now. I need more sleep!!!!

Monday, September 27

Lucky Duck

I both donated artwork and volunteered for "Dear Fleisher" this evening, a biannual fundraiser for Fleisher Art Memorial where artists donate 4x6 inch artwork and the public can snag some art for $50 a pop. The trick is, you don't know who the artist is and you select based off your own aesthetic response, not because it's by somebody important. I'm very happy my own piece sold! I'm also very happy that for some facebook-related reason, I ended up getting a free voucher for one work of art!!! (I'm like, their biggest fan and advocate. it's ridiculous. aren't you sick of hearing about Fleisher? Well...sorry, but it's just about the greatest community arts center ever. And I got free art today.) So I selected the piece above! I loved the complex lines, the hint of the figure, the subtle color harmony....
Turns out it's by artist Susan Stromquist. And you can see her slightly-less abstracted figurative works here.

Keep an eye on Fleisher- they'll probably post the as-yet unsold works pretty soon, and they might even be listed at a lower price.

Sunday, September 26

Visual Response

It's so nice to stitch something new. We were asked to make a "Visual Response" to our first 2 weeks of internship in the art classroom. I've had an interesting 2 days over the past 2 weeks with my very organized coop teacher. I decided on a  very organized image with a floor plan of the oddly-shaped classroom showing the limited sight lines. The behavioral monitoring is represented by the numbers and the stars. I decided on the color wheel because the curriculum starts off very formally with elements and principles of design. I even noticed that in a way I've included aspects of all the K-4 projects I've observed so far: color wheel, radial designs, and wacky interiors.

The 9-square was a found cloth. I machine stitched the appliques and then hand embroidered the details. Made it go a lot faster. The whole thing measures about 8 inches square. Stylistically I think it goes quite well with the travelogue embroideries I did over the summer. This is an interesting way to sum up experiences. You have to filter all the information and draw out the most significant points. It fits in with the newer studio-based research, learning/discovering new connections by looking back on what you've made, tracing your thought patterns...

Thursday, September 23

More watercolor

  Had a really good crit on this yesterday. Although I was kind of expecting a good crit. I've been using watercolor for a looooooong time, and my classmates are mostly trying this for the first time. No fair comparison. I'm very happy with the whole thing.

after one day of in-class painting
after a marathon night of painting, thinking it might be done

the finished piece with lots more detail bottom right to imply a sense of distance and space

Tuesday, September 21

Busy bee

It's coming along: Just have some more foliage to finish. It'll be nice to work on something else soon. Life keeps getting in the way of me making art.

This will be my first week of the massively jam-packed schedule- grad school, teaching classes, internship, and residency! I might not get to post much in the next few weeks.

Hey! Check out this wonderful film: The Gleaners and I. It's all about the culture of gleaning, collecting what is considered waste, etc. Reminded me of my street find slow cloths last year.

Wednesday, September 15

Stitch Bomb!

Aww yeahhhhhhhh. Stitch and Surface started off with a bang this morning. It's over 12 hours later and I'm still riding my post-teaching adrenaline happiness. After some group conversation about city living- the good, the bad, and the ugly, each student started a 5x5 free form stitched piece in response to the conversation. After about an hour of stitching we voted to combine all the pieces into a collaborative work. So I whipped out the sewing machine, quickly seamed the pieces together, and we headed outside to stitch our piece to the telephone pole that seems to be THE place to bomb- it already had a Joe Burochow print and a strange rubber fly attached to it. I think I want to go back and staple gun it- our group stitching enterprise, while collaborative, was maybe not the most secure. Here's to random acts of beauty in the city.

Monday, September 13

Painting progress

My painting on paper course is held up on the third floor, north-facing studios at Tyler with avast view of north Philadelphia at our feet. The windows are floor to ceiling and the landscape only fills up the bottom 1/6 of the view. This little photo is only half of one window pane:It served for my first watercolor study. Here it is after the first class: And here it is after today's class:
I like it but I feel like I'm being too illustrative. I tend toward bright colors and crisp detail in my watercolors, but I think I'm being too tight. It's a nice little painting, about 7x20 inches. Time flies by so quickly when I'm painting. The class is very relaxing. Three hours of focused painting that only feels like half an hour. I have no stress about it. That's the best part.

Saturday, September 11

Stitch and Surface this Fall

I just finished typing up the syllabus for Stitch and Surface, a 10-week course I teach at Fleisher Art Memorial. I have a full roster of 14 students signed up, much to my amazement since it's going to be a morning course this semester. Every semester I like to offer totally different projects and techniques so that repeat students can come for a new experience.

So this Fall we'll be working on the following ideas:
  • an embroidered graffiti tag to get everybody to loosen up.
  • sunprinting using setacolor fabric paint while we still have some sunlight and warm days
  • a "quote" sampler
  • Using photoshop to prepare images for a blackwork project ( heheh, I'm no photoshop expert but we're going to wing it)
  • And finally a mapping/fabric collage project This is all incredibly ambitious and we'll see how far we get. Hopefully the students will enjoy the challenge!

Friday, September 10

Artists as Educators Exhibit at Tyler!!!

I'm showing my "Brick House" piece in the Artists as Educators Masters of Art Ed student show. We're having an opening reception on Monday night at 6:30. Come in the main Tyler entrance at Norris St between 12th and 13th, and come down the main stairwell.

It's a tight show.

Wednesday, September 8

New ideas

The beauty and horror of grad school is this constant stream of new ideas, thoughts, resources, demands coming at you on multiple channels and having to organize all that information somehow in this poor brain... Wow. If I'm incoherent is because I've got so many things floating around the gray matter, I don't know what should come out.

An assignment this week was to do a websearch on one of the contemporary artists in our textbook to see other works. I selected Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Le. In the textbook there's an image that combines a self-portrait in a crucifixion pose woven into a renaissance era Crucifixion painting. I was interested in the juxtaposition of past and present, photography and weaving, self and religion, culture and religion. Lots of juicy stuff there. So here's another of Dinh Q Le's woven photographs: It's from a series called From Vietnam to Hollywood. This one also has multiple lenses to view it from- contrast of history and media, war and family and culture, generational differences in perception.... I don't want to go too deep now, as I'm reserving that for the paper I have to write now.

Okay add on to that planning my stitch and surface syllabus for next week, some way-over-my-head educational psychology speak, and delving into the history of art ed. My plate is quite, quite full. And so is my brain.

Monday, September 6

Sweet Mention and an old sketch

I just discovered that Blogger now has stat tracking (yay!) and I discovered that Sharon B over at Pin Tangle listed me in her famous blog lists back in August. I love what Sharon has done for the stitching community, and I always send my students over to her stitch dictionary if they need a tutorial when I'm not around.

Now, since I feel bad if I don't have a post with a picture, here's a sketch I came across while I was personal-artifact-hunting in a sketchbook from 1998:I used to draw all the people on the train I took back and forth to college by sitting at the front of the car and looking at people's reflections. The bottom image is a self-portrait.

Sunday, September 5

What I want to be when I grow up

I have to write a short autobiography for my history of art ed class, so I went digging through my childhood scrapbook and found some interesting things. This picture was made when I was 6 years old and shows my first house on the left, and my sister's best friend's house on the right.
I also found a paper with my mother's handwriting that describes me for some kind of competition I was entering. Apparently in 1986 my stated career goals were to be an art teacher. I don't remember deciding that early on, but I think it's funny how sometimes the aspirations we have as children really do come true.

Saturday, September 4

Labor and Progress

Happy Labor Day weekend everybody. As I've got most of my homework finished for the week, I'm free to spend the rest of this finally blessedly cool weekend stitching away. It's still pretty simple- just wait till I start working on the garden area!!!!

I like to watch netflix while I stitch- what do you do? Anyone?

Thursday, September 2

Public Embroidery

According to Mr X-Stitch, Friday September 3 is STITCH-IN-PUBLIC DAY!! So get your needles and thread and hoops and proudly park your stitching self on a bus or train or park bench or front stoop or doctor's office or cafe or wherever else and have fun stitching.

Speaking of public embroidery I'm happy to report that at least 2 of the embroidered tags I did last Fall are still clinging to their fences. The one above is now tattered and grayish but still holding on at 12th and Diamond, and another one is still at 10th and Norris, both on the edges of Temple campus. My fellow art ed students were very intrigued by my little subversive activity.


Wednesday, September 1

tech happy

Number 1: I finally have a printer/copier/SCANNER!!! Number 2: My ed psych prof has us using a social media-style forum for group discussion. It's like facebook, but just for our class. I'm not really sure I quite include myself in the tech-savvy generation, but it's nice to see professors keeping up with the 21st century.

Oh yeah, and somehow with all the homework I've had heaped upon me, I've managed to get some stitching done. The windows and door above are actually further along than they appear here. They're needleweaving outlined in satin stitch. I hate doing satin stitch.