Tuesday, June 30, 2009

the river is flowing

Mandy Greer had started to install her 'Mater Matrix Mother and Medium' at Camp Long in Seattle, WA. As I was checking out her blog to see how everything was progressing I found a picture of my piece installed! click here to see it in the trees. It seems as if my piece was the first to go in!! What was intriguing was that as I flipped through the photos I recognized my piece before I read the comment! It is exciting to see how her 'river' is flowing through the trees and to appreciate all the hands who helped to contribute to this piece..
Also in her blog post for Jun 24th she write about the environmental fiber/community fiber-based art practice by Iranian artist Atefeh Khas ~ another feast for the eyes. I find it electrifying to see all the amazing work being done in so many corners of the world(thanks to the Internet) and the wonders being done with fibers! what fun ~ off to work on creature #3!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Eggshell update

Today I entered Medicine Wheel to find the ceiling painted mostly black ~ yeah!!!! Two very patient and determined students are to be credited with this wonderful job. I must say that it was quite a delight to enter a see the room coming more together.
Also the eggshells are piling up!!!! and the walls are getting more and more covered!!!!
As I paint the walls this remarkable world is appearing before my eyes ~
full of creatures, plants, fish, tongues, hands and so much more...
some words of description that passer-bys have told me are ~ fecund, 'is-ness' & magical
I love them all!!!
& a note to my mom - see the fans!!!! :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eggshell update

here is a close-up shot of a model of the dress for the installation~ for the installation it is going to be larger than life. I made a model to help me figure out some of the details ~ like the floor, the ceiling,....

Here are some more photo of the installation...
the door cut-out, the sheet metal circle that the dress will sit on and one of the students painting the ceiling black.....

And as the students are painting the ceiling I am working on the walls. It is quite an undertaking - the room is roughly 21 ft X 15ft & I want to cover ALL of it!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Awesome Al!!!

Work at Medicine Wheel is cruising along!!! The energy and enthusiasm is thrilling. I can't tell you what it is like to watch your ideas comes to fruition & at such a scale!! On Tuesday I came in to find the dress 'doorway' cut and the walls gray. Then to add to my glee, my sheet metal was delivered to me by awesome Al. He is a painting student of Michael's and a man who knows about sheet metal. Last week as I was pondering the floor and what the dress would sit on I thought that a circle of sheet metal would be ideal. I mentioned this to Michael, wondering if he knew of a good place to find such a treasure and he said to talk to Al who happened to be in class that day. Al was so helpful and in less than week later I had my 8 ft. round circle of sheet metal. The serendipity of this project so far is blowing my mind!!! I am also aware of how pieces of this installation are coming together… the dress doorway leads to a back area of the school. When I started this project it was a small black space but on Tuesday that had changed and that space was completely opened up. Suddenly I saw that space as part of the installation ~ a exhibition area for my pink foam pieces. I put up some pink tulle that I had brought and I loved the effect. Who knows what the end result will be however this project is teaching me to be open, experiment, consider all possibilities and see what feeds off what. And having my wonderful helpers makes this all so much more possible!!! As the space became gray I realized that the ceiling needed to be black – so Billy started to paint the ceiling black. And Amy has been a stellar painter ~ painting gray paint around my black lines. Rachel has overcome her fears of heights up while on the ladder painting the pipes black. Jake is always ready to help ~ finding me a ladder or helping me get my doorway flush into the wall!!! I am truly blessed to have such helpful helping hands!!!
Thanks all & peace,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Searching for the sun....

For those who don't live around here - the Boston area has been getting LOTS of rain!, and the first day of summer was no exception. So as I was taking my dog for our morning 'swim' I came across a sea of Catalpa flowers scattered across the sidewalk. I noted how beautiful these blossoms were and thought they would make a lovely dress, but a father's day breakfast was waiting to be made, so the hound & I walked on. However, when i turned the corner - there was another gathering of these treasures in front of me and in fact the wind was blowing them toward me. I took this as a sign that these beauties could not & should not be ignored. So I collected them and headed home to make breakfast.

This reminded me of my experience making the Luscious Kelp Dress the week that the Dress Project began in Wells, ME. Each day I would walk the beach looking for which material I would use to make my daily dress. I tried to be as open as possible, to search for inspiration with no pre-conceived ideas. On one rainy morning i ventured out to make my dress and I came across a beautiful piece of kelp - lush & succulent - basically calling to me. However earlier that week I had considered using kelp but when I picked up a piece to use, it was covered with crawling, creepy bugs & I decided against it!!(now you should know I don't usually get freaked out by bugs but this was nasty) Even a few days later I was still feeling a little squeamish about the kelp & even though this piece was so beautiful I past it by. But only to come upon another large beautiful piece a few yards down on the beach. So I took this as a sign that kelp was my material for the day and I picked up all the kelp and I made my dress, in the rain (and there were no bugs).

So today, once breakfast was done and fathers were celebrated I ventured back out in the rain to make a dress. Along with the Catalpa flowers I had found some other white blossoms - all that had fallen because of the rain. After trying some different surfaces for the dress - the lounge chair turned out to be the best, and after the dress was done I thought that the chair was quite appropriate - a little entreaty for some sun!!!

So in honor of the first day of summer and for listening to one's muses ....
the search for sun dress

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let the excitement begin.....

At the beginning of the month the gallery at Medicine Wheel was emptied and I began my eggshell dress installation. Even though I had been planning and sketching and plotting for the past months - once the room was empty all bets were off - everything in my mind shifted. I suddenly realized that not only was I going to be building a large eggshell dress I had to create an entire environment. I needed to consider the walls, the ceiling, the floor, the lighting, .....

One thing i hadn't planned on was a door in the middle of the back wall. I was told I could anything I wanted to with it - change the size, change the shape or cover it up. I realized that i didn't want to cover it because having the door gave the room air, it allowed for a draft, a breeze ~ I wanted to have the room breathe. So I was keeping the door but how to have it work with the eggshell dress???
my first thought was to make it a dress, like a shadow. I took a piece of charcoal and sketched the dress on the wall to get a visual of what that would look like. I drew a large dress encompassing the entire door as it was. Once I drew the dress I started sketching an environment around the dress. I drew this room totally out of whack - a huge couch, a bed with wrong proportions, wild plants ~ Dr. Seuss meets Alice in Wonderland.

Now I realized that the dress door was too big but I had liked the scale of some of the sketches so I thought I'd just outline SOME of the drawings in black. Well once I had my paint brush in hand outlining some of the drawings ~ I couldn't stop!!! The ideas were flowing out of my brush and onto the wall - I was in the zone. This line lead to this shape.....

Now the idea for the space was to have the entire room painted a dark, warm gray with black line drawings over the gray, & my thought was that the black lines of my sketches would show through the gray paint. Well it didn't - the gray was too dark~ bummer. So after taking a moment to realize that i had covered most of the room with my black line drawings that were NOT going to show thru, I needed to reassess. The new plan was to decide what of the sketches I really liked and paint around them, and what sketches could be totally painted over. SO with the help of some of the amazing Medicine Wheel students I started painting the walls gray. It was A LOT of work - but it almost done.
This installation has been such a learning and growing experience for me already and I have just begun. When I am not at Medicine Wheel physically working, I am working different elements out in my head(even in my dreams). I am learning how to direct people and to open up my creative process. I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity and so excited to be along for the ride!!! peace

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

treasures in the post

In this day and age of electronic correspondences and junk mail i love to get stuff I really want in the mail. The past 2 days I was been quite blessed that way. First I came home to a lovely parcel on my front step - I had no idea what it was... wasn't excepting anything... so when I opened it up and discovered this precious book I was overjoyed. This was a 'just-for-instance' gift from a dear friend in CA who is a literary phenom. I had called to discuss some thoughts for my eggshell installation. While we talked, I mentioned a piece that i was doing with straight pins and she mentioned this character in a Mary Poppins book. Then to my utmost pleasure she sent me a copy!!! It is a beautiful book!! It is an old library discarded book and I cherish it . It has wonderful b/w line illustrations – even Miss Calico, the pin lady, is depicted!!!! I have started to read it and it is a visual wonderland~ it has been added to my collection of books, journals, sketch books that go everywhere with me.
My second treasure was something i was excepting - just not so soon. From across the continent came my parcel of Yarnia Yarn. As I posted earlier when i placed my order I asked for a few spools out of the remnant basket - really not specifying particular colors. So this is what I got - not what I would have chosen BUT I am excited to work with them - turn them all into creatures!!!!
So yeah mail!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Presenting creature #2

Number two is finished - again the piece told me when it was done ~ it reached a critical mass. It has the most amazing feeling...weight... presence when held/touched.

I am trying to figure out how to display it ~ on a stand or on the wall or hung.
here is the creature spinning...
or a hat?!?

now onto creature #3 ~ I am so excited about these pieces, that I just called Yarnia in Portland, OR to get some more yarn for the middle. My first creature started with a spool from the remnant basket so I called to place an order for some of the left over spools. It seemed so appropriate that i was ordering colors that i hadn't seen - it all goes with the 'randomness' ~ following the piece of this series. So I got 3 mystery spools coming - can't wait to see what the colors will be!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

many, many eggshells!!!

Embarking on a new adventure...this summer I have been asked to create an installation at Michael Dowling's Medicine Wheel. The main piece is going to be a larger-than-life white eggshell dress. I am very excited about working with eggshells again!!

The students at Medicine Wheel have been collecting & washing white eggshells for months, and now the time has come to begin.

A nice aspect of this installation is that I will build the piece on site and it will be destroyed there at the end of the show. I don't need to worry about transporting the eggshell dress or storage after the show. I will be working there for the entire summer and most likely into September. This is my first official installation where I am considering the entire surroundings - walls, floor, ceiling.... Even though i have been mulling the idea over since January, now that the gallery is empty and waiting for me my ideas are changing right and left. I am eager to dive in and a little intimidated at the same time. But I always LOVE a challenge!!!
so keep checking in for updates!!!!...