Tuesday, December 27, 2011

follow up to the late night rant . . .

as some of you know i was quite anxious about my submissions to the juried Fountain Street Fine Art's PAPER exhibit (click here to see the blog post about these anxieties)  I spoke mostly about the painting/drawing that I submitted, being a new direction for me, and which stirred some serious critics in my head.  

Yesterday I received an email with a list of the accepted pieces/artists for the show and I am happy to announce that my name was on the list!!! But my drawing/painting piece wasn't.   
The piece that did get in is one of my favorite mini dresses, Take a Number!!! 

take a number

take a number (back)
I especially love this dress because it contains the contradictory element usually found in my larger dress sculptures. The dress is bright and colorful, yet it has an underlying message. As a mother, wife, cook, soccer mom and working artist I have felt so drained and exhausted by all the demands asked of me, and I am not unique in this feeling.  When I made this dress I was feeling particularly taxed.  

thank u 4 waiting

 I chose to use the deli tickets as I did for the dress, Thank u 4 Waiting, but for this piece I used the tickets to suggest the idea of many people needing many things from this one woman. I used red and pinks thread to sew swirling lines onto the paper mache top.   I left the ends of the sewn threads hanging to give the sense of loose ends or feeling drained or frayed.  

  So that is the story behind this piece, which will be part of this exciting exhibit at Fountain Street Fine Art.  Below is the list of all the accepted artists and their pieces along with some other information about the jurying and the dates of the show.  And what about the drawing/painting?!?! well it will head back to the studio to be judged another day.


James Welu selected 47 pieces by 41 artists from the more than 190 pieces submitted by 85 artists, 
The following pieces were accepted:

First NameLast nameTitle
AnnBarbatoFrau Finnegan
LisaBarthelsonf-sorted family debris series
MegBlackStorm Coming
ArleneChaplinWandering Away
BrendaCirioniRock Nest
CherylClintonSummer Shadows I
PatriciaCrottyRed, White, and Black 10
LynneDamianosPakm Leaf I
BobEvansVisual Eyes, Water Street, Boston
Nan HassFeldmanThe Rooster in the Kitchen
VirginiaFitzgeraldTake a Number
AmyFurmanString Things
MilisaGalazziWaggle Dance 5 Diptych
SteveGatterColumbia Farm Afternoon
BobHesseFleurs du Mal
WilsonHunt Jr.Wild Thing
J.B.JonesBlue Clip
LindaKimerlingSquare #1
David A.LangWing Walker
RandyLeSageFigure I/Figure II
MadeleineLordHello From Queens
Hello From Boston
Stephen G.MakaWinter Stone Wall
From Series "Medusa"
Row Boats
GingerMcEachernThe Shoe Box
All the Colors
RobertMeszarosTrunk 1002
KarenNunleyIndian Summer
JoanOnofreyAn American Lobster
RoyPerkinsonDaybreak, Columbia River
RobinReynoldsNovember Glow II
KarenRothmanPapier-mâché mask models posing for still life
MahalaSacraDominicana in Pieces
Joyce UttingSchutterA Cut Beneath
Twining Flask
SuzanneStumpfEgg Shell Nest
SusanSwinandLunar Force
Falling Moon
AmyWaltchRust Lillies
TimothyWilsonPortrait of Packing Paper

The show will run from 
Friday, January 13, 2012 through Sunday, February 5, 2012.
the opening reception, which will be held on 
Saturday, January 21, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

wishing you . . .

a joyful, enchanting, magical & heavenly holiday!! 

Hope all your dreams and desires come true during this festive season!!! 
Please know that I am so grateful for your witness of my thoughts and works, and for your cyber support ~ thank you & peace, Virginia

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

late-night ramblings after a long day

Today I was possessed, as I have been for the past 4 days, by my driving desire to enter a 'new' work to the Fountain Street Fine Art's PAPER exhibit.  So even though it has been a long day, my heart and head are still spinning, and I felt that I might 'talk out' my thoughts here on my blog.  Today has brought up some fundamental questions that I feel many artists face now and then. 
the piece that I left @ FSFA

Fountain Street Fine Art is celebrating its first anniversary with a Paper Show (paper being the traditional first anniversary gift).  Besides wanting to be part of any show that this wonderful gallery puts on, James Welu, Director Emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum, is the juror.  

I have known about this call for weeks and I had SOOOOO many ideas.  But, as is usually the way my creative life unfolds, other life needs kept me away from focusing on this call, until this weekend, which was a little late.  

I mean - what a wonderful call - PAPER, anything to do with paper - my head was exploding with ideas -  
"Media may include, but is not limited to paper, oil, pastel, acrylic, watercolor, collage, photography, video, ceramics, metal, fiber, glass, wood, and stone. '

~i wanted to create an interactive piece with my little dresstag dresses, pinning these dresses on a wall (each with a fortune) to create a dress and encourage the gallery visitors to take a dress/fortune.  

Ever since I started the Dress Project I wanted to set up a situation where participants would disassemble a dress.  I always wondered how would the dress 'decompose', would there be areas of the dress that people would not remove?!??  But alas, couldn't fold enough dresses construct a dress.

~I also started a small paper mache dress - on which I was going to 'collage' letters and images of internal organs.  

This dress was going to reflect how I have been feeling during my divorce process - exposed and raw.  The initial dress form turned out very successfully, a nicely defined figure, but I didn't have enough 'quiet' or reflective time to be able to take the next step.

~I fantasized about expanding on my Daily Dress collages.  I wanted to push the possibilities of working with paper - collage, sewing, burning, transfers, . . . 

~I also have been working on a series of works on subscriptions cards ~ yes those pesky cards that are always falling out when you are trying to curl up to read Oprah.  And last time I checked subscription cards are paper.

But as the due date approached and the days/hours/minutes ticked away I was drawn to a piece that I started in March at the Vermont Studio Center.  It is a painting on paper, inspired by the wall paintings in my 2009 installation, 'this comes from within'.  

although I exhibited this dress
I didn't think it was finished

I started with a simple drawing which I then reworked and repainted, adding and embellishing with creatures and hands and insects and bodies.  I have started MANY projects using this painting technique - a mostly monochromatic line painting/drawing.  But with all these starts I have hardly finished one of them.  Even with the walls of 'this comes from within' I only stopped painting the walls because I needed to build an 8ft dress out of eggshells. 

So for the FSFA's Paper show I 'finished' my line painting on paper, which has churned up many doubts/questions in my creative soul.  

First, for the longest time many people felt like the painting was finished when I brought it back from Vermont.  But I didn't, I liked parts of it but I felt it needed more.  So off and on I have been adding and subtracting to the painting.  Then, in the past week I tacked it back on the wall and went at it.  Again I had some colleagues suggesting that it was done, but alas I kept seeing areas that I felt was weak, lines that I wanted to strengthen, so I kept on working.

the piece that I left @ FSFA

the 'start' of painting (VSC)

And I LOVED it - I LOVE this technique!!! It is very intuitive, I just start working on an area and I start to see new images emerging or morphing into something else.  I am drawn to creatures and internal organs; these painting seem to just unfold.  I think i could paint like this for hours and days (which I did @ VSC)

So why the questioning - I don't think there is any artist out there who hasn't struggled with the concept of 'over working'??!?!  Also as the 'last call' for entries was approaching I still kept seeing one more area to tweak, one more line to clean up.  And then when I delivered the piece and hung it with the other work I REALLY started to question the work?? I wanted to take it down and rip it up.

So I am struggling with questions ~ who knows when a piece is done?? How does one know?? If the work feels so authentic does that make it your real art, no matter what the end result is or the reception??

I am in the process of re-reading Art & fear: observations on the perils (and rewards) of art making by David Bayles & Ted Orland.  It is a good book about the obstacles that we artists deal with and even create for ourselves.  It addresses the numerous ways that fear can affect, alter and at times sabotage our art.  

Entering this painting to the jurying process has stirred up some emotions for me, one prominent emotion is insecurity?!? I surprised my daughters as I questioned if I should really leave the painting in the gallery.  It is hung by T-pins, so one of my daughters thought it might need a frame but then pointed out that a frame would obscure the surface texture!! 

I am thinking that these emotions are stemming from exhibiting something that is truly personal and new for me.  Besides the installation walls, this is a unfamiliar 'work' for me.  I wondered if I would have felt like a 'fish out of water' if I had submitted a dress?!? A few years ago it was a little out there to submit a sculptural dress but now I think of it as normal.

So why the whirling brain - the endless questioning of myself and my choices.  Was this the right piece to put into this show?? Now with my divorce I need to analyze which projects I spend time on - i need to consider the financial benefits and this makes my head spin.  

So thank you for indulging me in my ramblings and if you have any thoughts or suggestions I would be to hear them.  And even though I have more to say on this subjest, the clock is appoaching 2am and I am driving the carpool at 7:20 am.  (wish I wasn't such a night owl :)

So नमस्ते, Buenas noches, Buonanotte, Bonne nuit, Slap Lekker, Gute Nacht & 
Happy Winter Solstice & peace

Saturday, December 17, 2011

playing a little catch-up!!!

In my head I have at least 5 separate blogs that I was hoping to post but for now I am going to do a quik debriefing and hope to follow up with more detail a little later.
detail from  'ball gown'
As my last post mentioned, this has been a wonderfully full month for my work.  I have pieces in many venues, from Cambridge to Worcester and some places in between.  

Last evening I gallery sat at the Fountain Street Fine Art gallery, Framingham, MA where the show is Present Company. This is a salon show of members' work.   I am exhibiting Treacherous and Do they know it is Christmas??  It is a rich show ~ the owners of FSFA, Marie Craig and Cheri Clinton always hang an exquisite show!!!

I also have delivered more dresscards to Artisans Way in Concord, MA.  I am so excited that my dresscards are finding homes ~ I love the combination of the quotes and the dresses.  And since I can never  make anything the same way! I am now incorporating papers that I make/design as well as the origami paper. I am very happy with how these have turned out and hope to expand on this idea.


In Attleboro, Emily, or the Dress of Etiquette, is holding court at the Attleboro Arts Museum, for their member show! The opening reception was quite crowded (always nice to see) and I was pleasantly surprised when Emily receive a merit award.

At the Sprinkler Factory, Worcester, MA there are two other dresses holding court, Provocative & Black Widow for the No Theme, No Limit show.  Love the gallery space!!!

And the other main project that has been demanding my time is a commissioned dress, made for the interior design store, Shafer O'Neil, in Wellesley, MA.  They asked for the holiday dress that highlighted their collection of vintage Christmas ornaments.  This is the first full-sized sculptural dress that I have happily completed in a long time, so there many aspects of this piece to celebrate.  

'ball gown' (working title?!?!)

I hope to elaborate further about 'ball gown' in a later post, but for now my studio is beckoning so  . . .