Artist Statements

Yesterday morning I was reading some information on Alyson Stanfield’s site about the Artist Statement. She had a link to a blog by a girl who had followed Alyson’s particular advice about having a good artist statement and how to arrive there.  I found it interesting how her artist statement changed as she followed Alyson’s advice.  Here is the link to Deb Paris’ blog if anyone wants to read it. http://deborahparis-apaintinglife.blogspot.com/2009/01/statement-by-artist.html

I found myself going to read MY artist statement.  Recently I had to submit one with entries into the Form, Not Function exhibit in New Albany, IN.  I submitted one that has been written for at least a year, maybe 2.  It seems, according to Alyson, that artist statements can be pretty important.  I hadn’t really done any recent revisions to mine, but gave it a brief glance and sent it on with the entries.

After reading all of this information  (does anyone spend too much time on the computer like me?…but I learn so much…), then going back to my statement, I could see where one particular line didn’t fit at all with the entry I sent.  Now my statement was originally written as an overall statement of the genre of my work.  It was NOT written for the specific work I sent for jurying, and I’m  still not sure if it was supposed to be. Rayna Gillman sent me her statement and artist bio so I could get an idea of what is supposed to be there. I know I totally messed up on my bio, speaking mainly about where I have come from, but not really speaking much to today’s accomplishments. Oh well, live and learn. Looks like I need to do some more work!

This past weekend I learned that judges in a certain show wanted to give a best of show award to a certain artist, but because of the way her statement was worded, they didn’t.  Wow…maybe it can really make a difference.  In her case, another person was involved in making the art and it sounded like the judges were confused about who actually did the work.

It’s something to think about.

Photo of the day…pine trees on my lane…if I was a kid again, this is where I would play.

About Food…And Right Brain Thoughts

Warning!  If you don’t want to read about food, skip this post!

I am home today!  I don’t think I have been home on a Saturday for the last two months!  So today I am making our “weekend meal”.  Yesterday my husband brought home some fresh picked turnips from the farm, dirt and all.  I cooked a small pan of those and mashed them with butter, salt and pepper, and sugar.  Yumm.  I am also fixing “Deviled Baked Steak”…how appropriate for the season! (I just thought of that while I write. :=)  Round steak dredged in a seasoned flour blend, then browned in oil.  Topped with sliced onions and a tomato-brown sugar mixture, this steak dish bakes for 2 hours into melt-in-your-mouth wonderfood. I will be serving it with mashed potatoes.

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I am also trying out a new bread pudding recipe called Caramel Bread Pudding. The caramel sauce prepares in the bottom of the dish while the bread pudding is baking on top. (I’m so domestic today! :=) Actually, I’m probably avoiding cleaning the garage, a task I really need to get around to!)

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Since I haven’t been home on Saturdays for so long…we have been just grabbing whatever is in the house to eat on Saturday nights and Sundays (that gets boring), so this will be a treat.

So…what have I been up to this week?  One of my goals was to get my Etsy shop loaded up with my ArtFul Cloth bags since I am having a showcase on Tuesday, October 27th.  I needed to have at least 10 of them listed just to be ready.  Since I have recently gone through a hard drive crash with SOME of the bag pictures on the desktop, I had to do the photography and editing all over again. :=(  This is my first showcase and I have no clue how it will all go, but I am ready.

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I have had a textile piece on the wall for a long time that I felt inspired to work on yesterday.  By that I mean, I had some ideas on how to proceed!  So I spent some time with it.  Why is it, when the urge and inspiration hit (and it’s been awhile since I’ve had time or the frame of mind for it), the phone rings.  I could have not answered it, but felt I needed to.  But the whole time I’m finding myself irritated and wanting to get off the phone, which I finally did.  I didn’t want to “lose the moment” or the time.  These times are precious when they come and with the weekend coming and the prospect of my husband being home, I wanted that hour and I wanted it uninterrupted and my mind free to create.  I’m beginning to see that in the left brain world that we live in, no one (except artists, of course) understands the right brain world. The society we live in is not extremely willing to give it place, to give it time or attention.  We are a left brain society for the most part and give honor to the left brain achievers with regularity.

I believe to be successful, an artist needs time to think, really think, to dream, to ponder, to meditate, to notice, to scrutinize.  Coming from the work oriented background that I do, I find it difficult to even give myself that time.  It seems “wasteful” somehow.  When I was growing up, I remember being accused of “daydreaming”, but now I know what that is…it is the right brain wanting to create something.

I read about all these artists creating in their journals every day and it seems totally unreachable to me.  I do spend time online every day “enriching my mind” mostly with news articles and some artists’ articles as well as picking up email and taking care of business.  Perhaps I spend too much time there? I’m a one woman show…with marketing and office work and all promotion on my shoulders as well as creating new work and trying to earn an income to pay for my business expenses. The time may yet come when I will let some things go…I don’t know yet.  All I know right now is that I have an art fair coming up in December that I would like to have some new work for, but I have no ideas.  I think I must be taking a breather after being so busy for the last two months. Perhaps my brain needs a rest…zzzzzzzzzz.

Whew, It’s Over

The Funk In The City “art festival” was a total bust for me.  I like what another vendor said…”I sell more than this at my crappiest shows”.  Yeh, what she said.  There was a gal next to me selling ceramic mushrooms for $5-$6…could that have anything to do with it? And the more I thought about it…surely they had to come from China.  So what’s there to say about a show like this?  How about…I won’t be back!  And so many people I know have raved about this show.  Sigh.

I did meet some nice people next to me to whom I am completely indebted for helping me load up.  Due to incoming storms the festival closed up an hour early.  Their help made sure all my stuff didn’t get wet, because a big downpour did come.  Thanks to Sean Troy of Wood Turned Dreams and his helper.   His old website was shut down by the host, but his new one is almost up and running.  Check out his wonderful wood turning work when you get a chance at www.woodturneddreams.com

Anyway, on to the next thing…I have some classes scheduled, a trip out of town where I will be visiting with friends and seeing Quilt National (yeh!), and a one day quilt show event.  Perhaps I can even work on some art this month… that would be fun.  I am feeling inspired to do some printing so that I can continue exploring with the piece of cloth from the previous post.  I am stirred to create.

Another task is to begin photographing all the things that didn’t sell! to start listing in my Etsy shop.

Photo…gray hand dye that I “painted” with soy wax, froze, crumpled, then brushed dish gel over it to discharge it.

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Today…

Today I am dyeing silk scarves.  I made a couple of shibori scarves and a couple of dyed chiffon scarves that will get discharged and perhaps also printed on in the next couple of days.  Two more are rusting as I write.

Today my camera won’t let me unload the pictures from it and that is frustrating…I have pics of a new bag I want to put in this post.

Today I cut corn off the cobs.  It’s the end of the corn and many of the ears had shriveled kernels.  I threw those away as they would be tough.  I cooked the corn for my hubby’s supper.

Today I dyed out in my patio…what a great place to work and a great day to be there.  Wish I had time to spend to really do some dyeing and printing, but time is at a premium this week…playtime will come later.

Today I found two salamanders in a 5 gallon bucket by the patio…don’t know why they were there. I thought my husband did it, but he said he didn’t.  I think the little one died later this afternoon.  How weird…maybe they were hiding out from the neighborhood cats…

Finished piece of art now showing in a “Green” exhibit at Rend Lake.

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Of Stones and Walls

What I’ve Been Doing…Part 2

What have I been doing since last week?  Besides planning a short vacation trip in August with my hubby, my mind is trying to make decisions on what shows I will be doing this fall and what needs to be done for each of them.  I am vending at some art fairs and a couple of quilt shows. But first, a retreat coming up in August: I will be teaching free form machine quilting and vending.  I finished a new jacket sample this week, pattern by SuznQuilts. It turned out so cute!

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My piece,…But Words Will Never Hurt Me (Sticks and Stones), hanging in the museum exhbit.  The opening was last Saturday and I received an Honorable Mention in the 3D category.  Can anyone tell me why that is?  I entered in the 2D category.  I sure would like to know how they arrived at an award in 3D.  A friend had a lovely huge sculpture in the show…I wondered how that made her feel? I would appreciate hearing any thoughts on this.

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A call came from the Indiana Heritage quilt show from Bloomington, IN.  This is a fairly well attended 3 day show next March.  They wanted to know if I was still interested in vending.  I’ll give it a shot, although I’ve never done a 3 day show.  Should be fun, as long as the country isn’t in a spending depression by then!

What I’ve Been Doing…

It’s been awhile again since I’ve blogged…I’m getting so lazy!

Update on the Arts Council show…I got a call last Wednesday that I have been awarded an Honorable Mention award…yeah for fiber! Rayna wrote me a nice note and said that this is extra special because this is recognition in an art show.  Thanks, Rayna.

Update on the Runaround Bag…I decided not to go with those antique buttons.  Instead…I think some fun, funky buttons are called for…

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I have been dyeing some fabric to replenish my supply.  The multicolored ones sell pretty well for me.  The striped ones were hung on the clothesline and I poured the dye on them.  That was sorta fun if you can keep the dye off your toes…I may do more, mostly because I would like to use them myself.  I also soda soaked some white cotton and hung on the line…and guess what showed up?  The Japanese beatles swarmed the white cotton…go figure…they must like the soda ash.

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Last week I prepared some discharged black sateen pieces to sell and to stitch on.

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I will be making more of these…”painting” on black cloth with dishwashing gel is too much fun.

More This ‘N That

Woohoo!  I feel like I actually got something done today.  I got a sample bag made, and it went pretty fast.  This is the Runaround Bag by Lazy Girl Designs, made, of course, in my hand dyed fabrics.  One fabric has paintstik designs on it.  I didn’t have a 12 inch zipper to match the fabrics, so making do with the yellow one I did have.  I think it looks just fine…it makes  a yellow stripe.

Front…

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Back….with a heart embroidery stitch used as topstitching…

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How about some antique buttons added…?

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This is a cute pattern and makes up fast.  The finished bag measures 7 1/2″ x 9″. I have patterns for sale.

I am planning what shows I will be attending this fall and what I need to have done as far as samples.  This bag is one sample I wanted to make up.

On another note, I was juried into the annual Working Together exhibit to be on display at the Evansville museum from July 11 to August 28.  This is an Arts Council exhibit. I have shown this piece in another post on this blog.  It is …But Words Will Never Hurt Me (Sticks and Stones). I am happy it will be in this exhibit.

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Rust dyed cotton sateen, discharge dyed sateen, screenprinting, stamping, stenciling, cotton thread, handwriting.

My Week in the Garage…

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Here’s where I’ve been spending a lot of time this week, working on silk scarves.  That’s my messy table.  I also did some breakdown printing. I’ll show ya’ that later.

This is my collaged piece, Surface Matters, in the Recycled exhibit at Rend Lake.

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Arts In Harmony is this weekend.  Scattered showers are predicted and 60 degrees tomorrow for a high.  I may have to wear jeans and a sweatshirt at this rate.  Here’s hoping for sales.

New Work…

Remember a very peaceful red/blue-green piece I was working on a few weeks ago?  Well, I  decided it was too one-dimensional… so I painted a very diluted layer of black paint on it.  I like layers.  It still wasn’t done, so I rolled some white gesso over the black paint.  Too much white streaks..still wasn’t done and didn’t have a name either.  I got out the paintstiks and brought some color back in over those two layers…AND got a name!  Now it’s finished and ready for the Arts Council exhibit.

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Weathered Places

I have to say, after working on this piece, Linda and Laura Kemshall’s practice of working everything out on paper first makes a ton of sense.  It got pretty scary adding subsequent layers to this piece after all the quilting was done.  I knew it wasn’t done, so I took the plunge, but it did almost take my breath away and make my heart race.  I haven’t developed the practice of planning ahead of time…that just doesn’t seem to be the way I ‘m working right now, but sometimes I felt like I just had a very close call…

Being Domestic Again…

This is probably my most favorite dessert ever.  It’s a Fudge Brownie Trifle, but I take it a step further and make it a Black Forest Brownie Trifle with the addition of cherry pie filling.  There is more whipped cream to go on top but since I need to be able to put a cover on the bowl,  I will put that on when I get to the ladies meeting tonight.

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On working…Ever have one of those days where, you want to work, you know you need to work, to make art, you push yourself to do it…and the magic just isn’t there?  You wander from idea to idea…and nothing comes together.  That happened to me yesterday.  I sorta kinda didn’t feel real well, so I gave up and curled up on the couch for the afternoon.  But later…

On the art front, there is an arts council members exhibit coming up.  I have a piece I thought I could put in the exhibit…but upon reading the guidelines, they are limiting size to 30″ x 32″, so that means I have to make something new because almost everything else I have, has been in an arts council exhibit.  AND it can’t take a long time to make,  so “minimal” will be my  theme.  I like big blocks of color and came up with this last night.  I am going to use the full size allowance (I decided why not?), so it will be exactly 30″ x 32″.  Quilting lines in thick black thread to come.  So basically, it will be about color and lines.  The black and white stripe fabric is a screenprint from a soy wax design.  The colors should shake things up a bit in the exhibit.  There are a lot of painters in the arts council who do very nice representational landscapes and still lifes.

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