Sunday, January 31, 2010

Working Small

I envy my friends who work in other mediums than fiber. It seems like it takes me many more hours to complete a piece than a watercolorist or acrylic painter. I was looking over my "inventory" of work I have completed over the last several years and only 10-12 medium to large works per year.

But last year, I realized I could create a lot more work if I limited myself to 12" squares. By doing that, I found I could experiment more and if it didn't work I could throw it out without feeling bad about all the work I put into it! I also realized that these "small works" could be studies for larger works.

Here's an example.

When SAQA issued a call for entry to "Art Meets Science" I immediately thought of doing a piece about the Swine Flu. I went to the Center for Disease Control and found a microscopic photo of the virus. Here's what it looks like.

Kind of beautiful! I printed off several copies of this image on white fabric and started to think about what I wanted to say.

This is in the fall of 2009 and everyone was worried about this potential epidemic. Being in the low-risk group (too old!) I wasn't even thinking about getting vaccinated so I was more
worried about a public panic than getting sick.

I wanted to make a piece that would be beautiful and interesting but when people saw what it was, they would back away with fright. So I decided to show one of the swine flu cells in the center of a four petri dished, show how these cells are multiplying at a great rate and then have tentacles overflowing in a meandering pattern to show how this virus will reach everywhere. Scary right? Here's the piece I made for the show.

It's called "H1N1".

But while it was hanging on my design wall, I got another idea. Why not make it benign -- just a part of nature.

So I made a 12" x 12" piece called "Swine Flu Flowers". Here it is.

I used it as a study for a larger piece which I also made for the contest. This is called "Swine Flu Garden".
I am happy to say that both pieces were juried into this show which will have its debut in Birmingham, England in August of 2010. I am donating the 12" piece to the SAQA Auction to raise money for their organization.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Jumping Ahead

I've decided writing my history is just too boring and uninspiring so I'm just going to start writing about whatever comes to mind and tonight, I'm going to talk about two shows I saw tonight: Connecting Threads is at the Longmont Museum and Stitch.Design.Art is at the Old Firehouse Art Center, also in Longmont, CO. Both are wonderful exhibitions of cutting edge fiber art.

I have a piece in both shows.

Here is the one hanging in the Front Range Contemporary Quilt show at the Longmont Museum. (yes, this is a picture of me too.)

Here is my piece at the Stitch.Design.Art show:

This is the piece in the SAQA Stitch.Design.Art show and shows my current work. I am in the midst of doing a series of deconstructed silk screen prints (aka Kerr Grabrowski) combined with surface design techniques (aka Jane Dunnewold) and my own freehand machine stitching.

And I'm loving it. The process and the results.

Deidre Adams said to me "when you find your passion, the work just flows." and she was right. I have so many ideas right now, I can hardly stop working.

I finished two new pieces in less than two weeks -- unheard of in fiber art! But, my semi-solo show is coming up in May 2010 so I still have a lot of work to do.