Friday, October 31, 2014

Hop, skip, jump - question 1

I was invited by one Margaret - of Charlton Stitcher blog - to take part in blog hopping, but am emulating another Margaret - as stated in this post - and am skipping the chain.  But, like the latter I am intrigued by the questions set to be answered.  They are broad ranging enquiries which have arrived for me at a point when I coincidentally want to clarify for myself what I am about.

The questions are:
1. What am I working on?
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
3. Why do I create what I do?
4. How does my creating process work?

1. What am I working on?
Answering this question will provide an illustration for the answer to number 4.  I work on different stages of several projects at the same time. 
I am almost halfway through stitching pieces of cotton which were printed using archival ink jet.  These pieces will together become a quilt.  The snap below shows the calico at the back of the pieces which are hard to stitch and which are paining my fingers - because of the arthritis, but mostly because of the difficulty of pushing the needle through the prepared-for-printing cotton.  I do not want to show the front at this stage, just in case the project takes so long that I can enter the piece for the next Quilt National exhibition!
There are 12 pieces to be stitched before I join them together, so I am rewarding myself with a silken respite every four pieces completed.  These are three silk pieces awaiting choice.  They too were printed using ink jet on prepared fabric from Crafty Computer Paper.  One of the great advantages of hand stitching is that it gives me a great deal of time to think about other projects - past, ongoing, and future while my hands work.
I am also working on at least two probably keepers digital designs, doodling around some other possibles, while 'backburner' thinking about several others.  My digital working also at some stages involves a deal of mechanical tasks which allow my mind to roam on various bits of speculative problem solving.
At the same time I have been and still am thinking about the subject of grids - an exercise with my duo-didactic friend, and from that pondering can add more developing digital designs to the above (as shown in previous posts). 
As well as that lot, I am solving the question of how to do the final quilting of a large otherwise nearly completed quilt.  I shall make a final decision about this once the weather turns really cold, and I need something to keep me cosy while I work!
I also have several lino prints in progress (some of which were mentioned here) that will probably eventually become fabric work. 

I will tackle question two in the next post.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Despite the bottleneck

I should be concentrating on the final week of two courses, also the first week of a third, but what am I doing? - over-working a design, of course.
With the grid exercise in mind I looked through my photo files and picked this one of a window in Lacock Abbey.  But I am just not happy with the resulting manifestations of my workings.
I have had difficulty in leaving it alone, but I really shall have to do that now.
Time to focus my concentration elsewhere.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Prolific enthusiast

J.M.W. Turner is a U.K. national treasure.  We are so fortunate that he spent so much of his time looking and capturing in pencil, watercolour, and oils so much of what was around him.  On Sunday we went to Tate Britain to see their exhibition Late Turner: Painting Set Free
Norham Castle Sunrise, one of my favourite Turner paintings was in the show.  I have known Turner's work for most of my life, but this exhibition showed me how superficial that knowledge is.  Familiarity is but mere acquaintance in this case, and my curiosity to learn more has been piqued.  It is interesting how recognising so many works has deluded me that I was familiar with them and their originator.  It is definitely time to find out more - although not this week as I have a bottleneck of online courses.  I shall start next week with the catalogue for this exhibition.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Another griddy avenue

There are of course baskets, and one of my favourite artists in this field is Dail Behennah.
Another place to see her work is here
Also lots of interesting basket work is shown in basket makers  Carol Eckert and Lois Walpole's blogs.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Griddy meandering

On my way to the Post Office this morning I passed many grids, including a ladder which sent my thoughts off. 
I remembered a photograph by Todd Webb: a ladder at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu - the imagery is quite a cliché now, but this picture is one I still admire.  And of course there is the Georgia O'Keeffe painting
With these in mind, I also had the memory of a recent conversation I had had about flint mines and the ladders to get down having been reconstructed in a BBC programme like Dogon ladders.  This was summoned to mind as soon as I saw the dandelion leaves.
I was caught staring hard at them by a gentleman whom I regularly meet on the path to the Post Office - I was glad to have the other detail I had noticed as an explanation for my scrutiny: how fascinating that the leaf cuts range from extreme zigzag to almost no indentation at all.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stretched grid

Jude made a comment on my last post about stretching grids - and that suddenly awakened a memory: Shirazeh Houshiary's east window for the church of St Martin in the Fields in London.  There are several photos of the window on her website, under site-specific works. This pic. is from there.
It is just such a simply beautiful, appropriate work which says so much with so little - and yet leaves room for pondering and ambiguity.  Speaking of which, there is also an interesting TateShots video of her talking about her work here (not about grids).
Indeed, I was only thinking about this artist this morning over breakfast as I read about her sculpture in the latest Sculpture magazine.

Thinking about grids

led me to thinking about deer fencing, and thence to the remainder of our fencing along that border.  The latter consists of now very old paling and wire fence which is more or less held up by the shrubs and ivy.  It needs replacing, but with the same, because although less effective, it is definitely more attractive than the straight grid. 
And that led to doodling a fence, which somehow with other thinking about grid structures, like baskets, led to this:
At this stage it is but a preliminary drawing - not much more than a doodle, but I do find it worth leaving in my files.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"... the ambience that is the artist ..."

I spend a deal of working time at my computer, and as a kind of breathing space from the intensity of creating designs I scroll through the ethereal world of the Internet.  More than usually interesting, sometimes I encounter real gems, and yesterday afternoon was one such time.
Through The Textile Blog I was introduced to the first issue of Inspirational
 described in its own introduction thus:
Inspirational seeks to walk a different path, it wants to raise awareness of the artist as muse, as imaginative catalyst, the individual who uses the creative arts to gain insight from the world that surrounds them, but also to gain insight from the world within themselves and within all of us.
I was initially enticed by the mention of two artists whose work I have long much admired: Joanie Gagnon San Chirico, and Jude Hill.  Now, having bought and downloaded the first issue I am enjoying a lyrical introduction to artists new to me, as well as a beautiful re-introduction to fond acquaintances.
Each article is substantial, satisfying yet forming a basis for thought-pulling curiosity not only about the artist and their work, but about what inspires them and how any of that fits our own life experience and outlook, and au fond what inspires us.  The beautiful photographs which occupy at least half of the four double page spreads dedicated to each artist are of the work.  The work represents the artist who is described in a text which is a single eloquent voice throughout - both presenting a poetic portrait in which we are also invited to look for elements of our own view of life. 
Magazine as meditation.