Sunday, November 18, 2007

On Line Class in the Works

Well, I am committed to doing this. I have set up the Yahoo group and am working on the Pay Pal stuff to collect the money, have a description ready and have outlines for the individual classes.

So, before long I will be announcing enrollment in my on line class on the Elements and Principles of Design. This is getting exciting.

The E&P of design have been the topics of conversation on the quiltart list for a couple of weeks now. I know Pamela Allen is setting up a class but I think our styles are different and how we approach the class will be different.

We are going to explore the elements of design, learn to understand how they work together to form the Principles of design and do lots of exercises so that the ideas become ingrained in our subconscious. Doesn't that sound fancy?

But most importantly, we will look at each other's work and learn from each other as we discuss what makes a good design and learn the gentle art of critique. Not criticism, critique. There is a big difference.

Oh, this is going to be fun!

Stay tuned!

Oh, yeah, I've been working on the ideas for my green piece...following directions I would give others...what a concept!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

In a Muddle

For a year I have known that I had a piece to do by December 1 of this year. All year I have been thinking and thinking about it, trying to decide how I wanted to approach the title of the show "Its Good to be Green". should I do things around conservation? green building? green cars? or the color green? or things that are green?

Well, I still don't know.

I spent a couple of days dyeing more green fabrics and then spent a day playing with some and doing some cutting and piecing...not fusing...piecing. You can tell that I don't enjoy lining things up the way I should so the line is continuous. This is just a small piece to play around with the idea but it is a no go.

So here is a pile of fabric that I have dyed and painted on my work table.
And another view in case you didn't see the first one well enough.Then I started painting on some of them and did this mono print.

And did a bunch of silk screening on fabric and then pulled out a piece of white and just had fun painting.
and here you can see part of the design wall when I left yesterday with lots of printed and painted fabrics.

and the rest of the wall.
so today I went in and worked all day and got something that was just horrible. I will not show you what it looked like but I was very unhappy. I will be able to use the fabric in smaller pieces and postcards for my Art2Mail exchange.

So then I pulled out some more white fabric, put it down on the floor and did and brush design, let it dry some, put it up on the table and then painted in the background.

Not sure that is going to work either.

I am in the middle of a lack of confidence and also I want to move in some different directions but I am not sure which way so things are really puzzling for me right now. I will work it through, I know, but I would like to have it all worked out right now!

A side note, Mr Gills, the person we were working on the house for in New Orleans, died. It is so sad as the house only had about a week's worth of work to go but his body could just not hang in there. Please keep Miss Jackie in your prayers.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Well, I have finally decompressed after the trip to New Orleans. It is still in my mind but I have been processing what I saw and what I felt. Art will come from it at some point in time, I know.

I finished up eight small pieces that are for a very top secret project which was something of a challenge as I had to do a series of six on one theme...started off without a problem and then had difficulties trying to decide what else to do...partly because New Orleans was on my mind.

But I got them done and shipped off.

Last Sunday the three other members in my crit group came over to my studio to do some dyeing for the day. Here they you know who they are?

Behind the mask: Alice Beasley
and Claudia Comay and Robin Cowley
We had a lot of fun acting like mad scientists. It was the first time Alice had done any dyeing so we took things slowly. Did all low water immersion except for Robin who started putting dye down on the plastic and soaking up some of it with folded fabric...she will get some great stuff. We will be getting together in a few weeks for show and tell.

I had a great conversation with Claudia about doing good work and then doing work that challenges you and forces you to move forward.

We have a decorating store in town that sells upholstery and drapery fabrics as well as wall paper and flooring...etc. They have been giving me the sample books. I now have so much that I share it with friends!

This is part of the last two piles of stuff out of the hard carriers that it comes in. What a lot of work to get the stuff off of the huge staples!

In this picture you can't see the second tower of stuff right behind the front!

And here is another pile, waiting to fin a home.
I also have a lot of it at the studio. I have been using it for collages but have now started some really neat fabric collages...will do some sewing on them today so maybe I can show some off in the next day of so.

But anyway, I'm back to talking art again!

Friday, November 02, 2007

New Orleans and returning home

Tuesday morning I had a few hours before I had to be at the airport so I did some driving around to areas I had been to before but this time with the intent of taking pictures. I came across this elementary school which was flooded and is still not open. Kids are being bused to schools now as the neighborhoods are still not filled back up and children are few and far between.

I found the color combinations of this just wonderful, but obviously the house is not in a livable condition. I could not tell if it had been gutted or not...most houses have been.
Progress is being made on some houses. This house has been refurbished by gutting it down to the studs and bare floor and sometimes subfloor, redoing the electrical and plumbing and then rebuilding the house. But it does not look like anyone is living in it yet.
Here is a duplex that waits to be rehabilitated.
This little shopping area in the neighborhood is completely vacant. None of the stores are open, all have been gutted. People have to drive quite a ways to get what they want.
You can see Blockbuster all closed and gutted. Not enough customers to justify reopening, if they are going to.
This is a view of four different houses right in a row. Of course, the FEMA trailers are there. You can see in the background that one house is being rebuilt. I am not sure just what the status is of the other houses but people are living in their trailers.
And a corner house with two trailers...the house is gutted but does not appear to have had anything done.
And still another with no work yet.
But then I came across this vacant lot with this sign...a very hopeful sign!

Getting my overloaded bag down the stairs and in to the car caused my lower back to get slightly hurt, which I didn't really realize until later that night after I had sat in airplane seats for six hours and sat in the terminals for another four hours. By the time I got home my lower back was screaming.

Tuesday I went in to the doctor, he verified that it was only a strain and that it would get better, etc. etc. And it has.

Wednesday I tried to work on some projects but have had a hard time focusing on my art.

I have been reading a very interesting book by Chris Rose called "One Dead Body in the Attic". Chris is a columnist for the Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans. He chronicles a year and a half of his life from the hurricane to the end of 2006. He went in to a severe depression and finally agreed to get medical help. His first person accounts of the area are so touching.

He also discussed the fact that many of the people who have come down to New Orleans have returned to their own lives with feelings of anxiety. Certainly this comes from having seen such horrendous living conditions that people are still living in and knowing that one can only do so much and so much more is needed.

Today I started working on some small projects but still found myself having trouble focusing. Fortunately, my daughter called and wanted to know if we could take Jacob for a few hours so she could run some errands. Spending time with him has helped to bring me back to my world. Understanding all of the feelings that I am going through are normal also helps.

Depression is rampant in New traumatic stress. However, the tourists in the big hotels and also the French Quarter can go about their touring without ever seeing anything really bad.

There is so much help that is needed. Do what you can. It is the people-to-people programs that is working to solve the housing situation, one house at a time.

I went by the house we had worked on last week and a new crew of volunteers was there working away. Floors were almost done, re-taping was done and just needed to be repainted, the laminated floors were just about done, the tiling was almost done and they were going to be doing the baseboards before too long. I am so glad that I was able to be a part of this...oh, yeah, they were also painting my railings!