my . artist run website

Another crazy-busy day today. It's almost 11 and I'm just finishing up with business stuff... 


I did work in the studio. Worked on a painting but didn't get finished before I had to go to a meeting this evening. So, day 3 and I didn't complete a goal. Oh well. I have to be compassionate with myself. Times are a bit tumultuous. So, working in the studio is a grand goal and one I DID meet today despite it being crazy-busy all day. 


So, here is the photo of what I did yesterday on the large-scale fiber collage in progress during the 30 in 30 challenge:

Copper Dancing Woman in progress. You'll perhaps notice the face looks different than originally, that's because it has water-soluble stabilizer pinned (many pins, one through each piece of fabric/fiber) over it. The arms don't have this yet because I have yet to fill in the background around them and details on them.


Whew,... this is a challenge. Lot's of tweeking. I don't listen to music or anything during this phase of a work because it is such an intense task just "listening to the piece" as it develops. This requires listening to myself, to the materials, to an ethereal sense of balance in the universe and to the philosopy or spirit of the piece itself. I immerse myself in silence to listen to the music of the experience of building a collage. 


A "crazy-busy" day is a challenging environment for such an undertaking...

No photo tonight. I'm tired... Been working many hours in the studio. Working on the new section of the "Copper Dancing Woman" inbetween coats on a painting. I actually felt like doing a painting today, so I experimented with some color combinations. The result isn't something to share. It's done, trust me, but it was an experiment and so will go in my to be painted over pile. It was fun to play with paint again though. And every time I experiment, I learn. Sometimes what to do and sometimes what not to do again.


As for the fiber collage, I didn't really finish a section though I got pretty far with her right arm and surrounding area. I took time though to also cut out the left arm because I was interested in placing them in relation to eachother and actually the left arm position revealed itself to me first so I thought, what the heck, get that started too. I'll post a photo tomorrow. Off to bed...

Here we go.... I decided to use this 30 in 30 challenge to dig deeper into what is happening for me right now in art, fiber collage. So,... I am building a larger work. Because I use a humble little sewing machine (a workhorse that contains not a single micro-chip) it is very difficult to sew a larger collage, therefore, I am trying my hand at building the larger work sectionally. Today I began with the face. Mind you, I "paint" a lot with threads on the machine, so this will look very rough but piecing it is pretty significant, especially when it's a human face. Details will of course emerge with the sewing. I will decide tomorrow if I will go ahead and stitch (I need to buy needles) or if my 2 of 30 will be to build another section... we'll see...BTW, this showing you my pieces early in their development, this is scary. Not terrifying, but also not easy. I'm pretty private in my art-making. It's a quiet process between me and the universe. Sometimes a piece can look nearly finished and it has to be taken apart and started all over again because it doesn't quite feel right. These collages are adventures packed with perils and challenges and joys and mysteries and revelations all along the way. So tonight I invite you in... to see a bit, just a glimpse of beginning the journey.

"Face" section pieced for larger work "Copper Dancing Woman"
14 x14 inches

fabric, wool, yarn and toule

So,... Starting a 30 in 30 challenge on Monday.... I'm also taking a class in glazing techniques with acrylics. Painting via glazing is, IMO, a very slow process for painting. And it's new for me. Interpret that as, it hurts, it's painful AND it's   very     good     for     me     to learn. It will be an interesting 30 days. 


I am however pretty seriously considering "painting" with threads for the 30 in 30 challenge. My fiber collages have incorporated increasing details created using different colored threads in the sewing process. I have some ideas I want to play with, so, these will likely be something I play with in the next month.

Just accepted another 30 in 30 painting challenge....should be a wild ride! According to the "rules" I can do fiber collage too, so that may show up as well, though I can't imagine finishing one in a day... but one never knows what a challenge like this will bring. That's the scary fun part! Stay tuned!

On the Left is an acrylic painting I did a few years back titled "The Three Graces." To the Right are prayer flags: the set hanging together is "The Serenity Prayer: Serenity, Courage, Wisdom"; under it is "Death & Life (which sold!), "The Broke-open Heart;" and "Contentment" These were what people saw when they stepped inside at the Oceanside Art Show this weekend! I got some good feedback and many folks took business cards too! Met some wonderful artists and patrons of the arts!

Some other acrylics of mine in the show. These were taken with before I put up the black and white labels. 

Much to feel grateful about tonight :)

Tomorrow and Sunday I am showing some of my prayer flags and paintings at the Oceanside Art Show in Oceanside Oregon! This is SO lovely a place to start my adventure showing the prayer flags. A humble little town nestled between hillside and ocean, with nary an arcade in sight, only three small restaurants to qualify as commerce and the sweetest little cabins to rent just up from the beach for a sweet price as well, Oceanside has since I arrived in Oregon 28 years ago been my favorite happy place.


So, patience...


For the past three weeks I've been dredging the deep waters of PTS (post traumatic stress) and have suffered to the point of fearing for my ultimate stability at times. Yet throughout I have continued to work on creating prayer flags. I finished Faith. Am now ready to stitch Hope. And I am eager to get at Charity (which also might be Love). The creating has not all gone smoothly of course. It never does. But it always goes well. That is to say, I always grow well by creating the flags. 


I don't listen to books on tape and extremely rarely even listen to music of any kind. Piecing the Flags is an act of prayer and an act of meditation. An act of listening. I listen to the piece, to the materials, to my instincts, to the universe, the day, the moment, my stomach, my heart. So anything else is distration. 


And sometimes a flag seems nearly finished when some little corner of it whispers or screams that something different needs to happen. And, I listen. And I take everything apart and play with what seems to need attention. Sometimes I build layer upon layer of fiber and fabric, over and over again. Maybe I let it rest a bit and come back. But always, always, that whisper or scream was right. And dozens, sometimes hundreds of fibers and pieces of fabric are moved time and time again as if placed like footfalls in a dance, until it flows, until the dance is harmonious... until the image down to the last piece fits the music of the intention.


Sometimes I use tweezers... that is the patience this process requires. Yet it isn't a battle. I think this is why, more than any other reason, I believe these prayer flags are my current destiny. Patience has always been a bit of a battle for me. I am learning to let go. To listen. To dance to the music of the universe.


Very much a neophite, I humbly dance!

I’m taking a painting class. That’s hard to admit. I’ve been painting for decades. But I’ve hit a wall. It’s not a new wall. It’s a wall that’s been around a long time. Usually I skirt it. Or ignore it and hope it goes away. Or I try to paint my way around it. But, lately I’ve been doing a lot of meditating and have come upon some life-changing realizations about who I am NOW , which of course shed clarifying light upon past misconceptions about the “who I am”s of past “NOW”s. So it is that I found myself at the wall. First, I hit it….I figuratively pounded on it for a while and then had a good cry over it’s impenetrability. Over it’s existence, and it’s insistence. Then I decided to just be with it for a while. And that’s when I signed up for the painting class.


It’s a fabulous class, taught by a wonderful woman who knows painting, knows color, knows process. And her methods are completely different than those I’ve used for years. The wall got bigger on the first day of class. But I stayed with it. And today was the second class. And I stayed at the wall. And I painted.


So, the wall isn’t so scary anymore, learning to paint using a new process, feeling like a kindergartener, THAT is scary. But it’s EGO scary. That’s all. I can handle that. The wall, it turns out was Fear that I don’t know what I’m doing. Taking the class, I admit that on some level, I don’t. Admitting what the Fear is generally makes it shrink. Also, really, are any of us ever done? Do I really want to say, “I’m an artist and I’ve learned all I need to learn, now I’m just going to paint (or collage) along on my merry way.” How dull I would become. How dull I became there at that wall. Pretending it didn’t exist. Pretending knowing everything was everything.


I have MUCH to learn… and how like LIFE it feels, climbing over that wall; and leaving it in the past. 


Next post:  a little something about starting over that I learned from making fiber collages...