Greetings!

"Welcome to the ramblings of another artist's adventures."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Artastic Workshop- Batik

Greetings!  Well, I've created and held my first Batik Workshop.  I feel like it was a success.  I had six students.  It was a wonderful day of creativity.


Getting ready for the students to arrive, yep, I was a little nervous, wondering (it's only in my garage)---will they really come? will there be a power serge using all those wax pots? is there enough materials?  will they understand me? will they have fun?  Well...
They came! We had power!  We had enough materials. 
They 'got' it. 
We had fun!
Everyone started with paper to practice using the tools and then a small piece of cotton fabric.  After that, it was on to a silk scarf.  I enjoyed watching everyone's thought process and techniques unfold. 

    All of the students were basically new to Batik-a process of wax and dye resist.
Applying dye...
Several layers of wax and dye are applied before the piece is completed.
Letting dye dry before next layer of wax
 
                                                             Just a little more dye...
                                     
Some awesome art...
              
      The creative juices were flowing!

My goal in setting up this project was to create a place where people could join together, learn and share an art experience.  Enjoy art and self-expression. I think everyone can achieve joy and happiness through a creative process.  I believe we all have an 'artist' within ourselves.  We just need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life to let our creative spirit emerge.

I encourage you to release your inner 'artist'!





Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snitch Knots and Tie-ups

 Well, thanks to fellow weaver's who blog, I learned how to do a snitch knot and redo the tie-ups on my loom which were rotting away with every step.  I ended up using parachute cord. It seems strong enough.  I burned the ends so the cord won't fray.

 I also used a nylon washer on the under side of the treadle to make sure the knot won't pull through.
Yay! It took about an hour to do them all.  Now I'm ready to weave on!  Thanks again to all of you who post advice and instruction.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Artist, Craftsman or Artisan?

Good Morning All!
I hope the new year finds everyone well.  Spring is around the corner.  Yippee!

I joined the local Weaver's Guild last Sept.  I love it.  What a wonderful group of talented people.  This past Sat. we had a meeting where we all watched several excerpts from the series Crafts in America from PBS.  Wow!  There really are so many talented artists in the world...oh, wait-artist or craftsman?  That is what came up at the end of show between our group members.  What is art?  What is a craft?  Are you an artist, artisan, or craftsman? Or do you just 'make' stuff?

That is a long argued question. Some of the responses were that art is something that has no utilitarian purpose, just hangs on a wall or sits on a stand.  Something to be viewed, pondered, invoke some thought from the viewer.  Can't that be considered a utility of sorts?

So, that leaves crafts as something created for some purpose, some function.  If you make crafts, you're supposedly not an artist.  Why, because you are not a painter or a sculptor in the traditional formal sense. It seems the opinion also was that many gallery owners and museum curators feel that way too.  Someone gave an example -a crocheted Kleenex box cover could not be art.   My comment was, well, what if it was created in an artistic fashion?  Still no?  The people that were in the DVD like Ed Moulthrop- a wood turner, Paul Marioni - a glass sculptor, Randall Darwall - a weaver, Lia Cook - a weaver and Cliff Lee - a potter have pieces in galleries. Are they artists?  Is their work art? If their pieces are in galleries and museum, it must be art. Right? Hmmm.  I do agree that all crafts aren't necessarily art.  Ultimately, it is a subjective world.

The discussion turned to how the Fiber arts are viewed.  A craft or art? Or even wearable art?  Most 'artists' don't seem to consider fiber as a means of art.  It seems widely viewed that if you aren't someone like a Monet, a Miro` or a Van Gogh than you must not be a true artist...  As I recall those artists weren't favored in the 'art' world during their beginnings as artists. Is a woven piece created for the wall, meant only to be viewed, not then a piece of art?  I create batiks on silk scarves.  Several people refer to them as wearable art other people see them as just a scarf.  Again a subjective world.

In the end several people decided to say when asked, "are you an artist?", that "they just 'make stuff'".  I love to make stuff and some of it is art.  So, am I an artist? I like the word artisan; it seems to encompass both craftsman and artist.

I decided to look up the words artist, craftsman and artisan in the dictionary.  Interesting.  I found the sources also subjective to a degree.
Craftsman by most sources is stated as a  man/person who practices a trade or handicraft with great skill and expertise.  Also said to be an artisan or artist by Dictionary.com. Ok, that works for me.

Artist is viewed as one who is a painter, sculptor, or writer even, who is able with imagination and skill to produce works of aesthetic value... a person whose work shows exceptional creative ability and skill...Oxford dictionary says an artist can be "one person who makes their craft a fine art".  Wikipedia says, an artist is a person who creates art and is skilled in some activity.  I liked these too.

Artisan is seen as a person who practices a trade or handicraft; craftsperson; skilled in applied arts; synonymous with artist. Good too.

I thought when I looked up the 'true' definitions (if it's in the dictionary, it must be correct, right?) the answer would be decided for me. It seems that even in the dictionary world, there is no agreement.
So, in the end I've decided that I'm an artist who is trained and creates skillful pieces that fall into several areas...utilitarian, wearable, or just to be.  Basically, I love to 'make' stuff.  It makes me happy.  The viewer can decide if it is art or not!
Who are you?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Scarves Away!

So I have been making scarves, both weaving and batik.  I forgot how much I love textiles.  I have several scarves on my loom. I have created over 20 batik scarves during the last few months.  My back hurts, my family misses me at times, but I love it. 
 And what to do with all the used paper?  It's seems such a waste to through it out.  The recyclers won't take it as it is full of wax.  Any ideas?  I'm using my little paper towel scraps which are full of wax as fire starters.  They work great!  I'll have enough for many fires at the rate I'm going. 

 It is hard to juggle all administrative items necessary and still have time to create.  I'm also trying to decide which is the most effective way to photograph the scarves.  It's hard to show the whole scarf and show the drape as well.  I'm looking for any hints or suggestions.
All in all, I'm having a great time experimenting with different patterns and colors.  If anyone is interested in purchasing one just let me know. 
Cio for now!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

J. Paul Getty Museum, Have You Been?

 I love going to museums and seeing what other artists have created over the course of time.  Often for me, the grounds of a museum are as much an art as the pieces themselves.  We went on a beautiful Fall day. The weather was great and the skies over Los Angeles were clear of the usual smog.  The grounds offer several spots for a picnic lunch where you can view the tremendous gardens full of rich colors and textures.
I found patterns all around.  Don't forget to look up. You might miss something spectacular like designs created by the wired tree sculptures full of Bougainvillea.




 






There is art all around, inside and out.  
Actually, there are over 3,200 pieces with changing exhibitions as well as a permanent collection. There are paintings from the Impressionists and Expressionists like Van Gogh's, Irises, 1889.  My favorite periods, I love the action.
I like this painting by Sorolla y Bastida, Wounded Foot, 1909. I like how the artist captures the light and movement of the water.  

I thought this giant metal urn was great.  The photo doesn't show all of the detail on it, like the spiders and bugs for example.

  












 While you wait for the tram to take you to the top, you can view sculptures in the garden.

So, hurry and go check it out.  It's a great experience that you won't want to miss.   We loved it.



You can go onto their website and check for hours etc. They even have educational classes.
 www.getty.edu 

Hope  you enjoy it! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Batik, what is it?

My project lately is creating batik scarves. I've had several people ask me, "What is Batik?"  Tik-Indonesian word meaning marked with dots.... or a patterned cloth.
-A process that dates back nearly 2000 years, originally from Java, later Indonesia, and China as early as 500AD.  It wasn't until the17th century when the Dutch began trading with Colonized Java that batik fabrics started showing up in Europe and much much later America.  It started as a means of decorating fabrics worn as sarongs for religious purposes.  The Chinese worked mainly on silk and the Indonesians worked with cotton. 
It wasn't until the 1960's and 70's that it became more popular as an art form besides only creating decorative fabrics.  It was a traditional textile method,  eventually over taken by silk screening because designs could be produced and reproduced  much faster.


In Batik layers of wax and dye are used to create the designs.  Some ways that the heated wax can be applied are by tjanting tools, brushes, or stamps.  The design usually starts on a blank 'canvas', some type of white fabric. Natural fabrics take the dyes much better.  The layers start from light to dark, each time adding more wax and more dye. Where ever the wax is applied, that color remains.  In the end the whole object is coated in wax.  The wax is then removed by ironing, boiling in some cases, even dry cleaning.
Here is an example of a work in progress, working light to dark.  It is really fun seeing how the colors react and change throughout the whole project.  One of may favorite aspects. I love it!  It is a time consuming process, but with great results.  I first learned batik at Texas Tech from Betty Street. There are also several books available on batik and dyeing...Try it.  It's a lot of fun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Good Morning all!
I'm excited to recently have been a part of an exhibit, my first one.  Yay! One of the things I encountered upon entering, was selecting names for my pieces.  Very tricky business.  I think sometimes a name is obvious for a piece, and other times, it's a stretch.  When I go to a museum or show, I try not to  look at the name at first.  I find that sometimes it can take away from my initial interpretation.  However, other times the name can bring clarity to what the artist was possibly thinking. Occasionally, I don't understand the connection between the two which makes me wonder if the name was just a random thought. Does anyone have any opinion about this?  I would love to hear it.