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

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. 

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.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Well, I'm bummed.  Somehow in checking out the aspects of this site and my blog settings, I lost my original design layout/template.  The choices that were originally available aren't there any more.  Weird and frustrating.  So, I guess I will be re-working everything. Who knows, maybe I'll come up with a better layout.  That's what I get for messing around with things at midnight.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Writing an artist's statement...

   I've been working on writing a Bio and an Artist Statement, two different things, so I've read.  I was reading about how to write an artist statement, what's entailed... I find it difficult to write about myself, praise myself, basically sell myself or my work to someone else.  The article that I read on how to write one, stressed being truthful about what you say, amongst other things.  I've read lots of statements by other artists.  Some I can't understand because they are so full of nebulous words or seem to have no 'real' content about the artist at all.  Others are overflowing with all the various shows and/or awards that they have received that I'm done before I start, not that those aren't good to know too, but I think those should be stated in a Bio.
  Ultimately, I feel like I am bragging or something.  When someone comes over, I either feel like a little kid,  and show off what I'm working on or mostly, self-conscious and ignore my work altogether (which is out in the open for all to see). It's like I'm embarrassed or something.  Why?  I've never heard anyone say, "oh that's crap" (maybe they save that for behind my back, lol), or, "why did you do that?", in a mean derogatory way.  In fact most of the time, they want to know how I did something. Or, they might say, "wow, that's a lot of work, or tedious...or that's really great".  So, what's the big deal?  Has anyone else had this dilemma?

   As far as my Interior Design goes, I had someone today want to know if I had a website (working on it) or a portfolio...uhg! I should have one.  I've designed so many tile installations for people over the years you would think I would have thousands of photos. I have only a smattering. Who's fault? Mine...
The potential client wanted to know, basically, why she should pick me to do designs for her.  So there I am, having to tell someone why I am so great, pick me!

   I remember a painting teacher I had years ago who said that there are two types of artists; those who create merely to create and those who produce solely to sell.  I've been primarily a creator, and thus, usually a giver of gifts.  I do love that.  I enjoy sharing what I make and giving things to others.  I feel like I'm giving a little piece of myself, rather than say a gift card...something anyone can do. Handmade gifts have always seemed more personal to me.  I suppose not everyone feels that way about receiving that type of gift.  I guess some people prefer a standard present from the local box store.  Anyway, I've have come to realize the need for both types of artists...endless gift giving creations don't pay bills...So, I'm on a mission.  An artist's mission of both producing art for pleasure and also for potential earnings.  A mission that years ago, I said I could never do.  Never say never, right?  Hence, the need for an artist's statement.

   Not sure where the journey is going, but I'm on the bus.  It's a slow bus too.  So far, I have discovered that I am happiest when I'm creating something...anything. A good thing to know about myself for this journey.  One obstacle that I have is responding to this simple little question- "are you an artist?",
and being honest and not embarrassed by saying, "yes, I am."  Really, I don't know why I have such a problem with that question.  What stigma is attached to it?  Not a worthy profession?  Saying I'm an artist, is not a bad thing.  There are so many great talented people now and in the past...So, what's up?

  So far on this bus, I joined our local art museum...again.  I was a member once before, but I was always to chicken to enter any shows.  I only participated as an art teacher and also took my kids there so they could learn about art.   I am planning on entering a show coming up...another reason for the dreaded statement.  It's a slow bus, and I'm a work in progress.
   Definitely ramblings of this artist...

Monday, July 9, 2012

It's been a while...

Ok, well, I haven't fallen off the earth.  Overly busy I guess with natural coarse of life.
What have I been up too?  Holidays, son's broken leg, graduations, camping, gardening, creating, etc....

And of course weaving.  I acquired a fun Harrisville four harness 22" floor loom to my collection.   I currently have about 19 yards of warp on it. I am making scarves on it.  Nearly finished too.

I helped a friend dress her loom earlier in the year.  That is always fun. She has an all white warp with different types of fibers.  How's the project going?

I recently finished this warp.  I like putting a lot of  warp yardage on the loom at one time and then making several things from it-all uniquely different.  The warp was approx. 12 yards long and comprised of silk, cotton, hemp, and wool fibers. It yielded a rag rug which I used recycled flannel sheets for the weft, eight unique decorative pillows, a shawl, a purse and a coin purse.  I purchased a yarn twister.  Never used one before.  I used it on the purse.  Boy, what a difference it made. I was used to making the twist by hand.  No big deal for one or two, but when you have a lot to do...well, it's much easier to get consistent twists.

I've also been playing around with hand dying natural fibers.  That is really fun.  My love of gardening has come into play.  I found myself scouting out various plants in my yard to try creating dye.  Really fun.  They never turn out quite like you expect, part of the fun surprise.  I like the subtle greens that the copper sulfate adds to the yarn. Some berries from an unknown tree created a taupey color on some silk.  More on that later.  Anyway, all for now.