Monday, August 31, 2009

Home Again...Reboot

Land Art exercise

Me and Jeanette- all wrapped up in Anne's silk and wool wrap

Jeanette's "Quarry" technique

Karoliina at NEFS

I arrived home last night from an amazing 12 days of felting and friendship and lots of hard work. I began at New England Felting Supply with 2 days of plant dyeing and resist work with Karoliina Arvilommi and Roderick Welch. We stayed at Chris's place (Author of "Uniquely Felt"- the best felting book!) along with another friend and feltmaker, Loyce. Late nights and lots of fun and catching up! We then went to Snow Farm for 9 days of Felter's Fling. An amazing felting event very well organized by Sharon Costello. It was so fabulous to see many friends I have met over the years and connect with some of my favorite instructors, as well as meet new ones. I assisted Jeanette Sendler (Scotland) and a bit with Rod a Karo (Finland) and had the chance to spend lots more time with them especially. I also really enjoyed getting to know Lisa Klakulak ( North Carolina- hugely talented artist) and Liz Clay (England) and Myfanwy Sterling (Australia) whom I have already met, but made a futher connection...always fun. Crazy fashion show and some really inspiring work by everyone.

Being gone more than a week was different as you almost get used to being away and on your own. I have always wondered how a parent can leave for long periods of time and not be completely falling apart. I sort of get it...I had totally turned of my "mommy" drive and I am still rebooting that system. Sounds awful, but it must be a mental self-preservation defense. So glad to be home with my wonderful family. I hit the ground running with High school orientation today for my oldest and grocery shopping to get ready for the start of school tomorrow.

I will spend a couple of days getting Acorn's Journey orders sent and emails returned. I found out while away that I did not get into the final stage at Cheongju. I hate even writing that. Makes me want to cry and I am left feeling so insecure about my work. Such pitfalls when we truly put ourselves "out there". Sucks. In any case, I have other things on the go. I have 3 more travel things this year. One close by, one by the sea in Quebec in Sept. and then in Massachsetts again in October. I can then concentrate on my solo exhibition in March when the travel then starts all over again. When will the maddness stop?!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ahh, the Life of Artists on the Road (not)

You know...they always say "Be careful what you wish for." and...they say..."The grass is always greener". Well, not sure who the heck "they" are, but I resent that they are right, darn it! Since I began this fabulous art journey, I have been working hard, traveling to learn from the best, making connections and along with (what I believe) my natural teaching skills and ability to sell myself, I have some amazing opportunities. Yippee! grants, exhibitions, teaching gigs all over! It's all good, right?

Well, I have realized that each stage in the journey does not look or feel quite like you expect it to when you get there. I had never expected to be so torn about being away from family, especially now that the kids are a bit older. I had expected to set off in a cute sporty car, kisses at the door, return home to long hours in the studio and time with my husband and boys, making money to contribute and have a bit left for some pretty shoes or a even a family vacation. But, alas, I have tears at the door (my own), some orange crocs ("pretty" does not come to mind) and no money left to fix my rusty van let alone a week at the HoJo in Newfoundland.

I know the time will come when it all gets a little easier, but if it doesn't that just has to be okay. When it comes down to it,, this is what I do. I am an artist. Don't we all have to take the good with the other (I won't even call it "bad"). I have learned this summer that I need to book less art travel/teaching during the summer months. Learning that is a very good thing.

So, today I head to immerse myself in my craft for 12 days (thank you Ontario Arts Council!) and to see wonderful feltmaking friends. The grass will be greener in "art land"...until I get there.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

What a Mess.

There has been a silk and wool explosion! With lots to do before I'm headed to Massachusetts, I needed to start sorting through materials for 2 weeks of felting!! I foolishly thought that because I was not teaching, I would not have much to think about! I think of all my recent students with their bins and bins of materials and me wondering why they brought so much stuff. Well, now that is me! I will be visiting with Chris White (author of Uniquely Felt) and owner of New England Felting Supply and then a fabulous event for an intensive many days with fabulous felters. I will report back with full details when I return and if I can get a wifi connection, I will update you as it happens! See, I am already getting ahead of myself... I still have art to make and photograph (and fill out forms, and put images on discs) I also have orders to fill...I just love when someone orders a single ounce each of all 57 colours.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Where Am I?: Taking Inventory

Location: Italy Date taken:1940 Photographer:Carl Mydans

I have spent very little time in the studio since I have been home. With my eldest sons birthday, taking the young one to camp and catching up with the "business" part of being a professional artist, I am feeling like the "art" is not getting done.

I have decided that rather than giving myself a hard time about the art I am not making, I am going to review all the art that is out there or the ground work laid...

1. Solo show in the works in being booked- calling tomorrow to hopefully confirm
2. Piece "Adaptations" send to Cheongju, South Korea for stage II jury. Just waiting (anxiously)
3. Work (3 pieces) sent to Colorado for international, inviational group exhibition "NeoFelt"
4. Piece "Colony" ready to send to Toronto for "Spark" auction (must finish 2 more-but we aren't counting those right now, are we?)
5. Booking in the last remaining teaching spot for 2010
6. Niche Award applied for
7. Fibreart International entered-pending
8. 2 pieces touring with Masterworks East- one more destination-Ottawa

Hey, not bad.
Okay, I feel better now. These are all things where everything is largely done. Yes, I have lots to do before Wednesday and I have to give myself permission to not get everything done, look at all the things I have out the in the universe and just take things one day at a time....

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Reality Bites (kind of)

Okay, 4 days at an all emersive "lockdown" with amazing creative people, now friends, who I can't wait to connect with again! Three days home preparing. One week in an all emersive teaching engagement in Wisconsin with wonderful, eager students and fabulous instuctors, whom I worship.

I have been home now 4 days (the first day slothing) and the reality of work I need to be doing in the studio has begun to hit me. I am relieved that my next trip will be a learning trip for me-no teaching- so little prep, but I am faced with September art deadlines that must be addressed in the next 7 days (7 days...are you kidding me?! to start, finish, photograph and send out images?!)

I need to take a serious look at my files and set some proirities. One juried exhibition, in particular, must take priority: Ontario Craft '09. The biennial juried exhibtion for the Ontario Crafts Council. I was in '07 year and feel I want to be in this year!! I also must decide on a solo exhibition for March. There was a cancellation and I have the chance to move up by a year. This means no other distractions after November and working exclusively on a body of work for the show. The prospect of this gets my juices flowing and I think fate is stepping in and telling me to go for it. I will contact my fabulous grant writting woman, Lindsey, to see if a grant is possible for this.

I think other matters were proposals for teaching, but I am getting so booked that I don't need to do so now. I was thinking of Edmonton in June, but have now been booked for a group during that time. No proposals to write (bonus!) and I am booked 5 days at my rate, no compromises. Feels good!

Well, once my teenage sons birthday festivities have ended this weekend, I am studio bound...meeting deadlines, filling up my book and headed to the neglected studio...see how sad it looks!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ahh, the Converse All-Star

The week after next I am headed to Mass. for a couple of weeks for a workshop and Felters Fling, so preparing for September has become a priority...

School shopping with the brood today. All in a row tallest to shortest getting sized up and comparing how much their feet have grown in the 6 months since we last bought shoes. The eldest has passed his dad's size. The middle one- one size smaller than the youngest (although this is due to his freakishly long big toe).
The youngest spots the converse high tops and expresses an interest in the shoes that take me back to hanging out with my musician boyfriend and cruising in my VW bug convertible. "Really?!", I ask hoping he would consider these as a possibility! Once the red high tops were on his feet, my husband asked if he needed a rubber nose to go with them. Okay, he has big feet and red was perhaps not the best choice, although I totally give him props for not being afraid to be bold.
As he tried on the more sedate black high tops, I had a revelation... Ellen DeGeneres wears them (with whom I admittedly have a girl crush), I have seen other cool chics wear them (Sheryl Crow- okay *sigh* another girl crush)...they are just funky enough that I won't look like I am a pathetic 40 year old attempting to recapture my youth, but just funky enough that I can be stylin'. Sold...could not resist. So, here they are kickin' back in the grass. Feels good!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I'm Back! Some of my wonderful students' work to see...

A new felting fanatic, Christina, working on dimension in Dimensional Landscapes
A piece by Susan Schwartz in progress. Ribbon on her tree gave an fabulous interesting texture!
Betty added dimensional flowers...very nice.
I'm in love with Lela's windswept tree!
This tree was felted very firm with wonderful technique! I see the creators face, but can't recall her name (Marsha?) Let me know if you know!
Nan had a great "roadmap" to start with and was adding dimension with rocks, trees and waterfall.
Rita's winter scene holds special meaning for her. Sorry I could not display it right side up! So nice with the snow on the tree. Made in Painting with wool.
A lovely piece in progress in Painting with wool. I love the water rushing on the rocks.
Marlene's wonderful birds on the beach in Dimensional Landscapes
Becky's stunning piece in Painting with wool. She has a great eye.
Lisa- working on some underwater rocks and cliff in Dimensional Landscapes!

I am now back after a week in Wisconsin at the Midwest Felting Symposium. I taught 2 days of figures, painting with wool and 2 days of Dimensional Landscapes. I am going to add some pictures here of works in progress for you to have a peek. Some of these students are very new to felting and some not, but everyone had great piece evolve from nothing more that wool fibre, elbow grease and lots of creativity. You were all wonderful students! I hope I see everyone next year and lots of new people too.

time to relax

time to relax
Liberatio Captivus