Wednesday, May 28, 2014

quilt quilt quilt quilt quilt quilt quilt

If I say the word over and over it starts to sound unfamiliar and I have that bizarre feeling of not knowing the word nor its meaning.  I'm doing this as a way to disassociate with the traditionalist understanding of the quilt and stay grounded in my "I'll do it myself" mentality.  Once again, I've used an antiquated (though certainly rising in popularity again), homemaker's media to express concepts of dream symbolism, theories of color and design and to recognize and experience the meditative work of repetition.  I made a post about my quilt before as I've been working on it since last December, and now it's basically finished.  Yesterday, I sent it off to the quilter, Amy Wade who will use her computerized long-arm sewing machine to connect my top layer of piecework to bamboo viscose batting and raw silk backing.  Pre quilting:
The colors are all dyed 1 - 5 times to reach desired saturation and shade.  The dark blue is made using indigo - a totally new dyeing process for me.  The overall dimension is 80" x 88" and each square (of 2 triangles) is 4" x 4".  The Anni Albers textile design and color theory inspiration comes from her artwork, Triadic Series D.  For me, the principle definer of my design was not the triangles so much as it was the orientation of diagonals for each 20" x 20" area (each 20" square area rotates to create a diamond pattern within the grid).  
Anni's screenprint: 
Anni Albers. “Triadic Series D.” 1969. Lithograph

Anni Albers' work was more about pattern design and textile fabric design - her work was so crucial for modern textiles and she paved the way with her design theories and inventive ideas for fabrication.  For me, she paved the way for my planning in making this quilt.  I knew I needed a pattern and though I wanted symbolism incorporated, the pattern was most important for a textile I planned to see regularly in my bedroom.  Anni's patterns and design theories lend themselves to the gaze - harmonious repetition with just enough variety to keep us meditatively looking.

The dream symbolization for this blanket is just that: a blanket over our dreams.  Of all the things we can lay over ourselves each night, I wanted to create something to inspire and evoke dreams.  Mentioned before, I have been  seeing a psychotherapist and she is particularly adept at recognizing my visual nature through discussing my dreams and other visions.  I find myself now more dedicated to the stories of my dreams and I place more intention into the work of remembering them.  Beyond dream symbolism, this quilt certainly marks the place where my husband and I share the most intimate space in our home.  The rectangle of yellow and blue-gray is placed over our hearts as an offering of and recognition for light. 

Yes, this is my latest art work, though it doesn't yet have a title.  Yes, it is also the most functional artwork I have ever made, and we will be using it, inhabiting it as that might be it's real completion.
total number of pieces: 880.  I wonder if there's any auspicious meaning to that number....

Friday, May 9, 2014

someone who documents

Have I taken pictures of the triplex that my husband, Christian is building - that I have been working on too?  Have I taken pictures (outside of my smartphone camera) of the quilt that I've been working on for 6 months?  Have I taken any photos of closing day at the gallery that I ran for the last 3 years and closed this past Tuesday?


I've been adverse to stopping all this doing in order to take a photograph or two and now I have a blog with no posts for almost two months!  I've considered making a post every few weeks or so and then I have instead done something like: work on a landscaping plan for the triplex, make plans for our little Siga - the standard poodle puppy that is coming home with us once we move into that triplex, get a tattoo, meet with friends that I haven't met with in a while, etc. etc.  There are times in one's life when the need to document just isn't there.  There are times when the documentation comes naturally...  I'm looking forward to that time coming up again.

For now, will a few smartphone photos suffice?  For now, a few brief statements about what has been going on?

Update number 1: Christian and I have a little standard poodle puppy waiting to come home with us as soon as we are ready.  His name is Siga (pronounced, See-gah).  We've wanted a dog for most of the time that we have been together (a long-ish time) and now he is finally in our lives.  We met with his breeder Betsey Beineke in Parker about a month ago and we were suckers for this little guy as soon as we held him in our laps. 

Update number 2: The triplex is under major-construction-all-the-time-so-much-going-on so that we can move in by the end of May.  The last photo that I took of the exterior is so outdated, I feel weird about posting it here, so I'm not going to.  I will try to make a more comprehensive photo collage of how it all looks.  For now, know that our hardwood floors are going in, the drywall and painting is completed, the kitchen cabinets are going in, the bathroom tile is done and waiting to be grouted, the garage doors are on, etc. etc.  I worked on the landscaping plan for several weeks culminating in one big push in April to get it ready for a contractor to review the plan and give us a bid (now in progress).
Update number 3: I've been working on a quilt for 6 months - starting with design in December of 2013, dying fabric in early 2014 (many attempts at a blue and red that would really work - I believe I succeeded), cutting fabric in February and March, then sewing for all of April through... yesterday!  This quilt is really spot on for me.  I had to make one major design change once I saw the finished work on the bed, but I am very very pleased with the completed work.  For me, this is a soulful project, a blanket for our dreaming and sleeping that speaks to the light in our hearts.  It is definitely related to the drawings that I have been making that focus on the primary colors and platonic shapes in relation to me in my visions and dreams. 

Update number 4: Danette and I, after almost a year of knowing the day was planned, knowing our time to move on to other projects and new directions is now, and knowing that GroundSwell Gallery has truly benefited many artists and the art community...  after all of this, we finally reached closing day on May 7th.  Our last show with Karen Fisher was a good exhibition with 3 sold artworks of which 10% of the profit went to the Denver chapter of the Alzheimers Association.  We feel great about the show and we feel wonderful about the last 3 years of success we have found with GroundSwell Gallery.  Susan Froyd of the Westword included both Danette and myself in her "Another 100 Colorado Creatives" which shares with Denver it's own contributing creative hard-hitters!  Link to that interview here.
Update number 5: I started making bread all the time...  There is hope for high altitude amateur bakers like myself because of "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day."  
Update number 6: tattoo.  More on that later. "When I look at it, I think of Modern Art... on you." - my acupuncturist, Diana said this, and that makes me feel good about my instincts for putting permanent ink on my skin!