Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Working toward a goal is so much fun!

(Above: Free motion embroidery on Mokuba adhesive coated, water soluble stablizer. Click on image to enlarge.)

I'm working toward an amazing goal....a solo exhibition at the prestigious City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston. My Decision Portrait Series was selected for this great opportunity. I had fifty finished. I needed ninety. I've had great help along the way, including a fantastic blog post by Dawn Goldsmith at Subversive Stitchers. The response has been fantastic. I'm pretty much there....though I'm still waiting for either a model's release or a digital photo from a few contacted people. I don't think I can accept any more people and still get the work stitched! (Except, I'll "burn the midnight oil" for Divorced (must be both former husband and wife) with stitched words: Irreconcilable Differences and anything to do with aging/beauty.....such as regular tanning, having botox, or any optional cosmetic surgery.....liposuction, face lift, etc.

I've been finishing and posting portraits nearly every other day. The work is coming along excellently. Thank you to everyone who has written with a compliment or note of encouragement. It means so much.

I'd like to share a few adventures I had just last week while securing some of the last portraits:

1) I went to a drag queen show. It started at midnight. It was a blast. I don't think I've ever owned as much make-up cumulatively in my entire life....never owned or wore fake eyelashes....had an excellent conversation, shot dozens of photos, and got the model's release signed by Carla, a really great guy in drag. (That's not Carla above....it was the only "live action shot" that wasn't totally blurry!)

2) I witnessed one of the greatest acts of courage done in the name of the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Through this charity, Jillian raised money for children's cancer research. How? She had her head shaved...totally bald. She doesn't even know a child with cancer. She's a loving, generous soul who cares deeply. I couldn't do this....but I collected all the hair in order to use it on the portrait. I also have video!

3) I met with a self-proclaimed pastor....a homeless man that tries to bring awareness to the plights of other homeless people in the area. (No photo except the ones for the upcoming portrait.....yes, he decided to be homeless and intends to remain homeless even though he could choose not to be!)

The holiday weekend was a great time to spend nearly twelve hours a day working. I now have a routine.....stitch a chiffon banner, then stitch at least half a portrait, repeat!

So.....here's the progress report on the chiffon banners with "decisions" written on them:

I cut 16" widths of Mokuba's adhesive coated, water soluble stabilizer into 1" strips. I apply them to the chiffon and free motion stitch.

Between each word and punctuation, I allow a couple of inches of the thread to dangle. When I first started stitching sheer chiffon banners in this method, I'd often get the bobbin thread tangled. Now.....the movements are nearly second nature. Each "start" and "end" of a word is delicately back stitched. Thus, I can clip the threads after each "decision" without the words unraveling.

After I clip the front, I flip the chiffon banner and clip the reverse.....then apply another 1" strip of the adhesive stabilizer and stitch the next "decision". The result is that the decisions alternate, up faces one direction and the next faces the opposite direction.

I hung one in the atrium at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, just outside my studio door. Each banner is 12 - 14 feet in length....thus, it touches the floor here. The two story space inside City Gallery at Waterfront Park is going to great!

Above is a view looking up at the banner....to the oversize, custom coat hanger I recently had made. I drew a template for John Sharpe for this coat hanger. It's for a Grave Rubbing Art Quilt idea. Fortunately, he made two. The second one is PERFECT for storing these chiffon banners. After all, there is going to be 48 of them!

Currently, there are nine done.....that's 39 to go! Folded over the strong metal, custom coat hanger, the chiffon banners are now hanging in my studio.

And....one more project.....SOCKS! Thanks so much to Marty in Auburn, NY who sent some of the socks below! Yes....I'm still collecting for a public art event planned for this coming November! Any other unpaired, lost, totally worn socks are welcome to join these! Mail them to 2123 Park Street, Columbia, SC 29201!


MosaicMagpie said...

You are such an inspiration. You have throughly thought out those banners. Making them readable from both sides. Do you chant to yourself, I am stitching as fast as I can. I am stitching as fast as I can.

Dale Anne Potter said...

LOVE the idea of those banners - look forward to more pictures when you have them exhibited!

Lynn said...

So much here...bravo to hair donating gal...I think I have the match to some of those socks...and the banners are amazing! Simply amazing. YOU are amazing. What a huge project, what a fantastic show. I wish I could see it in person. Might it travel? We could find you a place near where I live perhaps? I'd love that!

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

What an awesome post! I love South Carolina and the people are truly filled with Grace...I look forward to the lost sock process in November! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

lindacreates said...

You inspire me.......

I look forward to the portrait of the lady that shaved her head for cancer.

I am intrigued by the pastor that chooses to be homeless.