Friday, November 06, 2015

Back from Paradise (PLAYA) and very, very busy!

(Above:  Five Points Pavement I and II, a diptych commissioned by the Five Points Association for the upcoming Starry Night Gala, December 3rd.)

Where to begin? Last Thursday seems like a decade ago. It is hard to believe I was at PLAYA, an art residency in the "Oregon Outback" packing up my belongings and sweeping the floor of the fabulous studio in which I worked for four weeks. By Friday I was blogging from the Portland Airport on my way back home. Since then, it's been GO, GO, GO!  So much work piled up in my absence but I was also facing some tight deadlines ... like mounting, framing, and turning in the diptych commissioned by the Five Points Association for their upcoming, December 3rd "Starry Night Gala". Ten artist were asked to produce work inspired by Five Points, a fun area of Columbia near the University of South Carolina campus and filled with many independent boutiques, bars, and restaurants. 

(Above:  Five Points Pavement I. Framed:  33 1/2" x 33".  Images of pavement from Five Points transferred to fabric and embellished with hand-stitched embroidery.  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

Late this summer I spent a morning photographing the textures and colors of Five Points' sidewalks, streets, and shop entryways. It was amazing! I never really thought about the pavement under my feet and yet that's exactly what I think of in Five Points!  Why?

(Above:  Five Points Pavement II. Framed:  33 1/2" x 33".  Images of pavement from Five Points transferred to fabric and embellished with hand-stitched embroidery.)

Well, I don't live near Five Points. So, when visiting, I'm driving.  I generally go southbound on Harden Street and always look over into the northbound lane. That's where there was once a white cross painted on the pavement.  It marked the location where Nancy Moore Thurmond (Senator Thurmond's daughter) was killed by a drunk driver in April of 1993.  The twenty-two year old college senior was jay-walking.  It was such a tragedy.  I can't help but to think of other students who "did something silly" and paid the ultimate price. Didn't I do a few crazy things in college?  Didn't my husband, my friends, my kids? 

 (Above:  Five Points Pavement II, detail.)

Most of us were lucky.  So, when I think of Five Points, I think of the pavement, the five streets coming together, the white painted cross ... in a really fun part of town ... that is constantly being upgraded and improved and made safer by organizations like the Five Points Association.

(Above:  Five Points Pavement I, detail.)

I'm really pleased to be part of this event ... especially since the Five Points Association COMMISSIONS art!  They don't beg for participation and promise a cut from silent auction prices that are significantly less than any artist would ordinarily charge.  They really value artists and the work they produce.  

(Above:  Additional images of Five Points pavement ... last month ... in my studio at PLAYA.)

When ordering my collage of images to be printed onto fabric from Spoonflower, I filled in the extra yardage with additional photos.  I've been stitching these by both hand and machine.  Some are finished and framed!

(Above:  Five Points Pavement III.)

There was a "skinny" section on the yardage and I filled it in with this detail from the Hootie and the Blowfish fountain in Five Points.

(Above:  Detail of Five Points Pavement III.)

It was fun to fill the space with free-motion embroidery.  I've promised a percentage of any sale of any of these "extra" images to the Five Points Association ... and this cool, skinny but framed, musically inspired work is just $195!

(Above:  Steve holding Five Points Pavement IV.  Framed: 26" x 22". $300.)

This one, Five Points Pavement IV, is both machine and hand stitched.  I'm having a blast with these "extra" bits of image transferred fabric photos! But ... that's not all I've been doing since my return from Oregon.  There was another, fast deadline!  Like the Five Points Pavement deadline ... this next one fell on Monday, November 2!

(Above:  Twelve fiber Christmas ornaments for the National Tree in Washington, DC.)

This one was a secret!  I wasn't allowed to announce the fact until an official press release was made available (which happened last week!)  Here's what happened:  Two days before leaving for PLAYA in Oregon, I was selected as the artist from South Carolina to make the twelve Christmas ornaments for the National Tree in Washington, DC.  There was a theme.  The ornaments were to reflect the National Parks and Monuments in each artist's state.  Here in South Carolina there is only one National Park but several National Historic Sites, Monuments, and even a National Trail.  I had just enough time to gather copyright free images reflecting these special locations, upload them to Spoonflower, and have the fabric sent directly to PLAYA.

(Above:  The reverse side of each ornament for the National Tree.)

Each ornament is two-sided. The "back" features the state of South Carolina in navy blue ... the color of our flag with also includes the palmetto tree and crescent moon.  All the trim and ribbon were given to me by Esther, a generous lady who was down-sizing her stash!  THANK YOU, Esther!

(Above:  The Christmas ornaments on my cabin's table at PLAYA.)

All the ornaments have to fit inside a two-part plastic globe. The National Park system mailed the dozen globes to my house in Columbia while I was in Oregon. He sent one to me at PLAYA.  The photo above shows the eighteen I made ... one inside the globe.

(Above:  The Christmas ornaments on my cabin's table at PLAYA.)

Here's another shot ... showing the reverse inside the globe.

(Above:  The first ornament made ... inside the globe.)

I made extras for a good reason. It took a few just to figure out how to best construct them and get them to hang successfully inside the globe.  This first ornament did NOT go to Washington, DC.  I learned that I hated the thicker, opaque ribbon even though it was the perfect blue for the state image.  I also learned that the pretty green and red trim wasn't flexible enough for the tight, 5" in diameter circle.  After a few, I had a process and materials that worked well ... and "seconds" for the South Carolina Arts Commission that awarded me the honor of making the ornaments.  The official tree lighting is on December 3rd.  Thus, I can't attend the Five Points Starry Night Gala.  I'll be in Washington, DC instead.  Too bad I can't be in two places at once!

(Above:  Work delivered to the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville, GA for my solo show opening on Sunday, November 5th with a reception on Sunday, November 8th from 3 - 5 and running through November 20th.)

I will, however, be able to attend this Sunday's reception for my solo show at the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville in Georgia.  This was my other, tight deadline after returning from Oregon. While at PLAYA, I created ten of the twenty pieces in this show.  The final phase of melting was done as soon as I returned home.  Then there was the mounting, framing, labels, and a drive to deliver the work!  Below are the images of the newest, ten pieces!

(Above: Lunette XVIII.  Framed:  23" x 29". $495 plus tax and shipping.)

(Above: Lunette XIX.  Framed:  23" x 29". $495 plus tax and shipping.)

(Above: Lunette XX.  Framed:  23" x 29". $495 plus tax and shipping.)

(Above: Lunette XXI.  Framed:  23" x 29". $495 plus tax and shipping.)

(Above: In Box CC.  Framed: 22" x 18". $350 plus tax and shipping.)

Had I known at the beginning how difficult Roman numerals could become, I would have never started using them!  At first I had In Box CXCVIII (which is 198) followed by CXCIX (which is 199) followed by CXCX (which would be verbally said as "one hundred ninety-ten") followed by "one hundred ninety-eleven" and "one hundred ninety-twelve".  Steve didn't catch the error.  The exhibition coordinator at the Cultural Arts Council didn't catch the error.  Not until the day before the delivery did I catch it!  Thankfully, labels hadn't been printed quite yet.  "One hundred ninety-ten" is actually TWO HUNDRED, or in Roman numerals CC.  Crazy!

(Above: In Box CCI.  Framed: 22" x 18". $350 plus tax and shipping.)

(Above: In Box CXCIX.  Framed: 22" x 18". $350 plus tax and shipping.)

(Above: In Box CXCIX.  Framed: 22" x 18". $350 plus tax and shipping.)

(Above: In Box CXCVII.  Framed: 22" x 18". $350 plus tax and shipping.)

(Above: In Box CXCVIII.  Framed: 22" x 18". $350 plus tax and shipping.)

The trip to Douglasville and back included a wonderful opportunity to meet SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) new dynamo volunteer, Mary Mottimoe. Mary is featured in an excellent article in this fall's SAQA Journal. We had a great time over lunch ... at a place Mary selected directly across the street from the historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.  I arrived early enough to walk through the very well maintained grounds and snapped a few photos!  Thanks, Mary, for the great conversation and the wonderful opportunity to revisit a great, final resting place for ordinary people and for celebrities like Gone With the Wind's author Margaret Mitchell and golfer Bobby Jones among others.  Below are some of my photos. 

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber artwork.


Wanda said...

I love the Five Point Pavement pieces. They are pieces that you can stare at and feel different ways depending on your mood, the light and what have you. It also reminds me of the Hundertwasser Haus in Vienna. The new In The Box pieces are wonderful. I never get tired of them and you never run out of inspiration and imagination to keep them fresh and wonderful. Now, the Christmas ornaments? All I can say is WOW. Wow that you got selected and you shared the process and thoughts on them. Wow because they are SO beautiful and thought-out. Wow that you are representing South Carolina in such a beautiful way. I bet there are lots of South Carolinians that don't realize the beauty all around them. True, some places you have to look harder but YOU see beauty and are inspired everywhere and can pass that on to those of us that stand here and are just blown away by your creativity, energy and talent.

Mary Mattimoe said...

It was delightful to meet you and hear about your journey! The Oakland pics look terrific!!!!! See you soon soon.
XO, Mary