Tomorrow morning before 7:00 AM, I will kiss Steve good-bye and head north on an amazing adventure. My first two weeks will be at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN. My art residency proposal focuses on making fiber vessels. Sure, I've made these before, but this time I'll be exploring concepts of containment and how asymmetrical shapes might express new ideas. I know one thing for sure. I've packed an old, very rusty chain and will figure out a way for it to be stitched into the coils of a new fiber vessel. I also know that if it weren't for several "Space Bags" (the plastic storage bags from which all air is sucked out using a vacuum), I couldn't have crammed all the yarn into the car!
(Above: In Box CLXXX. Inventory # 3441. Framed: 33 3/4" x 21 3/4". $525 plus tax and shipping.)
Before leaving I had plenty of things on my "to do" list ... including finishing up a few new pieces! Other items included wrapping up a grant application, delivering work to the upcoming Palmetto Hands Juried Craft Show in North Charleston, finishing all the custom framing at Mouse House, and gathering everything needed for my May 16 - 17 workshop at the Craft Alliance of St. Louis. Yes ... I'm driving from Minnesota to Missouri ... and then on to a four week art residency at Wormfarm Institute in Wisconsin! I'm VERY excited. My proposal is to continue experimenting with natural dyeing and rusting vintage and antique garments. How perfect ... an organic farm with rusty farm implements, a compost area, and all sort of vegetation!
I needed more work for two very good reasons! I'm now represented by Sara Cogswell at Gallery West in West Columbia and at Lagerquist Gallery in the fabulous Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta! Plus ... the Grovewood Gallery has requested more work! It is always a fabulous day when one's gallery is asking for additional pieces. Steve (who will be staying in Columbia with mostly only our moped for transportation) will be renting a car over Mother's Day weekend to pick up my art from North Charleston and deliver the artwork pictured here to the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville. The coordination of these art residencies, the road maps, and the cheap hotel reservations en route have largely been up to Steve. Thank goodness!
Steve will briefly be joining me. He'll fly to Chicago on the last day I'm in Wisconsin. I'll pick him up at the airport and we'll drive together to the Rensing Center in Pickens, SC. I'll be staying there for three more weeks ... and stitching on a series of large, art quilts. This time, however, Steve gets the car! He'll continue back to Columbia. Why? Well, on the last day of the art residency, he will return to collect me ... so that we can fly together from the nearby Greenville airport to Scotland for our son's wedding! (So ... yes ... I've already packed a bag for this occasion too!)
Basically, I won't be back in Columbia until July 15th. What an adventure! Believe me, the past week as been crazy ... trying to organize all the materials and equipment for these various opportunities ... trying NOT to forget anything!
Mentioning "forgotten things" ... I didn't announce that my piece, Handed Down, won a juror's award in the PAQA-South Art Quilt Reminsce juried show! All my other vintage gloves are now in the car ... ready to be stained and rusted and maybe used for some other project. Who knows? The answers just might lie in Wisconsin!
I also finished up a cross stitch. This is truly an unusual thing for me to attempt even though counted threads was once my entry into the amazing world of stitch. I hate counting. I tried to graph this out ... but I couldn't even follow my own pattern. For the most part, this is simply free-form stitching meant to look like counted embroidery! LOL! Why did I do this? Well, I couldn't shake the idea of creating something that resembled a traditional sampler for the upcoming SAQA call-for-entry,
(Above: Diaspora Sampler. Unframed: 10" x 8". Framed 16" x 14".)
(Above: Donation of vintage garments and household linens from Susanne Miller Jones.)
Getting the sampler done before leaving was a great feeling. I have several other projects going with me on this trip. Why? Well, I'm known for being prolific, for working hard, and especially for NOT wasting time. One of my secrets to good time management is the fact that I know I can't do the same thing all day ... every day. I need to break my time up. When I was an artist-in-resident at Hot Springs National Park (August 2011), I started each day with one hour of writing/calligraphy epitaphs in my Book of the Dead. Then I worked on a project associated with the National Park's experience. After lunch, I did another hour of calligraphy before taking a walk/exploring nature. The late afternoon was spent on other, personal art projects and every evening included hand stitching on Anonymous, a grave rubbing art quilt. Before going to bed, I wrote epitaphs for another hour. As a result, I could work all day ... every day ... happy and productively. I doubt very seriously if I could have done one project at a time and not ended up hating each one. I doubt very seriously if I could have worked constantly without switching gears regularly. So ... I have other projects in mind for my upcoming residencies too. One of these projects is for Susanne Miller Jone's Fly Me To The Moon art quilt exhibit and book. I'm excited and will blog about it later. In the meantime, Susanne was generous enough to contribute several great vintage garments and household linens for my "residency work"! Thanks, Susanne!
(Above: Four pieces of heavy watercolor paper ... loosely painted on both sides.)
I'll also be spending time most days making tagged keys. I love making them. They will be for my Wall of Keys ... which is headed to Birmingham, England and The Festival of Quilts for the Through Our Hands exhibition area!
In order to tag keys, I needed paper for "the tags". Thus, this week included smearing and speckling four pieces of heavy watercolor paper with paint ... scoring the paper ... tearing it into 7/8" strips.
So ... I have projects lined up, miles to drive, and an amazing journey ahead of me! I'll be blogging too!
I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber art.