Monday, June 26, 2017

Silence is Golden II and other news

 (Above:  Silence is Golden II, detail.  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

Last Thursday I blogged about Silence is Golden I. (Here.) There are seventy-five images of lips on that piece. After laying it out, I realized that I had plenty more photos but not another seventy-five.  I played around with those I had and came up with this arrangement.

 (Above:  Silence is Golden II, 30 1/2" x 22 1/2".  Black-and-white images collaged to heavy watercolor paper with a wash of gold tinted gel medium. Gold buttons and hand-stitched with gold, metallic thread.)

(Above:  Two boxes of gold metallic buttons.)

I knew I had enough gold buttons ... in two sizes.  These came from a successful bid at Bill Mishoe's auction.  They were part of a card table filled with buttons ... much more than just these.  I likely paid under $20 for everything.  To be honest, I never thought I'd have a use for any of these rather cheap, new gold buttons, but I'm now very glad I saved them!

 (Above:  Silence is Golden II, in progress.)

Stitching gold buttons to the edge of the heavy watercolor paper did cause a momentary problem for the mounting.  I couldn't just clamp the edge of the paper to the stretcher bars.  Instead, I cut some pieces of old picture framing moulding to fit nicely inside the buttons.  Strips of silicone treated "release paper" were placed under the moulding ... to prevent any damage.  Then, I applied the clamps. 

   (Above:  Silence is Golden II, detail of the upper right corner.)

I'm really pleased with the way this piece turned out ... especially the fact that almost every pair of lips sent via email were used on one of the two "Silence is Golden" pieces.  Thanks to all those who contributed "their mouths"!

 (Above:  Me in front of a gold damask styled curtain.)

While stitching buttons is still very much of an obsession, it is not the only thing on which I am working.  There's my circle/orb installation-in-progress (update coming tomorrow), new work for galleries and November's Philadelphia Museum of Art show, and other things ... but there is also a one-night-only local event for "First Thursday" in July.

 (Above:  Saint Anastasia ... at Mouse House ... on a newly covered pedestal.)

I'll be debuting Saint Anastasia at Anastasia & Friends Gallery before taking it to Birmingham, England for The Festival of Quilts.  I could just put the triptych on a plain pedestal and leave it at that, but I just can't help myself! I'm an installation artist! I'm h*ll bent on controlling the surroundings in which my work is viewed. So ... a pedestal had to be covered in exotic fabric and a real, solid oak kneeler acquired and reupholstered. There will be music and votive candles too. In order to better transform the space, I got a set of gold, damask-styled curtains from Bill Mishoe's auction. The set was insulated and lined and set me back a whole $6.  I took them apart, turned under the top, inserted a 10' pipe.  They are perfect!  In the photo above, the curtains were airing out.  There was a slight musty smell lingering after years inside dry cleaning bags.  I can't wait to create a sacred space for this work.  Then ... yes ... Steve booked airline tickets for us to deliver the piece (minus the pedestal, kneeler, curtains, etc.) to Birmingham, England for the Festival of Quilts.   We will also be taking the ferry to France to see the Bayeux tapestry!  We are both excited.

 (Above:  Mouse House ... having giant limbs from the pecan and magnolia tree trimmed.)

Last week also saw some much needed work done at Mouse House.  The pecan tree and magnolia tree at the side of our house/business had giant limbs over-hanging the roof.  It was an accident waiting to happen ... until we had them trimmed.  There's a reason to hire a professional.  If you look closely in the photo above, you can see the tiny figure standing on a very high branch.  Look below ... I zoomed in.  I'm sure glad neither Steve or me tried to take care of this problem ourselves!

(Above:  The guy in the pecan tree.)

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