Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Productive Weekend!

(Above: Angel I, mixed media on 24" x 24" linen canvas. Click on image to enlarge.)

I love my studio! I love the quietness, the energy, and especially the instant concentration that comes with being in a space completely dedicated to art making. This weekend was wonderfully productive.

(Above: Angel II, mixed media on 24" x 24" linen canvas. Click on image to enlarge.)

First, I finished up two experimental, mixed media pieces. I had the frames ... which honestly was the entire reason for these pieces. "Something" had to go into these unique "floater frames". I bought two gallery wrapped, clear gesso-coated linen canvases that fit. They've been gathering dust in my studio until I finally decided to adhere two xylene photo transfers of cemetery angels and paint ... later more paint and buttons (stitched through the canvas) ... and even later the halos. I used a very glossy varnish onto which I blew a small amount of silver, iridescent powder before it dried.

The halos are really only seen from various angles ... depending on the lighting. I like the affect, sort of appropriately mystical.

I also created four new pieces in my Window Series. These are all approximately 12" x 10" before framing. Click on any image to enlarge. This series, the "Lancet Windows" (one of these was also created this weekend ... scroll down!), the large "Faux-stained Glass", and my "In Box Series" pieces are wonderfully carried by the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville.

(Above: Window XXIV.)

(Above: Window XXV.)

(Above: Window XXVI.)

(Above: Window XXVII.)

(Above: Window XXVI before being subjected to my soldering iron and heat gun. It is simply stapled and/or laced to the inside of an empty picture frame or stretcher bar. For a free tutorial on how the entire "In Box" technique is done, click HERE.)

(Above: Lancet Window VI. Unframed: 27" x 7". Framed: 31" x 11". Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above: US Flag on a layer of recycled black felt with a stack of 61 cemetery flags collected from the trash ... ready to be designed ... on the floor at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios ... right outside my studio door. Click on image to enlarge.)

Even though I've got Anonymous, a new grave rubbing art quilt, to stitch on for the next several weeks ... I lay out a new project on Sunday afternoon. This one has been milling around in the back of my mind for quite some time. When gathering artificial flowers from cemetery dumpsters and trash bins, I've come across too many US flags ... especially last Memorial Day weekend and on Father's Day weekend. In all, I had 69 of them but decided against using the eight really ugly nylon ones. I carefully and gently handwashed all of them ... ironed them ... and got them ready for my design. The giant American flag came from Bill Mishoe's auction house ... in a "table lot" with a bunch of other stuff some household was getting rid of. I have no idea who the veteran was that had this flag draped over his/her coffin. It was still triangle folded in a plastic cover with the funeral parlor's address. It became the "background" for the cemetery flags. The black felt is recycled packaging material from the local kayak shop.

(Above: Cemetery Flags, in progress ... designed and basted ... ready for stitch. Click on image to enlarge. Angel I and Angel II can be seen on the wall flanking my The Cemetery, a grave rubbing art quilt. My studio door is just beyond ... under the number "4".)

It took an hour to lay out and pin in place. It took several more hours to baste. It's ready to stitch. At first I thought of machine stitching ... but it just doesn't "feel" right. I'm thinking that a combination of both hand and machine stitching will be better: semi-sloppy, off white perle cotton, hand straight stitches ... like a child's knee patch ... around the edges of the flags; neat red and blue lines of machine stitches ... the red around the blue area and the blue between the stripes. Either way, I've now got more to stitch that I can possibly handle for the month of August ... when I'll be the ARTIST IN RESIDENCE at HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK!


lynda Howells said...

wow..amazing work and a lovely blog to readx lynda

artymess said...

Love the contrast of styles between your angels and windows. I so love your window pieces ....sumptuous......and the Angel pieces are quite atmospheric...x

Anonymous said...

The angels are beautifully ethereal and a wonderful contrast to the vivid stained glass pieces. I'm really intrigued by the flags piece - the smaller flags laid out on the larger one make such an interesting pattern.

And you're absolutely right, I could happily stitch all day, every day. I even actually enjoy mundane sewing like mending. There is something almost magical about putting fabric back together.