Monday, May 13, 2013

Saying too much too little

Today I received my evaluations and for the first time ever, a student stated, "She talks too much."

I am not sure how how to take that criticism. Certainly, like most criticisms I receive, I will likely experience a fit of self-doubt. Thus I am devoting the theme of this blogpost to saying too much and saying too little.

These two works are on the same theme of confluence--bringing together bodies of water, ideas, thoughts, experiences.  And although they are on the same theme each "says" what it must in order to communicate leaving me with the question of what must be present or absent to gain confluence? Of my own words and actions there can become a space in which to coalesce ideas.

Confluence/Tributary. Monoprint on cotton muslin. 6" x 6". 2013.

Confluence/Tributary. Monoprint on cotton muslin, embroidery. 6" x 6". 2013.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Typographies and Topographies

Two years ago exactly my collaborator Christina Gregor and I were putting together this epic installation called, "i'm thinking of changing my smile," covering half of the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Civil War era Dole Mansion in Crystal Lake, IL. 

Amongst many things, this exhibition has typography, topography (the landscape of a fantastic domestic space), and way-finding.

Typography. Seen below is the entry signage for the exhibition. As you pass between two curtains you walk below this free-hand machine-stitched (on muslin) fabric sign.  Very little planning, other than scale went into the free-form stitching. Loose threads, re-run sticthes, pseudo-ligatures, serifs and san serif fonts abound.

As for way-finding, even the map that we used to guide the audience around the installation appears to not take itself-seriously. How will wings feel against my face?

"i'm thinking of changing my smile" is about being comfortable in your own skin, in your own nest. If anything, as the work progressed into the installation it took on a life of its own as its creators' own abilities to differentiate between life and art or between a real-live domestic space and the illusion of an invented domestic space blurred the lines of dream, image, and reality.

Somehow we were left with images and the suggestion of images, objects and the suggestions of objects. The topography of the landscape was fantasy-filled and yet frighteningly real as we (the artists) pretended that we were not taking serious the very thing that had become poignant and real.
View in Mr. Dole's Billiard Room.

Back to Blog

My work has become so much more about the process than the end product in recent years--so why focus so much on the end product, why not find ways of honing in on the process?

So today's answer is to show some samplings of what I have been thinking about.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September Indigo Dying

Recently we relocated to a much sunnier state with a house and a back patio. A perfect combination for cloth dying. I tied fabric for days with the plan to do more refined shibori techniques first and then dye up looser combinations of patterns and  color depth.
Indigo Dying: Process (on the left) to Product.
I chose to dye some commercially made clothing as well as some pieces of cotton gauze. I overdyed the pink linen blouse by soaking it 3 times. The dress is a cotton commercially-made dress, soaked 3 times. The tank-top is of two grades of cotton providing some nice variation. The cotton gauze pieces are a mix--some are overdyed and some were dyed from white to blue. Days 1 and 2 provided excellent dye color, but Day 3 quickly turned out to be rather weak in color depth.

The scarves managed to come out in various shades of light blue as my dye bath was failing on Day 3.  They will be part of a line that I call, "Atmospheric Perspective", after the "bluing" effect of things seen at a distance. Three cheers for living in a valley surrounded by mountains.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

June 2011 Collaborative Installation

Greetings! The first half of 2011 has been completely absorbed by "i'm thinking of changing my smile,"
 a collaborative installation with Christina Gregor at the Dole Mansion and Lakeside Legacy Arts Park in Crystal Lake, IL. Our blog can be viewed at:

This installation is significant for its size (5 rooms and a large stairwell of an opulent 1860's mansion). The house was built by Charles Dole as an opulent summer home and is currently in great disrepair. As part of an experiment, Christina and I were invited to do a mixed-media installation that dialogues with the age and history of the mansion. And that is exactly what we did. More to come on our other blog.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nearly December

I always find the end of the Fall to be a bittersweet time. The leaves are gone and the midwestern winter weather sets in early, and yet there are new things to look forward to. It will soon be the end of the fall semester and my students and colleagues will all receive much earned breaks. Then comes the holiday season--which two days after Thanksgiving it has already taken hold. It is oddly a time of ends and beginnings. My eldest niece was married this week: the end of single life and the beginning of married life. My second eldest niece passed her GED exam with flying colors: the end to childhood and the beginning of an adult academic life. etc...
As this year winds down I feel appreciative of all that I have learned, and yet I look forward to upcoming and new projects. Today I spoke with Christina Gregor, friend and colleague, and we are planning what is the beginning of an interesting collaboraration. I have found collaborations fruitful, and I think this one will be as well. If there is anything that I have learned during and since graduate school, it is that as artists we must be supporters and encouragers of each other--"A rising tide lifts all boats."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring is here!

Spring is here and I have been quite busy, between my jobs at the museum and at teaching Computer Arts and Graphics.

Unfortunately I have had little time to work at my etsy shop, however, since I last posted I have created a second etsy sight devoted entirely to hand-made items. I realized that my shop had become full of as much vintage and patterns as it was handmade. I wanted a fresh start and decided on opening a second shop where you won't be distracted by vintage items.
My "deliberate creator" shop is at and currently carries reusable coffee cup cozies, crochet plastic bag, tea travelettes, and hand-made cards. All of my items are primarily made of materials that are vintage, upcycled/recycled, or leftovers and remanants.