Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zipper

                                                           The lowly Zipper. Or is it?


         Like most things I post about, the zipper has a glossary all it's own to describe it's various parts.

                              We take them for granted but it really is a marvel don''t you think?

A recent exhibit that I featured in my X post 2 days ago at our local community college museum , "Extreme Fibers", had a few pieces that were all about the zippers.

 A close up of the above piece. Looks like a upholsterers nightmare. There were 250 ft of zipper in this project.

There have been a lot of wearable art pieces made of zippers showing up at art fairs in the last few years.

                  Next time you get dressed think about that little marvel that holds it all together.

I have honestly enjoyed the A to Z Challenge & the pressure it created to come up with something every day for a month. I plan to be back next year. Until then I hope all who visited my excursions into artistic topics will keep viewing. I wander to all sorts of strange places.  Thank you coming along for the ride.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Yellow is the Color

This is an easy one for me. I love yellow, in all its forms. 

My living room walls are Desert Caravan by Behr. This picture doesn't do it justice.

                              Ochre is at the top of my list in the yellow department. Rich & earthy.

Yellow makes you think of Spring
Forsythia. These are popping everywhere in my neck of the woods right now. 
                                                              Who doesn't love daffies?

Short & sweet & springy today. There's my shot of sunshine for you.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Experimentation is Good

OK, I'm cheating again. eXperiment does not start with X, but there is an X in it, so I say it counts.

I could have gone with X-ray. I work in a medical office, an orthopedic specialty practice, hands to be exact. I'm a medical biller, so xrays are part of my every day world. I have pictures of some nice chunks of metal in my own body that make for interesting stories. Maybe next year in the A to Z challenge. Now I've got you curious, right?

But instead I'm going with a topic more in keeping with my theme of artistic dreams. We recently had a fantastic exhibit at our local museum, Extreme Fibers. The participants were all members of the ISEA

The International Society of Experimental Artists. I like a group that leaves their content completely open! I'm fairly sure this might be a group I need to join.

Kathy Brady is a local artist & a friend who is a member. I love her work which blends clay & hand made paper. I invite you to scroll down and click the thumb nails for a larger view of her pieces.
Dawn Walden's basketry caught my eye. Upon further investigation I found The Friends of the Porkies. This would be the Porcupine Mountains State park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She is one of their instructors in the park. They have instructors in the park? this is worth checking out. They have an Artist in Residence program? Takes us all the way back to my first A to Z entry.

                        Stitched paper jewelry by Luis Acosta who lives in the Netherlands.

I could go on & on but I'm off on a little road trip to visit friends and see 2 art exhibits.
The Secret Life of Paper of Helen Hiebert's work in Kalamazoo. She definitely has been pressing the envelope (no pun intended) in experimenting with paper her entire career in paper arts.

. Then on to  to see the FAN exhibit at CMU, Central Michigan University.  Fiber Arts Network is another group that promotes experimentation in works in fabric.

I'll be reporting from the road tomorrow for Y.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi is a term that has cropped up in my world several times in the past couple years. It's a Japanese  "world view" or "outlook" that asks us to embrace the "acceptance of transience and imperfection". I have to say I like that. Seems much more realistic than trying to make everything perfect or expecting it to be possible. This outlook finds the beauty in imperfection. The bowl below is gorgeous in it's repair of imperfection. Seen here in an article about Wabi Sabi in architecture.

 Last fall I attended a workshop focused on creating multiple book structures with paste paper techniques, resists, Eco dyeing,  and our own handwriting in many forms, both legible and not. We were urged to get this book. I'll be honest. I never quite made friends with it. It may one I have to revisit at different times in my artistic journey to fully appreciate.

The exercises we engaged in were however freeing. We layered lots of techniques on top of one another not knowing what the ultimate out come would until we got further along in the process. Rather freeing.  Below are shots of one of the books I yet unfinished, so you are seeing different elements in potential placement on pages.

I would love any questions regarding how these looks were accomplished or materials used.  Try looking for the Wabi Sabi in your own life.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vampires with Good Grammar

        Is for Vampire. Again I feel I'm taking liberties. But I'll do whatever it takes to get my letter & word into this blog for the A to Z challenge. I'm shameless.

I've had this book for a long time. I rediscovered it on the book shelf not too long ago. The name alone gets you interested. The Transitive Vampire. The reviews alone will get you chuckling. It's all about punctuation and grammar. But don't let that fool you. It's a fun read along with being a wealth of information.

Published over 20 years ago it's still a great resource. The imagery on the sides of the text are thoughtful & whimsical as well. I'm a sucker for anything vintage.

Words and how they are put together are important if you are involved in calligraphy, poetry, artfully representing the written word in any way. I still feel  I have a lot to learn about language. To find an entertaining way to become better educated is a bonus.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Going Underground

Not in the way you think. Underground as in roots, water, plants. It 's a bit of a cheat to allow a  discussion on gardening.

It's been a long winter and Spring has finally sprung. People in these parts go a little nutty once the weather breaks. We've been cooped  up way to long. Feeling the sun on our skin and getting dirt under our fingernails is wonderful tonic to erase the lethargy of winter. 

Before we moved to our current location, a condo, we had a large backyard that we turned into an oasis. We were honored to be on the city Garden Walk one summer. 

This beauty is a clematis called Miss Bateman.  She climbed up a light post in our front yard. We recently bought one for our current yard and hope it is as much of a stunner as this one once was.

 Our back yard had many large trees so shade loving plants were a must. Lots of Hosta, Ligularia, Sweet Woodruff.

We designed our own fountain feature that turned out very well. 

The things that spring up from Underground amaze us every year.
 This shot is my screen saver at work. I think it may the favorite of all the pictures I've ever taken. Poppies are brilliant for a short time & another one of those natural things that capture the attention of artists.

We have a much smaller area now to tend, which is fine, a hill out back that we covered with Sweet Woodruff, We brought some of our favorite hostas with us. We keep tweaking what we have now to suit our gardening style. Life in the garden is good.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Time is On My Side

Yes it is... que the sound track.  As I'm feeling a little "pressed for time" I'll keep this one short, or at least slim on pictures. However I couldn't resist this one. Sums it all up.

I could not come up with any other word I wanted to use for T, unless it would be Travel. But that would take up WAY too much time. Maybe next year.

We waste it, save it, squander it, consider it precious, wish we had more of it. Time is our constant companion, but we can't see it. We feel it differently depending on our immediate situation. How interesting.

Time flies, drags, we can't catch it, or really save it so that's a fiction. I'd Albert Einstein to explain this to me.

In my experience when I am in the zone in my studio time passes at a much different rate, you look at the clock and see loads more of it than you thought has gone by.  Then there are days at work that seem to go on forever.

We are currently hosting 2 SERVAS travelers that we are having  "Great Time" with. It's a little like airbnb with a big twist. Check out the link to see how it works.

 I will see you here tomorrow with another rather tough letter in my opinion.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Good morning Sunshine

Sunrise. A magical event every day.  Everyone, especially artists, are awed by beautiful sunrises. Wouldn't  you agree?  We photograph them, paint them, stitch them. Call friends and family to the window or the yard to view them.

                    I took this one on my phone on a morning flight up between two layers of clouds.


                                       Found this lovely example in fabric  on Ann Brauers Etsy site.

                                                         On a trip in the Caribbean.

                       Does Mother nature really do this in the colors we see or is it just our eyes? Lucky us!


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Felling a Little Rusty


Rust...I love the stuff. It's easy to make & use in all kinds of artistic applications. There are Pinterest boards dedicated to it websites focused on it.  It's oxidized iron basically. Such a lovely color.

 This post by Carol Sloan has some some great examples of the effects you can get. Hers below.


  I did a post not too long ago about a rust solution I tried. If you soak wooden objects in this they take on a nice aged look.

Then I did a little experiment with cloth. I'll include a picture at some point as I can't find the fabric in my highly organized studio at the moment!!! Learned some things. Exposure to air is the key, so if you bunch something up that entire area won't turn that lovely dark color.

Iron Oxide is the solution used to get that nice color when eco-dyeing (another topic all together) with natural elements. Just adding rusty old screws or bolts or what have you accomplish the same goal.

 These shots were taken on the Island of Nevis a few years back.  I couldn't resist the drippy gradations of this rusty storage container left to the elements.

I'm as drawn to the up close shot of a rusty old vehicle as the next person. Why is that? Is it my Detroit roots showing?