Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"Between you and me, I am not deep, but very wide..."- Honore de Balzac ................. + hanging (out with) Paul and Laura


 "...and it takes time to walk around me."-- Honore de Balzac in a letter he wrote to Countess Clara Maffei 

......remarking on the "impertinence"  of people who said he was "deep" (profond), and then tried "to get to know him in five minutes."  I don't know exactly when the Rooster became Balzac-- I guess it was an association I made with the overall massing of the form and the gaze of the bird. One day I looked over and thought "Balzac".

I like the use of the word "wide" (epais) in reference to the expansiveness of oneself.

Here's the back, finished.  It looks like fireworks are exploding all around him-- maybe it's Bastille Day.

I used two layers of an old cotton blanket for the backing. 
When viewed from the back, the stitching of the writing looks like its own cuneiform system. 

Paul and Laura

Otherwise this week, I decided Paul and Laura belonged together, so I  suspended them from a wooden dowel with butcher's twine...

used old freezer tape as a stop on the dowel end, and hung them over my bed.  Primitive at best, but fast, light, and it works-- so far.

I was thinking of Piero della Francesca's Duke and Duchess of Urbino

except Paul and Laura are not focused on one another but rather,

 are gazing out of the windows of my room.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Portraits, poets, and patterns-- bird textile on 1920's bedspread

...le Grazie in lei diffuse e sparte...
-the Graces diffused and scattered in her...
- Anton Francesco Grazzini 

                  Laura Battiferri--by Bronzino, 1560.

Thinking of  portraits, poetry and poets.. this bird reminded me of the portrait of the poet Laura Battiferri   by Bronzino (also spelled "Battiferra"), even though the abstract, bumpy, quality of  my textile couldn't be more different than the refined perfection of Bronzino's painting.  It was the beak which brought to mind Battiferri's exquisite profile.  I've had portraits on my mind lately, as you can see in this photo of my studio floor taken a few weeks ago when I was first considering using my drawing to make a textile.

The poet Anton Francesco Grazzini wrote a poem  (-see p4) about Bronzino's painting of Laura Battiferra.

I was particularly struck by the line  "le Grazie in lei diffuse e sparte"  (the Graces diffused and scattered in her) and tried to use the worn threads of the bedspread to evoke the idea - interweaving the stitches in such a way so that they seem to hang in the threads. I would love to make something on a much larger scale that has large, loose threads, and perhaps shapes and text woven into them.

Responding to the pattern...

...I recalled this map our brain makes to remember where we parked our car in the parking lot.  The red dots mark the firing pattern of our brain cells on a triangular grid-- just goes to show that we are patterns at our most fundamental, functional level.  This coincides with an interest I have in how humans organize themselves organically, what systems are always running in the background or our lives.


Thinking about the evolution of this textile calls to mind my own creative patterns,  how they unfold through associations and references, and are articulated in the physical realization of a work of art.
Maps, network, threads, imagination... each time I make something I am making a map, literally sewing up the diversity of ideas floating around in my head at any given time

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Abstracting the cat-- Tillycat, Clyfford Still, and other musings

A kitty I've named Tillycat adopted me a couple of weeks ago.  She's small,  friendly and  has dramatic markings which I had to photograph.  When a friend saw the pics, he said "She looks just like a  Clyfford Still painting!"


 The defined black shapes on her legs remind me of  small bird textiles I made last year....

.....and as I was cropping these pics, I couldn't help putting one of her legs in a box, 
like I did in some of my bird drawings . 

Back to the cat....walking a fence rail.