Tuesday, February 4, 2014


This week I expanded on the idea of drawing and sewing  by experimenting with drawing in marker on cotton canvas and mixing it up with cut-outs, drawing and embroidery.   I like the contrast of the whiteness and flatness of the drawing against the chaos of colors, textures, and patterns.  The bird reads clearly as a simple image in the middle of  a bunch of complicated stuff (wording maybe not so eloquent but gets the point across.)  

I'm interested in how we take in and experience what we see--  in this case there's the cognition/identification of the "thing"-- the bird, as well as the sensations evoked by colors, patterns, textures, movement. 

Here's an earlier version before I added the sheer printed fabric on the back. The green slash on the left, which I like, got covered up, so I'm thinking of slicing through the overlay fabric to expose it-- one of those things you don't see until you look at successive photos.
...and another version showing the brain opened up, so to speak.  Ultimately I decided to make it uniform-- smoothed out Italian linen not a bad metaphor for a mind state.

Last week I drew this bird on canvas, and put a tiger in it's square-- peaceable kingdom? Interesting how narratives can evolve depending on what fabrics are on hand.  The color swatch triangles printed on the selvage reminded me of writing or language, so I used them as the title.

 Here's an experiment with different inks,  pens,  and a soak-stain of acrylic wash on old cotton curtain lining fabric. I really love the way it bled into the fibers.

The lining of my lamp shade deteriorating  after what, 70, 80 years? isn't exactly an experiment,  but it's certainly created a new lighting effect.  .

                     Here I drew one of the birds with a marker instead of the pen I usually use. The heavier line gave it a comic-book character quality, like a super-hero, so I added an energy field and named it "aura bird".

--- more birds in squares drawn on old cotton sheets:

On a shopping note, I scored this large scale, digital-print silk remnant at the Austin Fabric Co-op , which will make a great scarf.  I love scarves and am happy to now have one with the words "Hot Pizza" and "Italian Sausage" written on it.

I was playing around with it,  tying it in different ways--  bet I'll never get it tied exactly this same way again with the beautiful bit of blue-green turned out at the knot-- such is the nature of experiments.

.... a couple of photos I have up in my studio - the revolutionary early 20thc fashion designer, Emile Floge (left), and the Irish poet Seamus Heaney with a quote from his poem "The Gifts of Rain" .  

.....and  Emilie Floge  with her best friend and life companion,  the artist Gustav Klimt-- great robes,  not to mention those wicker chairs.

              and the two of them knocking around -- Emilie wearing one of her own experiments.
Just wow.