Things that get me in trouble

In a recent post about process I asked:

Am I just more of a verbal person than a visual one?

My career has dealt with the written word: translating, editing, writing, researching — things that were always encouraged, that came naturally without a lot of struggle.  Certainly no one ever urged me to go to art school, nor did I think of it for myself.

My birth family placed great store on social activism, awareness of issues and politics.  Although with a different perspective, so does Grandpa X, who was watching the news on TV when we first met.

My visual approach to life has made me look like a total airhead on a number of occasions.

When I was out with my father, I saw a line of clothes drying, stretched along a roof line between two chimneys.  To me this was a very impressive image in itself, my father just said “How difficult it must be to raise children in those circumstances.”

Grandpa X and I were watching CNN one day and an interview with a turbaned Iraqi cleric came on.  I immediately blurted out “I’ve already seen this the other day, I remember that wall!”  (The wall in question was worn stucco with amazing weathering on it.)

But now I’m resolved not to feel inadequate because of this tendency.  It’s just who I am, and really not to be taken as proof that I’m someone that doesn’t give a bleep.

Memory, Family, History Opening, Plus a Detour



The Memory, Family, History art show opened at Coast Collective last Saturday afternoon. This was a great opportunity to meet other local artists and see what people are doing.
Only two fibre art pieces are in the show, my “Enuff on My Plate,” and Laine Canivet’s “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” Laine wasn’t in town, so I was the sole fibre artist in attendance.
I was amazed at how impressed everyone was with the idea of making art in fabric. One lady said “So you painted the chefs onto the fabric?” I had to tell her it was all in the shopping. Which is true, someone else might not buy that fabric, and another person might buy it and just make napkins and placemats.
The painting below my piece, “Womens’ Work” by Suzanne Jensen, also deals with similar concerns. The painting is of a young woman in a construction site, but Suzanne gessoed doileys made by family members onto the canvas before she started painting, to reflect different types of womens’ work. Several women said they could relate to my title!
One neat thing about this particular exhibition was that the artist statement prompted everyone to write a narrative explaining about their work and its significance to them personally. This added a lot to the show and encouraged lingering and paying more attention.
Artists who impressed me, in no particular order:
Imke Pearson, Kate Seymour, Sheryl Gusauskas, Robert Anderson, Vicki Postl, Karen Furey, Suzanne Jensen, Lorraine Thorainson Bettes, Deborah Czernecky, Radmila Gorjanovic Nunez, Rachel Windson Lawson-Gurevitch, Lisa Riehl, Linda Simrose, Marcela Strasdas, Rose-Anne Matte-Munro.
My contribution to the refreshments was applesauce gingerbread from Joy of Cooking. This was the first time I made it and it was all eaten up. At home we are seriously trying to cut back on refined sugar and starches, but as cakes go, I would think this is fairly healthy.
The afternoon was enjoyable and somewhat compensates for the disappointment that my piece for the Elements show was not hung. I need to make smaller pieces I guess. And that is a question of developing the techniques to be able to do that.
In a discussion on size with painters at the opening I pointed out that larger pieces are harder to sell because they are harder to display. It’s not just a matter of price but of having a space that you want to transform with that particular piece. Both the artists said that had not occurred to them before! Maybe it’s because quilting and fibre arts are so linked to decorating and home-making, that gives us that more practical perspective.
Of course no trip is complete without a detour and Saturday was no exception. My strategy was to go as far west as possible by bus and then take a cab. The bus stopped right by Cloth Castle and I was in TONS of time, so of course I got off to explore, YAY! This was my first time there, and I was pleased to see they have some items not available at other local stores, plus the bargain attic.
The fabric I bought is shown above. I’ve already used some of the blue and yellow stars in the baby quilt. It’s a batik-style fabric. The multicoloured fabric has machine stitching on it, that is not printed loops. And I have in mind to use the top one for backing. I’m a big fan of unconventional stripes.

Fingers Crossed!


This is Enuff on my Plate, my response to the mandala challenge the Mavericks had. I’ve entered it in a juried art show at the Coast Collective. The theme of the show is Memory, Family, History, and this piece fits all three, so we’ll see.

It’s the first time I’ve entered a juried art show so who knows what will happen. I won’t know until April 19th. I’m aware that my pieces are one-offs and distinctive looking, so it very much depends what the jury is looking for. It was exhibited already in Phoenix in 2007 in the Mavericks show.