Sunday, September 21, 2014

Work work working

Some updates on the piece I have been working on for a couple of weeks ... I think maybe the major portion of it is done, and now I have to clean up the threads.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

School and a new piece

The kids have started school!  This means I am alone for three hours a day, twice a week.  CRAZY.  I have decided to use this time to focus on art making for the first time since undergrad.

It's actually pretty amazing to work on my own art and not feel guilty about it.  In school, I was like, I'm paying for this studio time!  I better get some work done!  And my teachers were always hanging around, and the other students.  After school I felt like ... it was maybe self-indulgent to do my own art.  My first job out of school was in a completely different field, and that job took many hours of my day outside of time in the office, so it was hard to really work on art.  

Then I went to grad school for art therapy, spending a short amount of time on my work but mostly focusing on other people and their needs.  And then I really didn't make my own art, when maybe I should have...  I remember spending a few days on my first crochet piece and thought, wow, this is amazing, I could be doing this all the time (but never made another piece).

Now that I don't have the time to work as an art therapist, and I spend most of my day focused on the kids and their needs, it still does feel self-indulgent to work on my own work.  But at the same time, being a productive artist makes me feel more like a whole person, and feeling like a whole person is important when you spend so much of your energy on others.

So here is what I have been working on this week.  I made the frame over the last several weeks but the crochet was yesterday and today.  Today I worked for almost an hour and a half, with my music blasting - IN MY OWN HOME.  It felt amazing.

Now it's time to go pick up the kids. :)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Submitted work to a show AHH!

The kids will be going to school starting next week and I have decided to use the time they are in school to work on art.  To I guess make a real commitment to working for the first time since undergrad.

All summer I have been actually doing some work with the crochet mixed media stuff and I am really enjoying it.  I now have two new pieces plus an old piece all in the style of my new work and I submitted to a show this afternoon.


I have only ever one other time submitted work to a show and I was rejected.  I have never shown my work anywhere except for the senior show in undergrad and the final show in grad school, shows where everyone gets to put in a piece.  I am so afraid of judgement I just have never submitted my work anywhere else.  I also don't feel like I ever really had finished work before except for the odd painting or maybe a print here and there.

I don't even have real equipment to take pictures of my work.  I borrowed a camera from a friend and I used free software that came with my computer in order to edit it.  And my computer doesn't have wifi (the air port is broken) so I had to make my phone a personal hotspot, connect via bluetooth, email the images to myself, and fill out the submission form on my ipad (the personal hotspot also wasn't super reliable).

Anyway, without further ado, here are 3 untitlted pieces :P


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crochet and painting

I'm not sure this is finished, it certainly isn't a professional photo.  I'm challenging myself to finish 3 works by the end of August and apply to a non-traditional fiber works show.  Honestly I think it is a waste of money.  But if I don't apply to shows, I will never hope to be in one.

It's four layers ... the back is a painted piece of particle board, then a layer of crochet (enlarged broomstick lace stitch I just learned), then a painting, then more crochet with white thread.  

I've been incorporating a tapestry needle in some of the work and I kind of love what you can do with it.  You can enlarge sewing stitches just as well as crochet.

I always use so much red and purple!  I started a blue and green piece and it went nowhere. Hm.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More crochet

I got started making a very large piece after buying a big frame that was on clearance about two weeks ago.  The size of the frame was really exciting to me and I got to work.

This is two weeks of work during stolen time, kids' naps or when my husband takes the kids for a little bit so I can work.

Today I was tying the crocheted piece to the frame and reinforcing some of the design, it seemed like it was getting lost in itself.

Sorry the photo isn't great, I am working on my dining room table right now.

I think I'm just going to put a towel over it when the kids wake up so I can keep coming back to it until it is in a state where I can safely store it upright.

I really have no idea where it's going, it just is kind of happening.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Newest experiment

against a white background

on a brown background

Here I am trying some more finishing techniques, like trying to get some of the crochet to match up with the paintings, having the yarn weave in and out of the painted objects, and re-incorporating shrinkydink plastic.

I'd say with moderate success.

Feeling pretty productive lately!

Sunday I went to my friend's studio and we worked for a few hours.  It felt amazing, like old times, like being in the studio when I was a student and my whole job was to make art and experiment.

I don't know if these pieces I've made lately are finished.  I look at them and feel like they aren't finished, though I don't know where I would go from here.  I'm just keeping them in stasis.  I'm not ready to be like "done!" and hang it up and move on.  I feel like there's more to it than this but we'll see.  I've kind of been wanting to do some embroidery and then stretch it onto the back of the frame, but...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Finished Work (yippee!)

Here is the completed work, my challenge to myself!  It is about 3 hours of work done over two days (two naps' and one evening's worth) and is the size of a standard picture frame.  I didn't do anything fancy besides the painting and the crochet, no other materials were stuck in there, which is what I am planning to do for my large piece.

Some extreme close-ups:

I wanted to make it seem like it has many levels, and a literal foreground and background.  I tried to pull and push the crochet parts into the front and back of the image by tying them to different parts of each other...  Does this even make sense, the way I'm describing it?

Basically, I was experimenting.  I feel like I could have gone further.  I would add more layers, more collage pieces.  I might add embroidery pieces, plastic pieces, or something else that can be embedded into the crochet web.  But I think this was a good experiment.

I took one picture of it in front of the window with the beautiful red tree behind it, and I kind of love the way it looks.  Almost like it is meant to be in front of a window, using the scenery behind it as part of the work.  Maybe I can use that when designing the imagery (like if this is a piece that's meant to go in front of a window with a tree behind it, or buildings behind it, or whatever).

All in all, glad I challenged myself to finish something.  I didn't make it in one day but I made it in two, which is pretty good!  I feel accomplished.  Tada!

Monday, November 18, 2013


I challenged myself to make an entire mini piece today, the crochet and painting and stretching.

I actually almost did it.

During the babies' nap I made two small paintings and cut them like I wanted them.  And I made one of the attachment crochet pieces.  And found a suitable picture frame.

In the evening I finished all the attachment crochet pieces, so now it is ready to stretch.  But I can't do the stretching in the apartment while the babies are sleeping (will need to hammer into the frame) so it's just not going to happen tonight.

So close!

I wanted to do a whole piece because I want to finish something.  I want to go through the whole process.  The last piece I finished, only the second one ever, I finished in November (?) 2011.  Since then I have started a few but never finished.

Using a picture frame as a guide makes it easy to stay small and not get out of hand.  I have a bunch of picture frames, I can make a few small works.

I'm going to finish this one tomorrow.  Then I'll have SOMETHING.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Lately working late

This is what my work looks like when I am working on it.

I do most of my work at night.  Sometimes I get some things done during the babies' nap during the day.  But actually this is a better view than I get while I work on it because I normally can't stretch it out as I work, I just have to imagine.

I am really getting into crochet.

I love that it has an immediate building quality that I don't always see with other media.  I can see how the stitches build structures.  If you make a chain like this or double back through here, it produces this shape or that shape or stretches or becomes stiff.  There is a real sculptural quality to crochet, something I hadn't considered in fiber before.

Another thing I love about crochet is how quickly my things become HUGE.

One moment I'm making a tiny circle that is the seed for a portion of my piece, and the next thing I know, the piece has become over a foot in diameter, and getting larger and more amorphous by the minute.  I don't know in what direction it will expand until suddenly I see it bubbling and frothing out to the right, or oozing down to the left, and I follow it with my army of hooks and yarn.

I wish I could show you but I can't because there isn't a way to stretch anything to its full size yet.  I don't even know what some of these pieces look like really.  I have to use my imagination.  I have one enormous piece, it takes up probably more than 5x5', but it is stuffed into my yarn bag.  (Another great thing about crochet, even though it is huge, it folds right down into my yarn bag.)

A few weeks ago I took a rare opportunity and bought some wood to be a frame for one of the pieces I'm working on.  It's pretty big (3.5x2.5') but not TOO big.  I'm trying to contain the size because the weight of the frame may make it hard to hang and store the piece.  But now the wood sits un-built because if I put it together I have nowhere to store it in our small apartment.  Maybe soon there will be a place.

I'm excited to have so many pieces in progress.  I bought some blue/green/purple dyed wool yarn the other night so I could start on another piece and have a wider color palette.  I haven't gotten to it yet, but it is exciting.

It's also exciting because it's like my secret.  Since I have to use my imagination, since the pieces are still stuffed in my yarn bag, since even if I laid it out it doesn't make sense to anyone else, it is totally mine.  I'm the only one who has it right now.  Just for me!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Birthday Terrarium

I have been wanting to make a terrarium for a long, long time but never did it.  Then Ilan got me a terrarium for my birthday, and I immediately set it up.  Yay!

It is full of lichens that are apparently hard to kill.  The less you water them, the better.  Indirect sunlight.  Done!

Maybe if this terrarium is successful I can make others.  But for now, this little guy is sitting on the book shelf.  Should I call him Terry?
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