Sunday, January 15, 2017

Two weeks into the new year... fifty more to go....

My 2017 tapestry diary is moving right along.  I've decided to use a flower theme this year, selecting images from flowering plants at each month throughout the year.  I'm starting off with a camellia blossom from one of our bushes in the yard.  These plants are one that bloom in late fall and into the spring.  We have six camellia plants in different spots, all of different types/colors.  The freezing temperatures last weekend caused the blossoms to brown but I'd taken a few photos earlier in the month and that's what I'm working from for the monthly image.

This month, I'm working directly from my photo, printed in black and white and manipulated with Photoshop to remove background.  I'd hoped to make a painting of a blossom after bringing one inside to lay it on white paper to have shadow shapes become part of the composition... but because of not doing that before mean old Mr. Cold Weather got to them, I'm working with what I have.  Also because I'm getting started on this month's image late in the month, I thought using the photo would be the most direct way to begin.

Here's a detail of the first leaf.  The white background is made up on one strand of 2-ply wool and three strands of small linen.  The linen is from Silvia Heyden's estate--and I've incorporated some of the yarns from Silvia in all of my tapestries since I received the yarn after her passing.  I like to feel that she's with me always as I weave.

Those round metal dots are magnets, by the way.  They're holding the cartoon in place behind the warp.

I'm thinking ahead for February's image and I know that the daffodils will be blooming then, if they stay true to form and the weather doesn't get exceptionally screwy.  Here were little peeks of what's to come that I saw yesterday in the garden:

As I mentioned in a previous post, my 2016 tapestry diary is at the frame shop for mounting and for framing.  I've been so fortunate to have the skilled hands of Mary Mattimoe doing the stitching on of a number of tapestries in the last two years.  Here's Mary at work at Caroline Budd's Frame Shop in Atlanta, attaching 2016 to the mounting fabric that's already stretched.  Once that's in place, the piece will be framed in a float frame.

Mary is an artist who does beautiful quilt works... check out her website here.

The large tapestry I've been working on since November is now above the half-way point.  I reached that milestone (recorded in inches) yesterday afternoon before I left the studio.  The transition to gray/ash and blackish/charcoal colors has begun and by the time I get to the top, it will be all grays and blacks.  The tapestry will be turned 90˚ to the direction I'm weaving it when it's hanging and will be about 60" h x 28" w:

Yesterday I had good news in my email.  I found out one of my tapestries has been accepted for the American Tapestry Alliance Small Tapestry International 5 exhibit, to be held in two venues this summer.  More about the ATA STI5 is here.  This is the piece that was accepted--"Hambidge Kiln Bricks"--and I wove it while at Hambidge in December of 2015.  I wrote about that residency then and here's a post that described the weaving in progress.

January is just about half-way over now... and like I said in my post title... fifty more weeks remain in 2017.  And it's just nine weeks until the great Penland adventure with Bhakti Ziek begins!  Our class is now full and Bhakti and I are so looking forward to spending eight weeks together with the twelve people who've decided to go on the adventure with us.  Penland Concentrations are just that... concentrated, intense, inspiring, moving... and more... often a life-changing kind of more.  I've experienced Concentration as a student and now I'm grateful to have an opportunity to experience it as an instructor who will be collaborating with the fabulous artist and teacher, Bhakti Ziek.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 tapestry diary

Here's a photo of the finished tapestry diary from last year.  I took it myself, standing on a chair in the kitchen and shooting downward... hence the not-too-great view!  It's 50" long x 11.5" wide, 8 epi of 10/3 linen for warp.

It's at the frame shop now and once I have it back I'll schedule a session with Tim Barnwell in Asheville for a better photo--and maybe by then I'll have one or two more small ones to take to have photographed, as well.

2015 was the first time I decided to weave imagery within the tapestry diary... here's the link to a post about that one that I made once I'd cut it off.  During 2015 I wove separate parts for each week of the months throughout the year. 

For 2016, I changed to having an image for each month and using what I found relating to the black walnut tree each month.

Although I'm getting a later start today, I'm off to the studio to "weave my day" on my 2017 tapestry diary. I'm still not sure what direction the new one will take other than a noting of days as they come with a separate small entry.  But I do like the challenge of designing something representational and incorporating the larger image into the daily parts. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy End of 2016!

I finished weaving my 2016 tapestry diary today.  Here's the way it looked earlier this morning:

Later this afternoon--off the loom!

Here's the next stage, clipping wefts and finishing warp ends. 

And my 2017 tapestry diary warp is on a loom that I can take me when I travel this year.  I'll begin it tomorrow--I don't know yet what I'll be doing throughout the piece--other than a day by day marking with separate shapes.

For warping, I have the loom propped up on a few yarn boxes at one side and with the legs holding up the other end.

Happy New Year to come!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hambidge Days

Fisher Studio--where I stayed early in December.
I had an opportunity to go to Hambidge Center for a week in early December and I seized it!  I'd wanted to photograph some of the burned woods in north Georgia as reference for the current tapestry that's underway.  The afternoon I arrived and after checking in, I drove to Taylor House where I'd stayed this past summer.  Christine Jason, the Operations Manager at Hambidge, told me there'd been controlled or back burn done in the woods near the house.  While there, I photographed some of the burned areas and collected charred sticks to use for drawing.

Woods near Taylor House

Next morning, Christine took me on a drive along Patterson Gap Road to see the back burn portions there and both of us took lots of photos.  I also collected more burned sticks as well as some scorched earth to use for painting.

Over the next four days I made drawings and paintings from the photos I'd taken, using the charred sticks to draw with and and also the earth pigments I'd collected and processed earlier in the summer both at Hambidge and Lillian Smith Center.

Some of the collection of charred sticks and twigs I used for drawing.
Overview of inside Fisher Studio with some of the work on the walls.
Before I left on Sunday Jennifer Garza-Cuen wanted to set up a similar photo shoot that she did with me at the Mary Hambidge House last December.  Turns out the day was overcast--just what she wanted.  Here's a selfie I did while I was waiting for Jennifer to get her camera set up at the other location.

Although the drawings and paintings I made while I was at this residency will probably not turn into tapestries as they are, the information I was able to gather about the way the forest floor looks from the burnings will help me resolve the final parts of the current tapestry.

I've now reached the half-way point and I'm beginning to make transitions into ash and charcoal colors.  Another couple of months on this one, I think.  I'd like to finish it before I leave for Penland in early March.

Now... a bit of holiday update. December is always a exciting, busy, stressful month for everyone and our family is not an exception.  This year, flu decided to add to the excitement and it's hit me with a wallop, starting Thursday before Christmas --and is still dragging me down.  I'm up and about most of the day now but still feel pretty lousy.  I'm looking forward to 2016 ENDING on a healthy note!