Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Piedmont College exhibit--delivery of the work this week!

We're delivering the work and installing on Thursday.  I'm taking eighteen tapestries and some related paintings and sketchbooks.  I'll have four tapestry in the exhibit that weren't included in the show I had at Berry College earlier this year, all completed during 2016 although the big oak leaf one was begun last fall.  Almost all of the pieces included are based upon paintings, drawings, or photos I've done while in residence at either the Lillian E. Smith Center or at Hambidge Center.

Artist residency experiences continue to be so important to me as I seek ideas for tapestries.  I wrote about that in British Tapestry Group publication, Tapestry Weaver, last year.  And I've written another related article that's going to be in the next Surface Design Journal.  In the next article, I've also included some thoughts about the value of residencies from other Hambidge Fellows.  (After I'd written this I checked the mailbox and found my complimentary copy of the SDJournal.  Here's the table of contents as posted online... notice page 50!)

This fall I'll be back at both Hambidge (for a week only) and then later at Lillian Smith Center (a couple of week stay).  I'm hoping to have lots of ideas and inspiration to follow up on after those times in the woods!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Finished--at long last!

On September 7, 2015 I was at Lillian Smith Center for an artist residency and staying in Peeler Cottage. I wrote in my journal that day: "... a cluster of oak leaves caught my eye right before I got all the way up to Peeler--and when I picked it up and counted the leaves I found there were eight-so it seems to continue my Fibonnaci study--plus, the negative areas are quite interesting." I blogged about that residency and the painting I developed from those leaves here.

The next day after I'd completed the large, loose painting based on the leaves I wrote: "I like this oak leaf cluster pretty well.... I feel this one might serve as a tapestry design--large and chunky--with various whites and naturals in the background."

When I got home later in September I set up my 60" wide tapestry loom at full width for a tapestry to be based on that oak leaf painting.  I wasn't able to do much with the warp until November when I began weaving on it.  I wrote in my journal on November 2, "I've started with the large oak leaf tapestry today....I hope this can proceed quickly."

Well, my hope of proceeding quickly didn't quite turn out as I'd thought it would.  But here I am, on September 1, 2016 with the tapestry that was "born" in my mind in September of last year hanging on my studio wall as a completed piece.

There were lots of stops and starts along the way during the weaving of this tapestry -- some for teaching, or travel, or family things.  But it's done now and will be included in my show that's coming up later this month at the Smith-Williams Studio Gallery at Piedmont College, Demorest, Georgia.  Delivery of the work is on the 15th and the show will hang from September 19-October 7.  I'll speak to students, September 29 and on September 30 I'll be one of the participants in events scheduled for the Lillian Smith Day at Piedmont College, marking the 50th anniversary of Ms. Smith's death. A new anthology of Lillian Smith's work is A Lillian Smith Reader, published by the University of Georgia Press.

Here are a few of the details from the last few weeks with this piece.


Next up?  I'll be at John Campbell Folk School in a few weeks to teach an intermediate level tapestry class.  Residencies at Hambidge and later the Lillian Smith Center are on my schedule for the fall and I hope to find new ideas and images for future tapestries while I'm there!

Update: here's a photo from the following day after I wrote the post when I was able to have the tapestry photographed by the photo instructor at the university... he took this shot with my phone so I'd have a record of the scale of it. I'm really glad this piece is off the loom and ready to hang! 


Saturday, July 30, 2016

On and on it goes... where (when) it stops, nobody knows!

This tapestry is kicking my butt.  It should have been "easy" and it should have been "quick"--or at least as easy and quick as any tapestry ever is, especially one with a coarse sett (6 epi) and multiple weft strands (4-6).  As I mentioned in the last post, I started this in November with every intention of making it through within about four months.  March or April, I thought.  I'll have plenty of time to complete this tapestry and get another large one on the loom.

I could begin to list the things that have kept me from keeping to my self-imposed schedule of four months for weaving--but I won't.

Here's where it stands now.  It's about 14" from the top at the highest part.  60" wide.  Let's see, that's 14" x 60" = 840" square inches that remain in the weaving part of this tapestry.  At least that much... and actually a bit more since the lowest part is around 16" from the top.  How many square inches can I weave in a day?  Around six to eight, depending on complexity and how long I'll sit there doing it.

The end of the tapestry is showing at the top edge of the cartoon as it hangs, draped over the rod you see behind the warp threads.

In the last post I mentioned that I was having a lot of "what-ifs" that were distracting me from weaving on this piece.  Those what-ifs are quite interesting and are leading in paths I haven't followed before with tapestry... and may be leading to new directions to explore for awhile.  They are so engaging that I'm using time investigating them when I really should be attending to this neglected piece.

I still have a goal to include this tapestry in the upcoming exhibit at Piedmont College in September-October.  So I really, really, really, really need to put the "what-ifs" aside for a few more weeks.  I'll be back to them--I will!  And I'll describe those distractions in future post(s).

Oh... another diversion coming up right away to take me away from this tapestry is the American Tapestry Alliance retreat/workshop at Milwaukee. More about that is also at this link.  I'm looking forward to seeing folks I only get together with about every two years or so.  Lots of fiber exhibits will be in Milwaukee, as well, in conjunction with the Handweavers Guild of America conference called Convergence

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Catching up with the big one...

I'm still weaving away on the large tapestry that's been on the loom since late November.  It has been a really hard one to weave.  Not difficult to weave, just hard to find (make) time to do it!  Distractions, what-ifs, and multiple other things have kept me from putting myself at the loom bench and weaving.  But my resolution now is ... DO IT! 

Here's where I left it last night: 

I hope to have a few more inches woven by the end of the day.  If those pesky what-ifs will leave me alone for awhile.