Tuesday, March 25, 2008

more progress on Vandiver

I got Vandiver finished off today and a bit more of the background above his ear woven.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What's on the loom...

I'm working on a small piece right now...one I began in November as a demo piece. I have it promised to a friend in trade for an amazing tapestry of hers. I'd like to finish it in a couple of weeks and possibly will be able to do so.

This portrait of Vandiver, my cat friend who lives with Noel & Patrick, is based on a photo I made of him when we were at their place last June. I stylized the shapes, eliminating much of the detail of the chair he was lying in. Since he's so wonderfully graphic with his white/black coloring I thought I'd use bright colors for the tapestry. In addition to the black and white I chose a four color arrangement of intermediate colors and variations of those: red-orange, red-violet, yellow-green, blue-green. Just a teeny bit of pinkish-tan and gray make his nose and the inside of his ear.

The tapestry in progress is the third portrait I've done of Vandiver. He's 17 this year! The small one below is called "Vandiver Walking" and was in the small format exhibit at the Cincinnati Convergence...when was that? Think it was in 2000; if that's the case, this piece was done that year...and Vandiver was just a young guy then! I'm not sure I have a photo of the third piece, one called "Magic Carpet Ride," where Vandiver is lying on an antique kilim saddle blanket. The pattern of the kilim made a great contrast for his black & white self for that one.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Posting about Penland Concentration on Desert Tapestry Weavers blog

Thanks to Lyn Hart for posting information about the Penland Concentration course on the Desert Tapestry Weavers blog today. It looks great on the site, Lyn!

Pat, Peggy and I are hard at work to prepare for the course. Much of the reading, thinking, experimenting that we all are doing has a focus on creativity...especially since we'll have "creative meanderings" playing a large role. We certainly aren't trying to create or even re-create the creativity wheel, by any means!! Much has been written about the creative process in the past, some of it very helpful and some of it hooey. But as with anything I teach, I like to present options--not necessarily give answers. The "what ifs" are probably more important than the "this is the way it is..." anyway.

'Way back in the early 1980s my friend, Diane, and I used to say that we had lots of answers...we just didn't know what the questions were. A quarter of a century later I feel that I now have questions...no particularly right answers anymore! Wonder if that's a good thing...oops, that's another question, isn't it? Yikes, and there's another one!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Exciting things happening!

Over the past few days I've been invited to be part of a couple of exhibits. One will be in Atlanta at the Swan Coach House Gallery, August 7-September 20. This exhibit will be called "Mining Surface" and is described to "...showcase dynamic, new sensibility of art textile works by artists in the South." The other exhibit will be at Hambidge Center, "Back to Nature: An Exhibition of Contemporary Botanical Pottery and Art." That one will be April 11-June 7.

I'm quite excited about both exhibits and being able to show new work.

Another opportunity has been developing for the past month. This is a wonderful chance to work with good friends, Peggy McBride and Pat Williams, as we team teach a course during the Fall 2008 concentation at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC. The concentration program is for eight weeks--a long time to spend, intense and rewarding. I was able to take a concentration in 2001 with Archie Brennan and Susan Maffei at Penland and the experience was life-changing for me. Now, to be able to plan for and be part of the instruction of such a course is just fantastic!

Here's basic information; more will be available through Penland once the fall 2008 concentration classes are on their website.

Tapestry and Creative Potential

Instructors: Peggy McBride, Tommye Scanlin and Pat Williams
September 21-November 14, 2008
For more information: http://penland.org

Tapestry weaving techniques are easy to learn yet often take a long time to master. Along the way to mastery, there are many roads to consider in methods and in design ideas. This class will be about both: the known paths to basics of tapestry technique and the creative meanderings where ideas develop.

Collaborations among teachers and students will encourage all to delve into sequence and resolution, tradition and innovation. We will explore ways to find and develop personal concepts and images through which to celebrate the nature of tapestry.

Instructors McBride, Scanlin and Williams are long-time friends in fiber; over the past twenty-five years they've worked together in fiber art guilds, workshops, and critique sessions. They are eager to share ideas with others during this eight-week session at Penland, one of the most exciting craft school in the U.S.

Brief bios:
Peggy McBride, mixed media artist (commissions: Atlanta's Alliance Theatre Company, Children's Hospital, Federal Reserve Bank), owner, Globe Gallery in Clayton, GA, grants administrator for state's Grassroots Arts Program, creative consultant for non-profit art organizations.

Tommye Scanlin, studio artist, juried member Southern Highland Craft Guild and Piedmont Craftsmen; professor emerita of art, North GA College & State Univ (GA), other teaching at John Campbell Folk School, Penland (NC), Arrowmont (TN); American Tapestry Alliance award (2007); work included in several public and private collections.

Pat Williams, studio artist, juried member Southern Highland Craft Guild, Masters in Art Education, art teacher of fifteen years (public school), American Tapestry Alliance award (2006), exhibited nationally and internationally with tapestry works in private collections.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Complete, cut off and finished...and on the way!

Meredith and I cut off the small tapestry for the Land exhibit on Monday. She was such a wonderful assistant for this piece and, from what she's told me, found the experience to be rewarding for her. It was certainly a great experience for me! We cut the bottom warps loose from the loom first--that's my backside as I'm doing some of the bottom cutting!

Then we cut off the top--that's Meredith at the right putting scissors to the task. I still have a bit of warp left on the beam and I'll retie it for another piece. This narrow and wide design is something I may try again. Or I may use the warp to do several side-by-side smaller pieces. Nothing is designed yet but might be a good place to do some sampling of thoughts and ideas.

After we admired our work for a few minutes, Meredith began picking out the header at the bottom. Then, I finished off the piece with a turned back hem (the light green at top and bottom is the hem area). I put a lining at the back to secure the weft ends and also the hide the hem. Since I'm sending it to be pinned up rather than having a more permanent mounting method I thought it might be easier for the show hanging folks to handle.

Legacy Continues..., 81 cm wide x 9.5 cm high

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

small tapestry almost done!

Meredith did a great job working on the small tapestry for the Land exhibit while I was gone over the weekend. She finished another section today--here she is...hard at work! Her craftsmanship is excellent and she's doing a good job with color selection as she blends four strands of different oranges and greens for the color mixtures.

I'll be filling in a tiny bit at the right side then doing the hem tomorrow.