Taking an intense mark making course with Lorna Crane called “Perfectly Imperfect”.
It began making wonderful crazy brushes. We were to embellish them and I based mine on an imagined Prehistoric Healer as they remind me of funky magic wands, BUT the main purpose is the mark making—getting you out of your normal way of working—the crazy bit is for fun. Mark making is in the next section of the course. After that we will use our marks in making collage, scrolls, books, and finally a vessel. We will be marking with ink, markers, acrylics, stitches, etc. etc. Painting on paper as well as fabric. It is a very busy, involved course and a lot of fun!
In a previous post (titled ‘Heist”) I described a project called “Bound in Place”. It was dyed and then buried as an experiment. When I went to dig it up I couldn’t find it! Hence the “Heist”. Below are images of laying out the rusty bits, attaching them, and adding seed stitching to create texture.
Testing Layout and Stitching
Dyed and Burying Project
I waited until March the dig it up but couldn’t find it, then in late April, I was weeding in this area and there it was, so covered in mud I almost missed it. The poor thing was torn with very distressed fibers. After washing and drying it it was repaired, attached it to dyed linen and backed with a piece of thin felt for stability.
Found and Repaired Project
I’m happy with the result showing the work involved plus a sense of decay—nothing’s permanent. Another time I will bury one in the warmer weather and will mark it better. I’m still interested the effect bugs and other ground dwelling critters may add to the project—and they most likely weren’t at work in the frozen ground!
“Page 22” is a Mixed Media work created for a group exhibition “Artists in Solidarity with Ukraine” at the Germantown Espresso Bar near my home.
It began as a spread in a journal of paintings begun as a daily exercise.
After days representing my daily feelings, suddenly there were these pages representing the war in Ukraine. Too often all seems normal then one day things turn horrible beyond belief. Once this has passed things tend to return back to normal (what ever that is) until the next catastrophic event. We don’t learn.
The name “Page 22” represents the page in the book with the original image.
This work is about 12 x 4 inches, made of cotton and rusty metal bits held between two pieces of cotton, then covered with stitches. It was then dyed with tea in the hope that the metal would mark the work with rusty stains. It’s title is “Bound in Place”
I wasn’t happy with the amount of rust in this piece (the angular rusty bits didn’t react) so I decided to bury it outside and see what the elements did to it. The ground was pretty frozen and I could only go a bit below the dirt but I marked the spot and was very proud of my self that I waited a several months to dig it up. Only it wasn’t there!! I dug all around to no avail. All I can figure is that a squirrel or other critter attracted by the smell of tea made off with it…
Things have been pretty busy and I realized I didn’t post about the catalogs from my exposition at iMPeRFeCT Gallery this fall. I designed them and am very excited how they turned out. The exposition included both paintings and fiber work and was titled, “Beth Emmott: Places.Spaces, Paintings and Stitches”
and two inside spreads:
Samples of Painting and Fiber Pages
If any one wants one they are 8″x 8″ and 48 pages and are available at $15.00 each plus shipping.
For more information contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Again I want to thank iMPeRFeCT Gallery for my exposition!
In the mean time, I finished the Alice Fox workshop. We used our rusty dyed fabrics in finished pieces.
Here are two of mine.
“Yellow” and “Plain and Fancy”
They are small and both used old fabrics from my grandmother’s stash. The yellow bit was weighted silk that was splitting and mainly became a tie-dye from the binding it was wrapped with – there was little rusty marking. It was finished with french knots and a simple running thread. The other work consisted a piece of a cotton napkin and old patterned silk with a couched cord. It was a very fun workshop and a good distraction from the cold weather.
I’ve also gotten back to working on my one-a-day sketch book I stopped in June when I as sick and doing a lot of drawing. Now to get working on my painting!
Last post was in November – then Thanksgiving and after that my exhibition at iMPeRFeCT Gallery ended. There was work taking it down etc. and December was busy – someone snuck some holidays in there and now it’s 2022. Decorations are down, it has snowed, and now it’s very, very cold outside.
First snow 2022 – A perfect time to get back to work.
I’ve been working on various projects and I had signed up for a workshop online with the English artist Alice Fox. It’s dealing with rusty dyeing which I do a lot of but I love her work and wanted to take this workshop with her. Also I can sometimes use a kick to get me going.
So, last Friday was the first day and mainly Alice gives how to’s and and suggestions on experimenting – then you have the week to work on it before the next set of information. You can get feedback via the web.
I did a lot of tests on different types of papers and fabric. Was happy with some and others not so much. But one thing I’m trying to wrap my head around is when I’m learning something and experimenting, don’t just put the results in a drawer but do something with them. So… I decided to make a book of my samples and as they were all different sizes I had to work with that. The result is different than my regular books and it added to the project.
The top paper on the front of the book is much thinner than the others and I like the way the wrinkles add texture, contrasting with the rest of the book. After all this is a book of experiments!
Front Cover and Open Book
It has an accordion construction with the tallest pages in the front, decreasing in height as they go to the end of the book – they also vary in width. Reading it like a regular book there are three different spreads as you turn the pages.
Third spread with earlier pages peaking out and the final closed book
We also worked with dying fiber this week, but that’s a post for another day!