“Places-Spaces, Exhibition of Painting, Stitches, Etc”, finally took place at iMPeRFeCT Gallery after being postponed last year! It was a crazy time getting things ready on short notice and with additional room to exhibit my work but it came together and I couldn’t be more pleased! Finishing work, framing, designing the space and hanging…Then I was interviewed on Germantown radio. It was very fun. And an artist talk—I was anxious but once I got going all was fine.
Back Room and Hallway
I showed stitching and a series of paintings in the front room, paintings in the back room, and smaller work in the hallway. Oh, and a group of found objects such as sea shells used as small tapestry looms and some of my Tea Bag Tales, they were the “Etc.” part of the title.
Small Tapestries and Tea Bag Tales
iMPeRFeCT Gallery is a wonderful gallery run by Rocio Cabello and Renny Molenaar in Germantown, PA. Over their nine years in Philadelphia they have featured an amazing group of artists, musicians, and poets. I feel so honored to be a part of all this and to have been invited to have my exhibition here.
My last post was dated June 1st and the very next day I landed in the hospital for a week – not Covid. Then months of specialists and tests and meds which made me feel lethargic and depressed. That took me through August. Things are straightened out – as well as can be with meds which seem to work without the side effects. As a result though, I lost a summer when folks were out and about a bit and now that I’m feeling better, people are staying put more. And I wasn’t able to work- I’d go into my studio and try but ending up just sitting there. Then I found out that my exhibition which was scheduled for April 2020 has been rescheduled for this Oct 30 to Nov 27 – and the scheduled space is larger. This is a very good thing but I was very much behind. Work which was started was still on the easel etc. So September and October have been very busy! Paintings have been framed (thanks Bob) and most other things are ready except for something here and there and there, and there… Hanging begins next week and opening that Sat!
Here it is June, and I haven’t posted here for a while. I started a new Visual Journal with which I’m having much fun. It began as an old diary which belonged to my Gram – she didn’t really use it for much more than a folder of news clippings etc. so I decided to use its pages as a surface for mixed media/visual entries – I call it a daily journal and it is but I never said the days were consecutive… I’ve been posting pages on social media – it gives me a good start to the day to get working. Each day I try to use media and imagery with out planning and just react to it as it goes along.
Three of my pages
I’m excited to have entered a painting, Tinicum Marsh” in the Da Vinci Art Alliance group exhibition. It will run from June 3 to the 22nd with a zoom opening on the 9th. It is open by appointment if anyone wants to stop by in person. After this last year it’s so good to be able to show work in the real world!
Tinicum Marsh Ready to Wrap
I’ve also been busy making books and starting some paintings – continuing the theme of painting where I wish I could go. But now I can start going so that’s good!
And today I’ve gotten back to weaving on my found treasures – “found objects as Tapestry Looms”.
I’ve been asked how I prepare tea bag papers for use in projects and thought I’d make a small how-to. Check out page “Tea Bag Papers” to read tutorial.
The final book in the project (from the previous post) is a “Never Ending Book” in that it can double back on itself in a circular fashion, thus “Never Ending”. Constructed like the others, only with seven sections rather than eight, the paper pages are then covered with fabric in a crazy quilt fashion using bold stitches, resulting in a very textured piece.
Fabric and spines in place
Two sections have enlarged spines to accommodate extra pages (I may have enlarged mine a bit much) and the front and back covers are slightly padded. Once the stitching is finished the book is filled with the additional paper pages (not sewn in at this point) and is stuffed with leaves and/or onion skins – I added rusty objects as well, and the whole bundle is compressed between two tiles, tied and placed in a dye pot with boiling water.
Before and After
I used an iron pot and added tea bags. The hardest part is leaving it alone for several days with out peeking. This morning I lifted the bundle out and removed the tiles.
Then the unwrapping begins carefully, opening each page to remove the dye materials and setting the book and loose pages aside to dry.
Drying (The dark bit in the first image is the main book structure. More pages in the second.)
All is currently pretty soggy but I’m excited with the results. Some of these pages were tests and I will now dye some additional pages and then assemble the finish project! That will take awhile and will be in a future post! This has been a very fun project with lots of fodder for future projects.
As a break from all the cold and snow of February, I’m taking an online workshop with Australian artist, India Flint. Titled “February Project 2021” it’s basically making folded books from found materials, dyeing them, adding pages and just generally having fun with people all over the world. Her gentle way of explaining things warms up the coldest day.
Here are a few of my early books.
The first red book used a mixed media experiment I had done on watercolor paper. The paper was much too thick to fold as shown so it turned into an accordion book with added fabric to reinforce the folds. It has been put aside for now.
In the second picture, the top left book was also a bit thick for the suggested folding but I was able to open it up and expand the spine. Pages of color have had extra blank pages sewn in creating a small journal/sketchbook. The remaining books are similar but without the need to increase the spine. Some additional pages are in signatures, some fold out to make larger areas to work with. The small bundle includes the books shown in the video below.
These have been dried and are waiting to be finished.
Other artists have stitched fabric to their pages before dyeing them or have added pages from previous dye experiments resulting in a most wonderful range of books —all so different, interesting, and inspiring.
This simple structure is addictive to the point that a solicitation that arrived in the mail yesterday is currently being pressed into a small book. Best use I can think of for junk mail!
And… there are still lectures and video, unavailable until the scheduled week, but listed as a tease of things to come.
A wonderful winter break from all that’s going on. Thank you, India!