Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Slowing Down

my oh my. I have been running around for the past week and finally, after tomorrow morning's class it's all going to settle down a bit. The project that I'm handing in tomorrow is a process study concerning the diverse behaviors of dye when mixed with or painted on different mediums. We all had to pick an illustration to "color-in" with the different kinds of dye. I picked this design that I made up a while back, which illustrates a song that my dear friend Sarah Pirtle wrote:

Oh, I bless this seed, so full of life.
Oh, I bless this seed, so full of life.
And I plant it, and I plant it in my heart.
And it flowers, forever more.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the slowing that I've been waiting for. It's getting really beautiful around here, sunny and almost seventy for a few days in a row! I am ging to just take some time to sit still tomorrow and feel the blooming. I hope you do too.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ilze Aviks

I'm sitting in the Fibers departement computer lab, researching Ilze Aviks, a most remarkable artist. I wanted to share her work and her wisdom. Ilze's work focuses on three major concepts. the first is the experience of cloth and fiber art, rather than the discriptive/desplayed. when desplayed, Ilze's peices are not stretched, ironed or framed--- they are allowed to behave in the natural way of fabric..... hanging loosely and a little bit wrinkled.
The second point of focus is this concept of "women's work," what excatly is that? historically? traditionally? right now? stitches, recipes, cycles. this all manifests in her pieces quite clearly, screen prints of buttons, burnt away patches and marks made by leaving an iron on the fabric.

the third focus is "the politics of mark-making in contemporary art" who are the artists, are there some who are more entitled to be artists than others and what does it take for us to refer to something as art rather than handywork or craft?

I'm feeling really lucky that I happened to pick Ilze for my paper because her work addresses so much that I've been thinking about these days. Despite the goodness in school--- especially this school, I sometimes wonder about the ways that school work shapes and effects my own personal work. There is such a devide, sometimes I feel like everything I'm learning is opening all sorts of new doors which would never be otherwise opened. And other times I feel absolutely crushed by all the imput and I wonder, as we all go thru day after day after day without really stopping, what am I loosing to make space for all the new. We have such a culture of discarding and replacing, it surely makes it's way into the academic art world. I love outsider art beyond all others and I think that a lot of why I love it so much is because there is no shame in using the same motifs and shapes and stitches over and over. Life should be the ingredients for an artist's work and I think that these "uneducated artists" or outsiders sometimes do a better job with being truthful in their work.

So, all of that from Ilze's work. it's incerdibly beautiful, it makes you think about all the things which are just under the surface.

it's a lovely sunny day in savannah. I'm finally getting over a nasty cold that almost everyone in my house and departement has! Riva needs a bath, so that is next on the list. I'm really not sure how we're going to get her into our clawfoot tub! Ah yes, life's little adventures....

love to you all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


well, here she is!!!!! My friends Amy, Jill+ Lindsey found her in their parking lot and came to us looking for a home................... I of course fell in love and now she's ours + so incredibly sweet. Oliver adores her and will hopefully inherit some of her slightly more grown up doggie twendencies!

School is now in full swing, and I'm having a pretty good time creating a routine with enough space to breathe in it. I think that one really grand thing about art school is that as you progress and do more and more focused work, that work becomes your own and not just an isolated assignment. I'm really enjoying the taking posession part, of everything that I make now. Yesterday, I cast the first of the beat and rutabegga bowls and they came out really neat, bumpy and looking a lot like beats and rutabegga! I'm starting to think about glaze colors and any patterns/surface design that I might add. to make it less scarry and new; trying to figure out what I want to draw in the clay, because that's really all it is. I think that in every new and potentionally intimidating situation there is a point in which you can make it your own and do, from that place on, in your own terms. Simmilarly, I have suspended the need for straight lines. I always feel all this pressure to draw clean grids and create immaculate sketchbooks and finally, I just realized that there is no reason to create and be something that I am not. This is a good sentiment, one that applies to all aspects of everything that we do. I got a postcard from Elena with a beautiful Inuit painting of an owl and a seal in a boat on it. The name of the painting is Following the Route. Elena wrote this on the back : the name seems to suggest so many things, like birds migrating the same route every year and just knowing the way intuitively. Also, maybe that we all have an intuitive route-- some direction that we naturally head.....

I guess that if at the end of the day we can think back on it all and know that we're somehow on that right road, then there is nothing more we could really want.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Hello Dears--
I'm sitting here at Brooke's computer in our lovely (+ slightly rickity) house, finally taking some time to slow down and catch up. I started school on Monday and am quite excited about it all. The first project in my images on fabric class is to create a "color book," which is basically a book of swatches of dyed fabric........ about 400 of them! Thankfully, it's sunny and bright here and thinking about color is a completely natural thing to do! I expect to be spending the next week or so mixing dyes, so if and when you call, that's probably what I'll be doing! Earlier this evening I took my first Moldmaking and Slipcasting Ceramics class, which is going to be excellent... the first project os making a set of 12 coordinating cups and bowls. I have to admit, I'm a little terrified because CLAY is a completely new realm and I know absolutely nothing, always an interesting, scarry and wonderous place to be.

(I just had to put Oliver our puppy downstairs because he kept getting into the yarn basket..... oy vey. and oh god, I just heard that he pooped. it really never ends. NEVER!)
Anyway, we're all plotting along, Smera and I are planning a small pre-valentines day trunk show. it will be tiny tiny and in our living room! I'm excited to make these shows regular occurences and I'm hoping to spread the trend among other young artists.
love + have a happy day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Well, here we are....2008. goodness. New Years Eve was a rocking time in Northampton. I got to spend the entire day running around with dear dear friends and seeing marvelous performances. My sister, Bean, performed in a beautiful dance piece at the Academy of Music and it was so good to finally see her perform, as I usually am in Sav. during her shows. Other greatness included seeing our beloved Nerissa and Katryna Nields at the UU and then dancing the night (year!) away with the Black Rebels. What could be better?

Needless to say, I'm a bit pooped today. My Mom actually referred to me as "a raccoon"-- after seeing those dark circles! And today has been spent organizing and packing up the studio here in Florence. I piled everything up on my desk, for better or worse, to be sorted and packed. It took all day and I think that this meticulous packing up is a way of adjusting to the idea of moving along..... anyway, I'm finally packed!
Tomorrow morning, Meg and I are heading south with a full Subaru and hopefully a little more pep than today. I will send you some sunshine, as soon as we get there.
Love to you all. Happy Happy New Year. May it be an incredibly good one.