It's process not product.

Repeat after me. It's process not product. It's process not product. It's process not product. Each day that mantra challenges me to let go and dive in without expectations, without end goals, without success or failure.

So this past week has been all about play. I have been slicing, dicing, scribbling and tossing things around without much success but with a whole mountain of possibilities.

It started with the rotary cutter.

Pieces of past projects.

After sorting through all of my finished and unfinished work last month in preparation for a couple of exhibitions in 2018 I realized that not only do I hoard work but I also experiment a lot. Which means I would have to make another trip to the local Depot store for yet another plastic bin to stack up under the (already overloaded) table. Which brought me to the realization that I do not really need new materials. I already have a excess of fabric and stitches to start new pieces. So, I have a new law: nothing is sacred. Well maybe I should qualify that: some things are sacred, but not all, no matter how many hours I had put into it.

It's process not product, it's process not product...

So I cut things up. Sometimes it was random (2" squares) and other times it was fussy cutting (I really like that little spiral of thread on that piece so maybe I can combine it with another little spiral I have over here.)

I combined a lot of the pieces into a scrap explosion.

Blech! I hate this. I really hate this. Where is my rotary cutter?

More cutting

After cutting up the cut up pieces I started with new fabric to create a composition that would included the textured pieces.

Maybe sideways is better?

Then I got this wonderful piece of striped fabric from a second hand store and couldn't resist taking the composition one step farther. Same color palette, new texture...what could go wrong?  Ok, maybe 2 or 20 steps further. I am removing fabric pieces in the original composition  to let the stripes bleed through.

Ship of fools, work in progress

It's been a full week of deconstructing and reconstructing. I had a few little AHA! moments, but mostly it was about play and process and risk. A satisfying journey that gave me these little pieces:

Scraps that talk

It's process not product. It's process not product. It's process not product....

I sneezed

Redwood, Johann Feilacher at Laumier Sculpture park in St. Louis is 34 feet tall and standing in a wooded area waiting to be discovered by trail walkers.

Redwood, Johann Feilacher at Laumier Sculpture park in St. Louis is 34 feet tall and standing in a wooded area waiting to be discovered by trail walkers.

In the presence of the master. The Man of Confusion, Paul Klee at the St. Louis Art Museum.

Tony Tasset, Eye (detail). Tasset's eye stood as a sculpture at the Laumier Sculpture park in St. Louis. This detail reminds me of those scans the eye doctor does for my pre-glaucoma condition. Such a nest of data at the central point. A good map for stitching.

Tony Tasset, Eye (detail). Tasset's eye stood as a sculpture at the Laumier Sculpture park in St. Louis. This detail reminds me of those scans the eye doctor does for my pre-glaucoma condition. Such a nest of data at the central point. A good map for stitching.

For now, I will nurse this back, drink plenty of fluids and dream the day away.

I just don't feel like myself.

A sneeze, That's all it took to turn things upside down. My lower back went to a lower dimension forcing me to the ground and making my thigh muscles the engine for reversal. Prone is best, no sitting, no stretching, no moving toward new delights. Ibuprofen is my friend. Hot water bottle strapped to my back like a turtle shell.

We were on the road enjoying museums in Kansas City, and St. Louis. Luckily the sneeze was after the meetings with Miro, Picasso, Klee, Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Bronzino, Paine, Moore, et al. Fuel for the next time zone. Sustenance and wonder for my next explorations.

Women at Sunrise, Miro, need I say more?

Women at Sunrise, Miro, need I say more?

We also visited the World War I museum in Kansas City where we saw this disturbing display of hand grenades hanging like Christmas ornaments in a case.

We also visited the World War I museum in Kansas City where we saw this disturbing display of hand grenades hanging like Christmas ornaments in a case.

Unmapped, Paula Kovarik

growing a vocabulary

I spent the week making little marks. obsessively. They were small imprints that wanted out of my head. It felt like an unknown language, one that had deeper beginnings.

Listening to interviews of world leaders, analysts, pundits and disruptors it came to me that we are all speaking in code. No one seems ready to find a common language to solve the chaos. There is only cacophony.

So here are my little marks. standing on their own.

I wanted to see how small I could actually make them. These measure about 1-1.5 inches. I used a cotton canvas cloth with extra batting for dimension.

The challenge of making each one different slowed me down. I couldn't do more that 20 at a time without finding myself repeating marks. Some look like things, some look like letter characters. I let the thread tell me their character.

I added density with hand-stitched detail.

Glyphs. 27"x 18". So many dialogs, so little listening. The piece is almost finished.

Retreat treat

Here's one thing I am really looking forward to — a week in Vermont in January. Yes, January. What could be better than the hills and trees of Vermont in January? I'll tell you what...a week in Vermont surrounded by fellow artists in January, that's what.

Join Me!

North Country Studio Workshops has invited me to teach the wandering line of free-motion stitching surrounded by fellow artists on the cozy campus of Bennington College January 23-28. Here's what their website says about the experience: "You will be immersed in a community of artists. Share meals in the dining hall, attend evening faculty lectures, and relax in the cozy shared living rooms at the end of the day. Or perhaps you will return to the studio after dinner and work late into the night. The college students are away on winter break, so we have the place all to ourselves."

Busy hands exploring stitch and line.

Busy hands exploring stitch and line.

I think it’s a gorgeous setting. It’s a stunning place to be for inspiration, and for quiet, and for just finding peace within yourself.” — A 2016 Workshop Participant
It’s the total package, the immersive experience that makes NCSW so extraordinary.” — A 2016 Workshop Participant

    Workshop - January 23-28, 2018

    • Learn to focus on the character of line and symbols through simple exercises.
    • Translate line to thread and develop techniques to accept the imperfect,
      accelerate ideas, and stitch from your imagination.
    • Learn new tools for seeing, interpreting and completing concept-driven work.

    Housing

    • Private rooms, single beds, shared baths
    • Shared living room in each house

    Rollin' rollin' rollin'

    96" x 44". That's how big this woodcut print is. And now, nervously and with great anticipation, the big reveal.....

    After laying down a protective blanket, Five-in-One Social Club workshop goes to press.

    Five-in-One Social club steamroller workshop. First print!

    Here's a print we pulled later on in the evening. It is an assemblage of an old bedspread and some cotton napkins. Love the way the color affects the print.

    This is the quiltop I created for another print. Look for this one later on this week!

    Steamroller_Five_in_One_Social_Club.jpg

    Beasty

    Purchase your steamroller print here! There are some incredible designs to choose from.