Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Sugar and a Map (to Find Me)

I love layers.

Woven spider wheel hydrogen, carbon & oxygen. Glucose.

In life and in making art, it's all about adding layers and peeling them away.

Whipped back stitch. Sucrose.

My Suga Belt keeps asking for more layers... chemicals and molecules and maps.  Ideas for new layers, like membranes or tiers, keep coming to me.

Adding a map of a town square to Suga Belt.

Now a map.

Whipped back stitch. Fructose.

Next a key?

Glucose from above.

I think. I can't see too far ahead of me in my life or in my art. But that's an exciting place to be.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

International Art Project Born from a News Report

I've written about my sources of inspiration for art projects for other blogs and publications. On my own blog, I call these sources "Stitchsperation."

Hanne Bang's studio. Photo by Bang.

Here is a wonderful example of a perhaps insufficiently recognized well of inspiration: the news media.

Recently, I participated in an art project that rose from a news story, all of the players half a world away from me and from each other.

Danish artist Hanne Bang's amazing In A War, Someone Has To Die installation art piece was inspired by a television interview she heard of an out-of-work, professional African soldier, who uttered the line, "in a war, someone has to die."

(Read more about the evolution of the project here.)

Contributions by Katherine and me.

The exhibition opened last night in Copenhagen at Den Frie at KE12 Autumn Art. (Hang says, "KE12 is one of the most important juried exhibitions for contemporary art in Denmark.") It included my work and that of my friend Katherine, among 240-plus other contributors from around the world.  

So hear is my recommendation: Sit down with your local newspaper and sketchbook and play. There are layers and layers of ideas and stories and images to be found in the ink, on the gray paper.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Little Ennui People for the Phat Quarter Toys Swap

My brother Joe and I played with Fisher Price Little People far beyond the recommended age. We did so sneakily. And they weren't our Little People. They belonged to the bratty little daughter of our babysitter.

Little Ennui Girl.

As we played, we forgot for a little while how much we hated going to this babysitter's house, on a dirt road, far from home, far from our parents. The kids on that dirt road did not like us and we didn't understand why.

The whole, happy family.

Joe and I were passionate, intense kids. We suffered from ennui before we knew what that meant. And we were nerdy smart, so we knew that word at a young age.

Mid-stitch, happiness and ennui.

Picture two dark-haired, strangely pale kids with giant brown saucers for eyes, bent over these simple, brightly-colored, wooden peg people, plotting our escape to the circus, the amusement park, home... that was Joe and me.

Little People of our vintage.

So of course, I couldn't make accurate, smiling, dopey Mid-Century Little People for the Mr X Stitch Phat Quarter toys-themed swap. I made them look like Joe and me.

Little Ennui Cowboy.

And then, because I am on a Kanji kick, I included some Japanese characters for Little People, happiness, joy and laughter. Because that is what childhood is supposed to be about and that's what toys are intended to inspire, right?

She looks particularly tortured to me!

I'm happy that these little freaks now live with Leslie, a.k.a. lockedinthepark, in New York. (Check out Leslie's blog, crafts, feminism and more.) I feel she can appreciate their ennui.

Sparkle, sparkle.

My brother and I are now passionate, intense adults. I wish we could see each other more. It's not too late, Joe. We can still escape if you're up for it. Let's fill our pockets with an army of Little People and run away... are you in?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Big Yes! Clowns by Sailor Mouth

After being playfully chastised by Mr X Stitch for never having actually tried cross stitch (despite writing for his blog), I've been casting about for ideas for my first attempt into this new stitch territory.

Clowns by Sailor Mouth

And then I found the wild work of artist Sailor Mouth (a.k.a. Marshall Thompson). Sham-wow! His work is cool, creepy and wonderful. 

These clowns are freaky. If there is anyone who doesn't already find clowns scary, after seeing these insane images, they will learn clown-related fear!

Detail of a Clown, by Sailor Mouth.

I appreciate the menace he brought into the simple designs. And his use of primary colors. And the the way the red-striped, diamond-shaped frames play off the mad circus motif. 

Love this wild frame.

Check out more of Sailor Mouth's stitching and other artwork in his flickr stream. At times, the almost cartoon-like images strike me as the sleekest sticker art captured in stitch. Big yes, Sailor Mouth.

Now, time for me to try to cross stitch business!

"Big Yes!" is a blog feature where I share, with the artist’s permission, a piece of textile art that has opened my eyes to the possibility of what we can create.  When faced with things that are truly beautiful or moving or that fill me with awe, I try to say yes. More than that, Big Yes.