Sunday, August 30, 2009

#45 of 52 projects

It looks monsoonal outside, but the temp is still ridiculously high. 115 today with some humidity so it feels more like 120, or so the weather cast person informed us. I'm positive that I never wanted to know what temps this high felt like! It hurts, that's for sure. Every time the AC doesn't sound right I start to panic! We'd have to pack up and head west if the AC died, or the power went off.

Components: Altered photo, went for an aged look. Dyed fabric background, grey and red with some bleached muslin showing through. Machine stitched. Rust dyed cheesecloth.

This one is in honor of Christina's love of horses, one of many things we have in common.
Quotes: The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire. ~ Sharon Ralls Lemon
One reason why birds and horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses. Dale Carnegie

Saturday, August 29, 2009

#44 and personal symbols

This piece started out life as a piece of white canvas cloth that was painted red with textile paints. Some time passed and a new rubber stamped circle design was repeatedly stamped on the fabric in blue ink. More time went by and a gold shiva paintstik was rubbed over a texture plate. Awful! Would machine stitch doodling help? A little. Would gold and silver paint stenciled through a fleur-de-lis motif make a difference? Most definitely. How about more gold paint dry brushed over the surface? And how about attaching the tapestry-looking piece to distressed lutradur? And so #44 came to life on the day that it hit 118 for the second time this summer.

This piece is for Caterina whose personal symbol is the fleur-de-lis. Be sure to go check out her blog to see her beautiful work.
My personal symbol is the horse. I can't remember a time when I wasn't moved by the sight of a magnificent horse so when I pulled the car over to the side of the road on Thursday to attempt to photograph these beauties I could have stood there all afternoon watching them. But the 114 degree temp forced me back to the car.

I had just come from DMV where I had an appointment to have my driver's license renewed and where I found out that a vital form was required before I can receive a new permanent driver's license, in the meantime it's pending! My right eye, the one that had an infection about 10 years and blew a hole in the center needs an explanation provided by an eye doctor. I was one step ahead of the game by seeing an eye doctor two months ago so I knew my left eye is perfect. I dropped the form off at the eye doctor's office and drove down a country road to visit the horses I had seen on the way to DMV. A car slowed down while I was climbing the hot sand to the barbed wire fence, I lost my footing a little when I turned around hoping that the car would continue on. Happily, it was a police car probably checking to see if I needed help, after all the car was off of the road. When I stumbled the horses started to bolt then stopped to see what I was up to; they had been eating so while they checked me out I was able to get some fairly decent shots. Yes, I'll be using horses in my work very soon.

In Native American culture the horse has long been honored as messenger, helper, and harbinger of spirit knowledge.

Quote: Who's gonna ride your wild horses? Who's gonna drown in your blue sea? --U2

Friday, August 28, 2009

#43 of 52 projects

Have you ever wondered why pears are the subject of so many art pieces? Could it be their shape, or color, or? I've been photographing some pears for a couple of days now and seemed to have joined those who use pears in their work. This grouping started out as a rubber stamp stamped onto freezer paper and cut out for a stencil. I very nearly tossed this piece in the trash, but then I remembered one of the rules, finish the piece . . .

Components: Shiva paintstiks for the pears and black wall hanging. Screen printed fabric for the third pear. Machine stitched, doodles, on canvas fabric. Dye-na-flow paint, ochre, to pull the piece together. Sort of a funky 4x6 inch piece.

Quote: In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow through your anger and your energy into something positive. Lee Iacocoa

Sunday, August 23, 2009

#42 of 52 projects

The coat-of-arms for Florence, Italy is the Fleur-de-lis which is where I photographed this image.

Components: hand-dyed fabrics, red and a blue, a photo on ready to print fabric, and machine stitched.

This piece nearly didn't happen! Everything I've started for the last few days was a bust and I starting to fret until I remembered to not stress over this project, it's supposed to be fun!

Quote: If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it. George Burns

Friday, August 21, 2009


Some of my favorite images of Pompeii. I wasn't expecting such a photographically challenging and fascinating place. We bought a book about Pompeii in the gift shop on our way out of the "proper" front entrance where we grabbed a taxi to take us back to the smaller and less crowded back entrance. The book is filled with facts some of which are here: As usual, click on the photos to enlarge
Journal: On the morning of June 12th we left Postiano with the idea of stopping in Sorrento, but the ocean-side city didn't intrigue once we left the twisty mountain road and entered the crowded streets. On to Pompeii. Hm, industrial area and tenement looking apartments along the autostrada didn't make for a grand entrance to Pompeii, but we prevailed and ended up at the back entrance to the ruins. The men who enticed us into the parking lot couldn't have been nicer, "Be sure to use our restrooms before seeing the ruins, nothing over there, no shelter either so have lots of water, and if you're going to eat do it now. " Okay! We did all three and crossed the street to the uncrowded entrance where we were greeted by guides looking for willing tourists. We chose to see the ruins without a guide which might have been a mistake, but the fee was high and we were weary and decided we probably wouldn't make it through a tour, we were right! If it hadn't been so hot and dusty I could have photographed there for hours. When you hear that a city had been under ashes for centuries before excavation started you wouldn't expect to see such grandeur albeit in ruins still intact. Pompeii, isn't that a peculiar name for an Italian city, sounds Greek.

From there we ended up in a hotel recommended to us by the the gas station attendant who just happened to grow up in San Francisco. When his parents divorced he ended up in Italy where his father was from, the Umbria region, rather than in Turkey where his American mother decided to live. The hotel was perfectly situated right off of the autostrada and the dining room was still open. When fatigue robs you of most of your brain cells it's good to find accommodations easily!

Next, Orvieto, and one of a travelers worst nightmares, and the last night in Italy in magnificent Florence. Yes, I'm dragging the trip on as long as I can. The home front has been stressful so I'd prefer living, mentally, anywhere but where I am.

Quote: There are thousands of causes for stress, and one antidote to stress is self-expression. That's what happens to me every day. My thoughts get off of my chest, down my sleeves and onto my pad. Garson Kanin

Give Away

So much for getting rid of the moire pattern on fabric! The photo looked okay until I went to post it; the wavy lines do not exist at all. I used an image of the rust/copper patina that was on the pan that I blogged about in the last entry and printed it onto fabric. The distressed background is lutradur sewn onto black fabric. After it was heat distressed I used Shiva Paint Stiks, acrylic paint, and foil for color. The 4x6 inch postcard was just received by its recipient so I can't count this one as one of my 52 projects.

Give Away! On Sept. 18th I will celebrate one of those Big-0 birthdays. Frankly, I'm surprised that I'm this old plus, I never thought I'd make it this far! Health issues have tried to take over my life since I was a kid. Art and reading have saved me from wallowing too much. I can't imagine a life without either one.

So, if you leave a comment between this post and Sept. 18th you'll be entered for my next Give Away. I'm in the midst of creating the pieces for the last Give Away and hope to have them in the mail soon. Perhaps you'll share what your favorite book-of-the-moment is.

Quote: To unpathed waters, undreamed shores. William Shakespeare

Friday, August 14, 2009


Look what greeted me yesterday in the bottom of a tray? I had rusted some copper squares. I will be doing something with the photos I took and the gorgeous rusted squares. Wish I could paint an abstract as well as nature gifted me with; course if it weren't for the vinegar this wouldn't have existed.

R. and I have date-night on Thursdays and usually go out to dinner but once-in-awhile a change is nice. I can't remember the last time I sat in a theater to see a movie, Netflix is great! but we couldn't resist seeing "Julie & Julia." For eons, it seems, that I have been fascinated by Julia's life and how she helped shape the interest of cuisine in this country. Without people like her where would we be? I'm a huge fan of dining on excellent food. The movie was very enjoyable, just wish more time had been spent with Julia than Julie, but it is Julie's story after all. I found the original blog that Julie started in 2002, her newest blog is on blogspot under her name Julie Powell. It'll take me a long time to get through the first blog, but so far it's been a fun read. I took a look at J. Powell's book at the bookstore last week and think that I'll enjoy the blog rather than reading the book.

I have read "My life in France" by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme. She and her husband were a great team.

Quotes: "Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." "The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook." "Life itself is the proper binge." "Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours work for two minutes enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet." Julia Child

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

#40 & #41 of 52 projects

The white muslin that the photos are printed on is whiter in "real life." Color balance in cameras along with getting a moire pattern off of the fabric that doesn't exist in "real life" can be such a bother. But I'm not going for photo perfection when I post these on the blog; that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

#40 was photographed in Orvieto, Italy. I haven't posted the Orvieto photos yet but suffice it to say that the village exceeded our expectations and I would return there in an instant. It's a day trip from Florence where we didn't spend enough time.

Components: hand-dyed muslin, photo printed on prepared for printing muslin. scraps of blue dyed fabric and machine stitching. I like the serendipitous imperfections of these pieces; they remind me of the richly aged buildings in Italy.

#41, Positano, Italy, photographed on the long walk into the village.

Components: hand-dyed fabric, photo printed on prepared for inkjet printing muslin, distressed lutradur sewn onto scrap of fabric, machine stitching.

Learned: that having a stash of hand dyed fabrics is as great as I thought it would be! Can't wait to be able to dye fabric again; no relief from the brutal temps yet, though, a drop from 113 to 100 was very nice! I've never experimented a lot with printing onto fabric and now that I've done a few pieces I will be stocking up on Bubble Jet Set. I also know for certain that I love doing a series of images or approaches and could continue with the Laundry Day series for awhile, but then I wouldn't be following one of my guidelines for the 52 projects. Experiment!

Later: I'm not in the mood, too many stresses lately, to redo this post, but I wish I had waited to read lesson #2 of a digital photography class that I'm taking. Go to my other blog to see what I learned today, August 11th post. I'm excited about the possibility of improving how I photograph my art pieces. White balance built into a camera is a good thing!

Quote: our waking hours form the text of our lives, our dreams, the commentary. Anonymous

Monday, August 10, 2009

Positano, Italy

The road from Amalfi to Positano zigzags more than any road I've ever been on; it's exhausting and we thought about shouting, "We survived the Amalfi Coast!" The middle photo on the left is one of the better shots I got of the twisty road. A lot of the terrain looks like the top left photo. The first sighting of Positano is thrilling; the road barrier is visible in the foreground of the middle right photo.
I've mentioned "the walk" we took from the parking garage down, down, down, into town earlier so I won't repeat that. On one of the curves we came across the scene in the upper left. Amazingly enough I was able to also photograph it from the hotel balcony, gotta love a zoom lens! Middle right, on either side of the dome is a smidgen of the beach. (click on photos to enlarge)

Street scenes photographed from the car. (yes, I did make a duplicate of one of the photographs. I used it in my journal layout.)

Upper left, stairs from one street level to another street, or you can drive. Two more laundry scenes. Middle left, taken from the car. Middle right, directly across from the hotel. Bottom left, mosaics on a wall and pavement just before the beach where the dome is in a photo in the second montage above. Bottom right, cactus growing out of a small pot, two stories high. It must love the climate.

Upper left, me. Upper right, the bougainvillea encrusted hotel, our room was in the middle on the top floor. Middle left, view from the balcony. Remaining photos are of the restaurant and view from it of the village at night. Our table was right next to the road. I can still hear the cars and vespas passing us by while we dined under the stars. Heavenly! Next, Pompeii.
Quote: Don't waste an ounce of thought on something not worthy of your attention. Sally Huss

Sunday, August 09, 2009

#39 of 52 projects and Give Away.

Knowing myself as I do if I hadn't completed the journal before starting more experiments with fabric I'd never return to it. Oh how I've been yearning to work with this photo. This one is my favorite of the laundry series photos and was photographed in Tarquinia, Italy in an alley.

Components: hand dyed muslin, scraps from the white pieces #37 & #38, photo printed onto prepared for printing muslin. 5x7 inches with loose threads.

Give Away Announcement: I lost the list of names which meant that I needed to go back over the comments left up to July 31. Stacy said that two names should be chosen so she pulled out of her hat Penny, whose address I have and Julie, whose address I need. Can't say when or what I'll mail, but it should be in the next few weeks. I will be doing another Give Away next month in celebration of my birthday.

Quote: The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. Alan Watts

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Fini and Amalfi

The spiral bound travel journal is finally finished! Not only did I cull through over 1500 photos, but I went online and looked up historical facts to add to the journal and that ended up side tracking me for days on end. Oddly enough, I usually enjoy discovering facts after a trip rather than prior to it. Maybe I prefer my initial response to a place and not have my head filled with details. whatever the reason the trip that started on June 4th has now come to a nice conclusion and I can start using some of the photos in my work. The two spreads above are indicative of what the interior of the journal looks like.
Almalfi! Oh my, was I really there? A plate of Ravioli so good that I didn't want to finish it. We sat at the corner table with a view of the Mediterranean and village. (below left is a shot of the deck and the corner table.) The cathedral. No, I didn't walk up the stairs.

The village.

More favorite photos.

Above left bottom is the exit tunnel out of Amalfi. Doesn't look like much does it? We nearly went through it rather than make a left turn into the parking area.
From here we went to Positano.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

An interview

I haven't posted inspiring links in ages. Being that mom has Alzheimer's anything that Ami is a part of is of interest to me. An interview is here. Her blog is here.

Thanks so much for all of the comments about my DisCo piece. I've decided to leave it alone and call it finished!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

DisCo project Reveal

I had great hopes when I put some bundles into the compost bin to further disintegrate, but they didn't cooperate. I've never known paper to not break down or stain. The photos in this piece cooperated quite well and were set aside from the first bundles. At least the corrugated cardboard was coaxed into doing a nice job of decaying in the compost bin. Rather than despairing about what didn't happen I took the few pieces of decayed items and started playing with some ideas. I haven't thrown paint on a canvas in months and the need to do was overwhelming.

Layers and layers of texture and paint became the substrate for the few decayed pieces that I know I would have never considered using if Seth hadn't dreamed up this group collaborative. Everyone needs a challenge once-in-awhile and this definitely challenged me. I have a feeling that this 11x14 inch piece is a work-in-progress, maybe the photos need to be worked into the piece by toning down the edges? But for now it'll do.
Quote: Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.
Lanston Hughes