Saturday, June 27, 2009

Recommendation – Eleanore Mikus

Here is an example of Eleanore Mikus' artwork with her lines caused by the folding and re-folding of paper. Images from her website below:


Three Horizontals, folded nacre paper, 1968, 13.625"x10.5"


Architectural White Paperfold, 2000, 5"x14.5"

White Nacre Handfolded Paper, 1980, 33.5"x23.25"

and from her Black Paperfold series:

Ate, Ink on Handfolded Paper, 2002, 30 1/2"x23"

and from her Colored Paperfold series:

Red Ink and Oil Crayon on Handfolded Paper, 2005, 7" x 7 1/8"

I have her book, there is also a catalog from The Drawing Center on her work as well. The book information: Eleanore Mikus: Shadows of the Real by Robert Hobbs and Judith Bernstock; Ithaca: Groton House, 1991. Amazon link here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Alyson Stanfield and basketry

Alyson Stanfield writes a newsletter weekly and I enjoyed this one - "Listen, read, act, repeat." Alyson discusses how we automatically respond to people "I already know that" when just stopping and listening may open yourself to new experiences. Scroll down to check out this good read.

This title was followed up yesterday by her newest newsletter topic "Stop, and then get to work." This topic refers to falling into the trap of doing endless research or endless searching as opposed to just doing. Alyson writes, "Stop! Stop gathering information, stop looking for something that doesn’t exist, and start doing." Good advice.

You can sign up for her free newsletter to be delivered once a week via email. Highly recommended.

I love this basket by Japanese bamboo artist, Fujitsuka Shosei. See more images at Tai Gallery here.

fujitsuka_shosei_basketryAnd a sketch from my journal based on the image and my fascination with boxes:


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Life, vision, clarity

A few days ago, an article came into my inbox from Mark Forster, the Time Freedom Coach. I have no affiliation with Mr. Forster – a few months back I signed up to receive email updates from several coaches as part of a group offer. His was among them. Forster is the author of the Autofocus System, a system which is a framework to allow your intellect and intuition work in balance.

In the email, Forster talks about how he is experimenting to develop a system even better than Autofocus – even though he is committed to his original product. He hopes that Autofocus will help him to:

1. Get the simple business of running his daily life back on track.
2. Avoid taking on commitments without a positive vision of what they are for.
3. Get a vision of what he is doing in his life.

No. 3 interested me a lot. In the discussion, Forster talks about "hovering around" being one thing, yet wanting another. He wants to have clear focus.


Blue pants collage, found papers, paste paper, print, oil pastels, 5" x 7", 2009

Little City, Pitt pen, pencil, gouache on watercolor paper, 4" x 6", 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

Top Artists Since 1900 – Eva Hesse (no. 61)

In my opinion, no female artist has had the impact on art that Eva Hesse had in her short life. (1936-1970). I am particularly enamored of her drawings and her sculpture. Her drawings have a child-like feel to them and she was a master at using color. From the Estate of Eva Hesse site:

Untitled; 1963-64; Collage with ink, gouache and watercolor on paper; 22 x 30"

Untitled; 1963; gouache, watercolor, pencil on paper; 22 x 30"

Untitled, 1963; oilstick, ink and pencil on paper; 8.5 x 11"

Untitled; 1963; collage with gouache, ink and watercolor on paper; 36 1/4 x 27 3/4"

This book on her drawings is worth checking out if available in your area.


Recently, I got the Quilt National catalog for 2009. There is some very strong artwork in this exhibit, in my opinion. I hope to see the exhibit in person in September and will wait to review the show until then. However, on the QN site is a page of the award winners. I'm very impressed with many; particularly the work of Jen Swearington, Sandra Woock, Judy Rush and Anne Smith. Go to the above link and scroll down & look at Sandra Woock's piece. I see the X's, circles and strong vertical lines that reminds me so much of Hesse's drawings.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Top 200 Artists since 1900

The Times (U.K.) ran a poll asking readers to vote on the top artists of the 20th century. 1.4 million people voted and the results were published Monday (6-8-2009) here. (be sure and click on the artist name for a link to artwork) As I think happens in a public poll, artists who were good at publicity and whose estates keep that publicity going come out on top (e.g. Picasso is #1 and Frida Kahlo is #19). Predictably, women are in short supply in this list. Kahlo is the first woman on the list ahead of Louise Bourgeois (#70) and Louise Nevelson, whose sculpture makes me weak in the knees, is nowhere to be found. (see examples of her sculpture here and here on the Pace Wildenstein site).

imageDawn's Wedding Chapel IV, 1959-60; wood painted white;  9' 1" x 7' 3" x 1' 1-1/2"


Bride and Disk and Groom and Disk, 1959-67, from America-Dawn, 1962, originally from Dawn's Wedding Feast, 1959, painted wood

Next post will be on one of my all time favorite artists, Eva Hesse.

Monday, June 8, 2009

SDA Member's Show (cont.)

All artwork is 18" x 18":

Nest; cotton, silk; technique: digital print, painted, dyed, machine and hand stitched; © Jessica Jones

Nine; linen, mx dye, discharge paste; technique: screen printed, discharged, machine stitched; © Judy Langille

Net work: thin slice; repurposed wool, polyester, thread, stabilizer; technique: free motion stitched; © Susan Lasch Krevitt

wonder; cotton; technique: dyed, crocheted, knitted, sewn; © Janet Lipkin

Was; cotton, organza, commercial felt, artist's photograph; technique: blueprinted, piece, machine & hand stitch; © Patricia Malarcher

Lace; bristol board, polyester thread; technique: machine embroidered; © Clay McLaurin

Stone Silence; cotton flour sack dishtowels; technique: digitally printed, collaged, layered, stitched; © Luanne Rimel

Off the Rack; fabric, thread, dye, paint; technique: machine stitched, crazy patchwork, hand back stitched; © Mary Ruth Smith

Safety Measures; wool felt, birch plywood; technique: screen printed, heat transfer, burned wool; © Claire Verstegen

Damaged Morphology; satin, DVD; technique: airbrushed, screen printed, embroidery; © Kathy Weaver

This list is by no means comprehensive – there were so many that were fantastic – these are just the highlights for me. If you have a chance to see the show, it is up at the Belger Arts Center through August 15, 2009, I highly recommend it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

SDA member show

I had been told prior to my first SDA conference, that the Member Show would be a highlight of the artwork I would see while in Kansas City. As usual, my astute friend was right, it was beautiful with some amazingly innovative and, beautiful, artwork. All artwork was 18" x 18" as stipulated by the requirements. Here are a sampling of my favorites:

natalya_aikensPiter, fabric, digital photo, techniques: printed, transferred, hand stitched, © Natalya Aikens

judy_balesSummer Grass, pipe cleaners, wire mesh, technique: pierced, bent © Judy Bales

peggy_brownFragments V, cotton, flannel, paper, watercolor, techniques: painted, cut, torn, fused, re-painted, quilted © Peggy Brown

sue_cavanaughOri-kumo #5, cotton sateen, procion dye, floss, techniques: makume and ori-nui stitch resisted shibori, dyed, over-dyed, layered, hand stitched, © Sue Cavanaugh


Comfort and Peace; hemp (traditional funeral fabric), perle cotton & synthetic thread; technique: rust dyed, hand stitched, French knots, © Shin-Hee Chin


Sunset Composition; cotton, silk, perle cotton; technique: hand dyed, screen printing, discharged, hand & machine stitched; © Gerrie Congdon

Cycle; buckram, silk organza LED lights; technique:stitched, burned incense; © Xia Gao

This old shirt; canvas, acrylic, waxed linen, found fabric; technique: painted, stitched; © Jane Herrick

The sense of mind; cotton, synthetic fiber; technique: Jacquard woven; © Ji Yeon Hwang

O.K., it looks like I have quite a few more favorites than I thought, so I'll stop here and pick up the rest in a later post. Enjoy!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kansas City (Part 2) SDA conference wrap up

Here are more artists and images that I enjoyed while at the conference last week. I attended a demonstration by Lisa Klakulak of free motion embroidery on her handmade felt. She demonstrated how she uses stitch on partially felted material to create dimension. She also had work in the trunk show and I desperately wanted one of her amazing pincushions, which were sculptural works of art. Below are two pincushions, a bracelet, a handbag and one of Lisa's sculptures. All images below © Lisa Klakulak and are from her website.

Entrapment; 13" x 10" x 6"; 2006; Merino wool fleece, silk fabric, waxed linen, copper wire, reclaimed soap cage, keys, cotton fill; naturally dyed with Madder root and Indigo, rusted, wet felted, hand stitched construction.

Like others, I was very disappointed in the Fashion Show which wasn't organized well as far as where the audience would stand. However, it opened with a performance by Sha Sha Higby that I really enjoyed. The performance was quiet, delicate and beautiful with the audience drawn into receiving the gifts from her as she moved and interacted with us. She makes all of her costumes and I had the delight while leaving the chaos of the Fashion Show of running into her showing a few people her silk, hand painted costume.

shashahigbyHeather Allen-Swartttouw was one of the artists who had solo exhibitions at the conference. Sadly, my schedule did not give me time to see her work. Here is a scan of her postcard, though, to give you a perspective on her thoughtful, quiet and beautiful work. I am really intrigued that she utilizes weavings in her artwork. A note on her "under construction" website states that she will be updating it when she returns from the conference, so hopefully there will be more images soon.

Sounding, 22" x 12", recycled cotton bed sheets, rayon warp, silk, silk-silver cloth dye, textile ink, screen printed, plain weave, applique, painting, embroidery

See more images from the conference on Gerrie's blog.

P.S. I love Twitter. You never know what gems you will find by dropping in and reviewing the tweets. For example, did you know that the Art21 videos are all on Hulu? Watch them here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kansas City, Part 1 – The Galleries

I am back from the Surface Design Association's bi-annual conference Off the Grid. It was a wonderful experience, in fact, not to sound too Pollyanna-ish, I can't think of anything that marred the trip for me. The best part was that I met people that I had wanted to meet for a long time and hooked up with dear friends that I hadn't seen in years.

I also really loved Kansas City. It is a town filled with wonderful neighborhoods and areas that are filled with art galleries, shops and restaurants. I wish there had been more hours in the day. The galleries that featured artwork related to the conference were in the Crossroads District. I particularly loved the Blue Gallery exhibiting the work of Teresa Cole and Daniella Woolf, the artwork of Regina Benson at the Byron C. Cohen Gallery of Contemporary Art, and, of course, the Belger Art Center.

The image below is from the Blue Gallery site of one of Daniella Woolf's artworks. Tape Modern is a large installation of collected objects that have been sewn together, then dipped in wax. You can also see a detail of this installation and many others on her website. Jeanne has a wonderful blog post with photos from the exhibit here.


Tape Modern, 2006, encaustic mixed media, 108 x 102"

Below is an example of the wonderful artwork of Regina Benson on exhibit here through July 11 in Kansas City:


Nocturne, rayon, 23 x 31 x 7"

The Belger Arts Center hosted the SDA Member's Show as well as the work of four artists: El Anatsui, Jennifer Angus, Alice Kettle and Ray Materson. To be honest, I was completely blown away by being able to see the work of these four artists in one location in conjunction with the conference. Amazing!

El Anatsui's work has exploded on the art scene. His website is currently being revamped, but you can read about this Ghana artist and see samples of his artwork here. El Anatsui utilizes discarded metal to construct his large artworks. Seeing them in person, you see more of the pattern within pattern and the draping of the metal that speaks so much of textiles. It was visually so stunning. You can see an image of an artwork at the Belger on Deidre Adams blog here.


Jennifer Angus uses insects, most are HUGE, as a way to create a wallpaper pattern on the wall. In this article in Fiberarts Magazine, Jessica Hemmings writes about Angus' artwork as "… using wallpaper to cross the boundaries between decoration and expression by embedding surprising images within traditional patterns and challenging viewers’ expectations." I found it absolutely fascinating – yes, a bit creepy, but beautiful as well. The walls at the Belger were set up and painted by Angus' staff. The patterns were so beautiful, the antennae and legs providing connecting lines and the patterns on the insects themselves contributing to the overall look. Honestly, I had no idea that there were that many insects in the world that were that large. Specific images from the installation are up on Gerrie Congdon's blog.


A Terrible Beauty, 2006, insects and pins; sizes vary

Alice Kettle's artwork is narrative with tons of movement due to the abundance of stitching. The narratives aren't overt; they are couched beneath the mounds of stitching, almost as if you were looking at a scene while passing by on a train or car. You touch on a moment but it is fleeting. Her artwork is very powerful and you can spend tons of time just looking and immersing yourself into each story.

Daniel and the Lioness. 2006, 112 x 232cm

Finally I saw the artwork of Ray Materson. Ray gave a talk at the conference that was very inspiring. His journey has been tough and the story of how he began making tiny embroideries is fascinating. His work is roughly 3" x 2 1/2". When you saw his artwork on the screen during his talk, you knew intellectually that it was tiny but I could not appreciate just how tiny and how detailed each artwork was until viewing it in person. Ray began stitching these embroideries while in prison. He fashioned a hoop out of the lip of a bowl, sewed on his prison sheets initially, then moved to boxer shorts as his ground material (his mother sent them to him) and used the thread from socks as the embroidery thread. He still uses these materials today.

image image
left: Gossip, 2009; right: Drugs: Breaking down Racial Barrier #1, 2005

I really enjoyed each of these exhibits and meeting Ray Materson. Alice Kettle also taught at the conference; I would have loved to have taken her class and heard her speak; however, I feel fortunate to have seen all of this artwork in person. What a treat!