Thursday, April 10, 2008

ArtFest Adventure

Off we went into the wild blue yonder on our way to ArtFest. We hit the road on Monday, March 31 in the evening and drove for a few hours before checking in at our hotel. Then we set off Tuesday morning for the longest leg of the trip up. This was the beautiful view out the car window for a lot of the morning. It felt like Mt. Shasta was blessing our adventure.
That evening in our hotel room we worked in "Catherine's sweat shop" as we lovingly referred to it. She was putting the last touches on the jewelry that she planned to sell at "Vendor Night." So we helped out by polishing, tagging, and giving our approval of her prices, which is one of the most difficult things to decide.
I'm still unpacking so I'll have more to post soon but this is one of the pieces that I completed in Anahata Katkin's class. I'm obviously happy with the outcome. Here's a straight on shot.
And some detail shots.

This is me in the class... my version of heaven... art supplies everywhere & the people who love to use 'em!

More to come...

Friday, February 29, 2008

self portrait

Although I am swamped with homework, fortunately I had to take some time away from it to create something for my page in this years ArtFest fatbook. This is what I ended up with. I learned part of this process in a workshop taught by Traci Bunkers. I took a picture of myself with my Quan Yin statue and enlarged it so that each quadrant was approximately 8" x 11.5". Then I collaged and painted each quadrant separately. After that I put the quadrants back together again. I planned on adding some more collage and paint to the whole thing at his stage but it went into standby mode while I got overwhelmed by textile design school. So there I was worrying about what I would do for my fatbook page and trying to think of something that I could be proud of but would not take tons of time that I didn't have. While I was looking around the studio for inspiration, I happened upon the unfinished portrait and thought it might work. I took a picture of it since it was too big to fit on my scanner then dropped it into Photoshop. I've been wanting to play around with my non-digital art in Photoshop for quite some time now but usually get stuck pretty quickly after it is scanned in. Not this time. I used the hue/saturation feature on lots of different parts of the image and messed around with the brightness/contrast some and this is what I came up with. I then croppped and scaled it down to the right size for the book and printed out 60 copies. I mailed them off to the host tonight. It will be so awesome to see what all the other participants have come up with.I'm really happy with this process and am inspired to do more of this kind of work. I think my new dog Foxy needs a portrait. She would make an awesome subject.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Final Abstract Scribble Painting

This is my final Abstract Scribble design. I'm really happy with the way it came out. I really like the refinements of the linework and having each motif include 3 colors which came out of the collaborative process. Now on to the next assignments and workshops.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

back to my textile design...

Although my new dog, Foxy, has been the most awesome distraction from school, I am getting back to it. In this post, I showed you my motif and layout in black and white. The next step was to create color comps and here is what I came up with... This last one is what the client/instructor chose. She helped me refine my motif by adding some more purposeful line work and color accents. Next I will show you my final painting and some of the motifs I am working on for 3 new assignments.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Check out this great series

From the website overview:

"AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2 again journeys deep into ancestry of an all-new group of remarkable individuals, offering an in-depth look at the African-American experience and race relations throughout U.S. history. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. returns as series host, guiding genealogical investigations down through the 20th century, Reconstruction, slavery and early U.S. history, and presenting cutting-edge genetic analysis that locates participants' ancestors in Africa, Europe and America. Joining Professor Gates in the new broadcast are poet Maya Angelou, author Bliss Broyard, actor Don Cheadle, actor Morgan Freeman, theologian Peter Gomes, publisher Linda Johnson Rice, athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, radio personality Tom Joyner, comedian Chris Rock, music legend Tina Turner, and college administrator Kathleen Henderson, who was selected from more than 2,000 applicants to have her family history researched and DNA tested alongside the series' well-known guests."

For me this series does an excellent job of laying out the legacy of the dehumanaizing effects of slavery on our country as a whole for all races. The effects are still being felt today although we don't always make the link. Watching this series helps make the link as well as helping me to better understand the feelings I have about race issues.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Her name is Foxy...

and she's the newest member of our family! I've wanted a dog for at least 15 years and finally here she is. When we lived in apartments in San Francisco our landlords were never OK with dogs. Then when we moved across the Bay and purchased our own home, our cat was a senior citizen and it didn't seem fair to him to try to introduce a dog into his sedate life. Sadly our cat died in April and we grieved the loss of him. He was 18 years old and had been a wonderful companion for us. Although we knew that we would eventually get a dog we took our time allowing ourselves to miss our kitty. After eight months, right before the holidays I started looking online at the local Humane's Society and SPCA as well as other rescues. I spotted Foxy on the East Bay SPCA's website right away and really liked her. I spent a few days fantasizing about her and the day I was ready to go meet her, she was adopted by another family. Although I was disappointed, I let it go relatively quickly knowing that the right dog would come into our lives and I assumed that it wasn't Foxy. So we kept looking online and visited a few shelters never finding the right dog for us. We had already planned to go look at some other dogs at the East Bay SPCA yesterday. Then the night before I checked the website to see if there were any new arrivals and there she was! So we met her and found out that she had been "surrendered" by the previous adoptive family because she played rough with their 6 year old daughter and they didn't have the time to train her to learn to play gently with kids. We were a bit concerned about this because our 7 year old niece is a big part of our lives. We see her almost every weekend and since she cannot have a dog where she lives, we decided to share ours with her. After talking with the trainers and spending some time with Foxy we felt that we would be able to work with her so that she would be a good member of our family. The next step was to introduce her to our niece today at the SPCA. They met and hit it off really well. So we adopted her! I'm not sure who was more excited, me or my niece. She had a good ride home in the car - no mistakes or car sickness. Since she was doing so good we went straight to the pet supply shop with her and got all the stuff - crate, food, toys, leash, treats, etc. That visit was pretty stimulating for her. Lots of smells and other dogs to get excited over. She is a Great Dane/Lab mix and is just over a year old which makes her an adolescent and she weighs 80 lbs. Needless to say we plan to put a lot of time into training her because we want and need her to be well behaved. We don't like dogs who are out of control anyway but with her size it would be really irresponsible to let her misbehave. She's been on 2 walks with us today and did really well with some corrective instruction from us. We also introduced her to her crate which she went into fine but didn't like staying there with us out of the room. She has an interesting whine, almost a yodel, which she used to try to get us to let her out but after 10 minutes she accepted her situation and calmed down. We'll see how she does tonight since that's where she'll sleep. She already tried to get on the bed and we definitely don't want an 80 lb. adolescent dog sleeping with us. Right now she is chillin' in the living room while I work on this post and my husband watches football. She's already fitting into our routine. We are so happy and are looking forward to having a wonderful life with her.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Abstract scribble

I'm done with my holiday break now and am back in class. Although it continues to be demanding, I'm still loving it. Our next assignment is called an Abstract Scribble. First we were instructed to use a big fat marker and create quick, simple line drawings of shapes that were abstract. This is what I came up with.
Then the client chose this one to be my motif.
Once the motif was selected, I reduced it and made a tossed layout.
The client approved the layout and I am working on color comps now. I'll post those when done.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The way we arrive...

Although I don't plan on ever giving birth, this is a topic that is important to me as a woman. The film examines possible reasons why our country has one of the worst infant mortality birthrates in the developed world - I think it is the second highest. It looks at the way our western medical perspective can encourage pregnant women and their families to feel that birth is a medical catastrophe waiting to happen. In countries with low infant mortality birthrates, use of midwives, doulas, etc. is very high (approx. 80%) and home births are much more acceptable. My desire in writing about this topic is not to say that every woman has to have a home birth. Like most other women's issues, I really just want women to be informed about all the choices available to them and then make the decision that is right for them. I was privileged and honored to attend the birth of a dear friend who was very thoughtful in her delivery choices. Since she was an "older" woman her pregnancy was considered "high risk." Her insurance would not cover any aspect of a home birth. So she and her husband came up with a combination of a hospital delivery attended by a midwife, doula and a supportive friend (me). It ended up being exactly the right choice for them. The delivery was awesome and they welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. Afterward there was some difficulty in delivering the afterbirth and it was necessary for my friend to have additional medical care at which point we were all grateful to be in the hospital under the expert care of the doctors and nurses. Almost eight months later she and baby are thriving. Although this is a women's issue, it is actually something that we all experience in one form or another. We all have to come through that birth canal and that first ride should be the best of experiences.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

dearest one...

Today is the 44th birthday of my dearest one. I was 16 years old when we met and he was 17. All it took was staring into his beautiful baby blues for me to be a goner. He was and continues to be unlike anyone else I've ever met. He can have me laughing by uttering a single syllable - it's more the look in his eye and the tone of his voice. He's sensitive when necessary as well as pragmatic when called for. He loves his family fiercely and surrounds himself with loving friends. One of his best attributes is that he takes wonderful care of me. So on this day celebrating 44 years of his life, I am definitely the lucky one. Here he is with the only other "honey" in his life other than me... our niece.