mining the lodes

Obviously a few years ago, i enjoyed sketching, painting, drawing–why did i stop? Maybe that’s why i feel stale, stagnant and like i’m repeating myself.

Not everything made it to cloth, but i have a stockpile to pick from.

crone poetry

bones poetry

pay attention

crone sketch

I translated ideas in my head, on paper and then on the cloth:


We are usually our own worst critics. “I should have done this, done that, not done it, oh my gadz what was i thinking”: the whole shitshubola of insecurity rolls through our minds as we cringe inwards. BUT, i think sometimes too when you look back you can see freer expression and less inhibition about trying new media or subjects. I’ve started looking at previous work (done before the last 3 years) with older (semi) wiser eyes and see common threads that i have/had lost through preciousness and the search for acceptance. In that respect i mean being part of a current trend or on the bandwagon rather than acceptance of what i do because i do it, rather than “this is what is popular”. (This year has been one of going back to myself rather than worrying about what everyone else is doing, or what the current hoopla is about online, so i say “had lost”.) The origins of our own art can be a minefield or a mine of new motherlodes. Since the “word of the year” for me is “Origin”, i’m re-exploring some of that. June 1,2012

sad-self-portait-aprilmay-2011-arlee-barr-c1 C

Looking at myself again, inside, that long path behind the subconscious.

I have a (self imposed) deadline for the winged figure piece, but am going to take some deliberate time with mark makers of various sorts again.


back to Flickr

I have re-instated my Flickr account for photos. I was off there for a couple of years due to the amount of image theft that is now prevalent, but have decided while i can’t stop people, i can at least watermark enough that the work/images are clearly MINE.

Because i neither like nor allow pinning, tumblring or however else you feel you may take my photos, i ask that you respect my copyright and ask first if you wish to share to a reputable blog or website. I can’t stop you, but it would be nice if people were respectful of artist rights in this ever grabby world 🙂 Thanks, Blossoms!

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Posted by on August 29, 2016 in journal: lessons to learn, Not so ordinaries


prepping for “Rosehips”

While i want the hexes/honeycombs/cells again on this piece, this time i want to stay away from bees! They are a recurring motif in my work, but beyond just laying there on the surface, they really wouldn’t be adding much to the story, so no bees this time, i promised myself.

But what else often shows up? Yes, rivers and roots, but not for this, methinks. MMMM, roses.

From “The Weight She Carries”:

head1 C

Being as it is now the end of August, and Autumn is moving closer, it’s not the flowers that are around now, (though they will make an appearance as well), but the “fruit”, the rose hips. And so, until she has an “official” title, she shall answer to “Rosehips”🙂

Fortunately, there is a yard down the way that has a wondrous showing of rosehips, so i quickly did a clip-by and brought these home to study:

rose hips live b

rose hips live c

Fast and dirty paint studies this morning:

rosehips sketch

rosehips second sketch

rosehips sketch b

Now i have to dig out some more fabrics and figure out HOW i will use these on this:

rosehips madder start (Actually i already know what fabrics and what technique i will use, so stay tuned for that😉 )


This is rather a trite exercise below, but who knows how it will transform with stitch? This cloth wasn’t terribly successful on its own during residency, so maybe just a bit of make up, and it won’t be such a plain jane!

rose moon poss

rose moon poss fabricOn the other hand, it may just become a sampler/test cloth, which is okay too.


And just because traditionally one shows off one’s garden produce:


This one slipped under the radar by hiding under a monster leaf–i don’t usually let them get any bigger than 4-5″ long and easily circled by one hand, as it’s too much for one “sitting” to eat. Still tasted great though–pan-fried with butter and garlic, then dipped in sour cream-MMMMMMMMMMMMMM!


“Original Truths” in true colours

Original Truths_full view_arlee barr_2016

Original Truths_detail view 1_arlee barr_2016

Original Truths_detail view 2_arlee barr_2016We hung the exhibit today at ACAD’s “371 Gallery”, and finally i am happy with the photos of this piece!

at the 371 Gallery ACAD



Thinking of Autumn already.

rosehips madder start

Madder dyed silk to start.
madder start bonesI have a clear vision of this one already, with some different techniques going to be used to add life and dimension.


there will be feathers flying again

next trick

I’ve decided to start with this orientation, another cloth created during my summer Contextural ACAD residency.

Of course, with wings, there must be feathers. I have *just* enough of these “filler” cloths for those, more fabric designed deliberately to be cut up:

filler clothsNot sure if both will be used, or just the one on the right. Or the one on the left. Or both. !!!!!!!!!!!

Previous feather work:

strange soul take flight work in progress 2013

Above, detail of work in progress “Strange Soul Take Flight” 2013.

Below, detail of “The Weight She Carries” 2014.

ts-twsc-detail-wing C

There will be hexes again, but done differently this time.

Today i will take a print out of the cloth to the Day Job for those pesky boring spare five minutes when there are no duties to attend to:

winged figure start bw


Original Truth, truthfully done

ot done aug 22

ot done detail 2

ot done detail 1Please forgive the awful background! I am having the devil of a time photographing this one so it’s true to life! I’ve tried different lighting, inside and outside, but for the first time ever trying to document my own work,  i am foozled for true colour and depth of field. I don’t think i’m going to get a decent shot of the whole, until it’s hung in the gallery for the “selfEDGE” exhibit on the 28th.

But it’s done, and that’s what counts. Six weeks to the day of worrying about my time line and all the little details, and here i am finished with 6 days to spare!


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