working with space

IF you count that corner of the table where the pocket lies with a pencil on top of it…….

I’m HYPER neat and organized at the Day Job, but it never seems to carry over to the home studio.

I categorized this post as “Deliberation–do something you don’t do–or haven’t in awhile”, because obviously, cleaning this up hasn’t happened “in awhile”…….

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about “shop updates”

It seems every time i do this, i lose a few followers, at least on FB! Please remember that small businesses/artists need support too–especially since i myself am temporarily no longer a “floral arranger”/”employee” by day.  Some/most of us do not work for conventional employers, whether by choice, or because of need for childcare that necessitates someone staying home, or living in a place where jobs are few and far between, or that geography says it’s too far to commute to! You get one of a kind items this way, made with skill and care, unique viewpoints and representations, often created with original to the maker supplies too, and passion and intent. We can’t just show you what we’re doing: it has to pay for itself, pull its own weight, fly out into the world. Some of us are not just artists, but WORKING artists–and working artists make art/things for sale, not just to pretty up a blog or Instagram.

An artist/maker spends time not only making the product, but developing the skills sometimes for years, doing the initial sketches or design work,  gathering the supplies, setting up a work space, photography and editing after, listing the product, packaging when sales are made, schlepping them to the post office, buying special envelopes for some work, and has to pay fees as well to keep the business going, from shop fees, to financing charges, more supply buying and a host of little things that are peculiar to each artist. I don’t mean any of this to offend anyone, am not begging, and certainly am grateful when someone appreciates what i do by opening their wallet. BUT things, “products”, Art, stuff, never spring magically from “a sweated brow”on to a for sale page with no thought or effort beforehand 🙂 It doesn’t just get THUNK into existence: there’s WORK first. I keep my prices low, given the amount of effort/skill/vision that goes into them, and having seen some sell smaller less involved bits for more coin,  it sometimes really depresses me, when they’re shocked that i would have the Audacity to actually want good coin, not a token of “faith” in my pocket. There are times when i just want to give up, quite honestly.

On the other hand, i’ve had well meaning friends and family say some of my prices are too “low”, and yes, i’ve always subscribed to the “some bucks is better’n no bucks” theory, but i know what has gone into those particular efforts, and am comfortable with what i asked for 🙂

I’ve had queries about specific pieces that i have shown in my galleries here, things i *might* like to sell to a good home, but have not actively pursued a sale, or even a hint of one, and after a few back and forth emails, when they find out the price–because my bigger pieces, my more involved pieces are more expensive because they were a hell of a lot more work, not only in size, but in execution and skill — *cricket noises*, no further communication, not even a “thanks for answering, but regretfully, no thanks” response. I get that you thought because you bought a piece 6 years ago for $75, that you might figure one of my massive works is only double that now, but that’s not how it works. I know too that active, dedicated, supporters of textile art don’t always have money, and that too, some figure because they have supported someone before, that they should get a deal. I’m happy to work out a payment plan for something already produced, and have on occasion happily done commissioned work on a payment plan as well.

Do you want something that lasts? Are you the kind of shopper that only buys things that *immediately* gratify you? Are you making an investment in your own happiness, or just to fill your belly, impress someone else, keep up with a trend? I’m constantly remembering customers at the flower mines who would decry that “flowers are so expensive for something that doesn’t last”–well, honey, how’s that steak you had last night, keepin’ on? Those flowers that lasted “only” a week made someone happy every *single* day of that week. That’s a lasting impression.

So is art, Art. Big statement piece, small joy as a present for you or a friend, something to make something else with, it’s all in the shop. Thank you for listening to the end of the commercial, not muting it while you go for a pee and a snack 🙂

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holding my breath

I think that’s the final “name” too for this piece. As i’ve worked it again in the past 2 weeks, it’s freed up a lot of thought processes and worries i’ve had, and some major decisions were made.

I found a few spots where the initial stitching wasn’t completed either. Sometimes it’s hard to see the trees for the forest, or the forest for the trees  — i’m never sure which makes more (non)sense! I figure this will be done by the end of the month, and i might just dig through the UFO pile to see what else has been holding *it’s* breath for finishing!

I’m also going to be combining some media–not glued and recycled bits of paper, metal, cloth, gumwrappers, tea bags and whatever else can be recycled from the Nasty GarBahj, but more in form and for use. If i’m bored with what i’ve been doing, i might as well try either some new things, or go back to some old things!

if it’s not one thing, it’s another

This winter has been hell: a fall on the ice in December resulting in a hip crunch that is still bothering me, an angina attack and all the ensuing tests, poking, prodding and stressing, a bad cold that lasted 3 weeks and wiped me out, a spine jarring drive on the bus through a deep pothole that has left my back in agony, and the resignation from my Day job, after 5 years, effective on the 17th.

I’m frickin’ tired, and about all i can do, (besides whine i suppose…) is fill in space and time, so yesterday saw me go back to the strange face. (Previous post)

Since i started this in January of 2012 and have lost the flow and notes, i’m not sure what the intent was, but what the hell.

I’m guessing it was an exercise in colour, and stitch type, and followed/parallaled the making of “Not A Hive Mind”.  I might as well finish it, and then maybe i’ll get it!

Al Dente

Throw it and see if it sticks!

Not much happening by hand, but a lot of “research” has been on the table. I ordered a copy of a very old illustrated anatomy book “De Humani Corporis Fabrica/The Fabric of the Human Body” (much abridged and less annotated, as the actual book reprinted costs $1650US………..) Vesalius didn’t get it all right (dog parts anyone?), but my own copy fits the bill for inspiration. I do still love body parts in my own work 🙂

I found out about this book from an episode of either “Criminal Minds”, or  “Cardinal” or something similar! Some serial killer had it on his coffee table…and that’s where i keep most of mine while perusing them 🙂

I also signed a great WHACK of textiles design books out of the library, not how to’s, but histories and pattern bases focusing on yardage. Intriguing how design in this field changes, re-occurs, cycles and reflects.

Since i am now dealing with heart issues (mild to moderate damage, so FIXABLE), i have returned to that part of the ol’ bag of bones, squidgy bits and blood we all wear. Inspired by the “electrical current” of the heart, i’ve also been painting and drawing and note making about this:

A very liberal depiction, but adequate for the task. More accurate below, though of course with science and art, there’s never a way to actually capture electricity naturally moving through a body!

Different treatments:

It may be that none of these specifically will make it to cloth, but that black and red combo is really speaking to me again. (I keep remembering Raggedy Black Heart, and red used to feature quite often in my work, pre hand stitch obsession.) I have huge yardages of both in cotton, and have to venture into the back room to dig them out. I have 11tybajillion ideas, but know i am going to be sidetracked, (have in mind some functional objects as well) and that’s okay. I need to be doing something, and that’s all that counts. Maybe the art is there.

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I had my Thalium heart test yesterday, and am keeping my hoofies crossed that the “mild to moderate damage” is more to the MILD side. I’m also giving a round of gold stars and hero biscuits to the tech who could actually find my vein for the IV without butchering my arm ( my veins really really hide but we discovered Left Arm is more co-operative..), the one who cheered me on at the treadmill and took graciously my blurted “well, fuck you” when she said she’d had *her* morning coffee (i’d had none since 630AM the day before, woe is me), the nuke crew member who got the thalium into the IV without me even noticing (!), and the one running the MRI who chortled when i screeched “WHAT?” when the machine told me to stop breathing. I don’t feel quite “normal” this morning, but given that up to a month after, you have to show paperwork that says what was done to you if you are travelling–don’t want to set off those security checks with radioactivity!—-i don’t feel too bad. The only visible sign of anything happening is the bruises on both arms from the blood pressure bands–kept telling them THAT hurt more than the IV! (Apparently Right Arm is the one that can have the dystolic heard!)

Obviously there are going to be some major life style changes made because of all this. I’m not a sloth, but neither have i been a cheetah!

stuck in the middle (with me)

Okay, i have to come clean with myself, at the very least, if not with my (few, faithful) readers. This is not a whine. This is not a pity party. This is not a rant or a snivel. I have my Big Girl Pants on. This is not a depressive cycle (something i have fought all my life, and am thoroughly familiar with, thank you very much), but it IS something cycling.

I AM STUCK. I am STUCK as an ARTIST. I can still craft/make/create/do/stitch, but the Big Important Stuff i am ready to give up on. It’s pretty empty in that department. Shuffling paper, paints and fabrics around has a wad of maybe’s, but not for now. If i could actually DO what i wanted to without all the current self doubt, there would be an explosion of work–but i have no actual flame to blow things up. There is no now right now……………… It’s humiliating, frustrating, loathsome and a horrible terrible no good very bad way to be, but it is what it is.

Hell, it’s not even “stuck”–it’s dead in the water. Maybe it’s just not for me to keep on with the so-called Big Important Stuff. That “Epiphany” was mean —-and truthful. Maybe i need to go waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back, to when things were still a joy, and i didn’t care about what it all meant in the grand scheme of things. I don’t know if even that is the answer. Don’t care either.

So………you may –or may not–see pretty things, useless things, dumb things in the next who knows how long while. I’m hoping that as a VERY valued friend said to me this very morning, that i “will fly when i catch the next creative jet stream”.

 

 

 

 

Then again, it might lead back to where i want to be.

 

 

 

 

 

Please burn this after reading.