Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Electric car support infrastructure coming to WA

Today's email brought a link to this article about electric car charging stations along I5 in Washington state. Read it here. There are several interesting points raised, particularly in the comments, although I can't help but think that I'd still prefer to have a hybrid car that could run on either fuel so my chances of not being able to recharge or refuel would be less. That's why I bought the Prius model we got, so we can do the aftermarket upgrade to a plug-in with additional battery capacity and still have the hybrid capability. It will be interesting to see how this all works out over the next few years.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Anne Bagby's Collage - DVD review

I'm not able to work in my studio very much right now due to back spasms and the resulting physical problems, so I'm spending a fair amount of time catching up on reading and watching some DVDs. My local library has a wonderful selection of art and technique dvds, and the one I watched most recently is Anne Bagby's Collage: Paper, Patterns & Glazing. Let me just say I'd give it 2 thumbs up as a summation.

I'm moving toward multimedia collage myself so I'm very interested in the subject matter. And I've been intrigued by the idea of transparency and layering in my fabric work for some time. So, I was predisposed to like this. In addition to covering material I'm interested in, I was particularly pleased that the dvd essentially watches Bagby create the beginnings of several pieces. I appreciated seeing her process, including the creation of her own papers and stamps, in all its messy details. I also appreciated that she talks us through her design decisions as she makes them in simple terms, not artspeak lingo, but in terms of focusing the viewer on the piece, what's the foreground or background, and ways to shift things with a quick layer of color.

In 90 minutes, there's a lot to watch and learn from. I'll be applying techniques and ideas for some time, even though my designs tend to be simpler. As Bagby says at one point, she's in the Too Much is Not Enough school which I am not, but that doesn't mean I can't learn from her and her process. I'd recommend this dvd to anyone interested in working in collage, either paper or fabric, as I think the techniques will translate well into either medium. I'd also recommend it to anyone interested in watching an artist in process while creating.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

UW Fiber Arts program - final piece, and some thoughts

Our show (by-hand.org) opened last week at the UW Towers, and I missed the opening because of continuing knee and back issues. While I am saddened at missing the party, I did enjoy the pictures posted on facebook by some of the other class members. I'm also looking forward to going to see the exhibit during the month of June sometime, as soon as my back and knee will allow. This is even more important as I didn't get a final picture taken of my piece and need to go take a picture, if only so I can add it to the webpage. Here's a shot of the piece in progress. James, my son, is holding it up, so it's a terribly traditional quilt picture complete with fingers at the edges and lots of background clutter.

I forgot to load my piece into the car when taking off for class, so Jeff and James did a quick photo and emailed it so I could present my piece that day. We were all showing our pieces so we collectively knew enough to answer questions and talk knowledgeably at the opening.

And now it's time for the big sigh of relief and accomplishment, and taking inventory of what I've learned. This was a fabulous class. I learned so much it's difficult to list it all. Most importantly, I learned to take myself seriously. I learned how to think about my art, the materials I use, and how to think about creating a piece to maximize its effectiveness. I'll be processing these lessons for quite some time to come but I look forward to my progress as I now feel confident I can deal with issues as they arise rather than feeling overwhelmed. It's a wonderful, exhilarating change that's coming and next up on my to-do list is redoing my webpage to reflect the changes I've already internalized. I'll keep blogging about this whole process as one of the things I've learned is how much I, and others, need the community of other artists to learn from. So, in a way, this blog is a way of paying it forward.