Saturday, January 28, 2017

Monotypes: A day of play at Pendle Hill

I'm becoming very attached to the art studio at Pendle Hill, a nearby Quaker Retreat Center.  This was the second Arts and Spirituality one-day workshop I took there within the last two months.

I was intrigued by the cubbies that held the yarns for weaving and incised my impression on a 'plate' (sort of styrofoam-ish).  I printed it on a rice paper my daughter had given me, and got a kick out of how well the threads of the rice paper worked with the threads of yarn.

Here is Jesse White, the Arts and Spirituality Coordinator at Pendle Hill, cranking the printing press.

I love how the windows of the studio look out on their beautiful gardens.   Our teacher  Alice Krieg:

 Thanks for a relaxing day of fun and exploration!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

On The Side of Love

The first thing that hits me about being back in San Diego is the vegetation, which now seems exotic after being away for so long.

I always need to make contact with the ocean when I visit.  My daughter Sarah and I went to Mission Beach after it stopped raining on Martin Luther King weekend.

The lagoon side was a protected wildlife sanctuary.  It was a treat to see the white crane so clearly.  It moved with such fluid beauty.

At La Jolla Cove the sea lions are well protected.  When sleeping on the sand they look like giant slugs.  In the water they are fast, sleek, and graceful. 

Each one's coat is uniquely different and beautiful.

This sign near the beach was a reminder that it takes a sense of humor to live in California:

Balboa Park is my other touchstone, a botanical garden in itself with its many museums.  Here a palm is growing in between the fig roots:

Sarah and I went to the Mingei International Folk Art Museum and saw a fantastic retrospective of Erik Gronborg, a pioneering sculptor and ceramic artist on the west coast.  I love his sensibility.

We popped in to the exhibit of the iconic architect Louis Kahn at the San Diego Museum.  I was touched to see the extent to which he was an artist as well as an architect.  There was a lovely watercolor landscape that sticks in my memory.  I managed to snap his pastel box before the guard told me 'no photos'.  Kahn obviously liked having a lot of colors!

Then we met up with Roy and Charlie, who had been at the Car Museum, and all went to the Museum of Man and saw a great exhibit about race:

I'm so proud that my daughter Sarah and her friends went to the Women's March in San Diego.

Our friend Carol had just finished knitting this pink pussy hat for another friend who was going to take it from San Diego to Washington D.C.  We all posed in it at our birthday party and felt the building excitement and energy.  

Carol, the knitter and hostess:


 Carol's mom Ruth Joy:

It was a great way to celebrate Ruth's and my belated birthdays!  It's an annual tradition, and always a feast and a love-fest.  This one will be remembered as the year of the pink pussy hat.

It's all so completely about hanging out with the people you love.  Here's me and Sarah with Charlie popping up in the background:

 My guys:

What a gang!  And there's a picture of Roy, who was on travel, on the refrigerator.

 Love is what matters.

Monday, January 9, 2017

I Claimed the 'U'

The Philadelphia Dumpster Divers will soon have a new banner that can be used at any of our exhibitions. Different people chose each letter, to be made on a 9" x 9" square, no more than 1" deep.  I claimed the letter 'U'.  

Years ago I had taken a class with Sandi Neiman Lovitz in painting on acrylic from the back, visible through the front side.  I found one of these old pieces of acrylic and had a 9" x 9" square cut from it. What a perfect use for what I had done with Sandi! The U was then made with mosaic shards.  I like the shard with the flower, as a symbol of the Dumpster Diver Divas.

I love how the area not painted shows the color the acrylic is placed upon.  The white line in the image above reflects a white background, which I think is what the banner will be.   

I like it better on white! I'm glad to be part of this Diver collaborative effort.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Clay Monoprinting!

Clay monoprinting is such an exciting new direction for me in 2017!  In December I took a two-day workshop, (condensed to one-day because of snow), with Mitch Lyons, the innovator of clay monoprinting.  Initially both a printmaker and potter, Mitch was the first to explore this unique method.  Unless, as he points out, you count the people who dipped their hands into pigmented clay and slapped it on a wall 25,000 years ago. 

I now have my own clay slab, so that I can do handpressing at home.  I have two unused pieces of the 'paper', or as one curator called it, the 'synthetic interfacing material.'  It has a weave to it, with one side being hairy and one side smoother.  It not like canvas.  It is not like anything I have previously experienced.  

Pigment is added to slips, which "are then brushed over the slab, one over the other, building a design with various shapes, colors, and textures."  Since I am now working exclusively with paper clay, the only slip I have is paper clay slip.  Mitch hasn't worked with paper clay, so I will give it a try and let him know if it works.  I ordered his book and don't want to use my limited supply of 'synthetic interfacing material' until I have the book in front of me.  

I plan to take a three-day workshop with him in early September at nearby Peters Valley School of Craft, and meanwhile take it as far as I can on my own.   The piece above is called "Existentialist", and was hand finished with oil pastel.  It is an extremely freeing and fun method.  As Mitch says in one of his videos, "if you're going to do something for the rest of your life it might as well be fun."


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

SOLD 2.0

This  2.0 version of SOLD is done now.  I'm not sure if I liked it better when it was simpler.  I just know I felt a need to add the 'red tape' and some iridescent oil pastel, as well as a tape measure edging.  The red tape (which comes in red, white, and mauve), is part of the batch given to the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers by the National Archives.  It was actually once used to tie up documents.

It was definitely simpler without all the red tape.  This is from my post on December 19, 2016:

"Today the electors are annointing Donald Trump as our next president, despite the overwhelming popular vote for Hillary Clinton.  The efforts at recount and the small groups of demonstrators at state houses where the electors are voting, don't make any difference.  I just finished this piece, "SOLD", as a small act of protest and resistance.  The gold in the background is genuine gold leaf.  Only the best for the international oligarchs. Much could be said.  I will let SOLD speak for itself."

Hopefully SOLD will continue to speak for itself.