In the fall of 2012, I was one of 44 Northwest artists who made work for the Bellevue Arts Museum’s exhibition High Fiber Diet. My contribution to this exhibit was nine Color Grids.
It was the first time I was challenge to prepare a larger body of work and the path getting there was–let’s just say, not pretty. If you are interested in a re-cap of that adventure, you can click here. The short version is that my cat died, two huge wind storms left us without power for a lotta days, and during the middle of it all my husband ran off on a long business trip.
Which is why I went on a sweater sabbatical.
And then I decided to write a blog to capture my adventures in transforming old wool sweaters into new clothing and cotton scraps into quilts. I had no idea how much I would enjoy this. The blog gives me the opportunity to marry word and visual work. I have come to think of it as part of my artistic practice.
Balancing these three components has proven to be challenging at times. All summer, I struggled to find the time to write. This winter, I would love to make myself a new sweater, but there just isn’t time.
In fact, January is a little bit on the unrealistic side. I have two solo shows in February, and I am planning on creating three new looks for this year’s Object Runway–which happens on January 23rd.
In fact, I may have just gotten myself into a perfect pickle. Part of me thinks that, and part of me thinks, what the hell–I always manage to drag myself across the finish line. It is never pretty, but it is always an adventure. Some people drive fast or jump out of planes–I test the boundaries of my stitching abilities. What will go wrong this time? I have no idea, but it is all part of the story.
I do have a game plan. From now until January 12th, I will quilt for four hours a day and piece for the rest the day. Starting on the 13th, I will quilt for four hours a day and design garments for the rest of the day. I’ll write more about my Object Runway plan when it is closer to the 13th which is another way of saying I haven’t really figured that out yet.
Solo show number one is at the Wiseman Gallery in Grants Pass, Oregon. This show is all about Color Grids.
Solo show number two is at the Bunnell Street Arts Center in Homer, Alaska. This show was originally scheduled for later in the year. When we decided to move the show up, we also decided that I would show some older work as well as finish some work not related to the Color Grids. This is exciting for me. I have so many almost finished pieces rattling around in my brain.
I have dug through my bins of unfinished quilts and selected eight. For the most part, they are all past the design phase and require only stitching hours in order to be complete.
- Tribe (these are working titles) is currently being quilted. It is large and complicated and taking way to long, but it is almost done.
- Crazy Daisy is pieced and ready to be quilted.
- Lite Brite is also ready for the long arm.
- Two more seams and Fruit Salad Yummy Yummy is ready to be quilted.
- Tiny Treasures requires hours of mindless stitching and quilting, but the urge to have closure on all these itty-bitty color grids is very strong.
- Big Grid has been designed and just needs to be stitched and quilted.
- Dress Shirts needs to be multiplied out and quilted.
- THINK BIG is a bit tricky and will require some composition time, but I am HIGHLY motivated.
The truth is I have enough finished pieces to complete the two shows as described right now–today–but that wouldn’t make for a very interesting plot line. So, I’m going to go with this and see what happens. I am actually really excited right now. When I am in eat-sleep-stitch mode its like I get to go on a meditation retreat.
Or as Buzz Lightyear might say–To the studio and BEYOND.
What are you doing for a challenging adventure this January?