Friday, January 29, 2016

Blame it on the snow!

I have already fallen way behind on my goal this year to post on this blog twice a week!  It finally snowed here enough to do some snow dyeing, and as that snow was melting, I discovered that half of what I dyed didn't "take" well at all.  Luckily, the very next week, we got another round of snow, so I overdyed the first batch in the same color combinations.  I am pleased with the results, finally:
This might be it for snow dyeing this season, the weather is going to be unseasonably warm, highs in the 50s next week, but winter is not over yet.

Next week, I will start posting a multi-part series based on a recent SAQA group discussion about labeling your artwork and leaving a legacy.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Bolero: n. 1. A lively Spanish dance in triple meter.  2. The music for this dance.  3. A waist-length jacket, with or without collar, lapels and sleeves, worn open in front.  (Webster’s College Dictionary, Random House, 1995.)


I found this and one other bolero (the article of clothing) in a big box lot of linens and doilies at a recent estate auction.  I’m not sure if the estate was of a collector or antiques dealer, I am guessing the latter, as there was not enough of any one type of item to clearly establish a collection of that given group.  Plus, nearly everything had a price tag on it.  I troll the local estate auctions for vintage linens and other things I can use in my fabric dyeing and art quilts.  My first thought on these boleros was why would anyone make, buy or wear a lacy sort of jacket that not only doesn’t cover the torso, but will do nothing to keep you warm?  Lately, I dress more for comfort.  After I thought about my gut reaction more, I realized that I cannot recall the last time I dressed up to go somewhere.  There is an emotional benefit to getting “dolled up,” at least once in a while.  Why not make and wear something beautiful?   

However, since I have a closet full of dressy clothes that I obviously am not wearing, I have put the boleros up on my Etsy store.  My creative brain wants to dye them and alter them, but I think they might be worth keeping as they are.  I will give someone who is into historical costuming the chance to give them a new home. 

I think that the last time I dressed up and went out was about three years ago (that long, really?) to a fantastic orchestra performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, with Pepe Romero as the guest soloist.  One of many classical pieces I would like to hear live is Ravel's Bolero.  Somewhere, I have heard that Bolero is the longest crescendo in classical music.  There is a great video of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra performing Bolero on YouTube.

I have been contemplating interpreting music in my textile art.  Other than illustrating a few Tom Waits songs, I have yet to come up with any solid ideas on transforming sound into fabric in such a way that the viewer would relate to the music.  I think that using music would be a good way to teach visual design, there are similarities to both.  In the case of Bolero, an short theme is repeated on the timpani s throughout the piece, and the other instruments echo it, while a melody is repeated through the instruments, solo or in groups; repetition, variety and unity – both important tools in visual design too.  This is definitely a concept I will be working on this year.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year's resolution

Indeed, it is time again for the making of resolutions to start or stop all sorts of activities.  I don't have much readership of this little blog, but I am hoping that by putting my goals for the upcoming year out in the web, it will encourage me to keep them. 

First, I want to post to this blog more than once a month.  I'm planning on twice a week, and I've even scheduled time for it.

Second, I want to submit at least one art quilt to a show.  This doesn't mean I will get accepted, the goal is just to get something finished and in front of a jury.  I can't get into shows if I don't enter.

After that, the rest of my plans are simply trying to build this fabric arts business and keep surviving.

Next time (Thursday, perhaps), a bit about boleros - the article of clothing and the piece of music by Ravel.