Sunday, June 29, 2014

reflections in Berlin

As I was walking through Berlin, and being a real tourist in taking one of the boat tours on the Spree where they take you around the government quarters, I took about a zillion photos of reflections on the water.  A lady who sat behind me on the boat even asked me "why are you taking all these pictures of the water?" I was amazed that she could not have noticed how beautifully the reflections kept changing along the way - much more interesting than looking at the houses and bridges that were being pointed out...
Here is a small selection:

I am planning to put together a photo book of my best pictures of reflections. If somebody is interested in having one, let my know via my website, and I will order extra copies, for actual cost plus postage.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Back in Berlin

After I returned from the workshop with Jan and Jean, I spent a total of 14 hours at home before setting off again, for a one-and-a-half-day bike trip with friends from New  Zealand, close to Lake Constance. (That's where the found art came from.) I returned Wednesday night, and on the next day my husband and I took advantage of the fact that our son was away on a boys' camp for a week, offering us a full day of sailing, just the two of us. We hadn't had that in years.
And the next day we went to the theatre, really making the most of it before our son came back home.

Amidst all this back and fro, unpacking, putting things back in order, it wasn't easy to put in a bit of work too.
And yesterday I loaded the boxes of fabric into the car so that today I could set off to Berlin. I will again be selling fabrics at the textile art berlin, on Saturday and Sunday.
Supporting quilter husband had made sure that in moments of hesitation, when I even thought I might cancel my participation and stay home, I did not do that, but instead extended my visit by two days of sightseeing and enjoying ahead of time.
So here I am, staying in a hostel close to the center, because the Hotel Bogota, which I fell so in love with last year, was closed in December,

All you need is ... a bed, a chair, separate facilities...

and looking forward to two days of total hedonism in my favorite German (big) city - second only to Freiburg...
For starters, I went to "Kulturkaufhaus Dussmann", browsing the shelves, and stacking up on books and CDs.

Then I decided to walk back to my hostel, instead of taking the underground.
Suddenly I found myself in front of Checkpoint Charlie - schocked that now the golden arches are located right across from it. But I guess that's the walks of the world.

If they didn't have these maps around, today you would
not notice anymore where the wall once divided the city.

The American checkpoint Charlie replica

Reading the documentation on the building fence that surrounds the 'public viewing' area for soccer games, I started getting a bit philosopic about choice of words and how they shape our thinking.

 "Defending western democracy" against the communism of the Soviet Union - isn't that a pre-stage to 'war on terrorism' and 'definding out interests in the Hindukush'? And where has this all led us to - is that what we wanted it to be like?
But as there wasn't anybody there to discuss these things with, I just bought a helping of chicken curry from a small Indian food stand located right next to the line of the former wall, and then came back.

International food not to be found anywhere
near where I live... delicious!

And now I will go to bed.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

High Noon

1 - Soccer Mini World Championships

2 - reflection

3 - passing by the ice-cream parlor

4 - scaring off the birds

5 - rededicated sand box, starting to bloom

6 - the best season of the year!

7 -  key board
8 - bikes in front of the pool as we are leaving

9 - tomato sauce from scratch

10 - reflection 
 11 - no picture taken, as I was changing from a late train to a connecting train which happened to have left a minute before we arrived

12 - my fragile networks working space in Staufen

13 - stitching on Lutradur

14 - everybody is busy (my chair is the one pushed back in the middle)

15 - in front of the work room

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Beyond my comfort zone

Today is the third full day in the workshop “Fragile Networks” that I am taking with JanBeaney and Jean Littlejohn.
We are staying at the Music Academy in Staufen, south of Freiburg, where I once spent a weekend rehearsing with my orchestra, many many years ago. The view is fantastic.

Yesterday's sunset over the ruin of Staufen castle

The heat was incredible the first two and a half days, but it has cooled off now.
After a rather troubled start – I missed my train connection in Karlsruhe, had to take a slower, regional train which took an hour longer, and on the last part of the journey I swear they had the heater on, there was not a cool whiff coming out of the airconditioning, and then two hours into the workshop my sewing maching went up in smoke – I am having a good time.
Apart from worrying whether my machine will be fixable or not.
We are working way beyond my comfort zone.

Hopefully not the last picture ever taken of my darning foot,
taken before smoke started appearing from the motor...

Working on a loan machine now

Inspiration, taken on this morning's walk into the adjoining woods...

... and a certain stage in an attempt at
turning it into a fragile fabric.

I’m learning a lot, I absolutely love the Doubletroubles’ way of teaching, 

and am curious to see how these various techniques we are doing will eventually influence my work.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Shades of Green

A few weeks ago I gave a piece of green fabric to a friend as a gift, and in her thank-you note she made a statement about how much she loved green, and how much she regretted that not a whole lot of green quilts were being made in Germany. To be honest – I hadn’t noticed. But when I thought about the colors that my quilts have, I had to agree – certainly I haven’t done a whole lot of work in green. An early one has green in the background, and last year's donation for the SAQA benefit auction also was in green:

Dreams of Fields (2013)

And then there is, of course, Play of Lines X, which traveled with Color Improvisations for two years.
I included it in both my shows in Freiburg and Prague earlier this year, and it kept receiving very positive remarks – but that’s about the extent to which I have worked in green.

Play of Lines X (2009), 184  x 2003 cm

However, I do have four boxes of green fabrics in my studio.

And lots of green scraps in my ever-growing scrap collection, just where do they come from if I don’t use green much?!

lots of scraps, sort of assorted -
in this case minus the greens
In any case, my friend’s remark triggered more thoughts, and very quickly I came up with an idea for another quilt for my exhibition in the fall at Fagus Work in Alfeld. The exhibition is called “Inspiration Bauhaus”, and I have been concentrating on working with the basic geometric shapes. I also would have wanted to do some things based on Gunta Stölzel, Anni Albers, or some of the other women, but somehow the geometric shapes kept pushing themselves to the foreground, and the ladies have to wait, still. For several months now I have been thinking that the next piece in the series I would be making would be with yellow circles. But as it turns out, it’s green, and squares.
So I’ve been turning over the scraps, partly relatively well-sorted, partly all in a mess. This happens because I keep throwing them into a basket, meant to be sorted after each project, but the new project gets started, before the most recent scraps get put away, and then already a few new scraps have joined the others, and there is just not enough time to stay ahead of chaos...

So Shades of Green (Shapes 21) has been growing on my wall. 

Depending on whether Shapes 20 will be accepted into Wide Horizons IV, this is either the next to last quilt I need to finish for October. Or the one before the next to last.