Saturday, January 31, 2015

A year of found art

KathleenLoomis  became a friend of mine after we met at a Nancy Crow Masterclass at the Barn. She had contacted me beforehand whether I could bring her some Euros in cash because she was going to Greece afterwards. We were both included in the “Color Improvisations” exhibition, met for the opening in Stuttgart, and that’s when we decided on doing our first joint ‘Daily Art’ project, “DailyMail”. After that we did Dreizehn Thirteens, which can be seen on the blog we first established as a private blog, and have since opened up to the public.
Now Kathy has worked hard to update the blog on our project of last year – “Found Art”. In a way she was the one who introduced me to Found Art, because I saw her doing it when she started writing her blog, and was publishing found pictures on it regularly. Found Art has become a real favorite of mine (and a total annoyance to my family, but I can live with that).
So for the year-long project each week we sent pictures of Found Art to each other, usually on Sundays, but sometimes only on Monday. Once I managed to send mine early! Kathy has reported about this on her blog, and of course, you can check it out on the Dreizehn Thirteens blog itself

And here are a few other pictures that did not make the cut for the project, but which I still like a lot:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Little escap(ad)e: "Off To Munich!" in Stadtmuseum Munich

This past Saturday I finally managed to go and see an exhibition in the City Museum in Munich which will be on for another two weeks (until February 7) and which I had been meaning to go and see since I first read about it when in opened.
Munich was the first city in Germany where women could go to a (private) Academy of Art in the early 20th century - and they came in large numbers. Some of them became famous, such as Gabriele Münter and Käthe Kollwitz, but there were many many many more than only these famous ones. And the exhibition gives a good overview over their names, shows their works, and provides information on their lives after their studies in Munich.

The long list of names of women who came is impressive. And depressing, because only so very few of them 'made it', and are still known... Yet their work is wonderful!
Very inspiring exhibition, nevertheless, with a rich and well-researched catalogue!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I need ...

... a manager. And a secretary. And a housekeeper. And a tree that grows money on its branches. And about four or five more hours in the day... Or an herb that reduces the need to sleep. Not that I sleep extremely long hours. But...
When I started my life as a quilt artist a coach told me that being an artist meant you have to spend more than 50 % of your time not working in the studio making art, but instead organizing, keeping your address file, meeting people, doing this and that and even something else which on the outside did not seem to have anything to do with making art. I found it very hard to believe then. Now I know that he was right. And as much as I dislike it, I know it’s important.
But every day that I spend doing more other things than working on quilts I still feel uncomfortable. As if time were slipping through my fingers.
After all – if I feel like I don’t spend enough time making art, why spend all the time organizing all the stuff around it...?
So this past week seems to have slipped by without achieving much at the sewing machine.

I did work a little on a small quilt -
which will be shown at the Prague Patchwork Meeting -
but I haven't even taken a picture
of it in its various stages, just of these cut-out

Let’s just hope that all the other stuff I did will bear fruit eventually.

Perhaps I will keep a more detailed list in the future of all the things I have indeed done during an average day, to give myself more of a feeling that I have accomplished something, at least on those days when no progress on a quilt can be shown as a result.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Pi-Project is looking for contributions

For a brief few days last year I toyed with the idea of doing a quilt in my new series ‚text messages’ that featured the number Pi:

So I started a little bit of planning and playing around, thinking about it a bit here and there, although no real lightning struck.

So I gave up on that idea because so many others appeared. I did not feel quite up to the challenge of facing Pi – after all, Pi has a following around the world that can be compared to rockstars and filmstars.

But now Pi has caught up with me. I received a mail which I will post here in excerpts:

I am the instigator of
a project for fiber artists, called The Pi Project. Fiber artists
from all over the world are sending in digits sewn (or painted, or
embroidered . . .) on 9.5" x 9.5" (24 x 24 cm) squares of fabric.
The numbers will be sewn together in the exact sequence in which they
appear in Pi. The resulting "ribbon" will be displayed on Pi Day,
March 14, 2015. It is a good way to showcase fiber artists. More
information can be found at

I am hoping that you can help spread the word on your blog, or in any
way possible. We are already receiving European entries and it is
very exciting.

I thank you for any help you can give.

Sally Sellers

This is the photo that Sally attached:

I think will send in one digit.

If you want to, you can participate, too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Workshop on abstraction – getting into the swing?

I have set myself a special challenge at the beginning of this year – I signed up for an online class with Lisa Call, “Abstraction”. I’ve admired Lisa’s work since I first saw pictures in a presentation of Nancy Crow’s class. I was awed by the description Nancy gave of how Lisa structures her life and gets so many things done. Sometimes I still feel daunted when I read her blog entries, even though quite a few people have told me that they think the nearly same thing about me. Meanwhile Lisa has quit her day job and is working as a full-time artist and teacher. (Here you can see how she planned to structure her day just after quitting the day job.)

I had first considered taking a class with Lisa in the past fall when I knew that following the opening of the “Inspiration Bauhaus” exhibition in Alfeld I would be slightly less focussed on getting stuff done for a deadline, and thought I might need new input to give myself a creative boost. But the fall classes started a couple of weeks before the opening, and I am glad that I postponed until now.
The first week of the workshop has ended. And it has been difficult. The first assignments were sent out on January 4th, but we were on vacation until the 6th, with only limited internet access. So I could download the file onla a day later when there wasn’t really enough to start doing any of the exercises any more as we were already beginning to pack up. I had thought I would dedicated the first two days after our return fully to doing the assignments. But we returned to a house with a broken heating system and the days were busy trying to get the thing fixed – and it was cold in the house! Have you ever tried to work with concentration while you are layered with five sweaters, have cold hands, and need to drink lots and lots of hot tea to maintain a decent level of body warmth?
Thursday required some preparations for a weekend of teaching a new class in Essen, and on Friday I left early in the morning. Finally I had some leisure on the train to work on some of the sketches, catch up on the reading and setting my mind on the topic of the workshop. It is interesting to be switching back and forth between being a student myself and then teaching a workshop for two days. Does me good.

I did not fully finish my assignment, just had no time to put one of the sketches into a textile something, so during the first week I have already managed to fall behind. But I am not fretting about this. I think that doing the drawings and going through various stages of abstraction was more important for me right now than actually getting it fully transformed into any finished textile something. If I have time after finishing the assignments and exercises of week 2 I may go back and work on the first piece. 
At least I know which one of my various line drawings I would choose to do something to: 

When it is finished, of course, you should
not be able to see any more that these were bottles...

It should be possible, because the next weeks are supposed to be a bit more quiet. We will see. In any case it will be a continuous challenge for the next nine weeks to rearrange my time management and fit this in. But I am looking forward to it very much as I felt a deep desire to get new input. I will be busy, even if I am not going away anywhere in the next few weeks.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Reflections on High Noon

For all of last year I have been taking pictures within the ten minute span around twelve o’clock noon of wherever I was, something I was looking at, or doing at that time. I called this project "High Noon". Only rarely did I miss out on taking the picture because something happened, and in I think two or three cases I decided to include a picture in the selection that was taken somewhere around noon, but not exactly within the ten minute span I had originally allotted myself for the project. 
Sometimes I would combine the High Noon picture with my second Daily Art Project, going to see ‘my tree’ which I was photographing almost every day I was in town (documenation here) and either include the tree in High Noon, or take a picture while on my way to or from the tree. I loved High Noon, and figuring out which different kind of picture I could take even if I was again at home or in my studio at that particular time.
For this year, I wanted to continue doing Daily Art, and toyed with different ideas, having a hard time to decide. I love taking pictures of reflections and have just recently put together a photo book of a selection of reflections on water. 

So I was debating whether I should do a Daily Art Project “Reflection of the Day”. But not every day brings a good photo of a reflection, and I did not want to be pressed for it in the sense of “I still haven’t taken that reflection yet!” (I will be posting more of my reflections on Pinterest.) 

I haven’t found a tree (yet?) that meets my requirements for another daily-tree-trip-project, I did not want to commit to daily stitching because there are days when I don’t get around to stitching. And although I still intend to work on my drawing skills (first efforts were started last year, hopefully to be continued), I don’t consider them interesting or good enough to do a "Daily Doodly" or such.

So I have decided to give High Noon another year, with a slightly different focus. As I am also working on my abstraction skills right now, I will try to concentrate more on taking photos with a certain degree of abstractness. (That does not strictly exclude reflections, but they must not take over.) The ten minute time span around twelve o’clock remains, with a similar degree of laxness as I had been doing last year. And I will post a selection of the ten pictures I like best once a month. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

High Noon

16 - Spanish Crossword puzzle for Christmas vocabulary

17 - we need to clean the gutters!

18 - stuff on my design wall

19 - anticipation is rising!

20 - rusty door in Alfeld (taken a few minutes late
as I was changing trains at 12 o'clock and
did not remember to pull out the camera!)

21 - on my way to the tree

22 - Landshut, last minute Christmas errands

23 - it's not exactly wintery yet - getting ready to take stuff to recycling bin

24 - new instrument

25 - alien?

26 - various sauces for fondue

27 - on my way to my tree, in the background, next to last day of project

28 - driving through the snow
29 - still more snow
30 - winter wonderland getting ready for our vacation!

31 - ready!

This is the official end of the Daily Art Project High Noon 2014. I have exactly half an hour to decide whether I will continue with High Noon 2015, or start on a different project. I'm torn...