Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Can Be My Own Worst Enemy

Sometimes, well, really a lot of times, I am my own worst enemy. I have a hard time keeping going when I have pending things.

Waiting to hear about things is hard for me. I heard that I didn't get in to the semifinalist rounds for public art for the library in town but I heard only via the list of who did...finally got my official notification (now why would that be a big deal?) Maybe I was hoping there was a mistake. But, as I said before it is just as well as I have so much more to do.

So, I have been waiting to hear if a couple has decided to go on a commission that I really want to do. I have had to go down in price but it is still a healthy commission. I have been waiting for them to sign the contract with the gallery and put half the money down. So, waiting has been hard to do.

In the meantime I started painting fabric in orange, which is one of the colors for this commission. But not knowing if it was really going to happen or not, my mind wasn't completely in to it...even tho I know that I can always use the fabric.

But, just on the chance that it will come through, I decided to go ahead and purchase:


George will be arriving at my studio next Thursday. The cabinet comes all together and I just put the head in the cabinet. The shippers will get it in for me...

On Monday I called the gallery and they said they were just waiting for the charge to come through and that a contract was signed and a check for a partial payment would be in the mail along with the contract. It is to be finished by July 1 and will be 7'9" x 9'3" to go into a very modern new home which is just being built. The home has lots of different metals and wood, and the art piece will hand on a stone wall.

And then, I realized that I would need thread so I ordered new thread from the new colors of King Tut from Superior Threads...they arrived today.

The colors in real life just make me drool....but not on the threads! Got them all unwrapped because I wanted to pet them and then got the clear tape over them to keep them tidy.

Then I realized that I don't have batting so I called Quilter's Dream to order some more...and realized that the size I usually get, 92" wide, just wasn't wide enough for the shorter size so it is up to 120". Well, that should be here within a few days.

Today while I was at the studio I started looking at my design wall and realized how much fabric this baby is going to take. My design wall is 8' x 7'10" so I have to add another panel of 4x8 so I have enough room. Oh boy...

The other day it was back at the studio and this time I started painting turquoise fabrics...way too much fun. These are the colors that I will be using. Here they are drying on a drop cloth on the floor in my studio.

Today I went back for a little while and ironed them so I could caress them and be sure they were looking good. They still need more texture and I need to paint shades of both the blues and the oranges.

But now I can paint with a purpose!

Came down with a cold on Monday, courtesy of my sweetheart Jacob, but am doing better...just has slowed me down...didn't go to EFM on Monday night and didn't go to my Lenten series tonight...just not enough energy.

But, I am feeling energized...not quite like that pink bunny but I am getting there. Got the duplicate slides today so those all need to be sorted but it also means I have some new work to enter in to shows. Decided that I have to get going on the smaller Life Circles quilts and will do the larger ones on George after he arrives. But all the slides need to be sorted and the originals labeled and put away. Ugh...the fun of being professional. There are other things I still have to do that have been on my list but I have let myself procrastinate too much...oh yeah, and I still have to get my father's taxes done and mine too....

Tomorrow morning is quilting time on the next Life Circles piece, ship off four large framed ones to Scottsdale, and then go to lunch with my rector and then on to the studio to paint, finishing up with a short trip to my dad's to pick up the last tax form that I need....

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Introducing: Fabric by Jacob

As you know, I like to paint and dye my own fabrics. Well, on Saturday I was down at my studio. My daughter called and suggested, since they were out, that they stop by and bring sandwiches for lunch! What a nice daughter!

Well, I was just getting ready to start painting some orange fabric when who should appear by my grandson, Jacob, now 2 1/2 years old. So on went an oversized apron (I need to get him one that fits), up came the chair and in his hand his painting utensil, one of the best I have found!
So, here he is ready to go!

After waiting patiently for Grammy to get the paint mixed, he is ready to go and boy does he go! This is better than anything. Most grandmothers give you some crayons and a few sheets of paper...not this one! It's a 60 x 40" piece of wet, white fabric and bright orange paint! What could be better!

You can see that he has really gotten in to this. I do hope you appreciate the artistry of his work.

As you can see, we move him around the table so he can get to virgin fabric to add his personal touch to.

Well, I couldn't resist so I was in there helping him also. We managed to get five large pieces finished while his mother took 100 pictures! Oh well, have to document all of these things but I didn't want to put you through that!

As you can see I am making good use of my studio. After they left, I did a couple more pieces of fabric, still in various shades of orange. I left them to dry on the drop cloth on the floor, somewhat bunched up to let the paint do its thing. Then I will come in and do some other stuff to it.

I'm waiting while Textures Gallery works on the finances of my commission and gets the contract and some money. I have already talked to my APQS lady about a just waiting.

But meanwhile I still need to quilt 18 more large pieces! Oh, don't remind me!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Working, working, working

This is beginning to look more like a studio...just need to get that silly stair stepper out of here! Who on earth needs one of those in the studio! I have moved the big table around, gotten some basket shelving and have lots of room to work, which I have been doing.

So you can see four tables put together at the other end of the studio. Without that big 4 x 8 table way up in the air, I now have another wall that I can use without ducking under it. The clock is going to have to move and I need to paint this wall white so it looks better. At least it looks good with some fabric on it. I painted the fabric the other day and while I was there on Wednesday, I was discharging fabric and while waiting for the action of the bleach, I started playing with my Shiva paint sticks on the two pieces of fabric. This wall makes a great place to let them hang to cure...sounds like meat, huh?

so here you can see some samples of discharging up on my design wall. It's fun to have the space to see what it all looks like!

so this is one of the pieces of fabric that I painted and then used paintsticks on. I really like the texture it have been given.

This is a close up of the other piece...just too much fun to sit there and do the rubbings! My goodness but making art is fun! And so great for the soul! It's really fun to make fabric because I don't need to worry about design or composition, just color and texture, as it will all get cut up!

well, I didn't get into the semi-final listing for public art for our library...they just don't know what they are missing. But it is just as well as it looks like a commission (big) is coming my way. I am so excited about the possibility of doing this as the piece will be a little over 9 x 10 feet and will be in oranges and turquoise...gee, my favorite colors! It will go in to a very modern house with lots of metal and stone...oh, I want to do this so badly! Just waiting to hear from the gallery the a price has been worked out and a contract signed!

so I just called my good friend, Cheryl Uribe, who is a dealer for the APQS know, the long arm machines! I am lusting after the George and if this commission comes through I will need to it do all the sewing (at least more easily) on this big piece. That would be so nice! Just waiting...meanwhile I should be getting my tax stuff together so it can get to the preparer....ugh...that just is not much fun. But then on the other hand I was talking to our new church secretary about possibly doing some work for me and she thinks probably a couple of part time days a month would probably do it...and then she asked about my bookkeeping system. Boy did I laugh! Actually I do have a system on QuickBooks but I got bogged down with it so my system is to put the receipts in a file and then figure it all out at tax time...I do invoice all of the work I sell, and the teaching I do so at least that is ok.

Took ten large quilts and 10 framed pieces to my photographer today so I can get some digitals and slides made for show entries. I will be sending off four of the framed pieces to Textures Gallery and some of the smaller ones to Artisan's International Gallery, oh and did I mention that I am a featured artist there for the next several weeks. If you are in Minden, NV, stop by and tell Bronwyn hi for me!

So now I am off to work on my magazine article that needs to have been done by yesterday! Oh well, nothing like a little pressure to keep one out of trouble!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Busier than ever

My time sure seems to be flying right past me. This past week seems to have been so chopped up with all sorts of commitments. I am working out a routine which seems to be doing pretty well for me. Once up, I take care of all the computer stuff, have breakfast, shower and dress, do all the art business and personal business stuff and then pack up for the studio. It is really nice to work there and when I go, I work on specific things rather than standing around wondering what I should do...I have a plan when I leave the house. I have been putting in about five hours a day down there and I feel like I am making some progress!

I have a treat for you...The Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center (the courts, offices and lock down facility) has been completely rebuilt. Last year there was a calling for artists to submit for the %for arts program. I didn't submit because I just felt that my work would not really fit in to what should be there. But my good friend, Marion Coleman (remember this name...she is getting very well known, and justifiably so) was commissione to do four pieces for the public spaces. Yesterday was the reception for the artists and open to the public so I had a good time looking around. I am so glad that I will not be working there and haven't been in that field for over six years now. But the facilities do look good and the art around the building is tremendous and very representative of the kids who flow through the system. So, I took some pictures of Marion and her four works that are there...

Marion Coleman with her Mexican dancer

Skate board buddies


high flying bicycles
Of course, these are not the official titles...I don't know what there are but there are just wonderful!

And this picture below is the one of my daughter's family which somehow got missed in my last post.

Then in the middle of this past week I got so tired of doing those large quilts that I took a day or two off and did some painting on fabrics...had a grand time with all the space and no backache!

Then Friday I spent the day framing all of my smaller pieces that I had done in Texas. The 12 x 12's are mounted on 1/4" foamcore which is inserted under the piece and then mounted on matt board and then framed with plexi. The finished size is now over 20 x 20" and really looks sharp since the are set way back in the frame. Below you can see the pile of larger ones that are done and three of the smaller ones which are 10 x 10 mounted in the same way but finished into a 14 x 14" shadow box metal frame. They too look pretty sharp.

Four of the larger pieces are going to the Textures Gallery and Studio at the Art Space in Scottsdale so hope they do well there.

If you are in the Minden, Nevada area, stop by Artisan's International Gallery to see a lot of my work which is being featured with a Reno metal sculpture. Should be fun! I am going to send the smaller frames pieces to her tomorrow.

I have been booked to teach at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops for 2008...put it on your calendar! They have been doing art workshops for years and have just started quilt classes. Kim, the owner, is a quilter who is a member of the California Fiber Artists, of which I am also a member. Anyway I am set to teach there in Greenville, New York from November 2 to 8, 2008.

I have also been contacted about doing some private classes so am setting one up for my standard fee and will teach 8 students down at the studio. They was to take the Introduction to Surface Design class so this will be fun...and I don't have to schlep everything around!

Several other irons are in the fire...just need to keep on working and working some more! Just not enough time to do all that I want. I will be so glad when I get these twenty pieces completely finished and off to the photographer's...right now I only have three finished. I think I need to stop working in the studio and sit down at the sewing machine and get those babies cranked out...oh well, maybe tomorrow!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Where Have I Been? the past month

So I came home a month ago, having left LaGrange and stopping over in San Antonio to visit family for a couple of days. Then, finally home on Feb 8 and right back into all the stuff that I have to do at home. shortly after getting home I realized that I had become very spoiled using all that space at Karey's place...I was almost ready to pack right back up and head back to LaGrange but it was nice to see my family again!

so, I started looking for studio space. My space at home is pretty full with fabrics, sewing machines and piles of all sorts of stuff, especially piles of fabric! I needed space to work big! I finally found space to rent in a shared studio in an old foundry building. Only two of the studios are not live/work spaces. It is really a fascinating environment and really great to be around all sorts of artists although I sure don't see anyone. I go down there almost daily to work and I see a few people outside now and then but the studio I am in has a door right to the street, unlike most of the others which are inside with a maze of hallways...many of the studios were changed into living areas without permits and not up to code and then changes came about and got things fixed.

We spent the last weekend in a time out with our kids in our cabin in the Sierra. We have finally gotten our snow that we so desperately need for our water uses. Driving up it started to snow and kept on the next morning. We stayed nice and warm inside with little forays outside where it was 32 degrees. it was so much fun!

this is a photo of my daughter's family: David, Jacob, Tori and their lab, Sierra.

Jacob tried his hand at making his first snow angel...he wasn't too sure about lying down in the snow and couldn't figure out the leg business but he had fun hiking around with his parents.

This is a picture of the window wall of my studio. There is a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood up on the platform which we just took down today and cut the legs down so I will have a print table. I have purchased three six foot tables so that I can work on putting these large pieces together that I brought back from LaGrange. So far I have finished three, have twelve more with backs sewn to the pieces and turned right side out, five more to turn and five more to do. It is so wonderful to be able to work with all of that support surface!

This is my one large wall which separates me from the rest of the studio which belongs to someone else. I have made an 8 x 8 foot design wall and there is still room for another 4 x 8 sheet of design wall. it also gives me some space for putting something up on the wall.

This shows the "door" to my studio...there is no door but just an opening in the partition.

From this view you can see the other space which is behind mine. it is a small space that another artist has and it appears that she is storing things...I haven't seen her since I moved in but then I haven't seen my landlady either. I am getting to know the property manager and he tries to get the leaks in the roof fixed so I don't have to listen to the drip, drip of the rain coming in.

I am really busy. Having so many pieces hanging over my head to finish is really difficult for me. Right now it feels like grunt work. I also picked up some really neat frames at Ikea for my 12 x 12 pieces and am framing those...they really look good. I need to ship some to Arizona to the gallery there and also to the gallery in Nevada...which also wants some more work as she is going to feature my work with a sculptor's work for the next month...

I am also working on another magazine article and need to get all those samples done. Oh well, being back at church has all sorts of commitments there and now we are in Lent so it's lots of visits to Church and a Lenten series also. Oh well, life at it's fullest!