Archive for July, 2009

Wet Studio Revamp

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Hi all,

Over the past 6 months or so I have been in the process of letting go of clutter and trying to set up my workspaces to streamline my efficiency (I need all the help I can get!).  To that end, I have been reworking my wet studio space which worked okay for me, but was not working at all for my surface design work group, the Free Motions.  I still have tons of stuff that needs to go, but things are pretty well laid out.

Problems in the studio involved disorganization of supplies, my metalworking supplies taking too much room,  no central/bare space to put the supplies we were using; we had to put them on our work tables which gets in the way of work space, 3 tables instead of four and clutter in the sink taking up one half of the double utility sink, also no good solution for storing thermofax screens.

I have been decluttering my brains out, packing up my metalworking stuff-except for things I use to etch copper, and generally getting rid of TONS of junk.   Here’s the new layout: 

All my metalworking equipment is out of the way in those bins!

Here's two of the worktables, ironing board and empty (yeah!) tables

Here's two of the worktables, ironing board and empty (yeah!) tables

The utility sink has tons of drying storage.  A cheap dishrack from Ikea is the perfect storage for thermofax screens.  I repurposed an old shelf for dye containers and lids.
utility sink set up

utility sink set up

Fridge to store dyes and shelf of fabrics that need more work!

Fridge to store dyes and shelf of fabrics that need more work!

 

You can see just the tip of the fourth table here.

long shot of the space including 3 of 4 tables

long shot of the space including 3 of 4 tables

We still need to deal with lighting.  The light down here is really terrible (it is a basement), but all in all, I am pretty pleased.

 

My pond was looking pretty good, too.  Here’s a picture!

My pond!

My pond!

Alterations: an exhibit by the Art Cloth Network

Monday, July 20th, 2009

My gal pal, Shelley and I got a personal tour of the beautiful ArtCloth Network show at the Legacy Arts Center in Crystal Lake, IL from artist extraordinaire, Barbara Schneider (she’s in the show) before doing our photography workshop with her later that day.  Barbara led us around the mansion as well.  The venue for the show is in a fascinating old mansion that is in the midst of renovation.  The mansion currently houses a music school, artist studios and other various community arts spaces.  It’s a great space.  Read more about the center by clicking the link above.    Here are some of the more “in progress” parts of the house. 

Great wordwork all over the house

Great wordwork all over the house

 

All the old fireplaces were intact

All the old fireplaces were intact

 

more great woodwork

more great woodwork

 

This hall is a s big as my living room!

This hall is a s big as my living room!

a beautiful wardrobe in one of the bedrooms.  I wish I had this closet!

 

beautiful staircase woodwork

beautiful staircase woodwork

And pieces from the actual show.  It was really hard to shoot-odd angles and lots of windows.  As usual, I forgot to note the individual artists’ names.  Artcloth is made with numerous layers and techniques of surface design:  dye, paint, discharge, screening, stenciling, etc.  The piece below was beautiful.  Lots of beautiful copper metallics:

a great piece from the show

a great piece from the show

 

a beautiful mosiac piece

a beautiful mosiac piece

 

Barabara's Schneider's piece

Barabara's Schneider's piece

 

Shelley and Barabara look at another of Barbara's pieces

Shelley and Barabara look at another of Barbara's pieces

artcloth!

artcloth!

 

Judy Langille's pieces

Judy Langille's pieces

Inspirational Artist Valerie Goodwin

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

I love maps.  Antique maps, current Landsat maps, OS maps, you name it.  I love the places they represent, their visual histories, but also just appreciate them for their beautiful lines. 

Valerie Goodwin makes gorgeous cartographic art quilts.    Her interpretations, for me,  are a wonderful weaving of natural land contours and  a beautiful interpretation of the marks of the “civilized” world.

 

Valerie also had a link to an interesting blog about maps: Strange Maps

I am off to a workshop on photographing artwork with Barbara Schneider.  I am fortunate enough to have been in a needle arts guild over the last few years with Barbara and to have taken classes with her.  She is an extremely talented artist and a great teacher.   Barbara, on top of making exquisite artwork, takes the most beautiful photos of textiles that I have ever seen.  Given that mine are absolute crap, I hope to learn lots from her!

Enjoy!

Indexed by Jessica Hagy

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

I love Jessica Hagy’s blog, Indexed.  Here’s one of her recent entries.

Jessica Hagy- From Indexed

Jessica Hagy- From Indexed

More on the No Drama Zone

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

More great Christine Kane stuff : 

How to Make Your Life a Drama-Free Zone
by Christine Kane

 

One of the hardest things I ever had to admit was that I was a total drama queen. And one of the best things I ever did was to give up my crown and step down from that throne.

That’s because drama – with all of its he-said-she-said, self-righteous anger, and done-me-wrong stories – is one big MAJOR distraction. It pulls our attention away from our dreams.

Many of us were taught that if we don’t get hooked into drama, then we lack compassion. We’re taught that emotion and drama are inseparable.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Emotion is the feeling, or energy, that moves through us. Drama is the thoughts and the hooks that create stories and reel other people into them. It steals our time.

Like the excess clutter that fills our closets and shelves, we can just simply let the drama go.

Becoming drama-free is more about creating space than anything else. Space for better thoughts. Space for clarity. Space for taking conscious action toward our dreams.

So, here’s five ways to make your life a drama-free zone so that you, too, can have the perfect, abundant, spacious life you’ve always wanted.

1 – Bring awareness to your reactions.

Being a Drama-Queen requires one thing: Unconsciousness.

To shift your dramatic tendencies, start by becoming aware of your own reactions.

Though it can be tempting to point at all the drama-queens around you, start within you first. See clearly what hooks you, what compels you to gossip, what makes you judgmental of others.

Most of our unhappiness comes from one thing: our judgment.

So, where do you paint life situations with your self-righteousness or judgment? Where do you collapse because you judge yourself so harshly? Where do you want people to behave differently so that you can be happy or successful?

(And why not go ahead and just be happy and successful anyway?)

2 – Think R.O.I.

R.O.I. is “Return on Investment.”

Every time you give your energy and your time to something, you are investing in it. You are, in essence, voting for it.

An entrepreneur thinks in terms of “returns” on investments. When you engage in gossip, whininess, self-righteousness, explaining yourself – you are literally getting no return on your investment. (Except fatigue!)

Your energy is your investment. So is your time. Ask yourself throughout the day, “What am I voting for here? What kind of return will I get on this activity?”

3 – Proactive communication

Melanie, a college professor, was expected to visit her family in Detroit every Christmas.

Melanie told me that she just wanted to take the holiday for self-care and reflection after a grueling semester. She didn’t want to travel!

I encouraged proactive communication.

Rather than waiting for her usual sense of frustration to arrive in November, Melanie made calls in August to let her family know that she had other plans for the holidays.

She discovered that she was able to speak more clearly and compassionately because she chose to be proactive. She never once got dramatic!

Proactive communication means that you communicate when the emotional charge of the situation has passed, or has not yet arrived!

4 – Regular Exercise

There’s a reason that everyone from doctors to trainers tell us to get our heart-rates up for at least 20-minutes a day. Exercise uplevels our mental health, our emotional health AND our physical health.

In other words, the more you increase your heart-rate, the more you decrease your drama!

5 – When Drama Strikes, Ask Three questions

Here are three powerful questions to ask yourself in the face of drama:

(1) What’s my story here?

This is what you tell yourself in your head. “If I don’t, then no one will.” “I’m unworthy.” “No one recognizes the good I do.” “These people are idiots!” This is your “story.” You probably know it well!

(2) Who would I be without this story?

Imagine that an angel surgeon comes into the room, and surgically removes that story from your head. You can’t find it no matter how hard you try. Who would you be without that story? What does it feel like to move forward without it?

(3) How do I WANT to feel?

You always have a choice. But it’s easier to MAKE the choice when you know your options!

So, when you remind yourself how you WANT to feel, you offer yourself a more empowered option than the drama. Even if you can’t get there right away, make sure you know that this is where you can be if you choose it.


 

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her ‘LiveCreative’ weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at www.christinekane.com.

WANT TO SEE HUNDREDS MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE?
See Christine’s blog – Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous – at ChristineKane.com/blog

The Business of Creativity-Great Post on Generating Referrals from Duct Tape Marketing

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

“To a large degree, our success and happiness in life depends on how much people like themselves when they’re with us.” Joe Caruso

This is a a quote from a great post on generating referrals posted on Duct Tape Marketing today.  It is completely applicable to the art business!  On that note of marketing, here’s a completely unrelated piece of my art!

Thorn Series II (C) 2007 Tracy McCabe Stewart

Thorn Series II (C) 2007 Tracy McCabe Stewart

 

Thorn Series II: hand dyed and discharged silks and cottons, commercial cottons.  Machine quilted.

I’m Baaackk…

Monday, July 6th, 2009
Lascaux Bulls 1 and 2 (C) 2008 Tracy McCabe Stewart

Lascaux Bulls 1 and 2 (C) 2008 Tracy McCabe Stewart

The above  pieces were my first foray into combining copper etching into fiber pieces.  The images are from the incomparable cave paintings in Lascaux, France. 

Hand dyed Silks and cottons, fossils, etched copper.  texture rubbings, metal etching, machine quilting.

 

I know that I have been really sketchy about posting lately.  I have been trying to wrap up a never ending commission and trying not to get distracted with other things (like blogging) until it’s complete.  Christine Kane had a video blog (or vlog, who knew?) on all this  and more that was pretty fitting for me: http://christinekane.com/blog/how-to-make-your-life-a-drama-free-zone/

I am working with the Free Motions tomorrow and hope to get some input on my commission design.  It is at another standstill!

  I will be going to the Professional Art Quilter’s Alliance (PAQA) meeting on Wednesday.  this is a fabulously talented group that meets once a month.  Hopefully, I will have some pictures and inspiration from those two great groups of artists!