Thursday, December 29, 2011
I've had "help" in the studio the last couple of weeks: Gideon! He came to live with me just before Christmas.As usual, I need to draw as I work on sculpture.s. The drawing s are huge( 7 feet?) and lively. They have a bit of unbleached muslin cheesecloth completing them. They may have yarn in the end as well. We shall see.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I am more or less diligently spinning more anemones...more or less. I am experimenting with lifting the skirt, revealing the interior.
I am struggling with how long and what shape to make the panels of the dress. Do they simply need to be longer so they can wrap more fully and easily around the anemones? Do they need to be longer and shaped , turning them into trains like on a wedding dress?
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
So I straightened the bodice and turned off the studio lights. The bodice w ill be stuffed somehow. But the question is, can this piece operate as the center piece for a show I am calling Burnt Memories? I would need to distress the materials to make them "match."
Monday, December 19, 2011
So, as I have been awaiting time to go to the Amtrak station to pick up my son for Christmas, I have been playing with lights and props. I up ended a clear tub in the middle, placed a glass block on top. over that I draped a net of lights. Covered that w/ silk organza and then stacked in the anemones. A single rope light dangles. No decisions yet...but I am thinking that extensions of the muslin tails and lots more anemones to nearly fill the room. Probably more lights...not enough glow through the anemones. Perhaps they will need to be infiltrated. Hmmm.
What do you think?
Sunday, December 18, 2011
The gallery is empty and the space is MINE. Well, it was always mine, but now it is studio space and I have begun to work again, even though Christmas is close upon us and I have a new rescue dog to claim my time! That is Gideon sneaking into the picture;-) It pleases me to see that the proportions of the crocheted bodice and the skirt are right, in this space.There is still much to do, many decisions to make. I had imagined the hem of the skirt rolling like waves breaking on the beach. To do that I will need to build a structure underneath or stack layers of gathered crinoline or, maybe I change things a bit and have the anemones bursting out from under the dress...today I will see what happens when I pin the HEAVY anemones UP. The dress armature is sturdy, but the fabric is thin muslin. WHat will it look like with the weight of the sea creatures dragging it down?
Sunday, November 13, 2011
This 42" x96" drawing was created during the service, in response to the story as it was being told. The well that Joseph was thrown into, the sheaves of wheat of his offending dream, the 7 years of surplus, the 7 years of famine, the prison, the robe, the cupbearer and ultimately the reconciliation of the family...and over all, the hands of God. You can see the stripes that represent the Joseph Coat of Many Colors, the Sheaves of wheat bowing down and ultimately referring back to the rainbow covenant at the end of the Noah story. Reconciliation prevails.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Someone pointed out to me that it looks like a cross. Perhaps it is one.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
I was gone overnight on a creative brainstorming retreat with my beloved church ladies. My favorite volunteer gig at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church is the worship planning team. We plan immersive, interactive experiences for our congregation and others, to tell the stories of our people in new ways. It's installation art in service of story. Too cool for school, don't ya' know!
I got home early and thought, Yipee! I have time to work in the studio. So I promptly wasted all sorts of time, but finally got to work shortly before dinner. I thought I would be working on the blue dresses, doing and re-doing them.I'd blown the bodice on this one, you know.But, NO! I had to work on the masked ladies in all their naked glory! There are 3 larger valises to fill. These 3 images are nearly done.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I ordered the frame for this today..a black metal frame. The top arm extends beyond the frame on foamcore. Dresses are still an obsession for me. I have been dyeing cloth lately that was part of the Kristalnacht installation ( go to susanhenseldesign.com and click the link for installations.) It is indigo dyed, with ghostly images of the lists of concentration camps. I am wondering what would happen if I made dresses from this indigo dyed muslin in styles that might have been around during World War II. While I do not imagine them ON anyone, I suppose I could have a trangressive fashion show... Just thinking, you know? (Drawing on UV Utra paper with gesso and various colored pencils)
One set of the masked ladies is completed. They reside invisible in their quiet, business-like briefcases. But, in their hearts, they are wild-women!
The drawings are done on handmade paper from cotton rag, flax and abaca, using various colored pencils and gesso.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
It has been so good to be working regularly in the studio again. I have regained a sense of BEING an artist. I awake in the morning with urgent work to accomplish...hands to get dirty, pastels to grind down to nubs, exacto blades to change. The work flows smoothly...or as smoothly as this mysterious vocation can flow. You sweat, you wonder, you get very dirty, you make lousy mistakes, fix them, destroy them, wonder if you'll ever figure out how to finish, staple, rip, rub, read, research and seek the state where you are simply the tool of the divine. Sometimes, at the end of a very good day, you might stand back and say, "Did I do that?" Somehow you were able to get out your own way, having no real memory of how you could have commanded your body to accomplish what it did.
I took the Cow-Heart series to the framers today...after adding a pastel frame to the middle one. These 2 pieces are now finished. I added a bit of red and a framework. Now, after a few days admiring them, I will roll them up...too big to frame right now. They are around 48" wide.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Sometime last year, I found sample cases at Axman in St. Paul. They are sturdy valises with sides of equal depth. I knew then that the masked ladies would find their way into the valises. Something about their increasing eroticism...Mark said it was voyeurism of the viewer/exhibitionism of the ladies at the same time.
These poor little ladies will NOT inhabit the small valises. They seem lost in the vastness and the contrast with the walnut stained and crumpled paper is too high.
A productive week. I will need to pack up the working studio soon to make room for the new windows being delivered in a couple of days. Sigh...
With gesso and colored water soluble pencils on handmade paper from cotton rag, abaca, and raw flax. They will be trimmed to fit in their boxes.
Tramping on Moonlight 1 completed.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
White dresses have been a staple in my repertoire for years. I don't really know why. Clearly they have deep meaning for me...I suspect they represent a certain nostalgia for a time that is not my own...a fictive story of naivete and innocence. I am working on a very large scale installation that involves a white dress.
In times past, the dresses I have used have been found garments, antique wedding night nightgowns, baptismal gowns, simple cotton slips. This time, I will be building the dress. These drawings help me to understand the character in/of the dress more. I am always working within a narrative, searching for the meaning the components wish to impart. It is like searching for a lost love, detecting the whisper of a long dead parent or the mystery in the attic. I follow the clues. The dress, this time, is telling a resurrection story, a hopeful story of rebirth...I think. It may ultimately tell me otherwise.
The bodice of this dress is crocheted, with uplifting 3/4 length sleeves, much too small for you or I. It will hang far over my head, and yards and yards and yards of muslin skirt will take over the room.
Tech notes: these drawings are on UV Ultra tracing vellum. The design was painted on the reverse with gesso. Then I drew on the front with compressed charcoal. the separation of the gesso from the charcoal layer effected by the robust vellum encourages a luminous 3-dimensionality.