Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fed Ex Freight came today: Framing again!

The collar drawing from the Reinvented Past series are finally getting their frames.  I ordered the frames and matts assembled, making it much easier to deal with.  But they were so big, they had to come via Fed Ex Freight.  They will show later this year and next at the Hopkins Art Center and at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts.  Here are the ones I finished today:
A Reinvented Past 6, 38" x 40"

A Reinvented Past 3, 23" x 44.5"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

News that is fit to print, and some that is not

Got a few more shows lined up thanks to the hard work of Melissa Metzler  of Flow Artspace.She and I have been working together, one day a week, since the first of the year. The goals: to get my portfolio organized; to apply to shows; to apply for grants.  The body of work: I DWELL IN IMPOSSIBILITY was picked up by Larson Art Gallery, on the St. Paul Campus of the U for late this year.  Banfill-Locke Center for art picked up REINVENTED PAST for next year.  And, there have been others.  YAY Melissa!  THANK YOU!
It may not look like much, but sudden progress has been made in the Embroidery program. I had been having trouble getting it to export.  I needed to find a way to compress the files.  Finally found how to reduce the number of stitches so exports could happen.

Can't stitch the test out yet...the embroidery machine is IN THE HOSPITAL for its annual maintenance.  BOO HOO!  It will be gone at least another week.  I miss it!  I , of course, want to stitch these text tests out right NOW.

Despite having a really rotten cold, I got a lot of framing done this week.  Cleaned up the studio so when the truck comes tomorrow with the BIG frames, I have room to work on them.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Helping "problem children" toe the line

So, I look really, really tired in this photo.  You would be too, if you were pregnant at the age of 64!

The good news is that this body of work, I DWELL IN IMPOSSIBILITY, will be showing at the University of Minnesota Larsen Gallery in November.  Cool.

And, otherwise, I spent the day with Dale Kennedy, working out the the presentation of the "problem children" in the series of Reinvented Memory.  There were a couple of pieces in the collar series of this body of work that were too large to be matted and grumpy about being square.  For instance, this piece
was too large to be matted like the others in the group.  Matt board comes 40 x 60.  This piece is over 40", unframed.  Now, perhaps  there are special order matt boards larger than 40x 60...but at what cost?

There was another collar mixed media drawing, not yet photographed, that was cut radically NOT SQUARE, by...yes, ME.  This is why I need helpers.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Taking the stitch into the digital realm

The primary task of these early days of working on the project for the Jerome Grant is learning to use the TruEmbroidery software.  This image is not likely to be part of the project.  I chose it because I thought it would be an easy image for learning some skills. I started working on this image in early March! 
Success, at last!

It has taken weeks to get to this point.  Admittedly there was a church conference and a trip to New York thrown in...Nonetheless, this software is proving to be a bit opaque and the embroidery machine is typically random in its operation.

This image is a digitization of a drawing I did last year, titled SILENCED, a pastel/mixed media piece, hand stitched with waxed linen.
I scanned it into Photoshop and posterized it down to 4 colors.  When I imported it into TruEmbroidery, it suddenly had something like 27 colors!  I edited the heck out of it.  Transferred it to another part of the program to do some adjustment....even more colors!

Yesterday I got the software to cooperate.  I got the embroidery machine to accept the design.  I spent three hours stitching it out while the machine's on-board computer kept stopping and telling me I had run out of thread ( a lie! ), whole swathes of skipped stitches needed fixing, rats nests formed on the back, the red thread refused to stitch, you name it, and then the whole design suddenly got a full 1/4" out of registration after 2/3 of it was stitched!  The good news is that I really learned how to reset the starting place for the needle when portions of the design needed re-stitching.  A very good skill to have.

So, today, I reconsidered the embroidery machine.  I changed the needle, re-threaded everything, loosened the upper tension.  I hooped a new piece of muslin over 2 sheets of tear away stabilizer.  I skipped the background padding layer of stitching and all of the white fill. And got the image I had wanted all along.   In no way can I say I have gotten the  hang of this software, but I am learning a few things.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Continuum a show about gender

Two photographs from the series  I DWELL IN IMPOSSIBILITY were chosen for the show Continuum. Continuum opens at the College of St. Benedict,  in St. Joseph, MN, opens April 14 with a reception April 26 beginning at noon.  The exhibition was curated by Sammy Muldoon.
I DWELL IN IMPOSSIBLITY #2, a collaboration between Susan and John Hensel

I DWELL IN IMPOSSIBLITY #12, a collaboration between Susan and John Hensel