Friday, September 28, 2012

Layering on the sugar, taking my sweet time

Rushing to finish my Phat Quarter TOYS Swap, but I'm taking a little break this Friday afternoon to work on my Suga Belt.

Circles of glucose on the thigh. I'm thinking of woven
spider wheel stitch for those.

Layering on different things. Right now it's sugar molecules (sucrose, glucose and fructose) but I also want to stitch some compass points and map grids.

Sucrose on Sulky Solvy, stitching in back stitch.

Maybe I'm too much of a process artist. I love taking my time making. In no rush to finish. Just keep layering, creating and adding. That makes me happy.

Layering different molecules, planning.

Palimpsest. I like that word.

Before I cut up the piece from the main cloth and layered it
onto the black fabric.

Must stitch it.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Night has 1000 Eyes in Hardscrabble, Wondrous Durham

The Durham Bull, looking like something
from Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain.

Yes, I've been stitching. Been sketching. Been working with thread and fabric and fiber.  But I've also been looking around me. Marveling at the broken loveliness of my life and of Durham.

Tobacco Town

For many years, before I ever picked up a needle and pierced a piece of cotton, I wrote. And I read wildly and widely. In my old life I had bookcases so full there were books behind the books. Layers of books. And I made photos... rolls of black and white, home developed, hung in strips from my shower. And I listened to Coltrane. And he told me that the Night has a Thousand Eyes.

Beauty in dirty brick.

Things don't work out the way one plans or hopes. (This is not a brilliant observation, I realize.) But when things have fallen apart, a creative person, an artist like me, finds new way of piecing the jumble back together. You look at what is in your immediate world and you go from there. 

Suga Belt, a piece inspired by an experience in another broken
NC town, Carthage.

So, my hyper-immediate world is my body and face, thus the self-portraits.

Durham is insanely green. Eno River State Park, twilight.

And my immediate surroundings are Durham, North Carolina, which Andy called "hardscrabble and wondrous" in an email one time. This description is so perfect for Durham... it has become a lens for me. 

Yet another photo of my aging self.

And maybe it describes me at my best.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Whirligigs, Treks and Art

Whirligigs, Vollis Simpson, photo by Alpesh Patel.

The last few weeks have been full of North Carolina traveling adventures. And some stitching. And a crack on the head that has slowed me down a tiny bit.

WIP: Suga Belt, 2012

Suga Belt remains in my hoop. I'm going to experiment with some fabric layering after I finish the stitching. I'm excited and nervous about that!

And the stitching of color words for my Color Wheel of Lies project is still going. I bring the little pieces with me everywhere I go.

Writing by giddie99

Stitching Dandelion on the beach. Writing by Becky Porter Stancill.

But what has really captured my attention these days is the gorgeous surroundings of my adopted state North Carolina.

Went to Oak Island one weekend.

From the Oak Island boardwalk.

Dawn, Oak Island.

And to Asheville and the Smokey Mountains the next.

Balsam Nature Trail, Mount Mitchell.

Clouds gathering at Mount Mitchell, highest peak east of the Mississippi.

And then hunted for whirligigs, created by North Carolina outsider artist Vollis Simpson in Johnston County, NC.

Lacuna, NC, whirligig by Vollis Simpson.

Horses in the sky. This whimsy inspires my TOYS swap piece for the Phat Quarter Swap.

So many gorgeous scenes to inspire my own art. I imagine stitched faces in the sand, washed ashore on drift wood or among the ferns and firs of boreal mountain trails.  And spirograph-like stitched wheels in the sky.

Ah, North Carolina, you are a beauty!