Sunday, 27 November 2011

My Disappointment with Gores - or more honestly, with Myself

I was so excited about gores. They are triangles that you sew into things and they make it a whole new shape.
I still like gores, but I no longer believe they are the solution to my refashioning problems.
Remember my dresslet? It is my adventure with not only refashioning but reconstructing. I started with a thrifted pajama top and some fabric I have had for years. I made up the shapes, didn't use a pattern. All stuff that I have no experience with.

I had fun. If you want to see my initial inspiration and the process go here.
But there was a problem. Bubble butt. I wasn't happy with how it looked in the back. I thought perhaps a gore, a triangle of cloth inserted would solve the problem. I basted it first and tried to check it out in the mirror. I thought it was working.
I get upset everytime I look at this photo. I liked it better before.

I was hoping that the insert would make the skirt more triangle shaped so that it would go out a bit at the sides. But it has stayed the same unflattering bell shape with the addition of the weird fishtail.
I can't go back. I don't know what to do. I have put it in the closet and am trying not to think about it.

On a happier gore note is this thrifted coat/dress thing. It isn't really a dress as it only buttons down to above my crotch.

In the back is this huge split. So I went for another gore. This one was more successful.
I think it needs more. I haven't done anything in the front. Any suggestions?

And I am not sure about the 3/4 sleeves.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

the Fifth Secret of Creativity

The fifth secret of creativity: Choose by where the Energy is.

This means that when I go into the studio, I follow where my energy goes, what excites me at that time.

Usually my thoughts go: "You had better finish so and so painting" or "you were working on that one yesterday, you really should continue it today." That rather stern internal voice always seems to tell me to work where my energy is Not.

But if I remember to ignore it and instead work on what feels like the most fun and exciting, I am happier (and more creative). And strangely enough, everything seems to get done at much the same rate that it did in the years when I used to listen to what 'the Voice' told me to do.

Today I was lying down in my afternoon nap when I had some exciting inspiration about soft sculpture. Of course 'the Voice' did not approve. I have not been working in soft sculpture and 'the Voice' believes in continuing what has already been begun. It is most suspicious of any new directions.
Fortunately I remembered the fifth secret and got out some old books I have on doll making. I spent an exciting hour marking pages and getting ideas.

Will I do some soft sculpture? I don't know. But in my experience, honouring that inspiration is not only fun (very important) but also encourages further inspirations. Your mind is trained by you! It pays attention to what you honour and what you act on. If I dismiss my new ideas, eventually they may stop arising.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

NollyPosh is Gone

Vicky/Nollyposh died yesterday. She had been living with cancer for the past 6 years.

We met when I first began this blog, over 3 years ago. She was one of my first blogging friends.

Vicky is an amazing soul. Her blog posts were as much poetry as prose. She walked with one foot in Spirit. She wrote from her Soul. She was honest and brave and beautifully Heartfelt. Even though we never met in the physical, she was a friend. I am honoured to have known her.

More than anyone, I am sure she has gone Home - as she referred to it.
I am sure she will have no problem reaching the Other Side, however that is done. Though it is always good to pray for those who are crossing as it can be challenging.
I cannot think of anyone who will be more at home in the realm of Spirit and Soul.

I look forward to meeting her there.

The painting is a very old one of mine. I always intended to send her a print. It is so much of her spirit. It is called All is Love.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Guest Curator on Crescendoh.com

Jenny Doh generously asked me to be a guest curator on her popular blog Cresendoh.com. I have two new links each day of the week for posts that I find creatively inspiring from different bloggers.
This task has given me a new respect for curators.

Each curator is also asked to tell a story of how art has affected their lives. If you are interested, the short video that I made is here.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Painted Coffin Lid -the Guide

Remember the coffin lid I was painting ages ago?
Click on the photos if you want to see them larger.

I enjoyed painting it. I had a kind of fantasy while I was working on it that someone would buy it in preparation for their death. Perhaps they had been sick for a while and were at the point of facing that they would die. I imagined them bedridden, with the coffin lid hanging on the wall where they could see it. As I write this, I realise that might sound a bit morbid, but I wasn't seeing it that way. In my imagining, the young woman is a comfort to them. The name of the piece is 'the Guide' and she is the guide to the other side. I tried to make her loving and gentle as she looks over her shoulder to gently show you the way.
The lid had its debue last weekend at the Dying Art Exhibition at the Civic Hall in Mullumbimby NSW (Australia). The art show was part of the Carnival of Life and Death held yearly as a fundraising event by the Natural Death Centre. It was an interesting exhibit, the Civic Hall was dimly lit and people went around with flash lights to see the works. This created a hushed atmosphere, most appropriate to an art show filled with coffin lids, urns, shrines and shrouds.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Drawing from Nature

Much of the time I am drawing in the studio and this limits how much I can draw from nature. But I think I need this on a regular basis. The series I am doing is immersed in nature, and where I live nature is all around me. There is something incredibly nourishing for me about drawing from nature.
So today I did just that. I ended up doing a lot more walking than drawing, but even the little drawing I did felt wonderful. It isn't about ending up with a finished drawing, and I didn't. It is how I connect with what I am drawing, imbibe it with my eyes and bring it into my hands.
Once again, it is not about the drawing I end up with. I know that branch better than I did before I began. I know the angle the little branches leave the main branch, I remember its texture and colour, even though I didn't put those in the drawing. It is amazing how much I remember of things that I draw, even years later.

Friday, 11 November 2011

I Listened to Your Advice

This post is so you guys know that I listen to you. Remember the patches?
We all agreed that they needed a bit of integration.
Arrgh! You can't see it with these little photos. Sorry but you will have to click.
I embroidered around the edges. I think they look much better.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Garage Sale Haul

I went for a garage sale hunt yesterday. Unlike many refashioners I don't have loads of clothing to start with, so I have been doing a lot of thrift shopping. Has anyone else noticed that thrift stores have suddenly raised their prices? What is that about? I am assuming it is because thrift shopping has become more popular. I think this is a poor reason.

Thrift store prices have driven me to the garage sales. The difference between $1 for a top and $5 is the difference between me being willing to give a piece a go, knowing that I can use it for fabric, patches, cut it up in bits.

At garage sales I don't even bother to try things on. I will do that later today (they are drying on the line at the moment.) The truth is, I buy second hand clothing to cut up and make stuff, when I find things that are fine the way they are, I am sometimes a little disappointed.
I got a big haul. I went to a friend's after the sales, and her daughter was sorting through her clothes, so I picked up a few more pieces.

While unloading my second load of laundry I found more garage sale loot. Three t-shirts that I got for 50 cents each. One is a bit stained, the other old, but I plan to use bits for patches, neck bias and maybe the sleeves off one.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A Good Painting Day

In the studio I consider it a good day if my painting looks better than when I began it that morning. This is an agreement I made with myself years ago as a way of tricking my inner critic.

This painting came alive for me yesterday. When that happens it is a really good painting day. Some paintings are alive from very early in the process. Some you aren't really sure if it will happen. I was a little concerned about this one. I liked the colours, I liked the subject, but she was looking a bit... flat.
Here it is much earlier in the process. If you want to see her at the very beginning go to this post.
And this was how it looked before she began to come alive.

She is still quite a ways from finished, but I am no longer worried.