Saturday, December 17, 2016

Detail from the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka which is said to house the tooth of the Buddha.

The Buddha’s body was carried from its forest grove in through the north gate of Kuśinagara, and from there to a well known funerary monument. 
The Buddha had left instructions for his disposal. His body was to be wrapped in linen and cotton, encased in an iron vessel and burnt on a pyre. The surviving pieces of burnt bone were divided between representatives from eight states. The bowl itself was given to Droṇa, who had divided the relics, and a group of latecomers were given the ashes from the pyre. Each group built a funerary monument over their relic, and these became the 10 places where the Buddha could be worshipped.

Tenth century Chinese painting on silk of Prince Siddhartha meeting a sick man.

Siddhartha’s father Śuddhodana wanted his son to become the political ruler predicted at his birth. 
So he conspired to protect his son from any religious aspirations by giving him a life of pleasure and privilege, and by preventing him from seeing the harsher sides of reality. His plan eventually failed. Siddhartha managed to explore his society and was profoundly disturbed by finding out about old age, sickness and death. He was also fascinated by the sight of religious people seeking answers to life’s big questions.

Lacquerware Painting

Detail of a lacquerware painting from the Ching-mên Tomb (Chinese: 荊門楚墓; pinyin: Jīng mén chǔ mù) of the State of Ch'u (704–223 BC)

Tomb of the Red Queen

The sarcophagus[edit]

The archaeologists carefully lifted the lid of the sarcophogus by twenty centimeters, a laborious process which took fourteen hours. Inside they found the remains of a woman lying on her back. Her skeleton was covered and surrounded by a large collection of jade and pearlobjects, bone needles and shells, which were originally pieces of necklaces, earspools and wristlets. Around the skull was a diadem made of flat circular jade beads, and the malachite pieces of what had been a funeral mask. In the chest area of the skeleton were more flat jade beads and four obsidian blades. In addition, there was a tiny limestone figurine inside a seashell.
The skeleton, the collection of objects and the inside of the sarcophogus were entirely covered with a bright red dust made of cinnabar, or the ground ore of mercury.[3]

Monday, November 14, 2016

Fabric Manipulation

Chiffon and gold thread. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hedebo Stitch

Hedebo embroidery, which originated and was used almost exclusively in Denmark, is probably one of the least known embroidery techniques, although one of the most beautiful. Few books give instructions in Hedebo and references are scarce. It is an advanced and intricate form of embroidery, taking patience and precision for execution, and because motifs and patterns are small and irregular it is seldom seen or used.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Shelby and Buttercup

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Diane Rehm Show


Radio Lab

On Being

This American Life

How To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black

Death, Sex and Money


Spilled Milk

Modern Love

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Slate Culture Gabfest

Post #10, March 27

This semester, Spring 2016, I am posting specific information each week so as to parallel the postings of my senior students. Each week students are required to post three inspiration images, new work and a reading/writing response. 

#1 of 3
Maya Lin installation at Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C. 
Folding the Chesapeake

#2 of 3
Maya Lin from Design Boom. Link here.

with an interest in human intervention in the landscape, american artist maya lin considers the earth’s disappearing natural features for her ‘bodies of water’ series. working together with a map company, lin has created a series of seascape sculptures that visualize detailed, underwater topographic information of the red, black and caspian seas. rendered in stratified plywood layers and balancing carefully on pedestals, the large-scale works depict the seas’ scaled volumes as a three-dimensional mass, suggesting that there is more to these natural landscapes than typically meets the eye.

#3 of 3

It was one of the most bitterly disputed public monuments in American history. Only 21 when her design for the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial was chosen in 1981, Maya Lin has never shied away from controversy. Her starkly simple slash of polished black granite inscribed with the 57,661 names of those who died in Vietnam was viciously attacked as “dishonorable,” “a scar,” and “a black hole,” but Lin remained committed to her vision, and the Memorial, a moving tribute to sacrifice and quiet heroism, was built as planned. Since then, Lin has completed a succession of eloquent, startlingly original monuments and sculptures that confront vital American social issues. Freida Lee Mock’s Academy Award® winning feature documentary follows a decade in the life of this visionary artist. Source is PBS, Documentaries with a point of view. Link here.

The drawing Maya Lin submitted for the call to public art for Vietnam Memorial.

New Work:
Still stitching on this red piece. 

Post #9, March 20

This semester, Spring 2016, I am posting specific information each week so as to parallel the postings of my senior students. Each week students are required to post three inspiration images, new work and a reading/writing response. 


#1 of 3
National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. 
Photo of label appears below the art work. 

#2 of 3
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

#3 of 3
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Louise Bourgeois Exhibit

New Work:
Approx. 1.5 x 2 inch area of stitching - red thread on red felt. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Post 8 (Inspiration/Research and New Work)

I am keeping up with my senior students this semester. Posting weekly research and new work. 

Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artefacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations.  
Tangible heritage includes buildings and historic places, monuments, artifacts, etc., which are considered worthy of preservation for the future.  These include objects significant to the archaeology, architecture, science or technology of a specific culture.  
Objects are important to the study of human history because they provide a concrete basis for ideas, and can validate them.  Their preservation demonstrates recognition of the necessity of the past and of the things that tell its story.  Preserved objects also validate memories; and the actuality of the object, as opposed to a reproduction or surrogate, draws people in and gives them a literal way of touching the past.  This unfortunately poses a danger as places and things are damaged by the hands of tourists, the light required to display them, and other risks of making an object known and available.  
The reality of this risk reinforces the fact that all artifacts are in a constant state of chemical transformation, so that what is considered to be preserved is actually changing – it is never as it once was. Similarly changing is the value each generation may place on the past and on the artifacts that link it to the past.
Source link here. 

Material Culture/Objects, Daniel Waugh, University of Washington
This essay explores ways to use material objects in the study of history. “Material objects” include items with physical substance. They are primarily shaped or produced by human action, Image of Cointhough objects created by nature can also play an important role in the history of human societies. For example, a coin is the product of human action. An animal horn is not, but it takes on meaning for humans if used as a drinking cup or a decorative or ritual object. Historical sources analyzed as text or images—for example, a legal charter on a piece of parchment or a religious painting—are also material objects, perhaps significant symbolically. The physical existence of a religious image in a dark cave as a “work of art” provides evidence of the piety of an artist or a sponsor. In some societies, before widespread literacy, the content of a legal document may have been less important than its existence as visible “proof” of a claim. Continue to read by going to this link

Looking at Artifacts, Thinking About History, Steven Lubar and Kathleen Kendrick
But they are also important to us as a way to approach the past. Museum Director Elaine Gurian suggests that artifacts provide us a way into history. "Objects, in their tangibility," she writes, "provide a variety of stakeholders with an opportunity to debate the meaning and control of their memories." Artifacts are the touchstones that bring memories and meanings to life. They make history real. Moreover, it is a reality that can and should be viewed from different perspectives. When museums choose not to enshrine and isolate an artifact but instead open it up to new interpretations and different points of view, they provide opportunities to challenge and enhance our understanding of the past. Look at the artifacts on this web site, and around you, as reminders of the complexity of the past. To fully appreciate the complexity of artifacts—and of history—we must not only acknowledge their multiple and conflicting meanings, but embrace them. 
Above is an excerpt. Link to to read more.

Stitching a new piece. Felt, ink and thread.

Finished the silk thread stitching on this piece inspired by maps. Felt, cotton and silk thread. Not sure what my next move is so will let this piece sit for a bit. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Field/Ground, Ice Cube Gallery, 2015

Cornelia Konrads (post #7, inspiration 3 of 3)

Scorched Lemons
Website link here

Saigon, Vietnam (post #7, inspiration 2 of 3)

Source link here. 

Amelia Eldridge, Artist (Post #7, Inspiration 1 of 3)

I ask my senior fine art students to make weekly postings on their blog. I told my students I would do the same. I jumped in at post #5 (a few posts back).

Amelia received her BFA from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida
Link here to Amelia's website. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Post #6 Creative Writing Assignment

Agnes Martin
oil on gypsum board
48" x 72"

A short, fictional story I wrote in response to the above painting.

Remembering the rooms. It was evening. The sky was glowing.  She placed all the items in one place, but could not find them. The scent was heavy and the atmosphere was silent. Soon she would have to go. Leaving empty handed was not an option. She retraced her steps physically and mentally. She investigated all options, two-dimensional as well as three-dimensional. All the memories blended together. Everything was soft. The scent of night stronger. It would not be long until night blanketed her endeavor. 

Panique Productions (post #6, inspiration 3 of 3)

The Spanish art collective Penique Productions was formed in 2007 with the first inflatable project in the University of Barcelona. The group’s projects consist of color inflatables that fill up spaces erected by others, giving them a new identity. By blanketing the architecture using plastic and blowing fans, the space is simplified emphasizing the shapes and textures, ultimately generating a different atmosphere within the same structure. These installations inhabit the spaces temporarily and so far have occurred throughout Europe as well as in Mexico and Brazil. The group cite Christo as a major inspiration as well as contemporary artists Rachel Whiteread, Kimihiko Okada, Doris Salcedo, Tomas Saraceno and Ernesto Neto among others. And Em will be excited to learn that they worked with Maison Martin Margiela for Paris Fashion Week.
Text and Image Source link here.

Stitching on Felt (post #6, new work)

Indigo Dye (Post #6, Inspiration 2 of 3)

Indigo dye is a traditional Japanese staining technique. Recently however, advances are being made by merging the old and new, including the use of rich indigo tones for stylish fashion combinations and interior design. Indigo dye—which creates more beautiful tones with use—has not only taken root in Japan, but is also renowned around the world as ‘Japan Blue.’

Image and text source here

Pearls for Venus, Post #6, Inspiration 1 of 3

Pearls for Venus
Marleen B. Flory
link here

Friday, February 19, 2016

Visiting Artist, 2015

ART and FEAR (Post #5, writing response)

“The point is that you learn how to make your work by making your work, and a great many of the pieces you make along the way will never stand out as finished art.” Pg.6
“You make good work by (among other things) making lots of work that isn’t very good, and gradually weeding out the parts that aren’t good, the parts that aren’t yours.”  p. 26 What work have you made that seems most yours? Why?
Recently I have been making sculptures that hang in space. I feel these pieces are most mine (at the moment) because I have been turning this idea over and over in my head for a few years now and feel I have resolved it.

“Chances are that whatever theme and technique attract you, someone has already experimented in the same direction. This is unavoidable: making any art piece inevitably engages the larger themes and basic techniques that artists have used for centuries. Finding your own work is a process of distilling from each those traces that ring true to your own spirit.”  p. 103 Who are artists that are making work that relates to you?  Are there other influences? How are these other influences connected to your work?
Jennifer Pettus is an artist living in Colorado that I met while attending graduate school at CU Boulder. I can remember the first time I saw her work and how the work inspired me to make objects and drawings that had visual power while remaining elusive. Eva Hesse and Georgia O'Keefe are two artists whom I admired since a young age. I believe their influences are felt in my work through my use of materials as well as the sensual content.

“And while a hundred civilizations have prospered (sometimes for centuries) without computers or windmills or even the wheel, none have survived even a few generations without art.”  p. 104 Discuss, in your own words, why you think this is so.
 I think our survival depends on visual satisfaction. Visually we seek balance and this balance translates to beauty. We seek rhythm and balance with sound. We seek to please our taste buds with flavors and our sense of smell with pleasant and balanced aromas. Holding objects, as well as other human beings, completes our need to feel connected mentally and physically.

“Art is something you do out in the world, or something you do about the world, or even something you do for the world. The need to make art may not stem solely from the need to express who you are, but from a need to complete a relationship with something outside of yourself.”  p. 108 Which of these ideas resonates most with you? Why? If they all resonate, how do they differ?
The idea that resonates the most is to make art for others (the world). I am interested in historical origins and the discourse that results from discovery.

“Making art depends upon noticing things-things about yourself, your methods, your subject matter.”  p. 109
What do you notice about yourself? What are your methods?  Subject matter?  The answers do not have to be limited to art related topics.
I always need to be making things - making art, making food for a party, making space in the garage, making plans for trip, making assignments for my students. For me, "making" encompasses research, planning, construction and presentation.

“The only work really worth doing- the only work you can do convincingly- is the work that focuses on the things you care about.”  p. 116
“All this suggests a useful working approach to making art: notice the objects you notice.” Pg.101 What do you care about? The answers do not have to be limited to art related topics.

I care about making visual experiences. I thrive off of creative problem solving. I care about family and friends as well as being a good teacher and a good citizen.