Process calms me down. Thank you, Willa.

Last week I was sketching and I left out colored pencils, big paper and a cup of coffee with a paint brush.  I knew my daughter, Willa would be unable to resist the supplies and would have to make something.  This painting is what she created.

Her eyes are so sorrow filled—as we all are about the events in the last month in America.  This girl clearly has “Well, you know what kind of eyes she got…a girl with far away eyes”  You can thank The Rolling Stones for the lyrics.

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THE ROLLING STONES  •  Album/Some Girls  •  Song/Far Away Eyes

These are strange days indeed.  Sometimes the news, the violence, the same excuses over and over from politicians are simply too much.  I have to calm myself down and process is usually how I do that. My daughter helped me realize this.

I made this bag out of a friend’s stained leather from her Audi seat repair.   I know this bag (inspired by Frida Khalo and Calamity Jane) isn’t curing the ills of the world, sparking the necessary dialogue or starting a revolution.

However in my small way, it’s an act that represents taking the time to slow down, get thoughtful during this time of chaos and try to understand what my part might be in all that’s going on in the world.

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PS Chuck don’t show the post to Colleen.  It’s a gift. She can keep her auto paperwork in the stained seat reincarnated. 🙂

an experiment in leather

I have increasingly become inspired by usable art.  I have a lot of leather scrap at my studio and I’ve made bags, jewelry and clothes, but I’ve never experimented with housewares.  This was basically a sketch of what I would like to create.

A word of caution: if you are going to “bake or cure” your leather you want to do so when no one is around and the windows can be open.  It smelled pretty funky, however by baking it in the oven when it was damp it did somewhat achieve what I hoped it would do.  The piece held the shape I intended.  This leather was too floppy though.  I have to work with leather that has more structure.  I will be doing more of this in the near future. I’m always in favor of some experimentation.

“Learn to fail or fail to learn.” —Tal Ben-Shahar.

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part 3. RUST & MEMORIES. The mediums of Elizabeth Bunsen.

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“I live in a northern paradise with short sultry summers and achingly bitter and beautiful winters, spring we call “mud season” and fall is a glorious crimson and golden falling into winter. This seasonal cycle functions as my muse and guides my work… In the winter I simmer tea and eucalyptus, spring blooms in my rust garden where I slosh tea and make marks with my ever growing collection of rustie, summer brings warm days and cool indigo blues and in the gold of autumn there is much gathering – calling out the curves of oak, the caramel scent of maple, the saffron arch of ginkgo, as the leaves sing their last songs.  Wherever I am, I am in a continuous dialogue with my environment; I wander, gather, arrange and collaborate with natural processes. I explore and experiment as a “domestic scientist”. Meditative play is how I attempt to stay grounded and balanced. This is how I live my art.”  —Elizabeth Bunsen

Elizabeth’s studio is like visiting a museum with a docent who is warm, full of knowledge and passionate about the objects.  The metal grate was given to her by a friend.  The coral is from Australia where she traveled and taught.  The wool is from her sister.  The rust graveyard keeps growing and is always revealing something knew.  Rust and Memories.

Starting tomorrow for the next three days I get to participate in a workshop with Elizabeth and see what kind of “rusty voodoo” she practices.  I can’t wait to explore and see what happens. I have a dress that is way too bright and in dire need of some “mucking up”. I will post some pictures of process. Rust and Memories.

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rust
rəst/
verb
gerund or present participle: rusting
  1. be affected with rust. (I’m pretty sure I’m going to be affected with rust.)
    “the blades had rusted away
    2. deteriorate through neglect or lack of use.

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Frida Kahlo inspired handbag. My steps included.

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I spent an inordinate amount of time on this bag.  I’m thrilled that it turned out looking like a museum piece. It’s has structural integrity, but it looks like it should be handled with white gloves.  I think Frida Kahlo might’ve actually carried this.  I’m not sure which of my models for STRUT will be carrying this bag because it works with all four looks. I could do this type of design for days and neither need rest or nourishment.  I love when I’m in “flow” in my studio.  It’s a rare and unbelievably fulfilling time as an artist.

Yesterday’s studio work for the fashion show.

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My designs are coming together for STRUT—Saturday evening, September 12th at 6:30 an 8:30. If you’re in the Burlington, Vermont area you need to get your tickets soon. These shows sell out pretty quickly.  Here’s the link: http://seaba.com/art-hop/strut/