March 6, 2011

State of the Studio, early March

 There's a lot happening in the studio right now; here's a hodgepodge of photos.
 I spent many cold, dark winter evenings ensconced in my easy chair near the fire, sewing beads to "Squirrel and Locust", the newest work in my Flora and Fauna series, and I finished it up today. It's enormously time-consuming work, but in a pleasant, meditative way, and it has added tremendously to the overall look of the piece so I'm glad to have made the investment.  (You can read more about how I do the beadwork in this previous blogpost.)  Above is just a quick detail snapshot; I'll take the official pictures soon and get them up on the website.  I'm really looking forward to sharing this one and getting some reactions!

I've just about finished a complete studio re-do.   My reorganized space is already a joy to work in, everything is easy to find and the work flows more readily from station to station, so I'm predicting I will be able to up production a notch or two. Today I pinned up the prints and fabrics to audition for "Skunk and Garlic Mustard" on the design wall,  so that I can give that composition some consideration, and just for fun I used my new spacious work table to paint some fabric:

I've discovered some buried treasure, like these shirts and pants I had tailored from handwoven Indian khadi cloth back in my student days in Mysore:
 The colors and textures are so lovely, and all the more interesting from having been washed and worn quite a bit.  As I'm making preparations for a return visit to India this summer, I'm conceptualizing a series of artworks using these garments.  One of the shirts has a prominent stain and will be cut apart, but the rest are so interesting as is that I'm hesitant to deconstruct them.  Stay tuned as I puzzle out their highest and finest re-use.

I spent a snowed-in day scanning a raft of old documents, pictures, and ephemera from my study abroad that are also tweaking the creative neurons in a stimulating way.  I love, love, love this bit of Kannada script that I wrote for an exam.  At one time I was proficient enough at it to get a "B"; unfortunately that knowledge has faded from disuse, but I still admire the graceful beauty of the letter forms:

And last but not least, I rediscovered my fabulous vintage Indian religious comic books, including Shiva Parvati:

Isn't that a cool cover?  It's a very dramatic story, told succinctly in comic book format, and it only set me back 2 rupees.  Good stuff.

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