Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pushing Boundaries

Pushing Boundaries

I have just passed the one year anniversary of my move to a professional studio space so of course I am thinking about what has happened over the past year.

First of all, I absolutely love having my studio in a busy arts center. I do get interruptions occasionally but I also get amazing inspiration, support and encouragement. I have learned so much about art and the creative process by hanging out with a wide variety of artists including oil and acrylic painters, photographers, jewelers, potters and even a few knitters.

One of the biggest growth opportunities this last year is because Cottonwood Center for the Arts hosts themed exhibits 6-8 times a year. Each exhibit challenges me to learn more about art history and theory. I try to enter as many as possible and even though I don’t always get in the show I learn so much that it really doesn’t matter. I was more than thrilled to be accepted into the abstract and postmodern exhibits this spring.

This piece, Does it Matter? was accepted into the Postmodern show. I and many of the other artists at Cottonwood spent considerable time discussing exactly what is Postmodern art. It is still confusing but I was thrilled to have one of my pieces get in. Competition for these exhibits is pretty intense.  During the show I had quite a few great conversations with viewers about my piece and the question it asks. Great fun. I didn't have good photo lighting for this piece. The background is flat black like a chalkboard.

As you can see my work is changing! I still love collage but am moving away from it to a more abstract expression. I have been working very small; 4" square and 8" square but I just ordered a canvas that is 2' x 8' for a whole cloth piece I have been working on. Being part of a thriving art center has encouraged me to push at the boundaries of my textile art. I can't wait to see where I go next!

Friday, July 4, 2014


Have you heard of the artist named Swoon? She is not to be missed. Natalya here to tell you about Swoon's exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. It was a spur of a moment visit, I only had my iPhone to take pictures with and I took a gazillion. No worries, it was painful, but I edited them down to just a few...

You do have until August 24th to go see this for yourself, but in case that doesn't fit into your summer schedule, here's a brief review and many links. Caledonia Dance Curry is quite an accomplished artist who started with traditional training (she attended my Alma Mater Pratt Institute), but after graduating was very discouraged with the gallery system and became a street artist. She has managed to fashion an amazing career from that start and is now an artist with exhibits all over the world. She known for her installations and this is her latest at the Brooklyn Museum.

I had never seen her installations before, just have heard about her and seen a bit about her in a documentary film Our City Dreams. Needless to say that I was completely overwhelmed by what I saw and I'm sure Kristin can confirm that my jaw was on the ground. The scale of this installation is immense and cannot be expressed in these photos. Do see the videos in the links above to get a sense of the scale.
plastic drop cloth (my heart fluttered). Swoon used the drop cloths that protected the walls during the installation in the installation.
gigantic tree draped in cloth and lacy cut outs for leaves is at the center and made for very dramatic shadows
cardboard tubes in a beehive like hut
a collage of larger than life prints of her beautiful drawings
delicate cut outs are draped on the floor where they curve and produce wonderful shadows
here are the tree roots, so you can see the fabric
more amazing drawings
two large handmade boats are part of the installation (made from scraps), but I was fascinated by the lace sails and the shadows they made
my kind of whimsical
this is a top portion of one of the boats
lacy cut outs cover many walls and backs of large figures
Hope you do get to see this exhibit, it's worth the trip! And happy Independence Day USA!