Thursday, June 26, 2008

Marinating Your Head

Lauren wrote to me after seeing an HBO documentary "Painting with Words" about writer David McCullough (I haven't watched it yet.) One of the phrases she recounted that David uses in describing his creative process is "marinating your head" -- soaking up atmosphere and inspiration before beginning projects. What a great analogy and how appropriate to the way I work.

Obviously two whirlwind days cruising through NYC and two amazing museums, the Metropolitan AND MoMa created a wonderful marinade. Enjoying time with my son, who also loves art , seeing his new apartment and neighborhood and taking several long walks through Central Park added to the pleasure of the trip. I made up for the loss of sleep with long naps yesterday and today am heading up to my studio to steam and wash out two pieces of silk, then lay out and print several more to process tomorrow. Making new cloth is the name of the game this summer, along with experimenting with calligraphy symbols and then incorporating some onto the cloth surfaces in some way.

One piece that I printed (the yellowish-orange places are the dried resist) is much darker than the other one.

Both the lighter and darker values will be quite useful. I'm interested to see how the resist marks look once they're steamed and rinsed. I'll screen text and paint language marks on these surfaces for new Pages constructions.

My trip to NYC also offered me an early morning hour to sit quietly in the second floor Barnes and Noble cafe' overlooking Fifth Avenue, where I people watched and sketched out several new ideas for Pages constructions. Getting an image in my mind of how I can put the elements together in a new way increases my eagerness to get back to work.

Another happy bit of news arrived via e-mail while I was away -- my class, Experimental Painted Textiles, at the Memorial Art Gallery, has enough students enrolled for the three afternoon class on July 14-16. I plan to use different types of resists for creating textural marks in each of the three sessions. We'll work with cut and torn paper, then water soluble liquid and soy wax resist. The goal of the class is to become more familiar with fabric painting and to translate marks and patterns from nature onto cloth surfaces. If you live in the Rochester, NY area, check out the workshop description at

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