Saturday, August 16, 2008

One Thing Leads to Another

I'm in cutting mode again. I need to deliver the Pages 3 piece to the U of R library this Thursday and made the choice to recreate a nearly identical piece rather than hang the existing one. The library is respecting my decision, even though they were happy with the original work. However, because this sheer, constructed piece will be hanging in a public space where hundreds of students will be moving past it day in and day out, I want to recreate it with many more lines of stitching to support it for a very active, public environment.

I've been dyeing yards and yards of new fabric in a variety of combinations to recreate just the right shade of gray. Since I work intuitively, I don't keep detailed notes on my dye combinations, so I was delighted and relieved when I finally captured the same gray as the previous piece has. The other yardage will be wonderful beginnings for future pieces. Yesterday I screenprinted and started cutting the yardage into the tiny rectangles. Today I'll complete all the cutting and start gluing the individual pieces to the water soluble fabric.

Since the piece will be hanging on a green wall rather than a white or gray one, I also have decided to make matching gray hanging sleeves for this piece. I don't like the look of the white hanging sleeve behind the gray pieces, particularly because the library wall where it will be installed is a deep green rather than white.
It will be interesting to see what impact a colored wall behind the work will have on it. I'm also adding a sleeve and rod at the bottom of the piece so it will hang straight down and not billow as students walk by. In the gallery exhibition, shown above, the pieces were hung lower and folded on the floor. The library wants to hang it higher and off the floor. I'm sure these types of small refinements will strengthen the series as it progresses.

Meanwhile, even as I'm working non-stop to get this piece finished and installed by Thursday,
synchronicity keeps bringing offerings to my doorstep to broaden my wealth of reference material and crystallize some new directions and steps. The bookmaking class provided some new structures to consider for my work plus new artists to research, both contemporary and 20th century ones.

Also, this week's mail brought a second issue of a publication called "Letter Arts Review" that I subscribed to several months ago. It's available through -- and while it's expensive, it's proving to be a valuable resource for discovering other artists working with letterforms and calligraphy. The very first article in "Letter Arts Review" begins with a quote from Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche: "It is possible to make a brush stroke that expresses your whole life."

How can I help but continue to think about language marks and their powerful expressiveness while I am working on meeting this deadline for next week?


  1. Interesting to read how you are thinking through the ramifications of where your artwork will be installed. I recently had work in an exhibit space that was a narrow hallway. As I watched my pieces flapping as people walked by, I realized I will need to consider weighing down some of my pieces with a bottom rod as well. First time that had ever come up and it certainly never crossed my mind.

  2. Very impressive work, Jeanne... I love installation shots, they say so much more about the work.