Fabric Meditation

Well, so now we know that the mental state in which Kathy is most content is while she is picking fabric out for her art quilts. I can live in that state and push all the stupid crap and stress and depression and did I mention stupid crap? I can push it all out the door, slam the door on its face, and keep that damn door closed as long as I’m working and for a good period of time afterward. It is unfortunate that not ALL the stages of artmaking are so effective at calming my overactive mind. It really is a form of meditation. I’ve actually blown off meditation the last two nights and it’s been fine, because I spent 3 hours meditating with fabric each night.

I’m not really sure what to do with that information now, but…

So I met my goal for once! A miracle! Let’s not consider that I expect to be done with ironing AND cutting out in 9 days. And I’m days behind in grading. Priorities! I actually did a lot of yardwork yesterday before I ever started ironing. I started on Saturday night, in the almost dark, by sweeping around the pool, trying to clean up the crap from the storm last week, and then trying to clear the path to the upper yard, because Katie (mom has recorrected my spelling…apparently my dad doesn’t know how to spell his dog’s name…I’m sure Katie doesn’t give a freak. She’s just happy. HAPPY.) is scared of my yard in the dark, and ended up peeing on the path instead of heading for the plantlife. So Sunday, I went out in actual daylight…it was a gorgeous day, not too hot, perfect fall weather here (which will disintegrate into hot again this week), and it was nice to be out there cleaning up and trimming things. Yo Dad…I filled all 6 trashcans that they’ll pick up and I have two more ready for next week! So probably 2 hours were spent checking things off the list and making it easier to look around the house and not be dismayed by how it is falling apart.

Did I grade? Fuck no, I did not grade. Hanging head in shame. Sigh. Teaching. It really is not an easy job. Certainly not if you want a life.

But the girlchild was gone to a birthday party last night, so I had dinner in the oven and I started looking at fabrics for the two birds in this quilt. I used to do simple birds, less than 20 pieces. These suckers are over 70 pieces each.

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with a run of 7 colors to do it properly. So I was trying to decide for almost 20 hours…do I go for realistic bird colors or out-there? Or parrot? Or raven (not good on a dark background)? Or what? I finally decided to start with the browns, because I want the main figures to pop more, and there is brown in the tree that will echo down the side into the birds. I actually stand there and stare at the drawing and go through the color ranges visually in my head, coloring it all in my head as I stare at it.

I had out one of the smaller bins of browns that I use (this is the smallest bin by far), because it has most of my newer fabrics in it, and I laid out the range on the right…

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Browns are another difficult color to get a range in…some are very gray, some very red, some have that orange/yellow tint. The last two purplish-brown colors were the tailfeathers.

Once I had all those, though, I had to decide what to do with the decorative parts of the bird, and that’s when the color forced itself in…

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Ayep. This bird is not fucking demure. Anyway, I had all the Wonder Pieces laid out behind and laid out all the bird pieces for both birds before I ironed…

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It took a while. And then the next part was the fleshy bits. There are two figures in the quilt and I tried really hard to keep them relatively simple, compared to some of my figures…mostly because I realize I am going to run out of time if I don’t stay realistic on this piece in terms of details.

Anyway, I spent a good hour (after 11 PM) laying out human figure pieces, focusing only on the flesh colors, pushing all the other stuff (heart, lungs, pubic hair and the like) out of the way for later. I had the flesh colors laid out and was putting all the pieces on top of them for ironing, when I realized there was no way I was going to finish last night. I might be able to lay them all out if I stayed up until 1, but that kinda kicked my ass last week, and I’m trying to be better. And then it would take me at least an hour to iron them all down. But I didn’t want the cat to be able to jump up and dislodge pieces after I’d spent so long figuring out what went where, and even an errant breeze would be an issue at the moment, so I put each color in a bin with all its pieces…

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So I can finish it up tonight. I don’t know how many pieces I got done last night, because none of these are ironed and I was pulling pieces from the bins numbered 300-700 for the flesh colors, but leaving a bunch behind for later, and I still have to get the male’s neck and head out of the 800 bin. And I think some of his fingers are still on the table. So yeah. Maybe by tonight, I will have everything through the 800s ironed down, although it seems like a lot…I am on a roll, though.

I guessed about 12 hours for ironing down to fabric and I’ve hit the halfway mark. I’ll know better after tonight how close I am to my original estimate. Progress! Progress is good. And I really like the mindstate I’m in when I iron. It’s peaceful. I’m mostly content.

I had both dogs in here, underfoot, at one point…

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But mostly I just get one. This one is a little crazy.

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Someone spiked her punch I think.

An article on the Fence/Barda exhibit is here…it’s nice to get some publicity up in LA for one of our shows; she surely read my blogpost on the FIG website, which is also good. Too bad they didn’t link to us.

This is a DALeast video of painting a whale on a wall.

I love how he is so nonchalant with his painted lines. They are so simple up close, but make such a complicated image from far away. I did spend a little time this weekend reading on the couch and reading art blogs for inspiration and peaceful thinking. Gotta take care of ALL the parts of the brain, best I can.

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