Friday, December 23, 2016

THE HEALING POWER OF ART


My name is Priscilla Smith.  As a textile artist, I focus my art on “social justice” and “anti-war” issues. My art is designed to provoke thought and emotion; to raise consciousness; and to galvanize change. The processes and materials I use are often designed to generate discomfort, sadness, disgust, and shock on the part of the viewer.
So.... this past October, when faced with an upcoming knee replacement, I thought to myself “how wonderful......I’ll have all this time while recuperating to continue making my art, including finishing recently begun pieces on racism; peace and war; gun control; and the Aleppo horrors.



WRONG......OH SO WRONG......during my hospital stay; my 2 week in-patient rehabilitation stay; and now 3 weekly outpatient physical therapy sessions (along with my daily exercise sessions), I found that not only could I not focus on this work for more than a few minutes, but all I wanted to do was completely forget about it.  All I wanted to do was use my beautiful materials to make small baskets.





As I spoke with Marianne, one of my physical therapists, about the fact that my operated on knee felt “warm” all the time, she said to me, “There’s a reason it feels warm.  Just imagine all those wonderful little red blood cells constantly rushing from all parts of your body bringing their healing to that injured knee.” I loved the image and thought those little red blood cells don’t want to be trying to crawl through images of war and cruelty and mean-spiritedness.  It makes their work so much easier to travel through the images of baskets made with beautiful forms and colors and materials. So much easier for them to travel through these baskets filled with loving healing energy made by my own hands.






Her description of these wonderful healing red blood cells rushing to help filled me with awe about the workings of our human bodies.  And helped me to know that at this point in my life, my work with the topics I’ve focused on in the past, needs to be put on hold.   Instead I need to and will make lovely small baskets to support not only my own healing but the healing needed throughout our country and the world.






 BASIC DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING BASKETS 
  1. Find a sandwich size baggie (i.e., used to store food and sandwiches)
  2. Fill it with rice and put a rubber band around the top
  3. Completely cover the rice filled baggie with scotch tape, shaping it as you cover
  4. Create a base of thread around the baggie, weaving in and out as you go; basic white string can be used. For a first basket, it is probably best to cover the space with this base thread about 75 - 80%
  5. Complete the basket by weaving beautiful interesting threads or yarns in and out of the base threads.  I’ve generally covered the base threads when doing this.
  6. When completed, cut the top of the baggie open; pour out the rice; and the baggie.
  7. And there you are.....a beautiful basket.
  8. These can be further embellished with beading; adding natural materials;  etc.

For others, the Art Cloth Network, of which I am a member, asks that each member contribute to our blog on a yearly basis. Hope you enjoy my blog write-up. I have been asked to share it (and the baskets) tomorrow (Dec 23) morning at my physical therapy session.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Exhibition: Anything Goes

The Art Cloth Network is proud to announce a gallery showing of our exhibition entitled Anything Goes. Members were challenged to create art cloth in response to the theme Anything Goes. Unlike earlier exhibitions there was no size requirement. The exhibition is currently on display at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles Porcella Gallery in San Jose, California. It runs now through January 15, 2017. Below are several photos taken at the Museum.






Thanks for Connie Tiegel for helping the Museum set up the show and for getting these pictures to me. Here is a link to the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles: http://www.sjquiltmuseum.org/
And here is a link to close-ups of the show entries on Behance: https://www.behance.net/gallery/32421347/Anything-Goes






On January 14, 2017 Mary Vaneecke will give a presentation         
entitled "Confessions of a Subversive Stitcher". The presentation
will begin at 1:00 and be followed by a reception.






If you are in the San Jose area please drop by and see the exhibition.

Friday, October 7, 2016

2016 Art Cloth Network Meeting a Big Success in Little Rhody

Art Cloth Network held its largest ever annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island last month with 22 members attending.  Much thanks to Mary Ellen Latino, Russ Little, President Wren Slocum, and Jeanne Sisson for arranging the meeting!  Here are just a few of the highlights:

ACN members dining at Circe in downtown Providence.  

Meeting organizers where able to schedule a tour of the RISD Museum for ACN members.  

This is just one of the beautiful murals in the downtown area.  

The show-and-tell portion of the meeting is always a favorite.  Here are just a few members displaying new work: 

 PR/Marketing Chair Barbara James

Catherine Kirsch


Jacque Davis (Chair of the 2018 meeting in St. Louis)

Membership Chair Jeanne Sisson

Judy Langille

Mary Ellen Latino (who helped plan the meeting)

Linda Dawson (ACN webmaster)


Incoming ACN President Russ Little

Our next meeting will be in Savannah, GA,  It is always great to be with your tribe.  Watch this space if you would like to become a part of Art Cloth Network, as our annual membership will begin in early 2017.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Looking for Inspiration

Inspiration is everywhere - in what we see, what we feel, what we read and perhaps even in our dreams.  I am finding inspiration for my most recent work in my surroundings - mostly in nature but also man made elements - even man made forms that have been altered by nature. 

Here some photos that you might also find inspirational.
















Below is a photo of one of my most recent works inspired by tree trunks.



Passages                                                                                                Hand dyed fabrics, machine
Linda Nelson Johnson, 2016                                                                 quilted, raw edge applique
  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

PAPYRUS PILGRIMAGE

In May I had the privilege to visit Gallery Bellomo in Syracuse, Sicily to see papyrus paper being made from the fibrous inner pith of the papyrus plant. In Europe, the only place that this plant grows naturally is on the banks of the Ciane River.  

Here is a photo of the plant growing in Syracuse.


The process includes removing the outer rind of the plant to reveal the inner core that is cut lengthwise into strips. The strips are soaked in water with an antioxidant. This allows the strips to maintain their lovely creamy color. The strips are then arranged side- by -side on a marble slab covered with a cloth. Each strip slightly overlaps the other.




 The next strips are arranged at right angles on top of the first.




While still moist the two layers are compressed with a heavy marble roller.


The resulting sheet is allowed to dry. It can be used as writing paper or used to make art. 



Here is a piece of art I purchased.   


Written by Barbara James

August 14, 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

Digital Design On Fabric

I muse over life I capture through the lens. Inspired by global travel, my current work is developed through digital alchemy, printed on natural fabrics and enhanced with surface design. I strive to create imagery with color, pattern and repetition to produce a magical moment in time.  
 In ACN’s last call for entry, “Anything Goes”, my juried piece was digitally developed in Photoshop with an image of a Vietnamese girl working on a tourist boat. 


After printing on sumptuous silk charmeuse, I applied potato dextrin and thickened dyes. Her Tapestry (30x60) depicts a woman’s simple life working day to day on the Mekong River, “a tapestry to feel & see, impossible to hold”.  

Most recently I created art quilts with a water theme.  I will take you through a series of steps to give you a better understanding of how this process works.
In this example I began with a photo I took while at the Amazon in Peru.
Next I went into an app www.picmonkey.com and redesigned the photo
Next I went into a folder of scanned images I use to layer the design.  I chose a fabric I had stamped (Hand-carved) with inks.

This is the result of adding the layer.

Working with the same app and photoshop I eventually got this result and had it printed on cotton.

 I enhanced the piece by painting with metallic inks and fusing with foil.  I free-motion quilted and bound.  
                                         
 Can You Hear Her Calling? (23x36).
Over the past 15 years I have intensely focused on learning about and working with dyes and numerous surface design techniques on natural fabrics as my canvas. Coupled with a passion for photography, my current work utilizes both mediums through digital technology. After exploring digital design and printing on my own, I took a full time class at RISD in Providence R.I., followed by classes at Cape Cod Art Association and Quilting Art Quilt Tahoe (Jane Dunnewold). I am passionate about creating digital design on lustrous silk and other natural fibers as art cloth and quilts.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of how this works.!