Thursday, February 21, 2013

Late again posting and not much felting.

I sat down to write a blog post last weekend but got interrupted and never got back to it. (I got interrupted two more times since). I have realized that I am doing the same thing with my blog that I used to do with writing letters. Yes, I am old enough to remember when we used to write full page letters, sometimes many pages. I tended to put off my letter writing because I felt like I needed a big chunk of time to do it in, and had to be in the right mood, and...well you get the picture. And the longer I put it off the more there is to say to catch up on all the 'doings'. So today I am just going to bang a post out and not worry too much about what it says or how it is written. I also have not been felting much or taking many photos and the photos are the best part.
The non-creative, non-felty things I have been doing include taking care of (aka just watching) these new chicks; though with two mommas they don't need any watching.

Even though they are much more feathered out now they still get cold and have to snuggle under mom sometimes...

The cold weather has been making chicken and duck care a bit more of a chore because of the frozen waterers and not being able to use the hose to fill them. The other day the ducks got fed up enough with not being able to properly bathe that one of them tried this...

That was funny but this is just all kinds of wrong.

Along with the cold dealing with the clean up after the blizzard (named Nemo by the national weather but Charlotte here in CT) took a lot more time than I expected. We got just under 2 feet of snow and not much wind so we were quite lucky. 

 I had quite a time digging a path to the door of the chicken coop, first I had to 'shovel' the trees!

 I don't think I have ever seen the front porch covered this much with snow.

Here is proof that ducks are dumber than chickens. The chickens did not even cross the threshold but the ducks tried to fly/swim through the snow as though there was some place without snow to go to, quacking loudly the entire time. I had to pick one of them up to put it back in the coop when it became exhausted with the effort.

With Dad's help I finished mounting my Tiffany window piece just in the nick of time to enter it in to the West Hartford Art League's 'Out of the Loop' fiber art show.

When I dropped it off I was a bit disgusted to see that one of my former students submitted the piece that she had made in my class. This is the third time that has happened even though I tell students that this is not allowed since the piece is in part mine. Many exhibits state in their rules that pieces done in a workshop or with an instructor are not allowed. Sigh, I guess that is just the risk of sharing knowledge and techniques, but that does not make it right.
While I was down in that area of the state I indulged in a trip to Dick Blick, a large art supply store. Among the items I purchased were fabric printing inks. My mother used to do silk screening and we still have all the tools. I only did a bit of experimenting but I can see a lot of possibilities for making patterned silk to use in my felting. I really want to explore the ways that the transparent inks overlap. It is similar to watercolors in that way. I played with monoprinting too and loved that. Before I do any more I want to see how the fabric felts in.

The one bit of felting I did was rather involved and kind of mixed media. I have been wanting to do a still life. But since I have a habit of not just trying one new thing in a piece I also explored painting on the felt....and I did more exploring of my idea of creating a kind of relief picture. The piece is also about art vs. craft. What is it that makes one thing automatically considered ART? Is it the medium? There seems to be a kind of hierarchy in the art world with sculpture and oil painting being at the top. A still life is such a classic genera of the painting realm. In art history it is easy to see how this attitude could have developed. A friend who bought one of my pastel paintings often asks me if I have done any more painting and says he doesn't 'get' my felt work. I will admit that this attitude has changed some over the years; and that even I have the same prejudice. That is why I was so thrilled when one of my felt pieces got an award in a traditional 'fine art' show.
I am quite pleased with how the piece came out, especially since I was not looking at an actual still life and was just working from memories, but in the photo below you will see that my critics are not too sure about it.

 It is hard to see in the photo but the vase and table edge come out from the background by about an inch and a couple of the pussy willow stems are fully three dimensional. I painted the edges of the canvas and some of the edges of the felt as well.

The rest of my time has been spent doing some much needed cleaning and organizing here. I decided to schedule a 'felt-together' with friends to give me incentive to do those tasks that can always be put off until tomorrow. So this weekend I will get to do some felting and definitely have some fun.