Friday, November 19, 2004

"Chick, Chick, Chicken", measuring 30 inches in height. He is silly and made from corduroy. His legs are also filled with rice.

"I wanna hold your hand" monster, measuring 26 inches in height. He has legwarmers and is made from corduroy.

This is what happens when you spend about 14+ hours at school. Oh god. (Also, my tag says "FARTISTE" because I'm a winner.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Earlier this afternoon, I was rummaging through the textiles area of the college library when I stumbled across the Portfolio Collection of Darrel Morris. I recognized the name but couldn't remember the work, which is a little shameful for me (really). Darrel Morris is an artist out of Chicago who does the most beautiful minature embroideries (Going, Going, Gone, embroidery and applique, 5"x11". 2003). I became completely overwhelmed by his work. The odd mixture of simplicity and obsessive stitches is mind blowing. I am inspired to satin stitch everything I see...not sketch, no print, but embroider. God.

So, taking a cue from Mr. Morris, I went to the fabric store I work at and purchased 33 spools of polyester thread. Honestly, I should have just picked one of every colour since the sale was "Buy 1, Get 2 FREE" but that didn't occur to me until after. I am excited about embroidering my sampler for Textile History (which will be visually based on my birth control pills) if only for the process of stitching. I am so inspired!

But what doesn't inspire me is the paper that I have to finish writing tonight after I return from the theatre tonight. My mother bought tickets for herself, my visiting aunt, and I to see Sherlock Holmes at the Max Bell Theatre. It will be a nice break from everything, I think.

This week will be spent at school doing a combination of embroidery, research, felting, dyeing and printmaking (etching, in particular). I intend to overwork myself this week. It will be challenging and good.

More of Darrel Morris' work can be found at gescheidle.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Flannelette will pill if not watched carefully.

I was taking the train just a little while ago, heading from downtown to the Art College, and ended up sitting in front of a giant poster of a semi-naked man. It's part of a huge marketing campaign for the shopping centres in "The Core" of downtown Calgary. Each poster features a naked man/woman holding a photograph of themselves wearing an outfit from the shops downtown, the photograph stragetically placed to hide the right areas. As I was sitting down, with nothing really to look at but this image of a naked man, I noticed that around his ankles were sock-marks. You know, when you pull your socks up and the elastic leaves a little impression on your skin. I wasn't sure if I was seeing things correctly, if maybe it was a scar or a physical blip on the poster, but no--it was on the other leg too. I'm not sure why I was so amused at this. Maybe because no one noticed during the shoot, and even still no one noticed during the editting process of the images. Mostly I think it is because those little sock impressions about mid-calf on his leg meant that he's a real person. He had to take off his clothes before doing the shoot, his socks probably the last thing to come off and the first thing to go on. All of a sudden this image of a really buff and cut young man on a poster wasn't just some anonymous piece of meat because those socks allowed a peak into a life that would have been otherwise irrelevant to the poster itself.

Yea, and that was earlier this morning.

Right now I am sitting in a deserted computer lab at school. Occasionally someone will walk by behind me but not often. The batteries are dead in my discman so I have to work in silence, something I've always hated doing. I didn't have enough time to get a coffee this morning before leaving (I was late to meet someone) so I'm stuck with a bottle of iced tea.

I have to write an essay for a midterm I have tomorrow afternoon, 600-700 words on the historography of textiles. I'm trying not to get stressed over it because it's not really worth my time. I have too many other things to do. Tonight, Ryan and I are going to my parents' place to eat their food (like good little broke-ass artists) and he's going to quiz me on the characteristics of cotton, linen, silk and wool. It should be interesting.

On one last note, Carly and I saw The Motorcycle Diaries last night at the Uptown. It was fantastic. Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal is an exceedingly handsome man, holy crap. The movie was also very good. Heh.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

There is something so wonderful about this weather. I am a winter baby, born in the eye of a blizzard in the middle of January. The snow keeps everything clean and crisp. The world is very quiet when it snows, every little noise muffled and unimportant. This weather makes being alone easy as it inspires indepth introspection.

Last week I complained that this snow came too soon but now that I've had a week to adjust, I'm glad this city has it. I'm ready for winter. Bring it on.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The home studios are always busy with activity, especially with a wee pup running around. Munchie, our resident Fibre pug, is a hyper active little devil that slides across the floor at record speed and loves to nibble on sweater buttons. This is my friend Wednesday holding her in an attempt to calm the critter down. It didn't really work. Heh.

School is going super fast and I can't seem to get everything done. All I want to do is sleep whenever I get home because the idea of written homework seems way too daunting. Midterm on Monday, essays for Thursday, projects for the following week, etchings to etch, prints to print, sleep sleep sleep. I'm running with my head cut off but it's alright.

Good thing? I received my school health and dental refund which means I'm $200 richer! Excellent. I am now sitting at a cool $800. Go savings!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Oh dear.

Monday Blues:

  • the snow has started to fall and doesn't seem to be stopping.

  • I don't own suitable winter boots and can't find anything that fits my feet or my taste.

  • there is another coldsore festering on my bottom lip. This one is going to be a motherfuckin' doozy and I'm totally not impressed.

  • the pancakes I had for breakfast were too greasy.

  • my hair resembles a wig.

  • both of my forearms have broken out with eczema.

  • I'm stressed and depressed.

  • did I mention I look and feel like a walking rash? Guh.

I think I am ready for today to be overwith and something better to start. I'm going to hide in bed and pretend the rest of the world doesn't exsist. Crappy days suck.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

This morning I managed to successfully dye two gigantic pieces of felt. The dye vats were being so wonderful for me today, giving me the exact colours I wanted. I have finally gotten over my fear of dyeing wool and have perfected acid dye techniques without much of a screw-up. I love how quickly wool accepts dye. It just sucks it right up!

One of the really cool things about felting this morning was how the purple piece of felt turned out. I was originally trying to make a long piece of yardage sandwiching a layer of cheesecloth in between two layers of fleece, hoping that the fleece would pucker through the open weave of the cheesecloth. I don't know if it was because I wasn't that patient, but it just wouldn't felt together and started to split apart. Now, I'm not one to get discouraged so quickly into a process because I believe in letting the materials work for you--minimal involvement is sometimes really effective. Tired of hand felting, I threw it into the clothes dryer for about a half hour. When I pulled it out, I ended up with this fabulous piece of felt. The dye process, while somewhat uneven due to the fact that I didn't mix the red and blue dyes that well, enhanced the irregularities of the felt. When I hung it up on the drying rack I noticed that a huge pouch had formed within the felt. There is so much going on in that one piece that I'm overwhelmed! Originally it was going to be used as yardage to cut into monsters but now that I've taken a few steps back I realize how great it is on its own. Felting,'s so exciting!

Later this week I'm developing wooden frames for new sculptures. There will be a lot of technical stuff to fiddle with but in the end it's going to be fantastic. I need to purchase more fleece so I can felt my way into the future! Woo!

But in the meantime, I have to head to a drapery seminar being held at the fabric store I work at. I'm totally not amused with going. Thankfully, I was invited out to a poetry reading at The New Gallery so I can leave early. Going to work when you don't need to really sucks. I'm going to take any excuse I can get if it means I can get out of going. Sigh.