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Where Does Crazy Start

It's hard to know where my 'crazy' starts. Is it with the idea or the implementation? 

Wire stitching detail

This is going to take awhile.....

As Arturo Alonzo Sandoval simply states, "Work produces results." And did you know that Arturo is also one of the Radical Elements artists? It is for the opportunity to show alongside preeminent artists like him that this piece will get done! Work produces results.

Until next time --
MCH

A Perfect Ten

The weather in the Mid-Atlantic area has been incredibly beautiful lately – “perfect” even.  So when the local forecaster described one day last week as being one of the “ten best days of the year” it seemed a shame to squander it indoors.

Perfect Ten blog2

Yet . . . . . I have studio work nipping at my heels. Between lots of summer travelling (fun, fun, fun!) and a distinct lack of motivation (not so fun) my Radical Elements deadline is looming near and it’s essential that I get to work!

Perfect Ten blog1

Turns out I found a way to both enjoy the Perfect Ten day and get some “studio” work accomplished.

I took all the credit card pieces that I’d cut up and my Dremel tool and set up outside to do the shaping and smoothing of the plastic.

Perfect Ten blog3

The added benefit is that it got me rolling and excited about the project again, so I was able to move on to the next step with some solutions to the ideas that have been milling around my head.

And just so you know, I have been working on Radical Elements up to now!  Lots of preparation work like research (on Chlorine, which is my element), sketches, brainstorming, and then winnowing down all the research and ideas into a consolidated “story” to tell. Many of the decisions have to do with which materials to use as we have been challenged to eschew the usual fabric and thread and utilize alternative materials.

Not every step of the project allows me to work outdoors, unfortunately. Today is another one of those Top Ten days, but alas, I will be working in the studio – with the windows thrown open!

Until next time – 
MCH

 

Flora & Fauna

Fiber Art Now magazine put out a call for entry via Facebook not too long ago. The call was for images to be included in a "gallery" spread on the pages of their Summer 2013 issue with the theme, "Flora & Fauna".

Having recently completed "Metamorphosis" I sent along the image and the required info and it was accepted for inclusion!

Metamorphosis full blog

"Metamorphosis" 32" x 11"  ©2013 Martha C. Hall

So, admittedly, I eagerly awaited the delivery of the latest issue to my mailbox last week. It arrived on Friday and here is the gallery spread of 18 diverse techniques and pieces of art. I'm delighted to be included!

FiberArtNow Summer 2013-1From Fiber Art Now, Summer 2013, pages 52 - 53

 

FiberArtNow Summer 2013-2From Fiber Art Now, Summer 2013, pages 54 - 55

 

Here is the cover of the latest issue so you know what to look for. It's available at Barnes & Noble bookstores and you can still recieve it in your mailbox if you subscribe now.

FiberArtNow Summer 2013 Cover

 

Until next time -
MCH

Ducks In A Row

I clipped a quote from Seth Godin at one time and pinned it up on my studio board. It advised along the lines of -- “stop putting all your ducks in a row and do something with the ducks.”

I’ve been doing online research for my Radical Elements project – researching chlorine 

Chlorine symbolwhich is the element I’m depicting. I’ve also been looking up maps and printable maps because that is part of the concept for my Radical Elements “quilt”.

I’ve also been creating lots of sample wire elements in the studio, getting some ideas for how I can use them in the Radical Elements piece.

I haven’t figured the whole thing out yet, but I do have some fairly clear ideas about the direction I’m taking. Part of my concept will require building one of my layers on this board so, of course, I needed to cut and paint the board.

 

Radical Elements board1

 

Building a “quilt” on a board may sound strange, but his project and exhibit are meant to be RADICAL!!! This will definitely not be your grandmother’s quilt!

So, you see, I’ve been getting my ducks in a row and now it is time to do something with the ducks.

 

Until next time -

MCH

Systems and Routines

I’m trying to work out a way to get everything done – like that will ever happen! Trust me, I know all the advice for setting up systems and schedules and routines for doing it all. And I’m trying to implement some of them.

You know, mornings for “this” and afternoons for “that”. Or one day a week for the business of art and the other days, make regular studio hours. But then I look out the window and see all the weeds growing and they need attention too. Not to mention laundry, meals, pay bills…. on and on…..

But we all have that ‘stuff’ to do, it’s not just me. I get to feeling overwhelmed and stuck on what to do next. When I’m in the studio I’m thinking I should be tending the messy gardens (yes, those weeds have really taken over – both my garden and my thoughts), and when I’m in the garden I’m thinking I should be in the studio. And when I get so overwhelmed and really can’t decide, sometimes I just pick up my book, cozy into my chair, and read the time away.

I know I’m not alone. I’ve talked to many friends who are living the same madness.

Anyway……

I’m slowly attempting to establish some routines or systems. Like slowly getting the gardens back into shape. Mark wants me to hire people to come in, but certain places feel like I need to do them so no one carelessly “weeds” out my perennial plants. Some of that I do on the weekends and then I’m thinking a few hours each morning – early and while it’s still cool out. I’ve developed, despite my best efforts NOT to, a spotty case of poison ivy on my forearms. A badge of honor for all my hard work!

 

I pulled out a whole patch of this weed last week.Weeds blog Between this and the groundhogs my beautiful delphiniums have been obliterated. But now I can see these Siberian Iris blooming.

Fountain purple iris blog

 

I want to get to the nursery to get some replacement delphinium. This morning sunshine and cooler weather has returned to the northeast so I will get into the gardens for a few more hours. 

Siberian Iris blog

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday was rainy in the morning so gardening was out. I set a plan – computer work in the morning and studio in the afternoon. Setting a limit on my computer time, knowing I had studio time later, helped me to focus and be more efficient. I think that’s part of the point behind the scheduling system!

 

 

Getting the computer work out of the way helped me to relax during my afternoon studio hours. For the first time in weeks I turned on my sewing machine and stitched! I’ve been doing a lot of wire work lately and not so much sewing. But I worked on a panel of stitched leaves. I have several of these panels prepared and ready to stitch. I showed the process of these a while back here.

 New leaves June

 

Like the looped wire elements I’ve been making, the multitude of stitched leaves is time consuming. But I want LOTS of leaves and need to stitch out each one. As I’ve been engaging in these labor intensive processes I’ve been gaining an acceptance that this is the type of work I like to do. Part of my overwhelm comes from thinking that I’m not producing enough work, not getting things done fast enough. But I’m trying to learn to let go of that “finish fast” mentality and fully engage in and appreciate my process.

I don’t think I’ll ever be of the “fuse it and forget it” school – it’s just not me. I read this article yesterday and it helped to remind me that putting in the time and effort can be so worth it. These are amazing hand cut paper sculptures by Japanese artist Nahoko Kojima. If you watch the video she says that each piece takes her up to five months to create. And they are gorgeous and worth the time.

So..... today’s system includes, writing a blog post (done!), spend one hour on another document I’m editing/creating, 2 – 3 hours in the garden weeding and moving plants, and after lunch an afternoon of studio time.

Until next time --
MCH

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