the road. . .

. . . is calling. Itchy feet. "Nogi na dorogi," [legs on the road] in Russian (where's that Cyrillic font when I really want it?!) Doesn't this look inviting? It's in the Finger Lakes, between Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes, in Milo, I think, a few weeks ago. I've taken photos like this in Nevada. And Kansas, Wyoming, California. We've built roads everywhere, and all of them appeal to me. I want to see them all, to drive them, to walk them, to be there. Ah.


a large fiber project

Jennifer Marsh in Syracuse, NY, is in charge of the International Fiber Collaborative, the point of which is to think about our dependence on oil. The project consists of collecting 3-foot-squares, made of some sort of fibers, that will be joined together to cover an abandoned gas station in DeWitt, NY. The installation will start in April 2008.

My contribution to the project is "Sunset over Picnic." The center is knitted; the background is upholstery fabric that could be used as a tablecloth—very picnic-like, eh? We tend to drive to parks to have picnics; we depend on our automobiles to get out there to see Nature in all its eventfulness.


blue: in memory of marjorie

Back in 2002, I made this quilt in memory of a woman who loved the color blue and loved me, too. It now lives in North Carolina with her son, whom she loved very, very much and who shows her influence in everything he does. Marjorie died in 1992. And I didn't realize until just this moment, writing this, that it was a 10th anniversary of her death that this quilt marked. Sigh.

She had been a school librarian with an adventurous streak. The rail fence quilt block forms the way she hoped the world would see her, but the tumbling blocks at the bottom are how she really interacted with those she loved: passionate, active, and just a little bit wacky.


snow on leaves

Thanksgiving Day is quiet. Snow on leaves is the weather. Baking is the kitchen activity. Music, books, art, and friends make up the rest of the day. Peace.


lumpy's view

A friend of mine found a wonderful link to a website on which a woman had done nearly all of the research to understand copyright that collagists need. She tends to have a better-safe-than-sorry view of what is useable by the collage artists and does equate it all to the music sampling example, echoing my view. Find the site here. I would hate to see any part of my own work in anyone else's without them having asked for permission from me.

Meanwhile, Lumpy had found the warm spot on the library floor, next to the couch skirt that was closest to the hot air register. I have since moved the furniture for the winter so that he doesn't have to smush himself to get warm.

more collage

I have received some feedback on my concern about copyright and fair use of images for collage and been given to understand that it is expected that collagists will use published images to make their artworks and that I shouldn't worry about it. I guess. Ok.

Meanwhile, here is a collage postcard that I made about 20 or so years ago, called "Want to Play with Me?" All of the pieces here are from public domain images provided by Dover Publications specifically for this kind of use.



The other day, I took a collage class (paper) with Candy Lucas in Auburn, NY. It was an interesting day of cutting pictures out of magazine and catalog pages and putting them together to create some sort of image. This is my result, called "Warning." It was fun, but I think I will stick with fabric. I am uncomfortable with using published images to make my own. It's too close to copyright infringement in my mind. If I know that the pictures are in the public domain and I've acquired them from the public domain—any government publication, for example—then that's one thing. But using things that are covered by an existing copyright, even a small part, makes me wriggle. It's analogous to sampling music. Just how much is "fair use?"


leaves on water

Here's an image of a pool of water onto which several different types of leaves had fallen. Below the surface is a seagrass of some sort, too, waving in the water's flow. I think an interesting project would be to have any number of people take this image and produce their own piece inspired by it: fabric, paint, clay, whatever works. What do you think? Want to try it? Send me an email and we'll go from there.



Somewhere on my travels in the last few weeks, I noticed this Tin Man attached to the front of a middle-sized truck—not a semi, but the size down with the box attached to the cab, not hinged. And then I saw the driver; he looked EXACTLY like the doll. He was walking across the parking lot too fast to get a photo, and how would I explain wanting to post his photo on my blog, eh? I would probably have to have him fill out a permissions form and all that. Whew! And then I realized that I didn't need to take a picture of the guy. The doll looked EXACTLY like him. Well, except that the doll looks much wackier than the guy did. He looked pretty normal. The doll looks like the guy most likely feels when in traffic with cars cutting in front of him and getting in his way.

Come to think of it, the Tin Man looks the way I feel when in traffic.


quilt for alzheimer's research

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative auctions off art quilts every month to help support research into the disease. This little piece, "I Want To Be An Elephant" will be available through this website sometime in the near future. My artist's statement, written with the help of a good writer, reads:
When I was a young child, I heard a joke that went, “Why do elephants paint their toenails red?” The punch line was, “So that they can hide in cherry trees.” The joke was then followed by the question, “Have you ever seen an elephant in a cherry tree?” Since I hadn't, I was assured that it was because of those red toenails. My whole life since then, every time I see a cherry tree I look carefully, trying to find an elephant.
Sometimes I paint my toenails red. And when I am alone, with just my toes and me, I wonder if my family and friends know where I am. I wonder if they are searching in the cherry trees.


stupid creatures

At a recent quilting retreat with a group of the most delightful people, I made these two fellows: Watson on the left; Campbell on the right. They are based on John Murphy's book, Stupid Sock Creatures. If ever one is stuck creatively, these are great for getting into that flow of no-thinking-just-making. Now, not everything is always perfect in that river of non-thought. There is a third creature, Matilda, who I just couldn't get right, no matter what I did. Or so I thought. The rest of the group thought that she was just fine, so she has gone home with one of them and has a support group through them. I was ready to dismantle her, but she was saved. Here she is with one of my handknitted sock monkeys. (I like the sock monkey better, even though he looks demented, I admit. Sigh.)