getting ready for the Faire...

My big art event for the summer is this coming weekend--having a booth at the Midsummer Arts Faire in Quincy, Illinois. It's the only one I'm doing this year, mainly because I missed the deadline for some others.

But I've been spending a good deal of time getting things ready for the booth:

These are cotton shirts I dyed. I also dyed silk scarves to sell. And spent time mounting pieces and cutting mats and framing things. Lots of little, non-creative stuff. The results are ready to go:

I don't mind so much the matting and framing. But I find that I sometimes resent the time spent dyeing scarves and shirts--and yet I need to have them to assure that I get my investment in the art fair back. For some reason, people seem to be able to rationalize or justify spending money on something to wear. But not so much something that just hangs on the wall.

Never mind that art nourishes the soul, evokes emotion, soothes the savage beast. This frustrates me, enough that every year I question why I do art fairs. This particular one has an easy side benefit, in that I will see a lot of old friends. But if I have to make stuff I don't want to make in order to be able to display the stuff I do in the off chance that someone will buy my ART-- not my craft--why am I doing it? Sometimes the answer isn't real clear.

That is all.


Process: drudgery and inspiration

First, the drdugery--getting ready for the Midsummer Arts Faire in a couple of weeks. This involves figuring out how to present a lot of my smaller pieces--in other words, making them look 'like art.' I know, I know, they are 'art', but there's still some resistance to fiber pieces being seen as 'fine art'. I'm doing my part to change that.

So I have these small (4" square) pieces that I want to present. I had been thinking of matting them:

(The shot is more than a little keystoned, but I was in a hurry.) But now I'm leaning towards mounting them on gallery wrapped canvas:

I decided I liked them best on the canvas that was just slightly bigger, painted black. So I went to Dick Blick, bought some and a bottle of artist grade acrylic liquid paint--big improvement over craft paint, only needs one coat--and the result is this currently drying:

The bigger ones are for other, larger pieces. I'm going to put hangers on the back, and am attaching the fiber piece to the canvas with double sided carpet tape. I first tried this a couple of years ago with some pieces that are not for sale, and it's still holding on good. So especially for the small ones, where it would be very hard to sew the piece on, I think this is an acceptable solution.

Now for the inspiration part. I walked today through Sculpture in the Park in nearby St. Charles, Illinois. I think they have this every year. Very cool. Here are a couple of my favorites:

This is C.B. Spine by Todd Willing (I think this is him.) Here's a closeup, love the rust:

And this piece, Nice Pear, by Ray Kobald:

The pear is the classic object for artists to try--but somehow this bronze seems to be a fresh take on the subject.

St. Charles seems to have a real appreciation for sculpture. There are several in their downtown area, and permanent ones installed in many of their parks--including this snapper turtle in Mount St. Mary's park:

The show is free and open until the end of summer. If you can, stop by and see it. Oh,and come see me at the Faire in a couple of weeks.

That is all.


Field Trip

My husband and I took the day off today and went on a field trip to the nearby Morton Arboretum. Arboreta have always been favorites of ours, besides the trees there are usually garden ideas, paths to walk, new flowers to meet. And it's only about 15 miles away from our home. So we became members and can go back for free any time we want.

Along the walks, I found some interesting textures:

Of course, the challenge is how to achieve that in textiles. And here's a landscape shot, showing a nice composition of foreground, midground, background, and of light and dark:

Finding new sources of inspiration is a good thing.

That is all.