Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Copper Chiffon

So simple, yet elegant, chiffon poncho, pole wrapped, and shibori dyed in copper, rust and olive.

“Stand up straight, Rose,” her mother said while she wrapped chiffon around her, estimating the amount needed.
“Do you like it, Rose?” She was designing her prom dress. It was only pinned together.
She thought about the way Echinacea had decorated her rooms. Decorated was not the correct word. Echinacea didn’t decorate. She made art, finding places to hang shawls and skirts. Learning from Echinacea, Rose decided, had been as exciting as any art class she ever took.
excerpt from my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Hand felted on the FeltLOOM, merino, alpaca and silk, shibori dyed, beaded, and painted with acrylics.

In my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal,  I, (a.e. the Garden Girls) layer on everything; paint, pencils, fabric. I'm still layering; felt, silk, paint, and beads.  My next show at MS Rezny Gallery in November will be titled, "Layered, a fantasy memoir."  It will be a visual memoir.  Instead of words, it will be paintings, felt, silk, artist books, and, okay, there will still be some text.

“When I grow up,” Rose says, “I want to be like Sage.”
“And how’s that?” Honeyrose asks. Reaching into a red velvet bag she pulls out small scraps of torn paper and places them on the altar. Then to keep them from blowing in the wind and in preparation for uncovering stories, she layers on pencils, one for each of us just in case we forgot to bring our own.
“What is it about Sage you yearn for?” Gardenia asks.
“For one,” Rose says, “her authority. She speaks and she thinks and she lives with authority. I feel it in her words, I hear it in her tone, and when I look at her picture on my altar, I see it in her face. What I want to know is when did she begin to speak with such strength?” Using her walking stick, Rose pushes dried leaves, sticks and moss off a flat rock, creating the perfect place, with a view of the pond through the trees, on which to sit and ponder.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Green or Greens

Is it the greens we eat or green we wear that empowers us the most?

This green shibori dyed silk charmeuse and devore was unwrapped from the  pole, hung on the clothes line, then transformed via serger and sewing machine for an evening of play and strut.  You can find her at Koi Gallery in the Galt Hotel in Louisville.

 Artemisia, old, wise and playful, arrived in a bark beret, brings violets and greens. (The secret ingredient for achieving a powerful menopause).
This gathering, my dear, is the beginning of unknown inquiries. We have no idea what we are going to inquire about. With blue beads in her hair, Honeyrose, the woman I am to become, says, “Our life is not our circumstances, our life is our story.” I gather the Garden Girls to discuss concerns significant not only to our selves but to every weed, tree and shrub that surrounds us.
excerpt from my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Black & White

Black & White Poncho, white devore, black crepe with opening for arm

Serging and Sewing While Steaming

Stage 7 Steaming
Unwrapped from the shibori pole silks are steam set

 Stage 8  Serge and sew
All stations are full, I move on to sewing and serging black and white while.  While it's not color, my forte, there have been requests.  This back and white will soon become a caftan jacket.

Stage 9 Pondering
All the while asking what to do with this newly dyed green.

Honeyrose stares up at the trees. Her colors are brilliant, precise and in immaculate order. “When ideas sift and filter,” she says, “words penetrate your soul, the place where intimacy grows. Then you can . . .”
“Listen to your body,” Clove chimes in.
Honeyrose nods, “And speak what you know.” She affirms.
Sitting down on an old sycamore stump her voice softens. “Authority,” she continues, “is to articulate with passion—using your power tone—the stories only Garden Girls know.” Since Honeyrose is the woman I am to become, I listen very closely. 
excerpt from my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Today's Itinerary

Today I unwrap the silk from the poles that I had shibori dyed several days ago.  This Kentucky humidity means it takes forever for them to dry.  At least in the winter I can set them by the wood stove.  In summer, all I can do is wait, and work to fill other stations of perpetual works in progress and gather with artist friends to discuss sources of inspiration, work load and destinations.

“Where are you headed?” Artemisia asked.
That was the purpose of the gathering. The women had become fractured. All four were going in separate directions. Gardenia had begun to question the extent to which she was leaving home. Nettles was concerned about spending more time in the garden. Herbs were drying and she had begun to get pictures of presents in her mind that she could make with them. Lily’s silk painting was stuck and Rose was feeling like she wasn’t really expressing herself fully. That’s why she called the gathering.
“Let’s talk about us,” she said in the postcard she had mailed each Garden Girl. “What if we were real artists? What would life be like then?” 

excerpt from my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

On Being Prolific

Station 1.  Fabric scoured with synthrapol
Station  2.  Poles cleaned
Station  3. Fabric wrapped on poles or ropes
Station 4.  Fabric shibori dyed

“Let’s talk about us,” she said in the postcard she had mailed each Garden Girl. “What if we were real artists? What would life be like then?”
Rose wasn’t often inclined to think about the real artist versus the not real artist. She was trying to avoid thinking. When thinking began, doing didn’t. It had occurred to her more than once that she could only do one thing at a time and do it well. But she wanted to know what the others were thinking.
“If you get your fingers dirty,” Nettles told her, “you will better understand your art and you’ll recognize it when it calls you. Sometimes you just have dig in, no matter what. Work always produces results, you know.”
excerpt from my memoir, The Garden Girls Letters and Journal