Monday, December 22, 2014

Santa With A Gun Is Not A New Concept


A poster from the Office for Emergency Management, War Production Board, circa. 1942 - See more at: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/a-pictorial-history-of-santa-claus/#sthash.9ijoo2j6.dpuf


This week I saw a news report about a billboard out west somewhere featuring Santa hold an assault rifle.  The business which sponsored the ad said it was a positive image as Santa didn't have his finger on the trigger.  Give me a break.  Why can't people leave somethings alone and let us have a moments rest from all the violence in the world.

This morning I was looking for an image to feature here for the week and found a sight that has an interesting history of how Santa Clause has "evolved".  The images are in the public domain and there I found the one I've posted here.  It reads, "In the U.S. Second World War poster below Santa takes a radical departure from the jolly red suit and dons the dour shades of war. - See more at: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/a-pictorial-history-of-santa-claus/#sthash.9ijoo2j6.dpuf".  I guess the billboard wasn't so unique after all.


Thomas Nast’s most famous drawing, “Merry Old Santa Claus”, from the January 1, 1881 edition of Harper’s Weekly. - See more at: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/a-pictorial-history-of-santa-claus/#sthash.9ijoo2j6.dpuf

I'd like to say that I find the idea of an "armed" santa offensive.  I prefer the idea of the jolly ole elf puffing his pipe (with tobacco) giving toys to good little boys and girls not being used for propaganda of a government agency or a commercial business.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying a fair tale even if for a little while.

Merry Christmas to you all and my all your holiday dreams come true.



Monday, December 15, 2014

"The 100" Fundraiser for The American Cancer Society



Leaving the Solar System
Terry Jarrard-Dimond
Fabric, charcoal, ink and stitching - 15" x 15" - 2014





Join me for "The 100" to be held on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. The goal for this fiber fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is to raise $10,000 in one day.   My piece "Leaving the Solar System" is one of the 100 pieces being offered.


How do you participate? All the details are here: http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/FFACThe100Fundraiser.html

It's really an extraordinary line-up of international fiber artists. I'm sure you will want to be one of the very exclusive 100 patrons.


Fiberart For A Cause has already raised $240,000 through the generosity of fiber artists and patrons.

Thank you for stopping by
Studio 24-7
I love hearing from you and appreciate your comments.
Be sure and checkout this excellent fundraising event!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Self Critique - Learning to Evaluate Your Own Work - Part 2

One aspect of evaluating work which I spoke about last week was spending time looking at your work.  I can't tell you how critical this is.  Some of the artists who participated in this project mentioned hanging their work and looking at the work at a distance.  This is good practice.  Most good work will appear somewhat different close up or at a distance.  If the work is large you have to get some distance in order to see the work with some perspective.  A small piece presents an opportunity for a more intimite experience and may not be very engaging at a distance but until you hang the work for review you may not be fully aware of how the work will show.

Even after all this looking you may not be sure if the work is finished and you may just have to give yourself time to see the work with what I call "fresh eyes".  These are the eyes that aren't "in love" with what you think the piece looks like or what you want the piece to be.  The fresh eyes are more removed and more objective allowing you to see the flaws if there are any and the beauty or statement or attitude that you are seeking in your work.

It's kind of fun to hang the work and stroll by it pretending you are visiting a gallery or museum and seeing the work for the first time.  Are you engaged?  Does it make an impression?  Does it require you to stop and think or does it give you the full story in one glance?  Leslie Riley says she likes to question herself to make sure the work has met the criteria and objectives she establishes before she begins a work. 

With all of this evaluation going on I was curious as to how many of the artists kept notes, journals or sketchbooks which might later be used to refresh their thoughts when a specific work was made.  Here the responses were more varied.  While some of the artists mentioned keeping technical notes or making sketches Kathleen Loomis revealed that she often writes about her work on her blog: Art With A Needle.  She stated that while she writes about work in progress she does not post photographs of a piece until it is complete and often not until it has been accepted into a show.  Her decision is based on the fact that if you show a picture of a work and mention that you are trying resolve some issue readers often want to comment and help you solve the problem.  Kathy feels solving the problems is her job.  I agree but appreciate her writing about her process.

More on this next week.

Thanks for stopping by
Studio 24-7.
Now go into your studio, hang something on
the wall and enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Self Critique - Learning to Evaluate You Own Work

A couple years ago I was ask to give a talk on how to critique your own work.  While I've been doing this for myself since graduate school I had never given too much thought to what that process was or how you might share this important information with other artists, especially artists who have not had this formal education.

When I originally began looking into this idea of critiquing yourself, I invited a group of artists who I respect, to respond to some questions.  I will not be following that exact program here but I want to give recognition to them for the wonderful information they shared.  Please check out the links at the ends of today's blog.

Why critique?  The answer is simple.  If you don't look, compare, evaluate, ask yourself the question "what If?", how do you know how you are progressing.  What is the criteria for what is your best work?  How does your work hold up from all the other people working in your field.  If you say "Who cares?" then I would say you're missing out on a huge amount of information.

I love the process of working, stopping, sitting and looking at what I have done.  I like to leave a piece hanging in the studio and sneak a peek as I pass by.  Often I have the experience of thinking a work is finished only to find that after a couple of days I begin to see areas that still need attention and I would not have that opportunity if I don't taken the time to look.

All of this looking isn't solely intellectual.  Much of it is finding my way into the piece to see how it sits on my interior self.  Of course these sessions of looking don't just happen at the end of a work but occur all throughout the process of creating.

Generally speaking I don't ask many people into my studio when I am working.  The one exception to that is my husband Tom.  Tom is an artists and after all the years we have been married and worked alongside each other we have a great deal of respect for one another's work and understand that the creative process is delicate and that the artists needs space.  While Tom is willing to talk to me about my work it is at my invitation.

The creation of work is a process of decision making.  This is another reason to take your time and be aware to how you are feeling.  Staying in the moment and allowing your creative intuition to work for you is a wonderful thing.  Jane Allen Nodine shared that she tells her students  to "listen to the work.....what is the work saying to you?"  While the students find this humorous early on, they come to understand that this is about their intuition and how it is informing the work.

Almost all of the artists who responded to my questions mentioned some form of studying or looking at their work both during the creative process and at the point when they are trying to determine if the work is finished.  If you don't do this I believe you would gain greatly by incorporating more looking into your process.


Jane Allen Nodine   - South Carolina 
Kathleen Loomis – Kentucky
Jeanne Raffer Beck– New York
Judy Langille – New York
Pat Pauly – New York
Leslie Riley - Illinois
LeslieAvon Miller - Washington
RebeccaHowdeshell -  Texas
Tom Dimond – South Carolina

Thank you for visiting Studio 24-7.
I will be writing about self critique for several weeks.
Please come by again!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Move Is Complete

Back in July Tom and I decided to move.  We had lived in our home in Clemson SC for over 39 years and it was the time to try a new environment.  We have now moved just a few miles away but it's fresh and when we get all the boxes emptied it will be great.  I'm not going to share a picture of our new home today as we are saving that as a surprise for our son and daughter-in-law who live in California.  That will be revealed when they come home at Christmas.

So here is a brief photo album of the move.

                                      


We sold our house after 3 weeks.  It was in a neighborhood just across the street from Clemson University so very nice for folks who work at the university or downtown.  We will be closing on the house soon.  We purchased our new house a few weeks earlier as it was a great fit for us and we didn't want to lose it to another lucky family.  That had not been the plan but it has worked out nicely.


                                      


The first rooms I cleared were the studios which was a hard thing to do but necessary to make it "real".  This is a shot of the day the movers came and were packing the furniture.  Sort of sad to see this fine old house stripped but it will soon be alive again with a new family who has 2 young children.



The movers could not get all the way up the driveway at our old home but it all worked out.


                                      


Charm and Jackson made sure their toys were packed and ready.  With help from some of our friends we moved the smaller boxes ourselves.


                                      

After they packed their toys they got packed.  We purchased our new home from a friend and she was graceous and gave us a key so we could visit the new house before we actually closed the deal.  This allowed us to introduce the cats to their new home and they made the move very easily. 


                                      

It was hard to leave our old garden with it hosta, Japanese maple, butterfly bushes etc. but the new yard is interesting in a new way and naked lady told me had always dreamed of traveling.




The new house has a huge deck on the back and lots of trees.  In the next picture you can just see a glimpse of the two palmetto trees in the front yard.  I feel like I've moved to a park.



                                      


The movers have finished unloading here and ready to leave.  The palmetto trees are in the upped right corner of the picture.




Here my car is loaded with 7 crates of Christmas stuff!!!!  I will be going through these items and hope to be able to let some of this go but how do you let go of all the ornaments made by your child or that you made or were given to you by friends and family?




Our new home is almost the exact same size of our old home but the sizes and arrangement of the rooms is very different.  I had 3 indoor studios and part of a separate building at our previous home.  Here, Tom and I each have one smaller space inside and a two car garage which will be turned into a studio.  We will make it work.




This is the garage as of this morning!  I can't believe all the stuff we have.  Most of this came our of our old studio which had an attic.  Scary.  I saw things come out of the attic I had thought were long gone.  Sort of like the line from a movie....We're here!




The house has three bedrooms.  We will be using one of those to store artwork.  Here are a couple of shots of some of what is being stored.  We have our work as well as work we have purchased and collected over the years.



Some of this work is mine as I do occasionally frame work but most of these pieces are Tom's.    I store my fabric work rolled up and it is being stored in 2 very large/wide closets.  We hope to begin to hang some work this week.


                                     


I feel guilty for not sharing a few images of our new place so here is a quick shot of one of the windows.  We put pieces from our ceramics collection in them last night and they look great.....and they are safe from kitties.


I'm happy to say I have managed to start one new piece and complete one new work during all of this.  I'll share the completed one soon.  

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