Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trail Torches - the show

Spring. It's such a great time, but even without a class to do projects for I would be busy -- more on gardening and cycling later...

My site installation went up fine, I think the neighbors and invitees like it -- or maybe it was the wine... anyway I had fun, I kind of like the idea of installation or outdoor projects.

Photos will show the work from a few different angles, enjoy.

The only annoying part was showing it to the class. I made my first ever powerpoint presentation. I thought it was beautiful, set almost perfectly to music, changing views as the music changed, had this cute little fade that introduced the project, I was really happy with it -- I stayed up till midnight just tweaking the timing and used my lunch the next day to tweak some more. Well, of course you know what happened. Technology failed me, even though I brought my own computer to plug into the AV equipment, the music didn't play until I pulled out the plug and just ran it off the laptop speakers, but by then the timing was all off. GRRRR, if I was only going to show photos I could have went to bed at a reasonable hour and not worried the whole thing. I just really got into the whole powerpoint thing and wanted to show my project off the best I could.

GRRRR, never trust technology, maybe that's why I weave and ride a bike.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trail Torches

I did my art installation piece on Sunday, invites some friends and neighbors to view the work and basically have a party. Never underestimate the power of wine and food to get more favorable reviews from the masses. Generally people liked what they saw, one person said it looked like a sunset.

I'll show a few of the beginning photos and follow up soon with a few more. The first ones will be some arty shots of the pieces I was working with and then me beginning to install it on the lawn.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm backkkk

Back from a trip to Minnesota. What to say.... Had a nice time, but I guess now it's back to work. For school we're stilll looking for a place to have the end-of-quarter show after the place we were going to use is becoming a pizza resturant. I guess we'll all meet on Tuesday with what we know about the different spaces and make a decision of where it will be...

I finished my simple inkle weave while in Minnesota, don't know what I'm going to do with it, but it was an interesting project in a technique I had never touched. I feel it's kind of limited, but may be just the mindless thing to keep the hands busy at times.

My Mom is a quilter and while visiting her, we did some shopping for quilt materials. I kind of got caught up in what she was doing and announced that I would make a quilt --- what was I thinking? The quilt in my head would be fun to have and know one else will make it for me... It will probably be the only quilt I ever make, so I better do a good job. I have also told everyone it will take me 20 years, so that should take some of the presure off.

Gotta get going on the install details of my school project, I need to show it this weekends so I can present it next Tuesday -- where will the time come from?

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I've basically have all the pieces for my installation project ready to go for when I get back from my trip. I wanted to put it along side the Sammamish Trail in one of the Redmond parks. Preferring to do this legally I contacted the Parks department, found out who to talk to and ended up sending the art person an e-mail with all the information I could (explanation of the project, the idea, and a little bit about myself; projected size; map of where I wanted it to be; and a photo of some of the pieces). As in true bureaucratic fashion she wanted to meet and discuss the whole thing. I'm not sure what more I could tell her, but I told her I was going to be gone for the next week, but was available any time the week after. The install was also going to be on Saturday instead of Tuesday as I mistakenly said in my first e-mail. Well, she fired back an e-mail and said there was not enough time to get together to plan and discuss this project, so the whole thing was off.

This was a temporary install, only for 6 hours, like somebody having a long picnic -- did she expect mobs of people to crowd the trail? It was a student project, I would have been lucky if someone stopped long enough to give me a polite comment of "interesting" (also known as the death comment.)

Since I don't have a lot of time to deal with this anymore, I will probably end up putting it up in the common space at the complex and invite the neighbors.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Site Specific Installation

We're back in school working on our first project - a site specific installation.

I'm liking this idea, after doing the final project last quarter I made something large enough to walk around,found it to be an interesting experience and wanted to try it again. I'm wondering how installation artists get started showing, seems like no gallery would want to show it because it can't hang on a wall of fit in a normal space... something more to investigate.

The assignment we got was: "Find a public space of significance to you and create an object for that space that communicates this significance to others. Your object must remain in this space for at least 6 hours. Document your ideas behind this work, your process in making it, as well as the object in its’intended space."

I thought this sounded pretty cool, so I picked out an idea I had sketched -- something smaller that I thought I could finish in a short amount of time because I would be out of town and missing a week of class and two weekends -- prime work time.

I got right to work, getting supplies and cutting last quarter's project into pieces to reuse for this one. I also was trying out this polymer stuff, GAC-400 which was suppose to make fabric ridged. I wanted to make these cones and I wanted them to be able to stand upright.

The photos are of me dyeing the burlap and applying the GAC-400. The burlap really sucked up the stuff and at $10 a 8 oz. bottle, there was no way I wanted to spend over $200 just on that stuff for a school project. I remembered that when I brushed on elmers glue thinned with water the fabric got fairly stiff, so I decided to mix the two, and add some water and stretch out the good stuff.

I wrapped the glue saturated burlap around cones on forms I made out of paper and cardboard covered with plastic so it wouldn't stick. The ones made with the thinned out GAC and glue weren't as sturdy as the pure GAC ones, but seems to work well enough.

The last photo is the burlap shapes drying outside in the driveway -- more for the neighbors to wonder about.

More on what this is all about later.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Quarter

I can’t believe it’s been almost a week since we started class.

During the first class I quickly read through our syllabus and got totally confused, it just seemed like there was so much stuff! Reading again it turns out we really only have three projects to do but there are a whole bunch of other reading and writing tasks. I decided the only way I could really make sense of what I had to do when, was to draw it all out on a calendar with all the due dates and when I would be out of town. The visual reference helps me to show myself that I really can get it all done.

This quarter we will again be working on conceptual strategies, but also be learning the professional practices of being an artist -- how to show our work, approaching galleries, writing grants, artist statement and resumes. Our creative projects are fewer than the other quarters and will include a public art installation, a group project and our final show piece. I think the public art piece will be the tough one for me because I will be out of town for a week including both weekends -– prime work time.

I’m not really wild about the group project (I’m remembering those disasters from high school) plus we all live a fair distance from each other and most work full time jobs, so coordination will probably be difficult. Hopefully we can think of something simple and most of the work can be done on our own.

I think everyone is pretty excited about our final show and want to do projects for that, but we will have a size restriction because the show space is fairly small. We are to continue developing a concept we started in a previous class and take it farther rather than fall back on something safe that we all ready know how to do. We will also form committees for this to divide up the work of putting on a show.

Photo above is showing the very beginnings of my installation project. I needed to get going on it immediately because I;m going to be out of town next week. I'll have more on this soon.