Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Making marks

Yesterday I saw a link on FaceBook to a video about the Nigerian artist, Victor Ekpuk and felt such a joyful feeling of recognition! He has a style of mark-making that reminded me, immediately, of my own mark-making, doodling form. Here is a sample of his work:

Here is a sample of my doodle form:

It feels like something I've done forever and I don't even know where it came from. It is just my doodle. I somehow think most people, or at least most creative people, have their own personal marks, as individual as their handwriting, that has developed organically. Do you? Do you incorporate it into your creative, visual work?

I think I started using my silly doodle in some of my fabric work about 10 years ago, when it just sort of popped up in some background quilting stitches, then began to assert itself more aggressively as a way of expressing my own voice in little ways. And I love seeing those very personal, iconic marks in the work of other artists. Think of Klimt, Mark Tobey, Paul Klee...

Unlike carefully designed and rendered motifs, there is always something happily free and spontaneous about such mark-making—just watch Victor Ekpuk in that video!See it here

Some examples of "the doodle," which is what I call it...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The week in phone photos

So many things this week. It has been one for the record book.

Sunday: after a wonderful weekend in Moscow, Idaho and Pullman, Washington with old friends, we drove home in the rain, arriving in time to collapse in front of the TV and watch the presidential debate, and I don't need to even talk about that—back to the sordid reality of the campaign.


Monday: Transition meeting for old and new Board of Columbia Fiberarts Guild. I'm the new president. I have a long list...

My essay on crows in my artwork appears in newly published issue of the online magazine, Through our Hands.

Tuesday: walked with Beth. When I returned home I was stopped by a motorcycle Sheriff's Deputy who refused to allow me to drive on our closed road to my own driveway. I had no choice but to park in the neighborhood behind my house, cut through my neighbor's yard and climb through the arborvitae hedge at the back of our property, emerging in my backyard disheveled and, in Ray's words, "hopping mad". I wrote a rant on Facebook, then sent an email complaint to the County Sheriff, which only made me feel a little bit better.

Eye Dr. appointment for that horrible stress-inducing visual field test and pressure test and new prescriptions for more drops. Glaucoma sucks.

Tuesday was not a good day.

Wednesday: beautiful rainy walk and day spent cleaning my studio for the Open Studio Tour. Every time I turn on the radio or look at the internet, the news is uglier than the last time.

Thursday: A big day. Dylan wins Nobel prize for literature—makes me smile all over! Mail arrives with a copy of Farm Girl magazine (not a joke—it's a real magazine) with a photo of my campfire quilt published. Michelle Obama thrills us all with heart-breaking/lifting speech. Tears. Voicemail from Sheriff. He is very apologetic, will look into the road closure problem and talk to his officers and get back to me tomorrow. More studio cleaning. It's still not fit for visitors.

Friday: another rainy walk. Cheerful, sincere Sergeant Tannenbaum, from the Sheriff's office pays a visit. He has brought large local access passes for our cars and talked to the patrol officers. I have his phone number and must call him if I have any further difficulty accessing my driveway. I am a happy camper. Spend rest of the day cleaning the studio.

Saturday: Open Studios! But will anyone come? Not only is our road closed and an intimidating mess of machinery and mud and piles of gravel, but hurricane force winds and heavy rain are predicted. But I am ready and my first visitors are my daughter and granddaughter bearing fancy coffees. A few more neighbors and hardy souls show up, but it's the slowest Open Studio day I've ever had. Mid afternoon I am alone in the studio when, with a loud CRACK and quiet thud, a large ash tree falls across our driveway and front lawn. (coincidentally, right where a studio visitor's car had been parked a couple hours earlier) It seemed the perfectly calamitous end to a fairly calamitous day. Really that thud was kind of the closing punctuation to the whole week, but by then I was just calmly waiting for the next whatever...

The day ended with dinner at the Mongolian Grill with our grandchildren. My fortune cookie fortune said, "you are ready for a new hobby." I don't think so.

And now it is Sunday again. The storm is over. The tree is no longer blocking the driveway. Nice people, fun to talk to people, came to the studio and some even bought things. A new week has begun. I hope it is a little less eventful.

And the good news is my studio is clean.