Friday, November 12, 2010

A weaving studio for the One of a Kind Show 2010

I'm very excited about being asked to set up a weaving studio in the centre of the One of a Kind Show this year. It will be really wonderful for weaving to be front row centre. They've asked for demonstrations throughout the 11 days. Many of my students and 'weaving class partipants' will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate some basic techniques of fabric and tapestry weaving. I'm hoping it will not only inspire people to buy weaving made locally (especially in my booth W-07) but perhaps they will want to join us in taking some weaving classes through the Toronto District School Board - Classes start up again January 15 (Monday) and January 17 (Wednesday) 2011. Registration opens November 15 2010. To know more about the One of a Kind Show click on the link There you can browse all the artists, artisans, and other show participants in their online catalogue.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Things people say about tapestry weaving

Sometimes people say things like "you must have patience to do that". My answer is that one doens't need patience for something you love to do. I guess it could be a similar response to those who find it incredibly boring, tedious and slow and I don't find it is at all. Though I often think of the process of tapestry weaving as being like a meditation, that leads to more creativity, ideas and thoughts. I usually have classical music playing, my favorite being piano solos. I also often use my weaving time to listen to podcasts that I download from CBC radio, my favorite source. Shows like Ideas, The Next Chapter with Sheila Rogers, Tapestry with Mary Hines, Spark with Norah Young. All of these shows keep me more than stimulated and learning. It's too bad there aren't any shows on weaving! I'd certainly listen to them. Interviews with other weavers would be interesting too.

The hours vanish quickly while I'm in the studio. And studio time is something most of us feel we never have enough of, much as we like our social lives and other distractions. "Everyone needs a sanctuary to gather thoughts and apply personal tools. It's in a sanctuary where a sense of self is daily repaired and polished. Things begin to make sense in a sanctuary. Even for the most limited among us, a santuary is where progress is made and work gets done". Robert Genn.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Convergence 2010: Day 4, 5, 6

Day 4: July 23 Friday.

Another Breakfast presentation by Jill Heppenheimer, owner of the Santa Fe Weaving Gallery. Her shop carries one of a kind handwoven garments. What an excellent speaker. I wish we could get her to come talk to fibre artists here. Her talk was about how to get into a gallery, the pros and cons of being in a gallery; of accepting that its never a perfect arrangement but that one should choose stores/galleries that have the kind of work that is compatible with yours, and people who feel a connection to you and respect your work. Your retail price range must also match the stores/galleries price range. She stresses EVOLVING, to not disengage with your work, to feel passionate about it, to feel good about it and what you are expressing.

Tablet Weaving workshop at 9a.m. and Inge Dam, a fellow Canadian is the instructor. Inge demonstrates each step very well. My single biggest complaint about the workshops are that there are just too many registered for each one. Often there are 50 or more and I believe we definitely had that many. I find tablet weaving fascinating, and will be happy to impart what I have learned to others, however, it definitely is not my calling! I felt awkward working with the cards. I'm glad that I understand how it works and for anyone interested, it is amazing what one can create with this technique though you are limited in width.

In the evening I attended the opening for, Dialogues, a group tapestry exhibition at the South Broadway Cultural Centre. A great venue and the tapestries were flatteringly presented with suitable lighting and hanging devices. The work was thoroughly enjoyable by the artists Linda Wallace, Elizabeth Buckley, Lany Eila, Katherine Perkins, Elaine Duncan and Dorothy Clews. Linda and Dorothy had the decomposed/deconstructed tapestry pieces that were featured in FiberArts magazine recently, as well as other tapestry work. I am sorry not to have pictures to present on the exhibition but I stronly encourage people to look up these artists to see their work. Earlier in the week, I went to the New Directions in Fiber Art on Central Avenue in Albuquerque featuring the work of Jennifer Moore, among others.

Day 5: July 24 Saturday and July 25 Sunday
A two day workshop in Natural Dyeing with Liesal Orend of Earth Arts. Sooooooooooooooo much too learn and its helpful if one is chemistry oriented. It was fascinating to see what all the dye plants could do and how colours could be shifted with various mordants. Definitely easier for those of you who are scientifically minded (not I) however I don’t think I will let that stop me from wanting to continue practicing it and sharing it with others. It's amazing what we can do all in the name of weaving that is not directly related to it! Liesel did say that the natural dye plant extracts work quite well and are much less time consuming.

By Saturday I had somehow managed to have laryngitis so I was very disappointed I wasn’t able to take more time to get to know and befriend other tapestry artists at their Enchanted Evening gathering of tapestry weavers, which overall was one of my primary reasons for wanting to go to Albuquerque. There were also a couple of other matters that added to my disappointment in regards to the tapestry situation at Convergence this year. Usually the American Tapestry Alliance exhibit is held at the same time and location as Convergence but this year, the one year I could be there, and in addition a year in which one of my tapestry was selected to be in this year's ATA exhibit, the ATA exhibit will open in Lincoln Nebraska in September! It would have been so wonderful to see the exhibit of all the tapestries selected at this time. I hope that is a situation that will change and some kind of resolution can occur between both parties. It also troubled me to see that there were no workshops on tapestry weaving, techniques that can be employed or even on designing and tapestry.
From left to right: Tori Kleinhart, Kathe Todd Hooker, Diane Kennedy

I had a chance to pop into the William and Joseph Gallery in Santa Fe where the Small Expressions tapestries were on display. One had to go to the very back of the gallery in a small room one does not see from the front door......hmmmm.....I think they deserved more prominence in my humble opinion! They were exquisite and mostly whimsical little gems.

The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Convergence 2010 Day 3 July 22

At 7:30 a.m. I attended a talk by local fibre artists and a fibre gallery owner. Jill Heppenheimer (on right), part owner of the Santa Fe Weaving gallery, opened the presentation. She also organizes textiles tours around the world. Irvin Trijulo (on left) is of Spanish descent and his family has been in the area for many generations. He has a shop and studio and lives in Chimayo. He has seeds he uses to grow his plants for natural dyeing that are up to 200 years old. He uses the wool of Truro Sheep. He has established a reputation for weaving Chimayo blankets which are woven in the tapestry technique. For bobbins he uses cardboard tubes from yarn cones and the looms are of the most rudimentary construction. He employs 14 weavers and has orders from all over the world. Designs were handed down generation to generation within the family. I loved listening to Irvin. He has a humble and gentle way and has a lot of integrity. I found listening to him very moving, and I found it so moving that he continues his family tradition of weaving that had come down through the generations. His respect for these traditions is evident.

DY Begay (centre) is a contemporary tapestry weaver of Navajo origins and in her rug and blanket weaving tradition too, designs and technique were handed down generation to generation. Children were supposed to learn by watching and doing and were not supposed to ask questions. This really resonated with me. For the Navajo weaving was introduced to them through Spiderwoman. Her own interpretation of her Navajo traditions are abstracted landscapes. Colours and motifs are inspired by the land, by her environment. Her work can be seen at the Heard Museum in Phoenix Arizona.

My first workshop today: Warp Painting on the Loom with Jannie Taylor. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh....what fun AND it feels so good to be weaving again! I can’t wait to share these techniques with my students and can’t wait to continue exploring them myself. I see infinite possibilities. I made another new friend – Judith Shangold....we initially had talked on the bus for the Santa Fe Opera House and Fiber ArtistTour. She too took the warp painting. I really enjoyed her company!

The workshop took place in a room the size of a football field. About 4 or 5 other workshops were taking place simultaneously. A fellow Canadian spotted me in this melee, Melanie Segal. Melanie and I went to the Ontario College of Art and Design a long time ago! The second Canadian I ran into while I am here. One of the workshops taking place was Rio Grande rug weaving.
Afterwards checked out the various exhibitions of fibre art works and the garments that were featured in the fashion show. Here I bumped into Ted Hallman, one of fibre art teachers from my OCAD days! What a small world. He lives in Santa Fe 3 months in the summer and the rest of the time resides in Philadelphia . Also had a stroll around the vendors hall where I ran into another Canadian, Joyce Newman from the Burlington Spinners and Weavers. Funny....we come all this way, hardly see each other here, and we bump into each other thousands of miles of way!

The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Convergence 2010 Day 2

July 21 Wednesday

I didn’t sign up for anything for this day. My new friend Jean, started her 3 day workshop with Robin Spayde, whose binder of notes were the most spectacular we have ever seen for a workshop. Robin is a very thorough, organized and knowledgeable teacher and Jean highly recommends her. Bobbie was still trying to recupe so Cynthia and I took the light rail train to Santa Fe and visited the Georgia O’Keefe Museum which had of course, an exhibition of her work. The museum shown here is a good example of the adobe style homes that are the norm in New Mexico. Cynthia had gone on the Ghost Ranch Tour on Monday, organized by Convergence. Ghost Ranch is where Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted for many years before she died. I love Georgia’s spirit and who she was as a person.

We ventured up Canyon road where all the galleries are in Santa Fe. We didn't venture to far into them simply because we had to rush to get the shuttle that would take us to the light rail transit. I've already planned to come back to Canyon Road next week and make a day of it in Santa Fe before heading to Taos.

For dinner we took the bus to Old Town Albuquerque which is reminiscent of European squares found in cities and towns, albeit certainly not quite as attractive, yet has some charm.

The Walk In Beauty fashion show was held this evening. I ran into Ingrid Boesel (Fibreworks Software). Some of my favourite pieces were the nuno jacket, with silk rust organza by Susan Bowman; Sarah Fortin & Catherine Pritchett’s collaboration – a brown rust coat in shadow weave; Catherine Pritchett’s woven patches and felted garment; Inge Dam’s skirt made with strips of tablet weaving; and Stephanie Abelson’s window screen bird jacket. Its worth getting a catalogue of all garments exhibited at the show.

An exhibition of double weave wall hangings many of them created by Jennifer Moore at a gallery on Central Ave in Alubquerque.

The same gallery with more current doubleweave hangings by Jennifer Moore.

The coming days promises much more!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Convergence 2010 Albuquerque: Day one - July 20

I was up at 6:00 a.m. and went for breakfast in the hotel. As I arrived in the dining room and was about to be seated, another conference participant, Bobbie (Roberta) Goering, asked me to join her table for breakfast. She had already asked 2 other women who were attending the conference on their own, Cynthia Miller and Jean Weems. We talked animatedly, our eagerness to be there apparent and vital. We quickly became ‘a group’ hanging out together at various times over the week that the conference took place.

left to right: Jean Weems, Cynthia Miller, Ann Bergeron and Bobbie Goering

At 7:30 a.m. we all checked into the conference and the tour we had signed up to take that morning. While I was there, I overheard a woman introduce herself as Nancy Harvey to the check-in personnel for the conference. It was the Nancy Harvey who wrote the tapestry book. I asked her if she’d take her picture with me for us folks here in Canada! She willingly obliged.

The Santa Fe Opera House was utterly divine. It was lodged in an outdoor space, with a panoramic view. Though it had a remarkable arched wood ceiling the sides were open to the elements. On one side of the stage area are wind and rain baffles. We were given a tour of the costume shop, where not only are the costumes themselves often made, but at times, also the shoes, wigs and hats. There are 65 people employed in this section during the summer months. Out of 900 applicants for technical apprenticeships, 78 are selected. The costumes have a great amount of technical detail. There is an ample storage area, where costumes are stored not only from the current operas, but from past operas. The frequently rent out costumes for productions of other operas around the country. Costumes are created with large seam allowances and no lining to allow them to be taken in or enlarged depending on the performer. We were shown the understage area and props. We were served a delicious lunch where we invited Ann Bergeron to join a new friends group and then it was off to visit 3 studios of local area fiber artists.

The first studio we stopped was Rebecca Bluestone. This gave us an introduction to the kind of architecture that is dominant in New Mexico, the adobe style house. They are very charming, cool in the summer, and warm in the cooler months. She does warped faced hand dyed silk wallhangings on a Cranbook Loom with a sectional warp beam and an epi of 8 using a 12/6 swedish cotton for the warp. She likes to weave with a temple because silk is rigid and does not have the give and amplitude of wool, thus its rigidity causes draw-in. Her wallhangings are quite large and to maintain such a straight edge is definitely technically challenging.

James Koehler’s studio was next, shown above. James creates handwoven tapestries with his hand dyed wool yarn. He mounts his tapestries with Velcro on frames so that they appear more like canvases than wallhangings. He has a number of apprentices and in exchange for work done for him, he trades them hours of instruction. He also uses a Cranbrook loom and works in the ‘bas lisse’ manner. He did say that he was looking into getting a gobelin style loom for he was beginning to find that always working on the Cranbrook loom was more challenging physically. A gobelin style would give him the option of also working upright and perhaps more comfortably. One thing that James did differently in setting up tapestries on looms is, instead of using lease sticks at the back to maintain threads in a more orderly way, he opted for using another reed at the back of the loom between the heddles and back beam. James also sells hand dyed yarns for tapestry. He has a new book available about his work and life available through mail order.

Jennifer Moore’s studio was our last stop for the day. The picture are at the top of the page. She creates double weave wall hangings, scarves and shawls. Jennifer’s book on double weave has just come out, and she also sells dvd’s on the technique. I acquired a copy of the book and asked her to sign it! Jennifer’s studio may be small, but she also is incredibly prolific.

I regrouped with my new friends after the tour. Bobbie was fading because she had come directly to Albuquerque from a trip to France, so she didn’t join us for dinner. Jean, Cynthia and I took the bus to Old Town Albuquerque, where shops and restaurants were organized around a very European looking square. We had dinner at one of the restaurants (Mexican). We faded quickly after that.
Attendance at this conference made possible by the support of the Ontario Arts Council.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rejections and defeats

This week I received notification from the Canada Council that I did not receive the grant that I had applied for . This is not the first time I have been rejected for a grant, and likely will not be the last. Though I have never received a grant from the Canada Council, I have received several from the Ontario Arts Council for various undertakings. The most recent grant from the Ontario Arts Council is enabling me to participate in the Convergence weaving conference taking place this year in Albuquerque New Mexico. But, back to my hopes in the Canada Council grant. Rejection. It's not easy to take. What does it mean exactly when an organization such as these granting agencies reject one's application. It's hard not take it personally. On the other hand, what message is it that I should be extracting from it? Does it mean my work is not worthwhile, not valued? Does it mean that for them, tapestry weaving is not what they consider to be artistically significant enough? Is it that I am not significant enough in their estimation? And what is it that would, in their estimation, make my work, my undertakings and my self, worthy enough of receiving, above all, their support and encouragement. When was the last time I ask myself, that a tapestry weaver received support from the Canada Council? Are they saying my work is not good enough? Socrates says " The highest form of excellence is to question oneself." So many questions, and unfortunately, no answers. Furthermore, there is absolutely no feedback to guide one as an artist as to how to work towards meeting the criteria while still trying to maintain artistic authenticity and integrity. In my rejection letter, I am told that if I would like to know who did receive Canada Council grants, that I would have to make a request in writing, in 3 months time, the list of who received the grants. OK. Better put that on my agenda so that I try to remember to do this in 3 months while I'm busy scrambling, like most artists and craftspeople to earn a living.
Rejection is something that one has to accept especially when one is an artist/craftsperson. It's never easy, but one certainly cannot let it prevent one from doing what you want to do, from achieving what you hope to achieve. Of course, receiving grants enables one to achieve one's goals sooner rather than later, especially if one is not independently wealthy or part of 'stable' of a handful of elite artists that these organizations consistently support.
Recently I picked up a book at the Salvation Army, hand bound, filled with poetry. Many of the poems were very inspiring but this one, though not a poem, resonated with me in regards to winning and losing, and this is what was printed in the book:
There was a businesman who whenever someone would bemoan their misfortunes in busines, love or life in general, would take them aside and invite the person to study a framed handlettered sign hanging on the wall. It read:
'31 - failed in busines
'32 - defeated for legislature
'33 - failed in business again
'34 - elected to legislature
' 35 - sweetheart died
'36 - suffered nervous breakdown
'38 - defeated for speaker
'40 - defeated for Elector
'43 - defeated for Congress
'46 - elected to Congress
'48 - defeated for Congress
'55 - defeated for Senate
'56 - defeated for Vice President
'58 - defeated for Senate
'60 - elected President of the United States
signed Abraham Lincoln.
Life is full of these defeats and rejections, which pave the way for the successes and accomplishments we hope to attain. One must keep dreaming, keep striving, keep hoping, and above all keep doing. One must not let life's defeats blind one to the small victories, the numberous joys, and the many blessings that have filled and will continue to fill our lives. One can only accomplish as much as the opportunities circumstances present to one. In the I Ching, the great book of Chinese wisdom, it is said that all of us must work within the limitations life presents. It's important to me that on my deathbed though, I will never have to say to myself that I didn't try as hard as I could to make my dreams come true, that I tried as hard as I could to accomplish my goals and objectives. I'll continue to knock at the Canada Council's door and maybe one day it will open.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Silence and Solitude

I've just finished reading a book entitled A Book of Silence: A journey in search of the pleasures and powers of silence by Sara Maitland. It's rekindled my esteem for a practice I've had almost all my life and is especially present in my practice of tapestry weaving. I have a great need to have large amounts of time dedicated to activities that do not require talking and tapestry weaving is one of those. This just may be my temperment and natural character. Or it may be a habit I acquired as a child because the adults present in my life did not engage me in conversation. Often, I was not allowed to talk. Other times no one seemed to be hearing me talk at all. I instead cultivated the practice of not talking. Sara Maitland says " ..... I learned that, in itself, a form of freedom; it generates freedom, free choices, inner clarity, strength. A freedom from one's self and a freedom to be oneself".

The garden has deepened my appreciation of solitude and silence. Everything happens there so quietly, imperceptible to human senses. Yet, it is such a vital place, teaming with life, so dynamic and so vibrant which indicates to me that silence and quiet is definetely not static or deadening. I transpose this rediscovered pleasure of working in silence. I 'transplant' it to my tapestry weaving, enjoying laying in the weft as though planting seeds in a garden. Seeds of awareness. Seeds of mindfulness. Seeds of creativity. Seeds that will grow with the right conditions, into vital, vibrant and dynamic works of art.

In silence, thoughts and ideas come to the fore that would not otherwise. In silence my focus becomes sharp, my thoughts and ideas more clear. In silence I accumulate the energy I will need for planned activities and actions, or periods of talking time. Sometimes while in periods of silence, I think nothing is happening. It feels static. Whatever is going on is not immediately accessible to my awareness.

I appreciate Sara Maitland sharing her research and thoughts about silence. Social pressures were beginning to make me feel that silence is some disease. Other people are often uncomfortable with silence. I have renewed my regard and respect for this practice. It has returned me to honour my inclinations and urge to self possession.

Friday, April 16, 2010

As I settle in comfortably into my studio, seating myself in front of my Leclerc tissart tapestry loom, a feeling of perfect contentment comes over me. I start to think about this contentment and what it is about. This is definitely not the first time this feeling has overcome me as I weave my tapestries. One image that comes to mind as I'm sitting here weaving and I glance around the studio is how I love that I am surrounded with so much yarn in what seems an infinite array of colours and textures. It creates this very special environment. One that I would liken to a nest. No other image describes what its like as well as that one and all that it implies. I also got to thinking about what still draws me here, to this place, creating tapestry. Many other people wonder the same thing as well and I have often been asked why I weave tapestries. The other evening I was at an opening reception for an exhibition put on at the Gibson Centre in Alliston where a couple of my tapestries were included. the two that were selected were Gravity and Joy. One person, who is herself a very gifted and talented weaver, said she was overwhelmed by the size of Gravity simply because she knows how many hours were spent weaving each 'pixel' manually and that it was not done with a computerized loom or a jacquard loom which is the trend these days. Time. How we value time, how we perceive the passing of time, how we want to spend our time, the quality of our time spent here in this life.....are all factors in the choices we make as to how we want to spend it. And when I'm weaving tapestry, time seems completely suspended, though I know it is not.

Another thought that came up was how for humans the sense of touch plays an important factor in contributing to our well being. It seems to me that women especially, due to what I believe are genetic factors, intuitively participate in activities that are tactile. I think these characteristics are inherent, that we have no control over them. I believe women are prewired to be nurturers which makes us more sensitive to the tactile, all needed to care for our infant offspring. What happens then when offspring are no longer or are not a part of one's observable reality then? Why are we so drawn to these activities like knitting, crocheting, felting, weaving even sewing and heaven knows for some, even housework? Why are textiles so vital a part of our frame of reference? I want to know more about the 'science of touch' so here is the beginnings of my forays into understanding why I have always felt that I had no control over feeling propelled to participate in such activities and that it is hard wired in our brains and in our bodies. Read this about touch and one of the points they make about the sensory receptors in our hands take up much more space in our brains than most other areas of our bodies. I think this will give us great insight into ourselves and help us to understand why we can never feel entirely complete in our lives unless we understand that our bodies need this tactile way of interacting with world and of being in the world.

Recently a friend of mine returned from Paris and while she was there she visited Cluny and saw the Unicorn Tapestries. Though there is much intersting discussion as to the possible meaning of these tapestries, after having done much reading about them and the period in which they were created, I believe, based on how women were recruited to live as nuns in Abbeys, that these tapestries are about what these women would sacrifice and commit to: a renunciation of terrestrial pleasures, the conduit being each of our five senses. Each tapestry is about the renunciation of each sense in order to live a life closer to God. Many would hotly debate nowadays whether doing any such thing would bring us the feeling of being closer to God, however, I am greatful that women have so many more choices now. And I still choose to weave tapestries after having done so for the last 25 years. The possibilities are still exciting me. So many that are in my mind that I hope one day will come to fruition.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Silent Music: a pre-performance for Tafelmusik

I was delighted when I received an email from Tafelmusik to be part of their Earth Day celebrations as a participating artist. It will be for their concert Forces of Nature: A Celebration for Earth Day which will take place on Sunday April 11 at 3:30 pm.

I have often thought of my loom like a musical instrument and have felt like a musician while I was weaving, making silent music. Perhaps its the physical rythmic movements of the process. Perhaps some aspects of the technical structures, such as the mathematical component to it. The other coincicidence is that baroque music is one of my favorite categories of classical music and I usually listen to it as I'm weaving tapestries. I find it fascinating that my tapestry weaving and Tafelmusik how somehow found each other!

An Ashford loom I am presently using to weave the tapestry Dream Fields will be on display for this event.

A smaller loom will be available for people to weave their prayers, dreams, hopes and wishes for the planet. A book will also be available for them to write their thoughts as well as their name and signature. This finished woven piece will be part of a future exhibition. Each person will be credited for having contributed to weaving the piece. The finished piece will be a part of my Prayer Totem series, which itself is a part of another group of tapestries on Well Being.

For more details on the concert go to

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

American Tapestry Bienniale 8

A few weeks ago I was notified that my tapestry "Joy" was accepted in the American Tapestry Alliance Bienniale 8. I was really surprised they accepted it because it was very different from the tapestry, Gravity, that had been previously accepted at the ATA7. The American Tapestry Alliance received 176 entries from 105 artists representing 15 countries. The juror was Rebecca A.T. Stevens and I am honoured to be included among the 65 tapestries included in the final exhibition. Currently they are planning two exhibits, and possibly a third. The first will be at the Elder Gallery (Nebraska Weslayan University) in Lincoln Nebraska between September 20 and November 15 2010. It will be in conjunction with meetings being held by the Textile Society of America.

The second will be at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Mass between January 21 and May 2011. You can view the site by clicking on the link.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ontario Arts Council grant for Convergence in Alburquerque New Mexico

On Monday of this week I received an envelope in the mail. In it, I had been notified by the Ontario Arts Council that I had received a grant. Part of what I have to do is to use the Ontario Arts Council logo on all media that I use to publicize the event. The grant will enable me to attend the Handweavers Guild of America Annual conference to be held this year in Aburquerque New Mexico. It's something I would never be able to do with my financial resources so for me this is one of my dreams come true. I've always been drawn to New Mexico and I've never been able to afford to attend a Convergence conference so I'll be able to accomplish both in one trip!

I'm attaching a link to the conference site where you can view all the events that are happening at the conference as well as check out what an amazing place New Mexico is. There is so much to explore and so much for the fibre enthusiast as there are fibre artists and activities a plenty, even without the conference. The conference doesn't happen until the latter part of July of this year. I'm sure it will be scorching but they say its cool in the mountains at night and one even needs a sweater or light jacket!

Of course I had to tell as many people as I could....friends and relatives. Most responded so positively and the one thing that kept coming up was that I deserved it! I felt an incredible wave of support from many friends and this was just as good as receiving the grant from the OAC. So thank you friends for those wonderful supportive words and feelings!

Just this morning I signed up for the workshops, seminars and studio sessions that interest me: warp painting with Jannie Taylor; Cavandoli Tapestry knotting (who knew!); and Natural Dyeing for 2 days. There are lots more I'd like to participate in but the schedule limits how many I can choose. There are tours as well. One is to Santa Fe where we will visit with a couple of tapestry artists.

It's nice to dream about this excruciating heat that I might encounter when I'm there at a time in February when its pretty drab, damp and cold. When I was looking at the accommodation that I might take, I noticed on the website that the temperature today was 30 degrees and it was sunny!

Well....back to work!

The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario

Monday, January 18, 2010

Upcoming Exhibitions

I was very excited when I was contacted by the American Tapestry Bienniale letting me know that my tapestry Joy was accepted in their 8th Biannual exhibition, which will open at Eider Gallery in Lincoln Nebraska between September 20 to November 15 2010 and will coincide with the meeting of the Textile Society of America. It will then go on to the American Textile Museum in Lowell Massachusetts between January 21 to May 2011.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ontario Craft 09

I was very happy when my tapestry Joy was accepted into this juried show organized by the Ontario Craft Council. I was even more surprised that my fibre construction called Wave was accepted as well. I was especially delighted to see it on the wall at the gallery, where I had stretched it out with long nails on all four corners, allowing Wave to be displayed about 2" away from the wall. This created a very exciting shadow, making a secondary artistic effect. This was not something I had initially planned but the idea evolved into what it became. This is so much what the creative process is about. Those moments where you allow yourself to not know what the outcome may be. Allowing yourself to stumble in the dark feeling and intuiting your way there, whereever there is. It requires faith. Faith that somehow, it will all come together.

I attended the opening reception on November 13. My friend Scott Ford met me there. There were lots of people. I was thrilled Wave sold while I was at the reception. The piece was sold to Jane Alderdice, herself an artist and who also works at the University of Toronto.