You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘marc chagall’ tag.
This weekend we threw open our doors and windows and invited guests into our penthouse home and studio for Devon Open Studios, 2012 which runs from the 8th to the 23rd of September.
It’s great fun. I love meeting people and talking with them about my artwork, their artwork, creativity, technique, risk-taking, artists and places which inspire us. In short, everything. This is my 3rd Open Studio at 20 Court Street. It’s a great way for me to show my artwork. We love having people over and I feel very confident and comfortable because I’m at Home with what I make. At other times when I’m ‘out in the world’ with my artwork, at a gallery, show or fair I take the confidence which began with my Open Studio experiences with me.
Visitors first arrive in our foyer hung with some of my earliest art quilts and my first experiments with hand stitch.
When I greet people, I offer a guided tour or to let people wander on their own. All of my work has a story associated with the making of it. We’ve put short descriptions up next to each piece and I’ve put a book next to a couple of my art quilts for people who may want to learn more.
I love the hanging rails and multi-directional light fixtures which allow me to quickly style the gallery spaces in the hallway and the foyer.
I’m normally in the north wing where my studio is and Steve floats between the living room and kitchen, where we serve tea, coffee and homemade cake.
We have artwork in every room in our home. People are very respectful of our space and wait to be asked over the thresholds of my studio and our bedroom.
I love to tell the story of our wedding quilt ‘Cleaved’, illustrated with the actual pieces of river-gathered slate, our wedding invitation and a ‘just married’ photograph from our wedding day.
I also have a few retail opportunities. As Steve said to one of our visitors, “This is what our home normally looks like, but with price tags.’
Pop-up business cards: just pull the tab and your card will magically appear!
Beside my art quilts, I’m showing some smaller works with my photographs printed or composed onto silk or cotton sheer fabric.
I’m usually up to some sort of work in my studio in between visitors
and take every opportunity to show off my new lamp to people!
We’ve set ‘Enter the Forest of Dreams’ up in our living room.
Steve usually shows the bed. I’ve been so involved in the construction and making of it over the past thirteen years and nine months that I’m still getting used to it as a finished piece. Whereas Steve, who is a natural-born writer and story-teller can weave a tale about the bed from its inception in 1999 through today. So I usually perch somewhere on the edge of the room and listen and watch.
We’ve put my templates for the valance on the wall near the bed.
And when there are a few people gathered round, we will remove the bed quilt and mattress and show people the knight and his lady who rest beneath the forest floor and the river of dreams.
So it has been a great start to this round of Open Studios. A couple of people asked me if it has been a ‘success’. I’m not quite sure where they’re coming from, but my definition of a successful Open Studio is setting a good vibe, meeting some amazing new people, spending time with familiar friends over the kitchen table and knowing that many of my visitors leave with a full heart.
Oh yeah, I’ve finished my Inner Critic and have been introducing it to people and letting then know about my ‘Stuff Your Inner Critic‘ workshops on the 15th and 22nd of September.
I’m open for the next two weekends – details here.
I love my daytime life in which I’ve arranged it so that I don’t need to leave the house until 9:45 am on the days when I need to be somewhere. This means I don’t have to get up until 8:30 am!
The first things I see when I wake in the slowly lightening room are glowing luna moths and the luminous moon on our marriage quilt.
The luna moths we bought at a flea market on our 1st wedding anniversary in Aix-en-Provence, we chose and framed some of our wedding photos and I made the Marc Chagall inspired quilt, Le Mariage du Fleuve et du Ciel, during our first year of marriage.
We bought a DAB clock radio a few weeks ago. I don’t actually use it for an alarm because I generally awaken around 7 o’clock. I do switch it on though and listen to classical music on Radio 3.
Then, I get up and make (or lie in bed and have made for me!) a cup of tea in my favourite mug. I prop myself up and select from the ever-changing pile of books next to my side of the bed.
This morning it was a delectation from ‘Mud’, a book of voluptuous short stories by Michèle Roberts.
At some point, I raise the shade and watch the tree outside. It inhales and exhales; birds dart in and out of it’s branches or trace lazy loops in the sky above it. The maribou stole is from my wedding ensemble.
Whenever I decide to get up, I throw open the window and lean out to see what the cows are up to and what the day is bringing.
And then, I go about my day.
We had a Heartwarming Party last weekend.
Steve made his fantastic poached salmon, layered with cucumbers and glazed with homemade aspic.
I decided to make a loaf of bread shaped like something and settled on a bird. I thought it would be a nice companion to Steve’s fish and both of these creatures figure in my marriage quilt that I made a year ago.
I’d finally tracked down and ordered an out of print copy of ‘Bread Sculpture- The Edible Art’ by Ann Wiseman. But it hadn’t come by the day of our party, so I found a sculptural bread dough recipe and tutorial here.
6 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups lukewarm milk
1/4 – 1/2 cup water
1 egg, beaten
Mix together all of the dry ingredients. Mix in the milk and enough water to make everything form a doughy ball. I would have liked to have used my KitchenAid mixer fitted with a dough hook, but I could tell that the motor was straining, so I turned the dough out onto a flat surface and kneaded for approximately 10 minutes. Return it into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for approximately 90 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
Shape the dough into whatever you want. I made mine into a bird a la Marc Chagall with an almond eye.
Loosely cover with a towel and let rise for about an hour. Just before baking, brush the creature with the beaten egg.
Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes. I covered my bird with baking parchment and foil about halfway through. We have a fan oven and things brown pretty quickly in there!
I was very pleased with the result! It tasted good too. Fun to make and fun to eat.
And here’s the whole beautiful spread of party food.
I realise I’m not the type of fibre artist/art quilter who jumps up and down and shouts everytime I make something new, get juried into a show or receive a commisison. Sure it’s great to be chosen and wonderful that people value my skill enough to pay me for my artwork, but I do it because I love it and not to carve out my identity. I do see how I could easily get caught up in the outside accolades and maybe this is why I downplay them. One of my pieces has recently been juried into a show which is a very big deal to me though.
Today, I shipped ‘Winter Trees Wept‘ to Virginia where it will be in the Sacred Threads Exhibition from 22nd June to 4th July. I felt a pang at saying ‘Au revoir’, but am so very pleased that it is going to be in this amazing quilt show. For Sacred Threads isn’t just an ordinary quilt show:
“Founder Vikki Pignatelli and the other committee members wanted to create a dignified exhibit of artwork that would touch all those who viewed it on both spiritual and personal levels. We wanted to share the experiences of quilters whose stories would be a source of healing and strength for others by allowing the artist to submit a statement which would be exhibited with the artwork that described the meaning or inspiration for the piece. We also encourage attendees to complete artist comment forms if they are particularly moved by a quilt – these are returned to the artists with their quilt.”
For the exhibit, quilts are divided into categories based on theme. These are Expressions of Joy, Spirituality, Inspiration, Grief, Healing and Peace/Brotherhood. The artwork themes provide thought-provoking insights, encouragement, inspiration and healing responses to grief and human hardships.
I am so happy that my quilt will be seen by people and in a setting where depth of view is encouraged and expected. Last night I spent some time with ‘Winter Trees Wept’ in my studio and lit a candle to honour my Muscogee ancestors. The ones who came this way before me. I have inherited such strength and such an awful, aching grief from them. I want to know the things I fear have been lost forever. Who do I belong to? How to speak the language of the forest? How do I utter the slow wisdom of the sun-baked stones in a dry riverbed? Or dance like a gliding swallow, navigating a river of morning sky? Or chart the wily, winding course of a field and hedgerow hopping fox?
Though I may lack the fluency of tongue, my hands shape and tell our stories and all of these things through my artwork.
Steve and I are about to travel to the South of France for ten days to celebrate our first wonderful year of marriage. One of the highlights for me will be going to the Musée Marc Chagall in Nice. Chagall is my favourite painter and the inspiration for ‘Le Mariage du Fleuve et du Ciel’ or ‘The Marriage of the River and the Sky’, a quilt I made last summer for a show at Hever Castle in Kent. Here’s me with the quilt in a maxi dress I got for our anniversary trip. Looking forward to coming back inspired and maybe catching you all up on some of my backlog of creations and achievements, in my own quiet and subtle way.