Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gray Black Copper Jacket, 2008

Hand printed fabric has been a part of my work for many years.  Using clothing to create an artistic environment has been very fulfilling.  Below is "Gray Black Copper Jacket" and detail of front closure from 2008.  My website,, lists my classes.  The jacket painting/printing class is one of the most popular.

Self-Portrait in Pink Zippers, 2009

My 2009 artist-in-residency and exhibit at Forest Hills Fine Arts Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, gave me the opportunity to work on a series of 7 pieces in the humorous vein.  Since I love pink (if I ever had a rock band, I probably call it "Pink Overload.")  On this one, long pink zippers were stitched together with a bustier underneath.  At the beginning of the exhibit the zipper was underneath the bustier, at the end of the exhibit it was down near my navel (therefore, there was artist-viewer interaction).

Self-Portrait with Pink Fruit, 2008

I realized at some point that I've been doing self-portraits (or purposely choosing myself as my subject) ever since college.  I began in 2008 to do photo transferred images of my face, hands and feet and adding them to this long rectangle and adding all kinds of items that were meaningful to me.  I never seem to be able to throw anything away that seems to have any meaning to nostalgia for me so those items have sat waiting for these pieces.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pisces Woman 17 - Detail, 2010

Pisces Woman 17: Holding Striped Fish, 2010

In the mid-1980's I joined an artists' coop in downtown Holland, Michigan, called Black River Gallery---a great group of men and women.  That's where I really started making dolls and working on all different techniques using fabric to express me and the world around me and how I see it.  During my first year in the gallery, I wove tiny (3"x5") keyhole landscape tapestries using bundles of sewing thread.  There were many times when I wanted to be comical or outrageously humorous in the tapestries but I couldn't sustain the humor since tapestry is very labor and time intensive.  But when I began making dolls, the expressive quality of a 3-D figure in fabric was immediately satisfying.  (I did later go back and combine my tapestries and dollmaking, but that's another story for later.)