Tuesday, June 8, 2010
My latest experiments were pure fun: I took a B/W image of myself from 1974 (what a difference 35 years makes!!), current images of my hands and feet, and printed them off on cardstock. Since I love gardening, I seem to want to save the seed packets from year to year to remember what flowers I had. Those pictures on that glossy paper became the background for the "headdress". The clean-up paper towels became the dress/body and all kinds of other items were added: beads, buttons, kimono cut-outs from my 2005 trip to Japan, and fringe. I used colored pencils to brighten the face. A small wire ring was added to the back for hanging.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
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, www.JenniferGouldDesigns.com, lists my classes. The jacket painting/printing class is one of the most popular.
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).
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
Long ago I did tapestry weaving and tried to sustain a sense of comedy. It was very difficult. But once I started making dolls and did my first Pisces Woman (I am a Pisces!), the ability to be comical and laugh at myself was so easy and natural. I continue to make Pisces Women in every type of textile figure I attempt. Pisces Woman 17 was made to exhibit at the Twisted Fish Gallery in Elk Rapids, Michigan. You'll see my self-portraits which continue this look at myself and the world around me.
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.)
With the encouragement of the fellow artists in the gallery, I explored, experimented and developed my textile work, especially with the annual shows that each member received.