Thursday, May 30, 2013

Art MOOC Week 1 - This is Me.

Yippee yippee yay - my new MOOC has started - an introductory 7-week course at Pennsylvania State University. For our first week's assignment we have to do an artwork to introduce ourselves to the rest of the class members (55,000 of them, I believe ...)
This is my introduction (sans the Artist's Statement, which has to accompany each submitted work):

This is Me (recycled tissue papers, proofread pages, newspaper, printed pieces, Indian calendar pages, cotton gauze, mutton cloth,  acrylic ink and paint, embroidery thread).

Monday, May 27, 2013

Reading, doing, watching #6.

We went to the The Benediction of Shade exhibition at David Krut, which included some amazing prints, as well as a very interesting performance by ||Hui !Gaeb di Khoen (Cape Town’s People). Scroll down the images from the opening, and you will see one very cultured and art-savvy doggie perusing the art. (Actually, she was sniffing the floor, but she did look at the art, can we help it that the photographer chose this undignified moment to snap her?)

We also saw the Changing Faces exhibition at the Barnard Gallery - well worth a visit! Some lovely work there, including a huge etching by William Kentridge in lovely black, grey and red. I also really liked the Robert Slingsby pastel and chalk portrait, Jaco van Schalkwyk's allegorical painting, the title of which refers to this looooooooooooooong lullaby, and John Meyer's A Goal Too High. (Don't you just love narrative paintings? You can imagine an entire story around this single image.)

I celebrated my birthday with cake and champagne. (No photos ...)

Did I mention that I am doing Tai Chi again? (two months now). Yep, I am grasping the swallow's tail, spreading my wings, and so forth ...

Reading I read (or rather, devoured with my eyes) these two books:
Sometimes I think, Sometimes I Am by Sara Fanelli. I love her work!

No, It Is - by William Kentridge.

The first was a b'day prezzie from L'Usband, and the second a b'day prezzie from myself.

... my tomatoes grow ... teeny, and quite by accident ...

Have a great week, dear friends. May it be filled with awesome art, and maybe a tomato or two.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Making books.

I recently made two different books in Colleen's studio. (Actually three - but the third one will only be shown once it has something in it.)
Stitched binding book with hard cover:

Concertina book with hard covers:

Aren't they beautiful? I used a lovely paper, given to me by a generous friend, for the covers.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Games We Play - book.

I printed the Games We Play series on handmade (by moi) paper and bound it into a simple book - concertina spine structure with pages sewn in. I covered it with a textured and fibrous paper with a lovely rough deckle - I dyed it to try and match the look of the etchings. I also dyed the thread that I used to stitch the pages. I must still do the title on the front page and the colophon. I have practised stencilling and stamping the title - neither really looks right - so I am now wondering whether I should make an etching with the title and then attach it to the front somehow ... What do you think?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mat. Another one.

It is getting colder in the mornings now. While I am very happy with my bedside mat (laboriously crocheted & coiled & stitched by moi), my footsies have not been so happy with the drop in temperature when I enter our tiled bathroom in the mornings. From my coiled mat they step onto the rag rugs I have scattered around our bedroom, and then onto the icy bathroom floor. Eeeeeeek. No wonder they are grumpy in the morning. So I have come up with a clever, indeed BRILLIANT, solution.
Solution: get yourself (from your friendly neighbourhood upholstery shop) an old sample book of discontinued fabric. Trust me, they all have them, piled in heaps in dusty old cupboards. I had to buy mine, but some kinder (or possibly less-business-savvied) people will just give them away for free. Cut even-sized squares or rectangles and arrange then in a pleasing pattern (I skipped this part, as I was too much in a hurry) and then sew them all neatly  together in strips (I skipped the neatly part, too), and then sew the strips together to form a large rectangle. Mine ended up rather skew, as many of my projects do when the idea of a finished product is much more appealing than the idea of a good-looking product. Never mind, I just boldly cut the edges straight. I added strips of felt on the back to add a bit of weight and prevent it from slipping around.

I consider it a prototype - one of those projects that I fully intend to make again, but properly the next time around. Actually, most of my projects are prototypes, and of course I never make them again - properly or otherwise. So my brilliant new bathroom mat is all a bit higgledy-piggledy with unintended valleys and peaks and wrinkly bits (such as I have myself), and as you can see the rectangles don't match up properly.
But my footsies are happy.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

New art works.

A few weeks ago I acquired these stunning etchings by Colleen Ross. The dark psychological undertones (or are they overtones? hmmm ....) can be quite disturbing, and make these etchings all the more powerful.
Pretty Ballerinas by Colleen Ross

The Mother's Boyfriend by Colleen Ross.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hiding the Ugly.

A lot of ugly things do not bother me. As my granny used to say, in an (unsuccessful) attempt to make me feel better about looking, well, odd:  it is the inside that counts, my dear. But there are some ugly things that I will not abide. Take an ugly electrical cord against a wall, for example.

Or the broken base of a reading lamp, cleverly fixed with metres of masking tape, and still functional, but aesthetically very unappealing.  (This desk lamp is the best one in the house, I have to add, and was knocked over by one naughty little doggie - who will remain nameless - diving for the living room window in an attempt to scare unsuspecting passing dogs).


So I made little covers for the various offenses to my aesthetic sensibilities (neatly embroidered by moi, not the aesthetic sensibilities,obviously, but the covers) from pink ribbon ...

and grey twill tape ...

and a bit of an old black knitted top.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Trip to Napier.

Oh, my goodness. Almost two weeks have passed since my last post. I have seen two print exhibitions (see here and here) , been to a concert of exquisite tango music by the Cape Town Tango Ensemble (listen here), attended a picnic at Kirstenbosch, purchased two beautiful etchings, taken a trip to Napier, made some stuff, done some studying, constructed a book. In short, I have been a busy little bee.

Napier is the village in the Overberg where my dad grew up.

Farm road outside Napier.

Exploring the garden at tranquil and pet-friendly Driftwood Cottage (yay for the Reyburns!) .
Making friends with the cheeky dachsie at Wild Thyme (well worth a visit for the very delish tapas-style menu).
Visiting my dad, Ouma & Oupa Ver.
From Napier it is just a short drive to Struisbaai. This is the harbour view (with my bro' on the left, looking for stingrays). Sadly the harbour area may soon be developed, losing its quaint and unique character.
Snous playing the fool at the Red Windmill outside Napier.

Have a great weekend, dear friends! Take a road trip, or if you do not have time, a simple drive, yes, just a tiny little journey is what you need to revive your spirits and renew your inspiration ...