not as happy

I ought to be incredibly happy today, the wiring project that has meant the floor of my studio was torn up will be finished today, and all my new lights are being installed, I will get my working space restored to me this week, but it is hard to feel triumphant when people are dying in Gaza. I was lucky enough to visit Israel in my teens, and I am saddened by the cycle of violence and retribution that grips that part of the world. It seems so pointless, all this macho posturing and chest beating, all it will achieve is more dead children, more upheaval, less certainty and normalcy in their little lives, It makes me sick.

OK, getting down from my soap box, I hope you stayed with me, back to something less serious in the grand scheme of things, art making. When I started this blog I hoped to share my process with all you out there, so in that vein, here’s what I worked on yesterday, and where the ideas began…

I think I mentioned that I went fabric shopping with C earlier in the break, while we were in the store we picked up a new magazine called Stitch, which is very cool if you are interested in sewing in any way, but why its important is that I saw this project in there for this fabulous scarf

scarf it is so beautiful, I want to make one! But when I was looking through my research the other day from my masters I came across an image of a wallpaper design by Candace Wheeler, which was in my post the other day, for some reason, the two seemed related, and I wondered, could you use this process to make a paper version of this idea, that would look like candace’s wallpaper designs, so I thought I would try a trial, and the short answer is YES! and here it is….

patchwork paper Of course this has made me think of tons of other things I could do now, so off to the studio I go!!!

happy belated new year!

sketch2Yesterday I was SUPER busy, trying to finish up some projects that have been laying around here for a while, the good news is, I finished my new bedroom curtains, they look very glamorous and sophisticated, but it would be pretty hard for them to look worse that the ones that were hanging in there which were full of holes. I also made some basket liners for a new storage unit that I received as a Christmas present, and as we speak my hubby is hanging new lights up in my studio. I am feeling full of hope for a productive new year.

Because this is the season for goals and resolutions, here are mine for 2009…

1. make time to make art everyday, even if it’s just a little time

2. send out information to at least 10 galleries

3. Apply for at least 5 residencies

4. work like a mad thing on my website

5. apply for some full time teaching positions

So wish me luck. I already started on that art everyday thing, mostly by clearing the decks of interruptions and distractions… and I had an idea to develop the wallpaper series in a new direction…thanks to a scarf in a magazine and a conversation at the crazy party the other night!

here’s a sketch, I’m starting on the project tomorrow, the supplies are all lined up, I am excited!!


stupid statements part 2

For Jean and others who wanted more information on all those names in my statement, here’s some stuff, like looking inside my head (wow that’s a scary idea!) I am working on my web site, I have lots of images that have never been digitized from my research, but I am having trouble organising it, so it languishes, so for now this will suffice perhaps….

These are some images of Vuillard’s paintings….vuillard-2

vuillard-3 This one in particular looks to me like this woman just stepped out of the wallpaper!!

Hope that helps provide a visual clue, maybe my statement should be more pictures!!

Here is a site that has links to lots of information about the Arts and Crafts movement… because I studied it for years I forget that its pretty obscure and not everyone is familiar with the names and ideas behind it, I forgot to mention how obssesive I am in my statement, but I can be a pretty dogged researcher when I am interested enough…

Owen Jones wrote a seminal book called the grammar of ornament, here are some images… I would give almost anything to own a copy!!


John Ruskin believed that the lives of men were being degraded by machines, as were the quality of good produced by machines, he was a socialist, utopian thinker whose most famous work is probably the “Stones of Venice”. He heavily influenced the group of painters known as the Pre-Raphaelites. they were connected to William Morris, who founded Morris and Co.

These are images of his fabulous wallpaper…


and one that is not wallpaper, but too beautiful not to include…morris-4

Alan Garner writes young adult fiction, The Owl Service was such an amazing book it stayed with me my whole life, and bubbled up to the surface again after all these years when I started working on this installation… this is a synopsis from Powells of the plot

Something is scratching around in the attic above Alison’s room. Yet the only thing up there is a stack of grimy old plates. Alison and her stepbrother, Roger, discover that the flowery patterns on the plates, when traced onto paper, can be fitted together to create owls–owls that disappear when no one is watching. With each vanished owl, strange events begin to happen . As the kids uncover the mystery of the owl service, they become trapped within a local legend, playing out roles in a tragic love story that has repeated itself for generations . . . and has always ended in disaster.

The ancient love story is from a series of mythical Welsh stories the mabinogion, my heritage is Welsh, maybe that’s why the stories have always fascinated me so… here’s the short version of a lond sad tale from the site above


Taking pity on Lleu, Math used his magic wand to create the loveliest woman out of flowers. She was named Blodeuedd. Math had Blodeuedd marry Lleu, and gave him the cantrev of Dinoding to live in.

The marriage did not last, because during Lleu’s absence, Blodeuedd met a hunter named Goronwy the Staunch, lord of Penllyn. Blodeuedd fell in love with Goronwy. Together they plotted to rid of Lleu.

Blodeuedd learned from her husband that he could only be killed by a spear that took a whole year to make, and only if he had one foot on a goat’s back and one foot in a tub full of water. Blodeuedd treacherously gave this information to her lover. Goronwy immediately set about making the spear.

On that fateful day, Blodeuedd persuaded her husband to take a bath on the bank of the river. When Lleu had one of feet on a goat while the other was still in the tub, Goronwy hurled a spear at Lleu’s back. Instead of killing Lleu, he was transformed into an eagle.

Goronwy and Blodeuedd took over Lleu’s domain, conquering Ardudwy and Penllyn. Gwydyon and Math were upset over Lleu’s disappearance, so Math sent his nephew to find Lleu.

After a year of searching for his nephew, Gwydyon found a weak eagle on top of a dead tree. Gwydyon sang a song, to entice the eagle to come down the tree. Gwydyon used the wand on the eagle so that Lleu resumed his own form. Gwydyon found that his nephew was seriously injured and almost starved to death.

Gwydyon nursed Lleu to full health. Lleu was given an army to avenge his injury. When Blodeuedd heard news of her husband recovery, she fled from Mur Castell. Gwydyon caught up with her, transforming her into an owl called Blodeuwedd.

Goronwy the Staunch tried to make amend and peace with Lleu. Lleu refused to accept any compensation from Goronwy unless he agreed to place himself in the same situation when Goronwy wounded him.

Goronwy had no choice but to accept his punishment. It was Lleu who now wielded the spear, while Goronwy stood on a goat and the tub of water. Goronwy asked it he could place a rock between the spear and where he stood. Lleu agreed to the term.

However the rock was no protection for Goronwy. Lleu’s spear pierced through the rock and killed Goronwy.

After this, Lleu won back his home, and lived there until he became king of Gwynedd when Math died or abdicated.

From all of that comes the idea of women made up of patterns, and so escaping and or hiding in the wallpaper….

Lastly I ought to include a link to poor Charlotte Perkins Gilman who was in her day one of the most famous women in the world, and wrote women and economics about the necessity for financial Independence  for women many many years ago… she belonged to a group known now as the material feminists, who were less interested in the vote and more interested in financial security and independence for women… a goal still not reached in pay parity, but I digress… also amongst this group was Louis Comfort Tiffany’s partner Candice Wheeler, who almost no one has ever even heard of despite the fact they founded “his” company together, candace also designed wallpaper…


Her work did get a retrospective at The Met

See I told you it would be easier just to look at the pretty work and NOT KNOW what it was about!!!