Monday, May 18, 2015

Into the Woods

Into the Woods  10 x 10 inches

That's the name of a piece I recently had accepted into Contemporary Portraits at the Water Street Gallery in Batavia, Illinois. Roughly a two hour drive from Madison, I decided I would go to the opening. I'm glad I did.

Main Street, Batavia, Illinois

It was a lengthy enough day trip I could declare it a sketchbook day, the best way for me to see a new area. Batavia is on the Fox River, west of Chicago and has some history with windmills and Conestoga wagons, so how could it not be a good day?

The Gallery, along the Fox River

I was so proud to be in this show, the only tapestry piece among 54 superb and diverse portraits. I enjoyed looking at each piece for the hour I was there, each artist's approach gave me much food for thought.

The gallery staff did a wonderful job of hanging the show in a nifty limestone wall venue. Snacks were plentiful.

I've been in several shows that I've never's so much better to see your baby in person. Not to mention I had ice cream for dinner...caramel no less.

Ice Cream for Dinner

Sunday, May 3, 2015


This portrait I'm finishing reminds me how distinctive the language of tapestry weaving can be. Working at this large scale, 6 ends in an inch rather than 10, truly makes every pass of the weft yarns count. A weaver's "highs and lows" become critical and this time I'm not talking about our mood. Although that might enter into it after all.

If you have followed the design development of this piece you know it all started with a cookie platter in a Martha Stewart Christmas issue and moved on from there to what you see today. The core idea is still in place but changes happen many times along the way. I spent several days working on the eyes, weaving and unweaving many times over the course of a week. The eyebrows are done and I've moved on to finish the hair piece.

I hope she's not too sad, she's not meant to be, but expressions are tricky and subtle. We'll see what her attitude is when the warps are cut.