A Mariano Fortuny original

Isabelle de Borchgrave Paper Fortuny Recreation

 

 

My friend Nan and I went to the Bellevue Arts Museum to see the amazing paper clothing creations by Isabelle de Borchgrave, a Belgian artist. She recreated the clothing designed by Mariano Fortuny totally in paper. Using trompe l'oeil and a variety of papers, wonderful dashes of pearlized/metallic acrylic paint and stencils each creation magnificently imitates fabric. I could've sworn that one coat was velvet but everything is paper right down to the beads on the dresses, hats, boots, shoes, pillows, backdrops, curtains and even the hand bags.<\p>We learned from a Museum docent that the clothing creations have chicken wire in between the lining and outer layers of papers to make them free standing. Then they can be shipped in whole without folding or handling too much. The crates must be huge! We also learned that the diaphanous kimono are made from eye glass lens cleaning paper, a spun bond material that is translucent. This is what is used in the picture for the robe over the under dress. The paper is stenciled with a gold pattern on this piece. Can you believe that this is completely made of paper? Isn't that wonderful?

This was a totally eye opening and awesome exhibit. One if my favorite things was the full size tent created from paper. It was like a Morroccan tent draped with opaque and translucent curtains stenciled with patterns. Gold, pierced 'metal' lanterns were hung inside – all made from paper.

Screens and backdrops were draped around the exhibit creating mystery at every turn. The privacy screens were stenciled with Moorish patterns in subtle colors and reminiscent of rugs. Then in the center rectangle the centers of the repeating pattern element were cut out. In some cases, the edges were gilded or painted a contrasting color. Simple and elegant atmosphere for a really wonderful body of work. As Nan said to me when the elevator doors began to open on the exhibit: Prepare to hyperventilate. She wasn't kidding!

 

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My friend Nan and I went to the Bellevue Arts Museum to see the amazing paper clothing creations by Isabelle de Borchgrave, a Belgian artist. She recreated the clothing designed by Mariano Fortuny totally in paper. Using trompe l'oeil and a variety of papers, wonderful dashes of pearlized/metallic acrylic paint and stencils each creation magnificently imitates fabric. I could've sworn that one coat was velvet but everything is paper right down to the beads on the dresses, hats, boots, shoes, pillows, backdrops, curtains and even the hand bags.We learned from a Museum docent that the clothing creations have chicken wire in between the lining and outer layers of papers to make them free standing. Then they can be shipped in whole without folding or handling too much. The crates must be huge!

A Mariano Fortuny original

Isabelle de Borchgrave Paper Fortuny Recreation

We also learned that the diaphanous kimono are made from eye glass lens cleaning paper, a spun bond material that is translucent. This is what is used in the picture for the robe over the under dress. The paper is stenciled with a gold pattern on this piece. Can you believe that this is completely made of paper? Isn't that wonderful?

This was a totally eye opening and awesome exhibit. One if my favorite things was the full size tent created from paper. It was like a Morroccan tent draped with opaque and translucent curtains stenciled with patterns. Gold, pierced 'metal' lanterns were hung inside – all made from paper.

Screens and backdrops were draped around the exhibit creating mystery at every turn. The privacy screens were stenciled with Moorish patterns in subtle colors and reminiscent of rugs. Then in the center rectangle the centers of the repeating pattern element were cut out. In some cases, the edges were gilded or painted a contrasting color. Simple and elegant atmosphere for a really wonderful body of work. As Nan said to me when the elevator doors began to open on the exhibit: Prepare to hyperventilate. She wasn't kidding!

 

Resolution for the New Year

January 11, 2014

Celebrate your mistakes! They mean you're human.

Don't be afraid of making a mistake: you'll not learn anything by doing things perfectly except how to do one thing. Cross pollination can't happen in a perfect atmosphere.

Expand your world and knowledge: make mistakes.

Remember: there is nowhere to go, nothing left to do if everything is perfect. The concept of perfect is a myth.

Pivot Place

December 3, 2013

20131203-131656.jpg

A couple of very impressive women have gotten together to create an online community called Pivot Place, (www.pivotedmonds.com) for our community. The idea is to provide a community website for what sorts of things are available or going on combined with an artists marketplace somewhat similar to Etsy. The concept makes sense and and the people behind it are really wonderful so of course I jumped in! I love participating in anything where vibrant, brilliant women are working on supporting a worthy goal and this is proving to be just that sort of an endeavor.

Pivot Place recently did a soft launch so you can see it grow before your very eyes. There is much going on behind the scenes to improve the interface, expand artist offerings, etc. It’s one of those labors of love for the principles, Kathy Coffey and Susie Beresford, at this point but I can see and feel their intent for this beautiful and worthy idea and support them wholeheartedly. Stay tuned as Pivot Place emerges further from concept to reality! This project is worth watching! It’s like a Kickstarter project without Kickstarter at this point. If nothing else, you can see a few of my limited one-of-a-kind pieces that are only available on Pivot Place right now.

What Kind of Year Was It?

January 1, 2013

ArtWorks, Christmas 2012

ArtWorks, Christmas 2012

Happy New Year! I'm sure everyone is looking over the last year and taking stock – me, too. This last year was quite a whirlwind for me. At the beginning of each year from Jan. to March I coordinate the EDGE Program, (a 55 hour professional development program for artists on business). At the same time this year from Feb. to May I had 5 teaching trips: home for a week and a half/on the road for two weeks for four months. I finally recuperated from all of the travel by the end of July and then I was traveling again in August. After that my focus went to planning, prepping and making things for a show & teaching in Switzerland for most of November. Meanwhile I was still producing work for galleries and my 'day job' of running ArtWorks…and somewhere in there was some art play time and developing ideas I've had in mind to work on for sometime.

So lately, in looking back, I keep thinking about the days when I had nothing to do, nowhere to go, and really nothing much going on. I've come to the conclusion that if I'm wishing for more of something (time, play, silence), then a balance is missing. If I had the balance of each of the things I wish for or want and the things I must do then there wouldn't be a missing component that I'm wishing for, right? For example, I've been wanting more down time. When I asked myself why I was feeling this way I realized that I have been giving me, my brain, what I know and my time away in various ways like crazy. Teaching is just that: giving what's in your brain and it takes a lot of time to do. While I do love that and I love the interaction with my students incredibly it's time for me to develop my ideas and my work as well as pay attention to some other things in my life that I haven't had much time for. This year I'm striving for a better balance between teaching and creating my work, working and playing, noisy time and quiet time, messy space and clean space, adventures and every day life. Every day life can be an adventure, too! Especially when one hasn't had much of that all year. So this year I only have two teaching trips planned, perhaps three. So if you see me out there come say hello. I may not see you for awhile otherwise!

Bea Grob's Window, Bauma, Switzerland

Bea Grob's window, Bauma, Switzerland

 

Happy Holidays 2012

December 16, 2012

Sitting here with my cup of coffee (from Switzerland!), listening to some music in front of my electric fire (it does look like a real fire but no heat – maybe I should just call it the Visual Fire?) and just thinking on a Sunday morning… This is the first time in my life that I chose not to bring out our Christmas tree. Me, the Queen of Christmas! Instead I have the one that I usually take to work for my desk, a pretty little thing that's about a foot or so tall. I already put up a huge tree at ArtWorks and it's lovely. Everyone says so. That's enough this year. I'm feeling cozy and creative anyway which is what I expect this time of year.

Looking back over the year I see that it's just been crazy. I spent the first 5 months traveling every month, sometimes twice in a month. My house shows the chaos of all the packing and unpacking and repacking I've done. June was spent trying to get my bearings back at work and all that laundry done! August saw another trip to the East coast where I had really hoped to get to Seaside Heights (Jersey Shore!) and of course, now I'm very sorry I didn't get there. Hurricane Sandy changed everything there and it's still closed to the public. After August it was time to get producing for the show in Switzerland (in November) and then before I knew it, we were off to Switzerland.

I took my remote control air swimming Sharky to the Edmonds Art Festival's Christmas party recently. That was hilarious despite Sharky not being very cooperative that day. He kept hanging around close to the floor for some reason. He does need more helium… Still I'm sure people thought I was very strange for bringing him as my date! Oh well. I was celebrating. I had just figured out that ArtWorks is 90% or so self supporting and that's phenomenal! Art centers are rarely more than 30-60% self supporting – with 60% being generous… Yes, I'm proud of myself. My 3 year plan worked! I really do know what I'm doing and I have proof. =)

Looking forward, I will be home more this year. I have only three trips planned with one being a maybe. It will be the first time in about 8 years or so that I've been home so much. I have just a handful of classes scheduled. Usually I'm scheduled to teach almost every weekend somewhere so this will be a huge change. I'm planning on some rest and play, lots of studio time, and working on some things that have been on my list for way too long… How about you? Do you have time to mull over a cup of coffee or tea today what you would like the next year to look like? Shape in your mind what you want and it will happen.

Some ideas I've had:

Start the Paris fund – contribute every month!

Make new stuff for the galleries quarterly

Write that book

Get rid of extraneous stuff! Make space!

Go to the beach this summer, have a picnic

Hang out somewhere with your sketchbook

Try that recipe for graham crackers

Start Tai Chi

Make art with friends more often

 

Do You Use Pinterest?

January 26, 2012

 If you don’t know about Pinterest check it out.  I think it was made with visual artists in mind.  It is essentially a site that lets you create a variety of electronic bulletin boards and pin all sorts of things to those bulletin boards such as pictures, ideas, books you like or would like to read and so on.  You get to decide what each bulletin board will be about.  I have 12 I think.  Some of the categories I’ve given them include Polka Dots, Fun Stuff, Sharkey Loves, My Style, Jewelry AHA!, Cozy Spaces and Small Houses and more.  in pursuit of things to pin to my boards I’ve found a step by step picture tutorial on how to make your own paper clay, cool lamps that would be easy and fun to make (like out of straws and liter bottles!), great genie shoes, jewelry ideas and garden houses I wish I could have in my yard.

  To pin something to a board:  you can RePin items from other people’s Pinterest pages, upload your own things or add pins from websites online.  In this way you can collect all sorts of things and keep them in one place.  People will visit your boards and see what you’ve collected.  Some may even RePin some of the things you’ve collected to have them on their own boards on their Pinterest page.  It’s pretty interesting actually. Or would that be pinteresting?  Www.pinterest.com

  I had written a whole blog under this title when iPad crashed out and lost it…naughty iPad!  The title is actually a line from a Peter Gabriel song and it hit me like a ton of bricks…again.  This time it spoke to the constant striving I’ve been doing to get ‘there’, wherever ‘there’ is.  I asked myself: how do you know you’re ‘there’?  What if you’re ‘there’ and just don’t know it?  These seem like simple questions until you really start thinking about them.

  Some years ago I wished I were gainfully employed in the arts.  I wanted to be teaching artists, teaching my own art related classes, mentoring artists and making my own work.  I wanted my work in a gallery or two as well. 

  So I created programs to teach, made samples and pix of the samples, put together class descriptions, materials lists and pictures for proposals and sent them in to places I targeted.  I took on coordinating a 50 hour professional development program designed for artists for a college and the job of running a small art center part-time when that became available as well.  One day I realized that when I wasn’t In a classroom teaching or working on scheduling/growing the art center, I was putting together submissions for classes next quarter, next year, the next 4 shows, and so on.  I was working 24/7 or darn near to it as one could get.  I was blogging, keeping my website updated, juggling my scheduling, traveling, teaching and art center concerns.  This has gone on for a few years now and it was time to take stock.  What had I been doing?  Were we there yet?

  

  Fun artist’s website: http://www.fimp.net/index.html  

 

 

 

Shark Infested Holidays

December 17, 2011

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’ve actually been using my time to create art! Yup. Oh! And funny thing: remember Sharky Shark’s Christmas List right before Thanksgiving? First on his list was was an Air Swimmer remote controlled shark balloon. Well, we went to Thanksgiving at my brother’s house and after a really fine meal, lo and behold, my niece pops out from elsewhere walking behind an actual Air Swimmer Shark! It was hilarious. We imagined talking it onto the ferry and having it swim out of the elevator. Oh that would be funny! So the Monday after T Day I was telling two friends about the Air Shark and showing them pix from my phone. They liked the idea so much that we ended up at Toys R Us and buying two of them. J.T. shark, as my Air Swimmer is known, is living down at ArtWorks, the little art center I run. There are really high ceilings there unlike my house. That’s a good thing and also a bad thing. I was introducing JT to my Monday morning printmakers. I have a bit of a tether on JT because I’m afraid that there might be something up in the rafters that could puncture JT. I was also a little worried that if he got up that high I might not be able to bring him down… Well, the goof got away from me when I was showing the printmakers how he swims and stuff. Then our ancient but steadfast Reznor heater came on and blew JT up above one of the lights! I have a little note on his tether stating: Meredith’s Pet Shark Do Not Tamper:He Bites! Which was very worthy when I have him corralled in the office but out in our Great Room, NOT. The not caught in the chain that the light hangs from. I had quite a time trying to maneuver JT out of that position and once out, trying to being him low enough so someone could grab the tether. She was jumping trying to catch the darn thing and JT was moving along. Good thing the heater wasn’t on at the moment or capture would have been very elusive, indeed. So JT is gently bobbing in my office until his next outing. We’ve found the funniest thing is to have him swim back and forth in front of the windows at ArtWorks. From the outside it looks we’re underwater inside! It’s hilarious. Pictures are coming when I can get my Blogsy app to work…

I know I haven’t been keeping you up to date on the doings of Sharky Shark but he’s around and still up to tricks. For example, Halloween he decided he wanted to dress up and trick or treat. He told me that he wanted camoflouge himself as Old Granny so he could be The Big Bad Wolf. I told him he would have to have bigger eyes to do that.

Now of course the holidays are upon us and some parts of the greater Seattle area have actually snow already. I can tell that Sharky is thinking about what he wants for Christmas because he’s leaving me hints… He says he doesn’t want the hat. He wants the baby. NO SHARKY, NO!