Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thankfully my computer has a slot at the back

My Nikon Coolpix P6000 was gathering dust till recently when I managed to get the old and much expanded/exploding battery out of the back of it, and then sourced a new battery online.  I am now thrilled to be using this delightful little machine again.
Its first assignment was to take photos in the Museum of Fine Art in Houston.  You remember (some posts back?)... well when it came time to download the images, I discovered that in the multiple house-moves I have misplaced the download cable.

Fortunately the darlings at Apple had put a download slit in the back of this computer I am working I am a very happy teddy.
Here are just three shots from that day - all, except the Pollock, have been saved here at really at low res. so not too hot if you click to see detail.  But PLEASE do click on the Pollack and you will see that the detail stored by my darling P6000 in the low light conditions  puts my iPhone to shame.
(other images will be posted on the family blog).
Click on the above!  The detail is shocking when you remember that flash is not allowed. I just love the freedom that this work evokes.  Plus all the dreaming you can do when you fall into its blackness.
Jackson Pollock No 6 1949 (Detail)

Shadows are almost as thrilling as the coiling in this piece
Ferne Jacobs Sefirot 1998 (Detail)

John outside the art gallery.
Albero folgorato (Lightning Tree), Italian artist Giuseppe Penone,

Friday, October 23, 2015

Well, that's mindfulness for you....

I do not think mindfulness is over-rated. It is something that we should all be doing for our safety and the safety of those around us at the very least.  And if you are mindful, I believe, amazing things happen.
Yesterday I learned of a 'school of photography' called Contemplative Photography .  I have that book on order from Austin... the public library here is State-wide, can you believe it, and Texas (I heard) is big !!!!
Today I was Face-timing John in Vancouver, when I noticed what had happened when I put my glasses down on my notebook.  Even though there was little light in the room this morning there was an image asking to be recorded.

Karin Millson: Contemplative Photography No.1
Square format because I have been looking into pinhole cameras. And because it worked!  Which again I put down to working with a mindfulness.
And isn't it amazing that the words I had written at the top of the page were those of Andrew Logan: "Art can be discovered anywhere." Do you ever feel that things are synchronistic - well that is mindfulness for you.

How long have I been doing this?

Thread swatches from 1987
The Stephen Simpson  works (1829) closed its doors in May 2009.  My samples date from 1987.
I did buy some thread from them but hardly used it during my City and Guilds as Goldwork didn't form a huge part of the curriculum.
Instead I worked with copper wire mostly and it was a lot of fun sourcing that in Ruwi, Oman, where they wind their own transformers (the electrical kind not the sci fi variety).
Tidying in progress
 And this was after the great stitch in last week, (the floor had been swept clear mostly - those are the final sweepings!!!) where I completed the panels for EMP.
I will take a photo of the "That's it Sorted" studio when we have some sunshine again (today?) - It isn't that I have gone scarily eco-warrior and don't want to turn on a light, it is just that there are no (electric) lights in that room.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A development in my sewing direction.

I like computers. I don't deny it.
I like Macs in particular.
Wendy said that people talk  iMovie.down (opposite of taking it up I guess).
So I decided to try it.  Thanks to Youtube... Yes you can learn anything there. It took me a painful 30 minutes of listening to this guy showing the basics... (well we aren't all teachers are we?) and then I jumped right in.

And you know what - I think this is a natural progression from the macro photos I like to take of my work.... and then there was the Vimeo we made for Puppet Power 2013... thanks to Dan and Wendy, 'n'me.

Here is the outcome... of my baby steps into video editing.
Oh and I am not sure how to save for the blog.
(Internal dilemma : Should I post or shouldn't I ?????? Yes I should, this is only my blog for heavens sake, not Sundance!)
How can I make it bigger on the screen though??? Any advice out there....

Friday, October 16, 2015

Tie Quilting - Quilting with Ties, not Thai people who quilt

Vally gave me a lift over to the Presbyterian Church on Memorial where a large group of the Quilt Guild of Great Houston, gathered to socialize and hear a talk on Quilting with ties.

I had a lovely welcome as Ginelle Long who had had a Canadian two dollar note in her bag for years (since her trip from Boston via Nova Scotia to Montreal in the fall of days gone by,  decided to give it to me.  Here it is.  I don't know if it is illegal to photograph money please tell me if it is -save me from going to the penitentiary.  As you know we have the toonie now and no two dollar bills.


Now, back to the quilting meeting.

I picked up some valuable information - like:-
 I can travel for half price on the Metro. bus etc.
The quilting group made 500 quilts this year and have donate most of them to charities around Houston, the rest will be given in the near future... that is a wow achievement to my mind, though I suspect many other guilds and groups are doing similar good voluntary work.
Some of the 500 Charity Quilts - That is Janet Becker on the right, she is a big organizer of this work.

Now back to the lecture.
Betty Rivers has been quilting with ties for 20 years+ and has become masterful at getting guys to give her their old ties.  She has done a lot of work and I admire her for showing her work when so much of quilting is about the precision which she doesn't worry about too much.  She hoped that folks who do work with precision will learn something from the advances she has made whist not taking all that time worrying about points and so on.  Good for her.  And she got a round of applause for saying so.

She is a great spirit and very funny.  Here are some of her one liners.
"I just got so clever, I am so scared of myself"
Nine tin tie men (the title of one of her pieces)
Ties who play nice together"
"If they're from Him enjoy them "(Interpretation: Him being your husband not The Maker)
a saying she had heard long ago "An untied man is an untidy man"

I enjoyed being with this group and respect them immensely, their president is very skilled in her position, no wonder they want her to serve for a further year.  She had us doing hand exercises at 'half time' and gave a heartfelt warning to us all to exercise and look after ourselves.

And for those of you who remember Andee from Calgary days here she is... how did she stay so young? I want my hair that colour.  It is almost edible. Nice pairing with the T.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Big thanks to my new friend Terri King who came forward and offered me a lift to the meeting of the Fibre Artists of Houston, Yesterday.  She did far more than just run me in there.  She treated me to a guided tour of several up and coming art districts of Houston, including the district where she has a lovely modern studio in Silver street.  It was a real education.

Here are some photos from the meeting, which was held at the Handweavers' Studio at Guild House.  The meeting (if you will excuse the pun) focussed on Photographing your own work and we were given many useful hints by Nancy.  Thereafter there was a show and tell which demonstrated the diversity and talent of the members.
I was particularly interested in the information on The Folly Cove Designers 1941 - 1969 that ?Susan shared.  Lino cuts now documented in a 2013 publication from the Cape Ann Museum. Gloucester MA.
All credit to the Cape Ann Museum for this lovely book  - here are a few images if you can't get to see their collection - please go to their website linked above.

Aino Clarke carving

Next meeting is going to be a more interactive affair on loosening/freeing up exercises led by Peggy.

We picked up some fliers before leaving Guild House and I saw a handout for the Makerspace.  Amazing coincidence because I had spoken to John and Dan about the possibility of there being one... Terri kindly ran me over there where we found a very active maker space, with the potential for running stitching classes there. There is an intro. to Arduino class on offer at end month (interested).  Terri also expressed an interest in having me help her move forward with her work. Looks like I had better apply for a work visa as soon as I can get my social security number.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Catch up....

The next few posts will be rather jumbled as I attempt to catch up. Since the last post a lot has happened for me (I should be writing on Facebook now shouldn't I).
The biggest of these events were:-
Packed up and left Calgary (for more on my life and work in our newest of homes I will be writing on a blog.  Let me know if you want the address by commenting below).
Moved to British Columbia - had a settling in period which included dyeing and stitching.

Visited Quest University of Canada British Columbia
Taught a workshop in Regina with Arlee Barr as my co-tutor.
There is a wealth of design ideas in the landscape of Saskatchewan - all was new to me.
Outcomes - Photo credit thanks to participating students (see later post for more details on this event)
Note to self:

Closed down the place on Saltspring Island
Holidayed in England - Cambridge
and Wiltshire
Went to live and work in Houston
There is much for me to see and learn.
If you live in Houston or the surrounding area and would like to make contact please comment below.