Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Only 3 months behind...

Sorry for the long wait, but finishing school and trying to put together ways to pay the bills have taken up a lot of time. So here's my submission for March.

This page is taken from the lines found on the Nazca plateau in Peru. These shapes laid out in the desert have been thought to be proof of intelligent aliens having visited our planet, but current archaeological research have come up with some very plausible explanations for how and why they were made. Recent discoveries of buried, intentionally destroyed artifacts links these sites with ritual tradition. The forms were easily created using basic observational methods to map out these very large animal and abstract forms, which are truly only visible from the air. The lines are most likely specially created footpaths which would have been walked by the ritual participants and would have had a similar purpose to the labyrinth form.

This particular form is known as the humming bird, and is part of the reason that I chose to use pinks, as their plumage is usually very brilliant and colourful. The other reason was that I wanted to do bright pinks!

Anyway, the initial progress was a little frustrating, for several reasons. First of all, I wasn't at home when I started the project, so I was stuck using whatever marker I could find, and it ended up being a lot darker than I wanted...

Also it was difficult to find a size of image that would both allow the path to be beadable, and to have the entire form on the page...

The other problem was that I chose to use a polyester felt as the substrate. It ended up being very flimsy, so I used an iron-on support fabric.

But once everything was sorted out, it became just a matter stitching the beads onto the page.

So here's the final result. It's not exactly how I pictured it, but when are they ever.

The footpath is laid out in the silvery Delicas.

Now what do I do for April, May and June?!?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February complete a little early this time!

I'm not usually ahead of schedule when it comes to these pages. Unfortunately with school and work and everything else in my life, beading isn't a priority. So I'm very happy to have finished this months page BEFORE the end of the month, instead of half way through the next...

To continue with the theme of meditation which I chose for this year, I was inspired by the idea of a zen stone garden. So I went through my collection of tumbled stones, and found 5 which I thought went well together and yet were all unique. I worked on a nice layout between them, traced the placement on the ultrasuede, and started by beading around the forms in colours drawn from the stones.

Once I got to the background, I found that it reminded me of a stream with water flowing around the rocks. I haven't researched, but I seem to remember that it does have something to do with the meaning of the zen garden.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun doing the background, pulling an even broader range of colours, still based of the stones. I also found it rather meditative working this part. Just a side benefit...

I decided, from the beginning, that I had to leave the stones off until the end. It would have been too heavy, for one, and for two, it would have been almost impossible to work around them. So I was very excited to see the finished product. It's just a shame that it's so cloudy here today, and the colours of the stones don't come out so well in the photo.

Now I just have to figure out what to do for next month... :-D

Saturday, February 6, 2010

January page completed

This year I decided I wanted to do pages that were completely encrusted (or nearly so) with beading. I made my format much smaller than last year, so I would have time to complete them. Looks like I should have made it even smaller... ;-)

I often enjoy breaking the boundaries of established conventions of artistic practice. In art historical discussions, we often speak of "framing" an identity, a position, an aspect of interpretation. In my artistic practice, I often focus on the artificial division of art and craft, and in having objects going beyond the bounds of the ultrasuede, I am visually breaking the frame imposed by the limit of the piece of fabric, as I do with the boundary between art and craft.

I love the kind of arguments one can make in interpreting something! How's that for a lesson in analytical art history.

A note on the choice of colours I made: since the origins of this form were originally found to have been carved into rocks, as paleolithic petroglyphs, I decided to try to give this page a stone coloured treatment. I find it curious that so often stone is imaged as being solid grey, while in reality, it is often multi-coloured, with particles of many hues, including a preponderance of pink, especially in granite. So pinkish it is...

I wanted to hint at the carved nature of petroglyphs, so the delineation of the labyrinth is mostly closer to the surface of the fabric. The metallic pathway would be the curved, and somewhat polished surfaces that occur as the carving is being done, and the random other beads are the unaltered surfaces.

I think for February I'll choose a somewhat simpler meditative subject...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy New Year and a new year of BJP

With this new BJP I have chosen to run with a theme this year. With all the nasty things that happened last year, I've decided to focus on a meditative theme, often with a historical basis.

For January, I have been working on what could be the origin of the labyrinth form, based on concentric circles. While I'm not quite finished I thought I should post something, so the first photo shows the frame I made for the ultrasuede square I'm working on.

This I where I've managed to get to, but I have an exam today, and a couple of big assignments for tomorrow, so it will have to wait another couple of days...

Wow, it photographs better than I thought! I was afraid that the actual labyrinth form would get lost, but it's easier to see on the screen than in my hands! Cool...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Finishing up the BJP08

I have finally finished my August page, the last for BJP08. What I find rather amusing is that it was the first page that I ever started. I actually did the first stitch in July 2008, but kept putting it down to do other things.

The whole point to this page was texture. It's rather monochromatic, but not entirely. It is subtle, and it portrays what I had intended for the project. I wanted to explore a variety of techniques, and improve on my skills in bead embroidery, and this page certainly pushed my imagination and definitely tried my patience.

I am reasonably happy with the result, and thrilled that it's done!

I am so excited to get to work on January for BJP 2010!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A bit of colour for July

I felt that July required some colour, so I took inspiration from Klimt's The Dancer (1916-18). Her robe is a wonderful mosaic of colours and forms, so I drew my impression of a section from her sleeve, and only added simple enhancements, mostly in pretty beads I bought recently.

Things were finally starting to look up, and there are positive possibilities on the horizon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

6 months caught up - how hard it's been...

It's been a hard year so far. To the point where I forgot to even post my January page.

I hoped that by imaging the phoenix this year, 2009, would be an improvement on 2008. Well, rather than an instant improvement, it continued to go downhill, though it didn't culminate until later. Work has been an ever more dismal and abusive situation than I have ever had to endure.

February did have some bright spots, primarily in my school project for Photography, so I used a test print of one of my favorite shots. The project was shot mostly with a plastic camera which doesn't allow much control of exposure time and aperture, and gives a kind of accidental quality to the photos, so when I accidentally used too much heat when I dry-mounted this print, and I kind of liked the effect, I decided to keep it, and used it for the month anyway. I think it's kind of fun!

March is for my mother and brother, and for all my fellow water types! This is the last ray of light for a while...

April is when it all came down. I ended up in stress leave from work, and had to fight with my group insurance to be paid while I healed. They refused. April was a black hole of depression. I found the lack of creativity to be the most distressing part. I thought this image fit the month. There isn't even an ecretion disk because this black hole has eaten everything it can find.

I'm not much of a blog writer (as you can tell), and I didn't really intend this to be a narrative of any kind, but in a sense the entries for April, May and June are.

May was slightly less bleak than April, but it still wasn't that much better.

In June I hit a milestone year, and on top of that things still weren't all that much better. I was still on stress leave and seriously questioning my choice of profession. I think the mistake and lack of my usual finesse echoes my emotional state at this time.

Now, all I have left are 2 months to catch up, and July and August were starting to get better.