one of my favorite things to get in the mail...

Is the RISDXYZ.  It is the print magazine for Rhode Island School of Design Alumni.  I am consistently amazed at the talent, scope and ambition of the community I went to school with.  It is remarkable and inspiring.  I often dream that I have gone back to get another Masters degree in painting, sculpture and fibers...to explore the other areas I never had a chance engage in.  This issues cover featured the work of Sophia Narrett, a painter who began embroidering her narratives.    

Stars Align , Sophia Narrett

Stars Align, Sophia Narrett

Something Went Wrong , detail, Sophia Narrett

Something Went Wrong, detail, Sophia Narrett

Along the Vein,  Sophia Narrett

Along the Vein, Sophia Narrett

I love how she plays with the edge of the frame, with negative space in the interior of the image and with the drips and pulls of embroidery floss that start to feel think like paint.  The images are so layered and full that it takes multiple viewings to really discern the entire narrative.  And the textures and color are so rich and evocative that you can get lost in the beauty of the stitching in and of itself.  Thank you RISDXYX for introducing me to her work!

RISDWORKS!

I am so pleased to say that I have four dolls at RISDWORKS, the RISD Museum store for the summer.  The Fox, Elephant, Pig and a single sewing lady are there.  My girlfriend (and former boss) was kind enough to take pictures for me a couple of weeks ago.  I just noticed that the sewing lady's limbs are a little askew, so I will have to email the manager to get her rearranged.  It is such an honor!

the coolest jewelry....

was found at RISDCRAFT.  Amy Pfaffman designs this wonderful, whimsical jewelry that includes many of my favorite things in unexpected ways.  

Porcelain baby doll parts. 

Porcelain baby doll parts. 

Knitting needles.

Knitting needles.

Colored pencils.

Colored pencils.

Thimbles.

Thimbles.

Check out her website to see the different variations she has played with.  I wish I had had more time to talk with her in person, but I have loved poking around her website!

RISDCRAFT...

was fabulous.  So much good work for a block along Benefit Street.  It was crazy busy for most of the day.  I only got to sneak out once to look at the other work, but I did collect some business cards, so watch for more posts to follow on what I saw.  Here's a look at my table...

It was a standard folding conference table, 6 feet long.  I made the cover....it is cotton feed sacks sewn together that then I painted and drew on with ball point pen.  I had four animal dolls available, four sewing dolls, ten cloth dolls, four quilted pieces and one flower lady.  It was  a day full of compliments.  And I have a couple of orders...one for a custom doll or two and one for a couple of animal portraits.  Thank you for having me RISDCRAFT!

RISD Craft...

Is one of the next things on my calendar.  It is an annual alumni/student sale during Parents Weekend at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. I loved going to it and seeing all the work when I was a student.  This year, it was juried, and the college provides tables and a tent should it rain, so you don't have to have a booth to apply with.  I've been curious about art fairs, and this one has a built in audience, so I applied.  And I am going.  I'm pretty excited.  I will take the sewing dolls, animal dolls and some of my MFA dolls.  I am also going to make some prints of photographs I have made of the dolls...I had hoped to make new ones with the new doll furniture and environments, but there is just not time.  So I am starting to think about hang tags, plastic sleeves, a tablecloth, postcards...what my brand should look like.  I've got a month to do it.  The sale is one day only, Saturday, October 10 from 10 am - 5 pm.  If you are in the area, please come out and see me!  If you can't make it to the sale, you can check out the artist spotlight to see what you'll miss.  

Senior thesis...

When I was visiting my dad this summer, he pulled out some work I had given him nearly twenty years ago.  I don't recall if this actual piece was in my senior thesis exhibition at RISD, or if I made it specifically for him.  But I remember the very first one I made.  It was in my apartment on College street that I shared with my roommate Marlene.  I don't recall where the idea came from, but I realized I could make a little dress with a sleeve as big as my pinky, and I really wondered what it would look like.  The first one was a painted block printing paper that I just tore into the sort of right sized shapes. It was pink and I used a dark red thread to put it together.  The little stitches were x shaped that followed the edges of the torn paper.  There was a shoulder seam, side seam, waist and set sleeve.  I had started in Apparel Design, but this was the first garment I had ever enjoyed making.  And so began my Senior Thesis without my even knowing it.  The dresses started to take on character with different added materials.  I used to fold them up around a needle and thread and stick them in my pocket with a little pair of scissors, so I could pull them out and work on them at my work study job, or in the Print building, whenever I had a minute.  I'm happy my dad gave her a good home all these years and that we have had a chance to get reacquainted.  I think she might be the next listing on my Etsy shop....watch for her!f

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First day....

of Drawing 1 at RCTC.  26 students.  New easels, tables and supplies. We spent the morning reading the syllabus.... hopefully the big art words didn't scare them off. I have spent many years as the teacher, but I still remember my first drawing class at RISD with Michael Yefko.  He smelled like coffee and cigarettes and wore his hair in a ponytail.  It was a seven hour studio once a week.  It was heaven.  He gave us our supply list at the beginning of class, and sent us to the RISD Store to purchase everything.  We had an hour, and the bookstore was the world's best playground.  I bought tools I knew nothing about and had never used.  We came back up to class, and Michael had set up a still life of pots and bones.  We had a 24x36 inch pad of newsprint, and we started drawing.  I had never drawn that big, and it was the smallest size I drew on all year.  We came back the next week to draw the model....another first for me.  I don't remember much about the model, but I remember making a gesture drawing of the model with compressed charcoal and it was a revelation.  I loved gesture drawings.  Longer drawings found me getting fussy and caught up in particulars while I lost sight of the whole.  Gesture drawings were this wonderful process of discovery every single time.  I still think there is nothing more beautiful than that feather-like mark of compressed charcoal swooping across the page.  I hope I can help my students find what excites them about their own drawing.  Discovering my drawing during that freshman year was one of the best moments of my artistic life.