A diversion of animals and seeds …

I have been somewhat accident prone these last few weeks. I bruised my left foot in Covelo, nursed it back to normal, then jammed my right foot on the leg of a piece of furniture (yes, ouch!), so am hobbling around and taking it slowly again. We visited the Minnesota State Fair (before I injured my right foot). The Fair ended on Labor Day, and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite pictures. The BEST state fair in the nation, or so I hear!

Why don't chickens hold still?

Why don’t chickens hold still?

My favorite State Fair oasis, the DNR fish pond...with ancient Paddle Fish My favorite State Fair oasis, the DNR fish pond…with ancient Paddle Fish

A favorite seed art piece (annual event in Horticulture Building A favorite seed art piece (annual event in Horticulture Building

Back to the studio next week!

Haiku artist statement

I’m participating in a series of 10 workshops offered through Springboard for the Arts, called The Business of Art. This is part of their Artist Development Project, funded in part by The Minnesota State Arts Board, through grants established after the citizens of Minnesota passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008. The project offers professional development workshops and education opportunities statewide for individual artists of all disciplines.

At this week’s session, entitled Your Promotional Toolkit, we put pen to paper toward the purpose of crafting a three-sentence artist statement. It’s challenging. This is the kind of snippet you can use on a short resume, in an elevator, and/or at a party. The goal is to generate an image in the mind of the listener and to arouse curiosity about your work without waxing into verbose art-speak.

I got to thinking then … why not a Haiku artist statement? From three sentences down to seventeen (or so) chirps? I can’t really see myself responding to the, “so what do you do??” question with this, but it would suit my medium!

Willow over water:

Egret eyes the minnow.

Me/ Sweet lure of cloth, paste, soy.

wading Great Egret

The dirt …

Last weekend I participated in a natural pigments class given through Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin, taught by painter Gloria Adrian. The Phipps hosts an ongoing conversation on sustainability and the arts, called What We Need is Here, (after the Wendell Berry poem).
Gloria brought many samples of colored clays and dirt from the region, and some coal in the formĀ  of “coke.” She taught us how to make egg tempera, and then we played with the pigments for a few hours, painting samples on gessoed board. I brought some washi pasted with a couple of my patterns, and some soy milk. These samples don’t look like much yet because I need to build up more layers of pigment and let the paint cure before washing the paste out. Generally, the pigments we tried had more sediment than the ones I use (from my teacher, John Marshall-on this page he describes the sources of the pigments he sells). The local dirt and clay colors are beautiful and muted. I look forward to trying them on fabric! Gloria also shared another great resource for artist materials including natural pigments, Kremer Pigments. They are based in Germany but also have an outlet in NYC.

The brilliant rust and ultramarine are pigments out of a jar, very similar to what I use, but from Kremer. The ultramarine contains some proportion of lapiz lazuli. I think the egg tempera adds a yellow cast to the pigments.

The samples in the jars below are all from local dirt, clay, and rock.