This week I’m sharing a couple pages from my sketch book for this project – backyard flowers:
This silver grey Fortuny owl and some other creatures found their way into the beautiful new window display outside the showroom in the D and D building here in New York. There are some great photos of the window on the Fortuny blog.
he storms off
new winter jacket – watercolor and colored pencil
A lot of my memories are in square format and slightly overexposed. My mother took pictures with a Yashica – A manual camera. There was a shoe box full of photos I loved looking through over and over. I loved seeing my world rendered (instagram style apparently!) and I loved seeing the world that preceded me. I’m intentionally not working directly from photos but I have vivid memories of some of them. She had a particular spot she liked to plant us in for pictures so I see myself and my siblings there- in Halloween costumes and new winter coats and white first communion dresses. There is one I remember particularly well – in a brand new winter jacket, fresh snow on the ground and the paths to the little barns and clothesline neatly cleared. I must have been 10 or 11 – approaching the height of my geekdom.
Stephen Szczepanek of Sri Threads has fabulous timing and he’s also pretty psychic about what I might be needing. His packages are always a surprise and they always seem to turn up at a moment when I’m in need of a boost.
This gorgeous collection of scraps turned up a few days ago and I’ve already begun a mini collection of Sri toadstools, little owls and spiders. Please join the shop mailing list if you would like to be notified when this collection is available.
You can see more of Stephen’s treasures on his blog and the Sri Threads facebook page.
the old well – pencil drawing
I loved the places that were home to lot’s of little creatures – the swamps, streams, stone I I loved the places that were home to lot’s of little creatures – the swamps, streams, stone foundations and this old well at the edge of Hennessy’s Grove. If you were still and looked long enough you were likely to see a salamander tail slipping into a crack or a garter snake poke out of a crevice. It had a heavy cover on it and I don’t think I ever saw inside but I loved wondering what it might be like, imagining driping and plinking echoing in the magnificent depth and strange pale creatures living in the dark, wet murk.
It’s really just part of a gown – the lace part. I love the asymmetrical skirt – it would have floated over a longer silk skirt. I’ve already used almost all of it – every little bit. The heavier lace became ring pillows.
I have a little collection of ring pilows made from antique gowns and petticoats available at bhldn now. The rest of the lace became gowns for little brides – also for bhldn.
swimming pool (10″ x 15″) on matte board ( you can click the image for a larger view)
I ended up making a mess of my under-painting and starting over with a simpler composition more focused on the pool and the Japanese Maple. There was a bunch of other stuff I wanted to show you but the woebegone pool was getting lost. I haven’t painted anything in a long time and there was definitely a settling in period, finding a rhythm and a particular sort of focus. That particular sort of focus, when achieved, is one of the things I most like about this kind of work. It feels like a little milestone in this project to have something painted and pretty much finished. I’m full of ideas for other drawings and paintings – places I want to show you. I also want to start to tie these images together and put them into the geographical context of my remembered childhood for you. I’ve begun drawing a map and I’ll show you some work on that and maybe a mysterious covered well next Wednesday.
I’m getting organized and making space, mental and physical. A great letting go has begun. One of the results of this effort will be my first ever online studio sale – a sort of a virtual stoop sale. I’m digging through deep and not so deep storage every night and unearthing experiments, treasures, supplies, samples and props. I think the sale is about 2 weeks away and I’ll keep you posted on the where and the when here or you can join my mailing list here. Today I’ll share a little of what I’ve come up with so far.
Some ruined but wonderful, frothy antique gowns. There will be lots of antique lace too.
I have a little collection of ring pillows made from antique gowns and petticoats available at BHLDN now (ps – their spring collection is lovely) – some of the samples and experiments I made along the way will be part of my studio sale.
Horses! My cardboard horses- some of the original signed and numbered group of 100.
I love these – they were part of a holiday window I made ages ago.
And a caged bird on a little nest of lace. It’s one of the very first birds I made.
Last fall the Citizen Watch company commissioned a special piece. My assignment was to “re-imagine” one of their timepieces and to make an object that fits my imagination and personal language.
The watch is called the eco drive- EYES. I re-imagined the watch as an owl and I called my piece ” The Time Keeper”.
He is an expression of the eco-drive watch and an expression of time itself. Focusing on visual and conceptual aspects of the watch, first and most significantly – his face- his eyes specifically, refer in a direct way to to the face of the watch.
Extensive mending was necessary to give the fragile garment structural integrity and that mending is apparent and celebrated, time marks, time transforms. The stitches express the characters and marks of the watch face – stitches sometimes measured and precise ( marking seconds). Stitches and patches expressed as numbers and letters and circles or portions of circles sometimes shifting in scale.
The marks refer to the design of the watch as well as illustrating a passage of time across the owls surface and acknowledging the history and life span of the ruined antique bodice he is made from.
He has gone off to live in the Citizen showroom in Tokyo. Also he is featured in Real Scale Magazine ( a supplement of Ginza) in Japan. The article was written by David G. Imber and Yoshida Mika with photos by Jen Causey.
I think the article will be available on line soon and I’ll post a link when it is.
This is work on a painting of the backyard pool- a classic above ground beauty, circa 1970 or there abouts. So far I’ve almost accomplished an under-painting – details defined in umber and washes of greyish blue and umber. I have lots of snap shots of this pool in my mind but my favorites are the darker ones – too cold to swim, a steely, cloudy day, leaves and japanese beetles floating on the water. I want to show it to you past its prime, listing a little and rust insulting the happy stripes. I was attracted to melancholic things as a kid and I still very much am – I think there’s a shadow of melancholy in almost everything I do. I’m happy to fully indulge that inclination for this picture. I’ll begin to add color this week (I might share a snippet of progress on instagram or facebook) and I’ll post the bleak scene here in full color next Wednesday.