Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kimono to Participate in the Kerouac Festival

You may know that Lowell is the hometown of Beat poet and author Jack Kerouac.  Every year at this time Lowell celebrates his work in festival of poetry readings, films, pub crawls and more.  This year's festival has been expanded to four days starting tomorrow  and continuing through Sunday, October 3.  We are excited that Sonja and I are going to bring a visual arts element to one of the events.  The kimono that we made for the Brush Arts exhibit earlier this year is going to be used for the backdrop at a concert and poetry reading on Friday night.

What's the connection between Jack Kerouac and our kimono you might ask?  Believe me there is a connection.  The link is the song 'Long Way' by one of Friday night's performers, Antje Duvekot which talks about a road trip a la Jack Kerouac.

When we began to plan our kimono we read about and studied pictures of kimonos from different eras.  We were especially drawn to kimonos that were inspired by poetry and/or nature.  That gave Sonja the idea to use Antje's song as the basis for ours.  We contacted her and she gave us permission to use it.  We've incorporated the full lyrics and images from our own cross country travels and reflects the excitement of travel and the wonder of nature.  We call it 'Wandering.'
When we learned that Antje was participating in the Kerouac Festival this year we contacted her and the festival organizers and offered our kimono as a backdrop.  Yesterday we got confirmation that they want it.  We are totally thrilled.  So if you are in town on Friday night, the concert is at 8:00 p.m. at the Old Court restaurant at the corner of Central and Middle streets in downtown Lowell.  We'll be there.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An Unexpected Boost

I have a great story to share with those of you who sometimes get down thinking no one is noticing what you do.

I came in to the studio late today due to a dental appointment and several errands.  It meant that I walked in with one of the other artists on my floor that I don't know particularly well.  She congratulated me on having my work in the Globe this past Sunday.  Of course I responded that I was thrilled about it and commented that it was quite a fluke that I'd even seen it since I don't get the Globe.  At that she said "oh no - I'd have brought it to you.  I recognized your jackets."  The emphasis is mine.  Her comment made my day.

Now if you read my last post about the article, you might remember that none of the items shown were attributed to the creator.  I never expected that anyone would know that those were my jackets without my name there.  I often worry that my work is all over the place and that I do not have a recognizable style.  I've often felt that in order to have a style, you have to decide to do that and work toward it.  Now I realize I can relax, do what I like, and my style will just come through.  That is so freeing.

It was also quite a boost because I never really expected that this person paid much attention to my work.  Most of the time she doesn't remember my name.  It just goes to show that you don't always know who is paying attention.  At the time, I didn't expect much from the Bead + Fiber fashion show. There was no commentary during the show and the only attribution for the artists was a listing on the side of the building.  But, obviously Tina Sutton, who put together the Style Watch page for the Globe was there  and the page will help me even if my name isn't right there.  So I guess I'll just put my head down and keep working.  

That said, here's the jacket I just completed.  
Softly Intertwining
This is one that I just wasn't too sure about until I got well into the project.  It's made from an embroidered cotton that I've had for some time now--one of those that I had just large swatches of.  I had a hard time to decide what to do with that fabric because I thought it was a problem that I didn't have many complete flower motifs or many samples of the same colorway.  I finally realized that was inside the box thinking.  Once I could see the motifs more as color and texture, I could expand my possibilities of how to put it together and what other fabrics I could use with it.  I was pleased with the results.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Made the Boston Globe Twice Within a Month!!

I've been telling myself for at least two weeks that I need to get back to blogging, but I just haven't managed to tear myself away from other things.  Last night, though, something happened that I just have to share.

My husband was teaching and I was home leisurely perusing the Sunday Globe.  I turned the page in the magazine section to a spread of fashion photos and immediately recognized one of the dresses as one I'd seen in the Bead + Fiber show this past May.  My eyes drifted to the top of the page and I realized I was looking at one of my jackets that had been in that show!  As I recuperated from my shock, I realized that the layout included not one, but two of my jackets.  There was no attribution for the creators of any of the clothing pictured, but as you can see, I've fixed that in my version - well at least for my work.  The jackets in the top row, center and far right are mine.

This was especially exciting for two reasons.  First, I had no idea that this was going to happen.  But more than that, it could have so easily gone right past me without my ever knowing.  We don't get the Globe ourselves, our neighbors pass theirs along to us when they are finished with it.  Often we get several days of papers at once, so if I'm busy I just glance at a few sections or sometimes just put it right into the recycling bin.  I guess I'd better start paying attention, especially since this is the second time within a month that my (our) work has been featured in the Globe.  

On Sunday August 29, the kimono that Sonja and I made was pictured in the Globe North section.   The title of the article had nothing to do with our kimono and you had to read carefully through the article to find the short bit about the show here at The Loading Dock Gallery that it's in.  Still the kimono was clearly attributed to us and it looked great even in black and white in the printed papers.

With all this, I'm working on Cloud 9 somewhere...