Hard to believe it's been only a week and a day since I posted the Small Pieces Exhibition because I've been busy, including long stretches where I sit in the heat and contemplate turning on the air conditioning, and resisting for the most part.
On that Monday I went to a Zen Meditation while Sitting on a Chair workshop, (great!; made sense why my paternal grandfather was so into Zen; all answers come not from a man or a book but by contemplation); a figure/life drawing workshop, (for grownups; the model announces duration and poses; we do however we want; and the teacher went around discussing issues and suggesting ways to achieve personal goals. Mine was to include the entire figure onto the sheet, and though I still couldn't, I loved talking to him; hope to go once more in August.)
On Tuesday I went to a drawing/painting class, (we could use pastel or watercolor,) to draw faces in the style of Klee. We learned techniques, including tracing; though the teacher said there were no "right"answers and we were to express ourselves through colors, he was clearly after certain outcome.
On Wednesday I went to see the Cluny Tapestries, (saturated, interesting but dwarfed under a 8-meter ceiling and black walls; the tops of the pieces were wrapped in strange, wrinkled black cloths, (hiding the mechanism??; they were hung a tad too low, and as always, there were too too many visitors); I think the key to my happy viewing is not to research so much about the artwork I'm going to see. I found this exhibition in the same museum much more interesting, but of course my favs never make it into postcards nor the website, so I can't show you his amazing, and big, photos. The best show was this one, by one Mr Dai Fujihara, who is an Issey Miyake designer; he went around the world collecting colors by mixing paint in situ and painting small strips of paper, then collaborated with industrial, scientific, craft specialists and kids to produce experimental end products. I was so thrilled I signed up for the curator's floor talk at the end of the month.
On Thursday I blobbed out and ate a lot of popcicles.
On Friday I started to weave off my faux tapestry warp. I have somewhere between 50cm and a meter of warp left, and Mom's been talking about weaving cloth to turn into a bag so I decided to do the same. At first I was just going to weave it in plain weave but it being on a RH and seeing bigger gaps between threads than desirable, I decided to keep with techniques I've seen on tapestry weaving books and vids, but not really study them, so I'm winging the not-straight-forward bits, but the cloth is stiff and good for the purpose.
I wove some more on Saturday.
On Sunday I went to a workshop where we collaged a 3D object (a manual coffee grinder) à la cubism. In fact I was the only student doing the one-day workshop whereas others are enrolled in an on-going twice-monthly workshop and they worked on their paintings. Even though the Klee class aimed for something similar, I liked this teacher as he explained the theory as well as some of the techniques that I ended up signing up for the twice-monthly workshop going on until mid-September. I told him I'm not sure if I can come more than three more times, i.e. end of August, but he said I should be able to do one still object in that time.
The whole time I attended Ronette's drawing class I seemed to have concentrated on elegant/eloquent lines and to try to show the 3D-ness of a body, but for a while I'll be trying to do something totally different, of presenting multiple view points on a sheet of paper and I'm very excited about this class. Later, my brother brought my niece so we sat facing each other with a pile of weft options and wove in relative quiet for some time.
Yesterday I went to a lecture on this exhibition by their chief curator. At first I wasn't too terribly excited about the artwork included, but it is in Yokohama so I changed my mind. It was supposed to happen in April 2011 but was delayed because of the earthquake in the first instance and then because of fear of nuclear fallout. All but one have never been shown in Japan, and the exhibition focused on portraits and paintings with people as subjects, so it'll be a good one. If we could just beat the traffic; the curator said to come first thing in the morning or just before closing.
After I came home I reorganized my sleeping area so I can work on my weaving in the tiny room and do work on paper in the bigger room; I've shoved my futon up against the futon closet to give myself space. I've been finding solace in collaging mostly in the tiny postcard size; it's been amazingly good therapy, and my faux tapestry was an effort to do something similar on a loom. Now that I've signed up for the Cubism-ish workshop, I'd like to practice some of the things the teacher taught me. And I have a couple of rods from which some fabric hang; I'm still going to sew and dye.
And I am going home to Nelson in early/mid September.