We are Officially Un-Whooped

So it's not whooping cough, according to the nurse, neither Ben nor me. Unsatisfying, because the doc was behind schedule yesterday and my appointment was rushed. But if I'm still coughing a lot after three days of antibiotics, I should avoid crowds, she said. Well, yeah.

Today is the last day of Feb already, and I've always thought this is a sneaky conspiracy; in many cultures I know, there is a bit of partee-ing in Dec/Jan, so they made Feb short just so we're aware time is precious, that if we haven't started on projects we intended to, we better start now. You know what I mean?

I don't get along with antibiotics; some give me headache, some makes me drowsy, this one makes my head spin, although the cold itself could be the culprit. None of these is dire or alarming, just they're there and I'm reminded throughout the day.

So with a lovely warp ready and waiting to be woven downstairs, but with still no solution about the wefts, I might take it easy, finish up the MOMA course I was supposed to last Sunday; read up on weave structures, or more realistically, gaze at drafts and pics; doodle; or read.

* * * * *

That was this morning. I tried to finish the MOMA course. I did the reading and the quiz, but I have to write two pieces, 500 words each, and present it for peer review! Even though I am excruciatingly long-winded, I tried over the years to present my arguments/explanations as concisely as I can manage, and the first assignment, I said everything I need to say in less than 180 words. So I have to do a bit of thinking and add more details or examples. Eek.

But I was exposed to a lot of new-to-me artists and had some of their processes explained. Among them, I'll continue to read up on Doris Salcedo and David Hammons.

OK, time to go to bed. I'll decide in the next couple of days if I will add more fluff into the assignments, or dare submit shorter ones. I figure, for me, if I have 350ish, that's more than enough. :-D



Doc Karl didn't tell me if I have whooping cough, and I forgot to ask if I'm contagious, but he told Ben he had it, and I was given the same antibiotic as Ben's, plus a few supplements, same as Ben's. So there we have it. I might ring the RN tomorrow before I decide about Friday morning art class or film afternoon with Esther. 

Now for the sample. Not pressed.

Originally I designed this draft to be woven in skinny cottons at 42EPI and about the same PPI, (roughly half each way or a quarter in area,) so as I started weaving, BOOM!, I was reeling back on the loom bench at the motifs' bigness! Although the size, in this context, is slowly growing on me.

1) The red and the natural at the start are not weft candidates but sampling, using leftover yarns, to help me look for threading/sleying mistakes. I like the proportion of warp/weft sizes, even though I tend to beat really hard in samples, so they are not accurate representation. It's cloudy today, so the natural weft looks appealing.

2) It's been a while since I wove with yarns in the same color but different sheen, (a style I love,) so I tried black possum/merino/silk(B) and cashmere(I). Because of the sheen from the mohair in the warp, the warp is a very black black, but neither show marked contrast, (I) marginally better. Ditto with the two grays, in P/M/S(A) and cashmere(G), although all feel great, the P/M/S cushier and thicker.
 Warp and P/M/S sheen contrast 
Warp and cashmeres and the last navy wool sheen contrast

3) When I first entertained the idea of silk, I thought of the yellow(D); it has a hint of black, an "old gold" look. I'm undecided on the color combo but like the size. The pale blue(F) is my favorite, and I almost didn't sample because I don't have enough, but the size is perfect and I love the look especially in daylight, so at least the idea was good. The slightly greenish boucle(E) was the nearest color silk I have, but the jury's out; the draft/pattern is surprisingly visible even in spite of the boucle. The darker, grown-up green(C), (and it's not gray nor gray-brown,) I saved for years for a suitable project, and while the color is lovely, it's too thick. (C), (D), and (F) silk wefts are shinier, while the warp stays a somewhat subdued very black black and really recedes.

4) I'm never sure about black+purple(H) but I like black+navy(J), but I don't have a suitable navy not in boucle. I don't like (H), and the sheen of the warp is too close to that of (J), so I don't think I'll go with either.

While I was wet-finishing, I remembered I have black merino in the same size as the red and white wool, from the same source as the warp mohair/merino. I might sample that at the start/end of the first piece. But... None here stands out and the loom is ready to go first thing tomorrow morning.

I don't like black warps, but goodness, in combination with dark wefts? Yikes.

As for Syrie, now that I put my thoughts in words and posted, and Ben's seen what I was up to, I'm drowning in foreboding whatever I make is destined to be mediocre, "a nice effort", and "provincial" in the worse sense. I'm going to walk away from it for a few days, or concentrate on the technical aspect: weave structure, making tiny mock ups, etc



The title line is a picture of me being pulled in two directions. 

I thought I was getting all better by Friday so I went to the art class; ran into Annabelle for the second time since our exhibition, (her life is so good now, I'm glad;) then went to Rosie's and had a great time, except I was coughing, and still we talked non-stop. I didn't feel bad one bit, just coughing, but too often, too loudly, and I'd say, rudely. Oh, dear. So, I made a doctor's appointment at 4.30 tomorrow, in time to run into a pharmacy before closing.  

In a way, I knew I must see Doc Karl when Ben came home with whooping cough med; even though I wasn't sick, and my "cold" manifested in different ways, I had read that whooping cough is highly contagious. I stayed home until I felt I was almost over it, but that must have been wishful thinking. The foremost excuse is, now is not the time for me to get sick when Ben's blood sugar level and our going back to a no-carb diet are our priorities, and I'm having a hard enough time keeping that under control, so, tough it out, kid! But also, I'm honestly fired up about my new project. I even made a label, "RAW/Syrie" just now to tag the posts. See =>>>>>

(EDIT: the label has changed several times but it's "Syrie" until/unless it's renamed in its final stage.)

So what am I thinking? If you've been around Unravelling, you know I need a picture of the finished project, albeit incomplete, constantly morphing, or it ends up only a step in the process. The picture is constantly morphing now, and even when it settles it's something I can't "show" you until it's hung at the Refinery, (because I'm' thinking big/long,) if selected. But I hate dropping coy hints without any meat, so here are the starting points:  

* It's going to be something like the pillars, but the bottom part sewn together to make a real tube, to sit directly on the floor, then different panels opening up. Individual piece may be narrower but need to be longer and I'm aiming for five panels if possible.  

* The panels are going to be predominantly red, with squares/rectangles of different sizes in red, orange, yellow, grays and black; possibly more. These represent windows. 

* Background, my short history: You know I worked at the Syrian Embassy in Tokyo for a year. Back in the '80s Syria, and Iraq for that matter, were cosmopolitan, "Westernized" countries where at least in the city life looked what we'd call, "normal"; there were no headscarves, women were educated and worked, etc.1 The major security concerns were Gaza/West Bank, recently Lebanon, and Egypt where "fundamentalist" were gaining strength. So I was honestly shocked at what happened in Syria since Arab Spring; I knew Assad the Dad ruled with iron fists, but hadn't realized Assad the Son followed in the footsteps. So I've been thinking very vaguely of a series of red pillars named "Syrie" for a couple of years. (1I worked at the embassy, a branch of the Foreign Ministry, so the information I received were the official versions, but we also met some Japanese who travelled there, and heard stories that didn't contradict the official line too much.) 

* Background, the name: I grew up in the US in the 70's when America's worst foes were "Syria and Libya", so the English "Syria" evokes in me more of infantile name-calling, rather than the country herself. I'm interested in the country. "Syrie" is the French name; they colonized Syria 1923-'46 under League of Nations mandate, so it's not a great name, but I can't type Arabic alphabets easily, either. (It's سوريا, apparently.) "Syrie" is a working title because I don't like colonization, either, but for me for now it's better than the American implications that was pressed on me.

* In trying to work out how I could make something to express/represent the lament, the devastation, the losses/changes in the lives of everyday Syrians, I searched for recent still photos. (I can't look at too many at one time, and I don't have the stomach for vids.) but I was overwhelmed by the large number of almost black-and-white/sepia pics showing the aftermath, buildings with windows blown out, conveying a perverted kind of silence, stillness, and, dare I say, beauty, a done deal. "Oh, look at the city reduced to rubble." Although I don't like looking at them, I expected people, running, even bleeding, limping, or carrying others, covered in soot, similar to what we saw after 9/11. At the very least, buildings as they burn, explosions as bombs drop. The photos also conveyed the callousness of whoever is bombing them, sometimes from a distance, sometimes, I suspect, with drones. (I didn't check.) The human ability to put a distance to others' suffering, destruction of lives/culture/history/heritage, borne of physical/emotional/(cultural) distance. The dismissal of the magnitude. So that is my starting point. 

* Current Issues: The picture in my head is still about the buildings because I love architecture and buildings/structures are easier to express in the grid that is weaving. On the technical side, I don't want to use pick up if I'm going to have to make five, say, of 4m panels; I can change weft colors, but I also prefer to weave with one shuttle at a time. Much reading required. 
This is the doodle that made me think I might be able to do this. So, I'll be making a giant red leek. 

On another note, I finished threading the black merino/mohair yesterday so I can start sampling. I also resumed counting the days to my birthday, (36), not for the old stash-busting goal, (ha ha ha,) not for my Yikes-60-countdown, but that's the day proposals for RAW are due. Another important date is May 7, when all accepted "out of town" pieces are due at the Refinery; typical of me, if I don't get the thing done by April 3, (most likely,) I will submit a proposal with whatever I will have completed, and take the time to weave for another month. And in a way it's nice to be working on the big loom while I think further about the project. 

I have an alternative plan, although it doesn't appeal to me at this stage; if I can't manage the weaving, I could paint/modify the pillars for this project. Those pieces are stiffish in luxurious wool, (actually more like buildings made of stones,) but not quite long enough, while I'm thinking of thinner, more flimsy cloth for this project. I am keeping all options open. 


Hi from the Other Side

Gita on Tuesday for and Nelson City in general was nowhere as traumatic as I envisioned; it arrived later and took a path further south, so we got rain and wind, but the rain wasn't as hard nor long, and the wind was much milder than our usual Sprint/Autumn wind. The one noticeable difference was wind usually blows from the west here, while Gita brought it from the east.

However, the West Coast and Golden Bay, northwest of Nelson, were hammered with heavy rain and landslides. You may have seen pics of Takaka Hill Road having fallen off in big chunks. These, together with State Highway 1 from Picton to Christchurch via. Kaikoura, the route damaged in the Nov 2016 earthquake, are some of the popular tourist routes, (two are also our main arteries,) so if you know anyone hoping to holiday in New Zealand and drive around the South Island, urge them to get updates. Takaka Hill in particular is going to take some time to repair. (The hill is, incidentally, where the marbles for our Parliament House came from, and was used in LOTR films as backdrop for folks running in stunning scenery.)

* * * * *

I'm really fired up about the RAW project, and I'll tell you more when I have a clearer picture, but I need to read up on tied weaves. You know me; reading words about weaving make my eyes water and I read a paragraph several times before I realize I've been reading it many times. (Ditto with my own posts!)

Because it's a big project, I don't want to use pick-up, and I hope to weave with one shuttle at a time. The look of the draft isn't going to be fussy or complicated, but I want to insert/superimpose shapes in distinct colors. I wanted to relearn, in particular, tie-down in twill, not how to draft them, but how they behave/look.

I checked every place conceivable for the workshop sample today to no avail. I also realized I did not save the Pebbles draft, another S&W, which makes me so mad because I always intended to weave a bigger piece based on it. I wove that sample on a table loom, so I made the draft in and worked off a lift plan, and I wished I had posted that at least. Instead, I posted the treadle plan, and the only reason I can think of is I usually save drafts in treadle plan so I did that without thinking. But this one isi nearly useless.

While looking for the missing sample, I came across a woodgrain sample I found particularly attractive, and thought I could modify that for the black Merino Mohair warp. But when I was ready to work on it, I changed my mind and chose to modify the hellebore draft, but for a strange reason; the flowers looked like faces, and the cloth, a bunch of folks who have passed on looking back in a quiet, but not sad, way. And I found it visually terribly appealing. I don't know if I'm going to weave all three or four pieces on this warp in this treadling, but most definitely one, maybe two.
See? I'll have to come up with a more cheerful name/concept, though.

Threading is easy and in one sitting I finished half. The downside is, it's half mohair, and the fiber fly around and make my skin itch and nose stuffy. I remember now why I don't weave with this yarn often, and when I do, usually as the weft. It has a glorious sheen so dull wefts suit best, but I'm also thinking silk.

Tomorrow morning is my fourth session of the Adult Art class; in the afternoon I'm going to show Rosie how I make sauerkraut. So, threading and sampling on Saturday; I hope the loom works.


Fired Up/Nelson will be Closed Tomorrow

Yesterday while doing something completely different, (I can't remember what,) I had an idea for a RAW submission; it happens to be something I've wanted to make for a couple of years and I toyed with the idea of submitting it to Changing Threads, but I could never "see" what the final piece would look like, and I kept putting it off. Yesterday I began to feel a very strong urge to finally make this piece, and today when I sat down, ideas kept flowing. (This had something to do with the sudden energy; Kaz showed me pictures before she posted. :-D)
Thinking Summer & Winter or another tied weave would be one option, I looked for few samples I have done, and after remembering they were in a special place because I always intended to revisit tied weaves. (Special places are never a good idea for me; I can never find anything leaving me with an empty feeling, "it was supposed to be special.") Then I remembered I have another sample somewhere, but special or otherwise, I couldn't find it for the life of me.
My samples are filed according to fiber contents, roughly, but after checking every shelf thrice, I still can't find it.  I'll try again tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita is heading to Nelson. It's the one that brought huge damage to Tonga among other places. We've been warned to get ready since last Friday, and Ben's work is closed, he was told today.

This is the latest map I can find. See the top of the South Island where the water eats into the land in a V-shape? Nelson is slightly above the bottom of the V on the right side. The greatest danger is expected near the water, areas worst struck the day after the Super Blue Blood Moon and last Sunday, rain, tide, storm surge. We're up a hill so we're not expecting that, but a) we left the basement as is with the carpet waiting in the garage, and b) prepared, sort of, in case of water stoppage and/or power outage. Ben says there were a lot of empty shelves in the supermarket tonight.

Oh, if I were to go ahead with this RAW project, I need the big loom so I must get cracking with the black warp. One of the unrelated samples gave me a nice idea; I think the black warp is going to be another twill series.


Yeah, I Live Like This

On the drive back home that fateful Wednesday evening, (you may all laugh,) Barbara asked me what I do; she might have meant if I work outside of weaving, or weave somewhere else, but I didn't have the presence of mind to say, "read, fume, and waste oxegen," so I said I live in my basement, (true, as it had been very hot until then,) and when she asked if I work with textiles all day, I said yes. She lives next door so she can see what I don't do. But I'm a half-lier.

I might have whooping cough; might not. My symptoms are different from Ben's so we thought it's a a regular cold, although my regular seldom includes coughing. The thing about those of us who had a terribly healthy childhood/young-adulthood is, (say, someone who saw a doctor once between ages 9 and 43-ish?) we are so nonchalant about seeing doctors because it's really usually nothing. My parents were like that until well after 70. Ugh. This morning Ben and I were laughing in exasperation we've become "those people" who are never 100% well any more!

Anyhoo, recovering (?) from a couple of real ugh days, today I did some abstracts in my sketchbook, and then these on watercolor paper.
That I'm terribly near-sided works well with these; I take off my glasses and work with the paper about 10cm away from my face; when I sit up straight, the shapes are blurred but not how colors are distributed/positioned. I've been interested in movements, how the different colors travel across the A5 paper, and my eyes do exactly what I need them to do.

Not sure about where I'm going with these, though.

I may have mentioned an interesting do-if-you-like assignment in the MOMA course. From memory, the instructions were to take pictures of a familiar/interesting object from different angles; cut them up; past them together to create an image showing the object. Something like that. Of course I immediately thought of my one-time failed attempt at cubism, and was fired up.

I shot my camera and printed them out wallet size in B/W. The weather earlier today was so changeable and all my shots were very dark, so the hardest part was cutting them up, but I tried a couple of images.
The first one I just picked up cut pieces and pasted one after another.
For the second, I pick up pieces and pasted, and for subsequent pieces, thought of placement in relation to what's already there.

So far they look like quirky-but-not-successful Surrealism collages, but I'm interested in the Cubist look, so I'll keep going. I've doodled some Picasso portraits last year and saw how difficult abstraction à la Cubism was, but also saw some clues. Today I just cut the camera shapes in full, (i.e. the whole of what was included in each photo,) but next time 1) I might try a more controlled approach, i.e. not paste until I have the bigger picture, 2) maybe not cut out the shapes unless necessary and/or cut further, i.e. not keep the whole of what's in the photo.

It's great fun; I recommend it. But I don't know where this is going.

While reading last week's MOMA course material, (which have been between super interesting to surprisingly revealing to why-oh-why,) I wondered once again if the artist himself/herself thought all that before executing the artwork. I'm sure some did/have, but some art writing/descriptions go so far into the artists' mind and I can't help but think some are way-off, the-writer-needs-a-shrink type speculations.

That lead me to think about how I work, where my happy place may be, balancing a) enough thinking and design time to feel I'm making each piece special, b) a measure of productivity, ergo, c) overall "job" satisfaction or perception of self-worth living this life, and other stuff like d) speed of stash reduction, d) pricing/money, etc. Because I spend too much time thinking; I know this.

I'd love to be weaving just now but I sort of can't. Well, now that I went downstairs to take the pic, I could, just not put a new warp comfortably on either loom. I don't blame you if you can't tell the difference between the usual state of the room vs today.
Our basement, (not the weaving part but the bottom of the stairway and a tiny storage beside,) got flooded in the latest, second rain on Sunday, although it might have started a week ago Thursday in the first and we didn't notice. This part was a gun room (!) from the original owners and has a lot of concrete, (good for stairway, don't you think?) including the floor. The door to the weaving space is wooden but used to have three locks plus and a deadbolt. The carpet/underlay was never secured to the floor but just cut to size and fitted in the space. It's not a big deal; we've taken out them outside to dry earlier in the week, but they waited in the garage today as we were expecting showers. We hope to disinfect the underlay and wash the wool carpet with vinegar on the weekend, and put them back just on the stairwell but probably not in the storage.

Tree cutters came this afternoon with the biggest truck AND tree-crunching mechanism attached at the back: my first thought was, Nelson, hills, don't you have more easily maneuverable vehicles? I thought they came for me as I'm supposed to have two trees trimmed because they are too close to the power lines, but it was for my neighbour. I was terribly embarrassed about the state of my place, as usual, not that there was anything I could do then. Two other neighbours came out to have a look see, and we said hello, but one couldn't help but look up at our property. I cringe to think how others see us, me, I wasn't raised like this, and today I really cringed to see our place from someone else's perspective. Our place seldom look OK, but this summer it's most definitely mental-health territory, so old-injury/diabetes/whooping cough notwithstanding, I have to solicit Ben's help this season to make some visible-even-to-those-who-don't-live-here stuff happen.
A kingfisher came for a visit, possible looking for the tree that was growing right into the power pole, now gone.



Friday morning's insomnia was a whopper: I was wide awake by 1.30 and until well after 5.30. First I did the very wrong thing of staring, without my glasses, (so, about 10cm away from my eyeballs,) at the same FB posts over and over again, refreshing the screen in vein, and reading every single comment on the one political group I belong to. (I do belong to just one political group!) Then I moved onto Pinterest and looked up "handwoven shawls" and came across this stunner, (I hope you can see it without an account,) and spent the rest of purgatory admiring elegant plain weave pieces.

After about an hour's sleep the alarm went off so I got up, dazed and a bit delirious, which I think worked to my advantage. While going through the morning motions, I knew I still prefer to be weaving something rather than nothing. Even if there are too many scarves in this universe. At the same time I have this mantra, something a much senior (in career) weaver said early this century: "you have 16 shafts, (this was somewhat rare/new back then in NZ,) show us what 16 can do." I was lucky to have gotten 16 so early in my weaving life, but also true, I've been lazy in exploring and 4 and 8 especially, and this contributes to my finding what I do limited. Or lazy and boring.
As a compromise, I contemplated weaving a variation of one of these gems, with two colors in the weft; with 16 shafts, I can manipulate 14 different spot positions. Although..... unless I did something regular with relatively short repeats, (and in my head I was making all kinds of random-seeming placements,) I would have to spend so much time designing treadling when these can be done more easily with a pick-up. And far more flexibly. Soooo... this may be the next cluster of projects on the four-shaft, while I'm still in the dark about what to do with the black merino/mohair mix on the 16. Still, I have one more executable idea.
Another thing I've been contemplating all summer is log cabin where the warp moves on the color wheel, but for that I may need to buy a few cones of cashmere; (I'm running out of colors!) and buying more yarns at this stage is as needed as a hole in my head, so maybe not. It looked better in my head anyway.

I went to the second of ten adult art class, (dislike the name,) and it was better because Mark the teacher really does allows us to do whatever we like. I haven't brought anything home because I've been working on A2, I think, paper and he keeps them all for us and makes the available the following week. This week we drew objects with pencil and/or charcoal and/or white conte (??) pencil, and I worked standing up, with my paper on a low cabinet because I was smudging and rubbing and making the table-for-two shake so much. The charcoal didn't smudge smoothly to my satisfaction so  started wiping them with baby wipes, which worked well.

We got to see some detailed photos of his panels in the article, and goodness, there are fantastic details in layers, especially in the white parts. I now want to ask the school if I could come look at the panels.
 This was my model for Week 1, an giant antique drill bit.
This was for yesterday, the plate/tray part of an antique scale.

We have to go on a stricter ketogenic diet at least for the next couple of months. I was so enjoying reading flavourful normal cookbooks I'm loathed to go back to anything with "Diet" in the title, but such is life. I don't like the acronyms nor the screamy-shoutiness in Ketogenic FB pages and groups, so I'll read up online and go back to the lower-keyed Blood Sugar Diet books, (of which we have a few,) and modify them to take out as much carbo as humanly possible; at least that's the plan for now. New rude surprise: we're not only "off" onions and beetroot, but also tomato for the time being!
I started making mental notes of what else we need to rid from pantry/fridge, and reduced the frozen blueberry stock while at it. I love the similar-but-not-same patterns. (Not OK that I still see this as Ben's diete; it works just as well for overweight, grump weavers!)



Heyho, folks.

Life for an anxious, mildly-depressed hermitess hasn't been easy. I've been thinking of too many things; reading possibly too much, (for me, that is; in the collective human experience, probably not enough and/or not the right stuff;) finding no inspiration/enthusiasm anywhere; overwhelmed by "this is not what I want to be making" dread; escaping to half-hearted housework, (not bad in itself, but if I'm going to clean, I really should clean with gusto.) Ben's diabetes control is not going so well, to which I react in two ways, a) "ultimately it's not my problem," but b) it's not just a moral failure but an intellectual one; we know better. The garden most definitely looks like the residence of a scary old hag in children's picture books; convolvulus does such a great job.

I had a right old temper tantrum at JB's after dinner on the night of the last post, kind of a cumulative eruption of stuff I've been thinking about. So a fortnight ago today I was wondering what an "emotional breakdown" looks like, but didn't search because I was afraid of what I might find. Also contemplated if I needed horse tranquilizer instead; this appealed to me more, a deep sleep and a restart. Can't explain any more than that; haven't talked to anyone about it; I can't remember the big picture, but I do know part of it was discovering how far/long I've disengaged from Nelson's art scene.

So that happened.

Ben's been coughing for a month and it turned out he has Whooping Cough! Apparently there is no age limit to that and apparently it's been going around town. For about ten days I felt punch-drunk from my tantrum, but last weekend Ben had near-39C temps for a day and a half, followed by me, though not that high, for a day, and earlier this week I felt punch-drunk from the weekend. We're fine now; Ben's properly medicated although his ribs/sides hurt from all the coughing, and good or bad I'd forgotten the details about my tantrum. Is that good or bad??

We had a hot, and rare for Nelson, humid January, worst on record, followed by some crazy rain/tidal surge around the Big Bloody Moon, and now we're heading for some Feb Hot, but it hasn't been as humid and evenings/mornings are cooler so I'm coping better. I even managed three hours of weeding one day, and it shocked me how little I got done; that'll be my life for this autumn/winter, and I think that's OK. I've attempted to go outside several times since, but anxiety/"other pressing stuff" or in one case, 38C temps, (mine not the atmosphere,) got in the way.

Life goes on; I'm better at doing something rather than nothing, (this being the reason I think I'm not depressed, just grumpy, OR I'm better at managing the mild end of depression. Whichever, whatever works.) Abstract doodles have become superb distraction/therapy; they make me concentrate on the moment; stop the noise except the cicadas; are taking longer to complete, and unlike the faces last year, I go back and look at I've done often.
I did these shortly after my tantrum and for days they alarmed me, but today they look, oh, bright. I'm more interested in the shapes now.
I tried out some cooler/calmers colors but the shapes got wilder, some like ink blots. I'm still doing the same things I started out with: draw an outline/shape, start a line from somewhere on the outline, draw until I reach somewhere on the outline. Repeat if necessary. Color in.
After I started to leave some shapes white, I got curious. I drew a few on 120gms inkjet paper so I could cut them out. They were interesting but the sharp ends kept sticking to my clothes and breaking so I pasted these here. I need heavier paper for future experiments.
I also drew some on watercolor paper; I think I just wanted to see how saturated the ink pen ink  would look. These sheets are A5, so each section is A6, (or 1/4 of A4,) while the daily squares are usually 1/6 of A4. I'm not sure where I'm going with these but may try with watercolor.

I haven't woven since I took out the banged wefts from the cashmere warp. I promptly put on that black merino-mohair warp on the big loom, and came up with more-or-less-the-same pretty/fussy twill drafts with weft options, both for straight forward weaving and clasped wefts, but there's the problem: they are more or less the same as my previous stuff. And who needs another lukewarm scarf in this world.

I've been so keen to weave but every time I go downstairs, mental pictures of the end products tease/haunt me to the point I am debilitated. And unlike other times, it hasn't helped to look at other weavers' lovely work. What's with that??? Oh, but have you seen this????? 

Refinery is looking for proposals for exhibitions and I reread their new forms. Hum. The Suter started art classes for adults, beginners and not-beginners, and because I've had zero tutorage in painting, I enrolled in the beginners. I went to the first class last Friday. The teacher is an ex-high school teacher and a lovely guy, but in adult classes, constantly soliciting input disrupts the flow, becauses every student a question/opinion, some oh-so-many-more than others, and so far my reaction has been hohum. Also started MOMA's free online course on Modern Art. It's had interesting and hohum parts, nothing yet startling and new to me, but then no reason to give up on my third week. There was one "try this" kind of an assignment I want to write about later.

Changing Threads is happening again and I looked at it some time ago but, you know, I never got "fiber art" and didn't feel energetic enough to give it a go, (the head stuff, not the making part, which I noted.) But Refinery is doing something new, called RAW, and this outside art stuff may be the thing for me; they want to see the artwork by my birthday, (55 days to go,) so that could be a sign from above/below/backstage. Or just a coincidence.

Oh, I do so exhaust myself with my own lukewarm outlook.

* * * * *

There is one thing I need to clarify: my comment about the Suter shop. I knew this would be a difficult one to get across accurately so I sat on it for months but still may have got it wrong.

When we first came to New Zealand, we were told, on average, Kiwis live in the same house for seven years. That's the average, and we knew people who never finished a school year in the same house as the one they started in. As well, I don't know if this is a New Zealand thing, how times are changing, or where I'm at in my life, but relationships of all kinds don't seem to last as long as I thought they were supposed to, especially where business is concerned. Also, I'm that person who never knows when to leave a party.

What I've been mulling since Andrea left the Suter, on hearing my friends' concerns, and seeing different emphasis in gallery stores while travelling South, has been this: have I had a good run at the Suter and is it time for me to leave? Are textiles not what they want any more? (I have had galleries tell me textiles are too hard, so no thanks, including at the Red years ago.) And I am aware how much I've dislodged from the real world. So I wondering how accurately I read signs.

The shop manager's name is Ailsa; I just looked up, because I can never remember how to spell it. It's pronounced like the lioness; I asked someone in the early days but I can't remember and all these months later I'm too embarrassed to check. Ailsa really has a lovely smile, the sort I associate with peace of mind. So I didn't write to diss her. But I'm still frustrated with the situation. And I hate their new forms.

* * * * *

So, yeah, JB, I have been trying to keep a low profile, (not hard when you're not even 150cm,) from myself more than any-thing/body else, but thanks for the text.

Now on to prepping Art with Mom Session V, this afternoon.  (Last week we did blind contours of buildings/structures/cityscapes and painted them in abstract/emotional colors like, "after all the children have left". She hated it; I love them.
(Mine. Top right, me losing patience with Mom losing patience with the task. Theme: plotting a revolution. In fairness, she was tired and I was pushing her.)