Friday, February 24, 2012

Complacency and creativity.......

As usual I have left such a gap between my posts - there just has been so much going on in the studio, teaching seems to be what I do and not much time to do much else. Lots of ideas of course, which is what I love the best and when one completes an idea, there is muchsatisfaction!
So many ideas and moments of sure joy - not a great picture, but just seconds before there were about a dozen geese swimming in and out of these trees. The water is so high (Shawnigan Lake and just down the hill from home) and I have been doing a daily photo record as an exercise - "what do I see" - kind of exercises -  form, colour, movement, it gives me a good start to the day and ideas abound. 

I chose the title to this post due to one of most wonderful experiences that I have had in the studio. A week or so ago, a woman came in - someone I knew - and had read the article in the Voice about Leola's sStudio and felt that this was the place to be gifted something she had.  Had I heard of Theo Moorman, yes I said and wished I had responded as Barbara had answered her some years back, had she heard of Wayne Gretsky??? So she put in my hands, the Weaving as an Art Form, which I love and have a couple of copies that I love to lend out, another book on permanent loan, Theo Moorman 1907-1990: Her Life and Work as an Artist Weaver. I hadn't seen this book, so I was very excited. But then she placed another gift in my hand wrapped in tissue - a piece of Theo's weaving done with a fan was quite an emotional moment. Helen, then told me that Theo had been her mother's best friend in Leeds and had visited her mom who lived in Chemainus - she had been here in the valley!!!! I knew she taught internationally and had been in Banff because my old weaving partner Christine had taken a workshop with her - and took Theo sightseeing around Banff. I have done a few pieces of the Moorman technique and loved this "poor man's tapestry" technique.

The book

The little weaving done by Theo using the fan reed

The fan reed that I made years ago and that is broken but will still work I am sure!

But why the title.........
Theodora Moorman quotes:  ..."One is, of course, aware that complacency strikes death at the heart of creativity, but it is not so easy to accept failure as a step towards progress. The rare occasion when something comes off the loom that one knows in one's bones is good is a matter for rejoicing. To realise a positive side to one's failures is much harder and needs a lot of courage.  Courage, persistence and an exploring and adventurous mind are our greatest assets.  It is good to 'push out a little into the deep'.

This all came about after watching Archie Brennan cut up a woven tapestry! I love it when my students lose a cross, or make mistakes - as I always tell them it is an opportunity for new design and gives me a chance to teach and I learn as much as they do - and there is always room for potential 'new' mistakes.

Barbara really wants to have a Theo Moorman workshop in the studio, so we are looking at a Theo Moorman Birthday Party and Tea - May 25th is her birthday, so we will letting you know of further developments....let us know if you want to take part. If you have some pieces that you have woven please let me know as we would love to showcase them.

And what other amazing things....

Community Tapestry is coming to town!!!!
Anne Clarke and I have begun to get ready for the community tapestry. We have decided on a design and over the holiday, Anne took the design to Island Blue Print and had it copied onto mylar, so we have our cartoon at the ready. It seems that there is tapestry happening in the studio more than ever and another tapestry loom is coming our way - so plenty of opportunity to create. I am very excited abou it as I have studied tapestry over the years, and have mostly worked on community tapestry and minatures. It has been some while since I have 'indulged' and my fingers are itching to do so. It is so much fun to work big and although this first tapestry in the studio will only be about 34" X 50", it will be a beginning. However I am the holdup, as I still haven't warped the loom - after the Spin In at Metchosin on February 25th (as in tomorrow!!), I can settle down and get it done.

A print of a detail from a larger oil painting done by my friend Lucy Schappy, and sent to me when I first opened my studio - I have loved it from the beginning and always thought it would be a great tapestry. The photo doesn't do it justice, but it is from a painting called Steppin' Out.  Perfect for spring don't you think?

The cartoon on mylar - the floor boards are showing through!

I just read on the MIWS blog that Sarah Swett will be conducting a workshop in September - I admire her tapestries so much AND  Archie Brennan, Barbara Heller, Jane Kidd, Sarah Swett, Murray Gibson etc etc. etc...........Sarah weaves grocery lists!!!!!!

So I am going to just add some photos now - getting tired and still need to get ready for the Spin In tomorrow....

The Comfort Shawl in action. A first time weaver, Megan weaving a comfort shawl for her sister who was to undergo surgery - she went home with a beautiful handwoven gift.

Catharina's Liquid sky - thrums and rags!
My Valentine attempt at summer and winter hearts - 8 harnesses,  with mistake!
Jenna brought me some eggs, I was weaving on Ray's warp, the colours fit - a little lichen, beautiful eggs, one of the eggs was olive coloured, the weft was the same colour of linen and I just happened to have my darning egg in my pocket that my husband had carved  out of arbutus, with a heart on it - "for my love, for my socks" is what it says. But the whole 'nest' was perfectly coordinated with the warp - so very cool.....

Speaking of Ray - he has a contract with the Weavery....30 yards of handtowels....
Perfect edges, perfect beat....and weaving for only a couple of months.

Devon's first blanket warp - beautiful

I walked out of the studio one evening to this amazing sky..........
And I have saved the best for last - a very old picture - about 30 years ago, in my hippie gear (I was known as a hip-pie tomato at one point in my life!) a handwoven shrug with handspun mohair I grew myself, and a little girl I also grew myself (not such a happy duo here), but I swear I could see better with those big glasses..........