Sunday, April 5, 2020

Social Distancing and the Tapestry Weaver

2020 Tapestry Diary, Jan - March
Of course my first reaction, when I was told to stay home, was GREAT! I get to spend hours every day weaving and painting and playing piano and dulcimer and reading books and working in the garden and and and...

Well, I have been weaving my tapestry diary every day. This is it so far, all parallelograms this year, and so far the colors are wintry. That will change soon. For more about my tapestry diaries see here, with links to older posts.

Wintersweet, detail
I finished the small piece for the Unjuried Small Format exhibit that was planned for this summer. Due to uncertainty about the gallery being open, it will now be online, on the American Tapestry Alliance website instead of hanging on a wall. There will still be a printed catalog, and each artist will get a com limentary copy. When the exhibit was here, in 2014, I was the exhibition chair, and we exhibited 219 tapestries from all over the world! Such a fun show! Here is a small detail because I hate to spoil the surprise before the exhibit opens. Title "Wintersweet."

More Chaos in Progress
It took me 2 weeks to get back to my neglected tapestry, the one I THOUGHT would be the last of the Chaos series. It is dawning on me how timely this theme still is, and I suspect there will be more after this one. Here it is in progress, on the loom with bobbins dangling. I have about 8 inches left to go, and I hope to finish it before Memorial Day.

As for the Corvid19 Pandemic, when my governor requested that everyone over 60 should just stay home, 3 1/2 weeks ago, it was kind of a relief since going out had been getting nerve wracking. A few days later the library where I work was closed (as they all are now), the Y where I swim closed, and everything was cancelled. I am lucky to live in an area where I can go for walks without passing more than a handful of people. I am discovering how nice it is not to be driving hither and yon doing errands daily. We are living through a moment in history that will be written about and remembered, and I can only hope that we are doing everything we can to help each other. Stay home, and stay well.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

What's happening?

I think it's time for an update on where my tapestries are traveling to, which will be useful for me when I start wondering where they might be....

This small tapestry, "Phantom Trees," is at the Wickford Art Association's Members Exhibit until August 11, 2019. Check it out soon!

"Into the Mist" is in Small Tapestry International 6: Beyond the Edge. The first venue at Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA, it ended last week (sorry if you live nearby and missed it....)  The second venue is Augustana Teaching Museum of Art, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL and the opening reception is September 6, 2019. For more info and to purchase the print catalog go here.

Three of my small Chaos tapestries are traveling to Maine for this exhibit:

tapestry: the new wave

August 6-31, Down East Gallery, Edgecomb, ME

(Click on the postcard to enlarge it)


IMPACT: climate change

a collaborative exhibition by TWW (Tapestry Weavers West) and TWiNE (Tapestry Weavers in New England).

First venue: Belmont Gallery of Art, Belmont, MA - Sept 8 - Oct 13, 2109 (reception Sept 15, 1-3)
Second venue: Mills Building, San Francisco, CA, Dec 16, 2019 - March 13, 2020 (reception Jan 30, 2020, 5.30-7.30)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water

LaDonna Mayer, Earth: Silk Tree
This exhibition of small tapestries included 10 artists each, from USA, UK and Australia. The first venue was Australia National University in Canberra. From there it traveled to Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne, Australia; Riversley Art Gallery and Museum, Nuneaton, UK and The Guildhall, Much Wenlock, UK.

Janet Austin, Earth: Another Forest Through the Trees
The 5th and final venue for this exhibit at the Bob Owens Gallery, University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, GA, ended today. I went there for a reception and a workshop by Jane Freear-Wyld (the organizer of the exhibit). Tommye Scanlin helped to make this venue possible. My tapestry is "Another Forest Through the Trees." 8 x 9" (above)
Letitia Roller: Water: The Hea(r)t of it All - Glacier Melt


AUSTRALIA: Sally Blake-Edwards, Dan Edwards, Brenda Goggs, Dimity Kidston, Valerie Kirk, Lisa Molvig, Whitely Rosenberg, Shunyam Smith, Anton Veenstra, Diana Wood-Conroy.

Valerie Kirk, Earth: Indigo Fossil (left) Christine Sawyer, Water: Loss (right)

UK: Jackie Bennett, Janet Clark, Joyce Coulton, Jane Freear-Wyld, Victoria Green, Beryl Hammill, Lindsey Marshall, Christine Paine, Christine Sawyer, Mike Wallace.

Anton Veenstra, Earth: 3 Steps 2 Heaven (left) Christine Paine, Fire: Born of Fire

USA: Janet Austin, Mary Cost, Alex Friedman, Tricia Goldberg, Mary Lane, Tommye McClure Scanlin, LaDonna Mayer, Letitia Roller, Kathe Todd-Hooker, Sarah Warren.

Dimity Kidston, Water: Waves Rolling In (left) Lindsey Marshall, Four Elements: Water, Air, Fire and Earth (right)
The staff at the Bob Owens Gallery did a great job hanging this show.  So often small work is jammed together, and in this case, there was plenty of space so one could appreciate each tapestry.

Many thanks to Jane Freear-Wyld, who devoted herself to making this all happen. Here is her tapestry.
Jane Freear-Wyld, Earth: Canadian Rockies at Dawn

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Oops, Bad Blogger!

It's embarassing to see that the last post was almost a year ago!!! Clearly I am no longer a dedicated blogger. Times have changed. Facebook is easier.  I use a phone and iPad more now, and my computer much less. (I do NOT want to struggle with Blogger on a small screen, it's enough of a hassle on the computer!

After the last post, I was traveling most of the time for 4 months. Being away from the studio is limiting, I can't take my big tapestry loom with me, so the tapestry I started way back when is just a border so far. Sigh.

I made some small tapestries on travel looms. First I worked on wedge weave, which I learned in a workshop with Connie Lippert last year. I really enjoy it. I don't plan these, they just kind of happen. That's a different way of working for me. If you don't know, wedge weave is woven on the diagonal instead of horizontally. It required a different way of thinking. Above  is "Wind on the Water," my favorite wedge weave so far.

Later, I wove 2 very small tapestries on my Hokett loom, based on photos I took at the Valere Basilica in Sion, Valais, Switzerland. One is a detail of this lovely stone roofed house. The Hokett looms fit easily in my suitcase.

Coming home just before Thanksgiving, it took me a while to get back into the studio. One distraction was the enormous (93 year old, I counted the rings) oak tree that had fallen on both of our cars while we were away.

In March, we lost 8 trees in a nor'easter, and are still waiting for the yard to be repaired, sigh.

I promise to post again before next year. There is news on the tapestry diary front.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Time Warp...and Weft

From June 15 - July 29 at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, GA.

[NOTE: click on photos to see them larger]

Tommye Scanlin, 2015 and 2016 Tapestry Diaries
The theme of this exhibit is artists who weave about time. This is the second venue of the show, and we have added work by Rebecca Mezoff this time.

The first was the NOTO Arts Center in Topeka, KS, November 2016, and featured the work of Tommye Scanlin, Janette Meetze, Kathy Spoering, Geri Forkner and me, Janet Austin.

I was lucky enough to attend both opening receptions.

Tommye Scanlin (GA) was the first of us to weave a tapestry diary, and she inspired me to start. Tommye also gets the credit for proposing this exhibit, helping to organize it, and for writing an article about it for the summer 2017 issue of Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot. You can read Tommye's blog post about the opening reception on her blog.

Janette Meetze (OK) exhibited her beautiful 2014 tapestry diary, Red Dirt Days, in the American Tapestry Biennial 11, an international juried exhibition. People are really interested in this idea. You can read about her work on her blog.
Janette Meetze - Red Dirt Days
Kathy Spoering (CO) wove her Calendar Series, 12 tapestries that each represent one month of the year, over a period of 8 years. It was awesome to see them all hanging together. Kathy also made the Topeka exhibit possible. You can read about that on her blog.
Kathy Spoering - Calendar Series
Rebecca Mezoff - Petrified Forest Tapestry Diary
Rebecca Mezoff (CO) spent the month of November 2016 as the artist-in-residence at Petrified Forest National Park, and wove a small, 2x2" tapestry every day.

Later, she put together a book of photos that shows each tapestry with its inspiration. You can read about it (and buy a copy if you want!) on her blog.

Geri Forkner (TN) has been making her daily weavings since 2005. They are all made from things that come into her life (often on her many walks), and she has a rule against buying things for the weavings.

When you see them hanging in the gallery they create a space, and as people walk through, disturbing the air, the weavings sway as if they are alive. You can read more about this work here.

Geri Forkner - Daily Weavings
Oh yeah, Janet Austin (RI) has been weaving tapestry diaries since 2010. It's a daily practice that gets me into the studio, it's an exercise that warms up my weaving muscles, it's a meditation and a path to creativity. You can read more about it here, and follow the links to earlier tapestry diary posts.

Janet Austin - 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 Tapestry Diaries