26 April 2012

letting it go...

Like many of us do, I use art to work through things. Hard situations, stressful times. Normally the things I make that are about the darker moments I keep to myself. I did a small series a couple of years ago when I was at an in between time, coming off a hard period but feeling better about the world.

I made the Talk to Me Series.

They have journaling all over them. Really personal stuff. And while I was willing to share it, you'll notice that the photos aren't big enough to read any of what is on there.

Its been feeling odd to me that I want to show them but don't want anyone to get too close. I love the colors and the feel but I still get twitchy if anyone leans in to get a closer look.

I'm buried in deadlines right now but really wanted to take some time to myself to make art. I have two more shows coming up this year and I need to continue to make new work. I couldn't pass up the chance to continue to build new pieces.

I decided to rework the Talk to Me Series. I put them on my print table, grabbed the rotary cutter and just stood there hesitating. I've not blinked at cutting up any of my other work. I've always viewed it as holding onto what I love about it (the stitching, the colors) but these weren't easy.

It represented more, this act of reinventing them. In the end, I decided that it was time to just let it go, let them dissolve into the past and join me in the present.

I sliced one of them up:

 Grabbed a canvas, some black fabric and went to work:

This isn't done yet. I haven't decided yet if I to add more layers or if I want it to be more simplistic and clean. But I'm glad these pieces will be seen yet still mysterious enough to keep their secrets in tact.

How about you? Do you show the art that is personal and about difficult times?

25 April 2012

destruct-o box update - now we're cookin'!

 Finally! Destruction is under way! (And no, I did not hit it with a hammer.)

After a few weeks of various types of storms, the box finally broke apart. The green bird that was in the panel that tumbled popped out not far from the box:

I'm going to leave everything where it is and see what happens. Perhaps something interesting now.

The fabric is relatively unchanged:

I think the frog looks rather smug about it, don't you?

22 April 2012

spring cleaning giveaway :)

art cloth on canvas
Thermofax screen printed images using Xpandaprint
Lynn Krawczyk

I know today is usually Where I Stand Sunday but my feet aren't standing anywhere at the moment. (A nasty cold has taken me down for the count and made me cancel my plans for the day. Zicam and I are best friends right now...)

So in lieu of the fact that I have no Where I Stand photo, I thought I'd do a giveaway instead. :)

I've been purging and cleaning my studio and spare room because its time to let the items go that I no longer need and will never use. And while this particular item does not fall under that category, I would like for it to go to a home where it is appreciated rather then sitting on a shelf unloved.

This is fabric that I made when I wrote my first article for Quilting Arts on Thermofax Screen Printing. The white/pink swirls are printed with paint but the daisies (printed with this screen), were printed with Xpandaprint. If you've never tried Xpandaprint before, its pretty nifty stuff. Its a high quality puff paint product and I tell ya, I get such a thrill from taking the heat gun to it and watching it expand into cool texture. :)

After I puffed it, I painted it (the Xpandaprint comes in white and black) to give the flowers some pop.

Want a closer look?

Get a good look at the texture of the Xpandaprint:

Cool, huh?

I will say that the photos do not really show how electric the base fabric is, its a really intense magenta. And while I'm still struggling to make friends with pink, I can totally appreciate a good saturated color and fell in love with the vibrancy of it.

So would you like to have it? If you would, here's what you need to do:

Give me your best spring cleaning tip in the comments by Sunday April 29 and you'll be in the running. 

Remember that if you do not have a blog that your name links to that I can contact you through, you need to leave an email address so I can contact you. Anonymous comments without email addresses won't go into the drawing, sorry. And if you don't respond to the email that you won within two weeks, I'll choose a new name.

Happy commenting! :)

16 April 2012

an oldie

I've had this piece of fabric in my stash for years now.

Which is really unusual for me because my habit is to print what I need for a project and then use it straight away. It leaves me with a stash of little bits but almost never do I have a yard that I can't bear to tear into.

This is one of those pieces.

Its a surprise every time I come across it because I think "Oh, I just haven't found a use for it yet. I'll cut into it eventually."

But I'm not sure I will. The more times it sits on the print table and gets a little bit of this and a touch of that added to it, I want it to remain as a whole piece.

Its odd how some pieces decide their own fate, isn't it?

15 April 2012

where i stand sunday

The night dampens everything, wiping out color and tone, making it bleed into a kind of monochromatic stillness. I stare down through the rectangle holes with a trepidation, knowing the grate will hold me but all the while thinking of the empty air lingering below. The days have been full of deep rain and thunder and the tin sound of the water rushing below echoes in riot against the quiet of the evening.

Where I Stand is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

14 April 2012

an audience :)

Observe my supervision for my yard work the other day.

Dooley love likes to be wherever I am but sometimes, all that watching gets tiring and he just needs to take a break. (I especially love the leg dangling over the edge, like it was simply too much work to pull it up underneath him.)

My wesite is a simple guy:  just wants lots of petting and a cookie and a soft couch.

Oh, and if he looks grouchy? He hates the camera. I keep telling him its his own fault that I keep taking pictures - he's too darn cute. :)

Dooley wishes you a happy spring and much relaxing in the shade!

12 April 2012

professional vs. amateur

Photographer, that is.

When it became clear that I was going to be making larger pieces for Ragged Layers, I started fretting over the photography side of it.  I do okay (meaning it can pass for a blog photo) shooting my small stuff. I can make it stay put on my design wall and clear up any color skews in photo shop.

But a 36" square? Well, that presented a huge issue.

And since I'm so enamored with the Remnants Collage series, I want good photos. Ones that represent this new body of work that I'm building. I asked a friend if she had any suggestions of who I could take my work to and she directed me to a local photographer, Eric Law.

Took me about a nano second to book an appointment with him. And after receiving back the first batch of photos, I know I'll be visiting him quite often.

This is Remnants Collage 15 when I took a shot of it in-progress. You may think that its leaning on the floor because I was too lazy to properly set up for a good photo, but the reality was going to be that I'd have to take the "good" photo that way too. You can see the effect of yellow lighting in my studio (which in all honesty, never really looks yellow to me until I see it in photos) and just the general obnoxiousness of how hard it was going to be to take a good photo of this:

incredibly tragic photo by me (hurts to look at, doesn't it??)

Now here is the photo that Eric took:

Remnants Collage 15
36" x 36"
Lynn Krawczyk
photo by Eric Law

A wee bit better, right? ;-)  Even lighting, clear detail and hung on a wall. Everything I had hoped for.

The photography issue was reason #451 on my list of why I didn't want to work larger. I can cross that off now. Now I want to keep working big, see how far I can push things, really make myself incredibly insane with trying to tame a giant beast.

Not having to worry about the photography thing anymore is going to free up that hesitation, guess I never really realized it bugged me that much.

Here's another new collage, this photo is also by Eric. (I can't bear to show you the one I took, the yellow strips on it made my camera laugh hysterically and produce an absolute hideous photo):

Remnants Collage 13
18" x 18"
Lynn Krawczyk
photo by Eric Law

I have a strange affection for this collage. I like all of them but for whatever reason, this one makes me smile. :)

I need to update my website, pull down all the old work that isn't relevant anymore (or that has been cut up into collages) and get my current work up there, with larger images. Now that I've got good shots, it'll be cake. :) (Can't quit smiling about it...)

10 April 2012

please allow me to introduce you to...

The second installment of my column for Quilting Arts, Replenishing Your Creative Well, is out in the current issue (April/May 2012).

In case you haven't heard, I'm writing a series of articles for them that features different fiber art groups. Its become so very special to me, getting to know all these wonderful artists in depth.

The second article is all about the Art Cloth Network:

These artist focus on art cloth as an art form, seeking to educate the public about it and hanging exhibits of their exquisite work. They are from all over the country and gather in person once a year to discuss plans for the group and new events.

Very talented, very wonderful. Please check out the article to learn more about them and visit them online at their website and their blog.

Enjoy! :) 

09 April 2012

quietly recovering

I love doing exhibits. I really do. Although there are healthy doses of freak out time, exhaustion and just plain angst, I've really missed it.

I really pulled back from exhibiting several years ago. It got to a point that I couldn't really afford sending things out of state anymore. Took me a while to realize that I could still show if I focused on my local area (and those within a reasonable driving distance) and so I started getting back into it that way. (For the record? There are still several shows that I would gladly ship to, I've just had to limit the list.)

The current show, Ragged Layers, with work from Jackie and I is the first duo show I've ever done. Which meant instead of one or two pieces, I had to make 15. And it has left my studio in a heap. I looked at it yesterday and thought, "Well, I can clean it or just move." In the end I decided cleaning was cheaper.

I have so many other things that I need / want to do that its time to give it a good whipping back into shape.

It calms me down and gives me time to recoup from big projects to just clean and organize. I've also finally come to peace with the fact that much of what is lingering in my stash needs to find a new home. I will most likely never use most of it so I'm starting piles to sort into sell and donate. Will take me time to get through it all but its a relief.

In my usual delusional way of thinking, I look at it and think I can get everything done in one day. Nope. Not happening. The purging will also help to serve an end goal that's been on my mind for a while. I'd like to empty the room, have it patched and painted and set up in a new configuration. That means needing less things in it and also having a place to put things (which will also drive cleaning the other room that I affectionately refer to as the "warehouse"). So lots of work that will be done in slow stages. Hopefully by the end of this year I'll be ready for that.

In the meantime, I've tidied a few areas. Behold how beautifully organized the thermofax screen collection is:

I found screens lingering in areas of the house that gave me serious pause. (Still not sure how the tiny one of the chickadee ended up in the pantry in the kitchen.) Its clear evidence that thermofax screen printing has become a way of life for me. :)

I cleared off most of my design wall and finished up a sample for a class proposal:

Will let you know if it ends up being a go, am pretty excited about the possibility. :)

And I also unpacked and put out my most recent art acquisition from Linda Marcille:

Its a print of her piece "Signs & Omens". As soon as I saw it, I fell madly in love. The colors, the imagery, the layers...*sigh*. Gorgeous, right? Linda is super talented, be sure to check out her website. I still need to get it a proper frame but couldn't wait to put it out.

The rest of the studio consists of piles. Neat piles, but still piles. I've cleaned/purged/organized so many times that I know I need to do this in small stages or I will render the room useless. And that would be a big problem.

But for now I will tidy and sort and let myself recharge for the next round of work. I have a small solo show coming up in a couple of months and while I anticipate getting work back from my current show, I'd like to make a few new pieces for it.

How about you? How do you like to recover after a big project is done?

08 April 2012

where i stand sunday

 Shadows are daydreams trapped for a brief moment, growing in the stillness of the thing casting them, flitting across the solid with a slick nod. I love the shadow time, quiet and thoughtful. No judgement, just being. The tree moves above me in a soft rustle, chastising the wind and in this moment, I feel the ground more fully beneath my feet then I have in some time.

Where I Stand is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.  

04 April 2012

want a tour of our show? :)

Jackie and I (and many wonderful helpers at the HVAC who we are so grateful to!) spent time today hanging our work for Ragged Layers, our exhibit for the month of April there.

I know the blog has been a bit on the anemic side lately and that's partly because of all the new work that I've been creating for the show. I know I've shown you quite a bit of it but I thought it might be fun to do a little video after everything was up.

When Jackie speaks you need to turn the video up, I shot this with my iPhone and while it is a wonderful thing, its limited in these kind of things. At the very end when I'm showing one of Jackie's pieces and I make the comment "Be sure to pick up a copy so you can see how she works", I'm referring to an upcoming article she has coming out with Quilting Arts. Its a little hard to hear because she was standing behind me.)

Here is the info for the show if you'd like to see it in person:

Ragged Layers Mixed Media Fiber Art Exhibit
artwork by Lynn Krawczyk and Jacqueline Lams

 205 West Livingston Road
Highland, MI 48357

April 4 - April 28, 2012 
Saturday 11am-4pm
Wed - Fri  10am-5pm

And if you can't make it, I hope you enjoy the video! :)

02 April 2012

what has art taught you?

What has art taught you?

I asked that question on my facebook page and the answers may not be what you would think.

No one talked about a technique or a project or a product. Instead they talked about how art has changed their lives. And it made me smile deeply.

I smiled because that's what art has taught me as well, and its something we all share.

Its taught me more then I could ever imagine:

...that nothing is finished until its finished

...that being different is good

...that we all want to be heard

...that its possible to capture a feeling in a tangible way and save it on fabric and canvas

I don't think I'll ever stop learning either and really, that's the best part of all.

So tell me - what has art taught you?

01 April 2012

where i stand sunday & class begins! :)

This rectangle of metal and circuit boards is giving me a gift:


I've always regarded the internet with a high degree of affection because I've met people from all over the world that I would have never otherwise known. Its made being an artist broader and richer.

And now I can teach through the internet. What an incredible thing, don't you think?

I know teaching an online class is not a new thing. I know a lot of people are doing it. But this is my first one. And I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to be able to reach out to you this way.

I've been feeling like the posts I've been doing about The Printed Stash haven't fully expressed my joy about teaching this. So I put together a little video that sums up how special this project is to me. I hope that if you are able you will join me, all the details on how to register are in this post.