066:365 Clouds

Ypsi in the morning

Today another drawing from a photo, attempting in a slightly abstract way, to capture the glow and the shadow of a bright midwestern morning.

066:365 Clouds

The dynamic nature of clouds, the surface of water, and the motion of cloth along the body are fascinating. They are hard to see, hard to transcribe. Maybe that is why as I get older, abstraction in thought and in form attract me more.

Why do people make art? What are we seeking?

Maybe these almost epistemological questions are why we keep making art. We keep making visual representations of things real and imagined to figure out why we make abstractions of what we see and feel in much the same way that we keep writing about perception, society, and cosmos; biology, mathematics, and physics.

Seeking is perhaps the answer to its own question, as the oft-repeated adage: Life is a journey, not a destination.

062:365 Icy Dream of Spring

062:365 Icy Dream of Spring

Today, as long shadows get shorter and days get longer, I am worn out and ready for the ice to melt, but simultaneously grateful for the demarcation of the seasons on my life.

Living in Los Angeles, I had no sense of time and things seemed surreal. I appreciate, after spending just over a year there, that there was a change of seasons, but living through it just one time, it felt like there was no change. Maybe the milder changes of Madrid and the Bay Area were a little more to my liking than this harsh beautiful midwestern winter, but still, the snow and ice are beautiful in their way.

This is a study of how simple shapes can create an atmosphere. By changing the width of the dark stripes, a sense of space is created, delineated both vertically and horizontally by the performance of color. The peachy color in the middle evokes the reflection of sun on an icy lake and the dark stripes shadows cast by waves.

It isn’t realistic, but it gives some sense of space and atmosphere.

The first time I saw a Rothko in person, big blobs of not quite geometric color on an unprimed canvas, I wasn’t impressed. But the grad-student who taught our Art History Seminar at SAIC made us sit in front of one at the Art Institute of Chicago for a good 20 minutes. She made us look first and then told us things about the way the colors interacted with each other, how they faded out onto the canvas and created the illusion of space by their contrast or similarity, by the diffusion of color into ground. She was so enthralled, it was hard not to look at the picture plane in a different way.

This drawing didn’t start out with anything in mind about Rothko or mid-twentieth-century abstraction. I made it thinking about a scarf I’m knitting in two colors, with broadening stripes so one color resolves out from the other. When I photographed it, I realized that if I flipped the drawing upside down, for some reason it created a sense of receding space, but the way I drew it just looked like stripes. So, here you have it, upside-down from how I drew it, but nonetheless properly oriented for what it signifies.

Funny how a change in perspective can be the key to an epiphany.

051:365 A Tisket a Basket

Handmade Crocheted Scrap Basket

Today I finished a small video and craft project illustrating how to make a colorful basket out of salvaged cloth strips using RipStop Nylon from The Scrap Box, so I just did a small schematic-style sketch of the finished product so I could post my how-to video today:

051:365 A Tisket a Basket

Here’s written instructions:

You will need:

A BIG Crochet Hook
And lots of scraps of fabric. Seen here: recycled Ripstop Nylon from The Scrapbox (scrapbox.org)

1) Tie the strips together with square knots, use a butterfly to wrap the strips and keep them neat. Because this particular version uses ripstop, which is extremely slippery and likely to come untied if you trim the ends, you will either try to tuck in the ends of knots connecting the strips as you go, or do them all at the end. They will create a soft fluff inside that cradles the candy or the egg you put into the basket. With non-slippery materials, you can cut the ends shorter or tuck them into the crochet work as you would with yarn.

2) Start crocheting: Cross the end of the strip over itself, reach through and pull the loop into a chain stitch

3) Use the crochet hook to create a chain of three loops

4) Join the ends of your chain

5) Then crochet into BOTH holes created by the chain-stitch loops the “wrong” side is out because it looks more like basket weave.

6) Once you have 9 stitches for the diameter of your spiral-circle, do a row of double crochet to expand the dish.

7) After the double-crochet row, do a row of single-crochet into EACH loop of the double crochet stitches.

8) Then single crochet into each loop until it gets to be the size you want. Since the irregular size of the yarn makes the gauge hard to determine, it could be anywhere from 6-12 rows before the basket is the right size. Keep checking.

9) When the basket is the size you want, switch crochet directions to put the chain part of the single crochet stitches on the outside. This will create a decorative border.

10) After the border-row is finished, make a chain of about 18 stitches and attach to the opposite side of the basket with two single-crochet stitches.

11) Single crochet back across so that the handle has a more solid shape.

12) Tie off decoratively. With ripstop, it’s slippery, so just make a pretty bow or other knot. With other fabrics, tuck in ends as you would with yarn.

Voila! It’s a basket

And Below, please check out the embedded video!

How to Make a Colorful Basket from Scrap Fabric from allida lily on Vimeo.

050:365

050:365 Lamp Design

This is an idea that’s been bouncing around in my head for awhile: to use scraps from a local recycle-reuse art center to make a lampshade. Colorful, like a tiffany shade, but made using fiber techniques, either weaving or crochet.

Also playing with reduction on the sketch. A lot of the image is created by coloring and then scraping off the oil pastel from the drawing surface.

047:365 Fever

047:365 Fever

My head is stuffed up, and though I don’t have a fever, it seemed an appropriate title for mindset at the moment.  Weird dreams and restless sleep lead to nebulous thought patterns, and this cool color family blend with a few bright accents here and there.

The sunset today was strange.  I was driving or I would have taken a photo.  To the west, the sun was a huge whitish yellow blob in a field of snowy mist, and behind us, to the east, the clouds were purple, pink, and yellow with bright blue sky.  It was impressive, and though I’m a native Ann Arborite, I have never seen anything quite like it, with such clear boundaries between good and bad weather accentuated by sunset.