Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Show of My Own



I haven't posted here in a while, but it's because I've been busy.  For the past four months I've been spending most of my "free" moments (which are very few and far between) working on new pieces for my first ever show of my artwork.  Exciting!

Although the show is a pretty low key affair in a cafe in a state I don't even live in, it's kind of a big deal to me.  Besides being the first public display of my work, the process of generating a body of work for a specific purpose within a finite time frame was a new experience for me.  It was satisfying to set a goal and reach it.

This show will feature all Gyotaku pieces.  My new work is Gyotaku fabric collage and rice paper collage.  My SDA critique group is primarily comprised of artists working with fabric, and their work and ideas have served as fuel for new directions in my own work.  Here are some pictures of some of my new creations:

I called this one "summer school".  It is comprised of three 8 X 11 panels.  I created it as one piece and then cut it into sections, sewed a border on each, and stretchd them over wooden stretchers. This was my first experiment with Gyotaku fabric collage.  Much of it is machine stitched, but there is also some hand stitching on the fish, which are yellow perch.  All of the material except for the green is from a stash of fabric in my mothers closet that has accumulated from projects over the years.  It was fun to remember some of the clothing, quilts, and other projects from my childhood rummaging through these fabrics.

Some detail of each of the panels:



I call this 10 X 10 collage "The Blues" - again featuring a school of yellow perch.  The background is silk offered up from an SDA critique group member's stash.  As soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for water. 

Some detail:

This one was originally going to be two panels, but many people who saw it in progress encouraged me to keep it whole.  I call it "Yushoku", which is the Japanese word for "dinner".  I quilted the background and added several beads to the fish and other elements.

 This one is an 11X14 called "Ghosts in CPOM".  When I told my husband Brian the name, he said "Wow, that's nerdy".  He was referring to the fact that CPOM is an acronym commonly used in the aquatic ecology world for "coarse particulate organic matter".  AKA little bits of leaves and wood you find in the stream environment that serve as a food source and habitat for macroinvertebrates and other creatures.  Yeah, I guess its kind of nerdy, but this is what the leaves in the background fabric reminded me of -- what the bottom of a pool or the edge of a lake might look like in fall, with ghostly fish slithering by.  And I like a name that needs a little explanation - and something that draws the science into the art.


This one is also an 11 X 14 and called "We Are Family (Percidae)".  Also a bit nerdy, I suppose -- all of the fish are from the family Percidae.  Actually truth be known, they're all yellow perch.  But when I was working on this piece, in my head I was singing along with Sister Sledge, "I got all my sisters...".




This is the last fabric collage piece - a small 8 X 10.  I call it "tradition" given the black and white color theme with red details.  It doesn't show well in the photo, but the background is actually two different shades of white and heavily quilted.



In addition to these new fabric collage pieces, I also created some rice paper collages using similar techniques.  These all feature yellow perch, my favorite species of fish to print.



The show will also have a few more "traditional" fish prints and some of my colorful batik prints.  This rockbass is one of my favorites.



So, in case you find yourself in Rocherster New Hampshire the month of September, stop by the Portable Pantry and check out my work!  Details can be found here:





3 comments:

  1. Gretchen, I am SO impressed. Everything looks so beautiful, intricate, and detailed. Wow. How exciting to have your own show! Keep us posted.

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    1. Hi Julie - thanks very much for your kind words!

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  2. Incredibly beautiful--hope your opening yesterday went well!!

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