October 29, 2011

Japanese Watercolors

Please Return by Mail. Summer work table.

October 27, 2011


A series.

Snackshop on Sargeant. Winnipeg 2009.
The hangout. Winnipeg 2009.
Late night snacks. Winnipeg 2009.
Winnipeg 2009.
Snacks with Andrea. Winnipeg 2009.


First entry. The past is behind me, time to look towards. Towards quoi? I want to make art with integrity. We are constantly asked as Fibres students with pigment in our noses what we are trying to say through our work with textiles. What am I trying to say with this piece of muslin, the throw-away cloth that I love so much. I am learning to print again, anew I should say. Last week I pulled ink with a squeegee on a screen after a long time apart from the action. That zip, nothing beats that zip of the blade over silk transferring ink to fill. Mmmmm. Nice and sharp, even.

Muscle memory.

It felt damn good. Printing in a fibre studio is quite different than printing in a paper studio. There are different procedures for a similar result. The prepared fabric needs to be pinned taught in a minimum of 12 points on the square. I had about 12 feet of table to myself! That is a lot of feet to pin. Le yum. AHHH! Is there anything better? No. To fully enjoy the print process, preparation is integral.

- prepare fabric: prewash, rip, iron
- prepare base for ink
- spatula, wet sponge
- dry squeegee, dry screen
- packing tape
- weights or trust
- pinned fabric at ready
- pull it // fuck yeah

The prep adds to the process. For our second assignment in Fibres, we were asked to make a 15" x 15" or larger silkscreen sample using any color base of our choice. Technical and clean. I made a clear based crimson banner with a stencil for an upcoming protest with a navy horse stamp underneath. This week in school we are studying Shibori resist dying with silk and cotton. Intensive and hands on/in. By this I mean hands in constant agitation, dragging, massaging, pulling, twisting, prodding, turning the bundles in the dye bath in order for the color to take up in the fibers. Dye is powder, pigment is liquid. I missed the class today so it will be interesting to learn on my own. There is a surprising amount of math involved to color dye. Next week is sewing on the industrial machines which I am pretty thrilled about as I have never used one before. Envelopes, production time all the way. We will see.

Life is moving quickly.

I have been feeling grateful today, for my health and my family, for the friends I have, and the bed to lie in. Life is quick. The lessons that continue to teach all say this, remind me of this. So there is no choice but to give everything I have to it, to this thing that is difficult to articulate right now, to trust in my love for art, to be swallowed up by passion. I haven't felt passion in many moons and it was exciting to re-ignite with the pull of ink. I am printing! The things to print! I need army duck! My favorite. But muslin is affordable. I like the way it feels. I have been thinking of a certain tiger trainer endlessly these days. Mabel Stark, what would your story look like if I drew it? START already. There is no other choice but to draw my way to clarity within. 

Photography lags these days, or my passion for it. I am not attached to it like anticipated. It annoys me quite frankly. I hold myself at an arms length out of frustration with the conceptual side of the school projects. As a photographer I just shoot, I never analyze why I enjoy interacting with strangers, camera in hand, laughter and secret exchange in those intimate moments between subject and eye. It's a secret that I don't care to explain, not even to myself. I don't know why I seek out strangers, what draws me in, the trust of guts in the approach. It is something that cannot be written, planned. With this said, I will admit that I am finding it incredibly difficult to plan a series around an idea. Shouldn't the focus be upon the feeling of the instant? How can one put into measured words something that comes only from the chance of interaction (like combustion)? Impossible. Thus I don't do my work. I am learning the skills and then go home and do it my way, not the Concordian way.

Sure I have lots of ideas, but they come in the form of a fast stencil these days. Not a planned picture. That is fucking bullshit. That's what that is. What do I want to shoot? Workers. Montreal workers. City workers, cooks, crane operators, garbage men, bus drivers, whatever. Not sure yet. This week in class we worked as a group of 5 to set up two strobe lights, one with a soft box and one with an umbrella. Shooting with a Pentax 67 (OOOOOH WEEE), we each metered and shot a studio portrait. It was weird, VERY unfamiliar. The gear was a bit intimidating. I can't wait to sign out that 67 for an afternoon photo adventure. Big cameras only. Can't remember the last photo I shot with my Kiev. Terrible!

If anyone so desires to delve further back in time to read the post that came before Margot Pollo, click HERE.