Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weaving an Exhibition!

This is has been an intense week of artwork for me.  I’ve been getting up at six a.m. each morning and going straight into the art studio to weave.  I’m steaming along on pieces for my exhibition titled “Looking at Water.”  My goal is to have sixteen new pieces, and I feel like I’m on track to reach my goal.  I have eleven completed, but I have four more in progress and a sketch for the last piece.  In some cases I have the weaving largely assembled but I’m still lacking a featured animal or physical structure, such as a fish, turtle or a dock.  I don’t think I’ve ever had so many open books!  My attention is now is focused on a second weaving featuring a dock that I’m pretty excited about.  
 The inside of the weathered dock boards are felt from army blankets that came to me in my treasure hunts.  That continues the strong connection to my father-in-law’s old army blankets that supported so many pieces, but the wool from them is mostly gone.  As each piece comes closer to completion I feel better about the show.

My desire to do this exhibition came in part from a very successful exhibit I did early in the year at City Hall and Meadowood, "Portraits of Trees."  The show featured trees and lots of fresh spring green.  It felt great to see the pieces together on the wall after a long, cold winter.  Around that time I decided I wanted to assemble pieces for another exhibit built on a theme.  The idea transformed into the “Looking at Water” themed exhibit scheduled for October at the Convention Center.  Thinking about the shows reminds me that while I lack formal training as an artist, I seem to learn about the art world from unexpected places.  I’m not a television watcher, although I do watch Project Runway religiously.   
At the end of each season the surviving artists create collections that determine the winner.  I love the continuity in the collections the designers create, where theme elements connect the pieces—it might be a style, a fabric or a color.  One piece speaks to the next, not as a reiteration of the composition, but as a spark to begin the conversation on the next design.  I’m consciously trying to replicate that concept in my exhibition.  I’m looking forward to hanging the show as a linear story of “Looking at Water”, with design ideas and materials that flow through the exhibition.  The broader concept is still solidifying in my head, even as I have now mentally created all the pieces.  Come and see the exhibition and we can see how the story unfolds!

My other big art news is the completion of the bigheaded ants last month, which were finally delivered to Wonderlab.  This past week they invited me to participate in laying out the ants in their new home.  They are going to be crawling over the wall up to the sign that introduces the bigheaded ant exhibit.  After laying it out it became clear that they needed one more ant on the back of the sign.  As soon as my water exhibit is complete I’ll create one more worker ant.  Then I’ll re-launch on all my commissions in progress to bring everything together.  I have the large “Garden Path” piece to complete, and that’s my top priority.  
 I also finished weaving and stretching out the background for the “Summer Salad”commission.  That means I’ll be felting lots of vegetables for the foreground.  Sliced tomatoes, here we go!

On the family front, Jim and I celebrated fifteen wonderful years of marriage together.  It’s hard to imagine a life before marriage and my family.  Jacob grilled salmon for the celebratory dinner, which came out beautifully.  
 There was also a new peach pie, but the boys (and I) again made short work of that.  Then, somehow we managed to walk right past the raspberries at the farmer’s market on Saturday!  With the peach pies so fleeting, shouldn’t another pie appear very soon?  I know there’s fruit in the freezer!

Until next week,

Martina Celerin

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