December 10, 2015


John helped me hang yet another show—a popup exhibit, i.e., one day only (pant, pant), for the holiday party and meeting for members, who turned out to be very commited and dedicated to managing the affairs of the Gallery. This show was intended to introduce me to them.


Just as I was getting started, in fact before I got as far as the stuffing, the artists both in the 39th Street space—12, I think—and at the EZ Storage studio spaces a block down the street, held an open studio. So I put away what I had just started and hung some work myself. Even sold a few things. Nice. My sister helped me set up Square up so people could use their credit card.


Photo by Ronnie Spiewak

This year—okay, last year, just— Artomatic was held in Prince George's County, in my neck of the woods. Unfortunately I was too busy to be able to participate myself, but stay tuned. Of course I couldn't resist posing as a bunny...

November 10, 2015


I met with John Paradiso, Curator of Programing, at the 39th Street Gallery, in the Gateway Arts Center in Brentwood, MD, to begin my four-month Artist Residency.

     I applied for this because I just retired from teaching for 34 years, and coincidentally, my pet cat of 18 years just died. Everything that occupied my days—my mind, my energy, my imagination, my heart and—the litter box—disappeared in a puff of smoke. I felt as though I had just been let off a bus in a strange town without a clue of how to proceed. One does go through momentous changes in life—marriage, birth of children, divorce, death of loved ones—but this one feels like I'm nearing my "use by" date. So, I think it's time to reinvent myself.

     I spent the next few days moving in and meeting the artists whose studios adjoin the one John assigned to me. Vacuumed and mopped the floor (fiber artists may understand this, when surrounded by painters and sculptors), sanded and washed the paint splattered door cum saw horses provided as a makeshift table. Bought and assembled a couple of chairs. Then I brought in tools and materials, and three works I considered working on. I settled quickly on what I refer to as my retirement quilt. It's a large piece of muslin that I mounted on a board and presented at my retirement exhibition along with fabric markers which I invited visitors to draw on, promising that if they snapped a photo of their contribution and emailed it to me, I would then invite them to its exhibition.



     What was I thinking? As you can see, it's a hodge podge of doodles and well wishes from friends, family, students and random visitors. It sat on my studio wall for the five months before I applied for the Residency, and it became clear that I wasn't going to do anything with it unless I was publicly shamed into action.

     So I began adding some color and expanding on the silliness by adding smiley faces all over it, some random colored shapes, some gold lamé and heat transfering additional images:


Then I thought to stuff several of the images:


Fiber artists are an obsessive breed. I spent 3-4 days (I lost count) filling in this one image, drawn by Tom Kenyon, with chain stitches using a thinner silver metallic thread than I realized.