LayersofMeaning – 2003

October 2003


Layers of Meaning was my blog on art, design and textiles.  It was active mostly between 2001-2007. This period  was in infancy of blogging. The earliest pages were written on a blogging platform created as an experiment by a local college.  The software eventually collapsed and two years of writing vanished into the ether.  The entries shown below are a snapshot of one month  in 2003.
See more at the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine

Visual Fun – Cindy Hickok

Cindy Hickok

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

Cindy Hickok contemplates the interplay of titles for artworks and artworks as being created from wordplay and visual puns. Hickok is a gifted modern embroiderer whose work takes full advantage of visual humor. One piece entitled, On Tuesday Vincent Picked Up His Socks is a reinterpretation of VanGoghs bedroom scene, after a good cleaning.

In an article for Embroiderers Guild, Hickok describes her process of visual punning: I begin by listing pieces: piecemeal, hairpiece, centerpiece, puzzle piece the list can get long. From there I move on to list expressions: its a piece of cake, for example. Then, on to list well-known stories or songs, and then I think about homonyms: peace -piece treaty – piece at any price. I could try peas. Or pease (porridge hot). Once I have exhausted my list of word possibilities, I look over them to find double meanings, or to change one letter in a word to alter the meaning. I plead for help from others, and it becomes a game. The list can get very long, especially when I allow myself the freedom to get silly. While many of the words on the list could not advance beyond a word game, many do have the potential to provide good visuals.

Elaine McBride – stitched small narratives

Tuesday, October 28th, 2003

elaine mcbride, fiber artist
elaine mcbride, fiber artist

elaine mcbride, fiber artist Stitched small narratives are what Elaine McBride calls these tiny modern embroideries. Shes been making them for over 25 years while teaching at area colleges and arts centers. Its hard to find much information on her techniques or theory, but the Peters Valley Crafts Center in 2003 did offer this description of her course, which gives some insight into her process:
Embroidery is deceptively simple – providing substance to a piece of cloth with or without pre-conceived ideas! This course will utilize the stitch to develop personal imagery. Students will experiment with stitches exploring color, stitch application and mark making (think sampler for reference). We will design a project specific to each student utilizing doodles, introspection, brainstorming, ideas that need tweaking for needle and thread mode or suggestions from a wise and savvy stitcher! (Think personal narratives/symbols/totems.) Embroidery is a meditative process in this world of instant gratification, students may not complete their pieces but will leave with the ability to finish on their own. Framing and finishing ideas will be discussed.
Image by Elaine McBride

M. Joan Lintault: the richness of chaos

Sunday, October 26th, 2003

When The Bee Stings by M. Joan LintaultM. Joan Lintault creates quilts that are truly layers of meaning. She creates dozens of individual items by painting, xerox and silkscreening. These objects are connected by machine lace and applique to create a dimension expression filled with color and details.
image by M. Joan Lintault

Lintault was a teacher at Southern Illinois Universitys School of Art and Design in Carbondale for most of her career, leaving only recently to pursue her studio work full time. In an article by the Illinois State Museum, Lintault explains her fascination with the richness of visual display that springs open with pattern and chaos. She also cites the influence of sixteenth-century Italian painter Giuseppe Archimboldo, and seventeenth-century Amsterdam artist Rachel Ruysch.

Lintualts artist statement gives the following insight: My objective is to produce a series of quilts that are motivated by metaphors of paradise and the evocative use of nature to inspire spiritual and uplifting feelings. I would like to place myself with those artists who have established an unbroken history of works of art dealing with the theme of paradise. The subjects that I wish to address are largely traditional, such as trees, garden, flowers, animals, fruit and vegetables. These visual images offer me associations with many levels of meaning.

Web site URL updated 8/01/05

Image Cooperative: iStockphoto

Saturday, October 25th, 2003

this week's free – royalty free stock photography community
Well, its not free, but its really cheap – or it is free, if you support the collaboration by uploading your own high quality photos to share. The concept of sharing is great – and the images seem pretty great too.
The official explanation of the system: works on a download credit system and some ideas we borrowed from the concept of micropayments. Rather than purchasing individual images from our collection, community members can purchase credits in packs. One credit is equal to one image download. Each credit costs .50 cents, but discounts are available on larger credit packages. Our members, the artists who upload files, earn 20% of each download. Earnings can be converted into download credits or cashed out ($100 minimum). This ensures that regular contributors will always have download credits.
image is this weeks free image

Jennifer Bartlett – art on a grid

Saturday, October 25th, 2003

Jennifer Bartlett Jennifer Bartlett: painter, printmaker and sculptor, has been active on the New York and California art scenes since the early 1970s. Her work is dominated by systems and grids, which provide a means of organizing explorations into lively chaos, such as her series of overgrown gardens or elements (investigations of the four elements: air, water, fire and earth.) Most of her works have been explorations of theme and variations. The beginnings of Bartletts paintings are often one foot square canvases (sometimes steel plates), which she then assembles in the grid to form the final images.

The Smithsonians description of her artistic ambitions Her early work, which was strictly limited to grids, graphs, and dots, has evolved to include an expanded view of the possibilities of classifying and cataloging. Classifying and cataloging there seems to be lots of room for explorations there.

The MIT student loan art program describes Bartletts process: Bartletts approach was more idiosyncratic and she would violate the systematically determined series when it suited her purposes to do so. Each series of plates creates a wall full of exuberantly rhythmic patterns.

According to Bartlett, the evident fascination with the series in her art can be explained by the fact that, The series permits a range of possibilities; it reminds us that things can change. In the words of critic Maurice Berger, Bartletts art juxtaposes the raw and the cooked, examining the way the world is filtered through the human mind and is encoded into cultural conventions or sign systems.

image by Jennifer Bartlett from the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Hive Project

Friday, October 24th, 2003

Hive Project

Hive Project 768 individual quilt panels created by a dozen different artists come together to create this collaborative piece, the Hive. Each panel measures 12 square. The most fascinating part of this art piece is that it is designed to be rearranged at each installation. One example at this site is a digital representation of how the pieces might look in one long mural. A second view shows the work actually installed in an art space.

San Antonio News has an article with more information on the project and a photo of the installation at the Southwest School of Art Craft.

Linda L Uphoff

Friday, October 24th, 2003

Linda L. Uphoff creates paintings that dance with color. Abstract shapes swirl in a snowstorm of energy and vivid color creating a mesmerizing composition. Uphoff uses acrylic paint, watercolor, ink, pastel, conte, assorted pencil, and fiber to create many of her works. Recent pieces emphasize the rectangular image, the softened edge, combinations of subtle and intense color, atmospheric ambiguous space, moving energy, musical rhythms and the theme of human relationships.

Marta Amundson

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2003

Marta Amundson at artfulstyle.comMarta Amundson This page is in Swedish, which is a bit of a problem for comprehension of the text, at least for me. Luckily, the page is mostly photographs – wonderful closeup photos of Marta Amundsons quilts. You can actually see the richness of the textures and layerings in her work; strawberries on a cake so real that you want to stick your finger in and have a taste, Bleeding Heart flowers created with paint and thread.

Amundsons colors are wonderful. In an interview in the Albion College alumni newsletter, Amundson says, The colors in my work are bold combinations that would make Emil Nolde or Henri Matisse proud but raise the hair on granny�s neck.

The quilt image is from her gallery work, which has a dozen or so of Amundsons quilts on view on the web. Most of her works involve animals and nature, which she observes in her daily life in Wyoming.