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“After all, hope is a form of planning. If our hopes weren’t already real within us, we couldn’t even hope them.”Gloria Steinem

Saturday, May 20, 2017

sunny saturday

I have been in studio preparing for the Haleiwa Art Festival that i do each July. I have juried into for the past 19  plus years so 2017 will be my 20 th show under those white billowing tents. As much as i love blogging, sometimes and for a period of time, i have no words to share,
 other than inner dialogue going on in my head, around and around. 
My hands are talking to my stuff and inner artyself, mostly. 
And just like any painting or quilt or story or piece of work, it simmers and changes and stops/starts and is resolved  in its' own time frame. It is in  this process where i am problem  creating and solving as it flows and if one stimmies me, i shift to another project because perhaps the next step has  just become clear to me by not thinking about it..but in the shift of thought/mind. Interesting. 
Anyone reading this that is a maker might recognize the joy/agony in the making process. Those who are curious about the finished work might gain a bit of  insight knowing that ideas do not come to most of us fully formed but rather in more fits and starts and parts and wrong turns ...
each one informing the next decision/s.
And so it goes; it is a journey for me and the piece is the log, the diary or proof of the documenting processes. It no longer is/it never never was   an idea.... 
the object is more of the sum of many ideas, it is itself, a quilt, a painting ,a story, a cake....a miracle perhaps and at least something that did not exist before.... 

OKAY, here are some of my favorite tools of the trade:
 cloth, paint, brushes, cutters, large work surface, water, small rocks. 
 This is how most of my work beings.
 And with that seed of a inkling of a possible idea begins.
i must add each side track is fun like the
 3 brush containers in the front, 
under the wrapped fabric lurks an empty pint jar that once held my paints/inks.

 love quotes that say to me 
Yes! that is just what i was thinking and someone else has already located 
 and arranged those descriptive words, beautifully !!yea!!

If i am dreaming of creating a quilt using some of my fabric painted cotton 
in every color imaginable, 
i reach for scissors, pins, threads and one of two of my favorite sewing machines,
my Featherweight 221 singer
Noodles  the watch cat  

 or my Bernina 830 record, the old square one.

My current cat assistant and studio investigator, Ruby

I like joining  up fabrics on the FW and quilting free motion on Bernie 
 i have both of them set up in opposite ends in my studio so i can get up and move often.
Also, after machining there is always hand stitching involved and ....
i like to take that outside and sit under a shady tree.

So, do you have favorite tools or helpers in your make spot?
Be well, see well, Sonja


Nancy said...

Fits and starts- that's a perfect way to describe the process! It's mine, too- I start here, and then get distracted over there in just the way you did with the brush holders! Those older Berninas are sure workhorses, aren't they? My Bernina is one of my favorite tools, along with my helper cat Lily (good pics of Noodle and Ruby). And the workspace is just crammed with tools- not sure I can pick more favorites. Have fun preparing for the July event.

LA Paylor said...

oh Sonja
I feel like I just shared an afternoon with you. How wonderful that was. About your table... what is the surface? Do you paint flat on it so the paint moves? I paint flat on fabric but when I did silk painting I suspended it it. I am working on the piece you sent me, thinking about what to do with hand embroidery vs machine work. I think a mix is good. Plus beads of course. It will be a collaboration between us.

Susan Lenz said...

Lovely post! I especially like the way you describe a finished piece as the sum of many ideas. This is so perfect. I don't own a feather-weight but love both my Bernina 1008 machines. Yes ... two machines and the same models. (I take them with me when teaching workshops and it is handy that they use all the same feet, thread exactly the same way, etc.) If I had to select a favorite tool, I'd say a chenille needle as I love to hand-stitch too. Your outside stitching area looks ever so inviting. My cat isn't really into quilting or assisting in the studio. His name is Max. I'm just a cat servant. It's all about him! LOL! Thanks for the comment on my blog and for allowing me to share a bit of myself in response to your excellent blog post. Love the photos too! Susan

sonja said...

thanks Nancy! i always think i can accomplish more than i actually end up doing. So i have decided to just work slower and inhale deeper! Easy as hands and eyes and mind have already chosen to slow down!

sonja said...

Mahalo LA!mostly i paint standing and that outdoor table is a sheet of 4x8 plywood, painted white, covered with heavy vinyl, 30-31 inches tall legs,so with risers blocks of 6 inches, it is the height i have up mostly ,am most comfortable with .removal of risers, becomes a sit down affair for dinners or painting/workshop classes. .I paint flat mostly; sometimes i suspend a blank prepared fabric in very large quilting hoop if i don't want paint/inks to merge or interact with surface.
I wish you were here and look forward to seeing what you do with the painted cloth i used to wrap sometime for you! It has been decades!!!since i bought wrapping paper!cotton the fabulous fabric of my life!!

sonja said...

Thank you Susan for your great comment.Your work is so amazing as i have been curious about your curated collection for a bit now,your taking the ordinary to extraordinary, and how you work in series, necessary to developing a visual story/history, to me. And each viewer can/ has to unravel what your pieces reveals/recalls to their own lives....curiously awakening!

quiltedfabricart said...

I love your philosophy and attitude!

sonja said...

Mahalo Carol! Your most recent description of making landscapes using batiks in mountain/sky/land are most delicious! i thought as i read about your process, that sometimes i alter a commercial fabric with a bit of paint,opaque or semi transparent, if i see it needs a change. great post!