Over and over, I keep asking myself the same question, “What am I good at?” Of course, this question does not refer to me as a person, but as an artist. I’m an accomplished knitter publishing free patterns on Ravelry. Out of necessity, I learned how to sew my first garment when I was eight years old, and currently I’m enrolled in the Fashion Program at Canada College located in Redwood City, California. Later in life, I studied Art History at the University of California, Berkeley. Fulfilling a life-long dream, and being the first in my family to graduate from college was bittersweet. But, “What am I good at?”
As a young girl, I enjoyed taking pictures with my father’s Kodak Instamatic Camera with plastic flash cubes. When my father started using the Polaroid Camera with the peel-apart color prints, I was hooked. I carried a Polaroid Pocket Camera everywhere I went. A few years back, I began experimenting with Holga plastic cameras. The journey which began with “red eyes,” instant color prints along with the double-exposure capability using 120 film, prepared me for the boundless creative options of the cellphone camera.
How could I take advantage of the beautiful art images I captured with my cellphone camera? In a world with digital prints on fabric, why not put my images on fabric? Better yet, why not sew with fabric which created a digital narrative of what I “see” as interesting.
These photos were sent to me by Virginia. Along with sticks-a-gogo Art Cloth, Virginia used the Yuya Dress pattern by Damar Studio. It is so gratifying to see my digital narrative take on a new meaning.
Creating digital textile images via contemporary digital printing technology empowers me to make my own art cloth designs. Looking through the lens of my cellphone along with a gentle click of the finger, I am able to create a narrative of places, people and things I find interesting.
The ability to bring my vision to “life” from start to finish elevates my importance as a designer and a consumer. Utilizing new skills, which by the way, I’ve been taking classes using Photoshop Elements, supports my desire to create something special, a timeless unique piece of artwork. A symbiotic relationship develops between me and the image, I am emotionally attached to the cloth because it describes who I am.
Since the drought has officially been declared over, I decided to plant a garden this year. Not such an easy endeavor… Well, I discovered this morning, raccoons were busy last night digging up my sunflowers and zinnias. This really hurts because I pulled weeds, amended the soil and carefully planted the seeds according to the directions on the package. At first, the birds were eating the sunflower seeds, but I was able to outsmart the birds by covering the top of the location with netting. I suspect the raccoons are searching for the booty buried by the blue jays. The blue jays are busy taking dry cat food pieces from the cat’s bowl when he’s not looking.
The wild life does not seem to be interested in the zucchini nor the crookneck squash.
This year for my birthday, I celebrated at the beach. Two days of listening to the pounding surf, as I hiked through sand brought in from the storms of 2017, while hunting for sea glass. The first day was windy and cold.
The second day on the sand was gorgeous, but there was not an abundance of sea glass. I decided to focus on rocks with holes, lines and texture as my found objects. (I always check for signage regarding removing objects from the beach).
My birthday celebration would not be complete without reservations at Cafe Rio in Rio Del Mar.
Mango Salsa atop Swordfish resting on shaved Brussel Sprouts and Rice was delicious, but of course, I saved room for dessert.
Words cannot express the intense flavor of this dessert. As Tess Flanders expressed in 1911, “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”
Last year, my mother passed away in her sleep without a Will. Becoming the Administrator of her Estate was a lengthy process, but nothing compared to the unknown obstacles I would be forced to deal with it. With my husband by my side, we faced each situation with tenacity and common sense, never loosing focus on what really matters, while maintaining our lifestyle. My continued exploration in the world of knitting, exercise, and photography keeps me grounded.
Capturing rain drops on persimmons hanging from a tree outside my studio window.
Hiking while coping with one of the worst storms this year in Northern California. At least, the drought is officially over. I look forward to planting sunflowers this year.
Playing around with the color wheel observing the interaction between colors using a knitting pattern of slip stitches.
The following pictures were taken by Mary Lou Fall and were NOT altered using Photoshop. The origami was folded by Melissa, and Tristan Zara’s cut-up technique described in the Dada Manifesto was used for the poem. Thirty-one words were cut up and twenty-five were randomly drawn from a brown paper bag.