Friday, December 30, 2011

Female Dilgence

Marita Kratz
Diessen, Germany

In 2006, Marita Kratz started thinking about how a modern woman lives by the antiquated guidelines of an "ideal" woman. No doubt, you're familiar with the old "standards"...she must be kind, good, caring, loving, and beautiful...

Marita attempts to exaggerate traditional ideals and seeks interaction with the public.

She began a project as a visual investigation of female diligence.
In 2006, Marita spent hours putting her diligence into crocheting 12 roses one day. 

Soon, other women joined in and offered help to crochet white roses for her piece. 

Today she has 10,000.

She has installed the roses in multiple venues between 2007 and 2011.

Read more about this interesting performance artists here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Small Challenge (or nothing)

Contents of the envelope my 93 year old mother, Bertha Sulak, gave to me this week. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Learning about Kantha and Sujuni Stitching

Kantha stitching, first attempt, C. Mauersberger, 2011

I attended a 2 day workshop at the Cleveland Museum of Art with Dorothy Caldwell on December 3-4, 2011, hosted by the Textile Art Alliance of the CMA. 

The primary activity we did was to create small pieces using the running stitch in the manner of the women in the Bihar region of India called Sujuni and Kantha
Detail of Kantha-stitched quilt.
21 individual "blocks" stitched by 21 women in the workshop held in Cleveland, OH, 2011
3 blocks after MUCH more stitching
This 2-day workshop was just grand.
Dorothy introduced us to the work of the women of Bihar, India. She brought samples of their work for us to inspect and she presented 2 informative powerpoint lectures filled with many many more informative images.

For those of you who have attended any of Dorothy's workshops, you'll know that she gives each person her unfailing attention. 

My friend and fellow artist, Mary Ann Tipple, also posted about it here.

This morning I decided to draw a bit to workout some imagery apropos for a Kantha-inspired piece. 
I began by looking at the Pointsettia plant on my table. 
 Then I drew.

We'll see what happens next...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Marks like Murmerations

Camilia León
Santiego, Chilé

These drawings remind me of the video of the collection of starlings called Murmurations post last month.

Camilia León marks are simple and lovely.
More can be found on her website here.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wind algorithyms

Peter Jellitsch
Vienna, Austria

STB/S02/130°, ink & pencil on paper, 75 x 75 cm (unique), Peter Jellitsch 2011
STB/S01/130°, ink & pencil on paper, 75 x 75 cm (unique), Peter Jellitsch 2011

The hand drawing is an essential part of my work. It allows me a physical acquisition of invisible digital calculatory work and includes, of course, mistakes and instinctive extension. (Peter Jellitsch)

See more here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Regret: Undo, Cntrl + Z, Reply All

Kathryn Schulz
the world's leading wrongologist
Author, Journalist, Public Speaker

Apropos of this time of year, when we tend to think about what we've done. 
Good. Bad. Unfortunate.
You may agree (or not) with what Kathryn says. I like it.

I encourage you to watch the video to the very end, it's well worth it.

 "If we have goals and dreams and we want to do our best, and if we love people and we don’t want to hurt them or lose them, we should feel pain when things go wrong. The point isn’t to live without any regrets, the point is to not hate ourselves for having them… We need to learn to love the flawed, imperfect things that we create, and to forgive ourselves for creating them. Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly — it reminds us that we know we can do better.”

She wrote Being Wrong, Adventures in the Margin of Error

What do you think about regret?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mind Map in a Museum Exhibit

Focus Fiber 2011-12

Mind Map 
(and detail)
40" x 41"
Hand-stitched Silk/Wool embroidery thread on Linen
© Christine Mauersberger

I've been waiting to share this artwork with you. I wanted to post a pic earlier this year, now I can!
I made this piece in during a time earlier this year as I worked through making a decision about my future. I was offered a once-in-a-lifetime position as a curator to a major art collection.  
How does one say no to a rewarding and gratifying career?

It wasn't easy, but I said no.

The only way I could handle the decision-making process was to dive into my artwork. 
Hand-stitching pointed the way. It comforted me. 

The small marks by my needle and thread became the conduit for release of my thoughts as I meditated over my decision. 

I am humbled and pleased to announce that the artwork is included in Focus Fiber: 2011-12 a juried exhibit of contemporary fiber art at the Canton Museum of Art, Canton, Ohio. I posted a blog about the entry to the show earlier this year

The Textile Art Alliance of the Cleveland Museum of Art  co-sponsored this show.

The Opening Reception is this Thursday, Dec. 8,  from 6 - 8 pm.

If you live within driving distance, come join us for the opening. 
Or plan a visit to the museum from now through the first week of March, 2012. 

I'll post more pictures later this week of other artists' works in this show.
There are some grand artists in the exhibition, I cannot wait to see it all in person.
Congratulations to all the artists who were selected!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for a Creative Life

In the USA today we celebrate Thanksgiving to mark the day when In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn feast. 

Many individuals and families will share a meal today and talk of what they're most thankful for in their own lives. 

For me, I am thankful for a creative life.
And for all the readers who peek in on my blog to seek information, inspiration, and connectivity with other like-minded individuals around the world.
Thank you for reading and commenting.

Here are 2 manifestos that I enjoy reading from time to time to remind me that the power to live a brilliant life is forever within ourselves.

1. Holstee Manifesto
Here's a short video made by a group of bike-lovers and creators that visually illustrate this manifesto:

2. An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. This design manifesto was first written by Bruce Mau in 1998, articulating his beliefs, strategies, and motivations. 

1. Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow.
Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce
it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience
events and the willingness to be changed by them.
2. Forget about good. Good is a known quantity. Good is what we
all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of
unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you
stick to good you’ll never have real growth.
3. Process is more important than outcome. When the
outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve
already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re
going, but we will know we want to be there.
4. Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).
Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as
beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long
view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.
5. Go deep. The deeper you go the more likely you will discover
something of value.
6. Capture accidents. The wrong answer is the right answer in
search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the
process. Ask different questions.
7. Study. A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production
as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit.
8. Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack
judgment. Postpone criticism.
9. Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to
begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.
10. Everyone is a leader. Growth happens. Whenever it does,
allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone
11. Harvest ideas. Edit applications. Ideas need a dynamic, fluid,
generous environment to sustain life. Applications, on the other hand,
benefit from critical rigor. Produce a high ratio of ideas to applications.
12. Keep moving. The market and its operations have a tendency to
reinforce success. Resist it. Allow failure and migration to be part of your
13. Slow down. Desynchronize from standard time frames and
surprising opportunities may present themselves.
14. Don’t be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free
yourself from limits of this sort.
15. Ask stupid questions. Growth is fueled by desire and
innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning
throughout your life at the rate of an infant.
16. Collaborate. The space between people working together is
filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative
17. ——————————. Intentionally left blank. Allow space for
the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others.
18. Stay up late. Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far,
been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest
of the world.
19. Work the metaphor. Every object has the capacity to stand for
something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for.
20. Be careful to take risks. Time is genetic. Today is the child of
yesterday and the parent of tomorrow. The work you produce today
will create your future.
21. Repeat yourself. If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it
22. Make your own tools. Hybridize your tools in order to build
unique things. Even simple tools that are your own can yield entirely new
avenues of exploration. Remember, tools amplify our capacities, so even
a small tool can make a big difference.
23. Stand on someone’s shoulders. You can travel farther
carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And
the view is so much better.
24. Avoid software. The problem with software is that everyone
has it.
25. Don’t clean your desk. You might find something in the
morning that you can’t see tonight.
26. Don’t enter awards competitions. Just don’t. It’s not
good for you.
27. Read only left-hand pages. Marshall McLuhan did this. By
decreasing the amount of information, we leave room for what he called
our “noodle.”
28. Make new words. Expand the lexicon. The new conditions
demand a new way of thinking. The thinking demands new forms of
expression. The expression generates new conditions.
29. Think with your mind. Forget technology. Creativity is not
30. Organization = Liberty. Real innovation in design, or any
other field, happens in context. That context is usually some form of
cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank Gehry, for instance, is only able
to realize Bilbao because his studio can deliver it on budget. The myth
of a split between “creatives” and “suits” is what Leonard Cohen calls a
‘charming artifact of the past.’
31. Don’t borrow money. Once again, Frank Gehry’s advice. By
maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It’s not exactly
rocket science, but it’s surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline,
and how many have failed.
32. Listen carefully. Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings
with him or her a world more strange and complex than any we could
ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their
needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither
party will ever be the same.
33. Take field trips. The bandwidth of the world is greater than that
of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive,
dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic–
simulated environment.
34. Make mistakes faster. This isn’t my idea — I borrowed it. I
think it belongs to Andy Grove.
35. Imitate. Don’t be shy about it. Try to get as close as you can. You’ll
never get all the way, and the separation might be truly remarkable.
We have only to look to Richard Hamilton and his version of Marcel
Duchamp’s large glass to see how rich, discredited, and underused
imitation is as a technique.
36. Scat. When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up
something else … but not words.
37. Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it.
38. Explore the other edge. Great liberty exists when we avoid
trying to run with the technological pack. We can’t find the leading edge
because it’s trampled underfoot. Try using old-tech equipment made
obsolete by an economic cycle but still rich with potential.
39. Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms. Real growth
often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces
— what Dr. Seuss calls “the waiting place.” Hans Ulrich Obrist once
organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of
a conference — the parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals — but with
no actual conference. Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned
many ongoing collaborations.
40. Avoid fields. Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and
regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life.
They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold,
complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and
cross the fields.
41. Laugh. People visiting the studio often comment on how much we
laugh. Since I’ve become aware of this, I use it as a barometer of how
comfortably we are expressing ourselves.
42. Remember. Growth is only possible as a product of history.
Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a
direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded
or composite image of a previous moment or event. That’s what makes
us aware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every
memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and, as such,
a potential for growth itself.
43. Power to the people. Play can only happen when people
feel they have control over their lives. We can’t be free agents if we’re
not free

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Creative Workforce Fellowship Award

George Mauersberger
Cleveland, OH USA
Hed 11
30 x 44 in. - pastel - 2011

George received a wonderful award this year, the Creative Workforce Fellowship (CWF). 

The CWF is made possible by the generous support of Cuyahoga County citizens through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, the Fellowship is designed to strengthen the voices of 20 outstanding artists each year.  

George has been able to spend most of the year in his studio making art and doing what he loves to do. The Fellowship allowed him to take a sabbatical from teaching this year. (He is Professor of Art at Cleveland State University) 

I've written about George here once before. I think you'll agree the award is well-deserved.

The piece above was made during the Fellowship year. The work itself won the Juror's Choice Award in the Midyear Show 2011 held at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


A collection of starlings is called a murmuration. 
Liberty Smith and Sophie Windsor capture a rare moment.
This is a lovely video. Pour a cup of something warm and watch.

Link Here

Sunday, October 30, 2011


1. Self-confidence, Self-assuredness. As in basis for belief in ones self in a situation.

I felt that I lost my mojo in August. I think I found it again. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pushing Paper and Paste

Mary Button Durell
San Francisco, CA
The Piles, 2011
tracing paper, wheat paste and acrylic
17 x 18 x 16 in

60, (detail), 2011
tracing paper, wheat paste and acetate
43 x 29 x 1 1/4 in
Asteroid, 1999
tracing paper and wheat paste
48 x 42 x 108 in

Work in Progress, Studio, 2011

Work in Progress, Studio, 2011

Loving these. 
Tracing paper, wheat paste, some acrylic paint.
See more of her work and learn about her process here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Flawed and Beautiful World

Alexis Mackenzie
San Francisco, CA

     Milk Grass 
    (2011) Hand-cut collage on found paper, 12 x 14 1/2 inche

Short Night of the Glass Dolls 
(2010). Hand-cut collage on found paper, 12 x 14 inches

Alexis Mackenzie carefully cuts images from her large collection of books and illustrations to compose these lovely and strange collages.

She states" My general intent, throughout all my work, is to portray the world as a flawed thing of beauty - a place that shines brightly, but has a dark side to match."

See more on her website here.

All images and work copyright ©Alexis Anne Mackenzie.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Printmaking for Barter

Zygote Press
Cleveland, Ohio

Do you want access to printmaking, but don't have the money? 
Do you live in Cleveland or nearby?
You can barter for print facility access at Zygote Press.
See this note from Liz Maugans at Zygote Press in Cleveland!

Hello everyone-
As fall nears, Zygote is currently recruiting volunteers (interns) who would like to help out in the printshop-office for barter access to presses and facilities. We are looking for peoplewho want to utilize the shop in exchange for press-time hours. Incentives like ...taking free classes, participating in group projects and being apart ofa dynamic shop are benefits of this opportunity. We ask for 10 hours in exchange for shop access per month. If interested, please contact: intern coordinator Elizabeth Emery at emeryspeaking@gmail.comThanks,Liz Maugans


I have used Zygote Press facilities and they are amazing. I would have never been able to use presses or inks if it weren't for Zygote. I learned a great amount of information about printmaking just by showing up!

Monday, August 22, 2011

magic feather for Jude

Light as a feather and magic to behold. 
Here's my stitched feather for Jude Hill's Magic Feather Project
Reclaimed silk from a blouse I picked up at a local thrift store. Kudzu leaves bound and wrapped within the fabric, immersed in the dye bath at Shakerag in 2010. (Not the silk robe shown in this blogpost). I wore this blouse and then decided to share it with Jude. 
I backed the silk with reclaimed wool from a dismantled wool jacket from same thrift storer.
Look at the feather-shape that appeared! 
I knew this was the piece to send to Jude.

Why not send your own?

Curious? Jump over to Jude's blog and find magic in every piece of cloth she stitches.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Humbled and Happy on a Hot day in Cleveland

Arrived at my door today:
In this photo: Book Jacket - Second Skin, Choosing and Caring for Textiles and Clothing
mailing package, and the black linen I'm currently stitching with wool/silk thread.
the new book by India Flint, Second Skin.
One of my pieces can be found in the Gallery chapter, on p. 174-75.
286 pages 
Approximately 9" x 11" x 1" deep.
all images by permission ©India Flint, 2011.
But you'll have to order your own copy to behold the deliciously-filled,  gorgeously designed book. It was printed on 100% recycled paper and feels good in your hands. Ah!

I am giggling with delight that Murdoch Books champions India Flint. Furthermore, the book designer, Toyoko Sugiwaka, created a beautiful layout and design to complement India's writing and artwork. 

This book is a masterpiece. 
To read it is to hear India's voice, smooth and strong, dispensing abundant information amid mouth-watering photos about selecting and caring for textiles and clothing while using less of our earths non-renewable resources.

I am humbled to have been included in such an important and timely publication. India has also included the work of other wonderful artists with whom you may be acquainted like Dorothy Caldwell, Jude Hill, Anu Touminen, and several more who work with pre-used materials.

Thank you India. 
Off to read every lovely page...
And if you don't already own a copy, make sure you pick up her first book, 
Eco Colour