I know you were all sitting around waiting with bated breath for my next post. My mind is still reeling from Sonji's class and the entire Tougaloo Art Colony experience. My mind reels anyway, just more now that it's crammed full of an entire week spent with real artists though. I felt like an absolute fraud being surrounded by MFAs all week, but I just sat back and laughed at the appropriate (and frequently inappropriate) times and nodded sagely at their pearls of art wisdom. The food was incredibly bad (and expensive) and the classes and interaction were incredibly good. My "Bird" Parker quilt sold almost immediately at the auction and I was SO excited! My biggest fear was that it would just get Vanna'ed around the room and then have to slink off quietly to sit in the corner by itself with no takers. Fortunately, Isaac Byrd showed up and he collects bird related stuff. I'll sit here in the early morning quiet and believe that he just loved the piece so much he HAD to have it for his own, and ignore the fact that he was probably as taken with the fact that there was a bird on it as he was with the actual artistic merit of it. Artists tend to be a bit self-delusional anyway I think. I did catch a glimpse of him at one point talking to another auction goer and gently stroking the quilt as he talked. He wasn't doing that with the other non-textile pieces either!
Surprisingly (at least for me) was what a big hit my rust dyed stuff made. I had a lot of interest in the pieces I brought and some inquiries about doing some workshops on it. I also sold a few pieces (along with a canvas drop cloth I went all Jackson Pollock on and then polyurethaned for a floor cloth) at the open studio on Friday. The attention the rust stuff got made me sort of look at it in a new light too. There may be more of it in my future, in more ways than me just deciding I need a certain piece for my own work. The good thing is that rust dying is something I actually enjoy doing, and it's not terribly labor intensive so maybe I won't get tired of doing it right away. I finally broke down yesterday and ordered a book on compost dying (don't hate me Rissa!) even though I fully expect it to be a battle royale with the author to get the damn thing in this lifetime. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any other source for the info I'm looking for than her book. At least I used PayPal so maybe they'll get on her ass if she doesn't follow through as agreed.
What to say about Tougaloo? Too much stuff and not enough brain-organization to think coherently yet. The instructors and students were unbelievable. I could natter on at great length about what an experience it was to meet Sonji, but suffice it to say we connected immediately. That connection held throughout the week, and I wanted to cry when she finally left. Thelma Smith was another student in our class and that was a HOOT! I think I spent more time with her last week than I did my own husband. And I didn't have to cook for her! Margaret brought in some gorgeous, luscious yarns she hand dyes through her company heritageyarns.com and I had to get a table as far away from Debbie as I could. No WAY I wanted to be in a position for people to be able to compare her work to mine. We were all begging/bribing/pleading/bartering trying to get a piece of her fabric to bring home with us. I'd have just hung it up on my wall as is and danced around laughing maniacally saying "Mine. All mine!" if I'd been successful in talking her out of the big piece I coveted. Alas, the silly woman actually followed directions and cut it up! Of course, the stuff she made with the cut up pieces was gorgeous too. There's not much she could have done to make it anything other than beautiful. I haven't even mentioned Gwen Magee and her independent study studio, where I spent half my time simply absorbing her working process and chatting (at great length, of course) about this and that and politics and Katrina and whirled peas and anything else that flitted across our brains.
OK....I'm tired of typing now, so I'll just call this Installment One of the Art Colony Report and come back to it after your eyes have healed. Lots more to report on but it will have to wait.