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20 September 2012

VP9 Challenge: The Scent of a Memory

This month’s VP9 challenge deals with memories and how they can be triggered by certain smells...

florastrology_liliesWhen I read Diane Wright’s description of our 4th challenge, I immediately thought of the IV drug Heparin.

Strange but true.

For me, heparin has very distinct taste and smell which evokes a vivid memory. During cancer treatment the nurse would inject this blood thinner to kind of ‘clear out’ the vein (sorry if that's gross) before starting the heavy hitter chemo drugs. Every time they injected the heparin I would get an absolutely definite taste/smell right in the back of my nose & throat. Penny_tails

The best way I can describe it: take a deep whiff of a Stargazer Lily while you hold a copper penny in your mouth. Not exactly a pleasant flavor combination.  Also, not a very pleasant memory. To this day I can’t stand the scent of Stargazer lilies. It makes me nauseous.

I thought it would be interesting to make something positive or beautiful (or at least visually appealing) from this negative association. I’m not interested in creating art that either celebrates/memorializes chemo or cancer. I don’t want that hanging on my wall.  So I concentrated on the smell/taste itself and not the memory it triggers.

I gave myself the following parameters for my design:

1. The design must reference stargazer lilies and copper pennies in some way

2. The finished piece has to be visually appealing

I’ll post the results on October 26 when our Viewpoints9 gallery goes live. 

07 September 2012

Goal for this Year


It’s September; back to school for the kids and back to the studio for me!

Time to evaluate my progress as an artist and set some goals for the future.  So here’s my big IDEA:

lightbulbMy goal (between now and August 2013) is to complete 5 major works of fiber art rather than my usual one.  I consider a major work at least 36x36 in size, strong design and exceptional quality –  meaning I would have no hesitation entering it into a highly competitive exhibition like Quilt National or Art Quilt Elements. 

It’s not that important to me that I actually enter or get accepted into any of these shows. This is about holding my artwork to the highest standards of design and also maintaining a good sized collection of available pieces, for sale and/or exhibition.

In order to reach my goal I’ve established regular studio hours and some hard deadlines. I’m the type of person that works better under pressure, even if it is self-imposed. When I have forever, it takes forever. I work more efficiently and get a lot more done when I see a big red square looming on the calendar.

I’ll have to complete a large composition (min. 36x36) about every 8-10 weeks.  And since I’m also signed on for the Viewpoints9 challenge, I’ll also need to finish a smaller (18x24) piece every 9 weeks.

KThemel_NYCnye5Yes, it’s a lot to get done. More than I’ve gotten done in past years for sure.  It will take a lot of discipline and hard work and even then I’m not entirely sure I’ll get there.  Then again, if I KNEW I could do it, it wouldn’t be much of a goal.

So.  First up is “NYE in NYC” – inspired by a photo taken on New Years Eve 2007.  I’m still exploring this idea of darkness and radiance, especially artificial light. This one could be a nice companion to “Morgan’s Flight”, possibly the beginning of a series.

The self-imposed deadline on this one is November 1st, 2012.

Stay tuned for updates Smile