Macrame on My Mind

Macrame on My Mind

I’ve got macrame on my mind.
I also have sample knots all over my studio tables,
multiple works in progress hooked to various surfaces,
and plans for lots more macrame projects in the pipeline.

Blame it on my buddies at Modern Craft Collective.
(In a good way, of course)
One of our conversations started with my bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t attend their February shibori workshop, and ended with us deciding I would partner with them to teach a few workshops myself.
Specifically, macrame workshops.
How cool is that?

  Now I’m experimenting with knots & thinking about the best way to teach them.
Square knots.
Half hitch & clove hitch knots.
Lark knots.
Wrap knots.
Barrel knots.
The list goes on.

I’m also thinking about thickness and types of rope.
Deciding when and where to use beads.
Figuring out what combinations are aesthetically pleasing to the “modern” eye.
I don’t know about you,
but personally,
I was never into that ubiquitous 1970’s beaded hemp plant hanger…
(Sorry Momsy.  I know you were proud of the one you made…)

Bottom line?
Macrame rocks!
I can’t wait to make more and share more.
I’ll be posting works in progress on instagram (@valz_corner),
knotting in my studio at C3 Lab
coming out with workshops with Modern Craft Collective later this spring.
Stay tuned!

A Whole Lot of Art

A Whole Lot of Art

Here’s the situation:
I have to complete a whole lot of art
in a very short time.

I got a call last week about an amazing art opportunity:
A solo exhibit at my church art gallery.
The catch?
I had less than 3 weeks to have everything ready.

Did I have enough art to fill the space?
Not even close.
But I said “YES!” anyway.

I hung up the phone.
Felt the fluttery start of a panic attach.
Took a deep breath.
Counted the number paintings and drawings I’d need to fill the walls.
Said walls are 13 feet, 13 feet and 26 feet long.
Squished down another surge of panic.
Ordered frames and canvas.
Started painting.
And painting.
And painting.
My canvases and frames delivery formed a small mountain on my front step.
As I unpacked everything,
the sheer number of empty frames and blank canvases nearly sent me into meltdown.
Deep breath in.
Remember gratitude.
Deep breath out.
I can do this.

Merry Madness

Merry Madness

It’s absolute Merry Madness in my studio right now.
Well, let’s be truthful.
I’d say I’m at 65% “Merry” and 100% “Madness.”

I love, Love, LOVE Christmas.
My spirit is over-ambitiously willing to do it all.
But at some point during this holiday season,
I always end up asking myself,
“What the hec was I thinking?”

I’ve been baking like a mad woman.
Crocheting handmade gifts.
Prepping to lead two group craft activities.
Putting together center pieces.
Planning a rather large holiday party.
Not to mention tackling the regular Christmas to-do list with my kids.
Oh, and a friend asked if I wanted to enter a piece in her January textile exhibit.
I really, REALLY should have declined.
Now I’m fussing over what to make for said fiber art show.

So true to Christmas form,
I’ve bit off a whole lotta stuff.
Now I”m chewing fast and furious.
My studio is littered with almost finished Christmas paintings, gifts and tchotchkes.
Last night,
I looked up from the fiber sculpture I was playing with,
to see all my art and crafting detritus piled up around me.
I could only laugh at myself.
And snap picture.
So I could share my moment of “Merry Madness” with you.


Inspired by KwongHo Shin

Inspired by KwongHo Shin


This latest painting project is inspired by South Korean Artist, KwongHo Shin.

My nightly going-to-bed ritual ends with browsing Pinterest for 10 minutes.
Sometimes it only takes 5 minutes,
then my head starts to nod and I drift right off to sleep.
I think that’s opposite of what screen time does to most people… yes?

Anyway, one evening I stumbled across this very cool image.
A portrait.
Plain background.
Head and shoulders outlined in charcoal.
“Face” completely abstract.
I was smitten.
And inspired to try something similar.

Which is what I’m working on today.
Five headshots.
Based on photos I searched up (on Pinterest, of course).
I started with a loose charcoal sketch.
Filled in the background with one saturated color.
Outlined each person in black oil paint.
Filled in hair and clothes with black as well.
For the record,
I loved the idea that KwongHo Shin used both charcoal and paints.
  Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me.

Just as soon as I hit “publish,”
I’m heading back up to my studio to work on the abstract portion of this series.

Aiming to complete these in the next day.
Hoping they are dry enough by Saturday so I can haul them up to the Charlotte Art League.
They will be part of my last installation there.
October 28, 2017 through December, 2017



Work in Progress: “Waiting”

Work in Progress: “Waiting”

Work in progress: “Waiting”
This is the second of three paintings I’m prepping for an upcoming exhibit.

I’ve put a lot of hours into this project.
And am learning quite a bit in the process.
It’s not just about the painting.
It’s about the story I’m trying to weave between these three pieces.
It’s about staying focused.
Working through the details.
Ignoring my inner critic when it tells me my efforts aren’t good enough and this series is stupid…
Not trashing the work when I’m frustrated…
But continuing on when I’m tired of all three of them.

Apologies if I’ve been extra disjointed and curt these last few posts.
But there’s a painting deadline to meet.
And it’s past time to get back to my easel.


Work in Progress:  “Forgotten”

Work in Progress: “Forgotten”

I’m letting this pictures speak for me today.
I’m hard at work preparing for an art show in October.
My goal is to complete three oil paintings.
This first one is “Forgotten.”
Not finished with it yet, but I think it’s moving in the right direction.
I think the second one will be “Waiting.”
And the third will be “Empty.”
Or maybe “Broken”
… Or something cheery like that.