Monday, September 29, 2014

iron spine

A few weeks ago a reincarnation took place. Some of you might remember this piece. I created an artwork answering an opposites challenge and surprised myself by making it abstract. The work fit the challenge and was exhibited for a weekend at a quilt show. Then it came home and it wanted to become something else.
It's on it's way to becoming two something elses.... This is the first one, the second is still a work in progress.
Iron Spine © Natalya Aikens
I put a bird on it. Can you see it?
OK, OK..... I'll admit to my current love affair with fire escapes....
Really all it wanted was to be hand-stitched. With a fire escape and a bird in cotton embroidery floss.

And then it went and got itself into an exhibit. Come see it at Spun, October 17th to November 10th, with the opening reception on Friday, October 17th from 6 to 8PM.

Friday, September 26, 2014

friday in the studio

Yesterday I did a bit of organizing in the old studio, and if you follow my artist page on Facebook, you might have seen this shocking post: Somehow I have seven (7!!!) artworks in different stages of completion... usually it's not more than 2 or 3. Guess I'd better get to work!

OK, so the "shocking" part is tongue firmly planted in cheek. But I am a bit overwhelmed by the seven. The problem is that I like all of them enough to continue working on them. How do I prioritize??? Aaack!

Thought I'd share a few peeks here:
1. This piece called Electric Spring debuted at my solo exhibit, but I deemed it unfinished this summer and have been adding tiny stitches ever since...
2. This is Early Spring and and the story is the same as above... adding sparkly French knots...
3. I started this Cathedrals piece back in May, progressed a bit and stopped due to general life craziness.
4. This is the beginnings to the companion piece to the above. Ahem. Subject is chosen and materials are gathered. That's it.
5. This is the fourth in the City Love Affair series. Shockingly I last reported about it in December! I have done quite a bit and probably shared more photos on Instagram, but haven't worked on it since spring. Sad I know.
6. This is a companion piece to one I finished a few weeks ago, but was too busy to share, but I promise I will soon! Both pieces are the next reincarnation of this piece.
You might have noticed only six photos. That's because I'm saving the seventh for next week.... That's right - a cliffhanger!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

rapturous moment

I've been hearing about this exhibit for a while from friends, I've followed the artist on Instagram and yet I barely made it to the Hudson River Museum to see it before it closed. The odds were against me the whole way, calendar too full... and yet I'm am so glad that at the last moment I was able to put something aside and make it there.

"Much of what I am after in my work is to capture a rapturous moment, when a river of our inner life spills out of us like blood or milk."~ Mandy Greer

Needless to say I was captivated, enthralled, amazed and inspired. Here are a few shots that don't do this fantastical installation justice:
gorgeous cream colored birds flowing out of an upside-down crochet volcano
from the top looking into the volcano
Looking through the blue crocheted waterfall that draped over a staircase
more fantastical birds (wonderfully made!) floating above a volcano representing blood
which spills out in a quilted compass...
there were many many birds throughout this exhibit, all breathtaking. this one looking into a fractured mirror
and this bird on a gilded branch...
From the museum press release: "The sewing machine and the crochet hook are her tools. Fabric and objects from the natural world her medium." This artist speaks my language...I may have to learn to crochet.....and perhaps we could collaborate, I'll contribute the recycled plastic artwork. Can you tell that I am inspired?

Friday, September 19, 2014

back to school!

Are you tired yet at looking at only Wordless Wednesdays here? I am! Summer is very busy around these parts with kid excursions, camps, travel and all other things that summer with children entails... But now it's back to the school routine, the after-school routine and back-to-the-studio routine. Woo hooo!!! As much as I enjoy planned and not, spur-of-a-moment and crazy activities of summer, I also love the dependability of routine.

So back to our regularly scheduled programming here, aside from WW. I have a few blog posts planned to share some delightful sights that I saw over the summer and I'll also fill you in on the goings on in my studio.

If you are ever in upstate NY, north of Albany, I highly recommend a visit to this little gem of a museum. Located on the grounds of the Russian Orthodox Holy Trinity Monastery, (which makes you feel as though you are in the Russian countryside) it's actually geared toward the non-Russian speaking visitor. The museum contains wonderful artifacts of representing four centuries of books and art in Russia. I thought I'd share with you the few that really captured my attention.
a detail from the Book of Gospels circa 1575...handwritten....
Book of the Twelve Great Feasts from 1825, also handwritten...
Gold-work detail from a Regimental Standard 1875
more gold-work from the Standard
Gorgeous cover of a book titled The Tzar's Hunt 1896
detail of gold-work from an Epigonation from the late 20th century
exquisite gold-work on a Shroud from the late 19th century
Hope you enjoyed this little tour of Russian history..