12 Jul

Homefront & Downrange Wrap Up

Friday was the last day of my co-exhibit at the Arts Council of Moore County in North Carolina. I packed up all my artwork and brought it home to get packed again, with all our household goods and moved to our new home in Portland, Oregon. It was wonderful show, and so much more than I could have dreamed up myself. I am thankful for the vision and dedicated work of director Chris Dunn and friend Nanette Zeller. The exhibit was a real community effort. Below is a short video by local videographers Brady and Laura Beck which shows the artwork and the festivities from the opening weekend of the show. Enjoy!

 

PS: the blog will be on hiatus while we move. Hopefully more regularly postings will resume mid-August (brace for house before and afters!).

07 Jun

Homefront & Downrange

The last four days have been full of exhibit related festivities. I drove my Army Wife series to North Carolina last Wednesday and spent the afternoon helping to install it, along with photos by Hunter Rudd, at the Arts Council of Moore County in Southern Pines for our show, Homefront & Downrange.

 

HD Nanette

This came about because friend and fellow SAQA member, Nanette Zeller really wanted to see my solo show in Charlottesville a year and a half ago, but was unable to make it. She decided to bring the show to her. And she did! Working with Chris Dunn of ACMC, they have created not only a a lovely exhibit of my work, but an entire event, telling the story of military life through the eyes of a spouse, a service member (Hunter’s photos), veterans via The Combat Paper Project, and the kids through the Military Child Education Coalition. All the artwork together tells a compelling story, and each facet reinforces the others.

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It took a lot of sponsors to make this event happen, so to thai them, Hunter and I gave a presentation Thursday morning at one, Belle Meade, and then we had a private reception Thursday night.

 

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Friday night was another reception, open to the public and part of Southern Pines’ First Friday event. There was a good turnout and I enjoyed talking about my art and stories with visitors on both nights. I think we all agreed that it was all about the stories — mine, Hunter’s, and the viewers’.

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Hunter talks about one of his photos.

Everything was about contrasts and comparisons. On the contrast side, the show is male/female, home front/downrange, soft textiles/hard prints on metal, and the most surprising to me was that I am the pushy one and Hunter’s is quieter, waiting for the viewer to suss out the story.

 

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On the comparison side, there’s repetition in colors and visual textures. My work is up close and personal in the narratives and his is up close and personal because of the portraits. Both our works are BIG! We agreed scale helped to pull the viewer in in a very visceral way.

 

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Nanette talks to visitors about the work too. This is nearly as much her show as mine. It couldn’t have happened without her.

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I wish I could have stayed for the Combat Paper workshop, but I needed to get home to my kids and our upcoming move. There will be a Military Appreciation Day on the 20th as well, and I very much hope that it is as well attended and received as our opening receptions were. The show is on view until July 10th for anyone in the area to come visit.

It was a special four days, and part of that was because I got to stay across the street to the Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities. It’s the historic home of a local writer and is now a retreat for writers to come and work in peace and quiet.

Weymouth

I loved the Jeffersonian serpentine wall, as well as all the nooks and passageways to explore in the house.

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This funny guy watched me from the end of the hall.

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It was all steeped in Southern charm, if you ask me.

05 Feb

Privacy in America Group Show

Privacy in America is hung and already inspiring closer looks and conversation.

On the wall is “Temporary Safety” which was nearly done when the show was conceived and just perfect for the theme. I couldn’t be happier to finally see it hanging with other work asking similar questions.

Privacy in America Group Show

My work is just two Security Blankets hung with paintings, drawings, assemblages, and sculpture by my talented peers at McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, VA. I have not previously shown my newest work, Exposed, in it’s entirety. It is two-sided and big and thus a pain to photograph, so I didn’t even bother. I will have it professionally photographed at the end of the show, but for now, in situ photos are as good as it gets. I am so happy with the way the exhibition comittee hung this piece. It really commands the hallway gallery.

 

Privacy in America Group Show

 

Please join us for a First Friday reception on February 6th from 5:30 to 7:30. If you can’t make it to the opening, the show will be on view through the month of February.

Privacy postcard email2

30 Jan

Figure Friday

This week’s drawing session was only OK. The model was great, but my drawings were meh. But that’s OK, because what I’d much rather share is stitched versions of drawings from the last year or so.

I’m starting with drawings like this one and scanning or tracing them at the size I’d like to make my stitched art.

Kitchen Superhero.sm

 

First, I used the copies as templates to stitch onto canvas, adding some background fabrics as I went. I worked up three because I didn’t really know where I was going with these and I wanted to let them talk to me as I progressed.

 

Sassy Housewives WIP1

I added some more fabrics, now using the stitched figures as my guide and paying much closer attention to the placement of motifs, and thinking about how I’d proceed with hand and machine stitching.

Sassy Housewives WIP2

This one spoke to me first. I like the way she dangles the jug, so I decided to focus on it by “coloring” it in with embroidery floss. I continued stitching sketchy highlights using my original drawing as a reference.

Nice Jug WIP1

Blech, the hand stitching was too heavy and it detracted from the jug. So I cut it all out.

Nice Jug WIP2

I stitched highlights and shadows again, this time with my sewing machine. I like it much better. But the nipples are too dark. It could use a little more hand stitching too.

Nice Jug WIP3

 

When I was satisfied, I dampened the work and stretched it around a canvas. Once dry, I think she looks quite nice. I finished her just in time to hopefully be included in the annual Figure Drawing: Theme and Variation show at McGuffey Art Center along with a Jilted Lover drawing and a few more from our weekly drawing sessions.

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Nice Jug, 2015, 11″x 14″ by Kristin La Flamme

 

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Nice Jug (detail), 2015, 11″x 14″ by Kristin La Flamme

 

29 Jan

And Now For Something Completely Different

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art with my friends Lorie and Jill. We went to see the Forbidden City exhibit of Chinese treasures, which was absolutely gorgeous. We took a little time afterward to wander around the museum’s permanent collection and I stumbled upon two tiny pieces that cracked me up.

Indian mini1

 

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These are part of a series by Italian artist Francesco Clemente. He takes antique Indian miniatures of little value and replaces their images with his own in the same style — except that his subject matter is much more subversive. I think what attracts me to these is that they look like one thing from afar, but tell a completely different story up close. I also like the absurd.

08 Jan

Part of Those New Year’s Goals

Some of my goals for the new year are to post to my blog more, update my website, and get better at promoting my work. I tackled an easy one first. I created a Facebook Fan Page and it’s going to be awesome. Why? Because I am somewhat ambivalent about my personal Facebook page. I know that FB is a good way to connect to people who might be interested in my art. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with far-flung family and friends. And then there’s the people from past lives or professional connections, who I want to stay connected to, but don’t necessarily want to know what they are doing on a daily basis, or want them to see all of my goofy antics. I’ve limited my Facebook “friends” to people I know personally or have established professional relationships with, and I try to keep my posts pretty art-related. It’s a tough balance and it means that not everyone who is interested in my artwork will be able to find me on FB to see what I’m up to.

A fan page is open to everyone. I will post my art, some inspiration and in-progress work, and information about where to see my work. February is a big month for me, so be sure to “like” the page to get updates, and tell your friends too. I may even end up posting more on my Kristin La Flamme – Artist page than on my personal page. My personal page will probably narrow down to travel, family, knitting, goofing off with friends. I may even unfriend a bunch of professional contacts if I know they are happily following my artist fan page — where my professional info will be. That would come in time though.

Next step should be to create a newsletter. That will be awesome for those who don’t do much Facebook.

06 Jan

Army Wife and Friends at Etui Fiber Arts

February is shaping up to be a big month for my art. I’ll have work in at least one, but maybe two group shows at my local art center, McGuffey. I’m participating in Virginia Spiegel’s Fiber Art for a Cause 100 fundraiser. And… I’m having a solo show at Etui Fiber Arts in Larchmont, NY. It’s a lovely gallery in a charming neighborhood, and they have luxurious yarns too! The show will include pieces from my Army Wife series and my Americana series. I’ll be there to set up the show and for a festive Sunday afternoon reception. I would love it if anyone within a stone’s throw of New York would come join me and see my work in the cloth. It’s so much better than photos! Seriously, this Flag is awesome.

 

Home Fires at Etui

 

 

24 Nov

Around The World Blog Hop

My buddy Deborah Boschert tagged me in an Around the World Blog hop in which we answer four questions about our creative process and then tag two more bloggers to do the same. Check out Deborah’s blog post to read her answers and follow her links to read back through many other fascinating blog hoppers.

 

1. What am I working on?
I’ve usually got several things going on at once which each appeal to different moods and need.
• Right now I’m working on the next in my series of Security Blankets. This one has to do with the TSA and incorporates those blue figures I was working on a while ago, plus floral weaponry.
• I’m also working on a piece, or collection of pieces, for my Army Wife series. Inspired by eye momentos, either photographs or miniature paintings set into jewelry as a reminder of absent loved ones, I have transferred images of my husband’s eye (at specific time periods) onto hankies and am now in the process of embroidering the dates and locations of his corresponding deployments onto the hankies.
• And, in the background, I am working on creating a business in which I make stylish lap quilts from military uniforms. It will be called Modern Military Quilts and I hope to have more to say about it soon.

Star Quilt sm
 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a tough question for me because I’m not entirely sure what my genre is. I love to draw on the history of traditional quilts, but my work is definitely not traditional. I suppose I could categorize my work with improvisational quilters, but mine has narrative underpinnings. Of course, every quilt has a story, so it’s really just a matter of how far that story goes. I call myself an art quilter, and I suppose my work differs from many in that genre in that I don’t stick to just the quilt form, but work in other fiber techniques as the concept of the individual work dictates. But, already I can think of many artists who work in various fiber traditions simultaneously, so I’m not so different in that way. My work is definitely concept driven, but there is a precedent for that both in the art quilt crowd and in the greater art world. In fact, I worry that if I call my work conceptual I’ll be too readily compared to others who are far smarter than I in their artwork. Maybe my work is different in that it doesn’t easily fit into a genre, but that’s a little too self-important for my tastes. We all like to think we’re different in our own ways.
Momento of an absent loved one

 

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I make art because I am, and always have been, compelled to do so. I love working with my hands and there is no lack of ideas in my head to fuel those hands.
 
Floral Weaponry

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
I start with an idea, of course. Then I go to my sketchbook, which is more like a diary or log book some days; I write the basic idea and then a conversation with myself about ways I could interpret said idea. Sometimes things flow, sometimes I let it percolate for a while and add notes a day, or a week, or on occasion a year, later. At some point, it’s time to get to the making, so I gather my supplies — which may be fabric from my stash, but recently has meant deconstructing a flag, culling photos from our albums, or experimenting with methods of sun printing human bodies. If I need to prepare a cartoon or grid to follow, as in Zeitgeist, Selfie, or Temporary Safety, now is the time for that and it includes some time at my computer working with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Click on the link to Selfie for a nice blog post about the process of creating that particular artwork. Of course, each piece is different, so for example, the process of actually making Selfie is very different than the making of embroidered hankies. I almost always have an idea in my head of what I want the finished artwork to looks like, generally, but it really takes form in the making. I never know exactly how each fabric or element is going to affect the others until I see it in the cloth. That keeps the process fresh for me. There is always room for adjustment, surprise, and serendipity while I’m making something. A piece is finished when I feel like I can walk away from it.

 

I tagged my local friend Lotta Helleberg to join the blog hop next. Be sure to check out her post next Monday, November 31st. Since tagging a second person was confounded by our good friend Murphy and his laws, my friend Terry Grant graciously offered the post she wrote only a little while ago. You can read her answers and follow her links right now.