Thursday, February 9, 2012

Solo Show:A Woman For All Seasons BIG HIT with O'Hanlon Center For the Arts

I worked right up to the last minute delivering my second Solo Show:"A Woman For All Seasons", at the O'Hanlon Center For the Arts.  For weeks, I worked on the art and the improv performance.  I explored painting large paintings, for backdrops for my plastic wearable arts, on double bed sheets (101" x 76"), and fell in love with this large format.  Painting with my whole body, with both hands at the same time, appeals to my work as a Feldenkrais teacher.  On my painting, "Oceans Alive", I investigated a new media (tissue paper) applied with white glue over the acrylic base.  Tissue paper serves perfectly as "kelp", and lends a transparency to the painting that leaves the viewer feeling as if he or she is in the water with the elusive sea dragons that were painted first.  My painting, "Red", used as a backdrop for my dress made out of Target bags, called "Aim High", my dress made out of pink bubble wrap called "Bubblelicious", and my dress made out of vinyl, eggshells and Velcro called "Breaking Free", is full of passion and heat and perfect for my performance, "A Sea Odyssey:2012", in my coffee suit, "Wakeup Call", from the Whole Foods Market, "Nickel For Non-Profits" Program.

On the day of the show, MIRACLES abound!   I woke up to pouring rain and thoughts of how I would enter the stage during my improv show that evening.  All week, I considered emerging from the basement at O'Hanlon Center For the Arts, dressed in a "red" dragon costume made out of bubble wrap, in order to emphasize the drastic nature of plastic.  However, when I heard the raindrops pitter-patter against my bedroom window, I was reminded that the plastic paradox lives on in my work.  I thought to myself, "It's raining.... Thank God for plastic.... it's WATERPROOF".  With that, I leaped out of bed, and went into my sewing room, bleary-eyed, and had to "retrain" myself how to use my bobbin-sensitive Juki.  I broke the needle as I quickly constructed a rain hat out of the leftover vinyl banners from making the suit, "Wakeup Call".  Drawing on my quilting skills, I pieced the leftovers together, creating a new piece of fabric out of a few smaller pieces of fabric with a decorative zig-zag stitch in a contrasting thread.  Then, I pulled the fabric over my head and created darts to take up the slack in the fabric.  I sewed the darts and finished the cap with a strip of fabric to create the brim of the hat.  To give the hat an interesting designer look, I pieced in another piece of the organic apple banner and under-stitched it to finish the edge.

An hour later, I was finished with the first hat, and proceeded with creating three more hats, since all of the hats I made for Plexus are currently loaned out to our friend Zona who is recovery from uterine cancer surgery.  I went into my collection of plastic bags, and ruffled my coveted green SF Chronicle bags I collected over several months from my neighbors, in order to make "Kelp".  The second hat, "Blue", made from New York Times bags, turned into a beautiful cloche, finished with a "flower" from the distressed orange plastic liner of my telephone book.  I had a lot of fun making the fourth hat, "Pink", with leftover pink bubble wrap from "Bubblelicious".  I made the "sticky-uppy" forms, by pinching the plastic and fusing it to the cap from underneath with my small Clover iron.  All three hats were beautifully displayed on the black stretch velvet on the flat files in the Loft Gallery at O'Hanlon.  My friend Karin suggested fabric draping to hide the artwork.  I picked black stretch velvet, for a French "Ooh La La" look with the hot pink theme that ran through the show, with the bubble wrap hat, "Pink", my dress, "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend", and the multiple silk paintings I created with crepe de shine, mounted to discarded acrylic frames.  I like this mounting for transparent fabrics such as silk.   By 12:30 pm, I had a few hours left to finish writing and printing out my artist statement, price list for my artwork, resume, loading the car with the artwork, cameras including the video camera my husband used to create the video for You Tube, my coffee suit, shoes, pantyhose, etc...  As I was loading the car, I dropped my paperwork in the driveway and it got wet!  I went back into the house to reprint my artist statement, resume and price list and sitting on the desk was my Guest book and point-and-shoot camera which was still recharging!  Funny how these things go!  I got to the copy store, where I had the articles in the Marin IJ, featuring my sculpture, "In the Beginning", and my current show, copied and laminated, before a handful of people walked in the door.  Then, I was off to Jo Ann's to get the fabric to dress the file folders and the shelf with the music at the Center.  I still had to stop and pick up the business cards for my friend and accompanist Robin Elliott, at WIGT Printing in Mill Valley.  I needed to be at the Center to meet Robin by 3:00 pm, and managed to meet my deadline after the owner of WIGT, who is also on the Board of Directors at O'Hanlon Center, generously offered to hand-deliver the cards by showtime!

My very good friend, Louise Maloof, came to my Opening Reception, with a beautiful bouquet of pink Stargazer Lilies, and Suzanne took "in-process" photos, as I set up the show.  I still had to trim the silk paintings and repair the Velcro on "Breaking Free", which had broken down over time.  Suzanne really captured the energy of the room in her photos, including my devoted helpers, Karin Mortensen and Georg, standing in the background in the kitchen.  Robin Elliott was appropriately dressed in a beautiful ocean blue tunic, which was perfectly contrasted with my vinyl coffee suit, "Wakeup Call".

Check out the video my husband Georg took before our Guests arrrived!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Elise! It looks fantastic. Can't wait to see your work in "The Elements" show at AWD. See you soon!-Colleen