Working With Sets and Series

Passion, Patience and Persistance in the evolution of the artist self
JULY 20 – 25, 2008 in Moravia, New York

^ Above Dolls by the Oiseaux Sisters ^

Four of us fibre artists, Margi Hennen (website available Jan. 1/09), Sondra McLeod, Jamie Pratt, and I went to Moravia, New York, to explore sets and series in the Oiseaux Studios North.

We selected subject matter, chose formats and sampled techniques in the many and well-stocked studios set up for working with wood, paint, metal and papier maché. Painting, drawing, surface design, altered books, boxes, cards, and flags were all possibilities. In each studio, we had presentations by one or both of The Oiseaux Sisters. We were offered technique demos and individual problem solving. They emphasized thrifty and ecologically thoughtful use of materials and respect for our own and each other’s work. I felt so happy to be there with the values they imposed and shared.

We were welcome to focus intently or browse. I found myself taking quite an unexpected fancy to the metal shop where noisy and messy things can happen to a person. Margi could be found at the band saw cutting old books into wonderful shapes. Jamie and Sondra were already adept at handling paper and paint, but found themselves doing new things in new ways, too.

At the circles in Carolyn and Susan’s living room we discussed strategies for continuity, mechanisms for change, and the contribution of observation, appropriation and invention in the evolution of a body of work. Another time we explored issues of scale, installation and presentation. Together we explored where ideas come from, and how artists’ personal visual vocabulary evolves into a body of work across time and space.

We all stayed in a delightful farmhouse with generous hosts. And our experience included shopping for new used clothing at the Dinosaur Drygoods.

This was such a delight and inspiring week and the trip with the other three put the experience among the best ever. Have a peek at the site and delight yourself while at home, then you might start thinking about making the trip; I did!

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