Monday, February 28, 2011

February 29, 2011

I am sitting in Speeder and Earl's Coffee Shop listening to Bob Dylan's Lay Lady, Lay play on the digital radio station and it is dawning on me that I have not bought new clothes for myself in four months. You would think that my wearing the same dress every day would result in a decrease of Laundry Mountain ( oh yes, we have a mtn. not just a pile), but it seems like I have been doing the same amount since before this project kicked off. Some things don't change, I guess.

So I have to admit that I am in my exercise clothes now intending to do a little yoga in the studio later. I also have to admit to have been wearing them all morning. Yep. But I have a good reason, I have been working on cupcake all morning. I think I may have a problem... My standard for what should be accomplished every day on this dress and project may actually exceed the capacity for creation of the average, normal human being, it may even go beyond the standard over achiever. In other words I am burning myself out. I have started to notice how often my standard response of "I'm doing great" has turned into, " I'm good, but tired". Either I am getting older, or I just need to get a better nights sleep. It's hard to sleep when feeling so excited about where the night's stitching has taken me and where I would like to take it the next day. Although I love the excess of sewing, I have to admit that I am only human and that going to bed at a reasonable hour will do my soul every bit of good as staying up late sewing, it may even do me better. So I have been knocking off at 9:30 the last couple of days. And I already feel better.

I just met with a friend and he said "Wylie, even if you do one small bad-ass stitched heart or bulge or what have you and photograph it and post it, you are doing justice to your art, project and followers."

So after bringing cupcake to new extravagant heights this morning.... I am going to reflect on my friend's comment and remember that part of this project is the integration of a daily art practice into my daily life. Some times I have time for art, other times I need to make time for me.

As for more agenda discussions from last week... I will continue those but at a more leisurely pace.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Facebook topic

I love it, it consumes me, I check it a couple of times a day....thinking about joining Twitter, but still not totally sure if this much digital exposure is a good thing, a mediocre thing or a bad thing. It is an addictive thing, maybe it's just related to FOMA- the fear of missing out? Does it have to be good or bad? Can there be a middle ground with social media networking? A little seems to go a long way....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Circus images


February 24, 2010

So first I have to say that although I said Wed. was going to divulge my thoughts about the Circus, I have to admit to having gone to be early.  And all is well given that I have decided to keep my thoughts about a certain artist's personal project about the Iron Curtain in my head for now as respect to both the artist and the magnitude of the project. 
So Circus huh... hmmm the greatest show on earth... the role of the performer as spectacle a magical metaphor of delight and defiance.  I am working on a collaboration with another artist and group of artists.  My role, what am I going to do, this thought has been circling around and around for weeks so I decided to try and get to the bottom of why the circus became so popular, what is it about something that can be so uplifting and yet so dark that draws people to it, without fail regardless of politics, economics and status?  If we are interested in creating a show that mimics the themes or aura of the carnival or circus, then we must look at the many roles that the performer played as a metaphor for the many roles of an artist.  Artist as performer.  Artist as spectacle, or even art as spectacle.  The delight in the whimsy and the addiction to the spangled grandeur and the conscious ignorance of the seedy dark underside.  What brings people back over and over again to a circus? 
I remember going to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus as a kid.  I remember watching the animals and trainers parade from Downtown Houston to the Sumit(now the home of the Oasis of Love Church, a huge mega evangelism church) Complex by The SouthWest Freeway (HWY 59).  It was amazing.  I remember all the rope dancers, and the tiger tamers, and the elephants and seeing the entire arena ablaze with these weird rotating tiger light flash lights.  I remember being in awe of the enormity of the whole affair.  There may have not been a Big Top but it was very impressive. 
And then as a University of Chicago college student I went to see Barnum's Kaleidoscape Circus under the Big Top at Soldier Field for my birthday in 2000 (image is from the outside of the tent from a web image I found ). It was the first Big Top Circus produced by Ringling Bros. since 1956 and the first one ring performance in more than a century (according to my Wikipedia findings).  It was amazing!  It was intimate, we sat right next to the ring and felt like we were taken back in time to a place where the circus truly originated  It had very few animals, but I remember the costumes were amazing and the performances were memorable.  The performers were even outside of the tent mingling with the crowd and performing all of these little vignettes before the main attraction.  I was twenty years old and I felt like such a little kid.  I found myself believing in the illusion and being taken away from the daily burden.     
Although it has been a long time since I have been to the circus, my interest in bedazzled performance and illusion still continues.  Not only did I become obsessed with HBO's Carnival, but I also began working for The Vermont Painted Theater Curtains Project (now known as Curtains Without Borders the image above is from Westminster Historical Society in Westminster, VT).  This became the largest on-site conservation project in New England, conserving turn of the last century painted theater back drops found in Town Halls and Grange Halls. While on this project I became quite enamored with the artistry of the itinerant artist and traveling vaudevillian. 
And now I am reading Water for Elephants as well as researching the history of the circus and the big top, with specific detail to the costumes.  I am interested in the Spangles or sequins and feathers, and the dichotomy of the beauty vs. the grittiness of the showman/show woman.  But what is it about the performer and their costume that so intrigues me? well... that is what is keeping me up at night.... is it the lace? the sequins? the little bit of naughtiness with the practicality of wearing it for some incredible performance feat?  There seems to be some kind of bad-assness to the whole vintage female circus performer... even her costume says I've got guts... hmmm these thoughts could just drag on... instead I will post some images to mull this idea over... clearly there is something here, I'm just not sure how to put it into words.... maybe I will just have to make it.

February 23, 2011 image

Tonight's discussion... the circus.

Self/ Fabricated Pieces


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 22, 2011

Agenda no. 2 continued....

So I now where was I? Oh the posting of the image of the silk jacket... Well I will post that when I also post the response piece... But this has been one of the project occupying valuable mental realestate.

So it's complicated for many reasons, both literally and metaphorically and symbolically. The piece has a lot going on in it: lace stitches, embroidery, sequins, text ( which I never use) and it is 2D. There is some appliqué using a piece of a Chinese woman's silk jacket that I bought a a marketplace in Beijing. The motif is similar to the museum selected jacket, that piece responds in a direct way to the Han Dynasty jacket, but I inverted the design because it reminded me a lot of the kinds of stitched drawings I make when I start a piece of trapunto. It has a nice shapely look... Ahem... For the sake of some of my younger readers shall I say that it looks a lot like the curve of a woman's bottom, even reveals a little more than just a bottom... this piece of fabric that i appliqued is remarkable because of the detail and suggestiveness it already possessed. So then I decided to make it literal...adding legs and a torso (think Ghada Amer, Tracy Emin, Louise Bourgeois) and started to allow each mark respond to the next. Once the female body took shape I then had a beautiful piece of a vintage embroidered pillow.... I liked the way the flower responded to the open legs. It looks like the flower was birthed by the legs... But then the lace had to be added to obscure that... Why? Well I don't want the whole birth metaphor to be so literal. Hide it with lace, add some sexiness to it, make it feel like lingerie, or costume, or just texture... And then came the sequins... Red like a little mound of red something...dripping... But incomplete.... A needle still left in place to look like more are going to be added, maybe still under construction. And then the pockets for trapunto... Which are still not finished... This will make it feel either comfy or awkward ... Trapunto makes my work feel caught on the edge of beauty and grotesque.... I love that. And then the words.... "Its Complicated" is it a cultural reference, a reference to the complication of creating this by hand stitching, a slight reference to the complications of birth, the complications of being female, complications of life or just simple frustration? Its complicated... the words are easy to say but imply something so much larger, a longer story, something that cannot be summed up in 42 characters or a status phrase, or even a blog... Deserves dissection, discussion and response... I will post the images of both pieces when I get home tonight and you can decide.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22, 2011

Agenda item no. 2 - A piece for the group show Self /fabricated for the Duxbury Art Complex in sept. 2012.

It's Complicated.

That's the name of the piece and it is complicated. I am making this in response to a women's silk Han Dynasty jacket that is pink with lots of embroidery that is a part of the museum's permanent collection. See the picture below and then I will continue....

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21. 2011

Discovered the work of artist Victoria Gitman today.  She does these incredible paintings of vintage purses and drawings of vintage ladies.  I just read an article ( about how she spends long periods of time creating these master renderings of purses that anyone else would find painstaking and meticulous.  Oh how I identify with that.  If you get a chance just read this little blurb about her.  I love the part where the variation in her daily routine exists in whether or not she takes a walk or goes for a swim in the morning or afternoon.  I feel exactly like this three to four days of the week. Sometimes there is a good monotony to being an artist, other times it can be a really intense experience to be trapped in one's head for long periods of time.  I think I have been trapped in my own head lately and now that I am again coming out of it, I can tell you all about it. 
First I have to lay out the internal agenda.   1.  Cupcake  2.  A piece for a group show for Self Fabricated  3. A Group Show called Circus  4.  A friend's project about the Iron Curtain  5.  Facebook  6.  The Vermont/Texas Conundrum. 
So let's start with Cupcake.  She is a great dress, but slow moving. I have a bag full of lace ready to fluff up her body, but I have been over thinking her.  She is kind of a free spirit, I am kind of not in that mode right now, we are having our conversations and she is making me want to be really flowy, spacey, loosey-goosey, She is losing a sense of formality, she wants things to just be placed, stitches, continued and yet here I am resisting; but odd things are happening while wearing her.  I want to loaf around, I want to day dream, I want to space out, I want to feel carefree... I feel myself fighting this, wanting more structure, wanting to be pushed to a more formalized place and yet Cupcake is on her own adventure.  At times I still feel like Wyile just wearing a weird dress, other times I feel like Cupcake just wanting to go on a road trip willing to go wherever the road leads.  Maybe she wants to be a lady of leisure?  
Tough cookies, Cupcake, Wylie has no time for that right now.   It is February Break and I am teaching this awesome group of kids a week of Art Extravaganza Camp. And Yes, I am wearing Cupcake and she is at the whim of little painty hands and endless disaster possibilities, but I feel that all of these possibilities are happy possibilities and will act as little reminders to my daily doings.  
So here she is, Cupcake right next to me on the couch waiting to be worked on and it is 8:30 at night and I am tired after a long day of work and a long walk at Shelburne Farms in the super un-human cold weather.  I am playing the parts of  part blogger, part artist, part mother ( my two year old son doesn't want to go to bed right now).  I have laid out an agenda above and yet I feel that the moment, each time it gets interrupted either by a restless child or my own restlessness to want to get to work on Cupcake, is getting further from the heart of the discussion.  Perhaps I can address each issue each night of this week?  There are still night time hours to work before bed time so maybe I will just end with this last anecdote about Cupcake and then leave the next item on the agenda for tomorrow. 
People want to touch Cupcake.  They want to feel her, to squish her, to pop her.  The identity between Wylie and Cupcake are beginning to blur out on the outside, on the veneer of the persona.  Wylie is beginning to take the sidelines, although uncomfortable with where she is at, Cupcake is pulling people in to her confectioned sweetness but also seeming almost too good to be true.  A story from a woman I just met made this all the more clear.  She and I had been scheduled to meet to talk about art related things and she had recently checked out my blog  and my website and thought this project was neat, and we had spoken on the phone but never met.  Then she saw me in the grocery store.  I was wearing cupcake and she was in awe.  A friend of hers urged her to introduce herself to me, but she said she was just stunned.  She said they followed me around the store for a little bit (me totally unaware, to my dismay) and couldn't believe that there I was in real life in the dress.  
Yep, it's true.  I wear the dress, even when shopping for milk at 9 pm at night.  I even wear it when I clean out the litter box for the cat.  I even wear it when it is colder than CUSS out there.  I wear it cooking, I wear it trudging through the snow to feed my cardinals outside.  I will be wearing it to teach 16 kids how to make abstract sculptures tomorrow.  Yes, folks step right up and see the woman who wears the same dress day in and day out, what a spectacle to behold!  (now we are encroaching on agenda number 3, you'll just have to wait til Wed. night to read about that one).

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18, 2011

My camera doesn't take as great of a picture as my husband's.... but I had the time alone today so I just had to make the image... It's nice how soft it turned out, but still a little grainy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Studio Randoms

I have to give props here to artist Kelli-Scott Kelly.  Her new work on antique linens and handkerchiefs have fueled my return to working with them as a base medium.  I am trying treat them with a little gloss gel medium and water to help stiffen their surface to make a more rigid surface to draw upon.  Here's one of them drying next to the radio.  And of course my weird Bric-a-brac collection in the windowsill. 

February 17, 2011

Getting larger now.  I started some ink and graphite drawings of hair on a larger piece of vintage linen.  The other piece next to it is what I am working on for the Duxbury Art Complex show called Self/Fabricated in September 2012. 

February 17, 2011

These images are of my new obsession... Hair... I have been doing alot of hair drawings as well as little mock stitched falls.  A fall is a hair extenstion.
I like the alternative of the drawing to the stitching but both seem to be too interesting to ignore one for the other.

Sweater again

I added another sweater, still too cold to go sleeveless.  I managed to hoist up the bust and give the trunk of the dress some support when I added the sweater.  The seam line connecting the dress to the sweater has been tripple reinforced and somehow has managed to redistribute the weight to around the middle and not the shoulders or chest area. 

Cupcake on the Valentines day chopping block

Yes, I am working in my favorite pink wig... sometimes you just go with it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 16,2011

I promise to post new photos has been a busy and exciting week, lots of alterations and lots of great comments from folks. Thanks to the reader's comments on this blog, I was able to brainstorm about some possibilities with changing Cupcake for the better.

This dress is going in the washer tomorrow too, I think she needs to be cleaned better than just being washed by hand.... This makes me a little nervous because I think I may be sending her to ultimate doom, but on the other hand what ever gets destroyed can always be rebuilt... Or it may give me a reason to practice my new mantra...There is a solution to every problem... I think.

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Sunday, February 13, 2011

At war with Cupcake

So I honestly tried to wear Cupcake today, but something odd happened.  I put the dress on, and I turned into grumpy Wylie.  I took the dress off and felt like calm, peaceful, happy Wylie.  Dress on, grumpy, anxious and totally claustrophobic.  After much examination and discussion, (even my husband mentioned how crabby I was instantly being) this dress is an all out failure in terms of wear ability.  So today I feel like saying F**K this!.  I wore my PJ's all day and contemplated what could possibly be the problem with Cupcake?!  So here is my list of what I think could be wrong and why compromising for one's art is sometimes total B.S.  
1.  She is heavy-  all the trapunto and stuffing has given a huge amount of weight to the bottom of the dress.  This pulls down on my shoulders and back and I have been wondering why my left shoulder feels like there is a knot the size of a small boulder under my shoulder blade.  
2.  She is too tight-  I started this dress off using my own body but then transferred her to the dress form never thinking that I was going to wear it for a month!  But here I am, wearing it and it is very constraining.  I don't even think I can truly take a deep breath while wearing it- oxygen = happy.  The tightness is also making me aware of how my body is not a fan of being snugged in by anything.
3.  The top of the dress, the straps and the arm things are all wrong.  The construction of this dress is ridiculous! Who would possibly wear a dress with these silly shoulder things? They have to go.  The neckline has to get tucked up a little higher and the shoulder straps have to be chopped, I am thinking about maybe turning it into a halter or tie back....
4. The back of the dress is very full, this makes it hard to sit down and even walk without feeling encumbered.  HOW THE HELL DID WOMEN DO HOOP SKIRTS?!  They must have been crazy!  I feel like I have a constant satellite on my behind, not too fun.
5.  Although the bottom half of the dress is nice and warm because of the trapunto and layers, the top is so cold.  I have a little shrug that I am going to start to incorporate with this dress, but I am also thinking about adding some 3/4 length sleeves.  It is still way to cold here to even contemplate going without something over my shoulders and arms. 
6.  I need something in the middle to help hoist up the bust of this dress, to help carry part of her weight, she is very robust you know and only getting more so with the lace that is soon to be added.  I am thinking a bodice of some sort, but then that leads to problems of my body feeling too tied into the garment. 
On one hand I am so happy that this dress is looking beautiful, but on the other hand I am asking for what price is beauty worth the sacrifice?  I could go even farther and say at what price is art making worth the sacrifice.  Cupcake is making me doubt weather or not I can wear a garment like this for a month?  I also want to maintain some integrity to the way she started off, with all the work that has already gone into creating her, but I am beginning to wonder if this dress is going to be an example of a drastic reduction?


February 13, 2011

I shortened the back piece so that it no longer drags like a tail.  It is folded underneath to still maintain some shape and robustness.  Because the back is so puffy, it is hard to get in and out of my car.  It is hard to sit on chairs.  It is making me feel a little claustrophobic.  I am still in denial that I have chosen this dress for this month, but I am starting to reconcile it by sewing almost exclusively with my absolutely favorite material: Lace. 

February 13, 2011

Glorious winter morning light....

February 12, 2011, image

Oops, here's the picture... oh yes, Cupcake... because all she needs is a whole lotta icing...

Wylie Sofia Garcia

February 12, 2011

Me and Cupcake at a Snow Castle in Hanover , NH at Dartmouth College

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 11, 2011

Last night, I attended the Petcha Kucha Night volume 2. at the Fleming Museum here in Burlington.  Petcha Kutcha is a world wide art slide phenomenon started by a design firm in Japan.  Each presenter has 20 slides and 20 seconds for each slide, making each talk short, to the point and tolerable (if it's getting dull).  The Petcha Kutcha format is great because it keeps things fresh and is a great spin on the traditional slide/artist lecture. 
So what did I see last night?  Well there were twelve presenters, some artists, some designers, some ad-men, some activists.  It was an interesting bunch.  I took some notes on each presenter and was fascinated that many people seemed to be saying the same thing over and over again despite the work or project being vastly different.  The following are just some quotes I heard (some are taken out of context and are just representations of themes)
" my work is about subject matter vs. material"
"the work engages you and draws you in"
"the lens with which we artists view our world"
"construction is place making which gives content and longevity to the work"
"the power of a sense of place"
"exuberance in creativity gives meaning to a work"
"we are all interconnected"
"work is love made visible"
"what does it mean?"
"can we do better?"
Ok, so here are my thoughts.  Twelve artists, designers, presenters from different backgrounds with different styles of work and different quality of work, some old, some new some who might not even see themselves as an artist, and yet they demonstrated to me that we are all working within rather consistent themes.  I think that from this hour and a half mash up of ideas we can agree that work which has a sense of place, exhibits a sense of liveliness and some how connects us via space or place or experience gives meaning to art.  Now, I am not saying this as a blanket statement for all art everywhere, I am talk specifically about Vermont art.  For years I have been trying to define what Vermont artists are doing and what sets us apart from a "normal art world" and whoa, we are not a normal art world, but we are a very interesting art world; and I choose the word interesting because to use the word vibrant here would be misleading.  
When I attended the Alyssa Dworsky artist talk at the BCA Center (previously known as the Firehouse Gallery) she said something that has really resonated with me.  She said that as artists who choose to live and work in a place like Vermont, our art cannot help but respond to our environment in one way or another, whether directly or subliminally.  This is true.  Now, I may not be a Vermonter, but I have lived here for going on eight years.  I have been active in the arts community since I moved from Houston/Chicago and my view and vision for this community has changed year after year.  I can't speak for other artists, but I can for myself; this environment although deceptively comfortable and wholesome is also elementally challenging.  Nine months of cold and wet and snow and darkness makes for the most amazing winter art residency.  It is a time of hibernation, introspection, and percolation.  Then spring and summer which bursts forth like a speeding train gaining momentum and whirling ever so slightly out of control with plans and events and shows, and festivals.  It is an amazing dichotomy.  It is a balancing act.  It is a spectacle to behold. 
"So what does this mean?"
Well, It means that there is something interesting happening here.  We may be at the very beginning of this "big bang" but I feel like there are artists out and supporters out there who are starting to set things in motion.  When I think back to some of the quotes I commented about from this last evening I think that there is a very fine thread that binds us;we work hard.... "work is love made visible"...and I believe it is starting to show.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 10, 2011

So this dress, teetering between the names Candy or Sugar Puss... came to me already with attitude.  I feel how my body moves differently as a result of her poofy body.  She makes me want to arch my back a little, to over exaggerate my posture.  She wants lace, and lace and more lace!  She wants to feel flowy and ruffly and she wants to make sound when I walk.  She started off with a train, but that train has now been tied up in a little knot in the back.  The train was getting very dirty and it was getting difficult to clean the stains out of the satin.  STAIN SATIN... oh I love those words together like that.  
Tonight I am going out to Pecha Kucha at the museum, I am going to be apart of a great new idea presented by artist Kat Clear.  In a sense she is creating a circus, but using the circus as a metaphor for artists.  Just as all circus performers were required to be jacks of all trades,( ie. selling tickets, operating rides, making banners, and putting on a performance) an artist is required to wear several hats: creator, promoter, businessman, and showman.  It will be a fantastic! The dresses are of course going to fit into this project in their own special/spectacular/spectacle way. 

February 8, 2011, image

I know I know the Pictures!  I'm working on them...

February 7, 2011 image


Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7, 2011

I needed a day to really reflect on my experience with Elizabeth.  Wow, she was a tough dress and persona to crack.  I think that with each addition I was building a kind of guardedness and adding another piece to the fortress of a dress she became.
Elizabeth was a very warm dress to wear.  Granted January is a very cold month here in Vermont, and Elizabeth did keep me warm, but almost too warm at times.  I had grown accustomed to the ritual of taking off layers upon settling into a inside space, but with her I just took off my jacket and then there was nothing to do.  So when I got too warm, I just forced myself to acclimate.  No wonder my family kept saying that our home was so cold, I was just sweating away inside all those layers; which is why in the end I started to cut away at some of the double layers to reveal only the linear forms they had created. 
Elizabeth started off as a simple brown wool sweater dress and she transformed herself into this decorative wool and lace portrait of tough and proud woman.  I think that even I, Wylie, at times was intimidated by her.  I can say that I was ready to have this dress over with.  I am still sitting in sweet relief that this morning I did not have to put her on.  Why?  What was it about this persona that made me so reluctant every morning to wear?  Could Elizabeth be a subliminal portrait of myself?  I am sure all of these dresses are portraits in one way or another, but as the year continues, how far are they going to dig, how deep am I willing to take this?  Where do my lines between art and life finally merge and become one?  Although I doubt I will really ever loose myself in this project actually taking on the persona completely from the beginning, how much of each past persona carries over into the next? 
In the end, I discovered some things about myself and this project that I feel important to note here: 
1.  I am beginning to feel a responsibility to myself and my community to wear these dresses out in the public realm more, something that both excites and scares me terribly!
2.  Although I personally enjoy fading into the woodwork, there is obviously a part of me that loves the attention
3.  I am actually going to DO THIS for a YEAR!
4.  I am constantly searching for ways to push forward my creative abilities and sensibilities.
5.  I am a pretty modest person at heart, but there is something thrilling about wearing couture everyday, something I have always dreamed about but never realized I had the power to make possible.  Ah, the power of personal possibilities.
6.  I am the artist I set the rules
7.  I am like a switchboard operator with my multitasking prowess, how do I ever get it all done? I don't know, I just do.... things have a way of getting done...
8.  I don't have to sew every day.... see #6... 
9.  I am so glad I chose to start this project.
10.  Hair hair Hair, oh my!
I feel it important to stop here and also note the importance of my final portraits taken with Elizabeth in the snow holding a hand stitched pillow with a dog.  The universe shined down with the grace of an amazing record snow fall the night before the last day of wearing Elizabeth. It was almost too perfect not to incorporate it into the image of a cold, snowy and guarded woman.  The pillow of the dog I am holding is also very significant.  It marks the life of a very amazing and missed little family member, Chuy Garcia, who died two weeks ago and I still get weepy about.  He was the last of my childhood pets to pass on.  In the tradition of regal Holbein portraits, I chose to include him as a symbol of remarkable character; Chuy may have been a chiuaua, but he never acted like one and was the calmest, sweetest, and most valiant little dog I knew.  You can't judge a dog by his size.     
So now where am I, sitting here after a full day of wearing the new girl.  I can't believe that dress fit me.  I had been working on her on the dress form for about a month now and at the suggestion of a very talented artist who's work I admire and respect greatly, here I am wearing it for the next month!  Why not wear a dress that I have already started and brought thus far only to dedicate a month of very meticulous scrutiny and work ethic to?  It is all an experiment and a journey so here goes the next adventure in dressland. 
My thoughts about this new dress can be summed up by my worries about how in the world I am going to wash her?  She is all white and oh there is so much snow and dirty snow and dirty dust around... perhaps a way to elevate the train?  She is very comfortable so far, but I am looking forward to taking her far within this week... so many ideas percolating... the piles I have collected for this month need to be reassessed.  This is not the dress I had envisioned starting this month with, but sometimes the best art comes out of the unexpected.   Back to the drawing board. 

February 6, 2011, image


February 6, 2011


February 6, 2011

Wylie Sofia Garcia

February 6, 2011

Wylie Sofia Garcia

February 6, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

February 4, 2011

Ready to move on! 
Progress is slow in Elizabeth.  I am feeling so ready to be done with her, tired of the weight of this dress.  It is hard to sew everynight, so I am thinking about why I have chosen this as a method to my madness, one night without sewing, would be ok.... so I watched a movie lastnight and did not sew.  My project, my rules to bend yes no?
The next dress... hmm thinking about using the dress I have already been working on in the studio.  It is pictured in one of the other posts.  It already has shape and has been made from scratch... but to commit to wearing it for a month? hmmm and I have to teach a kids camp, and inpaint with the Curtains Without Borders Project with Volunteers in Granville... this could provide fodder for interesting images, and some really interesting conversations.  But can I do it? Will I do it? I am feeling some reservations about it, how far outside of myself will this make me feel?

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lace Bonanza

I almost forgot to mention the Great 2011 Lace Bonanza!  In 2010 there was a Tights Bonanza, and now there is a Lace Bonanza, courtesy of a generous person who heard about my project and was so kind to donate a bag full of the most marvelous laces!  Yea, Lace Bonanza soon to be seen on a dress on me...

February 2, 2011

Piles of things to go towards the next dress are, well, piling up.  I have in my mind a general direction I want to take the next dress.  Is this cheating? I can see in my mind what I want her to look like, thinking of a Mexican theme, but do I need a theme?  The creative process is so odd and interesting.  I have been collecting a bags of things that I feel some how go together. How do I decide this based on juxtapositions, things have to just click together. Sometimes they don't and I call those my wild cards.  I allow those pieces to enter the project to see how I will resolve the incongruity.  So what is this next month's wild card? Well, I don't have a base dress picked out yet.  I am thinking about making from scratch... starting without a start. I think it will be a good challenge.
The next thing I have been thinking about is this scarf that I have been wearing with Elizabeth.  It was a gift from artist Jude Bond to the project.  I love it!  It is like icicles, like tentacles, like coral reef scarf and I am debating about whether or not to sew it to Elizabeth's ruff.  This has me thinking about the nature of accessories as a permanent fixture for the dress, as something that doesn't get sewn down but compliments the garment and will stay with it once the dress is off.  What about other items? purses? bracelets? shoes? other objects?  How far does each dress' claim to identity go?
So here I am, four days left... I am so ready to switch out of Elizabeth.  I am also a little intimidated about this fourth dress.  Whoa, I am almost a third of the way done with this project, it is crazy to even think that.  I still feel like I haven't really gotten to know Elizabeth.  I can say for certain that when I put her on everyday, she feels more like armor rather than comfort. 

February 2, 2011

It is a Snow Day and snow days to me, mean pajama day... Elizabeth, it is too cold to wear you today, I can handle wearing you in negative 20 degree weather, but with this snow, I woul rather wear my PJ's to the studio to work.

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Elizabeth working in the studio, January 26, 2011