Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Water Prayer

Please take the time on Thursday:
A letter from Dr Masaru Emoto...
To All People Around the World,
Please send your prayers of love and gratitude to water at the nuclear plants in Fukushima, Japan!
By the massive earthquakes of Magnitude 9 and surreal massive tsunamis, more than 10,000 people are still missing…even now… It has been 16 days already since the disaster happened. What makes it worse is that water at the reactors of Fukushima Nuclear Plants started to leak, and it’s contaminating the ocean, air and water molecule of surrounding areas.
Human wisdom has not been able to do much to solve the problem, but we are only trying to cool down the anger of radioactive materials in the reactors by discharging water to them.
Is there really nothing else to do?
I think there is. During over twenty year research of hado measuring and water crystal photographic technology, I have been witnessing that water can turn positive when it receives pure vibration of human prayer no matter how far away it is.
Energy formula of Albert Einstein, E=MC2 really means that Energy = number of people and the square of people’s consciousness.
Now is the time to understand the true meaning. Let us all join the prayer ceremony as fellow citizens of the planet earth. I would like to ask all people, not just in Japan, but all around the world to please help us to find a way out the crisis of this planet!!
The prayer procedure is as follows.
Day and Time:
March 31st, 2011 (Thursday)
12:00 noon in each time zone
Please say the following phrase:
“The water of Fukushima Nuclear Plant,
we are sorry to make you suffer.
Please forgive us. We thank you, and we love you.”
Please say it aloud or in your mind. Repeat it three times as you put your hands together in a prayer position. Please offer your sincere prayer.
Thank you very much from my heart.
With love and gratitude,
Masaru Emoto
Messenger of Water

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011

My cousin is taking a class on Women in Art History and she has to interview a couple of living women artitsts, here is a copy of my responses to her questions....
Art Interview Response for a class on Women In Art History
Ok  so here are some answers to your questions:
How do I define my work?
Well, I think of my work as an investigation of the surface of things.  I like to think alot about the moment when the physical veneer of beauty starts to breakdown to give way to imperfection.  I think that it is important to understand what I mean by beauty here so I am defining beauty as something that is attractive, composed, seemingly perfect, or flawless.  This may reference, a person, a woman, an object or a state of mind, but usually I default to referencing something feminine. 
In my artist statement I say that I explore the invention and reinvention of the sublime and how it integrates into the construct of the personal narrative - what does this mean?
This is just fancy talk for I am interested in how the concept of beauty can waver back and forth between something physically intriguing and beautiful to something grotesque, even fearful.  I think that the range between beauty and sublime (a philosophical idea that has been invented and reinvented over and over again) is a way to explore the range between perfection and imperfection and loss of control, be it physical or aesthetic.
I think a good example of this in my work comes in the form of the blog with this latest project (dress that makes the woman).  I find myself trying to be so pulled together while writing it, even while doing the project itself.  I have been trying to convince myself to "do this right", but according to what standard?  So the perfection I have constructed out of my own notions of beauty are what I am slowly realizing that I am deconstructing.  This project is just another vehicle for trying to come to terms with my being human.  Yes, I am an artist, yes I have high standards for production and inspiration, yes I want to wear couture every day, but I am also a mother of a 2 year old, I teach classes, I wash dishes, I stumble through the snow and slip on the ice, just like every body else.    I guess a good question to ask is why do I see being an artist and a regular person so mutually exclusive?  No let me be specific, why do I see being an artist and being a woman as being mutually exclusive?
The answer is that I don't but alot of people out there do and so I like to make work about that.   I make work about alot of things from my life. 
I was thinking about what you asked me over the phone about experiences in my childhood that may have influenced my work.  There are certain things that come up repeatedly over and over again when I work, some times they may stray into a tangent that I later explore, but usually the same things come up. Here is a list of them
1) Pretty/Decadence
2)Control/loss of control
4)Transcendence and Performance
Translated into:
1) I grew up with a complex about beauty.  Where did I get this? I am not really sure, but it was certainly nurtured by being able to wear things that I felt embodied beauty, pretty designer dresses with sequins, lace, bead work.  From a young age I was indulged with these shopping sprees that resulted in many amazing dresses, and party frocks and accessories.  I was always drawn to sequins ( I still am) and I think that for me they meant what I was wearing was expensive, decadent even.  I liked the way sequins meant glamour. 
I was always told by everyone, how pretty I was, how amazing and jealous they were of my hair, or my skin, or something about me... oh my goodness, what better way to make a kid feel oddly guilty about the way she looks... so growing up I had to redefine prettiness for myself, reclaim it against a standard that had been set, I think my work still tries to redefine it , especially with these dresses I am making.  These dresses are my own personal line of couture, made by me, for me, about me.. What a solipsistic view, but totally accurate if we are saying that I am reinventing something that was once uncomfortable and awkward into something comfortable and that I own in it's entirety. 
2)  I have control issues.  In trying to control who I am, how I look and how I act, I am learning that trying to be "perfect" or "composed" or "normal" or what ever you want to call it is only taking me farther from myself.  Control is just another word for fear.  People who have in my past tried to control me or tell me what to do, I have come to an understanding that they are just afraid of what I am doing, or who I am. 
This being said, my struggle with perfection and control in my artwork is a reflection of my own fear of letting go, seeing what will happen, what may explode or implode, or spill out.  I think my struggle with this is evident in my work.  Pieces like "The Morning After" and "Hysteria" are so much about this internal dialogue.  It also helps to know that I am an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, which for me means I have an fear of calmness, of comforting moments.  I thrive in the heart of the storm, exuding calm cool and collectedness, but during the breezy normal laid back times, I am a ball of anxiety.  Years of learning to accepting this anxiety and to channel it in my daily calm moments (ie. when I am sitting down sewing) have resulted in some of the most excruciating and yet marvelous pieces of art ( for example Madame Y, and Milieu Interior with Drip).
3) Sexuality is sensuality.  I think of sex when I think of some of the fabrics I use.  I am reminded of burlesque, of lingerie, of Japanese erotic prints, of Victorian prudishness, of bed sheets, of all the great feminine textile delights like lace, sequins (see here they are again), spandex, silk, nylons, etc.  Why do I default to this? Maybe because I live in Vermont? Maybe because it just seems appropriate given the materials I choose.  I think alot of my feelings on sexuality became hyper realized when I became pregnant.  Before pregnancy I felt like a sexual lure, during pregnancy I felt like a sexual no man's land, or maybe I should say a sexual no person's land, and then after baby it was like my body became holier than thou... and all of this is B.S.  because once you become pregnant the jig is up... people know you are having sex.  But with that realization comes the loss of sexual eroticism (unless we are talking fetishes here, because those do exist), once the body starts to create another body it is very hard to see it as a sexual body desired. In general we kind of don't want to see 8 months pregnant Wylie in lace and lingerie, seeing her naked is some how more acceptable, (think Demi More on the cover of Vogue way back when)  And so I started to explore this, that's when "Origin of the World" was produced. 
I also have to mention here that I have 2 defining things in my childhood that relate to my expression and definition of sexuality.  The first is that I grew up in what used to be the fringe neighborhood, Montrose in Houston, TX.  I have fabulous memories of drag queens waiting in line in front of Mary's Bar.  To this day I still have a deep fascination and respect for gender bending, transsexuals, homo eroticism and what have you based on where I grew up, which is also such a contrast to growing up in an around River Oaks as well. Totally confusing right?  That's why I love the term "It's complicated" when referencing sexual preference of just the relaying of personal history.  I kind of see the liking of my art as a sexual preference, you either like it or you don't , there's not alot of gray area, but either way I am comfortable with it.
The second defining moment in my young sexuality was seeing Madonna's Blond Ambition Tour when I was 10.  It was my first concert.  She was my idol, and what an amazing example as a pioneer for sexual liberation. 
4)  Ok so this is the most important memory I have regarding my work.  It was 1998 and I went to see Ann Hamilton's Kaph at the Houston Museum of Contemporary Art.  I entered into the installation completely blind of who she was, what the show was about, an had no information to lead me around.  That being said, what happened in that exhibit changed me.  I probably saw that show 4 or 5 times, going back over and over again to the person seam ripping the embroidery on the silk glove.  I can't verbally explain what I experienced, it was a gut feeling.  It was scary, comforting, beautiful.  When I was writing my masters thesis I came back to this experience and learned that Kaph literally means "in the palm of one's hand."  The exhibit for me was about coming into being.   (you can get a full description of it at
Even as I think about it know I realize that there was also a trapeze in the installation.  My next major project has alot to do with the circus and performers. 
I am drawn to the labor of creation, I like deliberate intentional thoughtful work, work that transcends trends.  I am a huge admirer of Louise Bourgeois.  I cried at the Paul Anglim Gallery when I saw her work the day after she passed away, I thought to myself what an amazing artist and everything she did was so personal, so thoughtful, so charged. I take it back, I am not an admirer of Louise Bourgeois, she is my Heroine.
Finish the Sentence:  Wylie Garcia is________________
How do you expect me to answer this question?

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011

Camera battery is dead, lost the charger, found the charger, camera will be back to work tomorrow. 
Time has been spent updating the blog for the auction to benefit Japan (
I have been spending 10 minutes every day stitching on this dress, this struggle of a dress. 
Went to Barnstable, MA to Cape Cod Community College where my husband has some sculptures in a show called Wood at the Higgins Art Gallery (
As we were leaving I was chatting with the gallery curtator commenting about what a struggle this dress has been, and as we were parting ways she said "that's a good name for the dress." 
THAT is a good name for the dress! 
So ladies and gents I give you this months dress " The Struggle"
Winter is over, but it is still in the low 30's F here.  It is COLD!!!  Sunny, but cold. 
Waiting for some warmth, stiching for 10 minutes every day, waiting for some Spring inspiration...
Listening to new music, the only copy of new music by a marvelous and beloved friend/musician Moses Atwood.... thinking about some of the lyrics (can I post them here yet?, hmmm maybe not yet,) I have been thinking about stitching some of them down.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011

While watching the kids this morning and lamenting my broken washing machine (which should be fixed by Thursday) I have been doing a lot of thinking about this month's dress.  She is still nameless.  She has few stitches on her.  I wear her every day, but I still feel like I am not pushing myself with her... more to the point it's not that I am pushing myself, it's more like I am neglecting her.  You know I think I am realizing that for me art has become an escape from daily life, I can mentally get away when I am working on something, time holds no bearing and it's like I reach a state of transcendence when making art.  But what happens when I need to escape from art?  I know now: Daily life.  For example: I am going to bed early.  I am reading a book at night instead of sewing.  I am managing the business side of my career better.  I am playing with my son.  I am cooking, heck I even have a loaf of bread in the oven right now.  I seek family adventure and book appointments and coffee meetings with every one and anyone (mostly friends and mostly other artists, but still) 
So what does this mean when I have a project like The Dress That Makes The Woman going on for a little over six more months?  Well it means that either I quit or I keep going, pushing through the barrier and forcing myself to keep sewing, even if it is for 10 min every day, or one stitch, but I have to keep going. 
A conversation with my cousin last night made me think about this a lot this morning.  She was talking about how in writing seminars one of the exercises is to keep writing for 10 minutes straight even if you are writing "I don't know what to write" over and over and over again.  It reminded me of Meditation, where even if you feel discomfort, you explore that feeling despite it's presence moving the practice of understanding forward.  I think I have hit this point in my own project.  I have to force myself to keep going forward.  I could quit, it would be easy, but if I keep going even if I am repeating the same dang stitch for 10 minutes day after day, who knows what I will end up with, where it may take me, what it may say as a reflection to this project.  So that's where I am.  I am at a stasis.  I feel stuck, but I think if I can just keep whatever momentum I have, no matter how slow it is, I will still be baby stepping forward little by little.... forward, being the operative word here. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Art Auction

I am kicking off the first ever Art Auction of my work tonight at midnight. This is an art auction with a mission to give 50% of the proceeds to Save the Children Fund for Earthquake and Tsunami Relief in Japan. Please check it out and Happy Bidding! To find out more please visit:

March 21, 2011

Fashion vs. Practical.  The cute purse vs. the utility backpack.  I went with the utility backback.  My life fits into a utility backback.  It has pockets to hold wallet, keys, cellphone, bottle of water, snack, art things, calendar, diapers, extra clothes and my work out clothes (just in case).  The cute little purse is something I wish my life could fit into like a fantastical Mary Poppins bag, but unfortunatly it doesn't.  The makings of a fashionista are sadly crumbling with this month, I feel like life has given me a blessing, a break from the intensity of art making.  I am still making art, but the form is just different, less focus on the dress this month, more focus on a piece that is going to be written about for an upcoming show.  There is a time and place for everything, right now my time and place are just not as diligent about this dress... is she kind of neglected?... well, um yes.  But I still think she will end with a bang.

March 21, 2011

Still wearing the dress, little stich work has happened all week.  Life taking it's course center stage instead of awesome art project, that's why the French say C'est La Vie right?


Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 16, 2011

In response to an email asking asking me to share my story, influences and purpose with regards to my art:
"It's hard to say where to start, but I guess I can say that I got into using fiber kind of out of necessity.  I needed a rather non- toxic medium to use when I was pregnant with our son.  Then I realized how I could really get my vision expressed with fiber way better than painting or drawing (although I am coming back around to that these days).  I think there is something great about the variety in textiles, their histories, the emotions they conjure and the stereotypes they hold.  Although I had been trying to get away from the whole women/textile feminism thing, I realized that I just needed to get closer to it and subvert it in the only way I know how, so now I stitch alot of things that at times shamelessly resemble breasts, vaginas, legs, mostly things anatomically female.  I also like to keep a good sense of humor about what I am referencing and I even at times like to bring some things that relate to masculinity as well. Lots of fairy tales, lots of poetry, lots of Victorian novels, lots of antique lace, lots of vintage films. (I may even be working on a small film soon too for a Big Top Secret Project happening this summer/fall)
So many people and things influence me it's hard to even put them into list form but I'll try
Louise Bourgeoise
Hans Belmer
Sharon Kopriva
Nancy Reddin Kienholz
Joana Vasconsuelos
Leonora Carrington
Orly Coogan
Joetta Mae
Nancy Miliken
Clark Derbes
Hettie Haudenshield
Max Ernst
Laura Letinsky
Mary Ellen Mark
Connie Imboden
Fancesca Woodman
Helen Miranda Wilson
Alexander McQueen
Ditta Von Tesse
Vintage Circus Costumes
Charles Gibson
Rita Hayworth
Marylin Monroe
golden thimbles( which by the way I sew with on my middle and ring fingers)
This list could seriously fill a book... I think what I am saying is that it is more of a feeling that I get from these people or things... there is an essence I relate to maybe not in a personal way but more of a psychological way... be it women in a hysterical state, spangles on a trapeze artist's costume, lace under a petticoat, tulle on a tutu, concentric circles, or pasties, or the depth of the darkness just before it begins to get light, the transparency of silks, the way layers can always subvert a truth...  I am drawn to the illusion, I am in love with sequins and I am currently spending time drawing lots and lots of hair styles.
I just went to a lecture here in Burlington about taking one's art to the next level and the one thing some panelist brought up was that artists introduce other artists to important trends, connections, and they hang out together to build momentum off of eachother... be it inspiration or exhibition opportunities... I think in my experience I have been feeling like a lone duck at times being an artist who works primarily with textiles in VT, but that is not to say that there is an amazing network of similar folks out there, so what I do to find them is do a lot of blog searches, if I find a blog I like I go to many of that person's links to find more work that I like.  I read my regional art publications (usually online ) for shows I can easily get to, wich for me means in Boston, Montreal, NYC, Cape Cod and nearly the bulk of New England.  If I can't get to a show I usually know some one who went so I get reports back...with fiber art though it's really key to try and see it in person... or at least look a a good photo.  I also look at the occasional fashion magazine (mostly W or Vogue) to get a sense of the current trend in fashion/style since my work recently has been relating to that as well. 
Oh so much stuff... but the key is to know that there are alot of us out there, making similar work, working within the same tropes and concepts.... but the responsibility as an artist, I feel is to understand that even though we may all be speaking the same language it is important to make that accent stand out as much as possible."
Still no major changes to this dress, this black layered thing that I put on every day. Don't get me wrong, I love wearing this dress everyday, I just haven't been motivated to alter it to great heights just yet.  I think it is going to surprise me, I think I am going to surprise myself.  Instead of stitching this evening, I updated the website with new info and images of Elizabeth and Cupcake.  Ah the things we must do to keep the career moving forward.  :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 15, 2011

Spring may actually be springing here!  I have been busy working on finishing my piece on deadline for April 1st.  My focus has been on only sewing these four dresses together, to make them layer tightly together in a patter very similar to alot of my 2D work.  The goal is to cut them open at the end to reveal all the layers... let's see if I stick with it. 
It is nice to be wearing a dress that has not been as audatious as the last. Helps me blend in a little, I like blending in a little, but eventually it will get boring and that is when I will start to cut into this dress. 
Still no name for it, but I am hoping that once this other piece is done, this dress will start speaking with me more..

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My weekly Free Will Astrology by Rob Brezsny

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Your meditation for this week comes from writer H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!" While that's always good counsel, I think it's especially apt for you right now. You're in a phase of your astrological cycle when you'd be smart to evaluate your own worth based less on what job you do and more on who you are. Practice thinking this healing idea: The soulfulness you embody and express from moment to moment is the single greatest measure of your success as a human being.

View of layers and new art

Spent all day in the studio yesterday.  I have been working on new pieces that incorporate all the different methods I make art.  Stitching, pen, pencil, sequins, lace etc. This piece is one of the new ones.

March 9, 2011, side view


March 9, 2011, image

There are four dresses and a skirt under there, and yes, I am back to black...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Shoveling with pj's under my Carhart overalls... the snow is up to my knees and there is a car burried under the snow to the left. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8, 2011

It is all about layers, I have 3 dresses all layered on top of eachother. Layers keep me warm, will be great for a kind of reverse construction and will provide some thing different this time around. The only thing that does not work with these dresses is that they are all short sleeved. It is still very cold here, lots of new snow and still no practical short bibed dress weather in sight.

Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7, 2011

Huge Blizzard/ White out today and the snow is still going to fall some more.  There was so much snow that we could barely shovel ourselves out.  Out of necessity I pulled my Carhart down overalls on over my pajamas and waded through the snow drifts to the studio.  I worked until 4:30 and then forced myself to the yoga studio where I was lucky enough to have an amazing semi-private session due to no one daring to venture out because of the weather.  It is truly amazing here, a winter wonderland for some, a white hell for others.  I think it is quite spectacular.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 6, 2011, Cupcake

It is snowing outside again.  Cupcake hangs on the rack.  I am a third of the way done with this project. 
Cupcake Cupcake Cupcake.  What a girl.  Frilly, lacy, soft and powerfully seductive.  She brought people to her with her flowing skirts and lacy necklines. Part party frock, part pinafore, part can can dancer, part carnevale.... she was a mysterious and reclusive dress.  What secrets does she hide under those layers?
Cupcake is made of several old trapunto pieces I had made years back to hang on a wall.  She started out already having shape and body but truly to my surprise changed into a confection of sorts.  She made me wish I was a lady of performance and illusion a Blanche Dubois, an Olympia, a Satine, a Mary Pickford.  I covered her neckline this time with lace and part of a vintage handkerchief a dear friend donated for the project.  I embellished her with lace, lace and lace from another marvelous donor.  As the days here in Vermont fluctuate between warmer and colder, rain and snow, mud and ice, Cupcake has taken a bit of a beating in the washing machine trying to stay semi-clean.  There are still some paint stains from when I was teaching winter break Art Extraveganza camp to kids 5-11.  There are unmended tears and rips adding to the reality that the surface of Cupcake is not all that it seems.  She is a beautiful dress.  I do however, wish I had more time to take her further, but I guess that is just part of the growing pains with this project. 
A friend, artist Noah Krell ( recently posted a really interesting question on Facebook that I have been thinking about for a day now.  It is for part of his thesis.  The question asked...
"sexualization (and subsequent regulation) of human touch in relation to concepts of individualism. Are they related? did one spur on the other? Or are they both responses to something else? Discuss."
This got me thinking about touch and response and surface and depth and the variance between touch and emotion. 
I posted this as a thought in response:
"There is something very close here that I address in my own art and that is the challenge of the veneer, to go beyond the surface to reach some place deeper, but touch literally exists on the surface and yet ripples past the veneer into something emotional. I think people are more comfortable with staying on the surface, but generally uncomfortable when touch lingers manifesting into meaning... what does it mean when I put on a dress that has a lot of lace and texture and then all of a sudden all the people who have boundary issues want to touch me? I am still trying to find the answer even in my own daily performance."
I have thought more and more about this and it all comes down to that boundary or the illusion of the boundary.  Illusion is a powerful thing.  Even with my new circus obsession I keep going back to the notion that it is the illusion that comp ells people to go to the circus in the first place.  Is it that people want to be fooled?  Is touch another way for people to seek out truth? You hug a friend because you want them to know how much you care about them, you touch a dog because it makes you and the dog happy, you hold your lover because it reaffirms that they are yours...  hmmm an interesting idea and a great discussion...
So this is the last day with Cupcake.  I am sitting on my couch feeling incredibly satisfied.  I am excited about tomorrow.  I have 4 dresses laid out ready to go. Will they all be apart of the new dress at once, or little by little?  I guess it depends on how I feel tomorrow morning when I get up.

March 6, 2011, image


March 6, 2011


March 6, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

March 5, 2011

Feeling a little like Old mother Hubbard. 
Got an odd stare from a neighbor the other day, actually not just a stare but a blatant cold shoulder.  I guess it is that time of the month, ha, meaning that the dress starts to attract more attention, but more wary attention from folks who have no idea what is going on. 
One more day.  Mardi Gras parade today, I am perfectly dressed. 
I still feel the urge for one final push for Cupcake. One more Hurah... with the kiddo napping, looks like I may actually be able to do it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Studio look

So this is what Cupcake has been looking like these days.  With only three days left I am already pulling fabric for the next dress.  Does this mean I am ready to leave Cupcake?  Nah, I think I like her, but I feel like I am just barely getting to know her.  She is seemingly all surface and nothing too deep, at least not yet, there are still several days to go.  I must admit that she's been getting kind of stinky, although she gets washed every other day, I think the sweater is synthetic and has a way of not getting super clean in the delicate wash cycles.  It's not bad, no one has complained yet, but just my noticing is enough to drive me crazy. 
An Observation: Lots of people and strangers from all over are touching Cupcake. 

Blood Sweat and Tears

I was sewing so furiously that my finger slipped and the sewing needle jabbed pretty deep into my thumb.  So now Cupcake officially has my DNA spotted around various areas.  I tried to photograph the little blood spot on the heart (so fitting) and then show you what my hands are looking like these days.  I have some amazing finger calluses, that Marge Simpson herself would be rather proud of. 

Cupcake Transormation Images

Cupcake is becoming a fabric magnent for all of my unwanted or unfinished projects.  Ah what a fabric glutten-ess.

February 29, 2011

Transforming Cupcake
These images were taken while I was working on Cupcake in the studio.  I was frantically trying to do something to change her, to make her more lacy, more frilly, more cupcake-ish...