Friday, October 28, 2011

October 28,2011

"Myths are public dreams. Dreams are private myths. By finding your own dream and following it through, it will lead you to the myth world in which you live." - Joseph Campbell

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ocotober 24, 2011

Oh I am getting there.
Added Pearls.. added lace... adding more. 
How many days left?  How do I feel?  Wow!

October 24, 2011


October 21, 2011

Went to Artist Abby Manock's installation performance at the Shelburne Art Center.  I was really excited about this piece she was doing for several reasons.  First I just love her work, the colors, the composition, how she divides space and unties it only to unite it with these threads, strings, pieces of fabric that are weighted down with paint cans or pieces of painted wood.  Second, I love that that some one else in Vermont it taking performance art seriously.  She has a way of connecting the audience to the performance, whether it is in the anticipation for it to begin, or even when something seemingly goes awry within the performance (like her paint compressor jamming as was the case with this one).  The audience keeps routing for her, wanting her to succeed, but in the end has us examining our own expectations we have as viewers and art lovers with performance.  What happens when a performance emphasizes the limitations of the materials used? and the gumption of the artist to keep the performance going, even to the bitter end... how long would we the audience have waited, once we all were clued into the "technical difficulties?"  Or was that the performance? Endurance? Perseverance? Do it til it's done mentality?  Lucky for Abby the compressor started to work again and her beautiful Santa Winter Wonderland was coated with a fresh coat of white paint.  Lastly I love that Abby's work, works on so many levels.  Was the white paint a symbol for snow? Impermanence?  a resetting of the season? a metaphor for a whiting out our environment, or the festivities of our environment making it generic, glazed over?  What ever the meaning, the sheer act of bringing such a good crew of spectators was worth the drive to the Shelburne Art Center to see her performance. As a witness to this event in the darkness of a cold autumn Vermont night, I realized that Autumn has officially arrived, that winter is around the corner and that there really is no better way to spend an evening with friends and strangers.... Thanks Abby for bringing us all together. 
To see more of Abby's work go to:

October 22, 2011

I was tired of tripping on the hem of this dress, so aweful to feel in danger because of something malfunctioning with your wardrobe... so I started to scrunch the hem up with large whip stitches.

October 21,2011

This is where I added the western shirt that my mom gave me. It never really fit right, but it reminded me of Texas.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 18,2011

19 days left.

Thinking about haircuts, new glasses, new clothes. Finding it hard to find new clothes, nothing really fits, looks good, or is on par with my standards. My standards of fashion have changed. I want a 3/4 length sleeve black wiggle dress made of wool with a zipper in the back, with a fabulous neckline.

I want a good top with texture, warmth, and asymmetry. I want a neat clean looking skirt. I want pants, but I want some good dark jeans with an impeccable cut and no fade, no wrinkles, and a good decent denim thread count.

I have been looking at Vidal Sassoon five point haircuts, loving some of the bob styles.

Thinking about daily contacts.

Thinking about how much work I put into Sofia today and how I forgot my camera. I pulled up the skirt hem with stitches, added a western top with sleeves only to cut it out today. I stuffed the back a la trapunto. I am still stitching names. I am putting love into this dress.

I haven't worn Sofia for two days. She has been in progress. I am listening to my body, and giving my lungs a break from her bodice. It is tight and i just had some structural body work done to open my ribs, my lungs, and that central trunk of mine. Choosing to let it breathe has been wonderful. Two days in exercise clothes has been great. As I get closer to the end, I am realizing how ready I really am.

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October 12, 2011

I am feeling ready, ready to start working on this dress.  I thought I would leave it pristine, unsewn upon except for a stitched over layer of names, but now I realize that I can't not stitch on it.. I feel it, the surface is calling me. Tomorrow it shall change.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Calendar prep and art for sale

As I am gearing up for the final show that will display work from this project, I am realizing the most obvious thing to make is a calendar.  I am currently preparing images for a 2012 calendar production.  I will also be setting up a web link to pre-order your Dress That Makes The Woman Calendars (I will let you know when it is done).  Until then, if there is a picture that you think best represents one of the months please let me know... the more input the better.  I am going to keep the dresses with the month that they were produced in, but I am currently deciding whether or not to feature only the final images or if there was a particularly weak final image to put one of the more interesting daily images instead. 
I am also going to set up a link to a site where I will have art and fascinators for sale.  I have had multiple art shows come down and now I have a lot of work in stock.  Therefore if you are looking for a holiday gift or a gift for any occasion look no further... there will be an online sale, and as usual I will donate 50% to an organization or group in need--
Keep checking back for more details.
Wylie Sofia Garcia

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011, Mikey

I have spent the morning stitching and thinking about the passing of a friend. 
I remember the first time I met Mikey.  I was sharing studio space at E-1 Studio Collective with artist Sage Tucker-Ketcham.  She came in and said this guy Mikey is coming by to work on some collaborations, he's crazy, but a good guy, I think you'll like him.  He walked in fresh cigarette tucked behind his ear, disheveled, jittery, brown jacket, mussed up hair, and had one hell of a laugh...memorable. Fast Forward several years later, I am newly married sharing a wonderful patch of grass one Saturday at the Burlington Farmer's Market with my husband Clark, when this guy and his son come to sit beside us.  Clark introduces us, " Wylie this is my bad ass artist friend Mikey, Mikey this is my bad ass artist wife, Wylie"... we sized each other up, shook hands and said something to the effect of nice to see you again and just broke out laughing... memorable.  From then on instant friends.  Occasionally I would join Clark for a quick surprise crit at Mikey's house and garage studio, offering suggestions, listening to stories, listening to music, looking at books, and poking fun at his pain splattered crocs.  Oh yes, Mikey painted in crocs... what a generous story teller.  What a fascinating and brutally honest artist.  Clark and I took him seriously, and respected his vision even if at times it was too Basquiat, or too DeKooning, or too Twombly... Clark and Mikey could banter the hell out of each other about what the other person was doing "wrong" with regards to their style... but it was all love, mostly all talk and all for the sake of making the other better, stronger and more brilliant...
I will never forget the time I walked into Select Design to see Mikey's new work, Clark told me I was in for a surprise... Fuck he did it...before me was a new vocabulary, a visual word anthology that belonged to no other artist other than Mikey Welsh, such texture floating on a surface of depth.  His colors were amazing, rich , vibrant, thick, seductive, scary, but above all amazing.   Mikey, your art much like your life is a beautiful abstraction, I am thankful your being graced my time line, you were a great friend, a devoted artist, a father, and companion to many.  You will be missed.     

October 11, 2011

The dress is good.  It swishes.  It takes up room.  It comands space around it.  I find myself walking around things so as not to have to squeeze by. 
It drags.  It was getting dirty and then I put it in the wash.  oops. but good oops. 
I am getting comments like: " Wow, you look pretty."  "Oh my" and "Is she the one with the ball gown on?"  There is no hiding in a gown.  You are out there.  Exposed.
I felt so exposed visiting my friend's parents in Northfield, that I couldn't muster the courage to wear it for the hour that we were there for.  I learned a lot about myself in that hour, feeling naked without the dress, even though I was wearing pants and a t-shirt underneath.  
The dress is also annoying me.  The top is not a perfect fit.  I pull it up and it still sags.  My chest, changed by motherhood does not have the props to keep the top up, even with the support bodice underneath zipped up to to a breath taking squeeze.  
I trip on the hem a lot. I lift up the skirt feeling like an exhausted Disney cliche.  Even my son reminds me that "Momma. your skirt is getting dirty."
I have not stitched on this dress yet.  I am stitching every day on a piece of silk. This silk will eventually become one wit h the dress, but for now I am getting to know the dress.  Her history is shared with someone else, she was given to me.  I am still learning a lot about her, while still stitching about me on the silk. There is a dialogue that is developing.  It is about space, language, in between spaces, and the shape language gives to in between.     

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 9, 2011

The first stitches have begun.
They start with the name of the dress. 
This is Sofia.  This is wisdom.  This is me.

October 8, 2011, a nod to artist Amy Caron

There is this awesome woman/artist who has been wearing a wedding dress every day for over a year.  My friend Maggie introduced me to her work.  For obvious reasons I am in love with Amy Caron's  project.  I specifically admire her because she has been wearing a dres similar to the one I have on every day for over a year, I am only wearing this for a month and it has already presented some issues after day 3.  
  You can find details about it at her website:
One of the pictures I have seen of Amy in her wedding dress is of her in the woods hunting... well at least that's what it looked like. 
I just came back from a friend's camp down in Roxbury, VT.  He let me hold his gun... let me just say, you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl.

FYI-  I learned to shoot when I was 8 at Heart O'The Hills Camp for Girls in Hunt, Texas.

A nod to Amy Caron


October 7, 2011, The beginning of the end, Front and Back

Here I am... day one of the last month.  I am wearing my aunts white gown.  It was too small so I had to add gussets along the side, then it was too big... so I am taking it in a little.  It comes with a tulle under layer.  It is marvelous!  My main fear is how dirty it will get. I am so happy this is the last month, I can't believe I am finally here.  

October 7, 2011 The beginning of the End, side view


Litany Against Fear Collar

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. -  Frank Herbert
I stitched this Litany Against Fear around the fur collar of the dress.  It comes from Frank Herbert's DUNE.  For me it seems right to stitch this, appropriate given the state of our global climate, local and abroad, the economic and agricultural, the political and the personal.  Fear is the source of so much, it is powerful, if faced it can create change, such a powerful change and understanding of our selves.  So, to remind me of why Hawthorne is so important as a metaphor for growth and protection, I chose my this quote.   

Hawthorne, Detail Closeups


Hawthorne, Front and Back


Hawthorne, October 6, 2011 Sides


Hawthorne, October 6, 2011

Pictures of attaching the final piece to Hawthorne, the collar with a wonderful quote from Frank Herbert.  I got to work all day at Helen Day in the middle of my exhibit.  It was interesting, I spent a good time watching movies on my ipad, drinking too much coffee and thinking about what I was going to say about my art for my artist talk later that evening.  

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Proposal Project Piece.


Details for the Beuys Project

I have really been geeking out on Frank Herbert these days... I thought this was a great quote to go with a project about Josef Beuys.  And yes, Beuys is supposed to be mispelled in the typeface...
Also check out this wonderful link to a video that Hennesey Youngman produced... he really nails the definition of a personal mythology.  Note:  *** Explicit Language Warning expecially for my younger readers***

Hawthorne, details

Ok.  Hawthorne.  Hawthorne is all about the heart.  The name comes from a recent experience of having my chakras unblocked, an experience I have never had before.  The process goes something like you have a healer, they help you relax, they test for compromised or completely blocked charkra points and then spiritually cleanse you as well as place protective plants in/around the newly cleared chakra points.  I had several areas that were blocked, but the one I want to focus on here is my heart center.  
According to C. W. Leadbeater

"The he fourth centre, the cardiac, at the heart, is of a glowing golden colour, and each of its quadrants is divided into three parts, which gives it twelve undulations, because its primary force makes for it twelve spokes.."

C. W. Leadbeater, The Chakras, Quest Books, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Ill. p.13

The Heart Chakra is the centre from which feelings of love emanate. It is also associated with other virtuous emotions, such as joy, happiness, honesty, respect, compassion, understanding, and generosity, and with loving oneself in a sincere, non-egotistic way. This is also the chakra through which we connect with others whom we love or have affection towards. Once forged, these links are very hard to break, which is why people suffer so much through the break-up of a relationship or the loss of a loved one

This chakra is the centre of the positive (yang) Chi energy in the body, just as the Door of Life chakra is the centre of Yin Chi energy.  According to Mantak Chia, the left side of the heart chakra is red and positively charged, the right side is dark green and negatively charged, and the core of the heart centre is pure white

The red would clearly correspond to the rose light of love, while the green signifies the lower or gross emotional body functioning of the heart centre, which is focussed on self, security, and accumulation of and attachment to and pride in physical and emotional possessions.  The white of course signifyies spiritual purity.

Just as for men (and masculine women) the logos (reason) or head centre is extremeely important, so for women (and feminine men) it is the eros (love) or heart centre that is of great significance. According to Mantak Chia, when this chakra is open, its energy connects to the breasts, and it generates the virtues of the heart through the whole body [p.240]

The heart chakra is very important in spiritual healing.  According to Barbara Brennan, all ll the energies metabolised through the chakras travel up the central nadi of the body and into the heart chakra, before moving out through the hands or eyes of the healer [Brennan, p. ]

When the heart centre has been fully opened, it becomes the channel for Universal Love; what the Buddhists call Mahakaruna ot "the Great Compassion", and esoteric Christians and Theosophists the "Christ Consciousness".  Once opened, the Higher Self or Immortal Divine Soul is able to work through this centre.  This is probably why in so many cultures the heart is said to be the seat of the soul.

Ok, so my healer placed Hawthorne inside of 4th center to help protect my heart.  Hawthorne is a plant I knew very little about, let alone could not identify, but now after this experience, I see Hawthorne everwhere, including outside of my studio window, at the end of my street, on nature walks with my son and just about everywhere I go. 
Hawthorn has played a major role as a medicinal plant since the turn of the century. During the Middle Ages, it was a folk medicine for all heart-related ailments, including "emotions of the heart." I consider it to be an adaptogen for the cardiovascular system because it keeps proper balance, conserves energy and increases the abihty to cope with stress, whether physical, mental or emotional.

Since the late 19th century, hawthorn has been used successfully as a cardiac tonic to regulate circulation as well as treat both high and low blood pressure, rapid or arrhythmic heartbeat, inflammation of the heart muscle, angina pec-toris and early signs of circulatory problems due to aging. It is also helpful for menopausal symptoms and arteriosclerosis.

Wild Plant: Hawthorn {Crataegus spp.}

Family: Rose {Rosaceae}

Description: Shrub or small tree with long, slender, sharp thorns along the branches.

Habitat: Meadow edges, thickets, open spaces and pastures.
To honor the Hawthorne plant that is proecting my most valuable and sacred life force, I deticate this month's dress to it. 

A visit from a beautiful Wood Pecker, October 4, 2011

Heart beat of the earth...

Hawthorne on September 28th, 2011

Ah yes, the paver, one of the many utility trucks in my life right now.   My son is such a huge fan of BIG trucks!