I'm fully immersed in stitching now, returning to my painting wall intermittently when I feel the need to make bigger arm movements, and my eyes and mind need to look outward.
I'm finding inspiration in new textile artists I discover via Instagram and recommendations from other friends and artists.
I'm finding my way by trying out different ideas to see what feels right for me, asking myself "What story do I want to tell and how can I use a needle and thread to tell it? Do I even want to tell a story?" I'm finding this kind of art to be a great way to explore and combine my love of texture, color, text and storytelling. I like that it doesn't make acrylic paint garbage that I have to deal with.
I've gotten positive feedback on what I've been sharing via social media and even sold a couple of pieces through my studio.
Right now, my days are largely filled with helping our new little rescue dog get settled, so one of the things I like about stitching is that I can do it in the evening while I watch TV with a cute little dog snuggled up on either side of me. It's great way to unwind and relax. I'm working on a piece now that is sort of a reflection on being the last of my family of origin, because my oldest brother died recently. Here's a detail of the piece below...
I'm starting to mend and darn now too, something that I haven't done for a long time. Here's a pic of some jeans I'm working on. Sort of feels like a denim canvas... I've also got a stack of woolen socks that need some darning attention... I think my evenings are full for the winter months.
Follow me on Instagram @samyakyamauchi to see more stitchery!
Just finished having a big Studio Sale last weekend. Since I'm not a Portland Open Studios artist this year, I didn't know how it would go without the marketing and advertising support from that event. I worried, "Will anybody come? Will I sell anything?" I have to say everything about it was perfect. Good attendance, lots of sales, nice people and the weather was exceptional!
Dash was his friendly, chill self - greeting guests appropriately and then lying down to enjoy the day.
From now on, I'm keeping all my paintings in the studio, so people can come to visit, enjoy and shop. Let me know if you want to come by.
I haven't spent much time in the studio this summer because I've mostly been stitching in my house. Now the studio is set up to be supportive of me taking the next step in my creative/art life: a new journey into mixed-media making with painting, dyeing, stitching, and text. I am ready for something new to take shape. WIP below...
Stay tuned for updates!
Almost seven weeks ago we re-homed our younger dog, Ram.
Now his name is "Rom", short for Romulus. Rommulus is the perfect name for him - it seems strong and poetic. He is now living a good life with a very calm and loving retired couple, who have a house with a BIG fenced backyard, next to a six acre county park. Best of all, they have no other pets. Now, as an only-dog, Rom can be king of the house!
It broke my heart to make the decision to find him a new home. We tried for a year to stop him from being reactive towards Dash. We worked with a vet-behaviorist who prescribed medication, worked with a trainer who specializes in behavior problems, and had fences throughout our house, yard and studio to keep the dogs separated. The situation was taking a toll on our household. None of us were truly happy, and both dogs deserve to be happy, so we just had to make a change. Rom is people-loving and well behaved, so we know he will be a great little companion to his new people. They've kept us updated on his adjustment, and he's been doing really well. I miss his sweet little face and personality, but I know he will be happier in his new home.
Now, I can move all the time and energy I was putting into the dogs back into my studio life, and Dash is back to being an only-dog. He is very happy again.
In 2021, I painted a series of new paintings that featured carefully made straight lines and stenciled words. They required tedious concentration and a steady hand. Now it's 2022, and I'm done with thoughtful precision.
Over the past years that I've been painting, people have often said, "You should make a book with your paintings." I've actually made a few books of collections of my paintings ( available on Blurb.com, hint hint..) Now, I am exploring writing and my messy side by making "MESSY BOOKS".
A Messy Book is literally just that - a handmade messy book, a really messy book. It's a
6" x 9", eight page book full of the immediate spontaneous process that making the book entailed - spills, smears, cross-outs, random thoughts and scribbles and hastily pasted-on collage... I'm writing about things that pop into my head as I'm in the process of making the books. A few of the subjects: Hiroshima, Depression, Fear, Chihuahuas... I'm planning to make them all through the year, and I want to share them.
If you have a U.S. mailing address, and you'd like to travel this journey with me, you can join the Messy Book Of The Month Club. Read more below...
1. What's a "Messy Book"? - See above...
2. How and when do I receive the books? - Once a month, starting sometime in March of 2022, a copy of one my original book will arrive in the mail - the real mail, not the electronic kind.
3. What if I don't sign up til later in the year? - You'll receive the back issues when your membership begins.
4. Do I get to choose which book to receive? - No, I'll choose what to send. Each member receives the same book as the other members.
5. What if I don't like the books? - What's not to like? Sorry, No refunds. Please recycle!
7. How much does it cost? - $105 for ten books.
8. Where do I sign up? - HERE!
2020 was the ultimate year of clutter. There was too much BS out there. Too much hatred and fear-mongering, ignorance, stupidity, illness, cruelty and death, so much death. By the end of the year, I had lost my energy, motivation and all inspiration and hope to create a more beautiful world. Now it's 2021 and am recovering from an exhausted state of mind and physically from a cough (not covid) that lingered for over a month. So what am I inspired to do?
I'm going to declutter everything in my life!
First, I watched "Less Is Now" on Netflix which inspired me to start decluttering my everything. Since what I want to do in my studio is still up in the air, I decided to start there. This photo is what I started with - all my jewelry making supplies. Now, all gone - gave away.
Next I took EVERYTHING off my shelves (with the help of my budding artist next door neighbor, Millie).
then, I took everything outside and washed and vacuumed it all clean. Fortunately the weather Gods acted favorably toward us.
Everything got moved back onto the shelves. I went through each drawer and shelf then and pulled out anything I didn't want anymore that I hadn't already removed. I boxed these things up and made inquiries to my artist friends who might want something. Everything I removed has been given away.
My studio feels so much bigger!
Finally I decided to reopen my studio with some work on the Never Ending Painting, this time with tempera paint.
Two weeks ago I joined a 12-week online class called "Uncluttered" offered by Joshua Becker and Becoming Minimalist. For the next 10 weeks and 100 days, I am decluttering every space of my house. I know that with will carry over into other aspects of my well-being.
This is my "Why": I desire to own less so my house can be a clean, beautiful, uncluttered environment where I feel calm, soothed and appreciative of every space and item in it.
My 100 Day Project is to declutter and minimize every space in my house - and in my art making. I want to see what will happen with my art as my physical, mental and emotional spaces are cleared of unnecessary clutter and I hold that intention with making art.
My blog last month was all happy, celebrating our new pup, Jake.
Today I'm writing with great sadness, because Jake died on Sept 2. He had an anaphylaxis reaction, probably to bee venom, that led to liver failure. He tried valiantly for two and a half days in the ICU to recover, but finally let us know that he couldn't do it anymore. He used his last ounce of energy to pull himself from his tiny gurney onto my lap, then onto Chuck's lap and back onto mine, where he died peacefully all snuggled up. He was only 7 months old and our hearts are broken.
The moment I saw his photo from the pet rescue site, I knew he was my puppy and that his name was supposed to be "Jake". I mean, for god's sake - look at him!
He liked to snuggle next to Dash, and on my lap.
He liked the view from this spot in my studio.
He liked to play, eat, explore, and put things in his mouth. I made silly art from the little things I took out of his mouth. He made art from paper he found in my studio...while Dash cheered him on.
Dash loved him and now there is a sad hole in our household.
There's a lifetime of things we didn't get to do with him, and I will remember every minute I got to spend with him. He was a tiny sweet bundle of love. I'm making a tiny gallery space in my studio, and my art space will now be called "The Land Of Lost and Found Dogs" in honor of this precious little pup. I love you and miss you, Jake!