Indigo Love...

A few weeks ago, I took the plunge and experimented with some indigo textile dye work. Feeling a bit out of my comfort zone, I reread instructions over and over for a few days before attempting the work. I am still so fixated on textiles.... Especially LINEN!!! Nothing feels like it! Dyes like it! And now that I have made a shawl out of the piece hanging on the end of the closeline (below)... WELL! Nothing hangs like it. 

Above, the plant design is meant to mimic the indigo plant. The pattern was achieved by my attempt at Japanese Shibori or African Adire - take your pick. The process is basically the same: stitching the cloth closed before placing in dye vat. This piece and the long shawl piece below are made from antique linen sheets. I guess that's why I do not ever recall finding a scraf that feels so wonderful and hangs so well. It would probably be very expensive to use, if not hard to find.... I just happened to have a few.

Antique linen sheet strip that I made into a shawl.

Blended knit fabric that was an fairly ugly mauve color, turned from a frog to a prince in the Indigo!

When I got to the end of this laborious two day process, I was sure I would not do it again.... I was cautioned by my friend and fellow artist Janet Taylor Pickett to not speak too quickly. She was right. Indigo has crept into my soul.... I will be back! with a better sense of how to push the medium toward what I see in my head.

Left: the end result of the quilt. Called a six point star pattern, taught to me by a master quilter. Thank goodness the pattern is unforgiving for someone like me who does not like to measure. :-)

"Transition" ...Story Behind the Work

January 17 - March 29, 2017

Paul Robeson Galleries - Rutgers University - Newark;
350 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102

2015-16, Mixed media handmade paper with inclusions, 49"H x 22"W

About My Art in the show....

"Transition is a very personal piece of art to me in many ways. Especially as work on this piece spans a period of months when my life was in the midst of a major change." 

I began Transitions while living in one state, and completed it 3,000 miles away, after moving to another. Mourning some significant personal losses, I had a surprising joy of reconnecting with a very dear friend, whom I had lost contact with over twenty-five years earlier. I suppose it was meant to be, that, he happened to stop by my studio the day I was completing the final stage of pouring pulp for this work, and helped a bit with prep. Just thirty-five days later, without warning he was gone. After having minor surgery, that should not have posed any serious health risk. 

...The inclusions of butterflies here, represent my mother's favorite symbol. These particular butterflies were part of an earlier installation called "July 9, 2012: The Day It Rained Butterflies." Which represented the day my mother passed away. As it was also the day I came to understood that when a person leaves the earth, the dynamic of all relationships around them change forever as well. 

In early Christianity, the butterfly was a symbol of the soul. In China, it was used as a symbol of conjugal bliss and joy. The butterfly was particularly revered by the tribes of the American southwest. Its dance is performed by both Navajo and Hopis. To Native Americans, the butterfly is a symbol of change, joy and color. The exquisite butterfly was considered a miracle of transformation and resurrection. I suppose that is why the symbol was adopted in hospice-care to represent metamorphosis of the soul: the change in nature from one form to another....

The months since Transition was completed,  my season of change continues, and I am in wonder at where it is leading me next. Such a special time of peace, for which I am most thankful. No matter how life goes forward, one thing I know; in this work, I will always see remnants of when God carried me across the sands of both poignant and jubilant transitions. Understanding that, I now know my job is to be present in every season, to pray my way through it, to rest in and celebrate it, as the precious moment of time it represents.

Additional info:

IT'S HERE!!! - My Book is now available on Amazon...

Early Morning Tea Journal, A Journey of Scripture and Thought to Ponder, is an easy and uncomplicated way to experience writing for pleasure. Filled with beautiful watercolors of delicate china and vintage teacups, journaling tips, motivational questions, fun facts, and a bibliography of devotional resources; and blank pages for you own inspired writings. Wonderfully designed and illustrated by mixed media artist Rosalind Nzinga Vaughn-Nichol, it is a perfect collectible treasure for gift giving or personal library.  Now available on (click link>)Amazon:  

Below a few sample illustrations and quotes from the book:

126 pages; 34 lovely watercolors.