Saturday, February 28, 2009


Three happy sights first thing on a February morning ~ a bright yellow bouquet of ranunculus, my Elsa Beskow placemat, and my favorite eggs of all, these Easter Egger Chicken eggs from Eggleston's Farm in Alfred, Maine. I buy these at Whole Foods here in Portland. Aren't they pretty?? They make me gasp when I open the carton...

oooh, ahhhh!

Elsa Beskow placemat ~ I bought this at Simply Scandanavian here in Portland...

Here's Elsa reading one of her books to a group of enthralled children...

more wonderful whimsical Elsa illustrations...

and when I was looking online for some pictures of Easter Egger Chickens, I found this...

hahhahhhhaaa!!!! love it.
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lovers, Complete

Martha Miller
The Lovers, 2009
mixed media fiber wallhanging, 15" x 24"

Finished! Next I want to do The Birth of Venus, and The Star (she says, rubbing her hands together...) these are way too much fun!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fiber Lovers

Good Gourd, it's Adam and Eve!

Professional model Mary Stanford and Adam - check out Adam's anatomy! :^)

Beginnings of The Lovers fiber piece...

Two nights ago I started working on this fiber wall hanging based on The Lovers tarot card. It's an Adam and Eve in the garden scene (a recurring theme for me as you can see here, here, here, and here...)

And here's a bit of synchronocity - the model who posed for my portraiture class yesterday at MECA , Mary Stanford, brought in these fantastic Adam and Eve gourd dolls from Mexico (top photo). Don't you just LOVE them??

Worked on The Lovers again this afternoon - here's the progress. I'm almost will be heading over to my etsy shop...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Green Jeans Graces

Green Jeans Graces, 2009
recycled fabric, beads, ric, rac, thread, acrylics

This is why I was looking for images of The Three Graces the other day ~ as a reference for this piece (I want to do a full figured version next! ) These are my three Green Jeans Graces ~ they are standing in a patch of grass that is made from the fringed hem of an old pair of green jeans (as usual, click on images for details!).
I am having such a blast making these fiber figure wallhangings ~ they are so much fun! I'm working on another one now based on The Lovers tarot card. I'll post about that soon!

Green Jeans Graces is for sale over in my etsy shop.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hay, Hay, Hay, from Miller to Millet

Garry Miller
Martha Resting, 1986

I came upon this old photograph this weekend ~ it's one of my favorites. My husband took this picture of me after we'd spent a hot summer afternoon hoeing and weeding our huge vegetable garden at our old farmhouse on Mount Hope Road, when we lived in Sanford, Maine. It's pleasant to dream about midsummer, as we are socked in with a fresh layer of snow this morning. This photo fits in with a whole genre of paintings, the likes of which are posted below. You can see more paintings like these and read about them at this wonderful website!
Dream, dream, dream, dream!

Csok, 1890

Bastien-Lepage, 1877

Van Gogh, 1890

Pissaro, 1882

Bouguereau, 1865

Cameron, 19th century

Jean Francois-Millet, 1865

John Singer Sargent, 1875

John Singer Sargent
Violet Sleeping

Jean- Francois Millet
Ruth and Boaz, 1852

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dr. Spock

While looking on-line for images of The Three Graces the other day I discovered this series of photographs by actor Leonard Nimoy. I did not know that Nimoy is a photographer - I also did not know that he is a feminist. Posted here are some of the images from Nimoy's Full Body Project, a series of black and white photographs of full bodied women. This project reminds me of an exhibit I saw at The Frick Gallery in Belfast, Maine, in 1992, called The Belly Project, a series of photographs of an array of women's midsections - scarred, bulging, taut, slack -with each woman's sexual history written beneath her photo, information such as: three pregnancies, one c-section; two abortions; hysterectomy; five pregnancies; etc. The belly photos were arranged in a grid, and created a wall that resembled landscape. It was amazingly, very beautiful.
I've often wondered (and I wonder it more often now, as my own almost fifty five year old face becomes increasingly lined with age) why we can appreciate the ripples on sand, the texture of bark on a tree, the voluptuous shape of an eggplant, and yet be horrified or repulsed by the sight of such shapes and textures on real human bodies. We are brainwashed by our media to think that the thin, young, perfect looking airbrushed model in a fashion magazine is the epitome of beauty.
So how cool is it that Leonard Nimoy, of all people, helps to break through these strict (and ridiculous) stereotypes? Nimoy's famous Star Trek character, Spock, regarded the world with a non-objective and curious eye, very little emotional reactivity (he was half human, remember!), and a dash of Vulcan humor. What better lens to look through to facilitate a paradigm shift regarding our notions of beauty!
the book:
Full Body Project: Photographs by Leonard Nimoy
From the Publisher:
In the preface to his provocative new book of nude studies, The Full Body Project, photographer and actor Leonard Nimoy writes, "The average American woman weighs twenty-five percent more than the models wearing the clothes marketed to her. There is a huge industry built up around selling women ways to get their bodies closer to a fantasy ideal. The message is 'You don't look right. But if you buy our product, you can get there.'" In The Full Body Project, Nimoy presents images of full-bodied women - many of whom are engaged in "fat liberation" and the "size acceptance" movement - and challenges dominant notions of the ideal female figure as represented in the media and fine arts. "The women in these pages are proudly wearing their own skins. They accept and respect themselves, and I hope that my images convey that feeling to others."

From the Foreword by Natalie Angier:
The women in [these] photographs seize the aesthetic and emotional reins through the time-honored primate strategy called "making direct eye contact." In most artistic renditions of the nude, the subject's gaze is indirect . . . But the women here do not avert their eyes, either from the camera or from each other. They look us straight in the face and ask that we do the same. Significantly, their gaze is not hostile or defiant. It doesn't say, what are you staring at, chum? Does my fat body repel you? Nor is it campy or vampy or in the least bit embarrassed. Instead, it is the gaze of gimlet-eyed women who know perfectly well that they are on view, and that their unclothed bodies are not the standard models of beauty as brought to you by museums, the movies, or Maybelline. Yet by fixing us in the level-headed sight, the women politely but firmly demand that we begin our inspection at eye level, where the self is exposed and makes its humanness known. We get to know these women before we begin appraising their bodies. And the paradoxical result of our face-based introduction, our feeling that we understand these women as individuals and already count them as friends, is that we see their bodies less personally, relieved of any object lessons or projections of our private pieties and fears. Rather than rejecting their bodies as unacceptably obese . . . we see them almost as abstractions, an interplay of geometries, patterns, and themes. We can see them for what they are, for what every body must be: an imperfect, magnificent evolutionary compromise between the life forms that preceded it, and the life forms yet to be.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Bath Day

I was sitting at the kitchen table paying bills this morning while my husband was loading the dishwasher and I turned to see these two little nut jobs looking back at me...
they are definitely entertaining!
Hope everything comes out in the wash for you!
Have a great weekend, everyone!