Friday, May 31, 2013

Guest Star Friday #118...Nes Friends

I've been spending a lot of time with some wonderful fellow-residents here at Nes, including my two roommates and three others. In addition to being interesting, intelligent, and fun people, they are also incredible artists and musicians who've been inspiring me each day. I hope you will visit their links...

mixed-media 2 and 3D works

watercolor and acrylic paintings of the landscape

street art

music and sound
(there are lots of sound clips made here in Skagaströnd 
on their blog)

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Progress Report No. 4

Week Four has come to a close...Today I will begin layering knots and detailing the edges and will complete the piece on Friday when it feels done. I'm really happy with what's happening, very excited, actually...I will show the finished piece on Monday! Let's review the last few weeks...

 end of Day One

 end of Week One

 end of Week Two

 end of Week Three

Progress images on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What I'm Reading

I always read books and listen to podcasts when making a new body of work. They provide inspiration and help me to process, understand, and articulate the meaning behind the pieces. Recently I read Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke and then read it two more times. Rilke writes about being an artist, finding inspiration and motivation, and the importance of solitude, among other topics. This is a favorite quote and the one that brought me to read the letters in their entirety:

"What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours - that is what you must be able to attain."

I'm enjoying the writings of Agnes Martin, too, as well as an interview with her; her words are appropriate for the very solitary place I'm in both here in remote Iceland and in my mind as I work quietly every day. Also see more Agnes Martin on Artsy.

I also just finished the catalogue that accompanied the Běla Kolářová exhibition I saw at Raven Row in London in April. I am particularly interested in the implied duality in Kolářová's work and her interest in the mundane and the small. In addition, the essays in the book have lead me to some research on deconstructivism, but I've only just begun there so I can't speak to it yet.

Finally, I've been reading a variety of short online articles about knots from ones in the brain to others in jewelry and mourning.

the brain and Alzheimer's Disease

As for podcasts I have been listening to lots of TED talks including ones by Brené BrownSherry Turkle, Susan Cain, and Julie Bernstein about vulnerability, connection, introversion, and creativity. I recommend all these talks!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Maí Opið Hús

Nes had its May Open House yesterday. It was a nice opportunity to connect with people from Skagaströnd and to tell with them about my work. I especially enjoyed talking with the Mayor, Magnús B. Jónsson, who has wonderful insights and a kind personality. It was also great to see what the other residents have been working on: photography, painting, installations, drawing...

Here's a list of the current Nes residents with links to their websites: 

Jahnne Pasco-White, Australia
Guido van Helten, Australia
Marlaina Read, Australia
Yogan Muller, France
Shaun Fraser, Scotland
Rudolf Romero, Holland

the Mayor of Skagaströnd, Magnús B. Jónsson, 

work by Jahnne Pasco-White

Find Nes on Facebook.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I Can Only Stay Away for So Long

During just the second week of being here at Nes I got itchy to make jewelry. I hadn't made any since a few days before I left the U.S. and so about a month had passed...I see now I can only stay away for so long. I started making some simple necklaces with Icelandic wool that had been left behind in the studio. This exercise was similar to ones I've done in the past in which I established a few simple parameters and challenged myself to work within them. I made one necklace with each color I had, seven in total. Each one is knotted and layered in a different way. For a few I cut a number of lengths while for others I used one continuous piece, and for all of them I used all the yarn available. I made several in a row, one per night, and gave myself an hour or two to complete them. It was a fun process and I like the results. I would keep going if I had more wool...

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I've been here at Nes for 23 days and my studio feels like home. I've been collecting, nets, pieces of broken buoys, a fish skull...everyday something new.

More pictures on Facebook and Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Progress Report No. 3

Week 3 has passed...the piece is moving along nicely. My plan is to continue my 5-8 hours of daily stitching through Sunday which is the day of our Open House. Then I will spend the remaining days of May layering knots on top and adding details around the edges.

Yesterday I stitched for nearly eight hours straight. It was really good because I maintained my focus and got a lot done. However, all those hours in a row may have been too much time in my head. I ended yesterday "early," around 9:30pm feeling like I had had a solid, productive day, but also feeling really, really low. This piece is very personal and I am processing some heavy thoughts as I work. I think stitching in increments and taking walks or time to read or draw is a better way of going about my day and contemplating the work at hand.

This is of course not a bad thing, it's actually a good thing. Finding the right balance is key, though.

Also, last week I mentioned the awkwardness of the frame...that is now gone. I love working on the frame. Shifting the piece from my small hoop to this larger working area was the right choice. Now I can see the entire piece as I work and I no longer struggle with handling a much larger apparatus. Sometimes I sit and other times I stand. It is very beneficial to see the piece develop from both levels--the sort-of "aerial" view while standing and the more detailed, close-up view while sitting.

 Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Living Here

I am really in love with this place, if one can be in love with a country or an island or a landscape. Everyday I start stitching around 9am, I work, I think, I write, I work some more, I take breaks and look at the sea, I take a walk, I take pictures, I work some more, I eat my dinner, I work some more...That's usually how it goes with each day similar and different at the same time. My walks are one of my favorite parts. I love seeing things for the first time and I also love seeing how my surroundings change throughout the day and night due to the near 24 hours of sun.

This past weekend I went for long walks with two friends/fellow residents. The weather was excellent on Saturday, the warmest it has been so far. I actually wore a t-shirt and had to find my sunscreen so I could protect my tattoos. We walked for five hours on Saturday, all along the coast and then on the highway toward the end. We met up with some horses, sat on the edge of a cliff, and observed three lambs who were curious enough to not run away. The next day we walked into a valley for a few hours, but it was too cold to go much further. We parted toward the end and I went on to explore the local junkyard, loaded with rusty metal and piles of fishing nets. Everything I see is fascinating and makes me look forward to working more.

Progress on my piece is good. I am now down to less than two weeks before I finish it. I am still completely enjoying the process and find myself getting very excited about the finished work, although I am trying very, very hard to not get ahead of myself. I want the final composition to surprise me just as all this new stuff I am seeing every day surprises me. Let's just wait and see how it all reveals itself.

More pictures on Facebook and Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Progress Report

Here are week 2 progress images of my new piece. I am now working on stretchers with the fabric tacked down like canvas. I gave up my hoop as the amount of working area it provided was just too small--I realized I needed to see the entire surface as I work and was also concerned that my knots would be crushed if sandwiched in the structure of the hoop. It can be a bit awkward to stitch on this big frame, but being able to see the whole field is worth some clumsy moves. I think the more I work in this manner, the more finesse I will gain.

I'm pretty excited about where this is going.

More progress pictures on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

And Further Still

I celebrated my birthday this past weekend and what a birthday it was. I took a trip to the Westfjords, driving for hours through landscape that seemed to change every 30 minutes and weather that shifted almost as much. It felt like a dream, seeing things I have never seen before and so beautiful I don't have the words to describe them or how they made me feel.

More pictures on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.