Tuesday, March 4, 2008

37 today

37 is a good number. I remember promising myself not to be a misery guts about my birthdays as I get older. It's annoying how pissy people get when you ask them their age, especially older women. Like it's rude to know the truth. So today when people asked, I told them and I am happy to be 37. I could be dead. I could be 97. I could be a whole host of things. I have earned the right to enjoy being 37. It's like when skinny people get with me and moan about their weight. Hello, standing next to an 'apple shape' (thanks Trinny and Susannah), a woman who was last a size 12 when she was actually 12, years old that is.

So with my husband away, what do I do. I choose to be positive and wake in a good if not somewhat tired mood. My youngest stuck his head in the room and wished me a happy birthday on the way to turning on the cartoons. My eldest did it later when he heard me talking about my birthday.

One of the best bits of today was when my friend Dagmar came into my class with a banana cake that she made for me today. I am also now the proud recipient of a Dagmar Dyck limited edition print.

Dagmar Dyck is an artist at a whole other level. She is an amazing New Zealand / Tongan / German artist, has been there and got the t-shirt. She is quietly humble. I didn't even know who she really was when I first me her. We were friends before I knew that she was one of the top artists in this country.

I wept, I felt so loved by Dagmar's kindness and thoughtfulness. I have longed for one of her prints but more importantly our friendship is growing from strength to strength. I admire her gracious nature and quiet strength. She works hard and knows what she is about. She is a fantastic mum, wife and woman. Her works are so special. And the philosophy behind them is inspirational. Her work is very contemporary and will remain so, even though we are 12 years on from when she first started screen printing. And in her very busy life, she managed to squeeze out a homemade cake for me and the textile girls to celebrate with.

My dear friend Dagmar and the amazing gift I received. I think I swore when she handed it over, I was sooo blown away. Thanks my friend, you made my day.

Furthermore, I had textiles 3D today, and honestly, couldn't think of being anywhere different. I love making art. Today I used some of my dyed silk velvet (onion skins and railway bolts made a gorgeous deep olive green), shibori stitched it with silk thread (dyed with harakeke/flax flowers) and then nuno felted it onto wool. The result is this delicious textured crinkly fabric. Mine will go into my samples workbook. I also got my images on my screen today for screenprinting on Thursday. Yay, my very own printed material, coming up. I can't wait to do gorgeous things with it.

Being first year on the degree programme means I have some freedom to explore techniques and materials. Next semester I will no doubt start to cement the conceptual part of my work. But for now it's play, play, play.

My tutor demonstrates a shibori technique for me.

The stitched piece prior to felting it and below are the results. Can you see all the puckered velvet effects. The silk shines and the fabric picks up the light on the high points, and is dark in the folds. So I sewed the velvet onto the pre-felt which I then put under hot water to shrink creating the shibori effect.

Finally a walk along the beach. The smallest one was too busy throwing rocks and sand . My big boy took these shots. I like getting my kids behind the lens. He got some good shots in. I was positioned wrong, with the sun to my left. Still can you see how still the sea was behind me, the water was crystal clear. Only a handful of buttons today, maybe 10 found mostly by my eldest son. I found 4 golf balls and a pair of sunglasses. Dior anyone??? This is honestly how I walk along a beach. A car would drive into me before I knew it, because I rarely look up except to locate the kids and see if they are ok. And I walk really really really slow. Does anyone else understand this. Anyway, how else would I find buttons on the beach?
I hope these two will be this close all their lives. May it be so I pray...
Mount Whitireia at the other end of the beach. The boys pose for their mum at the spot where all the mysterious buttons keep turning up.
Finally, I found these funny metal things. I left the net there. I have been wanting to make some baskets with fibres and these already have the bowl shape form. They must be someone's but whose? They were just lying there by the rubbish bin, so ... I took them. My bad? No one was around and they didn't look like they belonged to anyone. And someone will take them, so why not me? Funny, now i feel guilty? But it looked like someone had chucked them out. Oh well, if these are yours, sorry. Being an artist has made me something of an opportunist.
Ok, so this is what 37 looks like. I will rejoice and be glad in it. I bet when I am 47, I'll be wishing I looked just like I did today. Me wearing favourite Pounamu, crystals, black pearl and silver amulet necklace from Mum and my other other favourite red bead earrings from Althea And Jeremy Wolf of the Umatilla People.

Thank you for the many many warm wishes and birthday greetings I received today. I came home to full inboxes in both my accounts. Thank you for your support and awhi. Arohanui. Rachelle


ArtPropelled said...

Wasn't sure what day your birthday was on so even though I wished you a few days ago, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, again Rachelle. Lovely photos of you on the beach. Gathering beach treasures is such a soothing pastime isn't it? I can imagine how thrilled you must be with the beautiful print your friend gave you. And how lucky are we bloggers to get to see it too!Thanks once again for all the interesting bits and pieces you share with us.

Richard said...

Hi gorgeous, so was that opportunist or "thief"? Anyways, happy birthday, after reading your blog I feel homesick now, lucky I'm coming home tonight!!! See you guys soon. Rich.

showyourworkings said...

Oh Happy Birthday! Lovely to see you tonight. - Helen

Lynn Cohen said...

Ohmygoodness you have hooked me.
First, Happy Birthday! Yes, you will look back at this photo one day and say oh I wish I looked like that again. I do that now past my 66th BD.
I went on to enjoy your art work, your children, your whole family, your bravery at watching children on rock climbing walls and skate boarding, fun puppet show with only one puppet...and on and on and on. Delightful stuff. Happy to meet you! Fun to visit New Zealand!