I got some great news this weekend. I won an artistic excellence award at the Mid Missouri Artists Spring Show. Woot! Though I have to admit the idea of excellence in art is ridiculous. How can you measure an excellent artist? Why would you? Art is just a product of a long journey learning and relating to the world.  Slowly but surely I've come into my voice as an artist and accept my limitations. I'm no where close to excellence.

What I really liked about this show is that it allowed me to meet some artists in the area and the judge actually gave an in depth critique of our work. That so rarely happens in the art world. We are all sensitive about what we create it can be frightening. Usually a judge just presents their choices or works are rejected or accepted before they are even seen in person. I'm really interested in critiques because I need to improve my work so desperately.

Our judge was Sarah Nguyen, a professional artist and professor at the University of Central Missouri. From her I learned the importance of presentation. "To frame or not to frame" has haunted me since college. As my husband points out the presentation of the work really matters in the context of the show. Now I'm steadily working towards shadow boxes. Some other interesting ideas I need to ponder are those of scale and story telling. I've never given too much thought to story telling in my art but it's vital to keeping a viewer engaged and crafting an artist statement.

Much rumination.

Fun things that have been happening in fiber art the last couple of weeks.

I've been embroidering into this molded paper packing material that was lying around the studio. I'm trying to replicate mold and fungus. Wouldn't it just been the coolest to create my own larger scaled molded paper? Ian thinks I should paint it. Something is holding me back.

I am inspired by this bright yellow fungus that was growing on the wood chips across the street. The most amazing variety of fungus grows out there. I should really document them through the seasons and figure out what they are. It's just so fun to see what's growing next.

More progress has been on our mural:

Next week is going to be the big push to get it almost completely done. All that would be left would be the fiddly bits I would need to paint. It's gonna be so cool!

More cool stuff to come:

I'm giving a presentation on Koginzashi, a traditional Japanese counted embroidery, to the Greater Kansas City Fiber Guild on May 11th at 7pm. Check out their website for more details.

My next ikebana class at Powell Gardens will be on Saturday, June 4th from 10-12pm. Check out their website to register!

Farm Report: Things are growing! Trellising of the peas has been successful. Now I have to figure out something for the cucumbers.  I just acquired some Mexican tarragon. Now to figure out how to use it.

Reading: Grow Cook Eat A Food Lover's Guide to Vegetable Gardening by Willi Galloway

Listening to: TED Talk Art "Insightful Human Portraits made by Data" by R. Luke DuBois.

Cooking: I was grocery shopping with Bea and saw that the whole coconuts were pretty cheap. So I got one and got Bea all excited about cracking it open when Ian got home from work. It's just so fun and important to explore and learn about different foods. We had a grand old time learning how to drain out the juice and crack a coconut. Too bad it wasn't any good to eat. Maybe it was moldy? Old? Just didn't taste right. Another day.