Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In the Beginning...Mon Idee de Genie

                                                        Artist's Private Collection
                                Le Mariage Shibori Kimono in Bronze/Orchidee Grid
                                    Crepe de Chine  Handpainted and Batik Dress
                           Logo Ensemble for Le Mariage Shibori Silk Couture, 2002

Bonjour, Tous!

It's Tuesday, Tuesday, as Al Roker would say.  In my last two blogs, I have spoken my mind about getting back to Day One and my own personal creativity, as well as asking patrons for appreciative support of dedicated artists and their individual expressions.  This morning as I sat down to watch Good Morning America with a hot cup of Celestial Seasonings' Acai Mango Zinger, I mulled over a few options for the subject matter of today's blog.  I finally settled on the origin of Le Mariage Shibori Collection, formally introduced in May of 2003.  Many years in the making, I thought I would tell you how it came to be.  This is the story of my Le Mariage Shibori Collection.

I have been a painter since junior high school.  Actually, longer if you count the Smokey the Bear poster contest in elementary school when I was eight.  Loving art, naturally, I carried this love with me through high school and throughout college as a Fine Art major.  My emphasis, at university, was on drawing and painting.  I studied the typical curriculum of art history, drawing, painting and design using the accepted media of pencil, ink, oils and acrylics at that time.

Later, I studied independently, in Mendocino, California with award-winning watercolorist, Ken Michaelsen, as his apprentice using gouache (opaque watercolor) medium.  Gouache is a wondrous medium with its creamy consistency and it's invaluable property of reworking the surface as one progresses.  It was a match "made in heaven", and a saviour for an artist who likes "slow art".  A slow approach where I stay connected to the medium in a measured process.  Maybe I'll coin a new phrase, "Slow Art".  "I like it...oh, yes. I like it!"

I credit this apprenticeship with my dear friend and mentor, Ken Michaelsen, as the catapult for my entrance as a silk painter and textile artist.  After 10 years of doing wall art as a silk painter, my students cajoled, nagged, begged and quite literally pushed me into the clothing design field.  "All right. All right.  I'll do it.  Just stop with the cacophony"!  So, I studied, researched and manipulated a lot of cloth in the interim.  I locked myself in my studio for one long (and very Hot) summer...whew, three months,  and came up with the idea of combining all I had learned as a traditional painter with batik, resist silk painting and shibori techniques, in order to create a cloth with its own unique signature.  Mine.   I dubbed this cloth/technique, "Le Mariage" ... the marriage of textile and techniques.  Voila.  The birth of my Le Mariage Shibori Silk Couture Collection.  Oh, tres bon!

Okay, I had the concept.  I was discovering the cloth along the way.  Now, I needed to introduce the clothing line to the world.  So, what would be the title for the debut?  This answer was provided by my former French instructor, David Milroy (an Irishmen, no doubt).  Go figure!  When I called him and told him what I wanted, David reminded me that English does not always translate exactly into French.  I was positive that I wanted a reference to brushstrokes in the title.  I wanted something like "stroke of genius", sort of a double entendre or, "epiphany".  Ever the teacher, David explained that the translation might not sound title worthy.  We finally settled on the title of, "Mon Idee de Genie", my genius idea.  Merci, David, merci.  (I apologize to tous mon amis francais for the absence of the accent marks in the title.  They are not on my keypad.  Pardone moi.)

Will be back after a short writer's break.  C'est bon, mon amis?  D'accord.

All images, text and content copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

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