Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

Migrating to My New Blog Site Today

November 6, 2011

New Combined Blog and Website

My newly designed blog and website are now “live”, so this will be my final post on this blog site.

My new blog address is:

Please join me at my new blog site here  for my future posts.

For Subscribers of this Blog

Those of you that are subscribed via your email address, you don’t need to do anything.  We have migrated your subscription information to the new site, so you should continue to receive my blog posts in your email inboxes.  I plan to publish my first post from my new blog site sometime this week, so look for that in your inbox.

For those of you that are subscribed to this blog via RSS feed reader, here is the new feed link for my blog:

I am excited for this next “2.o” version of my online presence and hope that you will all join me over at the new site so we can continue to connect through cyber space!


My Fabric Stack(s)

October 11, 2011

My hand-dyed fabric stacks

An Informal Fabric Stack Project

Last week on her blog, artist Lisa Call had a fun idea – have each of us that has stacks of fabric take photos of our stacks and post them on our blogs and then add a comment on her blog, so that we can all go enjoy looking at each other’s colorful stacks.

This idea sprung as a tangent of another similar project – the Paper Stack Challenge – that Seth Apter of The Altered Page posted on his blog.

The idea in either case is that multiple artists will post photos of their own “stacks” on their own blogs, and then add a link in the comments section of either Lisa’s post (if fabric artist) or Seth’s post (if paper artist), so that everyone can check out all the cool “stacks” we’ve all got.

One of my racks of fabric.

Yes, I’m a Fabric Junkie!

But really, what textile artist isn’t?  Ok, some of us are worse than others.  I currently have a (spouse-imposed!) limit of 4 (oops, make that 3) racks of fabric.  Actually, the limit is for my own good and I need these boundaries, otherwise, well, my studio would likely become over run with fabric and I’d be so overwhelmed I’d never get anything done.

Another of my fabric racks.

I’ve acquired quite a stash in the few years I’ve been working in textiles and I do weed through it on occasion and donate some of it to charitable causes.  I’m working mostly with my own hand-dyed fabrics these days, so some of those commercial fabrics I found at thrift stores don’t quite have the same appeal now that they did back when I first acquired them and I know others will put them to good use.

A mini stack - a textile painting waiting to happen.

And sometimes it’s just necessary to let go of the old to make room for the new!

If you have a stack you’d like to share, please do join in the Informal Fabric Stack Project on Lisa’s blog.

Start Where You Are

May 6, 2011

"Along The Way" (detail) ©Ayn Hanna 45"x18", Textile painting (discharged whole cloth cotton, cotton batting, cotton thread)

It’s been over a month since my last post, a rather long unplanned blog break.  Huge changes taking place, and I’ve been thinking a lot – about cycles and circles and changes, completion and initiation, deadlines and milestones, and resistance.  So much happening and yet, I’ve had no words, no way to approach blogging about any of it.

Every time I’ve thought about writing a post, I didn’t know where to start.  With too much going on, I’ve been  stymied with trying to find an entry point to talk about it all.  I finally realized I don’t need to cover it all.  And – with credit to Pema Chodron’s words/book – I got up the gumption to just start where I am.

Working on "Along the Way"

So, I’ve been swimming in thought, and working long hours, juggling yet another change in role and manager in my day job (4th one in less than a year now), and cherishing the time I get in my studio, where I have several pieces in progress.  Feeling a need for some resolution/completion (and needing to meet some show deadlines), I’ve finished a couple pieces (Along the Way, detail above, is one of them).

Circles and cycles and change.  No beginnings and endings, rather an unfoldment of new desires.  In this past month, 2 important souls in my life have made their transitions.  A Patriarch and a Matriarch, 99 and 102 years young respectively, both such kind, loving, and wonderful artists, loved and missed by many.  And mostly there is stillness, words seem  so insignificant.

Me at work in the studio, along with some of the works I have in progress.

And so I’ve been working.  April marked my 1 year anniversary for my blog, and my completion of my SHIFT-IT Graphic Coaching Certification.  Major milestones achieved. And now the unfoldment continues, as I launch and align with new desires.  The beauty of this circle of life – there is no end, and we’re never done becoming.

My Earliest Self Portrait

November 16, 2010

I haven’t made many self portraits lately, but I did make several of them during my art school days.

"Self Portrait with Apron" © 1990 Ayn Hanna, 60" x 48", mixed media

The image above is a large mixed media self portrait drawing I did in grad school. I spent so many hours every day in the print studio back then wearing my printmaker’s apron that I decided to incorporate the actual apron itself into this drawing, gluing it directly to the paper surface.

I recently attended Nicola  Jarvis‘ visiting artist’s lecture at the CSU Fibers Department.  Nicola is an artist and deputy course leader at Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, England.  She is a master of embroidery stitching and presented many wonderful examples of her students’ work as well as shared many stories and images of her own work.

While having moved on to other subject matter now, earlier in her career Nicola spent ~20 years focused on doing self portraits, and some of her work has been focused on her early childhood.

Listening to Nicola’s stories and seeing some of her self portraits led me to reminiscing a bit about the self portraits I have made, and thinking about the earliest self portrait that I can remember doing.

Thanks to my wonderful Mom, who saved just about every piece of art I ever made as a kid and can still find the whole lot of them (it’s nice to feel so loved!), I do have a copy of the earliest self portrait I can remember making.

"Self Portrait" © Ayn Hanna, ink on paper

I believe this portrait was from my early Jr. high school days and vaguely remember that our teacher’s instructions were to draw a picture of ourselves and then underneath it, we were to make 2 columns and write lists of the personality traits we felt we had that were “Great” on the left and the traits we felt we “Needed to Work on Improving” on the right.  (Hmmm, now wouldn’t that be a fun exercise to do with our family, friends, or co-workers?  We could probably learn a lot about how those that we interact with see themselves….)

For this exercise, we had to draw ourselves from memory, sitting at our desks in the classroom….no mirrors available to be able to draw from direct observation.  I remember closing my eyes and trying to visualize that image of myself I’d see in the bathroom mirror every morning.  I also remember being really conscious about having lots of freckles – so those are freckles not chicken pox on my portrait.  And according to my lists, looks like I’ve always been a fierce competitor and tired since about age 13.

How about you?  Do you remember your first self portrait?  Do you still have it?  What memories do you have about the first time you drew yourself?

Hand Stitching a New Wall Drawing

November 4, 2010

"Wall Drawing#3" ©2010 Ayn Hanna, 18" x 17.5", Textile Painting (cotton & velvet fabrics, fabric paint, cotton embroidery threads)

I started this latest piece from the Wall Drawing series during a Leslie Gabrielse workshop in September.  I first posted some thoughts from this workshop experience here.

While the subject matter and imagery are familiar, the construction methods were all new to me – this piece was completely done by hand by collaging and overlapping pieces of fabric and pinning them together, adding some paint with stencils and then hand-stitching the layers together, adding texture with a variety of hand-embroidery stitches.

"Wall Drawing #3"(detail) ©2010 Ayn Hanna

I’ve always admired hand-stitched work, especially for the texture and line quality that you just can’t achieve through any other stitching methods, and for the low tech human-ness present in every piece.  But I never really knew much about it.

Watching Leslie conduct the needle and thread across the fabric surfaces and seeing the magic of the thread drawn marks was all it took to really hook me into this process.  I like the slowed down speed of creating with hand stitching – it’s a meditative, rhythmic, thoughtful process, something soothing to look forward to doing a little bit of every day.  It’s good thinking time.

"Wall Drawing #3" (detail) ©2010 Ayn Hanna

Wall Drawing #3 was completed with no deadlines, just playing and having fun.  I learned and practiced a few of the many embroidery stitches – running, blanket, cross hatch, seed, back, and French knot.

I’ve found a new repetitive meditative way to create, a process that allows easy connection to one’s quiet thoughts and feelings, and generates new work by drawing, with thread.

"Wall Drawing #3" (detail) ©2010 Ayn Hanna

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