Sunday, September 15, 2019

Memories of Summer

The lingering memory of summer this year is of blistering heat waves of over 100° F./40° C. that kept me glued to the A/C.

And yet, my small sketchbook reminds me that there were many wonderful moments with family and friends. Leila Hejaiej, a singer of classical Tunisian music, gave an excellent concert in Tunis. 

I sketched the musicians in her the dark.  

Then we spent the 4th of July in Korba (a beach town on the Mediterranean) 

and attended a graduation celebration with local musicians. 

The high point of the summer was a week in Lisbon, Portugal at a beautiful hotel that has a statue of San Marcos in the entry

The hotel breakfast was royal. 


The parks and museums were lovely.                

And of course, the restaurants were excellent--wonderful food. 

I'm glad I keep my sketchbook handy, or I might have forgotten what a good summer it was. 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The "My Garden" Series, 1

Trying to decide what to include in my new Instragram account, I have been reflecting upon the body of work I have created for nearly thirty years. 
Fruits from My Garden" 1996, 25"x34.5"/64cmx87cm, machine pieced,
appliquéd, embroidered and quilted.

My first thought: I do not create my art to make a living. I create my art to live, which allows me to invest as much time as necessary on each piece (frequently months, often years). I am unable to assign a monetary value to any of my work because each one is priceless to me, each one is a part of me, an extension, an expression of my inner being and the environment I live in.

My second thought: I tend to work big although there are smaller pieces along the way as well. The larger format allows for an expansion of ideas that other materials, such as paper or canvas, cannot accommodate.
"Oranges from My Garden" 1996, 43"x38"/1m09x96cm, machine
appliquéd, pieced, embroidered, and quilted.

My third thought: I work in thematic series that extent over decades. It seems to me that now is a good time to consider these strands of thought and how they have developed.

The "My Garden" series began when we moved to a rural region outside of Tunis (now just another suburb) and we had a huge garden to create. 

Many artists have noted the intense light and colors of Tunisia, which influence my vision. 
"Geraniums From My Garden" 1998, 42"x52.5"/1m07x1m33, machine pieced, appliquéd and quilted.

And for a long time, my small Singer sewing machine was my best friend, as recorded in one of my journals.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Coming Up for Air

Yes, I know, I've been MIA. The citrus groves require attention and keep me physically fit. Retirement? What's that?  

The "little" people are visiting for the summer, but, funny thing, they are no longer "little." Lovely, and rapidly becoming adults, my granddaughters can now look me in the eye--how did this happen?

Sign on my desk:

A number of large master works cry out to be finished, with some urgency since each one may take several years to finish. Will my hands and eyes hold up long enough?...

And so, listening to the whispers swirling around my studio, I've been stitching. Finally, The Pomegranate Tree (My Garden Series) is finished. It began as a branch I sketched onto fabric in November 2011. One sketch led to another...

It grew into a large tree (75" x 64"/1m92 x 1m62) with a mix of hand and machine work in piecing, appliqué, embroidery, and quilting.

And this is why my favorite art materials are fabric and thread.
Ahhhhh, the wonders of my garden...

PS: I have just opened an Instagram account at NadiaMamelouk. The younger generation keeps telling me that nobody blogs anymore (sigh). Any thoughts? I'd like to hear your opinion.