About Me

My Photo
Albuquerque, NM, United States
I have been weaving Contemporay Fine Art Tapestries for over 20 years, raising a family in the lovely Southwest. I want to show process which usually gets a back seat to product and share the trials and tribulations as well as the joy and excitement of the creation of art out of a bunch of strings. How remarkable!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! AGAIN!!!

Is it just me or are these years going by faster and faster? But somehow my blogging gets slower and slower with far too few posts. New Year Resolution time? We all know how those go. And I think it's partly due to learning how to prioritize. Certain things( like the actual weaving of the tapestries take precedence. But now is a very slow time at my Co op gallery , where I am sitting til 5 so I've got blogging tiime. Just finished the piece below before I came for my shift and wasn;t able to cut it off in time for me to do the knot tying and braiding here so I guess blogging will suffice.

In the last year, 2013 I had a great many wonderful things happening in my tapestry career. I wove 24 tapestries but sold 29!! I got a new wonderful gallery that gave me a solo show and we had a very good story written about the show in the ABQ Journal Art Section Front Page , http://www.abqjournal.com/163751/entertainment/arts/geometry-on-tapestry.html
AND , the Gallery ( the WEYRICH  Gallery, http://www.weyrichgallery.com/ ) SOLD all the pieces that were in the article! and many more! Making it one of my best shows ever!!
Due to my participation in the BRIDGES  Art and Math exhibit in 2012, http://bridgesmathart.org/bridges-2012/2012-art-exhibition/ I was included in a slide show of the show in my favorite magazine the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN , on line version, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bridging-the-gap
AND the AMERICAN CRAFT Magazine covered this same show and I was featured both on line and in print! http://craftcouncil.org/magazine/article/number-crunchers
So all that was very exciting.  My little co op gallery made a couple sales as did my other great gallery in Madrid NM, the Tapestry Gallery. We need more people to check out how wonderful Madrid is!
AND my old gallery WEAVING SOUTHWEST has stated to carry my tapestries again!
So now that's a lot of links for you to look at and here is a look at the last Tapestry finished in the old year and will be for my solo show at the Weyrich Gallery opening Feb 1st , ( I gotta get cracking!, or weaving I should say) 
It was taken with my little phone so not such a great shot. So here is hoping that this New Year is even better than last year, as I search for the 2 new galleries I need ( Hoping for 1 in AZ and one in SFNM, fingers crossed and portfolios soon to go out) as well as a few commissions and remember I teach in my studio , ( a very unique style especially  for looms wih beater bars, and is a line by line technique instead of build up , and of course I teach beginning to advanced,( can acommodate 2 students at a time for buddy classes)so I am hoping for more students as well . And remember to check out all my recommended products on the left. These are all great and have taken me years of research to accumulate so please click and purchase from Amazon and give me a bit for my knowledge, and I will thank you in advance
1 1/2 hours to go and I can get back to the Loom!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Finally.... a new blog posting

Yes it's been way too long, fall is here and the garden is winding down. I have a lot of harvesting to do and my green chile is ready to roast! I have had an abundance of squash, and true to the 3 sisters I grew corn with them and pole beans up the corn. With my abundant asian greens mix I have eaten freah salad everyday with lots of fresh corn scraped right from the cob into the salad.
I should be getting ready to plant the winter cover crop soon to turn over for green manure.
But once again I have sheduled my self very busy. I now have 5 galleries and am here today at my Co op  gallery, Corrales Bosque Gallery, http://www.corralesbosquegallery.com/Gallery_website/Home.html. I finally had the second sale here as things have been slow and my collectors are finally getting the idea that I am here.
They sold the piece in the middle in the pic on the left and on the right is a new piece from my "Architectonic Series" with a nice KUDOS plaque that the gallery now has to celebrate their artist's accomplishments. This is for a recent article about my work in the St John's College  ( my Alma Mater)'s quarterly magazineI have also scheduled 2 solo Tapestry shows for 2014, more later on these and 1 solo show of my mixed media work , so after my shift is done it will be back to the Loom!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Happy Year of the Snake!

I do like Chinese New Year so much better than the January first one. This one is farther from the holidays, and inventory at the end of the year. And No Pressure , you can just choose to celebrate it however you want.
The Year of the Snake is starting out grand for me , as my solo show at the Weyrich Gallery here in Albuquerque opened on the first of February. Called  "Feng Shui Plus " it included both my Feng shui Series and my "Universal Language Series" ( and a few of my Architectonic and Fractured Square Series thrown in for more plus!)
It was nicely attended and had a wonderful article come out in the Albuquerque Journal's front page of the Art Section! From there we sold one before the opening and 6 more so far!
I was just starting to think that if people weren't going to buy these soon I couldn't afford to make them any more so Whew!
I am so happy with this gallery which will continue to carry my tapestries!
 My wonderful gallery in Madrid NM also came through and sold my "Aquamarine Panorama" from the fractured square series. So , all in all quite a good start.
I have begun work on the 2cd in the REDUCTION SERIES, which is about, among other things, a return to center from complicated patterning toward the simpler as well as "reducing" all the baskets of different bits of color from all the other pieces I have done for all these solo shows.
So now it's back to the loom!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy Belated New Year!

I am sooo behind in my Blogging but not in my Weaving!!!
Half of this blog entry disappeared. Murphy's law when you have an appointment to get to. But the upshot is there were many ups and downs  in 2012 .
2 galleries closed , I found 3 more. An article was cancelled I got it back and had 2 interviews and the story on my math plus show at the Tapestry gallery http://www.tapgal.com/ in madrid NM was fantastic
 In my scrambling I got a solo show Nov 23- Jan 2 2013in Santa Fe and they did a lovely article on it in the santa Fe Journal
and here is  a few of the show at Marigold Arts.













I also joined a co op Gallery in my scrambling, the Corrales Bosque Gallery http://www.corralesbosquegallery.com/Gallery_website/Home.html
Here is a pic of the gallery
See my tapestries at the back.
They are a great group of people and many I have known for years  but only see at shows so this is turning out nicely and Led to the last bit of great synchronicity of 2012! A good friend ,who I also can see more of, has her pottery studio next door to the Corralles Bosque Gallery. During conversation I said I was looking for a new gallery. She told me she was at the Weyrich Gallery http://www.weyrichgallery.com/  in ABQ and I said I might be interested. She kindly mentioned this to the Gallery owner who was also interested and the up shot is I will be showing my tapestries there AND was offered a SOLO SHOW . My show "FENG SHUI PLUS" , which will featured my Feng Shui Tapestries as well as the Math( the plus, get it?) And the Fractured squares, will open with a reception on Feb 1st 5-8;30 and run thru feb. AND there will be an article ( I'm off to an interview after I finish here) in Th ABQ Journal about the Show. I believe this gallery is a great fir as the owner is a Feng Shui practitioner as well as doing Reiki and tea ceremonies. All fun stuff!
  I did the Weems Art Fest again this year and though I didn't win my 3rd Best of Show award I did sell a lot , so it was very successful.
 Another Fun thing that happened from a 2012 experience, ( I think from the Scientific American slide show and Bridges Art/ Math Show) was that i was contacted by Princeton University Press to review a New book on Geometry and Art.I'b 1/5 of the way through it and I get paid in books!!!
Here is a recent on the loom pic of 3 little pieces for my solo show
And now I must fly to my interview, Help an apprentice on her loom at her house and then,1 more piece for my Feng shui plus Show as I go 
BACK TO THE LOOM

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy Fall!;Harvesting and getting help!

I just wanted to get in this post before September is over , so again lot's of pictures.
A summer of hard work has harvested quite a lot both in the garden and in the Tapestry Studio. Squash and cucumbers and lots of beans. I usually only plant a purple bush bean but this year I experimented with the 3 sisters idea where you plant corn with squash below and runner beans that climb the corn. It seems to have worked! I will cook these tonight.
And I even managed to plant some fall crops of Cilantro, spinach and lettuces. The corn was sweet if not abundant.
I am happy that the squashes survived the attack of the squash bugs ( oh the battles I waged) and are still producing.
So all in all  another pretty productive garden season.
I will take pictures of the now monster Heirloom tomato plant I rescued for 99 cents ,and post them next blog as they are still ripening.

In the studio there has been much productivity as well.
I  had a bit of a scare that another gallery might close, but no, just a change of management. I stuck with them and now I have what looks like a small show at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History's Gallery Store as other artists pulled out in a panic. This is a great gallery and unique in having local artists work instead of the usual gift store stuff.
They sell my Tapestries quite well and now they have given me my newest apprentice,( I'm up to 3 now though one is on hiatus as she moves into a new home)
So I am getting great help asI go into the home stretch for my solo show.
These wonderful ladies are helping me with mailings and yarn sorting as I feverishly weave away. So much to do and now a little help.
Here is the front and back of the post card for my solo show in November. Please send me your address or put it in the comments if you'd like a hard copy sent.
 I have woven 9 new tapestries for this show so far and am about to start the 4 newest ones . 4 10 inch square
pieces  that I do to test a new warp ,
( just put on another 10 yards)
This will be interesting as i haven't done this size in this Series yet.
 Please go to my facebook page on the link at the top to keep up with the progress of the remain ing pieces as i have been posting progress pictures there. These are two of the last ones;

And now it's Back to the Loom! Happy Fall!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The End ( of Summer) is Near: Or How things get away from you



Yes another summer almost gone and now I think I am managing only a post every 1 1/2 months.
Egads!

So in the interest of time economy there will be lots of pictures!!
   There is always so much more to do! But I am making sure I enjoy my garden , ( enjoy the pics) I finally grew some nice big ears of sweet corn, the sweeter for having grown it my self. And beans and squash not to mention the carrots and beets!!!
   And the tomatoes are starting to ripen. One plant I saved for 99 cents at a hardware store sale has outgrown it's large cage and the tomatoes are baseball to softball sized!!!
And I am making sure I am enjoying  my beautiful back yard and swimming in my awesome little pool ( 60laps /day ,it's a small pool but that's a 1/4 mile!)
Here is a great picture of the back yard and pool from when we were having such lovely storms, now it is back to hot and it 's all good!
 And now to work! I have been placing "In Progress "pictures on facebook . This has been a lot of fun
and please become a fan or friend and keep up with my progress getting work ready for my solo show in November. Here are a few that were posted in case you missed them. It is really fun to see them progress like this and it does server to mark and remind me of my accomplishments.
    And speaking of Accomplishments... A writer asked me for a higher resolution image of a Tapestry that was in the Bridges Art/ Math Show at Towson University Md last month.
   I had no idea she was writing for my favorite magazine Scientific American! And my pice is in the slide show of her article on the show! here is the Link http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bridging-the-gap
How cool is that!!

  For any one interested and especially Tapestry Artists there is an online Yahoo Tapestry group that they could join. I am a member and there has been an interesting thread of conversation going on about the changes in the gallery systems due to our changing economic times. This is so true but I also feel it has been true throughout my entire career as a Tapestry Artist.
    Just when you think you have all your ducks lined up , one flies away,one gets eaten by a wolf,etc, you get the picture. And then you search about like mad to find another and get it lined up and it begins again. I call it the cycle of entropy and it's this same principle that is the reason why everything only gets dirtier and messier , never cleaner , unless we add our Positive, I repeat Positive Energy to it.
     Which is why I recently joined a very nice group of Artists,(many whom I have known for years but have been too busy and needed a reason to get back in touch with) in a Co operative Gallery. It's in the beautiful Village of Coralles just North and west of ABQ. I'll be working there in September on the mornings of the 11th, 17th and 24th. So if you are that way come visit, place a commission with me or purchase something from the Gallery( I get Gallery bucks to buy other artists work, a % of my sales so come help me out, I've got my eye on a few things.Above is a picture  of my Tapestries in the Gallery! But now it is , BACK TO THE LOOM TIME!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Finally Some Rain and Progress!



   Yes, the monsoon has finally come to the desert southwest and none too soon as the garden was fading away in the heat. But now there are actual Heads of Lettuce! and here is my first thinning harvest of Carnival Carrots and Beets!
    I have taken over the management of my website which actually meant nothing gets posted. Until today! I finally have 2 new images from my May Solo Show about Mathematics up and watermarked. Oh the learning curve on these things. I hope to get a thumbnail page up for each Series as well as a Sold and Available page.Let's see. You can visit the website through the link in LINKS TAB.
I have a New solo show coming up in November. Entitled " FRACTURED SQUARES; Fine Art Tapestries of Donna Loraine Contractor" it will open November 23rd at Marigold Arts,( on Canyon Road in Santa FeNM) with a reception that day, 4-7 pm, and will run until January 2cd.


   I have been posting the progress of the pieces for this show on Facebook which really puts the passage of time into concrete reality. Here are a few of the progress photos if you haven't been following on Facebook. ( Again go to the face book tab and join the FB Fun if you haven't already).These are 4 "skinnies" which will be 63"x10" and they seem to be taking forever, they start out as selvedge (sides of a tapestry) to selvedge, but are actually all tapestry as I do 4 at a time as you can see! Photo at top was the beginning, and left is where I ended yesterday. The real tapestry fun part. These are done as I go with only a few "Rules" to guide me. No Cartoons or sketches. Oh the fun of flying by the seat of your pants!
      The way that everyday life inserts itself into one's working life, especially when you are self employed. I had multiple out of town guests, A crazy virus got me and made me think I had Meningitis and then my son got it and I had to mother him and reassure him it wasn't! But now I think the ball is rolling again ( until the next crisis?) and I hope to finish these tomorrow or Thursday.


Here is a Large Square Tapestry for the November Solo Show in progress. I hope to use it in the post card for the show.
But for now I'd better Get BACK to the LOOM!

Feng Shui Series- "Blue Water Lotus of the North"

Feng Shui Series- "Blue Water Lotus of the North"
I sold this piece on line immediately upon launching my website!