Sunday, July 24, 2011

It’s been a wonderful morning


Todd Camplin, a friend and fellow graduate of the University of North Texas MFA program, wrote a wonderful blog post about my work this morning. See it here. Todd’s artwork consists of the most amazing ink on paper drawings of abstracted text. He is also doing some wonderful work in digital prints. Highly recommended.

Also, I got a wonderful mention by Mary Stone Lamb on Facebook. Mary taught for a year at UNT, my first year as an adjunct. She is happily retired now, enjoying her life, family and friends.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a post but I have updated images in the tabs section of this blog. There is new work that I’ve completed in the last two years. I’ve also been busy completing a commission and exploring some new ideas in taking my work dimensionally. I’d love to hear from you, comments are always welcome!


Fragments 2; 6” x 6”; 2011; leather, thread, wool and industrial felt


Cross Section X; 12” x 12”; 2011; thread, industrial felt


Modern Geometry 2; 12” x 12”; 2011; thread, industrial felt

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New large work 5-2010

I've been working with industrial felt for four years now. I'm still in love with the material and am obsessed with working white on white. All of my stitching is done free motion – I do this so I can change the way the stitch looks for each artwork depending upon my intent. This is a second large, 72" x 18", artwork, illustrating the composing properties of the human spine.

As an artist who works with a very tactile material, I’m drawn to the physical properties of my chosen substrate. I am attracted to options such as creating form and rendering the material rigid by carving and incising a line using a sewing machine. Once this line is rendered, the mark is permanent. I see a relationship between the physicality of these marks and manipulations and the human spine. Comprised of bone, fibrous cartilage, nerves and ligaments, we are able to stand upright yet bend and contort. I ask myself if this enough of a reason to explore the manipulation of this material? I’m like the ultimate explorer – I sit down and listen to the artwork; render, discard, re-use, accept and finally move forward. To that end, I’m a specialist in regards to the handling of the material and an explorer moving toward the outcome of the relationship.
 MassII_detail2_webMass II (and details); industrial felt, thread; 72" x 18"; 2010

© Rebecca Howdeshell 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

New work 4-5-2010

I've been working larger as I have a very specific vision of how this work will hang and interact. At issue has been trying to get it photographed. I would classify this artwork as relief due to the intense stitching which distorts the felt and introduces interesting shadow lines. Unfortunately that very thing causes havoc with trying to light it for a good photograph.
This particular photograph turned out pretty well. In the details you can see some of the overlapping stitching which gives it dimension and interest. In the overall, you can tell where the artwork is bending because it isn't lit as well. My solution to this problem and part of my overall vision is to increase the relief and dimension on the surface so it practically screams to be noticed.
This artwork is 72" x 18" and is thread on industrial felt.



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New small work

I've been making some smaller work that will hang together as a series. This is an example of work in a series called "Spine Slice." The artwork is 6" x 6" and is mounted on a cradled board.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Current Artwork

Density; 24" x 24" thread and paper on industrial felt; 2009
Density (detail)

Felt - simple and complex


Calm I; 19.5" x 15"; thread on industrial felt; 2008



Carved and Twisted I (left); 20" x 15"; thread on unprocessed wool; 2008; Carved and Twisted II (right); 40" x 13"; thread on unprocessed wool; 2008

These images represent the journey of contrasting styles of my felt artwork. On one hand, I love the simple stitched lines and the resulting "spine" emulating a book. I also love the texture of folding, smashing, rolling then stitching of the second two pieces. On reflection, I think they both convey conceptually, one takes more time to process and the second two evoke a more immediate reaction.

Felt Artwork

howdeshell_spine2_detail_bloghowdeshell_spine2_blogSpine II; 42" x 18"; thread on unprocessed wool; 2008; and detail above


Postcard from MFA Solo Exhibition with detail of Spine II


Untitled; 35" x 15"; thread on industrial felt; 2008