When I fell on my face this summer in Colorado while hiking I concentrated on my sorry, sad bruised face and iced my wrenched shoulder. Well, perhaps I should have paid more attention to my sorry, sad shoulder because an MRI finally showed I have “complete-full thickness tears” of almost anything I could tear and they have retracted! Plus other wear and tear… Luckily, I have a lot of movement but unluckily not a lot of strength – so lots of PT, sexy black tape on my arms and learning how to deal… Again, when I angst about things I draw them. So… I got hold of my MRI files and printed them out – another learning event as I’m a mac person and these only open on a pc – but I found a wonderful instructor at school to bring me up to speed and I’ve printed some slices out.
Now I’m studying them, sketching them, researching tendons and the like and starting to draw them. I’m now friendly with words like supraspinatus, infraspinatus and glenoid neck… and lots more. Not my idea of fun!
Like anything I draw I begin by doing factual drawings to understand the subject – then I can move on from there. I explore various media – so far I have worked with charcoal, watercolor, and oil pastel. Here are some of my first attempts at owning my shoulder! There will be more – perhaps even a small tapestry… perhaps…
Oh, and I also sing in the shower to my shoulder about how we’re going to get through this… but that’s another story!
Only three classes left in my drawing class this semester! WOW – how did that happen?
One of the great things about having a cell phone is that a camera is always with me. Perhaps not as versatile as my regular camera with it’s interchangeable lenses but the important thing is that it’s there. Whenever I’m walking or wandering about and see amazing pattern or colors I can take them home with me and they end up in my work. Lots of times we might be on a road trip or other planned event and I take my camera and sometimes images happen and sometimes they don’t but my cell is always with me capturing serendipitous unplanned moments of wonder. Here are a few from this summer. Some from Colorado, some from New England, some from walks in the Wissahickon here at home in Philadelphia.
[Click image for larger view.]
The textures and colors can keep me busy sketching and drawing for days, weeks, and much longer as my head swims with ideas for paint and fiber translations.
Finally finished my second tapestry from the Rebecca Mezoff Colorado Workshop. We were working inspiration from our mountain experiences and I had fallen at (I later discovered) “Old Gulch Overlook” taking a picture of mountains – teach me to not pay attention to where I was going… and made a one point landing on my cheek. Not pretty! I wore dark glasses most of the time but one can’t weave with dark glasses on…My fellow workshop weavers had the brunt of the fall as they had to look at the dreadful bruise that over took half my face – I didn’t feel it until I would pass a mirror and then…. So this weaving is a thank you to them for making me feel comfortable.
It was a wonderful workshop! Beautiful location, terrific new friends, and I learned so much! Thank you Rebecca!
Each year Imperfect Gallery has an all Germantown group exhibition. I love this gallery and the way it supports the local arts! This is my entry this year. It is of the bridge at Valley Green in the Wissahickon.
It is part of a series called “Bridges not Barriers”!
The series explores how the bridges allow us to overcome obstacles yet become part of the environment themselves.
All this work with tapestry got me thinking of some of the great tapestries I’ve seen.
The Unicorn Tapestries (1500’s) at the Cloisters in NY
The Apocalypse Tapestry from the 1300’s in Angers, France
The Lady and the Unicorn (1500’s) at the Cluny in Paris. Found a wonderful video here.
My first experience with the Unicorn Tapestries in NY was one hot summer day many years ago back when I knew nothing about tapestries. A friend said he had a surprise and we got on the NY Subway in mid town and headed north. I had no idea where we were going and the train was hot and miserable. We traveled what seemed like forever and then got off and had to take an elevator up and up and up.I thought we must have reached hell it’s self but when we arrived we were outside the Cloisters – it was breezy and delightful! Trees and flowers – then we went into the museum and I was blown away!
The other two were on a trip to France to meet my son who was studying in Strausbourg. We got there a week early and went on a bit of a tapestry tour. By now I had studied textile history with Sigred Wetlge who made the subject magical and I was a weaver. We first saw the non tapestry Bayeux Tapestry. Nothing prepared me for the length of this work – it’s condition and wonderful graphic stitchery!
Pages from a very old sketchbook!
The Apocalypse Tapestry is known as a Tapestry with no back – the back is as clean as the front! Images of destruction and mayhem – interspersed with little bunnies that run into holes in one tapestry and climb out several tapestries later. And, the fact that records show when it was commissioned 1373, and by whom amazes me!
And the Lady and the Unicorn is pure poetry!