This is the archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

Weaving on the Road…

June 28th, 2018

Off to Virginia to stay with Fletcher and Cooper while their parents were away and I took my Hokett Loom, yarns and design materials. I knew the boys would have their noses in the World Cup and I would have time to indulge in weaving.

Image of a weaving studio in a bag

I pack my weaving supplies in translucent bags that all fit into a larger bag. One for my Hokett with the tray I use it on, one for a selection of yarns and one for little bits of equipment. My design supplies go in a small shoulder bag with watercolors, sketchbooks etc. With these two bags I could set up a little studio space and was set!

Image of my temporary studio Image of when I ran out of black yarn

Got out my sketchbook and watercolors and came up with my design. I’ve been sketching trees and leaves lately so decided on stylized leaves. Next to warp my little loom and prepare my weft yarns. I did bring the little spinner thing that I got from Rebecca Mezoff to un ply my Harrisville yarns. BUT… my design called for black and I forgot that while I needed to un ply the blue and green yarn, I needed to double the black and didn’t bring enough… You can see where I ran out of black yarn in the image above!!! Always something!!!!

Image of finished weaving

I did have more black at home and was able to finish!!! So all is well with one part of my world, at least…

First Real Tapestry

March 22nd, 2018

Well, I’ve taken the little looms class and attended the little looms workshop in the mountains of Colorado- both with Rebecca Mezoff. I’ve done a number of small tapestries on my Hokett looms and felt I knew what I was doing enough to sign up for the Unjuried Small Format Tapestry Exhibition through the American Tapestry Alliance. I worked on my design, did some samples on my 8 epi Hokett and ordered yarns from Harrisville. I thought I had simplified my design and thought Harrisville would be good as I do know I’m a beginner. WELL, the real world works to keep me humble. I still like my design, but should have explored more ways to do the veins in the leaves. There are slits all over the place to the point of making it unstable. I’ll try stitching them but…

Anyway, here’s my process – I do still like my design and will rework it after I pick my self up… I may do a series – I like the simple concept of friendship and nature. I call this one, “Have a Cup of Tea with Me”.

Image of inspiration Image of Harrisville Yarns

I had a watercolor sketch that I had done of leaves in a jar and liked it’s spring like quality and colors. I selected my colors based on it and ordered them – it was exciting when they arrived!!! Much of my work is with low chroma colors so these bright hues were a big deal for me!

Image of sketches Image of color sketch Image of final drawing

I knew the watercolor was beyond my abilities as this was my first real tapestry so I redrew it, cropping in and eventually cropped in a lot more. I wanted this to be a friendly, cosy, spring like design, so the jar changed to the suggestion of a cup of tea. I then scanned the color sketch and redrew it in Illustrator to flatten it and to simplify it even more. Once sized, that became my cartoon.

Image of sample Image of second sample Image of sample 3

I made samples. First, testing how yarns could mix to extend the colors I have, then adjusting the values of the greens to get the feeling of the tea cup under the leaves and finally exploring various angles I could achieve. I considered weaving this side ways, and perhaps I should have but I thought I could get away with a vertical design as I wanted the texture to be vertical and not horizontal.

Image of the start of weaving Image of color sketch

Finally I got started. I had warped my new loom when I got it to make sure I understood how. I didn’t use the shedding device as I used my fingers and it doesn’t seem to make a very large shed anyway. Also when I attached the cartoon to the back it made the shedding device unusable. I attached it with some bag clips from my kitchen – need to research how others do this. I re did section after section as I began to understand how the weft packed down – think I might be packing too hard??? My main problem was the vein lines in the leaves. My original design didn’t have them but I felt they were important to describe the leaves. I tried different blues (limited to the blues I have) and eccentric lines, and wrapping a single warp yarn. I ended up using anything that seemed to work – resulting is a fabric with too many slits. I thought I could stitch the slits but there is a problem with the wrapped warps – perhaps if I had stitched as I went along…but I didn’t. When it lies flat the problem doesn’t show but when I took it off the loom…

Image of final drawing
So, I have a lot to learn and I learned a lot.

Bark Park

February 15th, 2018

Working on a tapestry design of tree branches and spent the morning at Morris Arboretum sketching trees. Came across an area I didn’t know about called a Bark Park.

Image of Bark Park sign

Had to take time from my sketching and shoot these wonderful textures.

Image of Tall Stewartia Bark Image of Paperbark Maple Bark

Image of Bark Image of Kaizuka Chinese Juniper Bark

Poem

January 15th, 2018

Took a poetry workshop this past weekend at Woodmere Art Museum with Ursula Rucker.
Never studied writing or poetry (since high school and…) and want to incorporate words in my work, this sounded interesting as a good place to start—and it was! Small group—5 plus Ursula. We listened to music and just wrote what came to us…several of the women had written poems before and their work off the top of their head was so strong. Mine responded to the rhythm of the music and perhaps where my life is right now.

Image of my writing journal

WE CAN DO THIS …

Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run;
Everywhere — up/down, here/there;
STOP!

Think—what/why/when,
You/me/them/us/all;
Sway—
TOGETHER

Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance,
Round and round and round and round.
Still a pluse—still hanging on
STOP!
Then start again

Look, Look, Look;
See that, see this -Look, look – LOOK
Closer and closer
I see you. Do you see me?

Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run;
We can run
TOGETHER;
Take my hand—Run, Run, Run;
This way, that way—over and over and over;
Is there anything else?
Life goes on —the world still turns – who knows why
I don’t. BUT, I’m glad you’re here!

Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run;
Together, step outside the race,
Slow down and Dance, Dance, Dance!

Joy in darkness when you are with me—I am not alone—hold my hand—in the dark/in the light;
I am strong —you are too —we are strong—all are strong —we can do this
TOGETHER
Circles, Circles, Circles – Round and Round and Round—all of us
TOGETHER

Night/Day, Night/Day—Work/Play, Work,/Play
Sleep/Love, Sleep/Love —Think/Feel, Think/Feel
All of it—LIFE

Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run;
In this world and the next
Run, Run, Run, Run, REST/Enjoy—REST/Enjoy
Run, Run, Run, Run, Run, Run;
All the world —TOGETHER!

Needs work but I had fun. Thanks, Ursula, for opening a door!

Rotator Drawings

November 18th, 2017

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!

Image of MRI Image of MRI Image MRI

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…

Image of MRI study Image of Studies of my shoulder
Image abstract MRI study

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!

Moments of Wonder

October 29th, 2017

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.]

Image of twisted bark Image of rocks with greens and purples. Image of curved rocks

Image of bright orange bark Image of torn bark. Image of textured Bark

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.