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What Summer?

September 11th, 2020

Well that was June, and this is Sept. Haven’t been anywhere—3 times to a friend’s—outside— brought our own wine—and 2 normal Dr’s visits—since March!!! Hard to paint but I have done some. Images of places where I wish I was. And one lockdown portrait!

Image of Mask
Vision of 2020

I did finish the long, dyed piece with hand twisted silk cordage – added some slow seed stitching.(10.5 x71 inches)
See detail on Fiber Page.

Image of Life/Twists and Turns
Life Takes Twists and Turns

When I first did the cordage twisting, I made some using tea bag paper and got the idea of using the paper as a support for designing stamps and printing. The result is a series of 12 works called, collectively, “Tea Bag Tales” More can be seen on my Works on Paper page. This one is titled, “Beach Dreams”.

Image of Tea Bag Tales
“Beach Dreams”

Then there is always a book needing to be done and this one uses tea bag paper – some dyed, some not – and with ink. Bound with cordage made of dandelion stems and a dandelion cordage bookmark. More images of this may be seen on My Books Page.

Image of Tea Bag Book
Tea Bag Book Spread with Book Mark

I had dried the dandelions this spring and finally got around to twisting them. Some I dyed with rusty tea, some were half dyed so the twist is half dyed and half natural. Some the twist loosened a bit up as they dried, and some I weighted as they dried to try and keep their twist, and some stayed tight as they dried on their own. I love the different personalities they have.

Image of dandelion cordage
Twisted Single Dandelion Stem

I’d only picked and dried a few stems, so I’ve used my stash and can’t wait till next spring to dry more. (I’ll probably still be here locked down…)

Each project leads to another and I feel I’m ready to begin painting in earnest (if the world doesn’t get worse and spiral me into a deeper funk.) I’ve been reading a lot and enjoying the many artist interviews appearing on social media. So wonderful to see what people are doing all over the world. As I’m locked up it really helps to see others in the same situation and how they are dealing with canceled exhibitions, workshops, and lack of travel. Don’t feel quite so isolated. A life line.

2020, so much crazy

June 28th, 2020

It’s been a while—said that before but this time—Been really hard to post things—positive things—about my work. My exhibition at Imperfect Gallery was postponed until October— hopefully. So I have piles of framed paintings etc all over—waiting. But many others have much worse interruptions to their lives.
We’ve been thankful that we mainly work from home and for our yard and garden which kept us busy and outside this spring. We are able to get food delivered or have curb side pick up and I made masks, 2 different kinds.

We voted by mail—that was a first but seems to have worked out fine. Let’s hope it’s all ok for Nov as I’m not to excited about standing in lines…And, a very nice thing happened, my photograph, “Haven” won best in Show!

Image of me with mask
On my way to mail ballot!

It’s been hard to get down to painting. I have a canvas started but it sits on my easel and stares at me! I have been able to work in fiber as it seems to be calming and I have completed several projects and have ideas for more.

The long strip of wool shown in my last post has turned into 3 long strips, each about 6.5 feet x 2 in, and each dyed with tea and iron but differently. Each strip has simple hand stitching running its length and the last two are embellished with buttons or beads. The fourth strip, (not shown here) is becoming small individual works.)

Image of long strip
Working title: “On the Surface””
Image of seconf long strip
Working title: “We can Do This”
Image of third long strip
Working Title: “We Can Dream”

I took a small online workshop with India Flint on twisting cordage out of various materials. Took awhile for my fingers to get the hang of it but finally it clicked and I had a ball with this—still am.
I had picked up a stick from the Wissahickon last summer and had soaked it in water to be able to pull the long fibers apart. This turned out to be perfect for making “wooden cordage” Next I needed some silk fabric and having none during lock down, I raided (with permission) my husband’s ties for a red and white one that he never wore and twisted that. Next up was ordering some silk on line and dyeing it with bright dyes. Some of that was twisted with the wood fibers and some just twisted with the joy of playing with the bright colors.

Image of wooden cordage
Cordage made from Wissahickon Stick
Image of cordage from silk tie
Cordage from silk tie
Image of dyed silk
Image of brightly dyed silk cordage

The red and white has been used in a project with a working title of “Life Twists and Turns”. It consists of a long dyed fabric with the cordage “couched” down it’s length as it twists and turns.

Image of process
Cordage laid out on dyed fabric, ready for couching.

I have ideas for other projects using the cordage but I really want to get back to my painting. I have been sketching-trying for every day, (the idea of a daily journal/practice of stitching didn’t work out). And, I’m exploring gouache in some small studies but my plan is get back to my easel and to explore painting places I’d rather be this summer than locked in my house. We’ll see.

Long Wool Strips

March 3rd, 2020

Started a new project with four long strips of felted wool (about 6.5’ x 2″ each) and want to apply dyes and stitches to them. I started by testing small squares with different dyes—mainly tea with iron and madder with alum. So far I’ve dyed one strip with tea and iron and it is currently drying waiting for the next step.

Image of five dye samples Image of dyed strip drying

A second strip has been left un-dyed so far and I am stitching a small area each day this month.

Image of first two days of stitching Image of of rain

The first two were mainly warm ups – getting the feel of the project—a bit of more formal embroidery followed by some straight stitching which I usually use in my work—then today it rained!

I haven’t done a daily practice like this before so it will be fun to see where it goes.

Haven

February 25th, 2020

Been super busy getting ready for my exhibition in April—paintings to frame, fiber work to be mounted, getting work photographed for catalog, mailers…….. and ideas for a few more pieces…….
Then Imperfect Gallery announced they were having an open call for a photo show and at first I was just too busy—but then I do like to support them so yesterday at the last minute I entered a piece I had hanging on the wall.

B&W photo of three rocks
Haven

Photographed back in the day before digital photography, on 2 1/4 film, “Haven” deals with family, security, love, and protection and is a silver gelatin print. Sometimes I miss the sound of running water and the smell of chemicals (which couldn’t have been good for me), as I printed. Spent a lot of time in our darkrooms.

This was originally part of my series of six photographs exhibited at the Morani Art Gallery of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1991.

Imperfect’s show runs from Feb 29, to March 21st.

Exhibition 2020

February 17th, 2020

Well, this has been a while. Holidays over and done – all good but glad to move on.

Very excited to be having an exhibition of my work at Imperfect gallery, opening April 4th at 6:00. Titled “Places and Spaces”, I’ll be showing both paintings and stitches.

Much of my work deals with time past (a “Place” or “Space” in time as well as physical location) and I like the contrast of the haunting ancientness my landscapes with the relatively short human scale of time in my fiber work. I hope to get across this duality/contrast in this show. My paintings are representative of the awe I feel of nature, how it adapts and endures —both in subjects close to home and those from my travels. My work with fibers represents memories of family and my connection to women who made things with their hands. The fiber work I’ll be showing is mainly “slow stitch”, hand work which again references time, a slowing down and contemplation.

Of course, there are unfinished works to get ready—and paintings need time to dry as I work in oils. And then there always one more idea…So that’s where I am right now, stitching, and mounting, framing, and dyeing.

And a huge shout out to Bob who is making frames for my images! How wonderful is that!

Image of Stacked picture frames Image of Frames being sprayed
Glad for a warmish Feb day for outside spraying!

Of course, new tools were needed!

Image of picture frames being joined
Frames being joined.

Fall 2019

December 11th, 2019

It’s December and Christmas is upon us—Cards are made, lights are up and gifts sent—now to concentrate of being with and enjoying family and friends and to get back to my painting—but first I wanted to make up for not posting for a while.

While in Maine this summer I worked on sketching trees and this fall they were combined with rusty bits found in Maine and Campobello. I have lots of sketches, photos, and plein air studies to inspire work from here. These rusty studies help get me going in the morning.

Image of Maine Tree sketches
Sketches mounted

Fall was busy as it always seems to be. After our trips I came home to a painting commission that was fun to work on and can’t be shown yet as it’s to be a surprise. Also began lots of work inspired by Scotland—Orkney and the Isle of Skye. First sketches and drawings and then on to paintings. I didn’t have time during our trip to draw and absorb as I wished but I do have photos as well as the images and sensations seared into me. I want to capture the sense of power and haunting timelessness I felt. I’ve just begun this series.

Image of Mountain from Elgol Beach
Evening view from Elgol

In Oct my studio was on an artist studio/house tour—that took a good bit of cleaning up and getting my work in order. So much fun to see people enjoying my work and in discussing it with them.

Image of Painting Studio Image of Work on wall
Mostly cleaned up

And, always fiber. I had purchased small bits of fleece in Orkney and spun and wove tiny tapestries with them as well as continuing to spin fleece from Flying Fiber for use in other tapestries that are in the works. When things get overwhelming, fiber work calms me down, puts things in perspective and I’m ready to go again!

Image of Yellow Handspun Yarn Image of small tapestry
Love my Fiber