Fiber Keeps me Sane

October 28th, 2018

This week the world has gone to the dark side or so it seems. So much hate and violence, fanned by those who should unify and comfort and put a stop to this. I can’t paint at a time like this with angry/sad thoughts racing through my mind. But the slowness of stitching, its zen like calming, focus on the task at hand—that’s where I burrow in and find some sanity.

This project has been in the works for a long time—first as the long green warp woven with Theo Moorman’s Technique. Much of it involved squares. Now it’s cut apart and I’m embellishing the squares to bring out their personalities—woven portraits of time and space.

It doesn’t fix the world but it allows me to gather the strength to live in it.

Image of Embelished Squares
Here’s a selection waiting to be finished and framed.
Some might still be worked on – they let me know.

Campobello and Quoddy

September 25th, 2018

After a day of regrouping and lazing about (I did do my little tapestry as well as some nature prints to record our time – can’t slow down in one day… after that we headed out early to Canada and Campobello Island—nice lunch and then walks on the beach, photographing rocks and seaweed.

Image of Campobello shoreline Image of Seaweed Image of rocks
Campobello Island.

The next day we headed to Maine’s Quoddy State Park. We’ve done the light House and really wanted to hike in the forest along the coast again. Much is high above the water, some closer and some through the forest it’s self.

Image of clif view Image of ocean view Image of rocks
Quoddy State Park.

Was glad to have our hiking siticks as there was lots of elevation changes as well as some muddy spots. But every where you looked there was something to enjoy and want to bring home to work with on long winter evenings…

Image of orange rocks Image of mushroom Image of the forest floor
Quoddy State Park.

All good things end and the next day found us 12 hours on the road heading south… not the plan but how it ended up – by the time you hit NJ you want your own bed…

Machiasport ME

September 21st, 2018

After the intense art retreat in VT, I really needed some down time before heading home. We headed for a place we have stayed before in Machiasport, ME—all the way at the end of the peninsula—the road ends in the driveway—high enough to see over the trees to the ocean but with a magical path down to it’s own beach. We stopped in Machias at the Hannaford to buy groceries and made it in time for wine on the deck as the sun set. Let the unwinding begin!

Image of Maine trees and water Image of deck chairs
View from the deck.

The next day was misty and over cast – perfect to laze about in, but we did take a short run back up the road to Jasper Beach.

Image of Jasper Beach in the mist
Jasper Beach.

I always think the ocean gives you gifts, you just have to look and this day was no exception. Bits of seaweed, sticks and feathers, lichen and of course those Jasper Beach stones!

Image of found seaweed and stones on Jasper Beach Image of found seaweed and stones
Jasper Beach closeup and my new treasures.

Back at the house I used the small bit of wood as a tiny loom and wove a tiny tapestry to commemorate our visit.

Image of a tiny tapestry
Jasper Beach Tapestry.

The next few days were sunny and we headed to Campobello in Canada (Important rule – always travel with your passport!) and to Maine’s Quoddy State Park for days of hiking, photographing, and just being! That’s another post…

Painting Workshop – Painting Boot camp!

September 18th, 2018

Haven’t posted in a while – summer got pretty busy. Mid August I went to VT to study with Susan Abbott. Her “Vermont Landscape Painting Retreat” was pretty much Art Boot Camp! Learned a lot, met wonderful people and was wrung out! Each day consisted of lectures and demos, slides and exercises, and lots of plein air painting. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget to mention the wonderful lunches every day!

Image of Susan Abbott Image of Susan's garden
Susan demonstrating in her garden.

Home base was Susan’s airy studio which she had turned into a class room. We started at 9:00 but could get there early to set up – I shot the photo below before students arrived as once we started there was no time… My work space was on the left with the red cup… Susan has a huge library of art books that were available to us. Here are shelves with her sketchbooks. I do love to see other artist’s sketchbooks.

Image of classroom Image of sketchbooks
So much to take in!

We visited gardens and farms, beautiful VT homes, meadows and mountains—each day a visual treat laid out for us to paint.
One of our plein air sites was the home, studio and pond of artist, Adelaide Tyrol. I worked with the group of trees at one end of the pond. We spent two sessions here.

Image of pond Image of Painting of pond
Adelaide’s pond and my painting.

Bob came with me and after dropping me off in the mornings he went off and did train things… He’d pick me up at 5:00, we’d grab a bite to eat and I’d be back at 8:30. After a week of this we headed to Maine for a few days to unwind. That will be my next post!

Sweet Gum Prints

July 23rd, 2018

Spent the afternoon a few weeks ago in the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. Didn’t have a lot of time but we walked around, some photography and I collected leaves of Sweetgum Trees. I love their long pointy shapes and when I got home I made this little book of leaf prints.

Image of book with Sweetgum prints

I haven’t made the cover yet but I’m thinking of a series of leaf books from travels this summer. We’ll see…

In the mean time I did make a sketch book from watercolor paper… and did start working in it. Small sketch of hostas in our back garden.

Image of my sketchbook Image of sketchbook

A simple cardboard cover, closed with a rubber band, with accordion pages of Archers Watercolor paper. My plan is for the simple cover to contrast with a plethora of sketches inside. This is a start.

Preparing Painting Surfaces

July 18th, 2018

Spent part of this afternoon preparing painting surfaces for week long painting workshop I’ll be attending in August with Susan Abbott in VT. I’m excited about this work shop as I’ve wanted to study with her for a while now but the timing never worked out.

Image of canvas with start of a light ground Image of finished ground

First I made sure I have wet canvas carriers for the boards and canvases I plan to take. Can’t carry wet paintings home in the back of a packed car… Once that was settled, Burnt Sienna paint thinned with solvent was applied to the surface which was then rubbed with a soft rag, leaving this light toning as a starting background. Previously I’ve applied a med grey opaque layer of paint when I wanted to not start with a glaring white surface. This is Susan’s suggested method and I think I’ll like it better.

Image of drying surfaces Image of more drying surfaces

This is going to be a two part project as I only have so much space to let them dry for several days and I have more to do.