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!
Been away at “Tapestry Camp”, a retreat with Rebecca Mezoff at Colorado State’s Mountain Campus. Can’t think of a more beautiful place to weave! It’s about 1.5-2 hours from Fort Collins up very twisty dirt roads at roughly 9000 feet!
I hiked, sketched, met wonderful new friends, and wove!
Hike in the mountains
Bob and I flew to Denver and visited with Mary and Estes, then I left for camp and Bob stayed with them, saw a Rockie’s game, and continued his summer of trains by visiting train sites. We both had much fun. I managed to fall on my face and spent most of time in dark glasses, a story for another day, but didn’t let it stop me.
Quick sketch before class
The gist of our retreat was to be influenced by our surroundings and develop a weaving from our experience. Right up my alley – PROCESS! – I also wanted to work on making smoother curves etc. I love the aspen leaves and decided to use them – to concentrate on their rounded forms. So I began by photographing and sketching, then exploring colors.
Designing my project
Six dent Hokett looms were part of the retreat and Rebecca supplied wonderful yarns to use including these oh, so wonderful Weavers Bazaar yarns. The weaving in my last blog post was done on an eight dent Hokett with much thicker yarn. Now I used the six dent loom warped double creating a twelve epi design with much finer yarns.
tools and fibers
Rebecca introduced me to eccentric outline weaving which allows the curves to become smoother esp if using colors from each of the adjoining blocks of color. That and the 12 epi with finer yarns did the trick.
Off the loom – still needs finishing.
I still have a way to go with this new skill but I’m much happier with the results than with my last project of bison horns. But…not so happy I had to discover more expensive yarns which are not available in the US and have to be imported… Champagne taste and a beer budget…
I am heading to Colorado for a little loom tapestry workshop and thought I should review what I had learned earlier this year…Well…It’s a good thing!
I decided to work with the sweet little horns I saw on the bison at Fermi Labs, so I made lots of sketches, cropped my photos and narrowed it down to a simple design derived from the slight curve on a wooly background with just a bit of reflection. I know I need practice with curves so keeping it simple seemed like a good idea.
I was happy with my design and warped the loom. Lots of redos and I still need a lot of work on curves. And I did my soumak rows backwards. and I messed up with my meet and separate – try as I might… gots lots of work ahead of me.
Off the loom and still has to be finished but THIS WILL BE REDONE!
Rebecca has her work cut out!
Haven’t posted for a while but on May 2, I had cataract surgery on my left eye and two weeks later on the right. I chose special lenses which were to work with the astigmatism I have and restore my normal site to not needing glasses – just some readers. I thought I was pretty together about this – seems like everyone and their sister my age has had this but I realize I was fixated on eyes. I drew my eyes, I photographed them, I journaled about it, I even included mention of eyes in some rusty dyed fabric stitching.
Sketch of my left eye.
After the first one I did see without my glasses – incredible! And bright lights at night were now one source of light instead of the multitude of sources that I had been seeing. And, whites were white – the world wasn’t washed in a golden light – is that why its called the “golden years”?
But only in one eye. For two weeks the other eye still needed glasses and still had lots of bright light sources and still revealed a golden world. And each eye was fighting to see who was boss – very tiring. Then last Tues Dr Fung did the other eye!
Whenever I’m anxious sketching helps. All I had was my iPad, so I used that.
Rough sketch of Bob waiting for them to wheel me away!.
Here’s a sketch I did of Bob who was waiting for them to wheel me into the operating room. Done with my finger on my iPad with my eye very dilated and iv tubes in my arm. Turns out the red bit hanging up is an important part of the pre opt operation. If the sign is still up, the patient isn’t ready to go!
I’m still on antibiotics and anti swelling drops, still have to wear a plastic shield at night but… it worked!
I like sketching with pen and ink but taking a bottle of ink on location is a bit daunting so I’m exploring fountain pens. I’ve also been trying out a water brush and am working with the two together. First I drew some supplies on my desk – next some small bottles of nail polish I was about to throw out – (have decided I really only like natural colors – so out with the reds, the greens and the blues…)
Quick sketches of things on my table
Tried it out on people sketching and buildings outside. All were very quick sketches – each perhaps five minutes at most (house a bit more…but just a bit).
Quick sketch of Bob on phone and of the Back of my house
This is very fun and I like not worrying about spilling ink but I’m going to look for a pen that gives even more of a thick/thin line.
Ink sketches of crows
Been wanting to combine my rust/tea dyed fabrics with bird images in a larger project – mainly crows and or hawks. So I’ve been researching and sketching crows as a start.
Drawing with thread on my sewing machine was my first idea.
Playing with tensions, stitches and rough drawing with machine
This was fun but… even though I want a rough sketchy line, I quickly saw it will take a while to gain control of this as a drawing medium. At the same time I’ve been stitching patterns and marks in the small dyed book I’ve been working on and thought I’d try this. More what I want and I can work more free form with out preliminary drawings on the fabric. But still have a ways to go…
Stitches in small book and first go at hand drawing crows with stitches
My other idea is to block print on fabric but I really want to have various drawings rather than a repeating image. The work forming in my head is about layers of experience, the passage of time and changes to our lives. The birds are currently observers in this process of life and decay and rebirth.