Monday, August 11, 2014

Essential Packing.....

I am getting ready to go spend a bit of time with my parents. My preferred way to travel from Colorado to northern California is on Amtrak's California Zephyr. It is almost door-to-door from my house to my parents, but it takes almost 24 hours. I enjoy the time on the train. I read, I sketch, I rest, I knit, and I even occasionally watch a movie, after it gets too dark to watch the scenery roll by.

So, as I do my laundry and fill my suitcase, I am also doing my more essential packing. I have gathered my knitting needs for some simple mindless knitting: in this case, I'm taking a stockpile of cotton and instructions for various knit washcloths. I really enjoy using handknit washcloths, and I like to knit a pile of them between more ambitious projects. (Note my skein of yarn in the tall cleaned Starbucks cup, with the tail coming out the enlarged straw hole. Thank you Pinterest for this clever idea!)

I also have my sketchbook and sketching materials packed: two very small boxes with watercolors in them (an Altoids box, and a fly fishing box, each with a selection of watercolors inside), a couple of waterbrushes, a pencil and an eraser, my fountain pen, a white gel pen, a roll of tape, and some multicolored pencils and a sharpener. All fits inside a 9x6" canvas bag.

Now that I have these things gathered and packed, I suppose I should turn my mind to the rest of my packing needs... like maybe a few changes of clothes and a toothbrush and comb. First thing first, and now that I have dealt with the 'first things' I guess I can deal with the rest.....

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Another Studio Tuesday....

Another week, another Studio Tuesday!  It has been a bit hard to weave lately, but you can see that I have made a good bit of progress  on the 'April' tapestry.

The reason it's been hard to weave is that we've been having a rather active monsoon season here, and Booker (who is not allowed in the studio) is terrified of thunder. So I've been spending a lot of time knitting washclothes on the basement sofa with him, especially in the afternoons. We actually had a record breaking rain here yesterday afternoon, and I had to wade through about 7 inches of water to get to my truck after my guitar lesson! My shoes are still soggy! (Everyone asks me why I didn't take them off, but I wasn't sure what was in that water, and I'd rather let my shoes dry out -which may take awhile- than have to deal with glass or rock cuts on my feet.)

This is a painting I did of one of my 'grand-dogs,' Zooey. She is an Italian Greyhound mix, and can have quite the imperious look, occasionally.... especially when she decides to claim either your lap or the seat you are heading to sit in for her 'throne.' I decided I needed to paint her on a throne-like chair. as she is a bit of a Diva in my son's home. She was fun to paint. The painting is 12 inches square, oil on canvas, and it is now at Zoey's home, so she can admire herself whenever she chooses.

I have one more 'studio Tuesday' before I go visit my parents for awhile in California, to celebrate with them their 67th wedding anniversary. I would truly love to get the tapestry done before I leave, but I also would like to have a 'cutting off' for it, so that may need to wait until I return home at the end of the month. I'll get as close as I can to the end, though, before I leave home.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Blackbird singin' in the Dead of Night.....

Only he's not singin' and it's not the dead of night. Otherwise.... well, it is a blackbird, or a tapestry blackbird, at least. He is, however, in this tapestry because of that Beatles song. It is one of the most complex and fun songs I have learned to play on my guitar, so I  spent a lot of time with it about a year ago, and I still go back and play it frequently. The part I play is the fingerpicking part that is immediately recognizable as "Blackbird," the part Paul McCartney plays. Only, of course, I do not play it quite as well as he does!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Studio Tuesday progress...

Yesterday was my studio work day. My husband was off for the day and I had a make-up guitar lesson, but in spite of those interruptions/distractions, I got some painting framing done and some weaving on the April tapestry. I'm now working on the blackbird and the woman's face, and those areas will go a bit more slowly than what has been done so far.

Like a lot of the rest of the country, we've been having our monsoon season. That doesn't always even register on our radar, as it constitutes a few afternoon showers that barely wet the dry ground. And, moisture-wise, it's not been much more than that this year either, except for a couple of nice real rains in the night. However, it has 'threatened' to rain almost every day for the past week and a half. And Booker does not like the threat of rain. He hears distant thunder, and I think he can smell the ozone. So he wants to be as close to someone as possible. He is not really allowed in the studio. I have an old leather suitcase 'blocking' the door to remind him of this prohibition. Of course, he can jump right over the suitcase, and when he hears thunder, that's just what he does. But until the lightening actually threatens to take him out, he just stands there, pleading with his eyes for me to come out and cuddle on the basement sofa with him until the threat of storm passes. (That is the only sofa he is allowed on, though he would truly like to be a lap dog.)

What the constant threat of rain does to me, is to give me a migraine. I swear I had ONE migraine from Sunday afternoon of the past week, all the way through this Monday! That's an 8-day migraine. I did see a new aura almost daily, though, so I suppose it was really a cluster of migraines, even though one didn't ever completely leave before the other set in. Booker and I agree that we have had enough monsoon season here... especially since we've barely had any rain from it.

Today, I will work some more in the studio. So far, the sky is a bright clear blue, and my head is nearly as clear! Maybe there will be no thunder to threaten Booker, and no pressure changes to cause my head to hurt. It looks like it will be a good day here in sunny Colorado!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Halfway to the Top!

Today has been rainy and grey... A perfect weaving day! So, along with what I got woven on my Studio Work Tuesday, I am past the mid-point on the April tapestry. The easiest parts are done. The bird and the face await my next weaving session. I also got a painting completed this week, so I am feeling quite productive and smug. (Which is scary, because that frequently backfires on me.)

Now for a bit of porch time with my sweetie, while it is still cool outside!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

From my sketchbook....

I have been pretty busy lately, but have had moments to sit, usually while on the phone. So I started doing this 'scribble' in my sketchbook - it's not really even well-planned enough to be a Zentangle, more just a doodle I guess.  But, over the past couple of days, it  has been growing to  fill a double spread of my 5.25"x 8.25" Moleskine sketchbook, and it was very calming and meditative to do... and, dare I say it?.... fun.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Trying to Catch Up......

Last week my husband was off work. He had scheduled it as a vacation week long ago,  as we had hoped to go to Convergence and the related exhibits in Rhode Island. But we decided that we just couldn't do that this year, for various reasons. So we went to see our kids in Denver for a few days, then went up to do some much needed work at our cabin for another few days during the week.

While at the cabin, I worked a bit  on a larger painting (which I will share at a later time) and on these tiny paintings. These three are each just 5x7 inches. It is really hard to get a decent photo of them! They are so small, that the texture of the canvas seems to interfere with photos. I'll have to work at it, to get better pictures somehow.

 The one above, especially, is hard to capture in a photo.

Anyway.... they are all a part of my little 'Places I Remember' paintings. The top one is from Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, and is of the Pedernal, the mountain Georgia O'Keefe said God would give her if she painted it enough. So I call it "Georgia's Mountain." 

The lower one is of Mesa Verde, here in Colorado. The middle one is just from my back yard. I will try to get a better photo of it. And - I'm not at all sure any of these are really 'done' yet, but I thought I would at least know I am still doing a bit of work. 

I hope to get into the studio later today to finish up the larger painting, and get things ready so I can weave tomorrow, on my Studio Tuesday!