Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sketchbooks, and more.....

I recently filled my 2015 sketchbook. It's the one the middle in the image above. It is a Moleskine Sketchbook, and since they changed the paper, I have hated it all year long, and my sketches show both that dissatisfaction and the stress that the past year has involved. So, it is not my favorite sketchbook. I looked through my past books, and discovered (which should not surprise me at all) that a Stillman & Birn sketchbook I filled in 2013 is my favorite! It is the one on the left, above. I even like the cover I did on it in collage! I have a new Stillman & Birn, and I will begin it with the new year. In the meantime, I have begun a Strathmore Mixed Media sketchbook that a friend gave me. It is accepting water media well, so I am hopeful that I will enjoy it, as this year ends.

One of the things I most liked about the Stillman & Birn book from 2013, was the fact that I allowed others to sketch in it - knowing that whatever media they used, it would not buckle or balk. So my grandchildren sketched in it, and my Mother did the sketch above - my favorite page of all! Both of these sketch pages bring back good memories for me. I think 2013 was a pretty good year, and it shows in my sketchbook.

This is my favorite sketch in the 2015 Moleskine. Again, it brings back memories of a good day with my son. I also like that I 'composed' the page a bit; something I had done throughout the 2013 book, but did not bother much with this past year.

So I have now begun the new sketchbook. I always begin and end a sketchbook with a self portrait. I began this book while we were driving over the mountains to take my Dad to the airport. So I was in the backseat, behind my husband, with nothing to do but sketch myself. (It was not really a very good plan, as I get carsick when I try to 'do' anything in the car. So my selfie looks a bit peaked, don't you think?)

This sketch was done at our cabin a few days ago. Mostly all white snow, but I wanted to try this difficult perspective of the cabin. I am liking the pristine paper, and I have not yet spilled coffee on the book, which is pretty amazing!

My shelf of sketchbooks is growing. This photo doesn't show the several oddly sized or shaped books I did before 2012, or my travel sketchbooks, or the handmade book Booker actually ate (fortunately with just a few pages filled.) A picture truly is worth a thousand words, and, though I also keep a journal (and have done so far longer than I have filled sketchbooks,) the images in these books are a savoring of Time, like no other thing is; neither journals nor photo albums can compare.

I have also been weaving. I have about 2 1/2 inches woven on the "December" tapestry. Not very interesting to look at, so far, but the process is centering me, once again. Nothing feels 'right' to me like sitting at the loom, passing the weft through the warp.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ready, Set.... Here we Go!

The loom is warped. The new yarn colors I needed came in today's mail. Now, all I need to do is get Gus out of my chair and I can begin the new tapestry!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ready to begin the end....

These are the Calendar Series tapestries I have done, in the order of the months (Jan, Feb, etc.) Today, I will tie on the warp for the final tapestry of the series; December, appropriately enough. Each of these are 18x18 inches, mounted on a fabric covered stretcher frame (which my handy husband constructed for me.) I still hope to hang and exhibit these 12 tapestries all together when the series is complete, along with the four Seasons tapestries.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Yes, it's still #INKtober!

I actually have been doing little sketches almost everyday this week. They are not complex. I have not spent a great deal of time or, I confess, effort on them, as I've been busy with many other things, as always. Mostly sorting messes that have accumulated with a great deal of time and neglect. But I have met my goal so far this month, of doing at least five sketches each week. And it is becoming more joyful, and less of just another chore, so that is a good thing, too!

I have enjoyed the little 5-20 minute sketches that I've done. They are all done in ink, then I've added color to some with InkTense pencils, or, in the case of the one above, watercolor. That one, and the one below were done at our cabin. Every year I sketch the colorful oak leaves in my sketchbook. They seem to capture the look of the whole of the mountains to me. The little sketch of the corner of our cabin above is, quite appropriately, a very 'rustic' sketch; just like the cabin itself.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Almost there!

The "July" tapestry has all slits sewn, and is laid out on the dining table, being blocked. These small tapestries (18x18 inches) end up pretty square and straight, so little blocking is actually needed, but it makes the surface nice, so I do it anyway. (You can see that the cutting board is damp from the press cloth.)

My blocking method can be seen here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sketching and weaving... an update!

As 'INKtober' came 'round just as I was determining to sketch more again, I decided to participate by sketching, using my fountain pens (which I generally use anyway) and Inktense colored pencils, at least five times each week throughout the month. So far, I've kept up with my determination! Here are a few of the sketches I did last week.

This, from watching an adult and two young hawks fly overhead.

And this from a stock photo online. I just decided I wanted to do a person, but not anyone I personally knew. It was fun, with no pressure to please anyone but myself. I used ink only, making a few shadows while the ink was still wet, with water.

This one I did this morning. I decided to do it as I usually sketch, with color first, then adding the ink.  I'm not thrilled with it, but then, I rarely am thrilled with the landscapes I do. It did capture the bleak emptiness of the area, I guess. My husband, who was there to hike with the dog, wondered if I would find anything at all to sketch there!

And finally, this tapestry was cut from the loom on Friday! It is still 'resting' on the dining room table. This week I will sew slits and block it, then will take photos and re-tie the warp onto the loom for the final Calendar Series tapestry, "December!"