Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Studio Tuesday, Nov.18th

Lots to get done in the studio again today! I had to get the little tapestry, "Grace," ready to ship off to The Art is the Cloth exhibit, which will be in Newton, PA (see info on side) soon. "Grace" will replace my tapestry which sold in the exhibit in New Hampshire! May "Grace" be so lucky as to find a new home, as well!

I also was determined to begin the "July" tapestry before I leave town this weekend. So I finished warping the loom, tied on the warp, wove a header and a hem, and got a bit more than an inch woven on the tapestry! A good beginning!

Finally, I completed mounting the "April" tapestry, which the full title for is "April, Come She Will," a musical title for a piece that is largely about my love for and involvement in music.

All in all, I spent pretty much the whole day in the studio, and feel I got a lot done. Can you even imagine what I'd get done if I had two days a week in the studio? It boggles the mind......

Friday, November 14, 2014

My heart yearns for Paris...

Paris Salon, oil on canvas, 11"x14"

Can you be 'homesick' for a place that is not - and will most likely never be - 'home?' I occasionally feel a very strong pull towards Paris. The last time I felt such a yearning for a place was when I lived in the heartland, and I spent a number of years yearning for the Colorado mountains; listening to John Denver's sappy music and feeling 'homesick' for the place I was born, but had not, in my memory, ever really lived.

Paris Gothique, oil on canvas, 11"x14"

But, with the weather here in Colorado leaning towards winter, getting grey and cold, I find myself thinking that if I'm going to be in grey, cold weather, I may as well be in Paris, where all weather is beautiful. And, if it's not, I could just spend the day in the Louvre or in front of the Unicorn tapestries.

Pont du Neuf, 5"x7" print on canvas

Reasonable desires, I believe. Am I not right?

But I am not in Paris today, nor will I be there tomorrow. So, I'm adding a few Paris paintings to my Etsy shop, in case there is someone else out there who yearns for Paris. And I am pulling up my Paris photos, and thinking of painting another view of my time there, because the act of painting a scene is a 'take me away' activity. It will sweep me over the miles and the hours and will take me back to where I am today longing to be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Studio Tuesday, Nov. 11th

I had a productive half-day in the studio, 'tho I didn't end up doing what I had planned to do, which is often the case. 'Best laid schemes' quite 'aft gang agleyfor me! 

My plan was to mount the 'April' tapestry, as I had done with the 'November' one last Tuesday. And I  did begin that process. But I discovered that I did not have all the materials I needed, and I decided I'd prefer to stay in the studio working, rather than to run after what I needed.

So I went from the worktable to the computer, and I firmed up the design maquette, and created the to-size cartoon to work from for the next tapestry, the 'July' one.

Then I went from the computer to the loom, and got busy rewarping the loom. The warp is already on the loom, as I'd warped enough for several tapestries, but the threads all needed to be re-threaded through the string heddles, and through the lovely reed holder my husband made me. I have that done now, and just need to tie all on to the lower beam. 

 But this work day is over, so that will wait for another one!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Studio Tuesday...Nov. 4th

Today was a fairly productive studio workday. I have plenty to do there, so I decided to concentrate on getting a couple of the woven pieces mounted. I have a small one I needed to prep to go off to exhibition, and both the "November' and 'April' calendar tapestries to mount. So the tools of my trade today were scissors, a staple gun, screwdrivers, pins, and an iron, plus the odd stereo remote, stretcher frames, fabric and batting, and the very necessary cup of coffee (usually set a bit further from the action.)

Once again, I was joined by the studio supervisor, who decided to pull half a dozen skeins and balls of yarn from several baskets, in order to settle himself in the most comfortable supervising spot. (Do you see him trying to look 'not guilty,' as he knows he was in forbidden territory, and would not  be allowed to stay there long.)

At the end of the work day, I have the 'November' tapestry mounted as well as the one that will soon be shipped off to an exhibit.

I still have another mounting job to do, and the warp yet to be tied onto the loom for the next piece. I am glad there is at least one Studio Tuesday each week! I intend to be weaving again by the end of the month.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Studio Tuesday (on Thursday)...

I missed my 'Studio Tuesday' this week, as my husband wanted me to go to the mountains with him. I have to confess that all day I felt like I was truly missing something important. I've committed to this one day a week to work, and it did not feel right to me even to postpone it for a couple of days. And today, being a Thursday, with my Thursday chores and commitments, does not feel 'right' for a Studio Tuesday. So I guess I am going to have to be more firm about my commitment, or I will be having 'Grumpy Tuesdays' and maybe even 'Grumpy Thursdays!'

This morning then, after I did some Thursday work, I went to the studio and finished hemming the 'April' tapestry, though I have not yet prepped the stretcher to mount it on. I have the stretchers my husband has made for both it and the as-yet-unmounted 'November' tapestry. But my mind was not in the right place today for doing finishing work. I wanted to do beginning-work!

So, I began to design the 'July' tapestry. I have been given permission from my 10-year-old grand-daughter to use an image of her from last summer. I am putting together several photos to use as source images, so, though I may primarily work from the photos for detail work, I need to compose the layout: how and where everything will fit into the 18 inch square that will be the tapestry. I'm going back and forth between photos, the painting in progress, and the computer; adding and subtracting elements, making some things smaller and some larger. I have to confess that this is my favorite part of the design process! And I wouldn't want to do it without using ALL the tools: the paint and canvas, the camera and the photos, and the computer. It seems to take them all for me to find the image I will be happy enough with to weave. And of course, I really want this tapestry to be special, because the subject, my beautiful grand-daughter on a hot July beach, is a wonderful and special subject. I want the tapestry to feel warm and sunny and young! How to do that?

It is difficult for me to have a studio work day with my husband now retired. He is quite used to dropping in to check out what I am doing, but I am not used to having visitors in my studio during a serious work time. It is hard to switch my brain off, then back on again, while in creative mode. I pointed out the "No Trespassing" sign at my door to him, but he was just amused. Only Booker takes my 'no visitor' policy seriously, only ignoring it if it is thundering. Of course, Gus thinks I cannot work without his supervision, but he doesn't disturb me, other than moving into my chair as quickly as I vacate it.

In spite of the postponement of 'Studio Tuesday' and the no trespassing issue (which I may have to resolve with an electric fence,) I did get a bit of design work done today. As soon as I post this, I will do a bit more at the computer; cropping and subtracting and adding, and then I hope to get a maquette into a usable form before next Tuesday, which will be a Studio day. It will hopefully be a loom warping and cartoon enlarging day for the 'July' tapestry!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Studio Tuesday, Oct 21

I was back in the studio today, for my Studio Tuesday workday. The 'April' tapestry has been 'resting' quite awhile, so I spent the morning sewing slits (thankfully, not too many this time.)

After a break for a haircut (my own hair, having already trimmed all the 'hair' from the back of the tapestry while I sewed slits,) I pinned the tapestry out, and blocked it.

Quite awhile ago, I posted a tutorial about my blocking method here. I still block all my tapestries this way, and they have all stayed flat and even, whether they have been hung, mounted, or rolled up and stored.

I have my next tapestry in mind, so will begin to work on the maquette for it - hopefully, even before next Studio Tuesday!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

"Time Out" is over!

I sometimes 'put myself in time-out' for a bit of time. I stick my head in the sand, or in the corner, and do not allow myself to see the work of other artists. I do this on purpose, because I often feel either over-influenced by, or overwhelmed by, the work of other artists, and even by any visual images. So I just keep to myself for a time, and try to work my way through it. 

But then I start to feel depleted and something from the outside world will come into my little corner, and it jump-starts my creative mind! That happened to me this morning. I opened my mail to find the catalog from the 'The Art is the Cloth' exhibit, and each image I looked at excited me more and more! Then I reluctantly put the catalog down and picked up an Elle Decor magazine my friend had recently dropped by for me, and each advertisement spoke to me of color or of pattern or some design element. I haven't even gotten past the advertisements yet!

I did not realize how creatively dehydrated I had become; a truly thirsty desert rat. I think my 'creative time out' must have been over-long this go-round, so I am glad it has come to an end! I have a stack of magazines I have just been putting aside for 'later,' and now 'later' seems to have come! My parched eyes and mind are ready to look, and to be inspired.

By the way, the catalog shown above will be available for everyone to purchase next week. I will post the information when I get it. The tapestry I have in the exhibit is the one below: "Dama con Mangoes." I am thrilled to have a piece in such a terrific exhibit, and I hope to see it in one of it's venues before it is over.