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!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Week that Was....


I feel like I have been very busy this week, but if you ask me what I did, I'm not sure I could tell you. Maybe because it has been so H.O.T..... and even humid, for the desert. I guess I have been very busy filling and emptying iced beverage glasses.

And I cleaned my house. That is a Big Thing, when it is hot and humid, and it hasn't really been done for awhile. I also tried out a new guitar (which I did not yet purchase,) and I began a new painting (which I did not yet finish,) and I sent the above little painting off to it's new home. (Thank You again, Julie, for supporting my Art Habit!)

While I did all these things, and felt 'busy,' but also guilty for not actually accomplishing more, I thought of my grandmothers, as I often do. I don't remember seeing them 'feel guilty' about not doing more. They both did quite a lot, but they also both knew that, in the heat of a summer's day, sometimes the best and right thing to do was to sip iced tea in front of a fan, watching a 'story' on TV; or to find shade on the porch with the newspaper; or to lie down in a cool bedroom with a good book, never minding if a short nap was the result. My grandmothers were both early-risers and early-to-bed-ers. They weeded their gardens and baked bread in the cool of the morning, then let the heat stop their industry, if need be. I am a grandmother myself now, but I don't feel like I live the simple and wise lives I saw my own grandmothers live. I run errands in the heat of the day. I chase my tail, trying to catch up with all the impossible tasks and endless ToDo lists I have set for myself.

Time to wise up, Granny! That iced tea I have been hauling around as I go here and there? I need to sit and enjoy it, letting the glass sweat with condensation, instead of sweating so much myself! And I need to grab a book or a magazine from that tall-to-toppling stack by the bed, and get better acquainted with the glider on my porch. The world will not end if I give in to the season a bit. In fact, maybe it will open up and become sweeter. And maybe my grandchildren will come to learn from me, that slowing down might just be a wise way to live, after all.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tuesday is Work Day...

I have had so many life distractions lately, I have decided to set aside at least one non-negotiable, non-interruptable work day each week. For now, that day is Tuesday, which seems to be the most open day in my current calendar. So I have spent the morning in my studio, and have reached the one-third-of-the-way-to-the-finish point on the 'April' tapestry!


I am trying to mostly reserve this work day for actual studio work, as I can squeeze in moments to update this blog and Etsy, and to deal with exhibit requirements on most other days. But I needed to take a 'think break,' knowing that when I go back to the loom, I will be winding the warp forward, losing view of the lower few inches, so I need to know ahead of time where I will be going next.

So... during this break, I posted here, and added the above little canvas print to my Etsy shop. My son owns the original painting. It is of the Pont du Neuf (the 'new bridge' - tho' it is actually the oldest in Paris) on the Seine. This little print is one of my 'Places I Remember' series of paintings. And I do remember quite fondly this spot in Paris! If I turned to the right, the other direction, I would be looking at Notre Dame. When we first crossed this bridge, we caught our first view of the Eiffel Tower, further to the left up the Seine. A lovely spot! When I go there again, I want to sit and sketch somewhere near this bridge.

Back to work... my iced tea break with you is at an end!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A UFO and a FO....*


I have made a small bit of progress on the "April" tapestry, but, since we were away over the weekend, not a great bit of progress. I hope to move it up the warp some this week.  Too bad that my big loom is not portable! I would definitely move it up to the lake for the summer!


But, since the loom is not portable, and I don't want to start another tapestry on a small loom, I will continue to paint while at the cabin, I guess. This past weekend, I took up this canvas. I started it last summer (true confession.) I wanted to try using palette, or paint knives (which is the proper term, I have learned) to paint with. This was about halfway done when I just got too busy with other things to finish it, almost a year ago. It is on a canvas panel, 12 inches square. There is a LOT of paint on it; big chunky blobs of paint! I like that, but it was hard to finish it that way. I was clearly in a more generous mood with the paint when I did the first half, so I had to make myself replicate that, rather than smooth it on in my more usual, frugal manner. It was fun to paint 'chunky' and loose. I did not do any pre-drawing except what I had originally done with the paint knife. I loved painting in bright red, too! The whole experience (or the two separate experiences) felt 'juicy.' Like ripe tomatoes, only in paint..... if you know what I mean.

(Note: I painted tomatoes in this bowl once before, in a smaller format. The painting sold, but prints are available at Etsy, as you can see in the sidebar.)

*For those of you not up on crafting terminology, a UFO is an 'unfinished object' and a FO is, obviously, the more rare 'finished object.'