Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Inktober, Still!

I confess that I look forward to Inktober every year. It makes me hone my skills with ink, which used to be a very scary medium for me. This year, I am trying to use a brush pen more: even less control and more 'messy!' I am a bit of a control; freak when it comes to creating, and I really dislike messes! I won't use ink (or pastels) in the studio, as I'm afraid I'll end up with them all over the yarn and tapestries that live there. That's how messy I am. So I make those messes elsewhere, and test my sweet husband's tolerance level.

I don't 'commit' to doing a sketch every day of Inktober, but this year I have somehow managed to do one every day so far.  Here are some of this week's sketches and the prompts that inspired them.

Shy

Screech
This sketch was done from a video taken from a camera in the owl box in our yard. This is one of the Western Screech Owls that hang out in our neighborhood.

Run
 This is one of my grandsons, running cross country.

Teeming

Fierce

Mysterious
I kind of have an Inktober routine now! I sketch the outlines and ink in shadows in the evening, then give it a chance to really dry before adding color the next morning. Then I post them on Instagram and Sktchy - both apps which are very encouraging to artists. Most of the inspiration I use is from Sktchy photos, which are there for artists to use. Here are the steps for one of the sketches above:






Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Inktober, and tapestry tears



These are the last things I wove into the Graffiti Tapestry, which is now off the loom. They speak of things I cannot yet speak of, without tears of my own.


I am a believer of using creativity, rather than alcohol or drugs, to help heal. So this month is "Inktober" and I am trying to work my way through my sadness and frustration. To participate in Inktober, you are supposed to follow a prompt and do an ink sketch each day in the month. As in the past two years, I am sketching when I can, and following the props if I want to. In other words, I will not let myself feel stressed by 'supposed to's.'

So far, I actually HAVE sketched each day, and have used the prompts. I won't share all my sketches here, though I usually post them on Instagram. The sketch above was for Day 2, the prompt being 'divided.' I chose to sketch Superman/Clark Kent, because he 'divided' his time between making news and reporting it. (Lately, my heroes have been the ones reporting, rather than the ones making the news. Just saying...)


Day 3 was yesterday, and the prompt was 'poison.' Every Harry Potter fan knows that poison is to be found on Knockturn Alley!


Today's prompt was 'underwater.' So here's today's obvious sketch.

I have an empty loom. I need to clean my studio, and rewarp, and begin to weave again. Weaving is what I do.

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11 - still.....


This is the small tapestry I did for the September 11th Memorial Tapestry. As I revisit it today, I am seeing it as my first 'graffiti' tapestry! And, now that I think on it, I did another bit of woven graffiti, as well. 


This tapestry was woven when I was totally exhausted, physically and emotionally, from a project I was doing.

It amuses me somewhat that, when I am emotionally charged, I turn to 'graffiti,'  which is an immediate art form for expressing reactions and emotions 'Loudly' and quickly.  But I must express it the only way I know how: in one of the slowest, most 'non-immediate' mediums, handwoven tapestry.

September 11th was an emotionally charged and exhausting experience for us all. I still have tears fill my eyes when I see this small tapestry, because I believe I truly wept through the entire process of creating it.

The large tapestry I am weaving now....  well, I'm sure you will see my emotions spill out from it when it is completed.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Slip Slidin' Away....


I am making some slow, but sure progress on the 'Graffiti' tapestry. It is about to the halfway point, maybe a bit beyond that, at the end of today's work.


Life has had a way of keeping me away from the loom this summer. A solar eclipse kept me outside for several hours, gazing at the sky with my neighbors, and the rest of the country.


Politics and the horrors that has been bringing also has been  distracting. I have to respond in the only way I can, by sketching or writing.  And now there is a natural disaster which, although it hasn't affected me directly, has affected us all because we are all connected. Yes, all of us.

Sometimes these things make me feel that I am frivolous to sketch and weave and make music when the world seems to be crumbling around us. But other than donate to the Red Cross, pray,  and make what tiny ripples I can, I don't know what else to do.


The season is slipping away. A new one will soon begin. I love Fall - it is my favorite time of year! Surely in the next season, the world will make more sense! And, whether it does or does not, a tapestry will be born on my loom: my slow reactions to this world woven tightly together to create something new.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Life .....



We have had a few nice cool days, amidst our hot summer days. On one of those cooler mornings, I set myself up on the picnic table to stitch the "Country" tapestry onto it's mounting frame. Sometimes it would be nice to move the whole studio outside, but that 6' Shannock won't budge!


The 'Graffiti' tapestry on the Shannock is progressing at a slow pace. Our summer has been mostly concerned with my father-in-law's needs, as he broke his hip, had it replaced, and did his rehab and recovery here. But I have persisted with the weaving, though slower than even the usual slow tapestry rate.


I finally reached a 'wind it forward' length, so you can see I have much more to do than has yet been done!


We did get one quick night up at the cabin, where the birds and beasts entertained us, the sunset was stunning (as always) and I got a quick sketch in. We are always rejuvenated by our time there, and need more of it!

My almost-daily sketch time has become my 'meditation' time - as my mind is really much too noisy to truly meditate well. Sketching shuts it up for a few minutes, at least. This week, I completed another sketchbook, and added it to the shelf, which means I also am starting a new one! I know many artists and sketchbook keepers hate that first clean, empty page, but I love it! It is mine to mess up!


Here is one of the photos of the lake sunset from our day up there. We cherish our evening drives around the lake, spotting wildlife, and taking photos. I think, between my husband and myself, we must have shot 30-40 sunset pictures that evening, as every turn we took revealed it to be even more stunning. This photo has NOT been altered in any way! (And my husband took a few that are even more amazing - but don't tell him I admitted that.)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Blocking Day!



I am FINALLY getting around to blocking this tapestry, and getting it ready to hang! I still have to add some 'guitar strings,' which may be actual guitar strings or, more likely, gold thread (as it will be more flexible, and less likely to damage the fiber over time.) I still haven't decided whether I'll mount this to a frame, as I usually do with a tapestry this size (18"x18") or line it and let it hang loosely from a hanging board. It is so much more economical to ship a rolled tapestry! And I am finding myself needing to be more aware of economics these days.

If you'd like to see my entire blocking method, go here

The working title for this tapestry is "She's A Little Bit Country."

I am making very   s  l  o  w  progress on the tapestry on the loom, but, Hey!, tapestry is all about slow, isn't it?!

Friday, June 9, 2017

A message from my loom:



More work on the 'Graffiti' tapestry.


This week the 'Time Warp... and Weft: Woven Works' exhibit opens at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, GA. If you are in that area of the country, consider yourself invited to attend! There is an Opening Reception on Thursday, June 15 from 6-8 p.m.  Several of the artists will be there. I will be there in spirit! The exhibit includes all 12 of my Calendar Tapestries.