Monday, July 21, 2008

Apples & Cinnamon, and North & South...

I have been working on another "Dear Little Cup" painting. It's still wet, so I can't make the final adjustments - darkening some shadows, etc. - yet. I'll let it dry while we're out of town... and out of the country for a bit.

This is the week we had been planning to go to Honduras to work in a free medical clinic. But the best made plans do not always go our way, and it has been clear that our plans were in Someone Else's hands for quite some time. A number of things began making the trip more and more risky and difficult. Then a plane crashed in Tegucigalpa, shutting down the airport entirely, which moved the trip from difficult to impossible. So we had to cancel it. Fortunately, the airlines, being no more in control than we were, refunded everything.

So now, instead of going south, we will be going north! We'll be leaving Thursday to go to Boston to spend time with our son's family. (Yea, Grandma Time!) Then we'll go to Quebec City, where I've wanted to go for some time, for a 4-day weekend. I plan to take lots of pictures, sketch a bit, and generally refill my creative inspiration bucket, which has been a bit on the empty side lately. I will also get to see a European Masters Portrait exhibit and a Winslow Homer exhibit in Boston - I don't want to shock anyone, but my small city does not have a Museum of Fine Art, so this will be an exciting perk of the trip as well. If I see anything I think you might want to see, I'll share it when I get back home. Time to pack... a totally different wardrobe than I had planned on packing! Clothes for play, not for work. I think the One in Charge knew that we badly needed some R&R this summer - AND some grandparent time!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Enough: Illustration Friday topic

How much Hope is enough, anyway? Last night we went to see the movie, WALL-E, so I guess that's why I feel the need for an extra measure of hope this morning. I know 'everybody' loves the movie, but I just found it to be somewhat frightening. Especially about the horrible shape humans are in in the future! And don't tell me we're not headed in that direction! This morning's front page of our local paper says that Colorado's population is the 'slimmest' of any state in the country. But I walk down these Colorado streets, and if our population is in the best shape, I guess the rest of the country looks like those in this movie! Get movin' people!!! Give me some hope, here!

I was determined to do a sketch (at least) specifically for this week's Illustration Friday topic, so I did the one above. But I have to confess that when I saw what the topic was, I wanted to post the "Watermelon Girls" tapestry, and also this old Kansas photo that I digitally colorized... both with enough to share! So I'll just post everything!
Three images plus a rant... ¿Es suficiente?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

There ARE perks to being a tapestry weaver...

I've just discovered one! Since I have gone from two to four grandchildren's Christmas sweaters to knit this year, I have decided I'd better get to it. And, for some crazy reason, I chose designs (variations) that all involve intarsia knitting. I believe I knit intarsia once years ago, but have avoided it since then. If I were NOT a tapestry weaver, all these bits of yarn to work with, or to get tangled together while I'm trying to work with them, would absolutely freak me out. But, as I am a tapestry weaver, I am finding the process pretty interesting, and even familiar in a non-weaving, knitting sort of way.

And speaking of weaving, the boring tapestry has reached a somewhat more interesting (though far from jump-up-and-down-exciting) place. BUT... I ran out of a yarn that I had just had a small bit of, thinking it would be far less important than it is. So I'm waiting for more of it to be delivered, and, in the meantime, am knitting and doing a bit of painting. Since I quit at a more interesting place, I will be ready to get back to the loom when the yarn arrives. The maquette (design) for this tapestry was posted earlier in the year. If you missed it, you can see it here. (I'm weaving it sideways.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Foggy: Illustration Friday topic

The day was clear, so she realized that she was the only one in a fog.

Self portrait with migraine. Watercolor pencils.

(Added) I didn't really like the drawing above for this week's topic, so am adding this digital image. It is of the oldest schoolhouse in Colorado - in the fog.

The boring tapestry is getting to a more interesting place. Thanks goodness! I literally had to nap after weaving a bit both yesterday and the day before. Sad, when your work bores you to that extent! How, then, can I expect viewers to respond to it? Well, in it's defense, the title of the piece will be "February", and who wouldn't want to nap through the month of February?

Monday, July 7, 2008

World's most boring tapestry...

Since I am weaving the world's most boring tapestry, I have hesitated to share it with you. But I guess it's time I prove that I am doing something, so here it is.

To make up for your having to look at it, I will share a sidewalk greeting that I photographed on my walk to the library yesterday. It was so big, I had to get it in three shots, and I didn't re-size them, so you could see them better. It made me smile, so I hope it makes your day too! (You can see it better if you click on it to enlarge it.)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence day!

To those in the US, here's a photo I took of the city fireworks from our yard... a block from the city park (noisy!)

Sour (Illustration Friday)...

For the Illustration Friday topic of "Sour" this week, I have posted the small oil painting of my little Chinatown cup and lemons. I'm also posting another digitally played with view of the same still-life. I did this as a maquette for a small, yet-to-be-woven tapestry.
I have recently been told I am not to eat citrus by my physician. These pieces make my mouth water!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


My sweet grandchildren have just left (with their sweet father, my son). We had what we hope will be the first annual "Grandma/Grandpa Camp" with them this past weekend. We were up on the Grand Mesa at our cabin for three days, then back here at home a day-and-a-half, to get everyone cleaned and rested up to go back home.

I had planned activities mostly for our four year old grand-daughter, as her brother (at 2) mostly just wants to do whatever she's doing. Some of the things were beyond him, so during those times he could swing and hang out with his dad and grandfather.

I took the looper loom, but was not sure if Katie would be old enough to do the weaving. Silly grandma... Never underestimate the abilities of a smart, determined 4-year old girl! She took to it immediately - whispering "over, under, over, under" to herself like billions of new weavers have done forever. She completed two potholders; one for her mom, and one for her other grandma - so she'll have to make me one next time she comes! The second one she made, she announced to me, "I want to make a pattern." So, completely on her own, she arranged the colors in a repeating pattern in the warp loops, and a second repeat for the weft. I was amazed, impressed, and Soooo proud!

The other activity that I had for her that I wasn't sure if she was old enough for was paperdolls. I Loved paperdolls when I was young! I have saved all the Mary Engelbreit paperdolls from the back of her magazines for a number of years - hoping I'd one day have a grand-daughter who would play with me. Little did I know that one day, one would show up in new pink glasses, who looked Very Much like the Ann Estelle paperdoll! So we made a Katie paperdoll, with her own camp shirt. Katie loved the paperdolls. She even designed houses for them, which she drew out on papers, and we spread about the cabin. The rooms had furniture, 'fancy' floors, and were quite decorated and accessorized!

We also fished, and, not to leave Milo out, he caught his first Rainbow Trout! We were all very happy campers... but I think it may be time for Grandma's nap! After all, I'm hoping for FOUR campers next time!
(NOTE: The drawing of the bird at the top of this post was done by Katie. We did the first lesson from the Drawing With Children book, which I highly recommend. She loved it, and will be ready for lesson #2 next time we're together.)