Thursday, July 30, 2009

There's a right way...

...and then there's another right way, and perhaps even another right way! Of course, that's not what we all grew up hearing from our teachers. They said that 'there's a right way to do something and a wrong way to do it.' Rarely did a teacher allow for more than one right way. So when I teach, I often confuse my students, who want to know THE right way to weave their tapestry. I tell them, 'well, you could do it this way, or you could do it this other way...' Not always the simple answer they crave.

I was thinking of that when I reached this area of my cartoon, because I had to choose how I want to weave it. I could use eccentric wefts here, and it would be very organic looking - I love eccentric wefts! Or I could be quite traditional and weave all the way across the area, carrying several dozen wefts bundles back and forth across each of their areas all in one shed change. But I have chosen to just weave each tiny shape at a time, building up around each other as I come to them. Once I made that decision, I could move on with the weaving. Often I make these choices without thinking of them, but I guess I am more cognisant of what I am doing right now, as I am trying to do things in the most efficient way to use my scanty work time well.

New topic: (just thought I'd let you know before you got lost.) One of the things I love about where I live is that we can see the weather coming and going, long before it arrives. We have big sky here in western Colorado. The other evening, as I was driving home from a dinner out with some friends, I watched a storm roll in. The sky was gorgeous, so I grabbed my always-ready camera, and shot some sky through the windshield as I drove (luckily, very light traffic.) Isn't this a wonder? I especially love the area where the light shines through. (I shot about a dozen pictures, but I will spare you, and just show this one.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Slow progress is still progress...

... and tapestry weavers know that, for sure!

Yesterday I took advantage of every Booker nap minute, and went into the studio to weave. I actually progressed up the warp a bit more than an inch! I have other important things to attend to today, so can't use all spare quiet minutes that way, but hope to do a little bit more weaving, if possible.

The Honduran organization that my husband was going down to work with decided yesterday that things are just too unstable there for Americans to come down right now. So his trip is canceled... again. We had to cancel last year's trip because the airport in Tegucigalpa was shut down, due to a plane crash. I believe we perhaps are being told to turn our good work efforts elsewhere. It is, once again, a disappointment and frustration for my husband and the group he was going with. But I confess that I am relieved that I won't have that week of checking the news every few minutes to see 'what else' has happened in Honduras! We do pray that things settle down there soon. It is a country that is unstable enough in the best of times, and the good people there do not need their government crumbling around them. They have been very proud of their democracy, and it needs to become something they can rely on and be proud of again.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nerds v. Puppy...

Here's what we did: we checked out the entire puppy raising section of the public library, and I made out an extensive To Do list so I would be organized enough to get 'my stuff' done while raising the perfect puppy.

Here's what he did: raised enough general cane to keep me from reading the books, including needing a bath a day each of the past 3 days, as he now knows where every puddle is for wallowing in, in both ours and our neighbors yards. Chewed up my To Do list.

Guess who's winning?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Illustration Friday: Idle

The IF topic this week is idle. Here is an 8x10 oil sketch of a couple of girls on the end of a dock at Vega Lake, where our cabin is, being sweet summer idle. I'm not sure it is finished, but I am too idle to finish it today... not to mention that Booker is NOT idle enough to allow it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Things I haven't done....

...since Booker came to live with us:
- weave
- paint
- sketch
- write in my journal
- get a good night's sleep
- cook a decent meal
- go out for coffee with a friend, or go out ANYwhere, really!
- bother with make-up (really, that is pretty far down on the list for me anyway)
- clean my house (ditto above, when I am on 'functional level')
- exercise... HA! Life Is an exercise!
- did I mention 'get a good night's sleep'? It's worth a re-run. As Wallace says (Wallace and Gromit), 'The bounce has gone from my bungee.'

Well, the little terror is napping for a few minutes, so I'm going to go stare wistfully into my behind-closed-doors-studio, and see what I can begin, tho' that seems like a guarantee that naptime will end.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New family member...

We went to Utah today and brought home a new 'baby.' He's a real sweetie! He is an 8-week old English Golden retriever. We don't have a name for him yet, though we're working on it. He and Gussie are very curious about each other, and I don't think it will take them long to become playmates and buddies.

Losing Wooster was very hard for us, and we had to think hard about getting another dog this soon. But we discovered that we are just people who feel like a house is not a home without a dog in it. (A cat is just an added bonus.) So welcome back, dog hair! All of my black clothes and my wood floors have missed you!

Illustration Friday: Tango

The IF topic today is "Tango." I am posting this small tapestry (about 8x10"), which is called "Tango Garden." I created it the summer after we moved into this house. I was, at that time, obsessed with two things; my new garden and Yo Yo Ma's CD, "Soul of the Tango." Those obsessions led to this abstract tapestry. I still hear his tango music when I look at it. By the way, I think it is some of the 'sexiest' music I have ever heard!

I am also going to repost this painting, "Mon Vieux Lucien", as I made some alterations to it to complete it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

In progress....

...on the easel: an underpainting I began before I left town. I will try to complete it this week, though we will be having a busy rest-of-the-week (more about that later.)

...and on the loom, partially without permission, I might add! I got about an inch woven up the tapestry yesterday, in spite of 'help' from Gus and having to pack and ship pieces.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back at work...

This morning I am rushing around to pack the three tapestries that will be going to the Fiber Celebrated exhibit (the link is on the side bar.) "Wooster," "September," and "All Passion Spent" will be going there as soon as UPS opens this afternoon. They are all small-ish works, the largest being only 18x18". The exhibit will be in Durango, CO, which is not far away. I had planned on going to the opening with a friend, but she now cannot go, so I'm not sure I'll end up there either. The road between here and Durango includes Red Mountain Pass, which I have driven a number of times before, but never comfortably. I will have to think about how badly I want to go before I drive it alone. My husband is supposed to be on his way to Honduras that weekend, if the political troubles down there settle a bit more before that time, so I'll be on my own. A number of other artist's whose work I know will be exhibiting there, as well, so it would be nice to attend and see the work, and maybe some of them. I'll just have to see how I feel about it in a couple of weeks...

The photo above shows how I framed "Wooster". It is in an antique Arts and Crafts frame. I wouldn't normally frame a piece for exhibit that way, but I decided I would go ahead and leave it in my frame, and I believe I entered it that way. I am not going to have this piece be for sale. It is one of the few I intend to keep in my own collection. The frame looks good in my Arts and Crafts home, but I'm not sure how it will look on exhibit.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summertime, and the livin' is easy?

I am home today from spending a week with the cutest grandkids ever. Yes, I know that you may have a preference for your own, if you have them, and I will allow for that, but aren't these some seriously cute kids?
I am pretty tired, after flying from Boston to Denver yesterday (including a bumpy stretch through a lightening storm) and driving from Denver to Grand Junction today. But I still had just enough energy to upload the 400-and-some photos I took into the computer. Mostly all of them are kid pictures, though I took one or two with painting in mind. I have a new camera, and the color just seems to be incredible to me.... or maybe it was the Boston light? Anyway, now I am looking forward to a bit of weaving, some painting, more reading, and hopefully a few moments imitating my grand-daughters in the photo below, and just doing nothing at all...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Off to Boston...

I am headed to Boston today. I'm taking my 5-yr. old grandaughter with me. Along with the 3-yr. old twins there, we will 'play, play, play all day!' I will take hundreds, maybe thousands, of photos. Then I'll come home next week and get back to work. But for this week, I will just be "Grandma'!
See ya' later, alligators!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

June Maquette...

As I mentioned a few days ago, I have been playing a bit with a few photos that I took at our lake cabin last weekend, putting them together in a design for a 'June' tapestry. This is what it looks like so far. You can see where the different images overlap, and those, of course, would be blended in the actual tapestry.

June is really the month when we want most to be on the lake fishing. The lake is often still frozen through May, and by the 4th of July, it has gotten hot, the lake has turned over so there is a lot of moss at the top, and the fish just don't bite, but the mosquitos sure do! We still enjoy the cabin and the lake a lot during the summer and fall; it just isn't as much about fishing as it is in June.

The maquette may change a LOT before I actually decide to weave it. So far, there are 6 photos patched together: the sky is one, the mountains another (and it may need to be altered or changed), the lake is actually 3 photos, and the fish are from a photo of a sketch. Isn't Photoshop magic? I used to have to draw out and paint all these things to create a maquette! As with the other 'calendar tapestries,' this one will be 18x18."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yellow is not always mellow...

Painting under pressure is not the best way to paint! I have been trying to get a few small pieces done for the gallery here, as all of my small ones are gone.

Years ago my watercolor teacher/mentor/friend told me not to ever bother painting yellow flowers, as they just don't turn out well. Yellow flowers have a special translucence that is hard to replicate in paint, and there really aren't any good yellow paint colors that are natural enough for the delicacy of flowers. I forgot that sage advice until I had this painting almost finished. I kept trying to 'fix' it, then I remembered and had one of those forehead slapping, "Now I know what she meant!" moments. This is a yellow hibiscus. The painting is 5"x7", oil on gessoed masonite board. I am not thrilled with it, but am going to let it dry, as is, for now. I need to move on to other things - like packing for my trip to Boston next week!