Thursday, January 27, 2011


I have finished (I think) this still-life of teapots and a vase of bittersweet. It is oil on canvas, 20" x 16". It will go to the gallery when it is totally dry.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happiness runs in a circular motion...

In a coffee shop.
Taking photos.
This girl who clearly loves life saw my camera, and posed for me.
In a coffee shop.
With my iPad.
Sketched the happy girl.
Made me happy, too!

Posted from my iPad

Friday, January 21, 2011

ATB8 opening

The artist's reception for the American Tapestry Biennial 8 at the Textile Museum in Lowell, MA was last night. I did not take photos at the reception, except for this one my husband took of Jan Austen and me with our pieces, which hung together.

The Museum is very interesting. We had gone earlier in the afternoon, so we could see the textile history portion of the museum.

There were a number of the artists present at the reception. The museum staff had done a beautiful job of hanging the exhibit. Another wonderful accomplishment, ATA! It is always a plus, when I leave an exhibit, to go home anxious to get back to the loom.

Addendum: There is always something that, though it shouldn't at this point, brings me up short at an exhibit opening. This time was no exception. A man approached me and, seeing my artist's name tag, said, " Oh, you're the one that did the tapestry that looks like a photograph!" I wasn't sure how to respond to that. The tapestry, "January," is of the view from my upstairs window. It is the view that I looked at virtually every day last January, February, and the December before. When I looked at the view, I thought, 'that looks like a tapestry to me.' I did take photos of the view, but I also sketched it. When I developed the image into the tapestry cartoon, I worked from both the photos and the sketch, to capture the image of the tapestry I had envisioned. I deleted a lot of information from the photo, as superfluous, or unweavable. I simplified the photos to what I almost saw to be abstract; to look like a tapestry. To me, the photos looked like a tapestry. The tapestry has never looked like a photo. I don't know why that difference struck me, when the man made that observation, but it did. It always strikes me as odd that the artist's view can be so different, almost a flip-flop view, from what a viewer will see.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another day in New England with the iPad...

Another digital sketch from Brushes in the iPad. So much fun!!

And this is a photo altered in the iPad PhotoShop express app. My conclusion? Everybody needs a toy like this!

- Posted from my iPad

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More trip pics...

More snow today, then rain. Very messy!

These anemone at the Aquarium looked hand-knit to me.

Love jellyfish!

At Waltham Watch Works museum.

Snow in Harvard Yard.

- Posted from my iPad

Really, Boston...

...did you need MORE snow? It's pretty, but entirely excessive, at this point.

We have been to the MFA, where I saw the perfect tapestry foot for my Mary in the nativity piece, and one of my favorite paintings of the Boston Common, which was in the fantastic new American wing, plus much more.

We went to our grandkids' swimming lesson and to the Aquarium with them. We have done puzzles, played games, sang great songs and heard a few originals by my grandson, who is already a great singer/songwriter at the age of 4. We watched the Frog Princess movie. We went to the museum at the old Waltham watch works, where I took some great still life photos.

Now if we can just get to the ATB8 opening on Thursday night! (And thank you, thank you, Janet Austen, for correcting the wrong date that I had in my brain! I would have been quite upset to go to an opening on Friday that had already happened on Thursday!)

- Posted from my iPad

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Waiting for to go ( as opposed to Godot)

We are stuck in Denver for a day (at least) waiting for the Boston airport to open so we can go there. I am wasting time in a Panera, as they have WiFi. Here is a sketch of my husband, as he also kills time on his iPhone. I did the sketch on my iPad, on an app called Brushes. You are basically drawing with your finger. Very fun!

- Posted from my iPad

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ode to January...when things curl up to rest

We will be going to the Boston area in a few days. Our oldest son and wife and two of our precious grandchildren live there. While there, we will attend the opening of the American Tapestry Biennial 8 in Lowell, MA. I am really looking forward to it! It will be wonderful to go to one of the receptions when I am just one of the artists, and not someone who has to worry about exhibit management details. My calendar tapestry, "January," shown above, is the piece that is in the exhibit. It was woven from the view from my sitting room window, last winter. The view is pretty much the same now, in fact.

The amaryllis that I have been enjoying for the past few months has spent it's bloom. The wilted blossoms are still so appealing to me, that they were the subject of my daily sketch this morning, one more time. I have cut it from the plant now, but will try to keep the plant going. I used to be able to do that; keep an amaryllis and have it bloom several years in a row. But it's been a long time since I've done that successfully, so I have in recent years pitched the plant once the bloom is spent, and have started a fresh bulb the next fall. This year, though, I am going to try again to keep this bulb going. I discovered a link at the Better Homes and Gardens site that tells how to do it differently, and hopefully more reliably successful, than I have done it in the past. I don't like to throw the spent bulbs away. It's not just that it feels wasteful, to such a frugal person as I am, but I always feel like I have killed a living thing, that just needed to rest for awhile before it created beauty once again, like we all sometimes need to do, especially in January.

I guess this post is not really much of an 'ode to January,' so I will leave you with a haiku:

The freezing winter
Leads us inside where we can
Curl up and keep warm.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Trust? I'm just not sure...

I do not always trust my own vision. For instance, I took this photo from my sitting room window yesterday morning, and have been a bit obsessed with it. In fact, before I took the photo, I looked out and thought, 'wow, that is a Charles Burchfield sky!' so I ran and got the camera.

I am thinking about what to do with the image, which, though actually quite grey and dismal, is still speaking buckets to me! Is it telling me to paint it? To weave it? (Oh, please, I hope not! Look at the fiddley work those curtains would require!) Or just to let it be what it is? Or am I seeing something that is not even really there, and it is not worth the second thoughts I have been giving it?

See what I mean? Sometimes it is not easy to look at everything with an artist's eye. Especially when I am not necessarily trusting that the eye sees things that will appeal to others, or even to myself if it is transferred to a new medium. And is there even anything 'worth saying' in this image.

But I do love the greyness of it, and the subtle layers in the sky do so appeal to me! As I have been weaving 'water and dog' today, this sky has been calling to me. Shall I trust it's siren call, or is it just trying to lure me away from the work I am doing?

Well, for now, I will just share it with you and get back to the dog and the water that are growing on the loom.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Technology...

Yesterday I boasted to my husband that this year I was not starting the New Year with a cold, for a change. Last night, my throat started tickling, and the cough began. Hello, winter cold! So today I have been taking it easy, drinking lots of hot water and tea, and learning to use the new toy Santa brought me. I got an iPad, with the hope that it would be a new tool for my design work, both at home, and more especially, when I travel. I have been getting the apps I think I will want to use - Adobe has a nice small version of Photoshop I'm pretty happy with, for instance. And I also have been figuring out how to post both to Facebook and to this blog. So this post is really an experiment. If you are reading it, it must have worked! The photo was also a part of getting the iPad ready. I took the photo of my wilting amaryllis with my camera, and was able to import it directly from the camera into the iPad, with a connector that Santa considerately included. I am pretty impressed with the capabilities of this little thing, and especially love it when something actually does what you want it to do!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad