Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holidays a-bloom....

My Christmas cactus is blooming on this Thanksgiving morning! (That is a chocolate pecan pie in front of the bread box, by the way.)

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and family. May you be blessed with the awareness of all the good in your life on this day of giving thanks.

And may we all be blessed with peace and joy throughout the oncoming holiday season.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Decisions and choices...

I know. It doesn't look like I have done much on these tapestries. And I haven't progressed very far, just a bit more than an inch on each of them. But each of those little bits of weaving represent a lot of thought, and many choices and decisions.

As I am 'beginning again,' weaving the start of the tapestry bodies, I have had to decide a lot of things: how much texture does the fox area need to look fox-like? And should the sheep be physically textured or just visually textured? How can I keep the rhythm of dark/light (chiaroscuro) going between the fabric and the animals? How dark should the darkest shadows on the fabric be, and how light should the lightest highlights be? Can I weave 'straw?'

So there was a lot of work, and even a bit of unweaving, in these few inches. They represent two weeks of work. Sad.... but true.

In my non-weaving time, I am knitting and sewing grand-children holiday gifts. Fun!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

'The thinginess of things....'

Sylvia Plath has been quoted as saying, "If I could paint, I would want to paint things. I love the thinginess of things."

I also love the 'thinginess of things,' and I love that phrase! I think of it when I paint,or even photograph, a still life.

Today I thawed out my paints and did this painting. It is a bit of an irony, as it is an oil painting of a watercolor palette and a cup of dirty paint water. It is 9"x12".

I have heard jurors and art critics call amateur painters "Sunday painters" with a distinct snub in their tone when they say it. I seem to have become a "Sunday painter." I won't apologize for it, nor do I think anyone should, if they can only paint on the weekend or in spare bits of time. Better on a Sunday afternoon than never, I say! While I am weaving through the weekday work times, I can't get out the paints. My painting studio and my weaving studio are one and the same, just on opposite sides of the room. Going back and forth between the two mediums involves a lot of clean-up, not to mention a completely different mindset. So, for now at least, I am quite delighted to have a hour or two on Sunday afternoon to put paint to canvas.

Reluctantly, I will now stick my palette back in the freezer, hoping that I'll have a bit of time, and the inspiration of 'the thinginess' of something or other, to bring me back to the easel next Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The next step: Nativity tapestries....

In spite of horrid migraines the past 2 days (weather related?) I have enlarged and drawn up the cartoons for the upper portions of the two Nativity tapestry panels. The poor quality of the photo (and the cheesy vintage paneling) are because I did it in the basement, as the rest of the house was just 'too bright.' (Which is actually funny, if you've ever been in an Arts and Crafts house with wide eaves!)

Anyway,weather and head willing, I will be ready to proceed with the weaving of these on Monday. In the meantime, we will be heading back up to the mountains to cut more wood before the snow keeps us from being able to get back into the forest.

I love it when I am at this stage of a tapestry, (or in this case, two tapestries.) When the only thing between now and the cutting off is a lot of time at the loom. Winter is setting in... perfect weaving time! I will try to keep you posted on the progress of the weaving, but posting about weaving an inch or two, while it may be significant to me and may have involved a lot of time and work, just seems like posting 'breathing reports' sometimes.

In the meantime, leave me a comment to let me know you are visiting me and to let me know what YOU are up to! I know there is surely a world out there beyond these studio walls...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Peace border...

If you are interested in the spiritual symbolism in the lower right border of the Nativity tapestries, you can find more about it here.