Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Dose of tapestry 'Glory'






Today I visited the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA to see the " Invention of Glory, Alfonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries." The four large tapestries are stunning, and amazing in their detail, including stylized waves, incredible woven chain mail, and fabric and faces and flowers enough for any tapestry enthusiast.
I love the color palette of the tapestries. All colors that remain are seen in the image above, which I have shared from the Museum website ( no photos allowed in the exhibit.) I believe some color has faded over time, as there are some 'ghost- like' images that seem to have resulted from faded bits- possibly a faded green. But I love the remaining red, blue, gold and tan that remain. Everything is colorful enough with this limited palette, and there is certainly enough detail visible, in spite of the faded bits.

For more about the exhibit, check out the museum website: http://www.pem.org/exhibitions/151-the_invention_of_glory_afonso_v_and_the_pastrana_tapestries



Posted from my iPad

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tapestry in the News

Our local paper had an article in today's paper about the tapestries I did for the Church of the Nativity.

http://www.gjsentinel.com/lifestyle/articles/tapestries-weave-spiritual-message-into-church-lif

Nice to read some Good News for a change!


- Posted from my iPad

Friday, December 21, 2012

On the third day of Christmas....


...or is it now the fourth? Anyway, I have another gift link for you! This one is for those of you who, like me, take thousands of photographs, and who love Photoshop, not to make your photos garish, like some we have seen done, but to just 'change it up a bit.'


This awesome link is a tutorial on how to add realistic looking snow to an image. I took the top photo in Kansas last winter. The lower photo is with the snow effect added. I also added some text, and have sent a few of these out as holiday cards. I'm not sure that I prefer the bottom photo to the original, but doing it was a real blast! A virtual snowy winter blast, I guess. Try it. It will give you 20 minutes of true fun! And just maybe, a photo you will enjoy on this first day of winter.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Getting ready... again...



As this year began to wane, or anyway after my last trip just last month, I just decided putting my suitcase away was a waste of effort. As I began laundering and readying to pack to go to our oldest son's family's house for the holidays, I wondered how many times in 2012 I had performed this task. So I got out my calendar and checked; this is my eleventh time to pack for a trip in the past 12 months.

In spite of that, I am not a 'traveler.' Most of my trips were family related. One trip was to teach at Convergence. And the highlight trip was with my son to Paris in May. (OK, I did feel like a 'traveler' on that trip!) 

I am becoming a very efficient packer. I have learned that I generally wear the same few things on a trip, just like I do at home. So it is smartest to pack light and plan to do laundry.

The sketch above is from my 2012 sketchbook. I got a larger sized Moleskin for this year. It is the 5"x8" size. I wasn't sure about it, to begin with. I thought maybe that much blank paper would overwhelm me, but I actually found the opposite to be true. The smaller size makes me sketch so small, that I think I tighten up. Sketching and painting bigger helps me stay loose. I love the paper in the Moleskin sketchbooks! NOT the watercolor books, just the sketchbooks. It is a cream color, and it resists the paint just enough to give it a real sketchy, painterly look. This Moleskin has a lot of pages in it, and I have been doing two-page spreads. I had hoped to fill this book by the end of this year. I have filled well over half of it, but I have only a couple of weeks left to go. I haven't decided how to deal with that yet. I might do like I do with my journals, and just keep going until it's filled, then start a new one, whenever that may be. Or I have thought of doing a spread for each month on New Year's Day, which, along with what I do between now and then, might fill this book.

As I look back through the sketchbook, it gives me an accurate picture of what my year was like, with the exception of the Paris trip. I used another sketchbook for that trip. I actually wanted to sketch more of that trip, so I could also sketch from some of my photos to fill this sketchbook. That is a completely legitimate way to sketch, as I noted that Van Gogh often sketched and painted from prints and pictures when I went to the exhibit of his work last week.

Well, whatever I decide, it is always exciting for me to see a new year coming ahead. And I also love to finish a sketchbook, and begin a new one. Perhaps those things will coincide this year, if I plan it just right!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On the second day of Christmas....



...your fiber friend gave to you, two knitted slippers! I am counting my link to the Met in the previous post as my first Christmas gift to you, dear blog readers. That gift should be a very valuable one, as you can go to the Met site and find other tapestries (and paintings) to look at 'up close' as well as the one I posted.


My second 'gift' to you (and even more so, to me) is a link to the knit pattern for these cozy slippers. I decided to make myself a pair, as we're going to my son's house for the holiday, and we take off our shoes in his house. The pattern is a free one that I found on Ravelry and it can be found and downloaded here.

So put "White Christmas" on and settle in with your needles and a cup of hot chocolate, and you'll have slipper #1 done by the end of the movie! You can do the next one tomorrow night, as you watch "Holiday Inn" or "Christmas in Connecticut" (can you tell that I like the old movies?)

Let me know if you make these. I am already enjoying mine, and plan to make another pair in non-holiday colors.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Beautiful Holiday Inspiration


The Morris and Co. tapestries like this one, designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, do so inspire me. I love everything about them! If you want to share my excitement in this tapestry, go here (the Metropolitan Museum website) and click on 'full screen,'  then continue to click on the image to enlarge it more. You will be able to see the actual weaving details, better even than you could see it in the Museum, where you have to stand back a bit to view the work. I am so happy that the Met has shared some of their work to this extent! What a wonderful opportunity to study it gives us! I intend to spend some time looking up close at more tapestries and paintings, when I get the time. Perhaps a worthy New Year's goal would be to closely study a master work like this once a week, at least. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Van Gogh and the Weavers





Last weekend, at the 'Becoming Van Gogh' exhibit in Denver, I was delighted to see one of Vincent's Weaver paintings and one of the sketches he did of a weaver. I'm pretty sure the painting was the one above, based on notes I scribbled in my tiny notebook.




Van Gogh painted images multiple times. He painted, and sketched, a number of weavers. They were of the working class that he loved to paint.




I am assuming it was from these weavers that he begged, borrowed, or bought the yarn he used to figure out how to get his color effects that I mentioned in the previous post.

I also copied own a quote from his letters. He said, "I assure you that there's a lot involved in compositions with figures... It's like weaving... you must control and keep an eye on several things at once."

I am delighted that one of my favorite artists was familiar with, and appreciated, the work of the weaver.

(Again, as no photos were allowed in the exhibit, these images are from the internet.)


Monday, December 10, 2012

Winter has arrived!


We have, up until this weekend, had a dry, warm approach to winter here in Colorado. But, just like washing your car is bound to bring rain, scheduling a trip over the Rocky Mountains here makes snow a certainty at this time of year!

Our oldest grand-daughter (soon to be 9) was in a concert this past weekend that no amount of snow would have kept us away from! It was the holiday concert of the Denver Pops Orchestra, and they had invited the Colorado Flute Association to join them for the second half of the concert. The Pops concert was excellent, but when the flutists joined them (especially when the youngest ones came in for the last four pieces) excellent became Spectacular! There were 30-40 flutes, ranging from advanced adults to beginners like our Katie, joining the 100+ piece full orchestra. Katie is the darling little blond with the large red bow on her headband, and the curved piece on her flute (to make it shorter.)


Before the concert we had gone with our son's family to get their Christmas tree, and for the kids to see Santa (lest you think they look 'grown up.) After the concert, we went with them for a bit to skate - them, not us this time.

When we knew we would be going for our grand-daughter's concert, I also purchased tickets to go see the "Becoming Van Gogh" exhibit at the Denver Art Museum.


As always, his work takes my breath away. I discovered two very small paintings I had never seen before that I absolutely love! The first one below is "Sprig of Flowering Almond Blossom in a Glass." It is just about 8x10 inches. It looked like it was lit from behind; the light in it absolutely glows!  The one below it, the "Lane at the Jardin du Luxembourg" was 10x20 inches. It also was filled with light. Having recently been in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, I loved the Paris light and the familiarity that this painting had for me. As always, these images do not do justice to the actual work. They were framed and lit perfectly to show the glowing light that Van Gogh's work often captures. 

As a painter, I know I stood and looked way too long at these two works, trying to see how he captured that glow. All I could figure out, was that he used paint straight from the tube, without mixing colors at all. Then, as a fiber artist, I was thrilled to see a little side exhibit, showing how Van Gogh used yarn to see how colors would look side-by-side, without mixing them. The museum had a basket of his yarns in a case to show them wound together in balls, just like a tapestry weaver would wind them! He then painted the colors side by side in strokes, to look like the yarns looked wound together, with both colors showing separately, yet blending visually. This effect was more visible in his later works, like the almond branch painting. Both paintings were from the years Van Gogh spent in Paris. The exhibit included work from every stage of Van Gogh's much-too-short career. (These images are from the internet. Photos were not allowed in the exhibit.)






While at the Art Museum, we went and saw the El Anatsui exhibit, there through the end of the year.
His work, mostly done in Africa, is very fiber-like, though it is made of found objects. I especially loved the large quilt-like pieces, made of old labels and can parts.

 

We had a beautiful view from our motel window. The Cherry Creek Reservoir is in the foreground, with the Denver skyline and the mountains behind. In spite of the wintery road conditions on the way home, it was a lovely beginning to the  season!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Presented and Dedicated...


Yesterday was the day for the presentation and dedication of the Nativity  Tapestries. You can see the placement of the tapestries, which are still covered before they were presented by the donor family in the above photo.



They invited me to tell about the symbolism in the tapestries. Most of what I said can be found here. You can see the right side tapestry behind me.


Here is a photo of the donor couple and one of their sons with me and the tapestry that hangs to the left side.

I did not get a good photo of both tapestries installed, because they were either surrounded by people (after the service) or covered up (before the service.) So I will go back and get a good photo that includes them both on site in a few days.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Home again...


The photo above is of the postcard that the Church of the Nativity sent out for the presentation of the Nativity tapestries. I've never had a tapestry officially blessed before, and I am looking forward to it. If you are in the area, come see them installed! (They chose top cover the image to not 'give away too much' before the event.)

I am home again, after spending a bit more than a week with my parents in California. Being in sunny California, with everything green and flowers still blooming, does not get me in much of a holiday mood. 'Tis the season for cold and snow, though it is not very cold back home yet either, and there is no snow. But I am trying: I have put holiday music on this morning. As we'll be traveling to see both of our sons and their families over the next few weeks, I need to get in the mood, and get at least a little bit of shopping done! And I need to not stress over it. (I am not a very good shopper. When I come up with an idea, I can never find the item I've thought of in our small town, but I do prefer to shop locally if I can.)

(By the way, after reading JK Rowling's latest book, (which I cannot recommend) I have decided that parentheses must be the current punctuation of choice for writers. She used parentheses within parentheses and some of her parenthesized asides were pages long!)  (It was just one of many things that annoyed me about that book (though I am usually a JK Rowling fan, having loved the Harry Potter books.))


(I am seeing how useful these stupid parentheses can be!)  (Stop me, PLEASE!)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ready, set, but not quite a GO yet...


Loom warped: check  ✔


Yarn stash sorted for the yarns for the next tapestry:  check  ✔

 

 Needed yarn ordered and arrived in the mail: check  ✔


Maquette ready and cartoon drawn up to size (only a portion shows in photo): check  ✔

Can you tell by the yarn colors that the next tapestry will be the October one of the calendar series? The colors are truly beautiful, and they look like my favorite time of year. So I'm ready to begin, but the start will be delayed a few weeks as I go to spend some time with my parents in sunny(?) California.  (The question mark is because I have seen the forecast for the next week for northern California, and also because the last few times I've been there, it has rained the entire time I was there!)  Sooooo;
Suitcase packed: check  ✔
Umbrella and rain jacket in:  check  ✔
Knitting, sketching, and photography stuff in:  check  ✔

And I'll let you know when I start using those yummy yarns!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Walking Away....

I just dropped the Nativity tapestries off at the church for which they were commissioned. They will be installing them, and there will be a presentation of them from the commissioning/gifting couple to the congregation on Sunday, December 2nd. They have asked me to talk for a few minutes about the symbolism of and inspiration for the images.

As I left the building, I felt a familiar sense of loss. I have felt it before when letting a tapestry or a painting go to a new owner. In fact, it is very much like the feeling I had when I let each of our 5 foster babies go to their adopting parents. With the babies, I knew they were not 'my babies;' I was keeping and nurturing them for someone else. But a part of my heart went with each one of them. It was the same with these tapestries; all along I knew I was creating them for someone else. But they have been a BIG part of my life for over a year-and-a-half (much longer than we ever had any of our foster babies.) 

Now, I know. It sounds stupid when an artist compares the creation of a work of art to 'giving birth,' or caring for a child and then letting them go. Or comparing the letting go of that work to, for instance, seeing your own children go off to college. But I have to say, sometimes there is some comparison in the artist's heart. I have woven little bits of my life into those tapestries. During the creation of them, my Dad had a stroke and my Mom broke her hip. My concern for them as I sat at the loom weaving is woven tightly into those tapestries. Toward the end of the weaving, my brother passed away. My grief is a part of the tapestries. I spent precious times with children and grandchildren. I turned 60, and my son took me to Paris. The joy and amazement and wonder of those events are woven between the tight, colorful wefts. My disappointments, worries, celebrations, aches and pains, fears and prayers are all as much a part of the tapestries as is the wool of the weft and the cotton of the warp. When we hung the two tapestries to see where they should be installed, I looked at them, and saw all of those things hanging there. You may see Mary and her baby Jesus and some animals and flowers when you look at the tapestries. As I look at them,  I feel my life events, and I hear Jim Dale's voice reading Harry Potter, or a lovely quiet British accent reading Jane Austen to me. I hear the voices of my siblings and my parents, as we dealt with family events and concerns. I took all that today, hung it on walls that I will not frequently see (as this is not the church I attend), and turned my back on them and walked away. The time has come to let them go....


Monday, November 12, 2012

Autumn's Leaves Greet Winter's Snow....



 Saturday evening we were surprised by the first snow of the season. It wasn't a big snow; just enough to let us know that fall is passing away, and winter is coming...

Our old apricot tree, which dropped it's brilliant yellow leaves when the snow came

...enough for the fallen leaves to shout their last bits of autumn brilliance before colors become muted and disappear into the greys of winter.

 

So I spent some time painting the last bits of autumn. This was a little piece I did 90% of en plein aire  at the lake where our cabin is several weeks ago, and I added a bit to it in the studio on Sunday.

I have also drawn up the cartoon for the next calendar tapestry, and it is also rich with the colors of fall, as it will be the "October" tapestry. So keep visiting here, as I will be posting it in progress as I begin weaving it soon!

We are having the roof of our old house re-shingled, and the noise is keeping Booker right under my feet. I don't usually let him in the studio, as he is pretty hairy. So we are trying to work that issue out, as I avoid tripping over him all day long. So far, we spend the loud scary days out running errands or in the basement, doing laundry or knitting. I'm hoping it won't be too much longer before the roofing is done, so I can be in the studio during daylight, weekday hours again! The roofers are trying to beat winter as well, so hopefully I will be in the studio by next week. Booker and I are keeping fingers and paws crossed, at any rate. In the meantime, we are keeping warm and enjoying the beauty of the transition from one season to another.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What the World Needs Now...


Just a bit of love on this day of stress. When we cut wood a few weeks ago, this was on one of the fallen aspens we gathered. A true gift from above! 

I am keeping these two logs, but am not sure what I'll do with them; other than share their message with you!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nativity Tapestries



The Nativity Tapestries are ready to hang. They are each 20"long and 40" high. I will be posting about the symbolism in each tapestry here in the next day or two.

These tapestries were woven for the Church of the Nativity in Grand Junction, Colorado. When they are installed there, I will post a photo of them at their permanent home.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween....


This is a photo of which I am particularly fond. First, I love the huge ravens that have moved into the neighborhood, even though they terrorize the neighborhood cats (some of whom need a bit of terror in their lives.) Also, I have been learning, and have "97% ready" the Beatles song, 'Blackbird' (according to my guitar teacher.) I am quite impressed with myself for this, because I am playing the same actual thing Paul McCartney plays. It is the first song I have played, in my past almost two years of lessons, that I have not grown bored with before learning it well. I've always loved the song, and have discovered that fingerpicking is what I enjoy most doing on the guitar.

Anyway.... I even considered this photo as something to weave, without the words, of course. But look at all those pine needles! Lovely, and necessary, and no thanks, from a weaving point of view. But I love the bird with the crab apple in his mouth. This is one of quite a few raven photos I have taken.

Have a good halloween. Eat some chocolate - it's good for you!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I am soooo warped!

The 'naked loom' with the new warp beginning to be tied on the top beam

I ran out of warp doing the Nativity tapestries. Not literally, but way too close to it for comfort! I had about 10" from the top of the final hem to where the warp tied on to a dummy warp. I have used a 'dummy warp' for years - a warp that just stayed tied on to the top beam, and I rewarped by tying onto the dummy warp, saving a few steps and time in the warping process. But I had a bit of tension frustration with the Nativity Tapestries, which was probably due to weaving two tapestries at once, more than anything else. Anyway... I decided to get a total fresh start, so I removed the dummy warp and have warped the loom with enough to weave three or maybe even four Calendar tapestries. (I have six left to weave.)

Warp tied and wound on top beam, and through heddles and reed


Did you notice the caption on the photo above that says the warp is through the heddles and the REED?  You may or may not be aware that a Shannock loom, wonderful as it it, has no reed. It has a spacer-thingy  attached to the top beam, but that is really too far from the weaving to do any good in helping keep the warp evenly spaced. I have compensated over the years in various ways for this lack. But I saw in a post on Rebecca Mezoff's blog that James Koehler had someone make him a reed support for his Shannock.

I happen to live with a fantastic woodworker. So I posed him the problem of something to hold a reed horizontally on the loom for me. A few days later, I had the beautiful and solid oak addition to my loom that you see above!


As you can see, it looks like it is an original part of the loom. It is beautiful, and I can hardly wait to weave with it there to keep my warp perfectly spaced! My 'adaptations' have left me with a very small open shed over the past umpteen years, and I don't know why this solution didn't occur to me sooner. Every Shannock should have such a reed holder; every weaver should have such a spouse! I am quite a lucky person, don't you think?

And a new warp! So fraught with possibilities! Like a clean canvas, an empty journal, or a new sketchbook.... just waiting for something wonderful to be created to bring it to life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A bit of a break...


I will finish sewing slits on the Nativity tapestries tomorrow. I would have finished today, but I took a bit of a break from the task. I have been missing the act of smearing paint on canvas, so I sat and painted this small 8x10" study of the Seine from the left bank today. I already see a few corrections and changes I want to make on it, but they will probably now wait until the slits are all sewn. It was good to thaw out my palette of paints and paint a scene I enjoyed so much. For a bit I was back in Paris, watching the river pass by in front of me, with the towers of the Louvre poking above the bridge in the distance. A lovely escape for a rainy Colorado day....

Monday, October 22, 2012

Breathtaking October...




On our walk this morning, Booker and I were brought up short by the beauty of this tree in the park. Well, not so much Booker, as he had his nose in some bushes. But this is one of 'my' trees; at least I think of it that way. There are a couple of trees that I keep an eye on, as they always manage to astound me with their beauty. The photo doesn't really do justice to this tree today. It is so brilliantly golden against the bright clear Colorado sky. I think this tree is as big around as my whole house, and I don't live in a small house. It is the same tree I posted a photo of in winter (see below.) I had my camera with me on that winter day, though, and just had to settle for my iPhone camera today. Such a sight can 'make my day,' though. Overcome by Nature's beauty: that's how an artist should be, I am thinking.

I hope you see something today that takes your breath away, as well.

 

I read this quote this morning, and felt I should add it to this post:
October dresses in flame and gold
Like a woman afraid of growing old.
Anne Mary Lawler

Friday, October 19, 2012

Loose Ends....

.

So here is where I've been today... and yesterday... and the day before.... and a number of days before that.  I have been trimming all the loose ends from the back of the Nativity tapestries and sewing slits. One of the tapestries is all trimmed and sewn and tidy, and even blocked. I started on the second tapestry today. I have decided that, for various reasons, this will be the last time I weave two tapestries at a time! It was an interesting experience, but not one to repeat, I am thinking.  I will have a few more days of slit sewing on this tapestry, then I will block it, and will line both tapestries and prepare them to hang. 

I do not hate this finishing process. I fact, it gives me a chance to think of the next project, and to have a bit of closure on this one. These particular tapestries will be leaving me for good when they are completed, so I am enjoying having them around for this bit of time. The thing that I do not so much enjoy about sitting sewing slits for hours and days on end, is that my body is older than it used to be (don't know how that happened) and I frequently feel aches in new places if I work at too long a stretch.

In a few days time, I will be able to get some good photos of these tapestries to share with you. Until then, this is pretty much where I'll be.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Now I have remembered...


...what for a moment I had forgotten. When I teach, one of the things I emphasize to my students is that they design tapestries of things they love. A tapestry is too labor and time intensive to create images that you are ambivalent about.

 

In my last post, I had thought to work out a tapestry design for the October tapestry from a place that is not home to me; an image that I find beautiful, but have no emotional attachment to. Then, over the weekend we traveled over the mountains to see my son's family. Although the aspens are mostly bare, the later cottonwoods along the river valley were taking their place in showing Colorado gold. The grey skies and majestic clouds only emphasized the golden glory, and it reminded me that I love October in Colorado. So I have been working on a new design for my next Calendar tapestry. I think about it and work on it in my mind as I sew slits. And sew slits. And sew more slits, on the Nativity tapestries.


In addition to loving the Colorado fall scenery, I got to spend some time with a couple of precious grandchildren, and my son and his lovely wife for a few days. (I even roller skated a tiny bit, without breaking or spraining any body parts, though my grandson informed me that I do not fall correctly.)

 

And, seeming quite out of their proper element, we saw cormorants in Denver's City Park! Evidently a flock lives in a pond near the zoo there. They and the park geese were quite unconcerned with our presence. A cormorant away from the ocean... that is what I would be like if I were to weave a design for the month of October that did not reflect my love for my favorite month in the Colorado Rockies.

"It is not how much we do, but how much love we put into doing." Mother Teresa

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October gave a party...


With my loom standing empty, I am thinking ahead to the next Calendar tapestry. It will be "October," and I would like to get the loom warped and the weaving at least begun this month. I am still slit-sewing, blocking, and lining the Nativity tapestries, but that gives me time to think and plan ahead. 

The photo above is one I took in Maine on one of my fall trips there. I love the riot of color October is in the Northeast, as opposed to our beautiful but analogous gold  Octobers here.


So, working with the photo (which is unaltered in the top image) I cropped it, as all the Calendar tapestries are 18"square. Then I began to work in Photoshop to make it a weave-able design.


I like this bottom version best. The shapes are pretty manageable, though the weaving will be a bit fussy and fiddly, but I've done fiddly weaving before, so no worries!

It reminds me of the George Cooper poem, which I think I've shared before, but it's been awhile, so I'll refresh your memories:

October gave a party: 
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing.
Professor Wind the band.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

En Plein Aire...


We went up to the mountain to cut some more wood for the winter, which we are hoping will require a LOT of wood burning this winter (meaning a lot of snow and cold, plus a lot of cabin time.)

While there I took my 'en plein aire studio' (aka my husband's truck, where I open up the back and sit under the shell) down to the lake to paint. I did the 8x10 oil study above. It is really hard at this time of year to get the color right. Lest you think I mean that it is hard to not get it too bright, I will show you a few photos from the day. What I mean is that it is hard to get it bright enough to show the true gaudy brightness of the season! We really don't have very many fall colors here in Colorado: we have an INTENSE gold, plus the dark green of the evergreens and a bit of indian red from the ground scrub oaks. 


But when the sun is blasting down on you at 10,000+ feet of altitude, and the sky is intense Colorado blue (wish there was a paint color called that), the color's so bright, I gotta wear shades!


Most of the places, the aspen are bare already, but the cottonwoods have taken over in the valleys, so there is still a lot of gold in them thar hills.


I was sure Gus was telling me he wanted an adventure, so we took him along this time. (Turns out, we had the adventures, on our drives up and down the mountain. Gus is not a good traveler.) While at the cabin, the chipmunks and birds and one little squirrel were busy gathering the seeds we put out for them, and Booker and Gus were glued to the window, supervising them.

I always forget how much I enjoy painting en plein aire. I am never really happy with the result, but the experience makes that seem somewhat superfluous. In addition to the little oil sketch, I did a few watercolor sketches in my moleskin, which I am also enjoying using quite a bit lately. All in all, a lovely fall weekend!