Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Overwhelming Myself....

I have been at the computer all day today so far.... about 5 hours. I am putting together the images for the seminar I will be teaching at Convergence. In doing this, I have basically replayed all the tapestries I have woven in the past 30 years, and I am finding myself overcome by the thought of all those hours of work. Not weaving hours; I will be teaching a design seminar, so my mind has been on the design process. 

I, and most of the other weaver/teacher/bloggers I know, often remark about how many hours we spend at the loom to complete a tapestry. But before we ever get to the loom, the tapestry must be designed. And that process is taking place in almost all of our waking and sleeping hours. I have been designing the tapestry I'm working on now, in some ways, for the past 30 years... perhaps even longer for this one, as a lot of what is in it comes from things I learned as a child.

Perhaps it is the 5 hours at this computer that have overwhelmed me today. Maybe. But I don't think so. I believe the presence of all those tapestries, the amazing reality that I somehow worked them out of my waking and sleeping dreams onto the loom, then onto walls, has just sat down on my lap and overwhelmed me.

So I will put this all away for now. I'll shut down the computer and I will go to a coffee shop and flip through a magazine and let my mind rest.

But will it really rest? Does an artist's mind ever shut down and quiet, or will I, even then, be perking  some new design to find it's way to my loom?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

More Progress, and Convergence 2012...

As you can see, I have made some more good progress this past week on these two commission tapestries. I put a red line (digitally, not actually on the tapestries) about where I began for the week. My goal was to weave at least 3 inches up on both of them, and I wove closer to 5" across. That is a very good thing, because we will be taking some time to go to the mountains over the next week, so I'm counting some of that extra weaving as work towards this week's goal! Weaving this much has meant weaving from 6-8 hours for 5 days of this past week. I did not weave yesterday, as I really needed to let my achy body rest a bit.

In addition to spending most of my days at the loom this past week, I have been working several hours a day on the seminar I will be teaching soon in Long Beach, CA at Convergence 2012. It is to be a 6-hr. seminar on Friday, July 20th. Below is the Seminar description. More information about Convergence can be seen on the Handweavers Guild of America website.

UC124 My Life is But a Tapestry
Kathy Spoering
Participants will create designs to be woven as narrative tapestries using images and stories from their own lives as well as shared experiences. This class is a design experience, focusing on content, symbolism, and design elements to create tapestries of both personal and universal appeal. We will also explore creating a maquette and a cartoon from which to weave.
Materials fee: $5.00. Level: Intermediate.

And.... I am a bit embarrassed to admit this.... I have been spending my evenings sewing slits and getting the small "May" tapestry ready to block and mount, as it will be in the Leader's exhibit in Long Beach. It has been 'resting' quite a long while since it was cut from the loom, but when I got it cut off, I immediately began rewarping for these commission tapestries. In addition to seeing "May" in Long Beach, ATA's small format exhibit,  Pacific Portals,  will be held in the Long Beach Library, which is near the Convention Center which is hosting Convergence. My little tapestry, "Grace" is in that exhibit. I always love seeing that exhibit, as it has work from weaving newbies hanging alongside the work of tapestry gurus! And they all look delightful together!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Past the mid-point....

I am well past the half-way point on both of these tapestries, and am making some real progress this week. I have woven about 24" on each of them, and have about 16" left to weave. My goal for the week was to weave 3" all the way across both of them, and I have already achieved that, just at mid-week! So I am going to keep going, hopefully adding another 3" before next week begins.

The apricot tree is empty, so I don't have any more fruit to deal with. But I am still also working on the Convergence seminar I will be teaching next month, so I can't spend all my work time at the loom. But weaving is my top priority this week, and I am truly enjoying my time at the loom!

Back to it.....

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Tomorrow, I will be back at the loom! I have not been slacking. I have been very busy, actually. I just haven't been busy at the loom.  Most recently, I have been dealing with ripe apricots. And, while I sometimes gripe that we have too many apricots and they ripen all at once, bla-bla-bla, this year I will not complain! We've not had apricots on our trees for a couple of years, having lost them to late freezes. Many in the valley lost them again this year. We don't have any on the largest tree, and don't have a lot on the other tree, but I have done 3 batches of jam, so will have jam once again in the pantry! Yea!

The day after I got home from France, we had my father-in-law here for a week-and-a-half, then two of my grandchildren came for most of the following week. I told the kids it was our Arts and Crafts camp week, and we did a lot of projects together. One of the things we did was to go visit a friend who has the most beautiful nursery in the area. She also has cows, and three new calves. So, needless to say, I took a lot of photos! 

Then we went home and set up our easels, put on our artist hats and aprons and painted what we had seen. I started on a cow. (I'll share it when it's done.) The kids were so impressed by the flowers, they both painted bright flower paintings. I love how they both used vertical and horizontal line work!

This one was done by my six-year-old grandson...  

... and his eight-year-old sister painted this one.


We needed a bit of a break, so went to the cabin for a night. Booker has a friend staying with him for a few weeks, and after they spotted a deer out the window, they spent a lot of time there, hoping to see it again, and watching chipmunks and hummingbirds.

And that's pretty much all we did there, too. I felt an urge to sketch, and realized I hadn't brought anything to sketch with or on, except my iPad, so I did this little finger drawing on it. I have also been working on the seminar I will be teaching at Convergence next month. I hope to see some of you there, if not at the seminar, then at the small tapestry exhibit, which I always love seeing and participating in.

I am looking forward to being at the loom tomorrow, after I deal with another batch of apricots tonight (pie fillings for the freezer this time.)  Time to weave.....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Final Paris post... for now...

Several of you who have followed my recent trip to Paris have asked if I got to take photos of the places in my small old souvenir photo book, which I posted here.

I did take photos of several of the sites, though I did not intentionally replicate the viewpoint. In fact, I did not take the little treasure out and about with me. So any shots were really more coincidental.

The two above shots were of or from the Tuileries Gardens. The little shot of the gardens from the book is below. It shows the end of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc du Carrousel. It took me two photos, at different times, to get all that in. The photographer must have shot the old photo from somewhere inside the Louvre. I shot the top photo in the evening, including the end of the Louvre Palace, the Eiffel Tower (lit for the night), and the Arc du Carrousel. The second photo is from the Tuileries Gardens, including the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, and the Eiffel Tower.

The old photo of the Left Bank booksellers is one of my favorites.

My attempts show that they look pretty much the same! Same old green boxes attached to the wall. The old photo was clearly taken from further down the Seine than we went, but I did manage to get a couple of photos with Notre Dame in the background.

My shot of the Hôtel de Ville was a complete accident! 

I saw this impressive old building across the Seine with a lot of activity in front of it and shot a photo before a bus blocked my view. Then I asked my son if he knew what it was. Checking the map and his iPhone, we found it was the Hotel, and the French Open was to begin that day, with much of the activity taking place there (thus, the white tents in front.) Amazingly, I shot almost exactly the same view the photographer of the old photo had taken!

I did shoot a few photos of Notre Dame from the Left Bank, as it seems the old photo above was shot, as well. However, we did not go as far down the Seine as this photographer did. We saw the cathedral from mostly the front end.

These are all the photos that I took that compare with the old ones. With them, and the hundreds of others I took, I have put together my own book of Souvenirs de Paris!