Monday, January 28, 2013

Places and faces....

Today was the day to take work to the local Art Center's member's exhibit. I took these two paintings, but am not overly excited about them. They are each 11"x14", and they are framed alike, so make somewhat of 'matched set.' I painted each of them just as an experiment. The one above, "Le Grande Salon," was painted to experiment with painting loosely and with little detail, a scene with a lot of detail, just to see if I could fake or simulate, the details.

This second painting, "Le Gothique," was painted in a new-to-me technique, where I painted very thin transparent oil glazes, to see if I could keep the illusion of light. There are 5-7 glazes on the painting.

These were really the only new things I had to take to the exhibit. I wasn't excited about them, because, although I believe I achieved what I wanted to with the technical experiments, neither of the finished paintings transported me back to Paris.

In my sketchbook, I am still sketching (among other things) faces, hoping to do at least 100 faces before this book is filled. I spent a few minutes sketching with Picasso last week. It was fun. I may sketch 'with' a few other artists  before I am through. I believe I am up to 36/100 faces now.

Though I don't normally put my sketches here, I am sharing yesterday's little sketch entry (or part of it.) ... Not because it is a great sketch, because it is pretty simple and commonplace, but because I was so excited to see a new little bird in the yard yesterday! After it flew away to join the huge flock across the street, I looked for it online, and found that it is a female 'Common Redpoll,' which is not at all common here! We are pretty far south of it's regular territory. It was feeding with a group of sparrows and finches that are regulars at our feeder, (except when they see the neighbor's cat lurking beneath it.)

I have not had a sunny or bright enough day to take a photo of the tapestry on the loom in progress lately, but I am hoping for one soon!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

Life is what happens.....

I confess that I have been at the easel more than I have been at the loom this week. And I have also, much to my chagrin, been at the computer, as I am now. 

As you may have seen in the previous post, I've been working on my Etsy shop so it can include tapestries. I have also been writing to my senator and congressman, and keeping up with some distress in the news, which (for me, anyway) supersedes a bit of distress that is also currently in the tapestry world.

One of my goals for this year was to do at least one painting each month. There is an exhibit at the local art center for which I'd like to have a new piece, and it is due at the end of January. So I have been working on the above painting, which will probably be titled "The Gothic." It is of one of the cathedrals we went to in Paris. For some reason, my desire for 'glowing light' I guess, I decided to try a totally new-to-me technique with this painting. I have been using only transparent paints, and have been painting in thin glazes. This means that I have been basically repainting the whole thing every day this week. I do like the effect of the glazes, but can't help feeling that painting it in my usual opaque way would have been more time efficient. (By the way, the excellent little fox drawing at the top of my easel was done by one of my grandsons.)

It is a good day to weave. The temperature outside is currently 18 degrees. It doesn't look like it will get above freezing in the foreseeable future, and it dips below zero every night. The studio is one of the warmest rooms in my old house. I am thankful for it's warmth, and for anything that warms body and soul (as you can see by the photos I've been taking lately.)

My house is a mess. That confessed, I am going to leave the computer,  let today's glazes dry on the painting, and get myself to the loom!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Have you visited my Etsy shop?

I have updated my Etsy shop, including adding these two tapestries. Go look at the shop, please, and let me know, either by email or in a comment here, if you think the low-as-I-can-go prices are reasonable, if the photos are easy to see, and if the descriptions make sense to a potential shopper.

I'm not sure that what I see as a seller is what you would see as a buyer, so I truly will appreciate any input you might be able (and willing) to give me! I especially am not sure how to describe a tapestry to someone who may be familiar with 'tapestries' only as those afghans that have images on them. How do I make it clear that these are not the same thing, so they really should command a price higher than $30.00?

Anyway, thank you to anyone who will help me with this! This is a new experiment for me. I am not sure a tapestry will sell online, but have decided to try out the waters of the web, and see what happens!

I am also considering selling numbered limited edition prints of some of my more popular sold paintings there. But I am wondering if the price of about $25 each would cover the hassle of shipping these? Or if people would think that was too much for a print? (Tho' they sold well at that price when I was in the gallery.)

Ah, the hassles of being my own business manager!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Goals... and Obstacles

As I begin this tapestry, the seventh calendar tapestry, I am determined to get it and at least two more done by the end of this year. When I set a deadline for myself, I work out how much I need to get done in a weeks time to meet that deadline, or personal goal. I would like to have this tapestry off the loom by the end of March. It is not a large tapestry, being only 18 inches wide by 18 inches high. So I figure I need to weave two inches each week to get it woven by then.

As you can see, I reached this week's goal this morning. That's good, because I also have the determination to paint at least one painting per month this year. So, for the rest of today, tomorrow, and the weekend, I can work on a painting that I have roughed out.

That is, I can work on it if I can move! I don't know if it is the very cold weather here, the hours at the loom or my old loom chair, old age, or a case of flu coming on, but I ache all over today!


In addition to aching, here is another one of my studio 'problems.' Gus has chosen to claim my loom chair as his. So if I boot him out of it so I can weave, he finds ways to punish me, like climbing into my yarn basket so I can't get the yarns out (and so that I have to pick cat hair out of the yarn before weaving it.) My chair is pretty old and uncomfortable (especially today) so I may try to get a new one, and just let him have the one he has claimed! Knowing him though, he'll want the new one.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

In the beginning...

I have begun (barely, as you can see) the next Calendar Series tapestry.  I was determined to begin it on New Year's day, but we had just returned from the east coast late New Year's Eve, so I pretty much spent January 1st recuperating and unpacking. 

Yesterday, I went into the studio and looked at the cartoon, the maquette, and the pile of yarn sorted into the colors I'll be using for this piece. As always, my first thought was, 'I can't do that! It's too complex. I don't even remember HOW to weave!'

So I had to give myself the usual lecture: "Yes, you DO know how to weave a tapestry. You just completed two larger and equally complex tapestries. Just Do It."

I don't know why beginning is such a challenge for me, but it is. I find all kinds of other things to do when I need to begin a new tapestry, like posting on my blog and doing laundry. And sketching in my sketchbook.....

Speaking of the sketchbook, my 2012 one is almost full, with just a couple of pages yet to fill. I decided to sketch 100 faces to finish it up, a challenge I know many artists take on. These will just be sketchbook faces, so I am sketching from lots of sources; magazine images, photos, and the television, most notably. This page of the first 5 were all done with my non-dominant left hand and one of my new Stabilo markers (tho' the color was added with colored pencils.) I have 24 faces done so far, and I like the ones I do with my left hand best. They seem to have more character than my other sketches and drawings have. Wonder what that means?

I have a sick dog today, and am trying to figure out how sick (sick from eating something he shouldn't have, which now should be out of him, or sick-as-in-I-must-call-the-vet?) In the meantime, between cleaning up the results of his sickness, I am weaving. My hope is to weave three Calendar Tapestries this year, and three more next year (which will complete the 12)  and, while I am doing them, to find a venue that will exhibit them all together, along with the Seasons Tapestries. Pretty lofty goal, for someone who wasn't sure she remembered how to weave yesterday!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Looking back....

Looking back through the photos I took this past year, I selected one from each month that 'felt like' that month to me.

The photos I chose were also chosen because I thought they might be ones to influence my art; I may want to paint or weave,

...or images of things that influenced me in ways that might affect what I do in the future.

They are images in which the color sings to me,

or the season speaks loudly.

Some were images that surprised me with reflections and captured motion,

with moments of quiet in a loud world;

images of blessings that should always be, but that we rarely have time to see.

I hope 2013 brings us all times and images of Beauty, Peace, Comfort and Joy.

Be kind to everyone this year, and expect them to be kind in return.
Maybe we can start something that will make a better world.