Wednesday, February 27, 2013

33.3 %....

I have been weaving, but I have also been feeling like I am not getting very far very fast. OK, I know that I am weaving a tapestry, and that's just how it goes, but I had hoped to be further along by now.

But this morning I realized I am a third of the way through the October tapestry! That sounded to me like more of an accomplishment  than it really is, but I've decided to celebrate it, anyway. The next third is the busy, very fiddley part, so I need to encourage myself to keep moving ahead!

Well, the photo is here now for you to see where I am, and my coffee break is over. Back to the loom!

(But first I'll share a look at He-Who-Thinks-He-Rules-the-World on his perch overlooking the neighborhood.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Someday my prints will come....

... and today is that day! I have added a new section to my Etsy shop. I now have prints available of some of my small paintings. All are double-matted to fit a standard 8"x10" frame. These are all of original oil paintings that are no longer available. I am making prints on standard glossy paper available on Etsy, but will do one on canvas, if you prefer it and contact me on this blog, at the same reasonable price. A perk just for my blog readers! I will only ever do a limited number of 25 prints per image.

Let me know what you think of the shop addition, at any rate.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

There'll be days like this....

Oil pastels on canvas  8"x10"

I didn't want to do anything today. I sat down at the loom for a bit, and I think I even put some weft through warp, but my heart wasn't in it. I have a canvas prepped and a painting ready to begin, but I definitely wasn't feeling energetic and creative enough for what that would involve.

So I ended up doing laundry, baking a loaf of tea bread, and making a crockpot full of spaghetti sauce. Then I grabbed a box of oil pastels, which I have never really even played with. I guess I felt like it was a 'life giving me lemons' day. Don't get me wrong; I am a fan of lemons. So when life gives me lemons, and a shiny new box of oil pastels, it seems to be the kind of day to do a little sketch on canvas.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Artist at Work....

"Winter Bedroom"  16"x20" oil on board

I'm not sure how to even put this, but I am back to 'being' an artist again. That sounds pretty silly, even to myself. But artists sometimes let others define them, and we let them make us feel that we are not 'Artists,' maybe because they don't like our work, or they don't think we make enough money at it. But a firefighter is a firefighter, no matter what he makes at the job as long as he works at fighting fires. And an artist is an artist if they are making art. (And that is probably a terrible analogy, but you know what I mean.... I hope.)

I have not been making art for awhile, as I've been away to visit family, and then I came home with a dreadful head cold, which threatened to put me out of commission forever (as you know, if you've ever had a head cold.) But today, I am back in the studio, doing the work of an artist.

I first wanted to reassess the painting at the top, as I had finished it in the fall, decided I hated it, and stashed it at the back of other unfinished or hated canvases. But, before I went away, I ran across it again, and I decided I didn't hate it as much as I had thought. It just needed a few changes here and there. So I spent a few minutes doing that. It really didn't take much. It is a painting of our 'Winter Bedroom,' which is also the title of it. Yes, we have a winter bedroom and a summer bedroom. That is because in the summer, we sleep in a sleeping porch, and it has no insulation and no heat, so in the winter it is pretty much the same temperature as the outside. So about Thanksgiving we move to our 'winter bedroom,' which serves as a guest room in the summer months, when we have the most visitors.

I have decided that I like the painting because it looks like the room. We won't always live here, and I think I want to paint a number of interiors of this house, because I do love living here. One of my favorite paintings is the one I did of the upstairs hallway, with a tapestry hanging on the wall.

After the few minutes at the easel, I moved across the studio to the loom. Above is a tiny bit of what I'm working on today; the October tapestry. It is very good to be a working, weaving artist again, playing with these colorful bits of wool to make a piece of fabric that will also be a meaningful image!


And, just for the record, as I have been weaving, I have also been thinking about how fetching I (or anyone) would look in Lady Cora's travel coat and hat. Don't you agree?

Saturday, February 2, 2013


We went up to our cabin for the past two days. We haven't been there since before Christmas, because we are getting to be 'wuss-ier' as we age. (Is that a word? If not, it will be when you reach my age!) When we first got the cabin, we were 30 years old. In the winter, we have to climb a very steep hill on cross country skis (then) or snowshoes (now.) We also have to carry everything we need; water, food, clothing, books, dog food, etc. My husband pulls most of that on a sled, but I try to haul up my own 'stuff.'
When you're 30 years old, that hill (which is about the length of a city block) doesn't seem so long or steep, even if you are hauling for a family of four instead of just two, and if you are also hauling a couple of toddlers. But now, 30 years later, that hill can be quite a challenge, which is why we have switched from skis to snowshoes.

Also, when you are 30, 3 1/2 feet of snow and cold weather is nothing, except a lovely playground for you and your kids and dog. It still is a lovely playground, but....  When it was below zero every day for the month of January, we would consider going to the cabin, then we would think of sitting huddled before the fire, trying to get warm, and we would (I shame-facedly admit) choose to stay home. 
The cabin is a large one-room A-frame with two open lofts, all heated by a woodburning stove. When it is below zero, it never gets really warm inside. In fact, even this weekend, it took a long time before it was as warm inside as it was outside in the sun. I spend a bit of time in the sun-warmed truck, sketching, waiting for the stove to get hot. We do know how to layer up and dress warmly here in Colorado, though! That, and the huge need for sunscreen, is the first thing you learn when you live here.

 This is the pile of wood we cut last fall, supposedly 'drying out' to be used next winter.

Click on image to enlarge

One of my favorite pastimes in the winter at the cabin is watching the birds we feed. You know this about me already, if you have seen all the birds in my tapestries. Many of them have come from photos I have taken at the cabin. Booker loves to keep an eye on the birds, as well.

We have the 'regulars,' being the chickadees, nuthatches, and jays (as seen in the Winter tapestry.) And we have the 'occasionals,' such as the gold and red winged blackbirds, the woodpecker (who likes to come with small flocks), and the grosbeaks. But yesterday I looked out the window and saw a flock of PINK birds! Pink birds in Colorado! We had never seen such a thing! They came and went, seeming to be a bit skittish when the bigger jays were anywhere near. I checked our ever informative bird books, and couldn't find them. They have a beak that looked like a grosbeak, so, when I got home I looked for 'pink grosbeak' online, and didn't find anything that looked right. I finally discovered that they are "Black Rosy Finches," or Leucosticte. They are related to crossbills and grosbeaks. If you do a Google search for them, and look at the images, you will see how varied and lovely they really are!

A few years ago, I shared with you the phenomenon of pink snow that Colorado has, and now I have discovered that we also have lovely pink birds! Maybe that is one of the reasons our state nickname is "Colorful Colorado." We have colors for everyone - even for those who love Pink!