Thursday, October 31, 2013

As October ends, "November" begins!

We have had a few colder, stormy days here, which makes me think perhaps our house painter was right, and fall will be short, leading to an early winter.

On our walk yesterday, Booker and I saw that most leaves had been blown from the trees in our neighborhood.

I have been back at work in the studio. I have the cartoon and the maquette done for the "November" tapestry. I have re-warped the loom, and yesterday I wove the header and began the hem. I have the yarn selected and pulled out of the storage bins.

I am excited to begin this tapestry. It has some challenges inherent in the design. I love a challenge! The biggest challenge of this piece will be of color and value contrast. I need to get the dark areas dark enough that they read as true, pure darkness, without using a plain black, which I never use. (I always at least blend colors into the black, as pure black tends to look lifeless to me.) And I need the other darks to stand out enough to be seen, but to still read as darkness, as well. This is a night-time tapestry, and I believe weaving it will be as big a challenge to me as night photography has always been for me.

Although I may not be ready for winter, I am ready to begin "November," both the tapestry and coincidentally, the actual month! Wouldn't it be something if they ended together, as well?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oh, the light, the glorious light!

It has been great to be with my parents in California for the past week-and-a-half. California is always beautiful, and the weather there was lovely the whole time I was there. In the middle of last week, my husband told me a bit of our yard was in the newspaper, and sent me the photo above (which was taken from our paper, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.) It is of the median in our street, and you can just see the box that covers our backflow preventer in the background.  We live on one of the few residential streets that still have a median, put there long ago to cover tracks from the cable system that used to run down our street.

At this time of year, people tell me that they often drive past our house, just to see the beautiful trees that line the street, as they change colors.

When my husband picked me up from the airport Saturday evening, and drove me home (to our newly painted house!), I saw that autumn had truly arrived in my absence. The evening light shining through the leaves at this time of year almost makes my heart ache with it's beauty. I can think of nothing more beautiful to me than autumn light!

This is my St. Francis statue in my lily of the valley bed. Prettier than even when they are blooming, don't you think?

October is not Halloween to me; it is color and light. It is the most beautiful of months. I do hope October has been that to you, as well.

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
Lauren DeStefano, Wither 

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
George Eliot

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chasing rainbows...

I have been very busy for the past week or so. Unfortunately, not really creative, just very busy. The painters finished painting our house... and their busy-ness prompted me to do my 'spring cleaning,' a season or two late. (Or early, depending on how you look at it.) I polished woodwork and wood floors. I also made quince jam and green tomato relish (that I believe rivals the jar I purchased in Maine a few years ago) and made and froze home-grown-and-made marinara sauce.

Tomorrow, I will go visit my parents in California for a bit, to see what fall is doing in that part of the world. The trees here are beautiful as I drive down my old street!

Today, on the way to the grocery store there was a double rainbow ahead. It was one of the brightest I have ever seen here, and I could see the full spectrum! I don't always see the violet end of the spectrum here, but it was quite visible today. I wished I wasn't driving down the road, and that I had my camera along, instead of just my phone camera. But I enjoyed it, just the same.

When I return from my trip, I will be excited to get into my studio again. It has been rearranged, and I am anxious to see if I have set my loom up where I'll get a bit more natural light. I have the "November" tapestry designed, and yarn ready for it. I also have several paintings I look forward to working on. But, until then, I will not be posting on the blog. So, happy creating, my dear blog friends! And I will catch up with you in a few weeks time.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On exhibit...

The opening reception for the bi-annual fiber exhibit at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts was last Friday night. The Art Center was given a large and impressive collection of Native American textiles a number of years ago, with the stipulation that they are exhibited on a regular basis. They have been shown, filling one of the Center's three galleries, at least once altogether (or at least most of them.) But for the past number of years, the Center hosts an invitational fiber exhibit every few years, showing a selection from their collection along side work from fiber artists from the region.

The exhibit usually has a LOT of art quilts, but they were strangely absent this year, possibly because the quilters have had a large exhibit in the Court House Gallery for the past few months. So Art-to-Wear was featured this year. There was a fashion show early in the evening, and the models took turns throughout the reception standing on pedestals in the gallery. The three pieces above were all made by the same young lady. The white dress in the top photo was completely constructed (quite beautifully) from plastic Walmart bags! The little boy in the next photo is the artist's son, wearing a jacket made from magazine pages. I was amazed because he was a 'rough-and-tumble' kid, but his jacket held up beautifully! Her work all seemed to be constructed to survive. My favorite piece was the beautiful southern-belle style gown, made completely from phone book pages! The bodice is from the Yellow Pages, and the skirt from the white pages. This model was on the pedestal for a while, then went out and danced in the lobby, where there was music playing. People touched and looked closely at the gown, but it moved gracefully with her, as if it was made from the finest silk! The artist must be an amazing seamstress!

The reception was well attended, and even quite crowded at times (I was worried that the gowns might not survive the crush, but they did.) At the end of the evening, my husband took a photo of me by my pieces, hung in the corner. I look a bit tired, don't I? I should have had him take the photo in the early part of the evening!

There was good response to my tapestries, and my small 'process' poster helped, I think, though I should have made it larger. Next time....  I always learn something from exhibiting! And that is a Good Thing.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

You Are Invited...

I would love to see some familiar faces at the artist's reception at the Art Center tomorrow night! I will be there from 7-9 p.m., trying to look 'artsy', and listening for those comments that can either make or break my creative spirit! ("Where can I buy the kit you used to embroider that?"  "That looks like a photograph!" (grrrrrr) and the always popular, "You must have a lot of patience.")

Tapestry is a very misunderstood medium, and that seems to be especially true here in the outback of Colorado. I don't know why that is the case. We're pretty close to New Mexico, and it is fairly well understood there. But, as the only professional tapestry weaver between Denver and Salt Lake City (and there aren't but a few there) people here just do not 'get it.' Sad, but true. 

So, every few years, I stick some work up at the Art Center, on their generous invitation, hoping that this year they will remember and maybe even appreciate what I do. And, who knows, this just might be the year!

If you come to the exhibit on Friday, please find me. (I'll be the one with the 'yes, I am very patient' look on my face.) If you go later in the month, let me know, and I'll meet you there if I can.

I am working on the designs now for the April and the November tapestries. I'm not sure which I'll do first. Most likely, the one I am most excited about when the designs are complete!