Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Send This Artist to Paris!

This is another of my little 'Places I Remember' paintings. It is of Quebec City, in the rain. It is also just 5x7". It is oil on masonite. It is one of the little paintings I will be doing canvas prints of for my new project.

So... here is what I will be setting up, as a new Etsy project: It will be a 'Send This Artist to Paris Sale.' It will include paintings, prints, tapestries, and some other items I  have ideas for. Any purchase for the next 9 months-a year will also include a postcard from me from Paris, when I reach my goal of raising the funds to get there!

I have been to Paris once, with my son in May of 2012 (you can see my posts from there if you go to that time period in the archive list on the right.) I saw a LOT of that wonderful city in the week we were there. But it is something like having just one sip of le chocolat chaud; you just want more! I did not see the Gobelins Tapestry Workshop, nor did we get to Giverny or up to Montmarte or to Sacre Couer. And I could easily spend another full day in the Louvre, and I am missing the Lady and her Unicorns, and wanting to see them (especially the one that was out for cleaning and repair) again. 

So... I will soon set up my 'sale' and see how it goes. I will let you know when (and what) I post on the sight. Wish me luck, and if you have any ideas for what might do well in such a project, please let me know!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

How I spent my morning vacation...

I have a very busy week ahead of me, then a few more busy weeks to come after that. So I decided to take a morning 'vacation' and do something just for myself for a small space of time.  I signed up for a sketchbook workshop at a local art supply store. Since I have been keeping sketchbooks for several years, I decided this would be a no stress situation, and I always enjoy learning something from someone else. I didn't even have to take any materials; all were provided. In fact, I think it was that last feature that clinched the decision for me, as I'm always fascinated with what other artists use to sketch or work with.

The workshop leader, a man named Don West, keeps a lovely sketchbook, which he documents on his blog.  He provided us with very nice handmade journals, filled with 90 lb. watercolor pages. He also provided clever paint sets, several sizes of waterproof markers, and a water brush. Then he gave each of us something different to sketch. I got a couple of tickets to a dance performance and a Guatemalan cup. In doing my sketch, I discovered several things: I like my own water brushes better than the one he gave us, as it leaked water and kept the brush loaded with water and too wet, no matter how much I blotted it. Also, I have come to love using fountain pens, so I found the markers somewhat clumsy in comparison, though they are an excellent brand and worked well, not bleeding into the water at all. I have painted so many cups (one of my favorite go-to subjects when I am stuck) that I found myself a bit bored with the cup, but I had fun sketching the tickets! That was good to discover, too, as I often just glue ticket stubs into my journal or sketchbook. From now on, I'll sketch them in!

I did not disclose that I am already a sketchbook keeper. I believe the women next to me had some experience, as well. We all just sketched, and everyone did something clever and unique in their books. It was lovely to have a few hours where I was actually required to sketch. Then, as all vacations go, it was over too soon, and I needed to get back to work. Sometimes a few hours of vacation are just right.... no bags to pack even, for this one! And I brought some 'souvenirs' home with me; the best kind (new art supplies!) As vacations go, it was a pretty economical one, as well.

Life is too short to not take a few vacations here and there. Even if they only last an hour or two.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Working, in many ways....

Bass Harbor Lighthouse, Acadia National Park, Maine

I have been getting a lot done, though I have not been at the loom since I cut the "November" tapestry from the loom. We went up to our cabin for a few days last weekend, and while there I painted several small paintings, including the one above. They are all just 5"x7", oil on canvas. They are of places I have been, and have loved visiting. I am starting to get quite a collection of 'places I remember' paintings; all just 5x7". I love to prop them up on window ledges or on a shelf among other items I treasure. I do not frame them, but let them stand alone; little memories on canvas. I would like to one day do a small coffee shop exhibit of them. But... I also have another plan in mind for some of them, which I will reveal soon.

In the meantime, I have been repairing and painting a cracked basement floor, painting a bedroom, planting a bit of garden, and spring cleaning both cabin and house, as we have company coming this weekend and throughout the summer. In fact, I need to get back to work, as those little worker elves who do your work at night while you sleep just refuse to come here, for some reason.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

'November' finally here!

"November" tapestry, Kathy Spoering

The 'November' calendar tapestry is getting closer to being done. The slits are all sewn, and it is blocked. I am just waiting for my in-house carpenter to build me the custom mounting frame; then I will mount it and it can join the other completed tapestries in this series, as they wait for me to find a venue to exhibit them all together, and to complete the final three tapestries.

Good news on that front, as well: I am very excited about a design I am working on for the 'April' tapestry. So far, it is mostly in my head, but I am beginning to pull it out into visible maquette format. It will be considerably different from any of the other tapestries, but that is what I want for the April tapestry, so YEA!

I think I am happy with this one. It takes me a while to decide, once done with a piece. I have been too close to it for too long. But I don't hate it, and that is a good thing. In fact, I believe it captures a feel I have for the month of November, and more specifically, a special time and place for that month, quite well. This is an image capturing the full autumn moon as it comes up through the bare trees up on the mountain at our cabin. In the tapestry, I recognize the specific tree; one of my 'friend trees,' just outside the cabin's kitchen door. I have actually woven this particular tree before - or bits of it - in the "Scrub Oak" tapestry!

Back to the studio... there is more work to be done there today, and for that, I am happy and grateful.