Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Inktober, Still!

I confess that I look forward to Inktober every year. It makes me hone my skills with ink, which used to be a very scary medium for me. This year, I am trying to use a brush pen more: even less control and more 'messy!' I am a bit of a control; freak when it comes to creating, and I really dislike messes! I won't use ink (or pastels) in the studio, as I'm afraid I'll end up with them all over the yarn and tapestries that live there. That's how messy I am. So I make those messes elsewhere, and test my sweet husband's tolerance level.

I don't 'commit' to doing a sketch every day of Inktober, but this year I have somehow managed to do one every day so far.  Here are some of this week's sketches and the prompts that inspired them.

Shy

Screech
This sketch was done from a video taken from a camera in the owl box in our yard. This is one of the Western Screech Owls that hang out in our neighborhood.

Run
 This is one of my grandsons, running cross country.

Teeming

Fierce

Mysterious
I kind of have an Inktober routine now! I sketch the outlines and ink in shadows in the evening, then give it a chance to really dry before adding color the next morning. Then I post them on Instagram and Sktchy - both apps which are very encouraging to artists. Most of the inspiration I use is from Sktchy photos, which are there for artists to use. Here are the steps for one of the sketches above:






Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Inktober, and tapestry tears



These are the last things I wove into the Graffiti Tapestry, which is now off the loom. They speak of things I cannot yet speak of, without tears of my own.


I am a believer of using creativity, rather than alcohol or drugs, to help heal. So this month is "Inktober" and I am trying to work my way through my sadness and frustration. To participate in Inktober, you are supposed to follow a prompt and do an ink sketch each day in the month. As in the past two years, I am sketching when I can, and following the props if I want to. In other words, I will not let myself feel stressed by 'supposed to's.'

So far, I actually HAVE sketched each day, and have used the prompts. I won't share all my sketches here, though I usually post them on Instagram. The sketch above was for Day 2, the prompt being 'divided.' I chose to sketch Superman/Clark Kent, because he 'divided' his time between making news and reporting it. (Lately, my heroes have been the ones reporting, rather than the ones making the news. Just saying...)


Day 3 was yesterday, and the prompt was 'poison.' Every Harry Potter fan knows that poison is to be found on Knockturn Alley!


Today's prompt was 'underwater.' So here's today's obvious sketch.

I have an empty loom. I need to clean my studio, and rewarp, and begin to weave again. Weaving is what I do.

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11 - still.....


This is the small tapestry I did for the September 11th Memorial Tapestry. As I revisit it today, I am seeing it as my first 'graffiti' tapestry! And, now that I think on it, I did another bit of woven graffiti, as well. 


This tapestry was woven when I was totally exhausted, physically and emotionally, from a project I was doing.

It amuses me somewhat that, when I am emotionally charged, I turn to 'graffiti,'  which is an immediate art form for expressing reactions and emotions 'Loudly' and quickly.  But I must express it the only way I know how: in one of the slowest, most 'non-immediate' mediums, handwoven tapestry.

September 11th was an emotionally charged and exhausting experience for us all. I still have tears fill my eyes when I see this small tapestry, because I believe I truly wept through the entire process of creating it.

The large tapestry I am weaving now....  well, I'm sure you will see my emotions spill out from it when it is completed.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Slip Slidin' Away....


I am making some slow, but sure progress on the 'Graffiti' tapestry. It is about to the halfway point, maybe a bit beyond that, at the end of today's work.


Life has had a way of keeping me away from the loom this summer. A solar eclipse kept me outside for several hours, gazing at the sky with my neighbors, and the rest of the country.


Politics and the horrors that has been bringing also has been  distracting. I have to respond in the only way I can, by sketching or writing.  And now there is a natural disaster which, although it hasn't affected me directly, has affected us all because we are all connected. Yes, all of us.

Sometimes these things make me feel that I am frivolous to sketch and weave and make music when the world seems to be crumbling around us. But other than donate to the Red Cross, pray,  and make what tiny ripples I can, I don't know what else to do.


The season is slipping away. A new one will soon begin. I love Fall - it is my favorite time of year! Surely in the next season, the world will make more sense! And, whether it does or does not, a tapestry will be born on my loom: my slow reactions to this world woven tightly together to create something new.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Life .....



We have had a few nice cool days, amidst our hot summer days. On one of those cooler mornings, I set myself up on the picnic table to stitch the "Country" tapestry onto it's mounting frame. Sometimes it would be nice to move the whole studio outside, but that 6' Shannock won't budge!


The 'Graffiti' tapestry on the Shannock is progressing at a slow pace. Our summer has been mostly concerned with my father-in-law's needs, as he broke his hip, had it replaced, and did his rehab and recovery here. But I have persisted with the weaving, though slower than even the usual slow tapestry rate.


I finally reached a 'wind it forward' length, so you can see I have much more to do than has yet been done!


We did get one quick night up at the cabin, where the birds and beasts entertained us, the sunset was stunning (as always) and I got a quick sketch in. We are always rejuvenated by our time there, and need more of it!

My almost-daily sketch time has become my 'meditation' time - as my mind is really much too noisy to truly meditate well. Sketching shuts it up for a few minutes, at least. This week, I completed another sketchbook, and added it to the shelf, which means I also am starting a new one! I know many artists and sketchbook keepers hate that first clean, empty page, but I love it! It is mine to mess up!


Here is one of the photos of the lake sunset from our day up there. We cherish our evening drives around the lake, spotting wildlife, and taking photos. I think, between my husband and myself, we must have shot 30-40 sunset pictures that evening, as every turn we took revealed it to be even more stunning. This photo has NOT been altered in any way! (And my husband took a few that are even more amazing - but don't tell him I admitted that.)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Blocking Day!



I am FINALLY getting around to blocking this tapestry, and getting it ready to hang! I still have to add some 'guitar strings,' which may be actual guitar strings or, more likely, gold thread (as it will be more flexible, and less likely to damage the fiber over time.) I still haven't decided whether I'll mount this to a frame, as I usually do with a tapestry this size (18"x18") or line it and let it hang loosely from a hanging board. It is so much more economical to ship a rolled tapestry! And I am finding myself needing to be more aware of economics these days.

If you'd like to see my entire blocking method, go here

The working title for this tapestry is "She's A Little Bit Country."

I am making very   s  l  o  w  progress on the tapestry on the loom, but, Hey!, tapestry is all about slow, isn't it?!

Friday, June 9, 2017

A message from my loom:



More work on the 'Graffiti' tapestry.


This week the 'Time Warp... and Weft: Woven Works' exhibit opens at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, GA. If you are in that area of the country, consider yourself invited to attend! There is an Opening Reception on Thursday, June 15 from 6-8 p.m.  Several of the artists will be there. I will be there in spirit! The exhibit includes all 12 of my Calendar Tapestries.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Graffiti!


I have begun the large 'Graffiti!' tapestry, and am hoping to have it completed by the end of the summer. That will require a LOT of studio time, and we have a number of things going on in our family that may prevent me from meeting this goal, but I've not abandoned it yet, anyway.


It will be about 24"x36", with the width being 36". So far, I have about 4 inches woven across. Here are a few detail shots of what I've done to date.


I am also continuing to try to sketch, though that is not something I can do everyday now either. I usually post my occasional sketches on Instagram, so you can follow me there if you'd like to see those.

Right now, I am excited that the "Time Warp... and Weft" exhibit will be opening in Athens, GA next week! All of my Calendar Series tapestries are there, with the amazing work of fellow weavers Tommye Scanlin, Janet Austen, Janette Meetze, Rebecca Mezoff, and Geri Forker. If you happen to get to see the exhibit, please leave me a comment or email me to let me know, as I cannot leave home right now to attend.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Time Warp.. and Weft exhibit and article...


I just got my copy of the summer issue of 'Shuttle, Spindle, and Dyepot,'  the Handweaver's Guild of America magazine. In it is a great article, written by Tommye Scanlin (THANK YOU, TOMMYE!) about the "Time Warp and Weft' exhibit that was held in Kansas at the end of last year, and will open in Georgia in June.


The exhibit will showcase the time-related works of Geri Forkner, Janette Meetze, Janet Austin, Tommye Scanlin, Rebecca Mezoff, and myself (listed in the order that the photos from the article are shown.)

I won't get to attend the exhibit in Georgia, unless my summer plans change, but it was a well attended and much loved exhibit in Kansas! My twelve Calendar Series tapestries will all be together there, and I feel so blessed to have a place to show them altogether again. It probably will not happen after this, as they are now for sale, and several are already spoken for.

If you get a chance to read the article or see the exhibit, let me know what you think! Six artists have woven their lives into the work to be shown there, and that is definitely the feeling that viewing this show evokes.

"Time Warp... and Weft" exhibit,  Lyndon House Arts Center, Athens, Georgia,   opening June 15, 2017.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Busy Days....


I have spent most of the past couple of weeks away from home, spending time with my sons and their families. The time included climbing gyms, soccer games, track practice, a granddaughter singing the national anthem at a pro-baseball game, a gourmet brunch, a menagerie of grand-pets, and a Matisse exhibit at the Boston MFA.


The Matisse exhibit is called 'Matisse in the Studio,' and it includes not only an amazing collection of Matisse's works, but the objects from his studio that inspired him.  Photos were allowed, so I shot photos of several of his wallhangings (he was a collector of fiber from all over the world,) several chairs and side tables, a beautiful turquoise vase that he included in a number of paintings, and his cocoa pots, which were also frequently painted.

From these photos, I did my own sketch in my sketchbook (below.) Even though I wasn't looking at his paintings as I sketched, it is obvious that Matisse has a firm hold in my brain! I was surprised at how much my little sketch of his objects said 'Matisse!'


I love the Boston MFA! I especially love the American wing and the Impressionists, so I spent some time there with my old friends. The Museum also had a special exhibit by their local favorite author, Robert McCluskey, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of his book set in Boston, Make Way For Ducklings. The exhibit was wonderful, and I discovered several of his books I hadn't read!


In addition, I hadn't seen the Museum's new piece by Dale Chihuly, an amazing glass 'plant' that is three stories high, and set in a place where the sun shines through it, making it glow. Truly lovely!


Now that I am back home, my empty loom is taunting me. It is especially calling to me because I have had the design for my next tapestry in my head for such a long time - since the night the election results came in, in fact. So, this morning, I got it out of my head, into the computer, and printed out to be taped together in cartoon form. Here it is (15 sheets of standard sized paper) laid out to be taped. The tapestry will be the largest one I've woven in quite some time. It will be 32" wide, by about 24" high. I am looking forward to rewarping the loom after I clean the studio today, and getting back to my Work. All play and no work can only go on so long.


Yesterday, I spent the day (and a LOT of money) packing and shipping all of my Calendar Series Tapestries to Georgia for the 'Time Warp... and Weft' exhibit that will be there this summer. I will let you know more about that very soon.... but, if you are in that part of the world, start making plans to go see it!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring Stuff....


I decided to get me one of the small Hokett looms that everyone is weaving on. It is the 'medium' size, about 7"x7". I did this small woven 'sketch' on it to try it out. It was a bit awkward following a cartoon on it, so I would actually recommend the larger size, if you are considering getting one. The weaving itself is about 4"x4".


I started a 30-day challenge on the Sktchy app, doing a sketch each day in April, with challenge prompts. This is the sketch I did today, based on the photo of this man, with a Matisse painting I put in because I am looking forward to going to the Matisse exhibit at the Boston MFA next week. I also printed, in a childlike way, a poem I love and have saved in my Matisse book for many years.



My husband and I go every spring to see this Great Horned Owl on her nest on a nearby walking trail. We went yesterday and will go again in a few weeks to see the baby owls, usually there are two of them. In addition, the Western Screech Owl that has always lived in our neighborhood has moved into a nesting box our neighbors put up in our yard. We may have some owlets of our own this year!


I saw on Facebook that today is 'National Doggie Daycare Day.' (Without Facebook, who would even know there were such days?!) So I'm posting this photo I took out the window. These two women have a dog-walking and day care business a few blocks from our house. They walk by with a dozen or more extremely well behaved dogs several times a day. Booker would not be allowed to go there, I'm sure. These dogs always walk behind them, respond to directions, and never bicker among themselves. They also don't stop and sniff at every bush and blade of grass. I've watched the women train dogs to be admitted to their 'pack,' and they are so patient! They never yell or punish. They just repeat instructions until the dog 'gets it.'

Much to do today... as is the case every day. Remember those lovely spring days of childhood, when you could lie under a tree (or climb up in one, as I used to do) with a good library book, and be there until the book was finished? Where did those days go?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Yee-Haw!


Today I finished weaving this tapestry, which has been on my loom since last fall, and I cut it off the loom! This used up the last of the warp on my loom. So now begins the finishing work on this tapestry, and the beginning work for the next one! Finishing will include trimming weft threads, sewing slits, adding the guitar 'strings' (I'm still debating about what that will require,) blocking, preparing a frame mount, and mounting the tapestry to hang. The 'beginning' of the next one will include cleaning my studio, rewarping the loom, choosing weft yarns, and finishing the maquette (design) and the cartoon. So I clearly do not have my work completed, even though I cut the tapestry from the loom.

The working title for this tapestry has been "A Little Bit Country." I don't know if that title will stick, or if it will change. But for now, she is resting on my dining table for a day or so, awaiting her completion!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Time......


A few weeks ago, my son and grandkids came for a few days. I had set up my floor loom for a simple twill rug, and my grandson took to weaving like a natural! He finished up a small rug I had begun, and I finished it off and got it ready for him to take home. Of course I had to do a sketch of him with his first rug in my sketchbook! As he worked, he asked if there was any way to make it 'more complex' so when he comes again we will do just that!


The spring time change always throws me for a loop, plus, we have had such a warm winter and early spring (record breaking warmth) that my allergies have kicked in sooner than usual, as well. I whine about all this to let you know my energy level has dipped to a new low in the past several weeks (and I refuse to attribute it to age.)  The one thing I have kept up is sketching, almost daily. 






I have also added a bit to the tapestry on the loom. You can't see the bottom of the weaving now, and you can see the top of the cartoon! So, I should have a cutting off soon: maybe as soon as this next week! Woo-hoo!