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


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


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!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

This is the sketch I did for today's International Women's Day. My post that I shared on Instagram and Sktchy is:

  • Today is International Women's Day, and this is the sketch I did to commemorate it. My husband commented on how unsafe and uncomfortable the pose looks. I said yes, the one on the bottom is uncomfortable, but hopefully we all take turns being on the bottom or on the top. I've had so many women in my life, family and friends, who have been supportive of me. Thank you, all women who take your turn holding another up!

    #Sktchyapp reposted it, both on their site and on Instagram!

    'Be Bold For Change' is the theme for the day. It is sometimes hard to know what that might mean, but for me, as an artist, I think it means not letting an opportunity pass me by to celebrate and support others.

    So, Happy International Women's Day! The world would truly not get very far without us!

    ..... and that's the Truth!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

the Week that Was.... more or less

A few pages from my sketchbook from the past week...

And some progress at the loom, where I've passed the halfway point.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Love is All You Need....

 With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I've been filling my sketchbook this past week with images of Love.

All of these are based on photos people have posted on Sktchy.

I hope this week finds you having days and nights filled with Love: spending time with people you love and doing things you love  to do, like singing songs of love, caring for your loved ones, and filling a sketchbook with images of Love!

And yet another quote from the great wise poet, Paul McCartney, "And in the end, the Love you take is equal to the Love you make!"

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Another Week in This Crazy World...

Sometimes, I think the thing to do is to ignore the crazy, and just escape...

...escape into my cozy home with my sketchbook and crayons and a cup of hot tea. 

But then the crazy just gets too crazy too ignore...

.... and I have to put on my 'spice' and send emails and letters to make my voice heard.

 Some will listen, some will not, but I still have to do my part.

There is at least one place in this crazy world where I know I'll find peace. Trespassers are not allowed in my studio... not in my space, and not in my head.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Hysteric - Oops! I mean, Historic - Week

This past week we said goodby to the Obamas, who have graced our White House for the past eight years.  I just couldn't be happy about that, and so Friday I went with my sadness to my daily sketchbook.

Saturday, I planned to take part in the Women's March, a massive event which took place all over the world to encourage compassion and equality in all people. Here in my small city, over ten times as many showed up as were expected, and that seems to have been true everywhere! Before I left the house to march, I did the above sketch in my Sktchy sketchbook.

One of the things that was so great about the march were the pink 'cat-ear' knit and crochet hats! They were everywhere! Each one was created by a knitter or crocheter, and they (we) literally made millions of them! I loved that!! So when I got home, I posted a photo of myself in my hat on Sktchy, and before long, five artists had sketched me!

Sktchy has a tradition that, if someone sketches you, you can sketch them back (if they have made their photos available.) Three of the artists who sketched me also took part in the March, and posted photos, either of themselves or of their family marchers.

I loved doing these 'drawback' sketches of these women and girls; all of them with the handmade hats that made the March especially special to those of us who create such things. I feel like it gives me even closer ties to the women of an extended world: We are 'makers,' we are artists, we are women with compassionate concerns. We are more alike than we are different. If only the whole world could come to that conclusion!

I have been having some back issues - aging issues, I guess is more accurate. But I made my way into the studio today and spent more time than I probably should have at the loom. I have been having trouble being excited about this tapestry that is on the loom. But working on it again is restoring at least my appreciation, if not yet passion, for it. I am beginning to look forward to seeing it progress.

To paraphrase what Garrison Keillor has said, the next four years can be a time for me to create, to tend my garden, and to be kind and compassionate in my own sphere. But I will not be doing that with my eyes shut.

Monday, January 9, 2017

"Take Your Broken Heart; Make it Into Art..."

It seems like sometimes we lose more than we gain. Recently, we lost 'Princess Leia' and her mother, Debbie Reynolds. Several generations of young girls grew up wanting to be Princess Leia, and I think she was a better role model 'princess' than the Disney ones. The sketch I did above is from a Sktchy photo of one such girl.

Last night Meryl Streep quoted Carrie Fisher in her wonderful Golden Globes speech, as telling her to, "take your broken heart, make it into art." That is what I have been trying to do. I am still working on a design for a tapestry that is to be my reaction to the election results; a broken heart in fiber form. Not an easy thing to design. It is much easier to design 'pretty' or 'happy.'

In the meantime, I am doing little quick sketches, mostly from photos people have shared on the Sktchy app. The one above is of a migraine, and, with the winter storms hanging over our valley this week, I am quite familiar with the feeling.

This one, which I call 'Banjo Love,' was this morning's sketch. It was done with ink and watercolor pencils. The others are done with a combination of water soluble markers, crayons, and pencils.

This little sketch of my sitting room was done in ink, then with several diluted ink washes, then a bit of watercolor for a final color wash. I'm not very fond of either that method, or the result. But I will give it another chance. It takes much longer than my normal quick 'inked line work, then color' method.

So.... I need to get back to work. The time has come.....  Now has arrived. (Ready or not.)

(psssst... If you follow me on Instagram, you will see my daily sketches on the day they are created. Link in the sidebar. Also, some sketches are for sale on Sktchy, there's a link to that, too.)