Sunday, December 17, 2017

Have Yourself a Merry Little Celebration!



I have been a busy elf lately: getting ready for both a holiday trip and house guests. But I have taken a few moments most every day to do a small sketch. Since I'm not getting out and about much, I've been using inspiration photos from the Sktchy App, where generous folks post photos for artists to paint and sketch. These are all done in my sketchbooks, so are small; no larger than 4-6 inches on any side. Most are mixed media, as I grab whatever is handy to do the job (colored pencils, watercolor, watercolor pencils or markers, ink, and sometimes gouache, when nothing else works.)

I do not have a tapestry on the loom, so these few daily moments have provided me with the creative work that I am finding is more and more necessary for me to 'keep my cool' in this dark and crazy season, in this ever more dark and crazy world. I hope you, too, have an outlet that keeps you grounded and joyous. And I hope we will all find next year to be a better one. May God Bless us, every one.

Friday, December 1, 2017

December is upon us.....

And I don't even know what to say about that! Except that, as a person very fond of Peace, Quiet, and Tranquility, I am often overwhelmed by the demands of the holiday season.


With Thanksgiving just past, I will post a few things I have created this past month. The sketches are from images shared for artists on the Sktchy App. They are all done with various media (watercolor, colored pencils, ink) in a small Stillman & Birn sketchbook, so are about 4"x6" in size.





The Missing Tooth!


This tiny tapestry was also created from a Sktchy photo, which I chose because it reminded me of my son at that age. It is about 3.5x4" and was woven on a tiny loom, as you can see!

Right now, my work is not so fun. I am needing, and attempting, to rebuild my website, which I lost some time ago when the server it was on chose to no longer supports websites. I can sketch, and I can weave, and I can do a number of other things, but building a website is really not one of my talents! I will, however, let you know when it is up and running. Let's all cross our fingers, and hope that happens before I run out of patience and toss my computer out my second floor office window!



Thursday, November 9, 2017

When you ask for encouragement.....

I have been artistically discouraged, of late, even contemplating 'throwing in the towel.' But, having asked the Power that is in charge of such things for encouragement and direction, it has come in unexpected and delightful ways. First, from encouraging words from a respected tapestry peer (thank you again, Tommye,) and this morning from a really unexpected place! I joined Sktchy a year or so ago, not having much time to weave, but hoping to stay creative by sketching and sharing with the art community there. For the most part, I have shared just sketches, inspired by photos people post there for artists to use. But I have occasionally posted tapestries, as well, usually inspired by challenges the app posts.

This morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see my tapestry work as the feature of the day - on a sketching community! Needless to say, it made my day, and gave me a much needed moral boost! Thank you, #Sktchy! And thank you to the community of artists there who have supported and encouraged me so generously in all my creative attempts through the past year!




Monday, November 6, 2017

Graffiti


This is the completed 'Graffiti' tapestry. It is approximately 32"x24".  It seems appropriate that I post it today, a year after it began to create itself in my imagination. It feels like it sums up the past year perfectly for me. It has been a hard year.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Inktober: It's a Wrap!

I'm going to let you peek into me Inktober sketchbook today, as the month is wrapping up. I have enjoyed the challenge more this year than in the two years past that I took part. It has not been a good month for me, with many personal challenges to face, so I think the daily sketching has been a bit of an escape route, or maybe a meditation. At any rate, I think it was a good thing to do this year.

These are not necessarily in order. The Inktober prompts are below each sketch.

Ship
Squeak

Blind

Fall
Found (as in, found passion)

Trail (this is the Labyrinth at Ghost Ranch)

Climb
United
This is the last prompt, for tomorrow, Halloween Day.

Mask
Here is the 'story' that I will post with it:

Grandma and I were mighty tired of the wolf and his wiley ways,
so we got a mask and set out to change the rules of the game he plays. 
No longer will Mr BB Wolf play us for the fool: 
its time he learns a new fact of life: we Girls Rule!

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.