Tuesday, August 3, 2021

30 Places, 30 Days, and Beyond...

These are the final sketches from July's 30places30days Sktchy challenge. I enjoyed doing them all; trying media and techniques I'd otherwise not challenge myself to try. I especially loved doing the looser sketches, which usually were done in watercolor.  Details about each of these are on my Instagram feed.

Poe, watching 3 young hawks on roof, through the window

This past couple of weeks, we've had 3-4 fledgling Cooper's Hawks trying our their hunting skills in our old evergreen trees. They have provided much entertainment for us, and for our cats! They seem to be splitting up now, each to their own territory, and one has claimed our yard. In the long run, I'm not sure I'm thrilled about that, as we love our songbirds. 

Now, with the 30 day sketch challenge over, I have changed my studio work table over from a sketching post, to a weaving table, once again. It will stay this way at least until the current tapestry is completed, and I'll be sketching on my lap desk in the sitting room. Wherever I am, or whatever I'll be doing, there will surely be at least one cat keeping me company!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

More sketches, and a new Tapestry...

#30places30days is moving on. We're up to Day 22 now. Here are 8 more sketches in (from top left) watercolor in England, ink in Rome, markers in an interior, ink in Spain, watercolor in Colorado, markers in Canada, ink in Iraq, and watercolor in New York City. That's a lot of travel for someone who rarely leaves home!

While I'm spending so much time thinking of landscapes, I decided it's time to do one in my own medium; handwoven tapestry. So Ringo and I sorted yarns out, and Poe 'helped' me warp the loom, which means it took me an extra few hours to fix his night time warp work! (Those hanging threads were evidently irresistible, but he did no real damage, thankfully.)

Also this week, I received the handwoven tapestry postcard from England, from my postcard exchange weaver. It is beautiful, and arrived safely, and I can hardly wait to share it with you! The one I made has been sent and tracking says it is now on it's way from London to it's final destination. The reveal of our postcards, and all others who have participated, will be in August, and I can't wait to see them all!


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Seven more, plus a Bonus Peek.....

I'm still doing the 30 day challenge to sketch a different place, in a different style, with a different artist every day for a month. The sketch above was of a duck pond in England, done in gouache.

Although this style was nothing I'd ever tried before, I really enjoyed doing this scene from DUMBO, in Manhattan, NY this way. I think it's a great way to sketch overly busy urban scenes.

This watercolor sketch is of a Quebec City street. This style is the one that I am most familiar with. This is also one of the few places we've sketched so far where I've actually been!

This watercolor sketch of the coast of California, from Carmel by the Sea also used techniques I am familiar with; from wet-in-wet painting, water spraying, spatter, and the use of salt and plastic wrap. (I could not help but think, as I was sketching this, of the little tapestry I did of crashing waves.)

Day 10 was a pen and colored pencil sketch of a Toronto artist's living room. I do like sketching interiors, so this was fun!

This is the Santa Maria della Pietà church in Calascio, Italy. This sketch is also watercolor, over a pen drawing.

The week ended with this very quick and playful lesson with an artist and architect in Mexico City. She encouraged us to play with the images and with the materials, so this was done in marker, watercolor, colored pencils, and crayons. I think this is a style I'll enjoy using in a travel sketchbook, if I ever get to travel again!

Finally, here is a sneak peek of the tapestry postcard I made of the Queen, and just sent off to England! It's still on the loom, here, and she was fancied up, fit for a queen, in the finishing process. I'll post an 'official' photo of the postcard when the ATA postcard exchange is ready to show all our little tapestries.

Monday, July 5, 2021

First Five, of Thirty

Little Joe Lake, Ontario, Canada    w/ Charlotte Hamilton

Starting on the 1st of July, I've been participating in a #30places30days challenge with other Sktchy artists. Each day there is a video tutorial by an artist in their own locale, using the medium they are most comfortable with to sketch a landscape scene. While I don't always enjoy painting in someone else's style, or doing the same scene hundreds of others are also doing, so far I am truly enjoying this.

The first day was a watercolor sketch of a portage campsite. It was a somewhat familiar scene, looking much like sites I've camped in.

The Colonia Güell, Barcelona, Spain  w/David Morales

The second day was all fine point ink, and hatching, which I normally avoid. However, I really enjoyed this sketch as well, quiting before the hatching bored me too much. 

The next day was also ink, but with a fountain pen. I am more comfortable with fountain pens, as I write with one daily. So I enjoyed the pen, but I was a bit frustrated because the artist was sketching on site, but we were using a photo and I could not always see what he was seeing. My sketch (below) shows my frustration. However, having never been bold enough to just jump in and sketch a scene like this with a fountain pen, I am now looking forward to trying it on my own scenes.

Tehran, Iraq city scene  w/Hesam Hasanipour

WA State Vineyard  w/Amy Stewart

These last two sketches used mixed media. The simplified vineyard scene (above) was done in watercolor, with added colored pencils on top. The scene in Southern France (below) began with an ink brush pen, then watercolor, and finally a bit of colored pencil was added.

Martel, France  w/Mr. Tazeb

One of the things I am enjoying, and looking forward to more of, is filling a complete sketchbook with landscapes. I truly have felt isolated and 'stuck' in one place for the last year and a half, so sketching other scenes is very refreshing. It is also refreshing for me - at this time - to sketch in new styles, and with materials I may not be as comfortable or familiar with. When this sketchbook is filled, at the end of these 30 days, it will contain many options for me to choose from as I continue sketch and creating my own sketching 'style.'

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Where Did My MoJo Go?

It has been hot here.....No, It has been H.O.T! here! We have never had multiple days over 100* in June, but a week ago, we had a full week of days, plus a few more, above 100! It was record breaking heat. I do not like heat like that. To top it off, tourist season has begun here, in spite of the fact that COVID is winning the war here, due to stubborn, misinformed, and selfish people who will not be vaccinated. Yes, I did say that out loud! I am having to be tested twice a week now to continue to be my Dad's caregiver, because the Delta variant has been spreading rampantly through our valley. Our county is one on that 'worst in the country' list. But if you go out in public, almost all people are mask-less (though most people in our area are not vaccinated) and it looks like there never was a pandemic, let alone that it is spreading here. In fact, I assume that if I do see someone with a mask on, they are one of the vaccinated and cautious few, as I am. We have even had a good number of vaccinated people test positive with the Delta variant, and also a few COVID deaths of vaccinated, but high risk, people. So this is all stealing some MoJo from me.

Last week was my Father-in-Law's 100th birthday! We had a small party of vaccinated people here to celebrate: my son, and one of my grandsons, my husband's niece and her husband, and a good family friend.   This is a man who wears 100 well! 

After the birthday folks left, my brother and his wife and their Golden Retriever, Cooper, came to see my Dad for Father's Day. Booker and Cooper get along very well, but the cats were not sure about another big dog that wasn't their brother, Booker. Ringo finally decided to check him out. Of the two cats, he is the smallest but the bravest.

I am participating in the ATA postcard exchange this summer. My 'postcard pal' lives in Great Britain, and I have told her of my affection for her Queen, as the Queen and I share a birthday. I decided to weave a postcard sized tapestry of the Queen to send, and have it almost completed. One of the things that this has, once again, convinced me of is that weaving a tapestry, no matter the size or subject matter, actually renews my 'MoJo!' So as soon as this one is finished, I'm going to be ready to start another.

In the meantime, it is apricot season. We didn't have any last year, due to a late freeze. We had a freeze this year, as well, but just enough of one to thin out the fruit, which is a good thing, occasionally.  I made no jam last year, and need to make some this year. That is on today's agenda... and tomorrow's, and probably the next day as well. This is just the first picked batch.

I hope you are all keeping your MoJo - your creative magic. I am finding it is OK to be somewhat isolated. I am also discovering how uncomfortable I feel among uncaring people. So I will be jamming in my kitchen, and weaving in my studio for the time being! Take care! Of yourself, and of all who are around you.

Watercolor sketchbook sketch

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

News from my Studio…

 This was in our local paper a few days ago. I had not seen it and was a bit confused when neighbors told me they’d seen my name in the paper. I was really pleased to have a piece selected for this exhibit! The Handweavers Guild of America has posted images of the exhibit already on their Facebook page, if you’d like to see it.  The exhibit begins in Washington state, and will travel for a year. My small tapestry that is to be included is below.

‘Peace’.  5x7 inches

I was also notified this past week that my tapestry, ‘Graffiti,’ was chosen as best of show in an online, all media exhibit with the theme of Text in Art. The exhibit, Context, can be viewed at https://www.art-fluent.com/context.

In addition, this past week I finally got the ‘Yin/Yang’ tapestry ready to hang. This tapestry is of our two cats, Poe and Ringo. They have been our companions and family during the past year of isolation. We adopted them together, and they are best friends and best foes. They are, however, very different in temperament, Poe being an explorer and doer, and Ringo being his audience to see how things turn out, before joining Poe’s mischief. When they laid together on the living room rug, they reminded my of the yin/yang symbol, and that in turn seemed to define their relationship and personalities. Right now, the tapestry is hanging in our dining room, and they have both given it various signs of approval.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Birth of a Tapestry!

 Poe, who has to be involved November, 2020

Just before the Pandemic began, we adopted two kittens. Throughout the shutdowns and isolations, they have been our constant companions. They are very sociable, with each other and with us. Poe, especially, follows one of us constantly, and wants to 'help' as much as he can. So a cat perch had to be moved into the studio, to keep Poe from using the loom as his gym equipment. The tapestry on the loom here is of the two cats; constant companions of each other, yet very different in personalities. 

  Ringo, who is content to observe

 Close to the end!  March, 2021

  Cutting Off!  April 16, 2021

After the tapestry was cut from the loom, with a private 'Cutting Off' celebration, including only myself, Poe and Ringo, the finishing work had to begin. With my supervisor close by, I cut all the long weft ends down to about 1 inch, then blocked it (see https://kspoeringtapestries.blogspot.com/2008/03/walk-like-egyptian.html for my blocking process.) 


A Celebration is in order!

At this point, the tapestry is pinned out, and covered, on the dining table. I'll begin the lining and prepping to hang process today. The two subjects of the tapestry are very drawn to it, as they have been my studio assistants through the entire process. They are, however, actively discouraged from claiming it as their own!

Discouragement not always successful

With my loom empty, I am continuing to sketch almost daily. Here is yesterday's quick little sketchbook page, a watercolor sketch of some lovely flowers from my husband for our anniversary. If you get the ATA news magazine, Tapestry Topics, you may have read my article about how important daily creativity is to me, especially in difficult times.

As always, thank you for visiting me here!