Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Feeling Creative

I always say there's nothing like a deadline to stir up creativity, and I'm scheduled to participate in  two shows this Fall, which is right around the corner! If you talked to me yesterday, you would have heard how anxious I was about this, but I feel much better today, having broken through the creative block I had been dealing with.

This morning, I spread out my materials - my hand painted fabrics, roving, etc. - and propped up a piece of foam board with the beginnings of some landscapes pinned to it.

I worked on the two top landscapes simultaneously, concentrating first on the lower one. I do love purple and green together, so this one had me excited. I audition many fabrics as I go along and lightly tack the pieces to some white flannel, which I use as the base for my landscapes. So, I started with this...

and proceeded to this point...

Here's a higher contrast photo, where you can see that I draped the dark green sheer fabric in the foreground and ironed it down, but not entirely flat. I'm happy with this technique which I had been wanting to try. I need to mull over this now and decide where to add details with roving, threads or beads. And I need to decide where and whether to add trees, so I'll just sit with it for a few days.

The second landscape started with this orange/pink fabric I had painted some time ago. I really just wanted to experiment with it, but it seemed to come together pretty quickly (meaning, in about two hours with auditioning fabrics, etc) and I went out on a limb and added some bits of wool roving and hand dyed cheesecloth for texture, then finally, a setting sun. Or is it dawn? That will be up to the viewer!

I'm happy to have started this journey, which will be going on until November.
Thanks for reading, and hope you're having a lovely week!

Now to clean up my mess for the day!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A New Look

This morning I had a good time designing a new header for my blog,
using PicMonkey and a border I had cut from fabric years ago.

Truth be told, I get very bored looking at the same header all
the time, and also the same profile picture!
PicMonkey makes editing and designing so easy, I'm sure you'll be 
seeing different headers from me all the time now!
And I've also changed my blog description because,
truly, we really are on a creative journey, aren't we?
I think I'll forever be trying new materials and techniques
and cherishing every moment of the journey.

How about you?

Have a wonderful day!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy September!

I just came across these photos my friend Andrea took a couple of weeks ago in our final paper mache class. I don't think anyone had actually completed her piece by that point, but there was progress! Luckily, Create Artisan Studio, the place where our classes meet, has open studio nights during which  we can continue work on our projects outside of our normal class time.

Rosalie's eggplant is becoming more colorful
as she applies layers of tissue paper.

Andrea's girl (named Yardley) is lying down, feet forward,
while to her left is Barbara's black cat.

My lady is shaping up - she has had some hair added 
since this photo was taken!

AnnMarie's fish is very happy looking!
She'll be suspended from the ceiling when she's done!

And meanwhile, at home, Angus and Rosie are relaxing,
single file, on the back of the sofa.

Hope your September is off to a great start!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Goodbye to August

It has been a very good month in many ways. The weather has been cooler than usual this year. This has made some of my beach-loving friends yearn for hot, sultry days, but I'm always craving a cool breeze. There have been many good porch days, get-togethers with friends and our trip to Tanglewood and the Clark Institute. Another fun trip was an adventure to an international quilt show in New Hampshire with several friends, where we enjoyed both the quilts as well as the vendors!

Here are some of my favorite quilts -

Amelia Leigh, United Kingdom - "Elizabethan I"

Christine Seager, United Kingdom - "Mustard Rings"

Shin-hee Chin, McPherson, Kansas - "Eyes Wide Open:
Seeing Light in Mundane"

Margaret J Fabrizio, San Francisco, CA - "Very Red"

Jeanette Thompson, Chicago, IL - "Peace is Not a Moment,
It Is a Long Process"

Susan Shie, Wooster, Ohio - "Flowers of the Arab Spring"

I'm working on a few projects which I hope to share soon. Meanwhile,

Hope you're enjoying a great weekend!
See you in September!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Catching Up

Earlier in August, I went on vacation with my husband to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. It is a lovely area and, while there, we visited The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown. This is a beautiful, low-key museum in a lovely pastoral setting. They have an expansive collection of Impressionist works, as well as some more contemporary art.

These were some of my favorites:

Winslow Homer - "Farmyard Scene"

Pierre-Auguste Renoir - "Tama, The Japanese Dog"


Two Self Portraits by Renoir

Thomas Gainsborough - "Elizabeth and Thomas Linley"
(Teenagers were moody, even back then!)

Edouard Manet - "Me'ry Laurent Wearing a Small Toque"

Renoir - "Therese Berard"

And, finally, Mary Cassatt - "Woman With a Baby"

We also went to Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts, where we enjoyed two beautiful concerts on consecutive nights. 

The first concert was called "Tanglewood on Parade" and featured festive music by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. The final piece, the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky, was performed by all three orchestras together, with cannons firing on the lawn and live fireworks as we walked to our cars. 

The second concert was an all-Brahms program in the beautiful Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood - very formal and intense, but so enjoyable!

Finally, as we made our way home, we stopped for lunch at our favorite Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury. It was our 37th anniversary and this is where we were married, at the Martha Mary chapel on the grounds of the Wayside Inn. Nice memories - we try to go there every year.

I have more to share, and will continue in another post. Meanwhile, I hope 
that you have been enjoying your August. Hard to believe that it's nearly over!!

Enjoy these summer days while they last!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

What I Did in July, and Happy August!

July was a good month, and I kept fairly busy with creative projects throughout those steamy days.
I created three fictional portraits and one (the last) of my neighbor Carolyn. Each was introduced with a little story attached. I get very involved with my cast of characters. Maybe they need to interact? I enjoy seeing them side by side, although Blogger didn't make it very easy to arrange them like this. Anyway….

I find myself drawing sketches of people all the time now. They seem to develop on their own as my pencil moves along, and sometimes I'm inspired by people I see, or even people I know. These are terrible photos, but you get the idea. Even the inside covers of my crossword book aren't safe!!

Also, I've been taking a class in paper mache, which has been pure fun. The instructor, Amy, is the same teacher our group has had for the last three classes I've taken, and we have more fun than you can imagine. Did I say "fun" twice? Well, it certainly is! This is a little lady I'm working on...

Amy has several birds, and they come along with her (one at a time), which adds to the high spirited atmosphere of the group. Here are good buddies Boncuk and Zaza. Aren't they sweet?

Here is Hapi, who flaunted his beautiful red under-wings for me, but I didn't get a good picture.

And Cairo, who has visited us a few times, with his brilliant green feathers.

Everyone in the class is making something different. AnnMarie opted for a large fish!!

Barbara is doing a pretty cat...

Andrea is making a large sculpture, and these cute little kitties are part of it.

And Rosalie is making, well, a giant eggplant!!

In July, I also had a chance to go to a knit and crochet show in New Hampshire.
I neither knit nor crochet, but I was in search of wool roving and found some beautiful stuff!

I've been both wet felting and needle felting, and these are pieces I'm still working on.

I'm not a gardener, but love flowers, and these were a lovely gift from a friend.

And, finally, I've had some beautiful blossoms on my hydrangea bush and enjoy them so much.

Thanks for stopping by to read my little saga.
I hope that you are having a wonderful summer!!