Saturday, June 27, 2015

The first days of summer

The first week of summer vacation has been busy with play dates, going to a baseball game, shopping, playing in softball games, visiting the aquarium and butterflies.

The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk has a butterfly house for the summer. After being amazed by the iMax movie Flight of the Butterflies, which tracks the migration of monarchs, we ventured into the butterfly house taking care of where we stepped - some like to rest on the warm ground - and moved.

Ellie immediately made a new friend. I call her my butterfly whisperer. Whenever we visit butterfly houses, they are drawn to her and land on her far more than on Grace or myself.

Perhaps it's the colors we wear? Or some bodily scent detectible only to butterflies? Or maybe they just need to get used to us. Soon enough, Grace had visitor as well.

As I reached up to brush hair from my face, this little one decided my fingers made a nice resting spot.

This blue morpho kept me company while I sat

and simply enjoyed watching Ellie

and Grace interact with the butterflies and others who there.

It's an odd feeling to have a butterfly land on a bit of your exposed neckline and stroll around it awhile before changing course to walk down your back. I snapped this shot just before it disappeared on its downward trek.

My favorite flutterbys, Grace and Ellie. 

How was your week?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Searching for Roy G Biv 4 - Indigo, update 1

Indigo is a mysterious, ethereal color to me. It brings to mind the sky at twilight

and the deep blue visible when flying above the clouds.

It is history with a tactile sensibility. 


It is durable with great functionality,

Yvette & Ansley, 2010
cut denim
yet great beauty as well.

Indigo is actually one of my favorite colors to create with.

Tea bags and the red boat enjoy it too.


Yearning to see more indigo? Just take a stroll then to see what beauties await from:

Roxanne at Ideas in Cloth
Margaret at Charlton Stitcher
Susan and Elizabeth at PG Fiber2Art
Mary Ann at Blue Sky Dreaming


A Pieceful Life shares a quilt made of indigo


July 16 - violet
August 20 -brown
September 17 -gold

October 15 -grey
November 19 -pink

December 17 - blogger's choice

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Searching for Roy G Biv - Reminder

The days are passing far too quickly as summer nears. While checking our schedule yesterday, it hit me that this Thursday (2 days from today...yikes!) is a Roy G Biv day.

June's color is one of my favorite and one of the most illusive...indigo. Happy hunting!

Monday, June 15, 2015

In the studio

Since returning from Pam's and my 6th annual artist retreat, time in the studio has been hit and miss. It will become even more so over the next few weeks as the school year ends and my little urchins are home until summer camps begin.

My plan for the summer is to rise early and get in the studio for whatever period of time the day brings before the girls wake. This means quiet, focused work. Don't want to wake the urchins too early! 

Over the weekend, I cropped the craft paper that had been printed at Pam's

and began sewing the sections together. What's happening in your studio?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

"As If It Were Already Here"

Last Sunday, my friend Deb Jansen and I set out for Boston to view Janet Echelman's As If It Were Already Here which is currently installed over the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

After giving Deb an imprompto tour of Boston (thanks to the gps on my iPhone not working so well in the tunnel...or possibly user error...still not sure which), we finally ended up on the correct road and were greeted with this sight. 

 There are advantages to being stopped at a red light. Twice.

We parked the car and ventured into the Greenway for a closer look. As If It Were Already Here is simply magnificent.

Its movement in the breeze was mesmerizing and bestowed a sense of calm and great joy.

Being below it and watching the movement brought to mind Ann Hamilton's Event of a Thread that I experienced at the Park Center Armory, NYC in 2013.

Both pieces generated the joy and freedom of childhoood when you lay in the grass to watch the clouds dance and play on the wind currents overhead.

I found myself in awe of Janet's creative vision, her fearlessness to just do it, to work large on such an incredibly grand scale.

Her attention to detail is just as impressive. I wonder if she sees the finished piece in her creative mind and figures out how to do it?

Or do you think she begins with a sketch?

Regardless of how Janet Echelman begins, the end result is something everyone needs to experience. It's the best of childhood. It's water suspended in the air and turning prismatic in the sun, reflecting off the surrounding buildings. It's exquisite.

opening quote of Janet Echelman's presentation at the Fuller Craft Museum

Sufficiently awed by As It It Were Already Here, Deb and I ventured into nearby Brockton, MA to hear Janet Echelman speak at the Fuller Craft Museum. We came away dazed, inspired, even more in awe and yearning to revisit the installation.

If you ever have the opportunity to hear Janet Echelman speak about creativity and her work and/or see and experience one of her works, go. Until then, enjoy her TED talk.

To see my photos larger, just click on any of them and enjoy the slide show.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

6th Annual Artist Retreat - Saturday in the studio

Yesterday was another great day in the studio. 

Circles abounded as did creative energy and ideas for future work.

After piercing another line or two, 

I enjoyed hand stitching with the red thread - watching it play with the circles and skim the surface of silence to continue its journey. 

At some point in the day, X decided it wanted to join in the fun.

Pam continued to experiment with her newest piece.

White on white. 

Layered circles.  

It's stunning.

Space was cleared so it could be hung for better viewing while Pam worked on it. Lights were added behind it and the effect was wonderful. Sadly, my photographic skills are not quite enough to do it justice.

In the afternoon, we ventured into town to watch the happenings at the art center - steamroller printing on 4 foot by 8 foot wood cuts. More on that soon. There's a bit of time to be spent in the studio this morning before all must be packed. Time to head downstairs...

Saturday, May 30, 2015

6th Annual Artist Retreat - Friday

What if? Just do it.

Those phrases are the basis of Pam's and my artist retreats. Our friendship is the true heart of these weeks together. At times, much chatting and laughter floats back and forth through the studio. At others, the silence is comfortable and signals serious work.

Friday morning, I went down first and took this shot of Pam's blue circle. It was lovely - the result of her experiments on Thursday, putting paint and ink on paper and letting it run into whatever pattern it deemed right. Knowing Pam as I do, I knew this piece would likely be cropped.

And it soon was. 

While she cropped, I played in my sample books, making marks that echoed stitching.

Thursday Pam had wondered what would happen if she attempted to sew these materials together. Would it be easy? Would they compliment each other? Just how would the merging of the two look?

So, she did. 

Meanwhile, I was back in the annex painting black gesso circles on kozo, tea bags, unryu, antique Japanese  

receipt book paper, craft paper, pre-made journal pages, rice paper, white gesso-ed book pages and vellum.

Back in the other part of the studio, Pam had cropped the blue circle even more.

Her marks sang on the paper and the sewing machine fairly hummed as 

 the accordion book was constructed.

While Pam and George stitched away at their end of the table, I contemplated what would happen if I pierced one continuous line in a Merchants and Mills journal that I had purchased from Christine Mauersberger's Hank and Spool shop.

With Pam's encouragement...telling me to just do it...I did. The length and hard covers made it a bit tricky, but it was successful. A single hand stitched red line runs through a third of the book so far. 

And that got me wondering what it would look like if I did the same with this roll of rice paper.

So...holes pierced, the red thread came out again. It looked so good wandering across the single row of black gesso circles 

that I decided a few more would be even better. What do you think?
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