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?


  1. ooo yest...please add more lines! I'm loving seeing the process. The two of you seem very brave together...unquestioning...just doing... There are many moments when I could use that courage! I've been playing in the studio the last couple of days too...not nearly as dramatic...but I've been fiddling around for the next Newsletter. Hope to get that done in the next day or two. Looking forward to seeing the results of today's play! Miss you guys!

    1. Brave? Hmmm...not brave, but open. And willing - to be open to ideas and to act on those ideas immediately. Willing to listen to the muses and let them guide us. Their names are Esmerelda and Cecil, by the way...the studio muses in Pam's studio.

  2. I too find the Nike philosophy (minus the shoes) most useful.

    1. The Nike philosophy was a life saver back when I'd allowed my fear to paralyze me. Now, it's old friend. And is, indeed, most useful.


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