Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sketchbook Project

Like many of you, I am participating in the Sketchbook Project. Here's a glimpse of what I've been drawing.  The Sketchbook Project is serving as my at home in the evening entertainment, and as such has been very relaxing and freeing.  The drawings have influenced my studio work in unexpected ways, best of all giving me permission to be a little more goofy.
 I chose the theme 'Make Mine A Double' and have been using the transparency of the sketchbook pages to let each new drawing build upon the previous ones.
None of these pages have titles - I really can't explain what any of it is about beyond the pure pleasure of letting my hand and mind wander with Micron pens and Prismacolor Pencils.
The pages depicted here are sequential, created over the past two weeks.
Last night I drew this.  I like being able to start one drawing off the last in such a direct way.  Studio time has been consumed by more commercial ventures since my last dye-painting effort, making me grateful for the freedom of my sketchbook. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cooking and Giving Thanks

In honor of the big cooking (and eating) holiday here in the United States, Thanksgiving Day which we observe the fourth Thursday of November, I give you here my top five favorite cook books.
I have cooked out of four of these at least once a week since the Sailor and I got married over thirty years ago. Beard on Bread was a gift to myself a couple of years ago and have not been disappointed by a single loaf - I bake bread every other week.  Cooking and baking are a creative charge for me and I am grateful that my mom let me get into the kitchen early and often as a girl.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

First Ice on the Slough

We have been experiencing some beautiful cold days and nights the past week, a wonderful change from the rain.  The low temperatures have caused a skim of ice to form on the sloughs around the Island. 
Since it is salt water, the slough won't freeze solid.  The air is smoky from people burning their wood stoves to keep the chill out.  It smells so good outside. 

These photos are taken on the bridge near my studio in town.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Complete - Not Finished

I washed out the paintings done in the last two weeks - they are up on the wall awaiting the next thing.  Complete but not finished, as Professor Spafford used to say.

 Snake Handler I - work in progress

Snake Handler II - work in progress

I am re-reading Peter London's 1989 book No More Second Hand Art and finding lots to ponder on the morning walk, which is now a complete flash light show.  Sun rise is about 7:15 am - and it's dark by 4:15 in the afternoon.  My neighbor cheerfully pointed out that solstice is less than 40 days off, and then we'll have lengthening daylight again.  Yeh, that'll be good.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beach Walk

I quit work earlier yesterday when there was a break in the downpour and we had a nice walk on the beach north of our house.
 Flossy hangs back to wait for me while the Sailor forges ahead.

 I love the pattern of the alder branches against the late afternoon sky.

 On the shore we found a jellyfish washed up along with lots of different kinds of kelp.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Outside and Inside

The snow is creeping down the mountains toward our hapless town.
8 am yesterday

Looking outside the studio 9am yesterday.

Looking inside from the doorway...

my studio is an oasis of color and light on these dim days of early winter. 

Adding color and texture to the work begun last week:  I mix about a tablespoon of print paste with dye concentrate 50/50 in my palette cups, then dole out small amounts to paint with so that the soda ash picked up on my brushes and tools doesn't exhaust the Procion. 

 detail 1
 detail 2
detail 3
These paintings are curing now, waiting to be washed out and stitched. Their stories are not clear to me yet but emerging... I have more work to do.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Getting Unstuck: Softcut Stamps

I was having a low energy couple of days and mentally dragging my feet thinking of going to the studio this morning, but showed up anyway of course (more than half the battle won right there).  I made coffee and began browsing through Jean Laury's great book Imagery on Fabric.  Soon my head was humming with ideas and I spent the rest of the rainy day happily cutting new stamps.

I usually draw first in my sketch book, and then trace the images onto tissue with a soft pencil.  Placing the tissue face down, the pencil marks transfer easily to the softcut by rubbing on the back. 

I apply acrylic paint with a foam brush and test the stamps in my sketch book.  These stamps work great with thickened dyes, as well.  

At noon, Flossy and I braved the stormy day and took a walk in the South Harbor. 
This joker didn't seem any happier about the rain than we were.

The crabbers were tied up at the dock, waiting out the storm.  It was blowing 80 knots in Clarence Strait today.

I'm so grateful to be unstuck and looking ahead to a good day of creating tomorrow.


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