Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fooling Around with the Locals

While here in Denver I had a bit of time to put my new-found enthusiasm for dyeing with plants to use.  I researched a few of the neighborhood trees to make sure they were not toxic, and made a brew of bundles with sumac, cottonwood, and honey locust leaves, pods and bark.
kettle from thrift store holding bundles of cotton/linen blend also from the thrift store
My parents were intrigued and very patient.  Not much color, but a nice tea-dyed effect.  I definitely have some more learning to do!

I am heading back to the West Coast day after tomorrow, and on up to Home and Flossy on Sunday. 
Mother's studio window ledge
Will catch up with you here in Blogland on Sunday evening, Dogs Above willing.  Best wishes to all 'til then!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Maria - DC

The lovely and talented Patrice brought us an interesting drawing challenge this past week: Maria.  Motherhood and moonlight were a natural turn of thought as I have been spending time with both my mother and my daughter under the full moon here in beautiful Denver.
moonset on the morning walk with Daughter

'Maria-in-the-Moon' - pigma pen and prismacolor pencil in 4x6 sketchbook
You will be blessed with many more images on this theme if you visit Patrice's delightful place

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Workshop: Natural Dyeing

Far away to another Island in Washington State magic was recently made under the tutelage of India Flint.  I was lucky enough to be there.
Arriving the day before the workshop began, I got to meet some of the local residents...

...see some of the sights...

 ...and wander through the hedgerows of this beautiful place.
 Lopez Island abounds in small farms...
 ...and fresh produce.
I got to feast on delicious local beets on several occasions.
 The workshop was held in a garden Alice in Wonderland would have been at home in.

Flowers as well as vegetables in neat rows exuded gorgeous aromas.

One of the first activities of day one was labeling our silk, cotton, and wool with our own mark.
 The initial bundles were made with a plant the Lopez dye group had not been able to achieve color from.  India accepted the challenge, made some helpful suggestions, and set us to work.
The contents of my first bundle included both green and 'toasted' leaves.
 Our bundles went into the pot of hot water to simmer.  It would be the next morning before we got to open them.  When we woke on day two, it felt like Christmas.
 The first bundles were so exciting, I nearly forgot that we had two more to open that morning!

How it was fascinating to see the diversity of our bundles.
We hung our newly-dyed treasures on the lines outside the workroom and went back to bundling.
 When the cloth was dry, we stitched our pieces together...
 ...and enjoyed a splendid exhibit of Lopez-dyed art cloth.

I had such a good time, learned so much and met so many kindred souls.
Thank you to Christie, Patsy, Raiti, Suzanne, Lisa and most of all, Favorite Bear, for giving me the time of my life and endless inspiration.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

traveling tomorrow

part of my recent exhibit - work squeezed onto one wall now
I am getting ready to leave Mitkof Island tomorrow morning heading for Lopez Island and Wayfarer's Windfall Workshop with India Flint.

Last Friday evening was the  opening of my solo show at one of our local galleries.  The event was well attended and exciting, and I spaced taking pics so will just share a couple taken the next morning after the gallery put all the work together on one wall.

sorry about the reflection on the glass... poor photos, I know

I am traveling light and may be taking a week off from posting here - you can find me on Instagram in the mean time.  Peace be with you.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kristen LInk in Petersburg

As a part of the Rain Forest Festival each year, an artist is often invited to teach workshops for adults and children over the course of the week.  This year we were lucky to welcome Kristen Link, a young science illustrator from McCarthy, Alaska.  I participated in her botanical illustration workshop Saturday afternoon, and her field sketching class today.
Kristen, standing in blue and braids, with a few of my fellow students.
Yesterday's class was an intensely rewarding experience for me.  Although I am committed to drawing and make it a daily practice, my days of drawing from life pretty much ended with grad school.  I re-discovered the power and magic of drawing what's in front of me in Kristen's workshop.
We drew first on tracing paper, later transferring that to watercolor paper by adding graphite to the back of the tracing paper under our drawn lines.
I chose a favorite plant, cottonwood, and used a branch of it as my model.  This is my up-close detail of a bud, still on the tracing paper.
The cottonwood branch rendered on 11"x17" watercolor paper.  I ran out of time to add color, alas.  The bud detail will go in the lower right part of the page.
Today we were graced with yet another lovely fall afternoon out at Sandy Beach in which to enjoy Kristen's field sketching workshop.

After we did some close-up studies, I chose to paint this scene looking across Frederick Sound at Horn Cliffs.
This is the rest of my scene.

Working on an accordian-folded sheet of watercolor paper was very effective.
I did not have time to finish my painting...

...but feel it is complete.  Two hours just wasn't enough time!
Rediscovering the enchantment of drawing from life was a great gift.  I believe I'll continue to practice this magic regularly.  Thanks, Kristen, for coming to Petersburg and sharing your gift! 

Post script: Flossy wants Readers to know she roamed at large on the Beach all afternoon without giving in to the temptation to roll in dead salmon.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

An Extra Day

Monday was a holiday here in the United States, and so, a break from the Mighty Mighty Day Job.  I worked on my silk project at the studio instead. 
My calculations and notes from the prototype design stitched last week, hand-dyed silk organza panels on the left.
The panels dyed up really beautifully.
I drew the cutting line on freezer paper, and traced it onto the silk with pencil.
At mid-afternoon, one third of the panels were edge-finished, and the beauty of the early autumn afternoon drew Flossy and I outdoors.
Mushroom season is upon us.

My friend had a camp set up out the road, and we stayed for a hot dog picnic after walking the Dogs.

A Forest Spirit we met in the beach fringe.
I am beginning to get ready to travel a week from tomorrow.  
Lots of things on the list of things to do.  
Happy mid-week to all!


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