Saturday, March 31, 2012

Florida Inspiration Part 2

I may have a future in desktop wallpaper.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lessons In Pigment---PART ONE

Oakland, Fall 2005

I quickly shuffled up the outdoor, wooden staircase.  My heart kept a nervous rhythm as I entered the lofty studio.  Bathtub-sized skylights drenched the room in California sunshine.  Empty easels circled like wagons around a platform.  My tendency for promptness hadn't failed me my today, but I preferred to speak to the professor without other students around, anyway. 

He was shortish, middle-aged, and his untucked polo shirt draped over his plump belly.  I asked him if we were required to paint with oils in this class.  He stared back at me through round lenses as I fumbled a blustery explanation that I was in my first trimester and preferred a less toxic medium.  I knew that the glazed expression frozen on his face wasn't in response to my articulating a health requirement in a population that prided itself in being a paradigm of healthy living.  My being pregnant was much more problematic.  Still, he congenially explained that we could paint with our preferred medium, and we could paint whatever we wanted.  Furthermore, he generously opened tall doors which unfolded onto a balcony overlooking the city.  Pine trees lined one side of the studio and their fallen needles carpeted the ground below.  I chose an easel near the breeze and squeezed paint dollops in a circular formation on my palette.  Once the live model disrobed, I fumbled with my watercolors in hesitant and futile attempts to capture her grace.

The professor made rounds stopping at each easel.  He commented on the students' work, chatted, and asked questions not necessarily pertaining to their work.  His unabashed directness made me queasy.  Each sentence was like a bolt of lightening turning the world on end.  His candor caught me off guard, but my fellow students who were 7 or 8 years younger devotedly chuckled at his snark and peculiar philosophies.  Standing behind me he asked whether I believed in abortion.  In our earlier conversation, I had let my insecurity surrounding my unplanned but very much desired pregnancy divulge the surprise nature of my situation.  Of course, I supported a woman's right to choose I answered, however, my husband and I want children.  This one happened to come a couple years ahead of schedule.  He replied with an "Oh, I see" and shuffled to the next easel leaving me reeling.  His reaction to my condition was utterly opposite of my other professors who offered their complete support and excitement.  If his goal was to provoke, he was succeeding.

At the end of class students dragged their chairs around the platform where the professor replaced the nude model.  He talked about the time he spent driving Rauschenberg around the Bay and claimed that he was a big drunk.  Was he really name dropping?  I sat with arms crossed doing my best to not roll my eyes.

We were to complete a painting a week painting six hours a day.  It was a summer course, and so it was condensed.  The intensity didn't bother me, but I was skeptical as to whether I'd learn much.  I walked the seven blocks uphill to the brown studio perched on stilts.  I left my watercolors at home deciding to abandon the live model and look inward.  I sketched a primitive shaped woman with a large womb which held nine babies representing the months on gestation.  It looked like a cross between a great goddess and a prenatal care poster.  On Friday during critique, a hipster student who curiously painted Felix the Cat amongst large dripping abstract environments, stated that my painting was too obvious.  She was right.
Oakland, Summer 2006

Monday, March 19, 2012

Penelope's Pillow

Not a great photo, but finished bird embroidery

I finished the embroidery on Penelope's Pillow.  I have a matching pillowcase.  Should I do another bird? her name? something else? make it to sell?  We'll see. 

Nido Spring Market

New Batch of Bird Ornaments
 Yesterday was the Spring Market at Nido which went really well and was fun to boot.  Lisa, my Mom, and I shared a tent out front.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the whole thing.  I do have photos of some new items I made for the event.  I will post some of them to Etsy for sale.  Thanks Lisa for hosting!  I look forward to the Summer Market!  Gotta get busy making . . .

P.S.  I promise a story this week and more news about the Annunciation House Calendar.  This month has been a whirlwind.  Now that my words are immortalized on the web, I am accountable to them.
Bird Ornament Detail

Bird Ornament

Bunnies--Sold Out!

Paper Wreath Detail

Paper Wreath

One of a set of 4 "Ducks In A Row" cards
Collages for "Ducks In A Row" card set

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pilgrim Gala Quilt

Fabric In-Waiting
 For the last week and half, I've been working steadily on the Pilgrim Quilt which will be auctioned at their gala next month.  I had some design speed bumps, but I'm happy with the final result.  In fact, it will be hard to let the quilt go!  I can take comfort in knowing that it will likely be used for the construction of awesome blanket forts or as a spread under the fireworks this summer.
Some Pieced Pieces

Scraps and Pins

Ready For Basting

Set For Quilting

Quilting---If I do more of these, I may invest in a quilting machine. 

Finished Quilt Front

Detail of Front


Another Detail

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Josephine's Pillow

Detail of Butterfly
This pillow was a custom order for a friend's baby born last week.  We went with a 12 x 15 inch pillow instead of the 12" square because of the long name.  The backing fabric is the back drop shown in the top picture.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pilgrim Gala Quilt

Fabric Collage

Abe's pre-school is hosting a major fundraiser in April, and I'm making a quilt for the auction.
I'm preparing to go fabric shopping and needed an inventory of blue/blue-green fabrics.  I'm drawn to the yellow-green color and the surrounding fabrics.  We'll see what I discover at the store.

Calendar for Annunciation House Calendar

Homemade Calendar for Planning Projects

 Thanks to the help from a friend who happens to be on the Annunciation House board, the calendar project has been approved.  So, the planning begins!  First step--make a calendar to map out a timeline etc.  This month's project:  research production costs and methodology.  Know any good printers or on-line services?  Once I have some details in place, I'll make a more formal announcement and call for art, poetry, and pertinent/historical data submissions.  P.S.  If anyone wants to be part of planning--your help is more than welcome. 
Fishy Cover

I used old drawing from the kids as calendar pages

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" Paper Garlands

Cut Circles

Hand-Dyed Cotton Yarn

The Remains

 These garlands are ready for a party!  Abe and I thought they looked like a rainbow, and so, we named them appropriately.  I also feel like they look a bit like the "Hungry Caterpillar."  I made 15 and still have circles leftover.  I hope they are as popular as the hearts. . .
Garland on Branches