Oct 2, 2015

She Who Talks With Ravens

I have been missing for too long ! 
I have just been very busy, this summer, with shows, proposing shows and miscellaneous family affairs.

On Sept. 1, I helped 2 others hang the '18 SQUARE' show at The Rotundra Gallery, at City Hall, Kitchener. It came down Sept. 30th. and is heading to a large booth at The Creative Sewing Festival in Toronto, for the 16,17,18 of Oct. 
'18 SQUARE' will continue to more galleries for the next couple of years ! 

Our other successful show, of last year, 'CELEBRATE THE SEVEN', will travel to The John Parrot Gallery in Bellville in January, 2016 and onwards to The Homer Watson Gallery, May, 2016 ! 
Both of these shows are booked at other galleries until 2018. Many thanks to Maggie Vanderweit, Bethany Garner, Wendy O'brien and myself ;)
Then, as a group, we have a new show (untitled as of yet) for the Wellington County Museum & Archives, for April, 2017, in celebration of Canada's 150th Anniversary ! Lots of fun ahead !

Personally, my work has been at a standstill as far as any thread painting being done, but my 3 week camping holiday (Sept. 3-27) was looming and I knew I'd get back into the groove. 
I did, finally, after lots of company the 1st week, get back to my Inukshuk that had been languishing on my table while I photographed the 18 Square pieces ... all 24 of them ! 

Anyway, the Inukshuk piece needed a wet look and I got right to work attaching bits of smoke and rust chiffon to the rocks and I am happy with the 'wet' look. 

basting stitches still holding un-sewn part of the piece
One of my guests this past Tues. liked it too ! 
She claimed it for herself as soon as I unrolled my canvas to show her ... Still unfinished �� ! That makes the 2nd piece sold before it's finished this year !

I was especially lucky one evening at sunset to be behind a couple having coffee while the sun went down. As she waited for him to come back for a canoe ride, she sat on the end of the canoe that was beached on a bit of 'dune' that Mother Nature was busy rehabilitating with beach grass ... A few small trees had gained foothold there .... all of this silhouetted against the late evening sky ! 
Of course I hadn't taken my camera down that evening so I went back the next night and got some photos of the trees and grass, but the woman & canoe had gone :(
Definitely inspired me to find my sketchbook and draw the scene for a future piece, with the silhouette done in black thread on water-soluble �� !
Beaver Dams beach
The weather was fantabulous this September !

Another inspiration was one of those enlarged photos printed and sold for home decor. This particular one was a late fall photo of pines covered in hoarse frost ... Which made me realize that I have lots of such photos (which I could easily change the seasons of) and use white thread on water- soluble ! 
Can hardly wait to add white trees to my collection of water-soluble trees !

Now ... the reason for my title ... 'She Who Talks With Ravens' !
One early morning last week, I was getting ready to leave the park and head home (a 4 hr. drive) to attend my 'diet' class. Out behind the little facility, where I was attending to an early morning ritual ;), I heard a ruckus that sounded like a crow and a racoon having an argument over a choice morsel on the ground. I tried to look through the brush but saw nothing. I went to my trailer, put on my backpack, picked up my walking sticks and headed down the road to the showers (quite a little walk for someone who doesn't walk much, but I had been practising for 2 1/2 weeks ;). As I walked I kept hearing mutterings behind me and turned around 3 times to see who may be out for a walk ... nothing ! There was no one camping on my road so I checked a few empty campsites to see where the noise was coming from ... not for a minute did I suspect it might be the bears that were roaming the park !! 
Anyway, as I stood dumbstruck, I heard the noise again ... from above me ! 
On the lowest branch of the tree sat a raven, and he started to talk ... low, gentle chattering from his throat. Then I introduced myself and told him how handsome he was. While I talked he cocked his head and listened ... then he talked ... then I talked ! he had a very extensive vocabulary of sounds ... I was mesmerized !
It was one of the most awesome experiences I have ever had. I kept up the conversation as long as possible, but I was starting to get a crick in my neck. I finally told him how lovely it was to talk to him, but I had to get to the showers ... I was on a time line ;) I swear we exchanged conversation for 10 minutes !
I got his picture on my phone, just don't know how to download it to my computer ! HE had been the noise I kept hearing behind me ... he followed me down that camp road !!!! There were tears in my eyes as I walked away. I looked back a few times and finally he was gone. My only witness was a man out riding his bike who passed us three times.
I know that this was something very important ... have to do some 'raven' research ;)

Aug 14, 2015

Yikes, Summer's Almost Over !

Just a note to say that my proposal to The Homer Watson Gallery was accepted ! ! !
A local gallery, but kind of a big deal ! They love fibre work of all kinds.
We are booked for May1-June 5, 2016 !
I submitted it on behalf of my group 'Connections Fibre Artists' for our 'Celebrate The Seven' exhibition that is now heading to its 3rd showing ... it is booked also in April of 2018 at The Stratford Art Gallery !  I would love to keep it travelling, as it is a tribute to the Group Of Seven who will celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2020 ;)
'Celebrate The Seven' ~ my image was chosen for the posters and invitations in 2014

I am heading into my 4th week of my diet and everything is going smoothly ... we're not to worry ourselves daily, or weekly about how much we have lost ... but I have to say my jeans fit so much better already .... Yahoo !

I am finished my house-sitting stint where I had been happily drawing, journaling, rust dying and piling on the stitches of my Inukshuk piece (previous post). I also read 2 novels by Louise Penny.

The summer has disappeared rapidly ... I hope yours has been terrific ! Soon I will be off on my annual, 3-week camping trip, sewing machine and boxes of 'stuff' in tow ;)

I haven't had much time for my blog lately, but hope to add some photos soon and I intend to come 'round and visit you all.

Jul 25, 2015

Still Messing Around

No big project to do ... well a few ... but nothing urgent, so I am still playing around with colour combos, textures, precious bits of this and that and practising my very basic hand embroidery stitches.  Having fun, which is important for my sanity.
Non are complete ... still making decisions as to what to add next.
Three pieces with a detail of each;

I have an aqua panel waiting on the sidelines. It's nice to have these little things to fall back on when the machine sewing gets tough. These I can take to a more comfortable spot and still be productive/creative ... not rocket science, I know ;)

I have been doing a lot in the way of getting a couple of shows set up for my fibre art group, as have a several others, and we have shows through to 2018 already !! Lots of fibre art to prepare ... one of which will be a fibre protrait of my gr.grandmother, Margaret (Maggie) Davidson Deacon ... today is her 136th birthday ;)
Maggie died on the 23rd July 1916, 11 days after the birth of her 7th child ... she was 36 yrs. old.
My plan is to do her portrait with some colour. I'll have to research the clothing of that era and figure out what fabric that dress is made of.

Heading out to house-sit for the next 2 weeks where temptation will not be trying to sabotage my diet. I've mentioned in a previous post that I was going to participate in a Medical Bariatric Weight Loss Clinic ... after a year of waiting, I have now begun a 24 week program where we are helped to lose weight (900 cal/day ) and to understand and find other ways to manage our weight. The end result I want is a lighter body weight to carry around while I attempt to walk the rest off. I've become very sedentary in my life-long struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis (56 yrs, now !) and I would like that to change. I walk in the pool but that season is so short. Throughout next winter, I plan to take advantage of the mall (walkers abound before the stores open) and the local indoor track. Maybe my hopes are high, but something has to happen.

Enough moaning ! I hope each and every one of you is having the best summer ever !

Jul 8, 2015

My Conscience Kills Me !

My conscience kills me !
I had lots of energy early this morning and was itching to get to my latest piece of work ... but ... my conscience said  'take a wee moment and wash the bathroom floor, then you will have the whole day to 'art' in the peace and quiet of your empty house (family of 7 & I was the only one home !!! oh boy, oh boy ).
And I wouldn't feel guilty of spending my whole day with my passion ;) Right ?

So, tidied up the kitchen, gathered the garbage from kitchen & bath, swept down the stairs so that I could gather up all 'that' with the sweepings from the bathroom (where they meet), cleaned the sink and the toilet again ... oops, my little standing cupboard needed a good wiping ... so did the window frames ;(.
Tidied the curtains.  Washed the bathroom floor and ... what the heck ... washed the stairs, too.
Time for a cookie ... damn !!!! .... 3 of the family were back home :( !!!
taken with my phone from underneath the blooms
... miniature hoya with 20+ blooms on it this year
The plant, that graces that little standing cupboard, needed to be brought back in from the porch where I had put it to enjoy the day-long rain we had yesterday ... oops the porch needed a good sweeping ... might as well rearrange and tidy the potted plants out there as well.
Whew ... washed, but still not dressed ... enjoying another coffee while I check the computer and it's 11:30 already !!
So much for a whole day in my studio ... damned conscience !
Mundane post, I know, and if you have read this you probably have a similar story, but it comes after I had just read The Spoon Theory which is such a good way to describe the 'spoons' I have used up already today and it is now 12:30 pm.
Now off to make my bed and get dressed ;)

Jun 28, 2015

Flashback ! Look What I Found !

Once upon a time ... 50 yrs. ago ... there was a young woman who loved art. 
She painted in oils ! 
A portrait of George Bernard Shaw over the lockers near the English dept., a painting of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival (Ontario) over another section of lockers at her highschool, John F. Ross C.V. I.  
She was sought after by many friends of her parents (what great support !) for her work. 
A painting of the old covered bridge at West Mountrose, Ontario, for Jane Ann Armstrong, was so well liked by her art teacher, Ken Stroble, that he commissioned her to do a second one for the school (I wonder where that got to ?) Those were a few busy years and she enjoyed every minute. But before all of that she had done a portrait of her mother, using the upright piano as an easel ! 
She was encouraged by all who knew her. 
What a very lucky young woman !

Below is a picture of yours truly,  being photographed by the Guelph Mercury for a newspaper article in front of a commissioned 'Spanish Street Scene', 50 years ago ! The original owners are long gone and I wonder whatever became of this painting ? 
I was musing some aspects of my past today when I went searching for my baby picture of my mother & I and came across this forgotten photo. You can see that my Rheumatoid Arthritis had already done its number on my hands :(
I had spent 9 weeks in hospital the year before, where physical therapy was second to the eye-opener of what I could become if I didn't get a handle on my disease and not let it beat me down. And here I am, still 'arting', still replacing joints with new improved versions when the need arises ... lol ! 

I also found this long forgotten piece from my felting teaching days ;) There is so much forgotten 'stuff'.
'Eden' - felted shawl with free-motion machine embroidery - sold

Jun 27, 2015

My Goodness, Agnes ...

.... it's been awhile since you posted anything ! ! !
Hi everyone ! 
Sometimes there's just not much to say or show !
I have been house-sitting again and took the opportunity to continue with my little panels of 'Some Of This And A Bit Of That ;)', taking my sweet time, painting & re-painting some swatches of fabric, trying for the right 'foggy' colours ... watched a lot of movies ... listened to some good jazz and generally, just lazed about. 
I am now well rested and revved up for the 'show' jobs ahead of me for the next few months (Connections Fibre Art show proposals and '18Square' show in Sept.)

But one panel is complete ...

I have no idea what I will ever do with these panels, but for now, they are keeping me relaxed and inspired.
 ... and I have a new canvas ready for the stitching ! ;)
will be approx. 19"x22"

The 'fog' was difficult to paint ... so many swatches, so many variations of shades, but cutting and joining gave me a gradual transition from wet granite to fog, where the horizon is almost indistinguishable ... stitching and threads will blend these layers even more. I am very happy with it. 
I will be trying to think of ways to indicate wetness and shine in the foreground slabs of granite. Of course, bright green beach grass will form a line on the left, up through the cracks in the granite. Should be appropriately moody/serene when done if I am successful ;) I am also eager to define each rock of the Inukshuk.
Talk & show soon !

Jun 10, 2015

Following On The Coat Tails ...

... of Arlee at  albedo  and Judy at Judy's Journal, I HAVE to share this wonderful post by Johanna Flanagan at The Paler Rook
I would have liked to copy & paste the whole article here but you really must go to Johanna's blog and read for yourself ... believe me, it's worth it ! Please go there now and read what we all know, what we all feel, and you will come away a stronger woman/artist !

I have been reading your blogs, may not have responded, but I am keeping in touch with you. I, personally, do not have anything much on the go right now, but when I read this post, an hr. ago, I knew I wanted to share that with as many of you as possible ... getting me started.

News: I am waiting with bated breath, to hear whether or not I am accepted into a local art show. I am very nervous as I have never entered a drawing before, never been judged on my drawing ability. (Here is exactly where that blog by Johanna fits into a niche in my head.) 
Entered in INSIGHTS ... matted & framed 8x10, pen & ink, stippled
I know that being accepted depends largely on the jurors and on their particular taste in art. Who knows better than me ? ... when a fibre piece, turfed from this same local art show last June, was entered and accepted in another in Aug, 2014, where it won an award AND sold !? So, you just never know ! I know this, yet I am still nervous ;)

On Sat, I will begin another house-sitting job, where I intend to paint a lot of fabric for future use and I hope to start this there ... built by my s-i-l several years ago on a wet foggy morning. He took the picture and has given me (only) permission to use. I took a shot of it, whilst full screen on my computer, with my iPad, so that I will have it house-sitting to check for colour (of which there are many that aren't immediately noticeable).

Since the Grow Your Blog event in January, I have made a number of new blogger friends and have won some ' give away's'. A CD of the beautiful singing voice of Fil Campbell and a cute pincushion by Susan Leschke.
Today I received a beautiful pendant, with sterling silver wire and fresh water pearls from Lindi.  Thank you again, ladies.