Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Chance to Relax

I have been so busy this month with several things needing to be done at the same time. Most of the demands on my energy surrounded the Huyck retreat exhibit and article for the International Feltmakers Association. I brought the pieces for the show up to the gallery in Albany yesterday. It was four hours of driving during which I had a change to unwind and just enjoy the ride. I love when the driving is easy, listening to music, singing loudly, and enjoying the scenery. It was beautiful driving through the Berkshires even though I just stayed on the highway. The sunlight and clouds cast wonderful shadows on the mountains which were a wonderful dusky lavender and plum color. The trees were stunning with their frosting of snow and glaze of ice. The snow was still sticking to the medium size branches but the small twigs at the ends were only covered with the ice. The snow outlined the main parts of the trees and the ice twinkled from the tops. It was like a fairly land and made me think of Narnia and the white witch. It also was almost too much of a distraction and really made me wish I had my camera.
Though I was busy with those tasks, and dealing with problems with the computer, and with an offspring, I balanced the struggles with some fun. On one of the nicer days I went out and played in the snow while I was visiting with my chickens. I was only going to shovel to find them some grass to eat but I seem to have a way of getting distracted by the need to create. I did not uncover too much grass...instead I made a snow chicken.

Here she is almost done but something was not right.

Apparently my critics noticed too.

I finally realized i had forgotten to give her a wattle, and though the sun had gone below the horizon and I was really getting cold I had to add it. I could have wasted spent many more hours on her. It was probably good that it was getting dark.
 I also went out to help my daughter with her snow cave later in the week. I thought we could improve the aesthetics if we made it look like a castle, so while she worked on the excavation I added the 'stonework'.

It would have looked better if it had not been made out of the dirty snow bank, but what a perfect home for two out-of-work recent college graduates.

I am happy to say that even though I took that time to play I managed to finish the banner I started in my last post. I am not very happy with it but I learned tons. One of the things I learned is that I can not work like Joei and Beth did on their landscapes. I tried to be more careful with my layout and think more...not a good thing for me to do. I also learned that when working big like that it is even more important to remember to step back and look at the whole image...even though stepping back involves a step stool.

 I needed to add a heron although it is way too large for the scene. There was one fishing the pond every day of the retreat...besides I love birds.

I also made a sculpture of Indian pipes. I have always thought these were magical and it was like uncovering a secret of the forest the first time I ever saw them.

I added leaves and a newt and called it 'Healthy Humus, Healthy Habitat' since these plants only grow where there is humus rich soil and the health of the soil is important to all living things. (I won't get on my environmental soapbox here).

And once I got all the paperwork etc. done for those pieces that were finished for the exhibit I was able to work on the 18x24 I had said I would do. I didn't think I could get it done since it was the night before I had to deliver the pieces but I got it to this point...

I brought it to the galley even though it was not really done and ready to hang (I was surprised it was not still damp). Since there was a lot of wall space to cover in the gallery the curator, Sara, said that she would like to hang it. I didn't even have time to stitch my initials on it!
And now I need to go clean up after that felting frenzy.


  1. A post worth waiting for....Laughing and Ahhhhing all the way through. What do you bribe those chickens with to make them pose?!

  2. Lovely work(and play), especially love the Indian pipes with decaying leaves...great colors , can almost smell the woods .

  3. Joei, I use bread as a bribe to get the chickens to pose. I just give some bread to Fred and he gets his girls to gather around. From there on it is pure photography skills. ;)

  4. Krex, I love your comment about my indian pipe sculpture. I was thinking the same thing about the smell of the woods when I made it. Trying to convey the feeling and smells of the damp woods with a dry medium like felt was a challenge. I really miss the smell of 'dirt' when everything is frozen.

  5. Peace Pipes piece is exquisite. Takes me back to my childhood in the woods at our cottage on Skaneateles Lake. They belong in a public place where kids can learn about nature. You and your felt rock Diane! Hey, a nature pun!