Thursday, March 24, 2011

The ups and downs of spring.

I have been doing a lot of wasting time (aka numbing my brain) playing Majong on the computer. When I have to make myself do some felting I know there is something really wrong. Judging from my Visa bill for last month I think I am on the down side of a small mania. I have been trying to get outside and get some exercise to help with the "I just want to go to bed and sleep for forever" feeling. It is odd for me to be so down in the spring but we have not had a lot of sunshine. And my emotional state is very connected with the weather and seasons.
I don't like anything I make when I am like this, so that may be part of the reason that I don't feel like making felt. I was working on a piece for an exhibit titled "Dialogue in Color" but I guess I read that as being a dialogue about color. The piece I had started laying out in my last post was part of the piece which was really about color in the American civil war; black verses white, blue verses gray. The circle I had laid out was a color wheel of skin tones with black and white in the center as stylized hands entwined. I next laid out parts of the American and Rebel flags. I had recently read some novels set during the war and the passages describing how men would put themselves at even greater risk to keep the colors raised during a battle really struck me. This is what it looked like at that point.
I thought that the colors of the flags was too bright so I decided to change them to shades of gray (as in not everything is black and white).
Before I got it wet felted I reread the description of the theme of the show and realized that I was way off base. They were referring to how the use of color can form a dialogue between the artist and his work and the work with the audience. The ways that color can be used to for shading and depth and to render an object in nature. Well, that was more up my alley, so after a little while bemoaning the time and effort I had put into the other piece I decided to do an underwater piece. I was not happy with how it came out so I decided to needle in some changes and then wet felt it a bit more. It was then that I discovered that I was totally confused about what day it was and I would have had to send it by overnight mail to make the deadline. Well, I didn't like the way the piece turned out anyway so it seemed like the whole thing was just a big waste of time. I think it will make a nice background for something someday
 I decided that I would take a break from felting for a while and concentrate on getting outside and spending some time with the chickens. I got a good amount of yard work done but not much else.

Then on Saturday my friend Joei called and asked if I wanted to go with her up to New England Felting Supply because she wanted to get some more colors to make another landscape. I suspected that her impromptu visit was just because she knew I was not doing well, but she denied that. My daughter and I had plans to go up to the spring bulb show at Smith but as that is right near NEFS we decided to go there too. It was a really good thing to do. The sun was shining, it was warm in the greenhouse, and the smells and sights of so many growing things was good medicine for my spirit. I took too many photos to post them all but here are a few.

I took a lot of close up shots for reference photos. I am thinking some Georgia O'Keeffe-esque pictorial felts.

And of course lots of photos for reference to forms, textures, patterns and color combinations.

But the best thing for my spirits was getting to spend such an enjoyable time with Joei. I am so thankful that through felting I have found such wonderful friends. I even convinced her to stay over night and we got to make some felt. I have really admire the work of Renata Felt whom I know of through Facebook. She recently posted photos of a class she taught in Moscow so I had a better idea of how she manipulates the fibers. She may be coming to the US to teach and I would love to take a class with her. Here is what Joei and I came up with.

 I was actually happy enough with my piece that I got back to work on a piece that I had started. It totally changed from what was going to be a wall hanging into a vessel inspired by the trip to the green house.

And I almost forgot to add that I got my copy of Fiberarts Magazine that had a photo of one of my pieces in it. I sure wish that the good things that happen would stick in my mind as good as the bad things do.


  1. I often visit your blog. I like it very much!
    I am a Norwegian felter. I also felt landscapes and flowersand I have feltclasses too.I also like redesign and work in a shop where wesell old thigs.
    Sorry, my English is not very good, but I want to thank you for the inspiration you give me in your blog.

  2. Thank you for the compliment Ingvild. So glad that you commented on my blog. That made me visit your blog. Your work is very lovely.

  3. Lovely work, Diane! Aren't supportive friends the BEST? Glad you had company.

  4. I love this orchid piece....makes me feel good...thanks

  5. Diana, Your works pleased me.I was on master class of Renaty in Kiev. I am high pleased.

  6. I recently found your blog and I have to say that I love your feltartvery much. You deserve it to stand in a magazine ;)
    Best regards from Janine

  7. I just read the inter workings of my own mind...written by someone else! I thoroughly appreciated your honesty and your fiber creations are truly beautiful. I've only just begun what feels like will be a life long pursuit of creating/painting with own fulling journey :) Thank you for the inspiration!

  8. I'm new to felting and am so glad I found your blog! Your work is stunning and I can't wait to get started! I'm a mosaic artist but I love to experiment with different mediums!