Sunday, October 27, 2013

Finished felt landscape for the Granby Land Trust show.

I am going to write another quick post before I forget what I have done the past two weeks. I finished both the drawing and the felt landscape I had been making to submit to the Granby Land Trust art show. I even got them there with about 20 minutes to spare. I also found out that I am not alone in cutting these things to the wire. One artist brought in a painting that had wet paint! At least wet felt does not make a mess. ;) Here is the finished felt...

 I really don't enjoy the process of needle felting, but I love what it can do. By combining both wet felting and needle felting I can achieve looks that I could not get by wet felting alone. The barn would have been far less detailed without using the needle.

One of the things that I love about Autumn is the color of the haze-less sky. In this piece I wanted to emphasize that deep blue field.
This is one of the inspiration photos. I like to have several shots from which to work as each has a different view or exposure and I then have more information to base my decisions on. When I teach I explain that the photo is just a reference for the creation. I teach how to simplify and accentuate the things that attract us, and how to be able to see what is actually happening with the color in each landscape. Since this changes for each piece I have to give each student personal attention and that is why I don't want to teach large classes. I am going to the Washington, DC area to teach on Monday and I think that my doing a landscape right before the class helps me to take notice of and remember all the little things that I do just instinctively.

The other piece I was working on was a colored pencil drawing. It is based on a photo I took in which the light coming through the leaves forming shadows was the thing that I loved about the shot. It was fun drawing again, I think I got burnt out doing it for a job.

I was a bit more rush than I would have been because I answered a Facebook friend's plea for help with her booth at Rhinebeck, also known as the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. It was pretty brave of me and out of character to jump into the unknown like that. But one of the life lessons that comes from experience is knowing that doing something out of my comfort zone can bring benefits beyond the obvious. I made new friends AND got invited by Susan to possibly teach at the Midwest Felting Symposium (I hope I don't get in trouble for saying that before any plans are formal like I did for the fling. I have such a talent for saying things I shouldn't have).
It was an intense weekend with long hours...40 hours long. I have never worked that long at anything I don't think. I am not good with stress (though I should be since I seem to create my own from nothing) and many parts of the weekend were stressful for me. I hate having anything to do with money and math and sales (I don't even do it for my own booth!) and when I needed to assume that responsibility due to unforeseen events I kind of had a mini melt down. But working with Susan and Jamie and getting to know them was a treat. They are very fun and kind people and Susan is an absolutely amazing person for multitasking. I have never seen anything like it. I wish I have just a pinch of her energy and ability to think and act on so many things at once. Here are a couple of pictures of the booth set up to give a sense of what it entails.

 It was really nice to have a very tall and strong guy to do the lifting and reaching. And Jamie was very entertaining. Notice that there is no photo of Susan's face since she was always in motion!

My drive to and from Rhinebeck was nice and relaxing and the scenery was so lovely with the fall colors. I took many photos, stopping a few times on the way part just to wake up a bit since I was so exhausted.
On the way there on Friday morning....

 And home on Monday morning...

I loved the shadows created by this fence.

I am thinking that some of these could be reference photos for my classes or for my own work. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A photo post to catch up on my posts.

I started this blog as a way to help me remember what I have been doing, as well as a way to share my work with others. I have been lax with posting these aide mémoire so I will do a kind of photo album with captions as a way to catch up without spending hours writing. I hope the photos will be enough to help me remember the events...that is if they have not already faded from memory. Thank goodness for cameras and other recording devices. 
I don't keep up with my posts in the summer because I am outside working on the garden and yard whenever it is not pouring rain. Hard work outside is a key to happiness for me. This year I harvested enough strawberries to eat, freeze, and to make a double batch of jam. Picked 16 pounds of black raspberries, some of which got frozen; though many were eaten over vanilla ice cream! SO YUMMY! 

 I canned many jars of tomatos, sauce, and soup stock. I havested vegetables in the evenings for dinner. It makes me feel like I have something to contribute to the household since I am not finacially able to do much. 
Along with the harvesting I did a lot of collecting of plant material for dyeing and eco printing. Here are some examples that I have not shown here before. Marigold petals and cosmos from my garden gave good color. Plum leaves gave that gorgeous plum purple. ;)

I experimented with mordants...

The photo above is of the same piece of cloth premordanted with alum. I then dipped different sections in copper water, vinegar, and washing soda.

In August I needed to get back to felting for some up coming craft shows. Some bags got finished...

and a wine bottle holder...

a scarf or two...

and some jewelry. Most of the jewelry was made in a fantastic workshop with Judit Pocs. What a sweet person and a superstar feltmaker. I am SO glad that I had the opportunity to take her class.

I took advantage of some nice days to wash fleeces.

The grey Border Leister/Shetland was used in the grease to make my purse. It did not need much washing. The brown Icelandic however....smelly dirty, but such a pretty color, some of it is almost red.

I finally got around to making the fall jacket I wanted. I have had the fabric and wool for well over a year...just waiting. First I made yardage and then tried to figure out a way to make it wearable.

 I wore my jaclet at the Southern Adirondack Fiber festival where I helped my friend Robin Blakney-Carlson with her booth. I demonstrated how I create a landscapes to promote my upcoming class at Robin's studio, while Robin showed her great skill at Nuno felting. I was interviewed for a newspaper in Glens Falls while I was covering for Robin who was teaching a class. My landscape was a flop. I didn't have a reference photo, all my colors of wool,  and the lighting was's that for excuses. Oh well they can't all be winners and I find I learn more from the mistakes. I decided that it will make a cool tote bag if I fold and sew it.

My current projects are two pieces that I am doing for the upcoming Granby Land Trust Art show that I try to enter every year. This years theme is about agriculture in the Farmington Valley.  I am working on a felt landscape of Cherry Brook Farm in Canton, CT. Here is the layout.

I am also working on a piece in colored pencil. I am actually enjoying drawing again.

Next up will be preparing to teach at Robin's in November and down near Washington, DC. at the end of this month. I want to do a bit of dyeing for those classes. I also have to frame some things for this years show and sale at Wesleyan Potters.
And of course I am still visiting the garden.. I had no idea that the Morning Glories would grow enough to cover my folly.

I love Morning Glories!