I am doing a give-away of this pastel painting on my Facebook page. Go to https://www.facebook.com/FeltInspiration and leave a comment on today's post to have your name put in the hat. (Postage from outside the U.S. must be paid by the winner.)
After the week at the Huyck (see part one of this post) I had a few shows to get pieces ready for. One was for the only craft show that I normally do, Suffield on the Green. Here is a photo of my booth there.
I also submitted work to the '80 Days of Art' show at the West Hartford Art League,
and the Tobacco Valley Artists Association's 2014 Fall Members Show.
It was really hard to keep track of all the dates for applying, drop off, opening, and pick up for each show. I messed up a few times but not too badly.
I also was busy getting a new felt piece ready for the Granby Land Trust art show. This year the theme was Celebrating Preserved Lands so the choices of where we were to find our inspiration was much broader than usual. I submitted the pastel painting above that was inspired by the Cape Cod National Sea Shore, and a felt piece based on a photo I took at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge. Here is the inspiration photo...
and here is the felt.
My pastel did not get in to the show but the felt did...and it sold to a local art collector.
Some of the pieces I already had done but some still needed framing. Some of them I thought we all set I found needed attention, especially those that had been in previous shows. It was stressful getting them there in time but I did it. Here is one of the new felt pieces, which was inspired by one of the photos I took out in Wisconsin while at the Midwest Felting Symposium.
I had also started a pastel rendition of the same photo...but it is still unfinished. I am really determined to get good at using the pastels for when my hands to get too weak to felt, since pastel benefits from a gentle touch...not to mention that I get tired of using just one medium. I know I am not there yet...
I was invited to do a one day, one table, show and sale by the City of Waterbury public arts council. I asked my daughter if she wanted to do it with me and she agreed. It turned out to be one of the best shows we have ever done and was a whole new market.
I sold TWO hats! I have only sold one before. I was so glad to have them find an owner...it is sad to have things just sit in a box for years. Sometimes I believe that the things I create really are just waiting for the right person to come along.
During this period I was also able to take a workshop with Cristina Pacciani of CriCri Felt. I only knew of Cristina through Facebook. Through her posts I saw such a talented artist and even more so, a beautiful soul. I really wanted to meet her and when I found out she was going to come over from Amsterdam to teach a workshop in New Hampshire I signed right up. I am so glad I did, and Cristina was exactly as I thought she would be. Unfortunately, I was recovering from a cold and was not really up to doing as much felting as I wanted to. I did not really use a lot of the techniques that she showed in the scarf/wrap that I made in the workshop but I did learn some new things and best of all got to spend time with Cristina and many friends old and new. I did not take any great photos at the workshop. Here is a photo of the scarf; which you can also see on me in the photo above.
I also gave a workshop up at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne NY. I taught my 'Scape-scarf' class. I only had three students so it was a lot of fun. They really enjoyed it and did good work.
I stayed at my friend Robin's house and on Sunday I helped her with her booth at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival. I was a good girl there and did not really buy anything except for food. However,
in the beginning of November I got to go to the New England Fiber Festival with my friend Joei. Neither of us was going to buy a fleece...we were not even going to look! HA! We each bought one and split another one. Here is the one we split...and Icelandic that had black tips fading to white at the base.
I will also admit that I bought a skein of yarn...another thing I pledged not to buy more of. BUT I did not buy any beads!
I took some time later that month to make another thing for me. Another wrap. I wanted it to be large enough to be yardage so I could cut and sew a top or something. THAT did not happen. I was using the pine needle technique that I learned from Leiko Uchiyama back in May. I love the look that can be achieved with this technique but I don't have enough patience to do enough of it to make a large piece. Here is part of the layout.
And here is the finished shawl.
It is made with 15.5 micron wool and is so soft and light.
And now that Thanksgiving is over I am working on what I hope will be yardage for a light weight jacket. I am finally using some of those naturally dyed silks that I have been making for years. I love how they look in this photo.
I know they will change a lot once they get socked with some soap and water and agitation when I felt them. Some of these pieces have never even been rinsed. It is all going to be a surprise. But the nice thing about natural dyes is that they seem to always look good together no matter how much they change. And I can always over-dye it if I don't like it!
I have really been neglecting my blog this year, and that is not good for two reasons. One reason is that this is the closest thing I have to a website for showing my work to the public. It is an important part of my business. The other reason is the essential reason that I started blogging in the first place...so that I can remember what I have been doing. I did not realize how helpful it was until I went to do my taxes and could look and see where I had gone to teach in the year, or pieces that I have sold. I try to keep records, and notes but the thing about memory aids is that you have to remember to use them...and how to use them. One of the medications that I am on for my Bipolar disorder causes problems with cognitive functioning. This side effect is now the thing that troubles me the most in my life. It is not just memory that is affected, but also things like sequential thinking. I often feel like the stereotypical dumb blonde but with the worst case of ADD ever. It has made trying to run a business so much harder. I think part of the reason I find writing my blog so hard is that writing in general is much harder than it was. I have trouble with word retrieval and mixing up words in a way that I never have before. Now, maybe this is all just age related, but on the chance that it is all due to the medicine I have decided I want to stop taking that one. I see my Dr. soon and hope that he will go along with that decision. If it does not help, it will at least be easier to accept that this is just how my mind works ;or rather does not work, now. In that case maybe I will just change the color of my hair to match the character Loretta Tortelli from Cheers.
So for this post I will try once again to catch things up and hopefully not let so much time lapse before the next post. Luckily I have photos and my calendar (that I have been remembering to use most of the time) to help me remember most of what I have done with my artwork and related activities. Many of these things really deserved a full post of their own but oh well...ce la vie...for now anyway.
After the Midwest Symposium I went to my favorite felting event ever...the Felt In Nature invitational gathering organized by Sharon Costello. I always feel so honored to be a part of the talented group of felters who are lucky enough to be part of this event. It has had a profound affect on me and my artwork. This year was no different. The group this year consisted of Sharon, Linda Van Alstyne, Carol Ingram, Kristi Sandoy, Lynn Ocone, Robin Blakney-Carlson, Beth Harwood, Joei Bassett, and Renata Maile-Moskowitz. Being with this group of women, sharing a week living together, sharing ideas, food and drink, thoughts and feelings, all while in a beautiful natural surrounding is unlike anything I have ever had in my life and is impossible to fully express in words. So here are just a few of the photos I took that week.
On arrival Joei and I took a short walk through the town of Rensselaerville NY where the Huyck Preserve is located. We enjoyed looking at the old gravestones at the Trinity Episcopal Church.
Here are some of the photos I took of the preserve.
One of the things we did again this year was to make prefelts and then
cut them to share. Each of us then used the prefelts to create a new
piece. The one I did was inspired by this view.
Here are the pieces I recieved.
These shots show how I puzzled out how to put them together....
To create this scene.
Sharon had brought some wool yarns to share. I wanted to try to see if I could layout little bits of the different shades to create the illusion of shading. This image was inspired by this Purple Flowering Raspberry.
I was so intent on my placement of the wool yarns that I did not pay any attention to composition of the image. I think I improved it with some painting and stitching on the felt. Here is is as finished.
Sharon had also brought some fabric samples that were from an interior decorator. There was some really funky stuff. I love using odd fabrics to see what kind of textures I can get. I can't help but chuckle when I hear people say you can not felt with anything but silk, or really light weight fabrics. Here is part of my collection of samples of how my fabrics will look felted with short fiber merino. Of course different wools would give different results.
Sometimes I sample several different fabrics in one felt.
Of course I can't help trying to make it look like a scene. This is part of what I will be teaching at the Felter's Rendezvous. Though we will be exploring more about how to render landscapes or other pictures with nunofelted fabric collage, much like these:
Here are the samples I made of Sharon's decorator fabrics. One was inspired by the pattern in the lake water.
There are the other pieces I made during my time at the Huyck.
This next one I worked more when I got home adding stitching and painting.
Here it is as finished.
I also did a couple of three dimensional experiments that you can see in the far left of this photo.
Serendipity brought feltmaking into my life at a time when I needed to reconnect with the past and find a way to express my artistic side beyond my rigid dictionary illustration work. The softness of the fibers, the feel of the soapy water, the magic moment when the loose fibers become felt appealed to my unfulfilled need to use my fingers to manipulate the medium. It often feels as though I am just a facilitator for the art, as though the pieces have their own need to be created. There is a kind of conversation that flows from my mind and through my hands into the wool and back again, and during this exchange the questioning mind quiets. My landscapes reflect this sense of peace, creating worlds that invite the viewer to enter and rest in solitude. Through light and shade, the flowing organic lines, and the play of the varying colors the rush and rigidity of daily life falls away. The incredible range of techniques and materials that can be used in felting sustains my enthusiasm and the unpredictability of the way the fibers will blend has encouraged me to let go of the notion that a good artist is one that can render objects that appear realistic. Felting frees my soul.