Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Late December 2008

The holiday season is winding down, but not before we go to our cabin to be with some family and friends. The weather has been frightful many times already this winter, and although I love snow, it has hampered my need to celebrate with those I love. So, a few more gatherings in the next week, then many more little ones to help us all through the Cold Dark Time.

I have been busy in my studio. Here are some of my new Reminder Pins - helping me remember what is important sometimes.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sea Shells

Lucky to be in Florida this week, visiting Mom. We spent this afternoon at the beach. As usual (and ever since we lived down here when I was a kid), I was enchanted with every shell, every piece of sand dollar, every strand of algae. I should know by now to bring a bushel basket with me (a slight exageration) to collect all the beautful bits that I want to look at and make into lovely reminders of that salty, mysterious world.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Studio Grand Opening

The event on Saturday was wonderful - lots of friends and well-wishers stopped by, and my friends Susan and Bill came all the way from Ithaca for my Grand Opening! Also received some beautiful flowers - Thanks, Mom and Colleen!!!! Here a few photos. The next project is to arrange to give some art classes - drawing, card making, and mixed media collage this winter.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The New Studio

Although I have officially been in my new studio since October 18th, I haven't been there much. BUT, I am participating in the Grand Opening of the store in which my studio is located, Great Finds in Valatie, NY, on Saturday, November 8th. I expect it will be a busy day, as all the weekend days have been since Maggie moved her store from a smaller space up Main Street to this grogeous renovated house across from the beautiful falls as the Kinderhook Creek tumbles through the village.

Here a few views of my sweet humble space:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


The Adirondack studio tour went very well - lots of friendly visitors, some of whom bought some small works (Many Thanks to ALL!!!). Next project is setting up my new studio in a small village near home, Valatie. Much to do there before Saturday's village-wide Harvest Festival.

Meanwhile, the Fall colors and the Hunter's Moon are spectacular this week. Working indoors is HARD! Before I left the mountains yesterday, I paddled with my friend Gail. The tamaracks were golden, and the dropping needles rained down as we sat in our boats to talk and look.

Last night, our Full Moon Circle met outside with a campfire under the clouds and occasional moon sightings. We all agreed that it clearly feels like the turning point of the season now. A month from now these colors and mild tempertures will be a fond memory.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More for the Studio Tour

If you love being in little boats as much as I do, you might like the papier mache boats I made. There are two made from my handmade paper with pressed plants inside - one small (9.25") and one larger (13.5"). These are photos of the treasures inside. (Photos of the outsides were posted a couple of weeks ago.)

Two more boats (same sizes as above) are made from royal blue paper with gold fish printed on it; the insides are painted gold. Like the first boat I made for myself, I can add words of your choice to the interior of the boat. I'm thinking of love poems, anniversary sentiments, etc.

I'll be working on some collage pieces during the studio tour, and there will be some other small paintings, pastels, and photographs to browse through.

You will be most welcome at my little cabin! There will be hot cider on the stove and a cozy wood fire to warm you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Adirondack Artists at Work Studio Tour

I've been so focused on getting some new pieces ready for this weekend's studio tour that I have not been attending to much else. In fact, three bowls of beautiful raspberries are calling me to make them into jam. (... just talk amongst yourselves ...)

Okay, now there are nine beautiful jars of jam on the counter, I made a fabulous dinner, and I'm back at the studio and computer.

First of all, get directions to my studio on the Adirondack Artists Guild website: http://www.adirondackartistsguild.com/studiotourwinters.htm Directions to the studios of all participating artists are available on that website as well. I will be in my studio on Saturday and Sunday - Friday is my day to visit the studios of some other artists.

Here a couple of new pieces in my "Habitats" series. They are made from photo transfers and torn papers, applied to small canvases that have been painted with acrylic paints.

I'll also have my Small Works and Dreamscapes on exhibit. These will be for sale, at prices named by the interested buyer. How much is one of them worth to you?!

Here are some examples. Each was made from free-form watercolor paint tossed onto small pieces of watercolorpaper. Then I drew into the shapes formed by the color. Most of them are completely informed by the viewer's interpretation. Look for the tiny details. Here is "Eichybush Autumn."

And here is "Dreamscape IV."

And "North Country I."

Tomorrow I'll add a few more pieces to this page before I load my car for the beautiful drive north.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On The Island

A week ago - last Sunday - I was sitting with friends on Halfway Island in Lower Saranac Lake for a morning meditation. It rained earlier, and the water dripped from the overhanging pines while we sat quietly, looking out over a grey and blue waterscape and the other islands that are scattered across the lake. The croaks of Common Ravens and the chips of chickadees floated across to us. During our Saturday meditation, a raven sat nearby and joined our chanting.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shorebird Migration

Last night I made this journal page. It has nothing to do with what I did yesterday, but I saw the nearly-full moon and it reminded me of the shorebirds we saw on Cape Cod last weekend. Many birds migrate at night and can actually be seen flying past the moon. We know alot but it is all still a beautiful Mystery.

Later today I will paddle out to the island where Zen in the Woods is taking place. I'll set up my tent (probably in the rain - all fine) and settle in for a couple of days.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Journal Page & Some Watercolors

I am working on a concept I have for a "Habitats" series. This little piece - yesterday's journal page - includes a leaflet of a Cinnamon Fern frond (Latin name Osmunda cinnamomea), part of a topographic map, the symbol from the map showing the decliation from true north, and a painted print of a mushroom. Being something of a botanist, I love the often-descriptive quality of the Genus and species names. In this case, this fern belongs to the larger genus Osmunda, which includes the amusing Interrupted Fern (Osmunda claytonia) and the magnificent Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis). The Cinnamon Fern is named for the fertile fronds that emerge in the center of an individual plant and are covered with cinnamon-colored spores. To make the support/background for this piece, I tried the method described by Pam Carricker in Cloth, Paper, Scissors [http://clothpaperscissors.com/] (July/August 2008) - 140 lb. watercolor paper coated front and back with gesso, then painted with several layers of liquid acrylics. (Thanks, Pam!)

Before I head to the mountains later today, here are a few of my watercolors that are framed and will be available for sale at my cabin studio tour later this month (also available by contacting me through my blog).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Drawing Class & Studio Tour

Last week, my friend Stephanie and I finally got together for her drawing class. As usual, I got at least as much out of the class as my student did. Drawing the gills on this mushroom was completely absorbing - and they really were purple!

My post card invitations are now in the mail, inviting friends and acquaintances to my little cabin studio for my part in the second annual Artists at Work Studio Tour, sponsored by the Adirondack Artists' Guild in Saranac Lake from September 26 - 28, 2008. I plan to open my studio on Saturday and Sunday this year, so I can visit other artists on Friday the 26th. For information about all the artists and studios on the tour, visit the Guild's website: adirondackartistsguild.com Here is my cabin, with which I am completely in love:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Glorious Morning

Another glorious late summer morning here in the Berkshire foothills of New York State. Behind our house is a corn field from which we can see the Berkshires to the east and the Catskills to the west. This time of year when the mornings are cool, we can see the mist rising from the Hudson River, although the river itself is not visible from here. The blue jays are forming their roving bands of raucous marauders, making lots of racket and zooming around among the forest fragments.

On my drive to Rochester this past weekend with my friend Brin, we passed a huge sunfower field - most beautiful. It reminded me of a road trip in Wisconsin with my longtime friend Susan when we had to stop the car to admire the sunflower fields (that or drive off the road in distraction). I did this pastel painting later for her.

The Morning Glories are in their prime out on the garden fence. I find their colors and habits enchanting - it is a challenge to recreate that exact shade of blue in watercolor paint.

Friday, August 29, 2008

In Cris' Niche

This week I made more paper boats. My first (pictured above with the little double-bladed paddle) was made during my Oiseaux Sisters workshop. I have not worked much with 3 dimensional objects - we worked with low acid paper mache - and this was fun. (Early this summer, I bought a little lightweight solo canoe and I am a bit obsessed with being on the Adirondack waters.) A couple of years ago, I saw a lovely poem by Mark Nepo about paddling a boat as a metaphor for making one's way through life - I collaged some excerpts from that poem into my boat. I love the idea of a boat being both a vessel and conveyance.
The two different-sized boats are made with paper mache bases covered in paper I made that incorporated flowers from my gardens.
This weekend, I hope to be on Lake Ontario with my son Chad in his little boat.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In Cris' Niche

Lots of changes coming up - good for the Fall, I think. Maybe I'll buy new pencils...

The workshop I took this summer with the Oiseaux Sisters in Moravia, NY was a wonderful experience - many lessons on new techniques, as well as lessons in how to live and think as an artist. One of the best lessons was the importance of having a daily art practice of some kind, and - as recommended by Susan Dollmaker Andrews - I began a visual journal. The process of coming up with a new idea for each day is challenging, always a good way to keep creativity flowing. In addition to the visual piece, I write the day's activities on the back of my little art piece. Here are photos of my July journal, a week of August, and a couple of this week's images. I'm a little behind, after the canoeing and other Adirondack activities of the past couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, ideas keep percolating.