Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Lili Doll

Here she is!!! I realize in looking at the photo that she looks like she is wearing a crown. It's really some simple hair, make from cotton embroidery thread. Honestly - I haven't done enough serious sewing in so long that I made a bunch of silly mistakes. Luck I didn't sew my fingers together... Anyway, I like her - she makes me smile - and can't wait to give her to Lili next week. Maybe next I'll make her Mommy and Daddy dolls, a Grammy doll, a PopPop doll - this could get serious.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The sassafras grove out in the hedgerow was beautiful last week - shades of rose, lime, and lemon. The leaves seemed to fall off ALL the trees on one day recently, so along with the shorter days and watery sunlight it looks like the very beginning of deep autumn or early winter.
I signed up with the wonderful Leah's Art Every day Month project, and I 'll be posting my results here. There is alot of experimenting going on in NICHE Studio these days, and that is what alot of my work this month will be about.

For the first day of this challenge, I used my cool new Beast of a fabulous Printer to print a photo of my grand daughter on cotton so I can make a small doll for her. The last time I was with her, she was focusing so much on faces that i wondered how she might react over time to seeing her own face on a doll. At first, of course, she will just see it as Face. The color is a bit extreme but that might be good for this project.

I also took a basic collage class recently. The instructor, Jeanne, was great and got me going on some fun Rip and Glue collage projects. Here is the one I made using Jeanne's subject "Excitement." While working on the collages, I found plenty of images to use for my Soul Collage cards, which I am starting using Seena Frost's book. I'm looking for a local workshop that fits with my odd schedule! More on that later.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Art Picnic

Creativity has been happening in fits and starts (not exactly every day) but my Art Picnic with Leah of Creative Every Day was really fun. We were driving back north from North Carolina that afternoon, and I sat in the back seat of the car surrounded by my limited art supplies. Leah's suggestion (via our conference call set-up) was to grab some materials that felt right and just start working. I had some wonderful hand-marbeled paper (thanks, Gail) that made me think of the amazing beach we had just left behind at my family's reunion. With that to start with and memories of a lovely week with 24 of closely-related women, men, and children I made this collage. It still needs some pelicans, gulls, and shorebirds.

For materials, I had a few pieces of interesting paper, a newspaper my sister brought from Virginia, some New Yorker magazines, some glue, some stamping ink, and a few other things. Later I added some photo transfers of some shells I brought home and some old crochet threads that reminded me of seaweed. The old photo from the newspaper was perfect - lots of funny-looking people who looked kind of jammed together - and they are about to be engulfed by a tidal wave!!!! All kinds of interesting connections to be made....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Trying to be Creative Every Day

I recently took up a challenge to be Creative Every Day (see http://creativeeveryday.com/creative-every-day-challenge). I like this reminder - a little nudge to do what is truly important to me. Last summer I made a daily visual journal beginning in early July and I continued well into September. What a pleasure it is to look back at that collection of small pieces and to recollect the days! This summer's work has been more scattered but still significant to me.

Today I mailed this post card to my grand-daughter Lili. She is just 3 1/2 months old, but her mom, the lovely Tanya, reads the cards to her and is saving them for a future book or album that I will make for her. This beautiful new child is in my thoughts so often that I have to send her my love in some way. She was christened on Sunday, and this post card is made from, among other things, a photo I took that day.

I sent Lili another card a couple of weeks ago, after seeing a Hermit Thrush nest at our Adirondack camp. When the baby birds hatched, they reminded me of her - amazing, perfect, helpless, and hungry.
Other small projects in progress, including some monoprints I am making while at my cabin on some lovely new handmade paper I bought at the Bluseed Studios Summer Breeze fundraiser. See what this wonderful organization does: http://www.bluseedstudios.org/

We are heading off for many days of birds, beach, and family - preparing to do little pieces of art on the way and while at the cottage. I love doing collage work in the car while my dear husband safely cruises us along. That time feels so free from duties and often very creatively rich.

A sketchbook page from a different beach a few years ago -

I expect similar scenes next week!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Whimsical Watercolors and Babies

Last week I was at the Arts Center in Old Forge, NY at the "A Whimsical Way with Watercolor" taught by Gordon Bashant. What fun! It was very freeing and happy, and Gordy was a very enjoyable teacher. Lots of water, lots of color, lots of painting! Here are some of my efforts:

I have plans to use this technique to paint some of my favorite places.

We found this lovely little treasure in front of one of our cabins in Fernville:

It is the nest of a Hermit Thrush pair. They are my favorite singers of all the birds - a northern bird - and the nest is nestled in the ferns, mosses, and Tiarella. I am starting a painting today - that blue of the eggs is so gorgeous. Since this photo was taken on June 28th, the eggs have hatched and 3 hungry little bird mouths are all we can see of the nest!

And speaking of babies, I must include a photo of our own Grand-daughter Lili, sent yesterday by her mom, Tanya. I smile just seeing a photo of her little face. She is a bit more than 10 weeks old now. How lovely she is...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Almost Summer

On Saturday I was at home, and it really felt like we were in mid-summer - hot in the sun, pleasant in the shade. Blue sky filled with huge clouds. Scents of the early roses, cut grass, growing things. The gardens are spectacular this year - every time I look there is a new Beauty somewhere. The Foxgloves especially captured me last week - they have been busy crossing and scatttering and finding their own Perfect Places to Thrive - my definition of NICHE. As we sat in the shade after some soul-satisfying work in gardens and yard, Ron and I agreed that this is our very Favorite Planet. It is incredibly beautiful, amazing, and hospitable most of the time.

Yesterday I woke up in Fernville - the place of our lovely old rustic cabins, in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. It was cool (53 degrees in mid-afternoon), spitting rain, and at least another three weeks from the fullness of leaf and warmth we had 162.5 miles south of here. (To be honest, it rarely gets as warm up here as it does at home - which is fine with me, although the leaves do come out fully eventually.)

I spent the morning with some wonderful people, co-leading a birding trip by canoe on the Osgood River as part of the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration. My co-leaders Dave and Bernie are always great company and the folks saw many quality birds (meaning: not-all-that-common-to-most-people bird species). We saw a pair of Grey Jays with 2 immature young, some Palm Warblers, Nashville Warblers, and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, among many others. To top it off, some of us went to another site to see a pair of Black-backed Woodpeckers at their nest cavity tending their young, who we could hear peeping in the nest high in an old spruce.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 26th Collage Class

Look at these!

And these!!!

Our Mixed Media Collage went really well this week. We had a nice group of 12 women - all so amazingly creative! I was knocked out by what they did. And I learned alot too. They gave me some good suggestions for making the class better next time - I really appreciate knowing what works - or not! The collages you see here are theirs - more coming soon!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February - April Art Classes

I am so looking forward to teaching this new series of classes! Here are they are:

Basic Drawing 3 Thursdays - Feb 26, Mar 5 & 12 4 – 6 PM $50
Anyone can draw!!! (REALLY!) Using non-judgmental and easy methods, you will amaze yourself at what you can learn to see and draw.

Intermediate Drawing 3 Saturdays – Feb. 28, Mar 7 & 14 9-11 AM $50
Drawing for those who have taken Basic Drawing or who have some experience with “drawing on the right side…”
Playing with Watercolor Workshop Friday – Apr 3 10 AM - 5 PM $60
Watercolor painting is joyful, expressive, portable, and fun! Spend a day experimenting with the delightful properties of color pigments in water, so you can take these techniques to your own art projects. Specific materials are required and will be available for sale.

Mixed Media Collage Workshop Thursday – Mar 26 5:30 – 8:30 PM $35
Papers, stamps, paint, photo transfers, used text, old books, pressed flowers - whatever you want to use to express your idea can be included in an artful way to make a beautiful piece. Most materials included.

Botanical Drawing 4 Saturdays - March 28, April 4, 11, & 18 9 – 12 AM $75
How is a plant constructed? How does it grow? How do flowers differ from one another? Short botany lessons combined with drawing instruction will provide you with an enjoyable learning experience.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

December Candle Photo - How To

My friend Colleen asked how I made the pretty candle holders in the Decmber photo. Here you are:

I froze a little water in the bottom of a short drinking glass. Then I arranged some small sprigs of cedar and chopped cranberries between the glass and smaller plastic cups filled with water (to weigh them down) and placed inside the larger glass. I carefully poured water over the sprigs and cranberries. After it all froze, I removed the inside cups - this where the candles went. I kept them in the freezer until dinner time. They were frozen and reused them a couple of times. Easy and lovely.

Today is another sunny perfect Winter day. The birds are starting to sing their Spring songs. Hormones are powerful things!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Sun in February

February 1st was a spectacular day - one of those days when you know for certain that the sun is getting higher and the light stronger the instant you get out into an open field on snowshoes. I love the geometry of the corn stalks and their blue shadows on the snow and the tracks of the crows that show their toenails dragging through the snow in the soft places. Several Eastern Bluebirds were communing with some robins in a sheltering swale, feasting on wild grapes and bittersweet berries. Some small grey bird is roosting at night in the hollow tree - see the tiny feathers clinging to the wood at the edge of the very round hole.

Some watercolor painting is in order - the blues are too beautiful ....