Thursday, April 25, 2013

Provence en Plein Air - Part I

Bouillabaise in the Rain
This is one of the watercolors that will be exhibited in my show at the Left Bank Café in Saranac Lake on May 5th. For reasons beyond my control during my two weeks in October 2000 in Provence, I could not get myself a steaming dish of this classic Provencal seafood stew until well into my trip. And in Avignon - pretty well inland! I had spent the day (me and my cold) in St. Remy looking for traces of Vincent van Gogh. There was a van Gogh Museum there. All the work was reproduced from the originals, very few of which remain in France, but it was interesting and lovely. I also found a wonderful market and before they closed down had time to snag some lovely fabrics and my fabulous linen apron, made from an old sack, which still serves me well. As I rode back to Avignon on the bus, the rain started (and continued for the next 4 days, washing out roads and causing big problems in some places). When the bus pulled into the walled city, it was nearly dark and pouring rain. An outdoor café under canopies on the walking route to my tiny hotel was serving dinner, and my food arrived in several deliveries while I sat close to the ubiquitous outdoor heater. As the meal arrived, it looked so beautiful and luscious I did this painting. (I think I sneaked a few bites as I worked.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Blue Door

Very old blue door in Le Val, France

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Heart is Back in Provence

 As I prepare for the May 5th opening of my watercolors and sketches from Provence, I have been reading my travel journals from that trip, thinking about how to frame more work, and remembering what it was like to be in Provence in October. And where I saw this lovely blue door. It was in the small village of Le Val in the Var province east of Marseilles. I remember ancient buildings and beautiful faded colors.
The door grew wider as I drew it. Still beautiful.

Beginning of a watercolor sketch.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

MiniPortfolio from Provence

April 13
I am preparing for a May exhibit at the Left Bank Cafe in Saranac Lake of the watercolor sketches I made while traveling in Provence quite a few years ago.

After I finished scanning most of my paintings, I wanted to keep track of them. I also wanted to make a little flag book, after being inspired by my students' little books last week. Sometimes great ideas collide!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Process

Today I was viewing the blog of a quilter and saw that she had taken the "Process Pledge." I'm all about the process and love to see the processes of other artists of all kinds, so I took the pledge too. I hope you'll enjoy hearing about what I do to get me going, keep me going, and what happens as a result.

And I am continuing in my current process of making a daily art practice a real habit. I missed a day - last Sunday - when we went out in the morning, took a long walk, and had guests while whirling around getting the house in order after a crazy week. I didn't feel too awful about it, as the previous several days were filled with art projects, plans, and commitments.

Wild grape drawing
April 6

I attended a print making class, using Silk Cut Lino sheets at Bluseed Studios in Saranac Lake taught by Robynn Smith. This material was lovely to work with, although still hard to find in  the U.S. (made in Australia). Several of my arty friends attended too and it was great fun. I carved two plates, both from drawings I did awhile ago of wild grape. I need more practice, but here is the result.

Our instructor, Robynn, is a wonderful teacher and an impressive artist. Brave too, coming from California to the slush-embedded Far North of her own free will!
Two finished prints

I plan to use these plates to print on fabric soon.
April 8
Red-eyed Owl

April 9
Detail of small quilt "Ice Moons"

I have been playing with this photo printed on cotton for awhile. It was taken in early winter when the pools of water at a marsh edge were beginning to freeze, trapping lots of air bubbles near the ice surface. This little piece is finished now.

April 10
This morning, I pulled out this tiny watercolor. It was a student's practice sheet from a few semesters ago, and it looks like a landscape with an arc or rainbow moving across it. It is a lovely little "accident" that gave me another way of working toward a piece I am planning. I used it on a journal spread that I played on to make a similar landscape (not as graceful as the original, I think) and to do some other "designed accidents" - all tiny - that apply to the project.
Landscape with arc and rocks
Watercolor print with a photo fragment

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fragments and Imaginings

April 4
 Today I sorted through more fabric fragments to find some combinations that worked for more fiber collages. Many of these are upholstery and drapery fabrics from decorating projects in former homes. The sources are long-forgotten, unfortunately.

April 5
I used my daily practice time this morning to look at the work of Charlotte Ziebarth. I have seen her wonderful art quilts in Quilting Arts magazine and wanted to see more. I am very attracted to her grid format, her altered photos on fabric, and her natural subject matter, Here is a detail from her quilt "Marsh Morning Mists." I think we live in the same Universe.

Finding My Birds

April 2
Thinking about Birds for some fiber collage pieces. I found a photo of a Scarlet Tanager from a birding trip brochure, then I found some drawings I made for a Partners in Flight brochure some years ago, in black & white for the printing process we used. Colored with watercolor pencils and blended with my waterbrush. Love that red and black.

April 3
Here is the tanager with my fabric selection. Might work.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Little Fiber Collages

March 31
Today I played with some fragments that seemed happy together. A little fiber collage series, perhaps.  But I feel a little stuck now. My sweetie put an old necktie in the discard pile, and it sat around for awhile until I decided to put  in  my stash because I love the birds on that black background (below). Then he decided he might wear it again, at just about the time I decided those birds would be perfect additions to my collages.

What would YOU do?! He IS retired now .....
One of the charming birds on the disputed necktie
April 1

Since I first looked at the book Quilting: Line + Color by Yoshiko Jinzenji I have been itching to try some of the beautiful and simple designs - reserved bursts of color on white cotton.
This is my initial attempt at the "fracture" line on white made by reverse applique. Another piece of white fabric to be laid over this, basted over the red line, and cut to reveal the color. A bit challenging.