Just wanted to share this little piece I finished yesterday. Spring is off to an early start around here due to the unseasonable warm February & March we've had. It's a beautiful time of year to be outside taking it in. In addition to all the lovely snowdrops, hyacinth and daffodils the magnolia trees are blooming and the lilac buds are getting bigger everyday. What's blooming in your neck of the woods?
Yesterday morning I put the finishing touches on these 4 tiny paintings. I am super-in-love with the 2" square block size and the the white backgrounds. And I'm smitten with the idea of creating a large collection of these wee pieces. I have many special little scraps set aside and all of my blocks cut to use in this 1st series of 50 emotional blocks. As I've mentioned (many times) I really like to work on more than one piece at a time because it allows for give and take between the pieces. Each block starts out almost the same but develops it's own identity in relation to the other pieces being created. In my head I can see this collection of 50 blocks all the same but different. Each block saying something small but all together adding up to something big. Ok, enough rambling, it's time to get busy. Today I'm planning to sand and prep a few more blocks and continue work on the multi panel piece which is coming along s-l-o-w-l-y (this post was just what i needed yesterday).
I hope your week is off to a fine start and I'll see you back here in a day or two.
I realize I haven't shown much painting here lately but I have been in the studio this week and will have new work to share soon Monday. In the meantime I thought I would introduce my new studio mates for the next four to five weeks. A mid week visit to the feed store for supplies led to the adoption of these three little ladies. Greta and Pearl are both Australorps (like Loretta) and Betty is a Rhode Island Red. All of the chicks are two weeks old and Betty is already trying to fly! Today I'm off to find these sweet feisty girls a much bigger (free) box.
We lost our 1st (and favorite) hen yesterday afternoon. Loretta started her life with us as the gangly outsider who seemed destined to be goofy and awkward but she grew into a beautiful, graceful and gentle bird that we all adored. She trilled in place of clucking, was the 1st to greet us each morning (and anytime we entered the yard) and she was the calm leader of our four hens. Yesterday after school the kids let all four hens out into the yard. Around 20 minutes later I went into the yard and only saw three of them. I began to look for Loretta and came across her lying in a heap as if she had just fallen over in mid-stride and closed her eyes. There was no sign of trauma or illness and everyone else seemed fine. Today we will have a funeral for this special hen and say goodbye to our sweet bird.
ps: i'm teaching an encaustic class here today which is just the distraction creative fill up i need : )
Over the weekend many projects were going on but this was my favorite. It was inspired by an old post on wisecraft, the need for an end table and a free stump. With a little love, a lot of elbow grease, three coats of shellac and a beeswax oil polish this stump which was destined for the wood chipper is now a thing of useful beauty.
Hello from the middle of the week. An incident in my neighborhood has left me feeling very unsettled and unfocused this week (everyone is fine but it was definitely a wake up call). I've been unable to concentrate and have found myself doing the busy work of sanding blocks, painting on the 1st layers of wax and cutting out birds. All very important tasks but not very exciting stuff for this space. I'm still knitting a bit of Agnes each day but a new project is vying for my time and attention. I've tried to talk myself out of this project (with committing to finishing the monkey anniversary sweater and all) but I don't think it's working. So, yesterday I made the trip to the fabric store and picked up a few snippets of Denyse Schmidt fabrics and started planning a quilt for Theo's new bed. Theo has a teeny-tiny and somewhat awkwardly shaped room so discovering these carpet tiles set a plan in motion for a much needed room makeover. I'm sure Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger would have some bedding that might work with the red, white and blue carpet tiles but that would be too matchy, matchy and that's not how I roll. I need something a little more eclectic to tie together the carpet tiles, the band & concert posters and my 14 year old boy. So I'm working and reworking color combinations and am going to move forward with a very basic and modern quilt project. I love the look of the simple freehand edge to edge loop but am not sure my 25 year old Singer sewing machine can handle that. I don't think I'm up for hand quilting the whole thing (I pieced and hand stitched two quilts many, many years ago) but I'm going to cross that bridge when I come to it. Any advice on teaching myself to machine quilt?
I spy signs of Spring inside and out these days but it hasn't slowed down the clacking of the knitting needles. Agnes is 1/2 knit in just a few days time and I'm having trouble putting her down. Once she's done I'm planning to use up some odds and ends to replenish the hat and mitten stash for next year and to get back to working on a sweater for C that's been 1/2 done for 7 years (pitiful, i know). In fact, since I'm saying it out loud I may as well commit to finishing that monkey on my back sweater. Yes, this is the year that I will complete the anniversary sweater(a gift intended to be for our 10th anniversary) by June 17th which will be our 17th anniversary. Well now, this is not the post I intended to write but it will keep the needles clacking. Happy Friday!
I am so loving these two wee paintings created very late one evening when I needed a break form the large multi panel piece I was working on. I had come across two bits of newsprint both with that gorgeous salmon color in them when I spied two tiny scraps of wood under my table. So, in a I-probably-should-have-been-in-bed-haze decided to give working tiny a try. I am so smitten with the scale of these pieces that I have already cut a huge pile of 2.5" square wood blocks. In my mind I can see small groups of 4 or 9 and large groups of 20-30 of these tiny pieces hanging together making some noise. Time to get busy...
The feelings of renewed energy and inspiration I described just a few short weeks ago here have given way to feelings of restlessness. This transitional season between the dark and quiet of winter and the light and living beauty of spring has hit me hard as mama nature teases with 60 degree days followed by 30 degree days and snow. The order from High Mowing for this year's garden arrived early last week and while we were all very excited about starting everything from seed we know that it is a wee bit early to get started. But it's never too early for sprouts! We planted the first round of sunflower sprouts in Organic Mechanics sustainable seed starting blend and have been watching them grow for the past 5 days (within two-three days we should be able to cut and enjoy this 1st crop). But thoughts about growing aren't limited to the garden around here. Thoughts about what I'm doing, where I'm at, where I'm going and what it all means have been inching their way up from underground as well so I think it's time to get into the studio and work some of this out. I need bits and pieces of text and color (seeds and starter), ideas, thoughts and questions (rain) and inspiration (sunshine) to grow and make sense of things.
Turning eight can wear a person out. This weekend was full of a special dinner, cosmic bowling with good friends, a visit from Grandma and Granddad, a trip to the zoo and lots of jumping on a new mini trampoline. It was a good weekend for a very sweet and not so little boy. Eight is such a brilliant age to be and Sage is so very in the moment of being eight (but by the end of each day he is wiped out). Being eight is hard work, fun work, important work.
This new Party Girl has been sitting on my table for a few weeks now watching other pieces come and go and wondering when it was going to be her time. I love the grey and gold print in her dress and find myself picking out these colors over and over lately. Yesterday I finally got around to creating a tiny copper book filled with pages of her hopes and dreams and she is oh-so-happy to be complete.