Tuesday, January 5, 2016

One Year Later . . .

Happy New Year!!  I hope yours is off to a great start!  We've been treated to a lovely display of treacherous ice in Portlandia.  I just poked my head out the door into the black night and the ice is going "clickity, clickity, click" as the wind blows the branches against each other.

And how is it that I have not been in this blog space for an entire year?  Well of course, I suppose there is Instagram.  It sort of turned things on end.  It's so very quick and easy.  (And I hope you'll find me there so that I can also find you there.)   And also, there is the fact that I created a website that includes a journal page.  But truth be told, I have only posted there twice, and my daughter Catherine, the advertising strategist (and painter), has informed me at least twice (gently) that two blog/journals is one too many.  And lastly, there is the fact that something is up with the Blogger widgets.  I became challenged by them to the point of maximum frustration, so I walked away from here for awhile. . . a very long while.  (And you'll notice that a few things are still amiss in my sidebar.)  

Meanwhile, I did manage to hang a show of more than twenty paintings last February (not all of them were new, of course), and I completed nine scarves/runners/wall hangings in early December that were hand printed with hand stitching embellishment, and machine pieced.  They're currently at Imogen Gallery, on the coast in Astoria, Oregon.  And, of course, there is the full-time job. . .  

Still,  there is the issue of blogging. . . . Following others on Instagram does take time.  And I'm still also following others on Flickr, though I rarely post photos there anymore.  But I recently turned my attention back to Blogger and discovered that many of you are managing to continue blogging. And it was truly a treat to get somewhat caught up with what has been happening in your lives and with your artistic pursuits.  

I think I've been away from here too long.  I think I'll resume posting here, and will direct my website viewers to this blog.   I look forward to engaging with you here on a (semi) regular basis again. (And I promise my posts will typically be short!)  :-)


Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year's Greetings

"Midnight Bands"
36 x 48

Happy New Year!!  

              (I realize I'm rather late in extending my wishes, but trust me, they are no less sincere. :-) )  

May your artistic efforts in 2015 bring you much joy and contentment, and if a goal for your work happens to be financial reward, may you enjoy that as well.   Most importantly, may you enjoy the love of family and friends and may you experience good health in the year ahead.

Thank you for putting your work out there for the world to see.  I continue to be inspired by your writings and your art, and I truly value this online artistic community that we have developed. 


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Autumn, in all its glory, fades
New life stirs below
We pause to gather and give thanks for all that was, and is, and will be

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Carnival (in progress), Dahlias and Bees

"Carnival" - In progress

It's misting here in Portlandia.  Perfect weather for easing into a three-day weekend after three rather intense weeks at work, but not so great for those who have been looking forward to their last camping adventure prior to the beginning of school.   The weather is a welcome reprieve from the heat and it buys me a break from exterior maintenance work that demands to be done before the relentless rains arrive.  I'm hoping to finish "Carnival" (which already has another oval appearing inside of the large white oval and a yellow band beneath the white rectangle), and perhaps one other painting.  Maybe I'll break out a new canvas, too, and I'm also hoping to get some hand stitching and machine work done.

I've been spending more time in the vegetable garden this year.  Turning the compost continues to be my favorite activity, but I've also been enjoying hand watering in the evening and visiting the garden in the early morning to watch the bees at work in the dahlias that, amazingly, are now towering over the vegetables and bringing merriment to the garden.

Thank you to those of you who continue to blog and/or post to Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr or Facebook.   Your work inspires me on a daily basis.  And as always, thank you for your interest in my  slow but steady artistic journey.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

As Far as the Eye Could See

Perhaps you've had the amazing experience of coming upon these beautiful "By-the-Wind-Sailors"  quite unexpectedly at the beach, but I never had until this weekend while at the Washington coast.  Their scientific name is Valella valella and they spend their days skimming the surface of the ocean by means of a small blue float (deflated in the photos here) made of concentric circles of gas-filled tubes.  Their short tentacles hang just below the surface, feeding on plankton, and with no active means of propelling themselves, they sail along at the whim of the winds.  Occasionally, (or more aptly "seasonally") they are beached by the hundreds of thousands.  This phenomenon is occurring right now, up and down the west coast of North America, as evidenced by photos from two people I follow on Instagram; one who lives in Northern California, and the other in Southern California.   I must say, this sight was spectacular, and even more so because the day was clear and the water was a gorgeous blue.

Hope you've had a wonderful weekend!
(I'm back in the studio, mustering up the courage to slap some paint on a blank canvas.)

Oh -- and if you're interested, come join me on Instagram.  
I think it's a great platform and it's lots of fun

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pinkish-Purple (Or, Purplish-Pink?)

 Hand stitching on hand-painted recycled fabric from chef's jacket.

Last week seemed to be all about pinkish-purple (purplish-pink?).  It began with me adding pink stitches to a piece I had painted years ago, and it culminated yesterday when this dahlia began to open.  Well, of course there's a story:  The bloom is the first from six or seven tubers that I had pretty much written off.  I found them in a plastic FedEx envelope sitting on my west-facing porch on a sunny afternoon in April.   Our oldest daughter had shipped them to me as one of her last tasks before moving from Spokane.   I was impressed.  But when I opened the package, it was like a little greenhouse inside, and the tubers were all damp, shriveled, soft and powdery.  I thought to myself, "There's no way these are going to be viable."  Not that I have any experience with dahlias.  I don't.  But as expected, when I researched "dahlia care" online, my suspicions were confirmed:  these tubers didn't look like any of the photos of healthy tubers I saw.

But these were tubers from special dahlias, having been purchased by our youngest daughter to replace the dahlias she had ordered and grown for her sister's August wedding two years ago. Unfortunately, the responsibility of digging up the original tubers that autumn and fallen on me, since our youngest had moved to Hawaii for nine months, and our eldest lived in Spokane.   Well, since the tubers were not exactly right here in our backyard, and since I had forgotten about them, they remained in the ground and had not survived the wet, soggy winter.  

So . . . not wanting to be carrying around a double dose of guilt, I jumped into preparing a new place for these new tubers right here IN our backyard, and stuck them in the ground right away with lots of compost.   I marked the spot of each tuber with a cedar stake, let both daughters know they were in the ground but that they shouldn't hold their breath, and then I waited.  And waited.  And watered.  And waited.   And . . . much to our mutual delight, the tubers performed their magic!  And really, for someone who hasn't grown dahlias before, they're quite amazing -- almost Jack-in-the-Beanstalkish with thick stems and a multitude of buds ready to burst open.   And now, of course, I must remember to dig them up in the fall, and figure out how to store them, and then remember to replant them, as I believe I will be their designated caretaker for the next few years. :)

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Printing and Patterns

Hello there.  Spent Saturday afternoon tearing strips of fabric and printing on them.  (I'm building my stash for that patchwork project I have in mind. ) Also spent some time figuring out how to use Instagram and in the process, discovered some interesting patterns in some rusty items as well as in the vegetation.  And the frog?  Well, the juxtaposition of this tiny creature on this luxurious skunk cabbage leaf was just too much to resist.  :)

Cheers! And have a great week!