Archive for August, 2008

Strata

Finally, I’m posting some quilting. These two pieces were made for a “Seeing Red” challenge put forth by the Scrapbaggers, a small art quilting group in Connecticut. The rules are that each piece must be 24″x24″ and be at least 50% red. Challenge works by the group will be shown at the Newtown Library starting September 5 through early October.

The first piece, Strata was inspired by the red rock layers found in the Southwestern United States canyons and by aquifers trapped deep below the surface. The warm reds contrast with the cool blues to lend refreshment to a hot and dry landscape.

The second piece, Reservoir was inspired by red rock canyon walls and Lake Mead. The textures in the rock layers hint at ancient histories when the strata were laid down and at ensuing upheavals and erosion.

Both pieces come from memories of our weeks spent at the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Arches and Canyon Lands. I have loved these landscapes since I first saw them as a teenager. Several summers ago my family and I fulfilled my life long dream to hike in these beautiful places. I’ll never forget the beauty and grandeur that we experienced.

Maryland visit

We’ve just returned from a visit with Ellen and Doug. Ellen wanted us to come before her semester starts since she’ll be rather busy for a while after that. I’m sure she wanted to see us but I know she really wanted to see Monte. When she saw the puppies in July, we hadn’t chosen one yet.
I had all these great plans for photographs. The first day we were there, her water lily popped open. I went out to capture the event in pixels and …. nothing. Dead battery. So there you have it. No pix of the beautiful water lily, cool cicadas in the yard, Koi and goldfish, Doug and Ellen playing with the puppy, or a large flock of egrets along the rail bed trail. Phooey.
It was a great visit but it was hot down there. We’re glad to be home.

Butterflies


The cone flowers and Black-eyed Susans were covered with these little Atlantis Frittillary butterflies today. There were oodles of them competing with the bees for a sip of nectar.

Mud and Fire

We were blessed with some help to finish clearing the paths through the woods to make sugaring a little easier come next spring. But we all know that all work and no play is pretty boring. So James and his friends Greg and Ellie brought some shot guns and ammo and two borrowed ATVs along. The guns were for pure fun and I was quite impressed at how well they hit those clay targets, especially since I was throwing them. The ATVs were to facilitate hauling stuff out of the woods, you know, but that didn’t stop them from exploring some of the dirt “roads” in the area. I got to go once too and I have to admit it was really fun. I’ve been waiting for the good mud pictures that I took with Ellie’s camera – and I’ll post them as soon as I get them, but for now you’ll just have to take my word for it as to how muddy they were.
The ATVs were very useful for dragging trees and debris. And of course, the stuff that we hauled out of the woods had to be dealt with. I acquired a three day burn permit and we made good use of it. Sitting around the bonfire into the night reminded me of camping and smores and good times.

Of course, now that we have this nice path through the woods, all we need is an ATV.

By Popular Demand…

Puppy updates.

Today was Monte’s first day of puppy kindergarten. She’s training her parents just fine.

Volunteers

Don’t you just love volunteers?! Thanks to the squirrels this beauty is blooming in our garden.

Paste Paper

It’s been a while since I’ve updated but I’ve been busy making paste paper. When I made the book with Pang a few weeks back, I was really excited about her beautiful and complex paste paper from which she allowed us to choose. She promised to show us how to make it and I’ve had a very good time. It is not a quick process, as some of the papers required up to 6 layers of paste paint and texture before they seemed to possess the desired depth and beauty. Fortunately, Six Loose Ladies‘ workroom was free for an extended period and we were able to leave wet paper out to dry and come back daily to add more paste paint. In the end, and I really had to make myself be done, I made nine sheets, 10 thumbnails of which I’m posting here. Click on each one for a larger image.



Paste paper is really an exercise in un-painting, since the paint is put down and then scraped off in various patterns and textures. Subtle images remain from lower levels, some more vibrant than others depending on the value and opacity of that layer, and some are almost completely obscured but add depth and beauty. It is hard to explain how fun this really was and the things I learned by taking risks – once you put down the next layer, the character of the paper is changed forever. Pang has promised a box making class where we can use our newly created papers. And I’m hoping to make more books soon too.


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