Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Mindful, Day 149, A Surprise

Going through art pieces to start to pull together my solo show at the Brushwood Gallery at the Ryerson Conservation area in Deerfield,  IL this summer.  This piece of art cloth emerged!  It needs some tender, loving care, but sometimes it is good to get a surprise and see if you like it.  On another note, my computer screen is dying so Day 150 will be a probable non-event as it will be in getting fixed or replaced!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mindful, Day 148, Wandering Around

The evolution of this monoprint continues. The original was a rubbing of the cut lines left on my mat cutting board (all the little short black lines in the background). Then I monoprinted with the dried grass laid between the inked plate and the paper with the cuts. And I really liked the results but wondered what would happen if I blew it up and printed it on a linen/canvas fabric LARGE (40 x 54).  And now I have that back and really like the results because I can see all kinds of tones in the backgorund and all those little cut lines have gotten bigger and more interesting. So next steps are TBD. Emphasize the cut lines with stitching? Emphasize the grass line, create more texture in background, overprint other images, do as little as posible because it's OK as it is? Lots of tryouts in my future. And then, of course, there is the possiblity of reshooting the results and taking that in a new direction. This is why I love what I do.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Mindful, Day 147, On the Square

Soldier and flag on the square in Woodstock this morning. Thankful for all our vets inclduing my own at home.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mindful, Day 146, Quilt National Memories

 Last night I was at the Quilt National Reunion at the Dairy Barn in Athens, OH. We were celebrating the 20th anniversary of the biannual event/exhibit.  One of my friends had this photo from the 2001 Quilt National (the first time I was ever in it) and it was a delight to see it after all these years. All the women in the photo (Donna Katz, Robbi Eklow, Jane Sassaman, Pat Kroth, Caryl Fallert and myself) have continued to work as exhibiting artists around the country and the world. We are standing in front of Pat Kroth's stunning quilt.  A walk down memory lane!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mindful, Day 145, Thankful for Our Veterans

I spent some time this afternoon in an old cemetery in Athens, OH in between events at Quilt National. Very peaceful and beautiful place with the military graves all marked for Memorial Day. Most of the graves here were from the Civil war or before and many are no longer readable at all or broken or fallen.  I wonder about the stories behind all these graves, what it was like to live in this place in the mid 1800s when it was pretty far "west".  And how this area was pretty "south" as well so it would have been a mix of Union and Confederate sympathies. I hope we all take time this weekend to honor our veterans. In spite of everything going on in this country we still have many freedoms and opportunites that are not available lesewhere and we need to be thankful for those who made that possible.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Mindful, Day 144, The Bee and Me

I did some weeding late yesterday afternoon and this bee was having a wonderful time on the allium. What's NOT to like about alliums? When they are done blooming the dried  heads are still so beautiful - like sparklers. I have giant Schuberti alliums (still coming up) that must be a foot across when they bloom and are exactly like sparklers. I look forward to seeing them bloom soon.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mindful, Day 143, Off to a Quilt National

I am looking forward to leaving before the crack of dawn tomorrow to atend the 2017 Quilt national in Athens, OH. Sadly, I do not have artwork in it this time (but I did in 2001, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015!) but on this 20th anniversary they are holding a big celebration and have invited all past exhibitors to come.  I hope to see some old friends and wonderful artwork.  I am mindful of how inspirational seeing and being part of this presitigious exhibition has been for me. And it has truly shaped the way art quilts are seen in the art world.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mindfyul, Day 142, Beautiful Yellow

Yellow is such a happy and comforting color. This hibiscus keeps on creating the most beautiful yellow flowers in spite of the neverending rain and cold we are having. It is the ONLY thing on the screen porch that is cheerful! I go take a look at it each time I take a break from sewing jsut to rest my eyes for a bit.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mindful, Day 141, A Favorite Place

Summer on the screen porch. I look forward all year to spending time here at any time of the day or night. So far it has been mostly in snatches between rain and cold but I keep hoping for some time to sit and read and watch the sky and the birds.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mindful, Day 140, Early Morning Flowers

This time of year it is an early morning delight to go wander through the garden and see what is blooming and then gather those flowers togehter and arrange a small bouqet for the table. And they always look pretty good even though there is no plan.  I like the Japanese maple leaves in this arrangement with that hit of chartreuse color that is also in the hosta leaf.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mindful, Day 139, Blue Grass Meander

This is a small monoprint I did last year. I am printing even smaller digital copies of it to make note cards so I am seeing it multiple times as it comes out of the printer. And each time I see and notice something just a little differently. Putting it into the frames of the notecards makes it more "there".
Which leads me to think about framing/windows/seeing into/seeing through and so on and so on.This stream of consciousness meander sometimes leads to new ideas so I just let it flow. All from this little print.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mindful, Day 138, Spreading Pattern

 I am going to work on this image as a new tree ring piece.  I have several that I am stitichng on at the moment so it is crazy to start manipulating a new one but it such an intriguing pattern I can't not do it. It starts to break and spread out in two different separate sections.  I wonder what it looked like as a an upright tree. Split trunk?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mindful, Day 137, Opening Night

Standing Water will be on display starting tonight at the Fineline Creative Arts Center in St. Charles, IL as part of the Sculpture at the Kavangh exhibit. I think it will be in good company with lots of other sculptural work, including my Leaf Fall, Hollyhocks.  These may be the only textile based sculpture in the exhibit but that is good.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mindful, Day 136, Gods of the Junkpile

While at the plant nursery poking around I wandered into the this! Gods of the junkpile. I would love to know where/why/what about them.  There they stand, 10 feet tall, surveying piles of trash.  What a way to end up.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mindful, Day 135, Upcoming Exhibit

This is a detail from a large shaped piece called Leaf Fall, Hollyhocks, based on l leaves I picked up late last summer after they had been "laced" by insects.  It is part of a sculpture exhibit at the Kavanagh Gallery at the Fineline Creative Arts Ceneter in St. Charles, IL. The exhibit opens Friday night and there are pieces inside and also along the piraire path outside. It will be fun to see this and Standing Water, my other piece, in that setting.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mindful, Day 134, A Time to Shine

This beautiful tree peony sits in a remote corner at our church tucked between two walls and the staircase to a courtyard. Most of the time you don't even know it's there. But this week it is shining in all of it's glory. The blooms are 6-8 inches across and they cover the entire plant. It lights up this small corner of the universe.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mindful, Day 133, Seven Oaks Savanna

Last fall, in honor of my 70th birthday, family and friends gave me a great present. Seven oak trees from the Land Conservancy were planted in my honor at Ryder's Woods in Woodstock. We got to go and help plant them and help create a new savanna area. Yesterday, we went to visit them and see if they had survived the winter. They are flourishing! I took photos of each so we can track their growth each year. It's a great legacy - they will be going strong when I am long gone and will contribute so much back to this earth.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mindful, Day 132, Remembering Moms

It's Mother's Day and I had a chance to spend time yesterday plant shopping/lusting with my 2 daughters. It's not often that we can all get together outside of a family event or crisis and just have a chance to enjoy one another's company. So it was a special day. Today I will think of all the Moms that have been in my life - from those I barely remember (like great-grandmothers) to grandmothers and aunts, my sisters, nieces, and most especially my own Mom. I think of my friend's Moms and how they miss them or are struggling with the issues of aging. I think of stepchildren's Mom, who they miss dearly. I think of my stepdaughter and daughter-in-law, both great Moms trying to raise caring and responsible kids. And I think of everything that some of these Moms have missed because they left this life to soon. So I am mindful that this time together is special and we should take the time to savor it.
Charlotte Koenig Hess Nielsen ( my Mom)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mindful, Day 131, It's a Jungle Out There

This is a look at the stem of the trillium. I was surprised by all the markings and wonder if the pattern serves a purpose. From this viewpoint it looks like a tropical landscape!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mindful, Day 130, Delicacy

This delicate little plant in the woodlands is barely noticeable until you get close. I love the translucency of the  little heads and bell shape as it opens. I am going back to the woods today to see what else has bloomed in the past few days and to see, especially, if these flowers will be more upright now that things are not so soggy.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mindful, Day 129, Protected

This Jack in the Pulpit wildflower (in the woods on a rainy day) looks like it has a hood pulled down. It is an interesting plant in that it can be either male or female depending on soil and weather conditions. Being male is apparently easier because it doens't have to develop seeds. I hope to get back soon and see it opened up to sunlight!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mindful, Day 128, Feathers and Cracks

Finished this small Tree Ring Pattern piece today. I think the markings look like feathers and concentrated the stitching in those areas. I am trying to finish a number of new pieces for an exhibit this summer at the Brushwood Gallery at the Ryerson Conservation area in Deerfield, IL. I want the concentration of work to be about trees and leaves as this old mansion sits in the middle of a beautiful wooded area. I have lots of space which is wonderful but it needs the right work to make the exhibit strong.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mindful, Day 127, Observation

Watching the swallows on a nesting box in the prairie. Meant for bluebirds but the swallows are definitely enjoying their home. You could stand here for a very long time and just watch them swoop and swirl around the sky and then take a breather on top of the birdhouse.  I got closer then I thought I could just one step at a time.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mindful, Day 126, Merging

I am experimenting with shaping some of the Tree Ring pieces as I do in the Leaf Fall series. Giving them shape to create more light, shadow and depth. I think. I need to do more to see whether it is going anywhere. Maybe. Need to make some more and see what happens and where it ends up.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mindful, Day 125, Into the Woods

 At last, a long walk in the woods on a sunny day and only muddy most of the way. That's all it takes to feel restored. The woodland wildflowers are just starting to bloom, the trees are a beautiful chartreuse, the mayapples are creating a carpet. In another week it will be totally different and I will be back.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Mindful, Day 124, Mended

I have several pieces of old Japanese Boro - mended indigo fabrics. Each is made up of layers of bits and pieces of fabric, created by need but beautiful in their design. It is not as regular in it's design as patchwork but more freeform. I am beginning on some new work that I hope will take inspiration from these pieces. I like the connection to these past artisans and hope to learn more by looking at these peices very closely as I go forward.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Mindful, Day 123, A Reminder

I am 1/3 of the  way through this year long exercise of trying to respond every day to the poem, Mindful,  by Mary Oliver. It's time to remind myself of it again in it's entirety. In rereading certain phrases stand out - look, listen, the ordinary, the common, the daily presentations. And I think that, so far, that is what has happened. Some days it is hard to find the joy, some days I have to remember to just be open to it. Other days, it comes so easily. But I still DO find delight in just being open to the possiblity of what COULD happen and that is good.
Mindful –
Every Day I see and hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It is what I was born for – to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant- but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh good scholar, I day to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these- the untrimmable light of the world, the oceans shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mindful, Day 122, Another Cat Face!

Hard to believe but I came across another cut log with a funny cat face on it while walking at a different conservation area. This is beginning to feel a little strange!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mindful, Day 121, Let There be Sun, Even if Only for a Little While

The sun is shining in the east throwing long shadows across the dining room table  and creating this pattern from my favorite black leaf bowl. Ah. what is it about shadows that are so appealing?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mindful, Day 120, One Lonely Hyacinth

This one lonely grape hyacinth is blooming in a sea of pachysandra. I actually noticed it more because it was  the one and only spot of color in all the green. Such a beautiful blue.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mindful, Day 119, 50 Shades of Grey

Another grey day dawns. I have been working my way through monoprints that I made last fall ftom dried plant materials. Photographying and reworking them in Photoshop to then print in various ways as fabrics which I can then do more surface design on. Lots of decisions along the way - sizes, amount of abstraction, colors, etc. A lot of the monoprints where done in shades of black and grey so they are fitting right in with the current look and feel around here. I DO love grey tones -  the subtle changes from blues to greens to mauves - lots more  then 50 shades of grey are possible!