Friday, June 30, 2017

MIndful, Day 178, Pattern, Pattern, Everywhere

This wonderfully patterned moth was hanging out at the edge of the sidewalk! I have never seen one like this before. Watched an ant harass it for awhile but it just flicked it away with one of it's back legs. I want to find out what kind it is and why it is patterned in this very distinctive black and white pattern.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

MIndful, Day 176-177, Memory Scent

I never got to posting on Day 175 as I was trying to get my workshop work done.  But what I noticed both yesterday and today each time I walked out the door of the classroom was the wonderful scent of pine in the air. It is a scent that rings my chimes - I think of the many forests I have walked in and enjoyed in so many places. I think it is also one of those memory scents for me. One that takes you back to childhood in an instant. I go straight back to my aunt's home on Wooster Lake in Illinois and the times we would go there in the summer and be under the trees and hear the birds and the water lapping on the lake and the wind blowing the leaves.  It's where I started to love being in the woods. As I write this I am in almost the exact situation - sitting under trees and hearing the birds busy in the early morning. Some things that don't change are good.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Mindful, Day 175, Differing Paths

Today was the second full day of the workshop I am taking at the Appalachian Center for Crafts. It is on felting with inclusions of objects, threads, etc. I have not done this but sometimes it really is good for the brain to step out of your comfort zone and try something entirely new. I have no idea of how this might intersect with my art work in the future but for now it is enough to be in a class with other people and a wonderful teacher and see all the different interpretations we create based on the same instruction. Glad to be able to still learn!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mindful, Day 174, Take a Seat

These wonderfully distressed old garden chairs are positioned to look deep into the woods here at Art Camp. I think they are quite beautiful with the layers of paint and rust. But maybe not beautiful enough to sit in without getting all scratched up!Plus we are so busy in our workshop that I don't have time to think about sitting! But it's been great learning something entirely new - stretches my brain.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

MIndful, Day 173, What ?

I drove today to Smithville, TN to the Appalachian Center for Craft to take a week long workshop. This was the sign I saw as I went to the grocery store in Smithville to get a few items. Why would anyone want to drink something called Calf Killer coffee?  I am mindful that I am not where I belong.

Friday, June 23, 2017

MIndful, Day 172, Waiting for Clarity

You must give birth to your images.
They are the future waiting to be born...
fear not the strangeness you feel.
The future must enter into you long before it happens...
Just wait for the birth...
for the hour of new clarity.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875- 1926

I read this last week and have been thinking about it.  I know that there are times when working on art that it has to sit for awhile.  Not out of sight necessarily but it has to just BE for awhile and then one day the answer comes along or a new direction suggests itself. It has taken a long time to recognize when to wait and when to keep working.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mindful, Day 171, Summer Napkins

I always look forward to using these colorful summer napkins. Each is is a little different but they remind me of summer and Mexico and fiestas and parties. So what's not to like?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mindful, Day 170, Patterns yet Again

Rippling water, swimming fish, sunlight and shadows all create beautiful patterns on the surface of the water.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mindful, Day 169, Ripples

I love watching moving water. Especially when you get wonderful patterns of the reflected sky and clouds. I think this one (or one of the 30 or so I took at the same time!) will become a new art quilt.  I can already envision it.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mindful, Day 168, Serenity

We spent the afternoon yesterday at the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, IL.  It is beautifully laid out, immaculate and serene.  Takes me back to my trips to Japan in a heartbeat. Just wandering around made me more peaceful. I am mindful of all the effort to it takes to make it look so effortless.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mindful, Day 167, Thankful for Fathers

Thankful for fathers! My Dad in his thirties, my first husband Barry with our 2 daughters, and Larry with our combined family.  All have been great and loving fathers and I am thankful that they were all in my life.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mindful, Day 166, Feathery Feeling

The feel of this feathery grass is like silk as it moves over your hand. And it moves so beautifully with the wind.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Mindful, Day 165, Tangled

This tree is almost entirely covered in a tangled web of vines (probably poison ivy!) I think about how long this took to happen and how the tree continued to grow and expand in spite of being restrained on all sides. A lesson as I often feel that trying to make art is that way. Everything else gets in the way. Good things and bad things but still hard to clear a path to do the work you want to do!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

MIndful, Day 164, Beautiful Faces

Looking for something else at the studio I come across my small collection of plaster angel faces and decide to photograph them for possible inclusion in the Beautiful Faces thread painted series. The more I look the more I see in the surface and the expression on the faces. Especially the first one which has always been my favorite. Why is it that something like this can strike is again and again in new ways? I am glad to have found them in the drawer today!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MIndful, Day 163, Be Prepared

The window washers motto- be prepared!  I saw this while walking past a very big house with lots of windows. They are ready to go.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mindful, Day 162, New Work

One of the  new variations on the Feathered Crack tree ring photo.  There will be three more still to figure out. Looking at this one completed I see star trails moving around in a circle as well.

Monday, June 12, 2017

MIndful, Day 161, Making a Mark

While in Minneapolis this weekend I went to the Walker Art Museum. It turned out to be the day of  their Grand Reopening which made for some fun activities and free admission! Watching people try to maneuver these giant markers to write congratulatory comments on the wall was one of the highlights.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

MIndful, Day 160, Letting the Light In

Late afternoon sun, birch tree shaking in the wind, beautiful patterns on the wall!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mindful, Day 159, Refuge and Reflection

I can never resist a good reflection photo. I especially like how this one is broken up in the middle with the floating grasses.  This may end up as a textile someday. I hiked before it reached 97 degrees this morning at the National Wildlife Refuge in Minneapolis. The wind was blowing, so the cottonwoods and grasses kept up a lovely sound in the background and the breeze made it okay to be out there for 7 miles! The refuge is along the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers so lots of wetlands and grassy areas in spite of being pretty close to two things you would never associate with this - the Mall of America and the Airport.  I will take the refuge over the mall any day of the week.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Mindful, Day 157-158, Birds of a Feather

We were driving yesterday to Minneapolis for a meeting and stopped in Baraboo, WI at the International Crane Foundation. A beautiful spot and a chance to see many different kinds of cranes from around the  world. Most of these birds are living very precarious lives in the wild. This foundation is helping to breed more, raise them in natural environments and work with the areas they come from to maintain or recreate their natural habitats. They are striking to see close-up. The various plumage, topknots, eye colors are all so interesting. I am mindful that the people who do this work make a special contribution to the world.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mindful, Day 156, Just One of Those Days

I am mindful that it is one of those days, just one of those days, it will end soon, it is just one of those days, let it go, concentrate on something positive, it's just one of those days.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Mindful, Day 155, What's Not to Love?

What's not to love about peonies? Outside, inside, here for such a brief time and bursting with beauty. My favorites are Bowl of Beauty and this striated, cut leaf one called Lollipop (I think). Can't make enough bouquets right now!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mindful, Day 154, Years and Years of Legs!

 My number number four sister's number four daughter got married this weekend. My last godchild. A beautiful wedding and yet another opportunity (there have been many in this large family) for my sisters and myself to do the "leg" shot.  Over the years the legs have pretty much stayed the same while the rest of our bodies have changed a bit here and there :-). But we are lucky to still all be here enjoying each other and our expanding family.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Mindful, Day 153, Everchanging View

 Today while in downtown Chicago we went on the new ferris wheel at Navy Pier and got to see changing views of the city as we went around three times. it was good to be reminded of what a beuauiful place Chicago is. Having grown up in the city I remember when it was not nearly as inviting as it is now.  I hope we can get back a lot this summer and take advantage of all it offers.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Mindful, Day 152, Aging in Place

Walking this morning I pass this gigantic old cottonwood tree whose trunk must be at least 30 feet in circumference. The trunk has the beautiful ragged, silvery bark that comes with age and there are lots of scars from trauma over the years. But here it stands, the sound of its leaves still beautiful high above me and just getting better and better with age. I wonder what all has passed below it over the years.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Mindful, Day 150-151, New Computer

I am mindful today that I have terrific people in my life! My nephew-in-law just sorted out my dying computer and set me up with my new computer and almost all is well. And actually seems pretty familiar. A big sigh of happiness and relief to not have to spend a ton of time getting back to ground zero.