Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Works and Adventures 12/27/07

Here's what I've been working on: Another in my series of small painting/collages with words and stitching, using the constraints of one-sized paper, stitching, collage, and red, yellow, white, black, aqua--freedom in structure.

For this one, I just started putting paint down and waited to see what would emerge. Contemplative, perhaps.


Just in time to prepare for Christmas 2008, here's a new angel pattern. I try to do one each year--another book, eventually. You will probably want to enlarge the pattern.

I used my beloved batiks and outside seams to avoid turning, except on the head, which is done in a white-on-white print. I sewed the arms and legs into the body seam, used iron-on transfer paper to adhere the fabric to the front and back of heavy interfacing.

You could also adhere fabric to heavy cardboard and avoid sewing.

A self-portrait in oils that I finished in the spring. I didn't think that I liked painting in oils--rather smelly and more cleanup than I like--I HATE cleanup!

The style is different from my usual, with building up the colors gradually and painting Everything that I see, instead of the flat patterns that I uusually do.

Often I don't calculate what I'm going to do, I just wait to see what comes out. This is one of the advantage of having a "regular" job to pay my bills. With my Art I can play and experiment.

Here's a question I posed recently to my Critique group--is an artist's Style as unique and unchangeable as her handwriting? Will my work be recognizeable as my work, no matter what medium or approach I take?


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Solstice!

Another Warm and Wonderful Christmas in Seattle with David, Amal, Christina, Thayer, and all the rest. Limiting ourselves to food and other handmade gifts gave us the time and energy to concentrate on enjoying each other's company with a minimum of stress.

David in his Santa hat, a warm and woderful Christmas in Seattle with family. The traditional fondue party on Christmas Eve at Hugh and Connie's house, Amal's Christmas morning scones, and a wonderful group dinner at Doug's as the snow drifted down on Seattle. I wasn't sure how my drive home would go, but across the water, the snow was rain, and there was a sunny day in Port Angeles...the weather is even more changeable here than in Vermont!

What better way to celebrate any holiday than cooking and eating together!

Primroses in the snow, and a typical Peninsula snowstorm, with plate-sized flakes drifting lazily down, looking southwest from my deck. The snow was soon to turn to rain, and the green grass emerged, greener than ever.

The most meaningful winter holiday to me is the Solstice, when the sun promises to start showing its face more frequently. Some mornings it's so overcast in this northern latitude, that it never seems to get light all day. It is a good time to stay indoors and create...though there are SO many distractions: food, Tango, food, reading, movies, walking in the infrequent sun, food, friends, family, food...

I had a wonderful Solstice party Friday night, with all Mexican food to remind us of the (relative) warmth to come. I wore a Hawaiian shirt (over my long underwear). Lots of chili pepper, pink flamingos, and heart lights--everything as bright and warm as possible!

On New Year's Day, Katie will enlist a group of us in helping to make and eat Korean Prosperity Dumplings...the Northwestern US is a place of relatively new immigration, and it's wonderful to share and meld our individual traditions. I have heard more and more people saying that this year they are resisting the frenetic gifting in favor of sharing time, food, and love with family and friends. We can be the instruments of evolution for our traditions.

I will be posting pictures and a new pattern SOON. I have a new tree angel pattern...just in time for NEXT year. Of course I was having too much fun at the Solstice party to take any pictures.

I will be teaching DOLL MAKING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE PROCESS again online at The class starts 2/1/08, for 5 weeks, for $60, and includes cloth and paper patterns for each lesson. There is a full-time chat room, which is a wonderful opportunity to share the process with me and with students from all over the world...World Peace through Doll Making!

Also, check out Lark's new book, 500 HANDMADE DOLLS, for inspiration from me and many other non-traditional doll makers. My series on 3-D doll making in Soft Dolls and Animals just ended, but I'm sure they will sell back issues. I'm planning an expanded edition of my doll making book, which will include the new material...If anyone has a source for reasonably-priced color book printing, I'd love to hear about it. I'd like to get it done in the US and order about 1000 copies at once. I know printing on demand is becoming more cost-effective all the time.

More SOON...right now I'm teaching myself InDesign, so I can get back to making new books. The first one is paintings and writing from the years here in WA. (2.5 already!)

I can't remember if I've posted this painting before or not, but one can't have too many images to liven up the chat.

I'm thinking that I may stay home on New Year's Eve and start another painting--what could be a better way of setting the tone for 2008!

As far as Resolutions go, stay in the NOW, take small steps toward your dreams, and do what you can to love and cherish yourself, the planet, and those around you.

May Many Blessings flow to you and yours in the New Year!