Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Too Beautiful to Work on ART! (2)

Except for the Big Doll. I do want to finish her finally this summer. I had NO Idea how MANY stitches would be involved in her completion, but thanks to Tom Light's help in scaling the electrical conduit armature, she is pretty much in proportion to the model, on the counter at right. She just barely fits under the peak of my living room ceiling at 9 feet tall, and is getting rather heavy and awkward for me to lug around. Now I have to use a tall step stool for most of the stitching, as I start to attach the skin, and it's quite a work out.

I just got a copy of STUDIO magazine, and am thinking of sending in my kitchen/living room as a very adaptable studio.

The counter that holds the buffet at Thanksgiving, is also a wonderful place to lay out big patterns or prop up the big sculpture.

Now she probably weighs at least 50 pounds, so I'll work on her standing, and get help to move her out when she's done. I'm hoping that Eric Swangstu still wants to display her in Seattle.

The next Big piece I do (inspired by Niki de Saint Phalle) won't be quite as big...too much time and work! or maybe a more quickly-accomplished medium than many miles have thread have I used so far?

AND OTHER ADVENTURES: My favorite local band, the Soul Shakers, at the Lavender Festival in Sequim, the Lavender Capitol of the Northwest...smells more aromatic than the Garlic Festival in Upstate NY.

A beautiful sunset, looking west. I notice that darkness is coming earlier now. The heat and lack of rain continue, but every day is perfect and sunny, and each day ends with a red/purple/gold sunset display.

My rock yard/garden is starting to take shape, with sedums and lavender as the only allowable living things (there's always weeding to do).

Where it's so dry all summer, it doesn't make sense to try to grow a green lawn. Anything that's not irrigated is brown now.

I bought a red glass globe at the Lavender Festival and used Apoxie Sculpt to attach it to a stable rock base. My rock collecting and buying continues unabated. Rocks into pocket on every walk, and into my backpack on last weekend's expedition to the Lyre River and nearby beach with Hugh.

And now off to work...sigh...the price of supporting my Art Habit.

I'll try to get back to more ART work for you. If anyone wants to join me on Facebook, you're welcome.

I'd be happy to answer any doll making questions here or there. I've been getting more correspondance lately from Art Therapy students.

I'll be teaching basic doll making and paper dolls at the Fiber Arts Festival in Sequim in October.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Classes--Art Again

Just dragged myself back inside...What a Wonderful Summer!!! And Everyone knows that the dark and rainy days will come again all too soon. I'm happy just sitting on the gravel and weeding out the tough ground cover that seems to be related to horsetail. I finished spreading the 7 yards of new gravel, so I've been working some outdoor sculpture. I bought a red glass ball on the end of a rebar rod at the Lavender Festival, used two rocks, stuck together with Apoxie Sculpt and studded with colored beach glass for a tallish element to replace the New Zealand Flax that died in last winter's cold. As usual, I was too impatient and instead of building bit by bit, I tried to rush the whole's precariously balanced on the flat file in my garage at the moment...hope we don't get an earthquake for several hours. I also balanced a piece of vaguely human-like driftwood on a slab of the tumbled mica.

I've been working on the Big Doll again...would like to get it finished. I think the next "big" figures will have to be a bit smaller, maybe my size instead of one and a half times me...she's getting difficult to wrestle from lying down to standing up.

In the last month, I have continued to keep working on the samples for future classes, and MUST get started on my piece for the Imitation of Life Construction Company show.

How about a Charms and Icons class? with peyote beading
as in the top image or the use of unusual buttons and beads

as on the right? If you've ever taken a class from me in the
past, you'll know that no two students' projects are alike...we
all play together and explore as many different approaches
as possible.

I added some found hardware, antique trim, and beads to the cover of FRANCE: Romance.
And an inside page with a French village.

--A short interlude with Katie and her friend, Debbie. They've been touring the lavender farms and made time for lemonade and cookies with me. So nice to see them and be able to show off all my projects. I'm going to miss Katie SO MUCH when she and Mike move to AZ, but they'll be back during the summer, I'm sure.

Some friends last forever...Katie and Debbie have known each other since nursing school.

I'm listening to Margaret Atwood's ROBBER BRIDE on tape while I resume work and cooking fresh salmon from Tuna Dan at the Farmers' Market yesterday with new potatoes and peas. Life is GOOD!

I'm working on a self-portrait class, too.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Fun on the Peninsula!

Barb Kobe, famous doll maker from MN was here for a whole week around the Fourth of July. She and her husband saw many of the enticing sights of the Olympic Peninsula, from the ocean and sea stacks at Second Beach, to the lavender fields of Sequim--don't forget the Lavender Festival this weekend--should be Perfect Weather!

We did manage a little time for making dolls and talking, too. A Large Topic was: How to Make a Living Doing What We Love. I'm quite happy that my "regular" job supports my art habit, and am
thinking about how I can supplement my retirement
(in 5 years) with art/business/writing that I love.

I like teaching through my books and online classes...and having time for my own art projects. Barb likes teaching in person best. Anyone living in MN and the surrounding area should check out her classes.

Here's a doll I made in her class in CT, 10/04, the last time we spent together in person. It proved to be significant in my decision to leave my comfortable life in the Northeast and move out here.

I keep flirting with the idea of working BIG--started back on my Big (9') doll since I finished the Big portrait. I can still move her, and have her leaning against the kitchen counter, so I can tailor the covering of her head (the maquette is the small white figure). I'd like to do some large sculptures for my yard, after getting a book about Niki de Saint Phalle from SAM and using my bright figures from the Seventies on the barrel I painted...but maybe only 5-6 feet tall, instead of 9.
I KNOW I'll have my own small publishing business.

Last weekend, Steve and Linda came from Iowa, while Hugh came over from Seattle. It was good to have the three older siblings together. I picked up my Golden Eagle Pass (available to those 62 and over), to let the carload into the National Parks. Hurricane Ridge, just 17 miles south of town (and one mile up) is always a favorite family destination. Too bad the rest of the brothers couldn't be with us.

The Lupines and Lots of other wild flowers were in bloom, Linda trying out her new camera close-up lense. We'll no doubt see those flowers in the cards she makes later this summer.

I was attracted by the lichen on the rocks, taking a couple of pictures for potential paintings later.
There is still a bit of snow on the north side of the mountain, with lupines blooming in front, and Port Angeles, the Strait, and Canada in the blue distance...A perfect day for the mountain!

Driving over to Lake Crescent, we impulsively turned left, up the Elwah and discovered a park I'd never seen before...and Lake Mills. In the river valley, the forest is purple-green and hung with moss. I chose the colors of my house from the rain forest...using my Artistic with purple trim, and the bright fuschia doors to celebrate my own freedom.

We marvel at how the Native Americans found their way through these dense forests and up and down the steep slopes.

Hugh will be back in a week and a half for our PALOC's production of Peter Pan. He'll be in the production in Seattle later. I'm hoping that Annie will sell more paintings, that her tooth won't take ALL her cash, and that she and Patti will be here in August, as well as Arlinka. What a flurry of Activity my house has been! BUT I have been working on ART, too.

More of that later...I must go to my "regular" job now.

Stay Tuned!


Friday, July 03, 2009

More Family...and Food...Fun

My brother, David, and his partner, Brian, have a lovely new home nearer Doug and Amal.

Here's the back yard, from the deck that opens off the kitchen...another great setting for Hastings' food Fests. We were celebrating their new home, Connie achieving her Masters in Voice from UW, Hugh graduating from the "regular job" back to full-time acting, Serene's finishing her junior year at Roosevelt, Birthdays of Thayer, Doug, Amal, Brian, and Steve (in absentia and in Iowa), and my Fourth Anniversary of moving to WA, also Doug and Amal's Tenth of moving, I think.

Serene has become an avid baker (reminds me of EAT CAKE by Jeanne Ray, our next book group book...She must be able to follow directions better than I do, and you can see that she is in the family art mode with these marzipan decorations that were going to go on the cake for brunch, except there was some kind of technical process problem...Maybe she is like me, after all, in not wanted to be bound by rules.

We were happy to slurp up Connie's merainge pie with lemone sauce and Sequim strawberries...bad luck baking that day, but DELICIOUS!

David and Brian have a wonderful kitchen for entertaining now, too.
Here are the West Coast younger generation, not so young any more. Thayer left for a summer in Morocco. Serene is working on her sports and drama skills.

The brothers, Thayer, and I went downtown to SAM and Pike Market after brunch. David looks tired from all the house painting and moving.

It's SO NICE to be able to hang out with the family on a regular basis!

The colors and textures of the market are SO Inspiring! I'd better get back to my ART WORK!

Remember the work for the fabric journal class? Romance/France
. While my current guests, Bill and Barb Kobe, go out to Neah Bay, I'm going to work in the studio....but first outside to finish moving the gravel pile!!!!


Never-Ending Fun!

Here's a picture for Ella, your dad in front of the now-famous Bella Italia in Port Angeles, the scene of Bella and Edward's first date...and a great Italian restaurant.

It's great to have old friends from VT visit...we've known each other twenty-five years! My second brother, David.

His observation on western Washington: "like Vermont on steroids."

An art shot through the Itty Bitty Buzz to the patio, lit from above.

The first strawberries showed up at the Farmers' Market. I am a happy woman, with all the fruits and veggies of summer
. Good thing I have all the exercise moving my gravel pile!

With all the great fresh rhubarb and two brothers visiting, I worked myself up to doing a Martha Stewart yogurt mousse, with a cornmeal crust and rhubarb sauce.

I know for sure she has someone else (or a crew) going behind her doing dishes! I am not a good baker, because I HATE to follow recipes to the letter, in fact, I Refuse! Especially when, like Martha, they call for endless different steps and dishes.

Very tasty...and not all that bad looking!

Hugh and David agreed.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Along with mountains, ocean, lakes, rivers, parks, and verdant farms, the Olympic Peninsula
is famous for its wonderful wineries.

Kathy Charlton, one of the owners of Olympic Cellars Winery--home of the Working Girl Wines, is a Big Booster of Port Angeles. Along with spear heading the effort to make Port Angeles even more bright and welcoming than it already is, she has organized the local wineries and ten of the many local artists (including me) to decorate wine barrels, which will then be exhibited in an empty storefront downtown...and then be available for purchase in an online auction to benefit the Port Angeles Art Association.

True to form, I left mine until the last minute, and while suffering the deep anxiety that Everyone Else's Will Be Better Than
Mine, I knew I had to act quickly to meet the July 4th deadline. With Every Possibility open, and So Much Inspiration in the blue waters and green land of the Peninsula, I had to make a choice and go with it.

The oak and metal of the barrel were too sensual to cover up, especially after I'd used the Golden GAC 100 to seal them. I found an image of a running woman, tossing flowers from my soft sculpture days in the Seventies, and made her the right height on the computer. Then I used Tsukineko pens to trace her onto Japanese paper 12 times. I used Golden clear gel medium to attach the images to the barrel, filled them in with acrylic paint, then coated the finished piece again with GAC 100.

Kathy came over tonight to video me and my art barrel. I may even end up on YouTube! I've seen photos of some of the other barrels, and they're all going to be AMAZING!

As you may know, this area is one of the sites of the Twilight Phenomenon, but there'll be Lots, Lots more to see at the Downtown Celebration on 7/11/09.

See my debut with the wine barrel on YouTube: