Sunday, March 18, 2018

Arlington 2017, deep in greens

It's time to finish the bugler, go deep into greens, and finish the final 1/3 of the tapestry that has been my winter companion.

Arlington 2017, 10 epi

As always, values are key. The client wanted 3 specific elements; the caisson, the bugler and the Capitol. I combined them in my design and to pull off a sense of space. I want to make sure the values of that soldier help him blend in and recede.

Bugler between the tombstones, bugle to the right

Beyond that, I'll just be blending greens for the park as I head to the Capitol.

Start of the tree canopy for the upper right corner

Next blog on this topic will be The Cut Off, I'm just not saying when the date will be...but soon.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sketching a Story

Many of you know by now that I'm an obsessive sketcher. I thought I'd share my latest adventure.

I headed up to Minneapolis last weekend to visit my son and his family. It was my wonderful daughter in law's birthday and birthdays deserve an entire weekend. I even got to spend some time with my good friend Traudi.

Of course it's March so it had to snow. Much silliness ensued.
Who needs photos? Try sketching a short story...much more satisfying.

Day 1, Porkchop and I drive up and I go to the movies

Day 2, a sleepover at Traudi's and a trip to the grocery store

Day 3, snow event, Porkchop and Spark have a disagreement, and we blow out candles

I look back at these pages and the entire weekend comes flooding back...all the great memories. Try it, you might think you can't but the secret is, you can.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Arlington 2017, Next Step

I'm immersed in greens and it's not easy.

The wheel is finished, the caisson completed, but now it's on the stars, stripes and parkland. These colors are much more tricky than I thought, just getting them to work together.

Progress has been slow for the last week, but I think I'm getting there.

Here's where I was last we met

And here is my progress as of last Saturday. I'm quite pleased with the values of the black caisson and and the soldiers uniforms. The addition of the flag colors and especially the greens of the park has really been a struggle. I've gone back and forth with color selections, putting in and taking out.

Here you see the wheel. I'm please with the round shape. I did take out the stripe above it when I realized I had not overlapped the top of the wheel, and re-wove it....besides I wanted to darken the value of that stripe to get it in the background.

Sigh. I'm about 2 inches farther on that grassy background and I think it's beginning to work.

Good thing I'm not punching a time clock.

Stay creative....

Sunday, February 11, 2018

WI Handweavers Winter Fun

A good way to cure any winter blues is to go to a workshop. It may be February, but what is the chance it would snow on the weekend I teach 17 eager students in Milwaukee WI?

A pretty good chance it turns out, but in the end it all worked out...often the case. And we had a good time, so what more could you ask for?

Color in winter...who can resist that?

The topic was Tapestry Architecture. Wisconsin Handweavers Guild wanted a workshop that all levels could feel comfortable taking, so buildings seemed like a good idea. Idea and technique connected, that's my kind of class.

Ruth and Ruths have to stick together

There was an array of looms of all types; copper pipe, mirrix, pvc pipe, rigid heddle, table looms, assorted wooden tapestry frames...I'm not afraid to give a workshop with this variety. I have my preferences, others have theirs and for some it's their first taste of tapestry. We all learn together and discover what works, what needs improvement.

It's the results that count. I know I've said it before, I learn from my students. They think of things I wouldn't.

I might have arrived back to Madison with a driveway full of snow, but I met 17 new friends,

I'm hoping they try tapestry more than once.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Arlington 2017: The Wheel

January was a good time of the year to have a project. You never knew from day to day what the temperature might be outside. You might as well stay inside and weave.

i was up early...

Arlington 2017 has made progress. One of the tricky parts I had to think about was the wheel. How would I give the impression of this circular wheel and spokes (actually there are two, but one is enough) without worrying about weaving the perfect circle. I rarely have the patience.

the very beginning...the white spots are sunspots, which I need

nothing will be perfectly circular so squares and jogs are important to move the eye...

Then there are the values, very tricky as I make my way to this area. The caisson (in my mind I call it the wagon) is black, the jackets on the soldiers are dark blue and the wheel?...I decided to go with browns. This has been a big challenge.

But so far, so good.

Stay tuned.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Arlington 2017

A new tapestry has me going back to my traditional roots, leaving distortion weave behind. I'm enjoying the change and the opportunity to problem solve.

Hagen pipe loom, warped 26" wide, 10 epi

A  client contacted me with the idea of honoring her father's internment last year at Arlington Cemetery. She sent me photos she had taken and we identified three areas that seemed most important. Drawings and a watercolor followed.

photo resource, color swatches and beginning of watercolor

final sketch, half the scale

This is the perfect way for me to start the new year. It's a very proscriptive idea; I know what I need to do. The colors are a limited palette focused on grey blues and greens, most I have dyed this past summer, and the size is perfect for me, 12 x 22 inches.

What an opportunity!

My biggest challenge is naturally, the values. I need to manipulate the shades of the road, uniforms, and hearse to make the idea clear.

sunspots took over in the frigid temps when I started

Porkchop discovers a prime sunspot

And I will keep you all informed on the challenges as they arise...should be an interesting journey.

Here's where I stopped today...

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Red Stripe

Happy Winter Solstice....and a Happy New Year .

To all.

It's been a tricky year, struggles and stress, but yet there is still so much to be grateful for...

6 inches wide, 10 epi

This tapestry I finished in the fall sums it up for me. A young person determined and hopeful. Creative and ready to face what lies ahead. I call it The Red Stripe.

multiple pieces worked on the loom

Young people inspire me to move forward, to trust in their ideas, to care about their decisions.

Happy New Year to all, stay creative and be kind.