Monday, June 29, 2015

Landscape Feelings

How do you feel about the place you live?

I have begun to think more about this question as I look forward to the workshop I'm teaching at Sievers School this September. Washington Island, located on Lake Michigan, is a unique setting and I'm hoping we can spend time exploring what that location means to us individually.

Which is why I started thinking about Madison, Wisconsin. My roots are not deep, I've just completed year 4, so what could I explore to give my students an idea of what I'm asking?

I decided to focus on the isthmus. Madison is uniquely positioned on an isthmus between two lakes and there are many ways to access views. One of my favorite is Olin Park at Turville Point, so I headed out early one morning in a light rain with sketchbook and camera. Rain has been our constant companion in WI this spring.

Quiet and solitude is an important part of this place, knowing you are still a part of the city. Although I don't like to work from photos, I will take a few as reference for later. They could help remind me of the mood or a shape I had forgotten.

I sketched an outline of the horizon from one side to the other, broken into three parts. The motor boats were pretty cool too.

Then I completed a quick sketch of the elements I liked the most in this space. You'll notice the dome building on the horizon, the Wisconsin Capitol is a big deal here, as it should be, an amazing piece of architecture inside and out.

It was a restful morning. Aside from the fishermen, there were a few joggers and a couple having their pictures taken. I spent most of my time just looking and trying to remember.

I've begun the tapestry which, I'm happy to say, will not be an accurate rendering of the area.

It's more how I feel about it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer Freedom

I realize summer solstice hasn't occurred, but when you substitute teach tonight is the equivalent of Friday night. The last day is done and possibilities abound, take it slow.

Yes indeed, the school year has ended and I have the freedom to make some choices. Most of my focus is on developing ideas for future tapestries, after all WI winters are so well suited for wood stoves and weaving. Not that I won't start my day with the usual ritual of an hour of weaving, it's just a change of focus.

So here we are, the three freedoms of summer 2015.

1. More Sketching, whenever I can. Look, observe, draw....the foundation of everything.
Noah's Ark Water Park, Middle School Field Trip

2. Women with Fruit. I have decided to do a theme-based collection of my woven lady friends based on fruit.

Step 1, buy fruit and draw it.
Step 2, eat the fruit.
Step 3, weave when the cold weather arrives.

3. Dye Yarn. Now that I have all the tools once again, yarn dyeing makes its debut shortly and colors will be hanging on the clothesline. I have some wonderful marled handspun waiting in the wings.

And yes, I need more yarn.

What is your summer freedom, what passion have you been putting off for another day?

You may not share my release from substitute duty, but let summer get hold of you and take some time. Make a sketch, read a book, stare into space.

It's fleeting, take advantage.