I am deciding how to rearrange my presence online, and part of that seems to be creating a home page and gallery that are easier to navigate, and with any luck easier to maintain as well. If you're interested in the rough beginnings, check out the new homepage here.
With more reading, and fussing, it should get cleaner and easier to navigate.
I am so far behind if I slow down just a little, I might see the back of myself running away.
Or something like that.
I have not forgotten that I have a blog, nor that some people like reading it (thank you, lovely people!) I just completely ran out of steam over the last month. I did spend a lot of time at the high school, and I have learned a good deal more about the lights and sound in the auditorium, but it makes for precious little artwork to show, when I don't get home until after my bedtime!
Some of this slower time is going towards thinking about new projects. Timna and I are thinking about a group show in Northampton, I am thinking about what skills I want to improve, and how to go about doing that. I'd like this summer to be the one with an artist residency in it, when I go somewhere and just make things, and possibly feed myself, in some gorgeous surroundings. That takes applying for, but I can do that. This might be another year where I take a run at a daily project. I tried to do that last year, but didn't like my selected project enough to keep going.
So I am still here, still making, learning, going out into the world. Just not talking about it so much!
I had hoped to be able to show you that I am painting, or at least, experimenting with paint, but they are harder to photograph than I expected, so instead I give you a travelogue.
This is the view out my mother's back door, over Plum Island Sound and north over the Parker River marshes. It is inspiring.
Monday was one of those shriekingly lovely days that comes after the wind has blown all the cobwebs out of the corners and all the remaining leaves off the trees. For us, the winds peels out of the north-west, and howls around the corners of houses and whistles through branches and makes whitecaps on the marsh and on medium sized puddles. The wind was still blowing, but it didn't feel as though anything not firmly anchored was headed for Spain.
Great Kate and I took artwork to the Crane Estate in Ipswich for their show and sale. We picked up my mother, who told us things about the house (it is more of a mansion, and just shy of a castle) and the people who used to live in it. We all marveled at what it might have been like to live like that, with an army of staff to look after the hosue and grounds and people.
On the long and winding road up the hill to the big house, there was a view, and a weird tree with extravagantly lumpy greeny-yellow things on the ground. Since my mother and I both have no dignity, we stopped the car and grabbed a couple, to ID later. Great Kate reached a computer before we did, and told us it is Osage orange, which is not actually an orange at all.
To my delight, it was probably eaten by mammoths, mastodons and giant ground sloths, before those megafauna became extinct. It smells lovely, and makes me laugh every time I look at it.
And thus we segue from mammoth food to mammoth costumes. This is the underneath of the mammoth trunk, and the top is furry and perfect, and it is now time for me to continue working towards the tail and finish the skull, ears and leggings for the occupants of the costume.
The rocks at the northern tip of Crane's Beach, looking across to Plum Island. It was taken last winter, when I was visiting my mother and walking her dog on the off-leash part of the beach. It was COLD, I tell you what, and the wind was stiff.
I am particularly pleased with the subtlety of the foot prints, and the ice encroaching. From another photo taken the same day.
And then there's the final mammoth's trunk - a series of circles separated with increasing numbers of beads. It has the perfect swing. I am going to waste a happy hour or so tomorrow glueing strips of fabric on the edges of each circle, and it will be perfect.
After staring at the small mammoth (is that oxymoronical?) I made a head for the two person mammoth for the upcoming show. The next steps are to get a layer of padding and fabric over it, and settle on the construction of the trunk.
I finally started work on the Crane Estate sale works. I am stumped by the current map-like view of the marsh, so I started this one today. It is from a photo I took on my mother's back step, looking north and east, across Plum Island Sound and the marshes behind it.
I had to spend some time dyeing the fabric for sky and water in the marsh, but I am pleased with the way this came out so far.
I was surprised at how many subdued fabrics I chose for the base layers in this piece. So I compensated by making most of the threadwork more intense than usual. Alice likes this one. I like Mt Warner there in the very background - a tiny hill anywhere except around here, where it looms over the very flat floodplain!
I seem to be developing a good habit, to my surprise. Frequently I get stuck and can't figure out what to do next. I used to sit and read for an hour or so, to let things in my head settle, and then try to go back to work, which wasn't very effective. Now I take a break and work on something that made me happy the last time I did it.
I loved the moonlight on the ocean the last time, but I added too much thread. So this time I tried it smaller, and have more clouds and some trees. I was thinking of Maine when I was working.