Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

I love the 4th of July! I enjoy the fireworks, the picnics, the parades, the family time.

But more important than all of that, is the true meaning of Independence. It has layers and layers of meanings, mostly depending upon one's own experiences and history. For me, July 4th has always be a fun day full of good food, family/friends, and celebrations. I have had to drag some folks along to enjoy the fireworks, but we always have a good time while we are there. Alas, they don't appreciate that the aftermath of driving home through lots of traffic is really worth all the time and energy it takes!!!

But independence means so much more, especially as I age and being independent is getting more difficult to maintain. The truth is, none of us are really independent. We all need one another, we rely on others each and every day of our lives for the things we take most for granted - water, food, clothing, home. We rely on the service industries, the utility companies, the educational system, the traffic lights, and so much more. We are NOT independent of one another at all.

For me personally, this year planting my flowers required some help from the younger generation, not just from my spouse, who has always had more physical strength than I to dig holes for rose bushes, etc. This year, kneeling was bad enough, but the getting up and getting down is so difficult that I did not want to plant the seeds myself... This may be the last year I try to do that, sad to admit. My body is no longer strong enough to do simple, routine tasks that once went unnoticed by me.

Independence equates freedom to most of us. The freedom to be who we are, without shame or derision. The freedom to say and do what we wish, provided it's legal to do so, of course. Yet there are so many people who do NOT have that freedom in our country. The impoverished, the homeless, the "people of color" (or African Americans or whatever we are deeming the polite way to differentiate them when they are not different than anyone else), the indigenous peoples, the mentally ill, the physically ill, the disabled, the list is endless.

We talk about "diversity" as a good thing, yet we all have experienced it as a negative. And the more "diverse" one is, the more difficult life is for that individual or group. Why is that so, in this land of freedom?

Just my musings for the day... even as I celebrate freedom. I hope you enjoy my photo collage created with the help of Picassa and lots of fireworks photos collected over the years. May each of you enjoy your independence today and every day.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Featured in INSPIRATIONAL Digital Magazine!

I am honored to have been among numerous excellent fiber artists who have been featured on John Hopper's Textile Blog during the past 8 years. John wanted to celebrate those 8 years of textile blogging and link them to his Inspirational digital magazine. In this quote, John writes about this linking:
After some thought, I came up with the idea of using the next issue of Inspirational as a portfolio of all the contemporary artists that I have featured over the eight years of The Textile Blog, featuring work that they are producing now, and getting them to say a little something about where their perspective as an artist is currently. In a way it is perhaps a fitting celebration of what The Textile Blog has become, a vehicle in which to feature and highlight the work of contemporary creativity.

So, I have contacted all of the artists that have been featured on The Textile Blog, from way back in 2009, to a month or so ago in 2016. Bit of a daunting task, contacting and recontacting fifty artists from all corners of the planet, but I have done it and I am heartened by the enthusiasm and generous support from all those corners of the planet, aren't creative individuals the best!

Below is the beginning of my contribution to this effort. It was an honor to be featured several years ago on his blog, and another honor to be included in this follow-up survey of what the featured artists are presently doing and why they are doing it. Four of my current pieces are included along with my written reply to his question, to be found on pages 50-53 of the magazine.

Forty five fiber artists have thus far responded to his request, including: Deb Lacativa, Cathy Kleeman, Carol Taylor, Gerrie Congdon, Ellin Larimer, Wen Redmond, Dominie Nash, Diane Savon, Rayna Gillman, and Karen Stiehl Osborn, to name a few.

I hope you find this magazine insightful and, of course, "inspirational!" You will find it available here.

Friday, May 06, 2016

More "Old" Artwork - This Time: PASTELS!

Looking over the old pastel paintings, I'm surprised that they all are portraits. I rarely do portraits, yet pastel is a perfect medium for doing them.

Pastels are all concentrated color/pigment and one can work rather quickly with them or slowly, if that is preferred. The latest pastel artists are now doing watercolor and/or acrylic underpaintings prior to adding the pastel to complete the piece. Other artists are now using pastels in their mixed media work. Maybe it's time for me to play with pastels a bit!

The one below is a portrait of our son during those rebellious years... He grew up but remains a bit of a rebel. I guess he inherited that from my side of the family. Dad and I have both been considered rebels!

For anyone living in central Pennsylvania, our local Pastel Society is having a show at The State College Framing Company and Gallery for the next 6 weeks. Tne gala opening is tonight beginning at 5:30 in the Hill's Plaza on South Atherton Street. No, I'm not a current member, but I was when we first moved here! It's a great group!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Drawings from the Distant Past

I've always loved to draw - from some of my earliest memories, art was important play. In high school, we learned to draw with pen (old fashioned metal, interchangeable points into a wooden handle) and India Ink. We also learned good, old-fashioned lettering in those classes.

Below are a few examples of ink drawings completed and sold in up-state Pennsylvania, where we once lived. There are a few pencil drawings, one colored pencil study, and several ink drawings with a touch of watercolor added.

Sorry that the images are not as clean, crisp and clear as I would have preferred. Evidently the slide to digital process is less than ideal at this time or where I had the images made...


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Old Watercolors - Post 2

A few more - of my later, better ones. IMO. Enjoy!

Next to be shared will be the drawings from yesteryear as I keep practicing in the present year!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Watercolors from the Distant Past...

Recently, we sent all of our slides and video tapes off to SouthTree to be made into digital images. The first box of old slides arrived last week - there were 150+ slides of my art work done between 1978-1989. I had totally forgotten about having done quite a few of them. Others stood out in my mind as great pieces that also sold at the first art show where they were shown.

So here is a sampling of some of my really OLD art - which will serve as a preface to the watercolors are am now returning to doing since I am no longer able to sew on the sewing machine due to severe shoulder problems.

The first batch are from the early part of the 1980's. I was also a beginning quilter at that time and went to quilt shows as a vendor and sold my watercolors of quilts, lace, kittens, flowers, and other nostalgic subjects. All of these paintings were sold prior to our 1990 move from Athens, PA to Freehold, NJ.

Here are some of the later paintings - the style has loosened up a bit, which I like a lot. My current practice pieces are also looser in style.

And here are some of the commissions that I completed in the latter part of the 1980's.

I hope you enjoy my little trip down memory lane!