travel, and maps

I delivered five pieces to Grow Gallery on Friday, and on the way home realized I had failed to photograph the last one when I finished it. I'll have to drag the camera back to Shelburne Falls and accomplish that – can't have pieces escaping into the wild unphotographed! I was going to show you a picture of Lesley in the middle of her wonderfully curated space, but she demurred, so you'll have to follow links to see her and what she has there besides my work.

I did start a new piece today, and I am taking a certain amount of pleasure in the look of the linework on the back of it. It looks like a map from Tolkein, all mystery and winding river and odd little pictograms. I was thinking about landuse and how I might show that on the front, but having gotten the info I need transferred to the back, I was halted with indecision. A couple days away will, I hope, bring the ideas into better focus.

edge of the river with rocks in

summer river rocks, detail

detail of the river –

I had to compose the piled up rocks that make up the left edge of the image separately, because they were a bunch of complex and overlapping shapes. So I located the parchment paper, and started sticking down the rock pile, bottom one first.Each of the pieces has fusible web under it, and the overlaps help hold it together.

It looked impressive when I was done! And then I peeled it off the parchment paper and ironed it down to the piece. I'll stitch the details of the big rocks tomorrow, and then spend more of the day stretching and framing the pieces I've finished lately.

stone wall

stone wall summer

I think I must have taken this photograph from horse-back, because the background is blurred with motion, and the end result is dreamy. I was experimenting with getting some of that blur in the background using a layer of silk organza.

I'm not sure I can describe how much I love this fabric, and how hard I use it to help indicate depth. I need it for the layers of snow falling in winter, for mist between trees during the melting season, for distance in summer, and to hold layers of turning leaves in fall. I realized a couple years ago that water is almost always depicted using silk, and atmospheric water is apparently no exception!

it must be summer

stone wall spring detail

I decided it was summer, because it is summer and my imagination is heavily influenced by what I see when I look out the window. Which is why I had to put a winter landscape on hold, because it melted while I was dithering about it.

I went to a friend's house this morning and tried to dig out an old, well established lilac bush. The lilac was having none of it, and remains firmly rooted. I did a great deal of digging, and brought two baby lilacs home to see if they might like it here, but the main lilac itself remains aggressively in place.

I worked on this piece this afternoon, but I stopped after I sewed my finger. It isn't bleeding, it just sliced through the skin and startled me, and then everything felt funny so I stopped.

Mt Toby in summer

summer toby from bridge

Another big piece finished. This one will be 16"x20" when trimmed and mounted.

I started this lst summer and halted because I was unhappy with the center of the piece. I think mostly I was feeling frustrated with the difficulties I was having reaching the center of the piece with my sewing machine – the Bernina 1630 I use regularly has a fairly short throat, or harp, and I have to roll things up to get at the center in any detail. I managed to overcome that, and finished the detail work this morning. It felt lovely to sit down and sew after a week of strenuous garage clearing and renovations.

I've already started the next piece, but had to stop because I can't decide if I want to set it in the fall, when I took the photo, or the spring, because all I can think of right now is spring and summer!