circle river triptych

circle river triptych

I feel sometimes that I am just picking things up off the floor of my studio and finishing them. I had these three rivers from last year but they were not quite done somehow. I had some blue beads I’d made from colored porcelain and a friend had fired for me, and the yellow shells from the last several summers on Mohegan, but it took a while to settle on all those red buttons for the last one. And then they were clearly related, and also clearly done. I will frame them up as a trio in a single frame, and call it good.

I had two pieces accepted to the Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Ohio. That feels like huge compliment. I was looking at the classes offered, but couldn’t swing it financially.

Closer to home, I had another piece accepted into Catch and Release, a show at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turner’s Falls, Massachusetts, just up-river from us in Northampton.

I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at other peoples’ work, looking for the things I find compelling. That is always interesting. I’ll show you my scribbled notes on that sometime!

spring is springen

I finished two new pieces and took them up to visit Lesley at Grow Gallery. They are both showing New England in early spring.

Last night I took a bunch of old work that could not be fixed or finished out into the back yard, and with a small amount of ceremony, burned it. I started a fire in the new fire pit (bought for the purpose, but clearly a very promising addition to the back yard) and waited for the first star to show, and then, piece by piece, said something nice about each thing, or what I’d learned, and set it on the fire. I had also acquired some packets of salts that color the flames, and I sprinkled those on the fire at the end, and invited the ghosts of old pieces to visit me now, when I have better skills and can do better by them. Alice roasted a couple of very stale marshmallows, and we waited for the International Space Station to go overhead, and then we doused the fire and were done.

I am temporarily obsessed with fish. A different piece I finished looks like this:

fifty fish

Resin fish, paint, and a lot of stitching. Can you find the stitched fish? Contra-fish….

March 19, 20 and 21

For today I have for you three tiny journal pages, made triangular, and some philosophy.

In my own defense, I am tired and punch-drunk, but here are triangles for March 19, 20 and 21. I missed completely March 16-18 because the high school musical was happening, and that takes all of my attention until we strike the set and put it to bed. The following day I spent sleeping (three pillows and many Zs) and then contracted Alice’s vicious stomach bug which laid me out such that knitting was all I was capable of, followed by today’s three triangles to catch up.

I am feeling apologetic because I have not been as diligent about these daily projects as I was for previous daily projects, and I attempted to spend some time today thinking about it. Sadly I have no (useful) conclusions, just sweary notes to myself about dedication and persistence and doing what I say I will.

The first time I started a daily project, I had two children in school, coming home daily, and very little time to myself. The studio time I could carve out of my regular life was precious, and I made a point of standing in my room every day for a half hour at least. The postcards I made were a direct result of that. Through the postcard project I honed my skills, explored materials and techniques, and found some ideas I mined for the next several years. I also learned how to be efficient in the studio.

The next time I started a daily project it was across a year that had one child starting college and the other starting high school, as well as me starting a larger commitment to the high school theater program than I had before. I had more uninterrupted time in my studio, and the circles became more like a period at the end of each day – something I’d seen or thought of or was in some fashion related to the time and the theme of the month. I made a point of giving the circles away – call it karma, call it advertising – and that practice made me more widely known, and opened several doors for me.

This year I have one child mostly independent, living and working in Boston, and one at college. The house is empty, but not all the time – I joke about having 1/7 of one child and 3/7 of the other – and I have no set schedule or requirements. I am attempting to locate my practice in something besides opposition to other people’s time constraints, and it is harder than I thought.

I guess the thing I am taking away from all this introspection is that I should carry on, to the best of my ability and patience, making a daily triangle, and something will have changed at the end.

In the mean time, thank you for your patience while I think out loud, on the internet.


attached please find an experiment I am undertaking with Instagram. I have not yet wrestled it into submission.

I did bring home the memory of the blues and greens of Miami Beach and they are currently imbedded in this month’s triangles. Also I am interested in what I can attach to the triangles, for instance, thin pieces of wood, shells, cork… I have a lot of things I was interested in sewing onto other things.

five triangles, a march and ink


More hand stitched triangles, showing off some of the fabric I have printed recently using a gelatin plate (more on that in a minute) and some of the silks I succumbed to in Belfast, ME. Belfast has an amazing and wonderful little art and fabric store, right in the middle of town. My good mother was singing its praises, and I failed to believe her until Kate and I stepped inside. And then it was kind of hard to breathe because there were so many amazing things to see. I cannot do it justice. Go visit Fiddlehead Artisan Supply and be delighted.

I signed up for a class with Linda Germain to learn more and better ways to print on fabric using a gelatin plate. It is made from Knox unflavored gelatin and glycerine. The result is tough, rubbery and fun to mess with. The class has been fun, and I have learned some elegant techniques to get quite detailed prints from leaves and other natural things, as well as learned in the abstract about layering color. I still have a lot of learning to go on that topic! But it did mean I got some new inks for printing on fabric. After using them cautiously for a couple rounds of experimenting, I decided to give myself a gold star for each jar I used up, and if I use them all up, I WIN! I am not sure what I win, but I will have made more things and learned more things than if I’d spent time conserving paint or fabric.

And finally, I marched on Saturday along with, apparently, between 3 and 4 million others. My family and I stayed local, expecting a couple hundred people and ten minutes of speeches. What we wound in the middle of was 2500 people, celebrating solidarity, feminism, parenthood and the sunshine. I was so glad I went, and so glad so many others turned out. I will leave you with this short video of us as we go under the truck-eating bridge into the middle of town.


changes in attitude


The last time I did a daily project, I posted the results to the blog daily as well. This time around, I feel content posting daily to Instagram and Facebook, and letting pictures pile up until I can say something more coherent about them. Making the pictures public is important, but talking about them is much less so.

What I can see about this grouping is that I seem to be seeing mountains in them, and bringing that to the fore. I also like edges and triangles within my triangles. I have not tried to depict anything in particular in them – that may come soon. I will finish out January noodling with more abstract themes, and change directions at the end of the month.

I realized that I was not prepared to travel and make triangles when Red Kate and I went to visit my mother in the far Down East of Maine over the weekend. I tossed together a kit, but it took me a day and a migraine to figure out how to make the things I was thinking about. While I was visiting I got fond of hand work and hand stitching, so the most recent set are all hand stitched, even after returning home. The character of the stitched line is so different when done by hand and by machine. Also I think I need to learn how to use a thimble because the tip of my finger is sore!

four days and an open corner

top left; Jan 8, Jan 7,
bottom left; Jan 6, Jan 5


Most of Saturday Al helped me sort and package his robot parts and job related things from the time when he was holding down seven 1/4 time jobs (the end of the tech boom was hard for a while!), and at the end of the day I took his enormous ugly desk apart and we loaded it into my car in the beginnings of the snowstorm. I have a whole new corner of my work room open and ready to rearrange – it is pretty intoxicating!

At the same time, I am exploring the idea of moving my work space out of the house and into a more formal studio space. As I talk with other people about their studios, I get a better idea of what I am looking for; space, company, a place to be at work that is not the house, and doesn’t have the same distractions as the home.

As I clarify my hopes, and empty out the current space to make room for more creativity, the possibilities for the future open up in front of me.