vale MMXVIII, receperint MMXIX

Or farewell 2018, welcome (I hope) 2019

I have pretty much eschewed making resolutions for the last decade. Resolutions do not serve me as well as working on a project, or focusing on a word or feeling. My most fervent wish for 2018 was to go sailing, and I absolutely did that with Windjammer Angelique, and it was delightful. I would like to do more of that in 2019, but life may hand me some different options.

I am changing up my system for keeping track of work, lists and ideas, moving from a desk based book to a pocket based book. I am looking forward to spending time in my studio, and experimenting with sewing things in three dimensions. Beyond that, I tend to hunker down with my existing habits in the cold and the dark, and re-emerge in early March ready to change things up.

Here’s hoping 2019 is different in good ways, and maintains some of the best of 2018. Just for reminiscing, here are some of the parts of 2018 I am most pleased with:

Merry and Bright

Or at least minimally soggy and depressed. We are having mad swings of weather, beyond what is usual for New England, and it is unsettling.

Tomorrow we gather with friends and candles at the UMass Sunwheel to light a single candle and curse the darkness. It is a completely made up ritual. Al delivers a homily on axial tilt and coming and going of the sun, we shout curses at the oncoming darkness, and light candles to hold it off. Eventually we finish (in the dark) and go out for Chinese food, and end the evening with a ceremonial burning of the things we want to get rid of from the past year (written on slips of paper or scraps of wood and tossed in the wood stove).

I’ve been working on a series of deeply experimental three dimensional works. I was inspired by some ceramic work I saw at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan in early October.

I have been referring to them as “weird brown things” or “weird brown triangles” to the amusement of friends of Facebook. The twisty ones are a second experiment, and the ones I am currently working on have more sides, and are in new colors, so none of the descriptors except weird continues to hold…

I’m taking some time off now, I’ll be back in the new year, with some new work. And new ideas for what to do.

Busy like bees

At the end of June I sailed on Windjammer Angelique as naturalist. I had a great time – she is a lovely boat, the captain and crew are very good at what they do and made sure everyone felt welcome and useful. We had remarkably nice weather too, some spectacular sailing, and a lot of delicious food to support us.  Aside from one day of persistent rain, we sailed every day to someplace new and learned new things.

 

After I got home, Paintbox Theatre swung into the summer season. I made props and consulted on set issues for Tarzan, a Pirate show (essentially Pirates on Vacation, it was pretty amusing) and a heavily adapted rewritten version of Little Mermaid, with three witches, reading and writing underwater, and no kissing.

We finished the season with a cookout last night, and today I am addressing my list of things to do. Writing a blog post was high on the list, so here we are!

So much for April

Welcome May, and a happy May Day to you! Did you dance the sun up?

Yesterday, on the very last day of April 2018, I mailed out the last of the decks of the Tarot of the North Atlantic. There were three domestic envelopes, and a solid dozen headed overseas, including two to Thailand (!?!) and some to each of Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands and United Kingdom.

I was completely stunned by the response to this campaign. I honestly expected a maximum of twenty people to purchase decks of cards, and I assumed I would know them all. Instead I had more encouragement from more corners of the world than I could possibly have hoped for.

If you missed your chance at the Kickstarter campaign, I have additional sets for sale in my store at BigCartel. Check out Lee Thomson Art on BigCartel, and you should be able to find what you want.

What with family turmoil and illness, and fulfilling orders for cards, I feel like I could easily sleep for the first couple of days of May!

the tail of the tarot!

The Tarot of the North Atlantic is well funded, and the kickstarter for it is closing on Wednesday April 4.

I am honored and delighted that so many people want a copy of the cards I made! My time right now is full of orders, plans and table clearing so that I can be ready to start packing and shipping decks of cards, note cards, postcards and thank you gifts as soon as everything arrives.

 

utterly experimental

Here’s where process gets complicated!

These are fabric pieces I composed using the landscape paintings I did last month as a starting point. Once the image was defined using fabric and thread, I painted over parts of it. Then I went in after the paint dried, and added some more details in thread.

I am going to put these up on my wall, and see how I like them. I think the process is exciting, and I like that I can make use of fabrics I might not otherwise (the pond piece is entirely made of silk! I don’t generally do that!) and I think paint is a good way to make bigger gestures and larger work.

Scale is important when working bigger. With thread, I only have a tiny thin line available to me. I can go over that line until it is heavier, or use heavier thread, but not too much heavier because the sewing machine has limitations. If I need areas, I can use fabric, and that is true at various sizes. It is getting lines and shading that I use thread for, and that I am interested in using paint for.