Monday I drove to Ipswich and back, the second drive in a week, to retrieve art that did not sell. The weather was perfect, I made good time, and I got to walk on the beach for while before I went home.
As I suspected, the large button river did not sell, and I got to take it home again. The two smaller pieces, sumac and milkweed, did sell. Trina Schell, the sainted woman who runs the sale, said some people had been asking after me, and were pleased to see my work again. She also had a list for how long I have had work in the show (since 2011) and what years art has sold (the smaller pieces generally sell). So I am feeling cheered about getting work to them, and maybe next year I’ll be organized enough to ship work instead of schlepping it.
Nostalgia comes into play because I grew up in Essex County. We lived in Marblehead, on the coast, for a while, and then further inland in Boxford, with horses and dogs and various farm animals, when I was in middle school and high school. The trip to Ipswich and out to Crane’s Beach is littered with memories of Pony Club and riding lessons, gallops on the beach and time with friends. And then my mother moved back to Ipswich when my first child was born. So I have another layer of memories, of my kids’ infancy and childhood, to drive through.
I don’t mean to complain – I had a happy childhood, and they tell me they did too – but it is a lot of time and memories to be sifting through when I should be paying more attention to the driving.
Monday I drove to Ipswich, taking three finished pieces for the Crane Estate art show and sale (Honestly, I am never sure what parts of that need capitalizing; too many and I feel like Pooh, not enough and I am closer to e.e.cummings). Two small works, one Milkweed and one Sumac, and the large shell button river.
The weather was damp and drizzly all the way there and back, which served to show off what had to be peak foliage along the way. The weather on the coast was substantially more exciting, with a combination of new moon tides and north east winds throwing the ocean around. I walked briefly around the outside of the Crane house, and started home again.
I think my next projects are more small works focusing on the fall leaves, berries and flowers that hang on after the first frost.
In 2012 I went to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for a two week course with Marian Bijlenga. It was intense, and lovely, and the food was amazing, and I had a wonderful time. We were working with water soluble stabilizer, making fabric out of thread and strange objects and thin air.
Before I left for Haystack, I was having trouble sleeping, and having stress dreams about not fitting in, not having the skills I’d need… Eventually I had a soothing dream about going to the shoreline, and choosing rocks, and sewing little velvet coats for them. When I got to Haystack, I was fine. I had all the skills necessary, and wonderful people in my studio to work with and share with. But my dream of little coats for rocks stuck with me, and I made several.
And when I got sick of velvet, I made some lined linen jackets for more beach rocks.
The application of whimsy is almost always a good plan.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!! I have to admit I always mistranslate that as five times the mayonaise.
Alice and I are still in Maine. Today's circle is handstitched. The leaf image was copied onto fabric using the inkjet printer, then layered with dark green silk onto a white silk background. I brought the pieces with me to work on today, but finished it just now at the hotel.
We got in several short visits with my dad, and explored around town as well, in between. Alice had two doses of ice cream, two playgrounds, one round of mini-golf (a first for both of us) and a hamburger.
The May 3 circle is in honor of Sol Lewitt whose work we saw at MAss MoCA yesterday. I was chaperone for Alice's class. It was fun watching the kids encounter enormous weird art in the various MoCA galleries. The tour guides were good too. This circle resembles Lewitt's middle years, full of repeated lines and overlapping primary colors to give a little sublety. His later works are not subtle at all – just huge.
This is the third tree in my backyard. Aerin and I planted it our second summer in the hosue, and she could jump over it when it was first in. The first winter the wild rabbits nibbled all the buds off it, and I didn't think it would make it. But it has thrived, and is much too big for Aerin to jump over now. We live in fertile territory!
I'm writing from Sanford, Maine, where my dad went from hospital into rehab. He's pretty miserable, but improving steadily. I've brought him a way to have music, and all the treasured CDs he was traveling with in his car, in hopes he might find it reassuring and soothing.