Saturday, August 19, 2017

Still Here...

Yes, I'm still here despite bumps in the road--like a 9-day severe heat wave (if only the temperature would drop to 90°!). In addition, the internet has been down for over a week, so I had to find a temporary solution. Amazing how attached we become to that magic box...

However, over all it has been an excellent summer. The Little People (who can now look me in the eye, not so little anymore) have come and gone, leaving an empty house. I have been cleaning up my studio, trying to keep up with my "Circus in D.C." journal. It would seem that those people don't believe in vacations.


I was thinking of doing a small sketch on fabric when I ran across my standing calendar. The rules I set for myself were simple--Be fast: no stitching, only glue, fabric and maybe pen or Inktense pencils.

I sketched several trees seen from my window, after gluing on fabrics. The calendar has a spot in my living room.








Gee, that was fast and fun!

Hope you've had a creative and exciting summer, too! 


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Boxes

Ahhh, vacation: heat, the beach, visiting family. The little people are here for awhile although they can now almost look me in the eye...not so little anymore. 

Following the Circus in D.C. so closely, I've been thinking about labels, classifications, organization. How does one get beyond all the hateful rhetoric? And so I've turned to boxes, once again, as a format. My answer: turn the boxes inside out, upside down, take them apart, make them become something else.


Awhile ago, I undid my decorated boxes dating from the 1990s, 










and glued them into a sketchbook to preserve them, sometimes adding to the design.










I guess it was the tiny box that contained a small lock that made me want to do this again. It was such a "cute" little box...and so I doodled on it with a black pen and then added cheerful colors (Prismacolor pencils).











And then a toothpaste box crossed my path--it had such a tempting shape. Now to add color.

These two new boxes will find their way into the sketchbook. I like the idea of design on the box and extending beyond the box onto the page as well. 

I suppose I like playing with this sort of thing because it reminds me of those math problems we had in geometry where you had to figure out what sort of box the laid out shape would make...remember those? A time when things seemed simple and straight-forward. Maybe boxes are a way to create order out of chaos...

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Trying to Make Sense of It All, 2

This is turning into a big project. And so many things keep happening, that I can barely keep up. 











Guess I better pedal faster while I watch the news in the morning!














So many interesting faces to draw...








Sometimes I can get it right, sometimes not, and then I turn the page...











This project gets me out of bed in the morning. 





















And I found some extra time to do the title page.
The Circus in D.C. is a study in perpetual motion...

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Potted Plant

<--Just a few cuts.










Loosening up with blind-sketch selfies.          -->

Always a humbling experience.










From my little purse sketchbook, a road not far from home.  -->

<--Tunisia has lots of bugs thanks to its warm climate and severe garbage disposal problems. I was inspired by a child's drawing in my sketchbook.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Trying to Make Sense of it All, 1

Every morning, lately, I get up around 6 a.m., stumble into the kitchen to make my large "café au lait", and then begin exercising while watching the U.S. news. I have had to put exercise first if I don't want to end up like the Tin Man, rusting in place. In an hour and a half I go through a number of interesting programs.


It occurred to me from the beginning that we are looking at a bizarre moment in history. I recently decided to try to document some of the circus in D.C., in order to make sense of it and to maybe leave a record for my grandchildren. 









The notebook format allows me to insert better paper for sketching in between the writing paper. This is a scrappy journal that allows me to play.


People say some of the strangest things these days...

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Final Visit

During Mr. M's final visit to the Charles Nicole Hospital, I sketched his hat in my small purse notebook.                 -->



                                     

<--And then there was an empty chair in the waiting area.


         -->
When we went to lunch I did a fast sketch with watercolors and a brush pen of a nearby building.
   




I kept track of time the first half of the month with blobs and cross-hatching in my journal.
Rather fun and entirely bizarre.
And Mr. M. is doing well.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Crossover

At Sketch Club (my weekly meeting with my sketching buddy), my Derwent Inktense pencils delighted me when I drew a potted plant on fabric. I sketched it out first with a Micron fineliner, which is waterproof.
Inktense colors dazzle me when water is added--it's magical to see the depth and brightness of the color. Now, for the fun part...to cut? to dice? to stitch? to add more fabric? All of the above? Oh, the possibilities!



In the meantime, from my purse notebook: I had the chance to do a bit of sketching while waiting to give a talk in Tunis. Some pretty arches.








Another day we went to a restaurant on the Mediterranean with a beautiful view. I managed a quick sketch. Beautiful colors in the sea...


As we sat in the waiting room at the Charles Nicole Hospital for a visit for Mr. M., I worked on a sketch of one part of the hospital. A doctor passed by, stopped to watch for a moment, and said "Where is that?" He was surprised when I told him it was the hospital. 
Sometimes we just don't see what is in front of us.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Another Week Gone By


I have been stitching on "He Went to Work Everyday...Then He Retired..."

The going is very  s-l-o-w-l-y.
I'm just about ready to add the third shirt--just to make things more complicated on the technical level. Similar to climbing Mt. Everest.

<--We went to the Charles Nicole Hospital in Tunis and I found myself with enough time on my hands to work on a more complex drawing. 









This old hospital, built by the French during the colonial period, is always interesting to sketch--fortunately, because we'll have more visits there.

He drives, I draw...his hand. Needed a change in subject from the beat-up junk heaps on the road. Mind you, I shouldn't be knocking anyone's car, we have a 10-yr.-old and a 20-yr.-old...

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Nice Week

Mid-April, we thought Mr. M. was going to have some bad news because of some unexplained symptoms. I sketched in the doctor's waiting room.

At Sketch Club, I drew my sketching buddy's geraniums, now in full bloom. Helped to keep me calm.




Then I celebrated a big birthday. 






<--Oh, my gosh, how did this happen????


Coincidentally, we went to see a hematologist for Mr. M.

The news was good as we finally have a diagnosis that explains all the health issues, and better yet, a treatment to get things under control.

We ate out to celebrate everything.
And then we went home and Mr. M. had severe indigestion--from eating out. Well, it was still a nice day.

But isn't it all so geriatric? 
Now, a good birthday entails good news from the doctor!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

An Anniversary

A year ago, I was sitting in a Parisian hospital, sketching my husband recovering from a serious operation, an endarterectomy.

Today, Mr. M. is doing well, for which I am thankful. And so, I have been able to turn toward my own work with a lighter heart. I've been quilting the sky of the Pomegranate Tree.

The binding comes next and then I will hang it on the wall and stare at it for a few weeks to make sure it is finished.
























In the meantime, I did a half-selfie and am wondering how to translate this onto fabric...


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Repairing Old Quilts

My sketching buddy inherited a quilt made by her grandmother, a lovely double wedding ring quilt, thin and soft, much used and much loved.

                




However, apparently a mouse liked it, too, as it had a rather large, ragged hole close to the middle. Having great respect for old quilts, I offered to repair it. I replaced several patches, then added a bit of quilting. Now it's almost as good as new.

I'm thinking that I should get back to repairing my own quilts made by my grandmother. A number of years ago, I replaced a lot of the outline stitching on this Peter Pan quilt to restore the designs. 

Repairing is an activity that allows for reflexion and brings peace--a sort of meditation that connects one to past generations. It provides grounding in a world that seems topsy-turvy.







Monday, April 10, 2017

Out Occasionally

Over the last few months I've only managed small artwork. Whenever we go out grocery shopping, I sketch in my small purse notebook.










We've managed to eat out with friends several times.

They have been good sports about posing for me.








One evening, a violinist entertained us while we dined--very enjoyable.









Sometimes, I can only manage to catch a tree when out on an "expedition."




Even though we don't get out much, there's always plenty of entertainment at home. One day, we found Blanche, our intrepid Turkish Angora, high on the netting that forms a "roof" over our patio, taking in the breeze.