I’m sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time. I arrived in Asheville in mid April on a glorious spring day. The dogwoods were still in bloom soon to be followed by azaleas and rhododendrons. It was a wonder to drive from winter to full out spring in two days.
My “stuff” (aka my life) went into storage and I began searching for a suitable house. I found the perfect townhouse but the process of purchasing it, closing the sale and moving in was an adventure I would never want to repeat. I finally moved in about 3 weeks ago and am still dealing with boxes and repairs. But its all good.
The studio space is wonderful. Large, open and with great natural light. There’s even good storage space but its going to take a while to get moved in and organized. And from where my desk (OK, folding table but I’m going to get a desk) is positioned I can look out and view the mountains. Once my space is set up I will be excited to share photos.
With all that has been going on there hasn’t been much time for art and the stress is not conducive to creativity. But last night a few of us got together to form the Asheville Surface Design Group. Our first meeting was a hands on gelli plate activity lead by Lisa Heller. It was so much fun to play with fabric, paint and texture again.
And this has convinced me that no matter what needs to be done around here I still need to feed my soul with some hands on art activity, and not to worry about coming up with a finished product but just to enjoy engaging in the process.
Swan Song 36″ x 25″
The summer of 2001 was a special time. We were finally building our dream house on Lake Marion. I spent the summer in the apartment over the garage; Bill came up on weekends. So I was alone on 9/11. But not quite alone. A juvenile Trumpeter Swan was hanging out on the lake. I began feeding him and he got used to me sitting by the lake.
I took many photos and have depicted him in fiber art a few times. I made this last piece in January. The house sold while I was finishing it.
The lake ice went out much earlier than usual this year. Even though its still very cold the lake is full of migrating waterfowl. The loons have returned and I am so happy to have caught sight of one. My swan never returned to the lake but I will take this one with me to North Carolina. And it seems like a good image for my last post from the 45th parallel.
I should be packing but I want to reestablish my blogging habit so here goes.
Yesterday I closed the sale of this house. I’m relieved that its finally over. I so clearly remember purchasing the first of the three lots nearly 35 years ago. Thirty years ago we built the garage & apartment that was our vacation get-away and later my studio. We did a lot of the work ourselves and I remember every detail. Fifteen years ago I supervised the building of this house from that apartment. It was such a fun and exciting process. Then converting the apartment to the studio. We loved it here. But its not the right place for me now. Time to move on and take my memories with me.
And my relocation plans have changed. For the better but it suddenly complicated everything . The house in North Carolina sold! I am so relieved. It was right for us but wrong for just me. Now I will rent a small furnished cabin and store almost everything I am taking with me.
The cabin is small and very basic but the setting is lovely and the location ideal for house hunting. Setting up a makeshift studio will be challenging but I will figure it out.
The packing seems endless and more complicated since most things are destined for storage. I am closing out a long chapter and starting a new one. I don’t know what is ahead but moving forward is the right action.
The “Litle House in the Big Woods” sold last week. If nothing goes wrong I’ll be closing in April and heading to Asheville. For now I’m planning to move to the house we purchased in 2014. Its been rented out but the tenants moved the last week so unless it sells before April it will be my temporary house. Just don’t need to take on another large house with acreage and all the maintenance that requires. But at least I have a landing space.
Sometime soon I will be migrating my website to a WordPress platform and incorporatig my blog. It will need a new name since I’ll no longer be living on the 45th parallel.
Lots of time to think about it but in the meantime I have a lot of packing and planning to keep me busy through the rest of winter. And some time in the studio. I am working again. I won’t have a lot of time for art right now but I know that I need to carve out a few hours here & there to feed my soul.
Sometimes making a public declaration has helped me face a difficult task. Getting my studio habit restarted has proved to be difficult for many reasons, one of which has been lack of enthusiasm for a concept. I’ve played a bit with color and while I love abstraction I still want to work with imagery. I finished the binding and sleeve for a piece entitled “Portal” that I made well over a year ago and pinned it to the design wall. In studying it I got thinking about another piece “Doorway to the Future” that I made for the Mercy Education Foundation. Both featured doorways.
Over the years I taken a lot of photos of doors, doorways and passages. They interest me for many reasons. A door can mean many things including entry, new beginning, mystery, opportunity. It can be open, closed, locked. One series of photos that kept coming back to me was a blue door in Cotacachi Ecuador. I love the aged and worn appearance, the soft blue of the door and the contrast of the old nails and lock. So I will use this door as the subject of the next piece I start. There are so many directions I can take with the composition.
Tomorrow starts a new year for me and I am determined to begin digging myself out of this hole. So I commit to work on this idea and to post my progress. I will try to post weekly to keep accountable to myself.
The Holiday Gift Market is open at the Crooked Tree Art Center in Petoskey, Michigan. The format is different this year. Rather than galleries set up like the usual holiday craft shop, the gallery artists were invited to participate and our “gift” items are displayed along with our gallery art. I will not claim credit, however for the large ceramic vases but I think they look good with the quilts.
“Salvage-Selvage” an exhibit by the Fiber Artists Coalition opened at the art center this past weekend and I will get to the Crooked Tree again soon to take photos to share with you.
I have moved my sewing machine, cutting table, etc and some of my supplies from my studio to the house for the winter. I have winterized the studio so I don’t have to heat the building but I can still get access to supplies (wearing a coat, hat & gloves). And with the sewing machine set up in the den its not as big a commitment to spend a little time sewing.
I am pleased to be an invited artist for “The 100” to be held on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. The goal for this fiber fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is to raise $10,000 in one day.
How? All the details are here:
I have been making small constructs that might, or might not, be used in a new piece I am making specifically for this event.
Quite a contrast between the brights and the neutrals. The neutrals reflect how I feel right now and the brights project how I want to feel again.
I am finally spending a little time in the studio, sewing strips together then cutting them up and recombining. Free-piecing, so to speak. Its therapeutic. I am working from my scrap boxes. I don’t feel like cutting into yardage and it feels right to be working with the leftovers from other endeavors.
My choices tend toward darker shades. Not surprising. I will just continue. I have lots of scraps. This little piece represents my first baby steps back toward making art.