Sunday, April 18, 2010

The days are just packed

Could I possibly have packed any more excitement into this week? Should I start with the rhubarb pie? No, I should start with Monday when I loaded up all my art and headed to Indianapolis. I was invited to give a lecture to the Embroidery Guild in Indianapolis. I took my scarves, ornaments, tools, and all my weavings that weren’t hanging somewhere. I even dug out my first exploratory pieces and took one off the wall that I made before I was working artist. The talk was intended to cover my history as an artist and the influences that helped shape me. One of the great things about giving talks like this is that I get to both re-live and observe my evolution as an artist. I’m reminded of how much I enjoy what I do! It’s fun to see the different design and structural landmarks that define different turning points in my career. What made the trip, though, was that my audience was just great! They asked a lot of questions at the end, which is one of my markers for success. It was also nice to see such a range of ages—they clearly have a vibrant and engaged group. To top it all off, the talk coincided with the last of the redbuds and the emergence of the dogwood flowers so the drive was pleasant too.

Tuesday was eighty and sunny, and that brought on a fishing trip to Lake Monroe with my dear husband and son Tommie. Jacob went over to a friend’s house for play and pizza until eight. We zipped over to the Pinegrove launch area after school, put in the canoe, and headed straight to the secret crappie location we discovered last year. The crappies didn’t really cooperate, but we ended up catching all the catfish we could hope for. I tried hard to catch crappies—I really did—but somehow the catfish always seem to find me. We even managed to lose a really big fish that was on for a while before giving us a big splash as it snapped the line and swam away. To be social we invited the fish to come home for a fish fry on Thursday. Fishing aside, though, we had a really nice time paddling on the lake as the sun set.

Wednesday brought a different challenge. It was the day that the Fourth Street Art Fair committee met to review the 450 applicants we had this year, which is a record. I was partial to the fiber category works, some of which were truly stunning. The paintings were also awesome this year—there were lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the committee. We’re a pretty tough crowd, so you’ll have to come to the Fourth Street fair this year and see what we have on display.

Thursday was an eventful day for me in the art studio. I launched into heavy-duty mode to finish my piece for the Edible Lotus fundraiser dinner. Time is getting short so I had to really put some effort into my piece. I had first envisioned a tree in the fog, which evolved into a jeweled tree. I like the symbolism of the tree for community art projects, such as the community tree that I organized two years ago for the Fourth Street children’s booth. In that project, each leaf was an individual art piece created by visitors to the fair, decorated with recycled and recovered materials. The whole Lotus Festival concept reminds me of that tree, because it depends on the contributions of a huge number of volunteers like the tireless Deborah Klein, local paper artist extraordinaire. Anyway, you have to understand that the project has been very stressful for me because of the deadline. Any time you try to convert an idea into a three-dimensional piece you just don’t know when (or whether) it will really come together. Sometimes ideas work better in your head than on the canvas. When you have a deadline that’s a bad thing and it was starting to weigh on me.

The concept for the piece itself is a three-dimensional tree that is intended to hang above a table. It needs to be very light because, like the old joke, if a tree falls on a donor, everybody notices it. To solve the problem I turned to my newest and lightest medium, the recovered dryer sheet. I’ve had people collecting them for me to add to my personal stack. They’re airy and light, and somehow that works with the airiness I intended to circle around the tree itself. I sewed the dryer sheets together and gave them an evening coat of white paint. Then I painted on the tree with fabric paint and acrylic paint straight out of the tube to create the weight of the tree. I like how it turned out—the tree has the look and feel of worn leather and it contrasts nicely with the lightness of the dryer sheets. The swirly branch designs remind me of the patterns in my ornaments, which is something I noticed when I gave the talk. There’s just something very appealing to me about that design, something wholesome about the round swirling patterns. For the jeweled leaves I was inspired by a Monet print we have in our living room that has deep purples and greens, like jewels in the deep blue water. I thought that the richness of the colors somehow matched the richness of the Lotus festival music. I searched my stores of felt scraps for little pieces that I just couldn’t throw away and found some real treasures. I cut and cut and cut some more to create my small leaves, and I managed to dull a pair of my favorite scissors in the process. Luckily, I have three more pairs (always be prepared!). A new pair of scissors will soon appear in the family collection and the boys will be happy. Use ‘em and lose ‘em seems to be their motto. The last step will be to glue the panels onto the wooden supports, and until then I’m holding my breath. If it all comes together I’ll post it on my Facebook page.

Since there’s no rest for the weary mom, Friday was a busy family day. I stopped in to see Jacob’s dinosaur project at school, took the boy’s to their Tae Kwon Do class, brought them back home for a snack and then off we went to the Rogers-Binford school carnival. I baked and decorated a cake for the cakewalk that was quickly claimed as a prize—at least I saw it in someone’s arms shortly after we got there and sat down for pizza. We bought some books, played some games, ate some candy, dyed four lips blue or red with wretched snow cone colors, watched karyoke as we waited to win a big prize at the raffle, and chatted with parents and friends. But that wasn’t enough for one day or week! We packed up and zipped off to the Musical Arts Center to see West Side Story that night. The performance was excellent, as usual, and the boys are now ready for the next theatrical event in town—the Cardinal Stage Company is putting on the ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.

Saturday started off with a trip to the farmer’s market, then the house turned into a madhouse with friends of the boys over. A little gardening got done and a few flowers planted, then the day gave way to dinner featuring warm fresh flatbread with garlic and cheese spread and a nice Argentinian pinot noir. And since fresh rhubarb was on display at the farmer’s market, I used all my secret strategies to get my dear husband to buy rhubarb and bake me a pie this morning! There isn’t much better than warm pie with whipping cream on a Sunday morning with a nice cup of tea! Did I say I like pie? Plus, the best news of all: this week it all starts over again! Only the adventures, pies and type of wine seem to change!

Until next week...

Martina Celerin

1 comment:

  1. All these photos look luscious! From the pie to the cake and in between.
    Even Tommy and the tree panels!