Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Channeling the Cool of Canada…

This past week the brutal summer heat finally broke in Bloomington.  After a week or so over 100 degrees, and as high as 106, we’re finally back down to normal summertime temperatures.  The best news for me was that my art studio was the coolest part of the house (in the basement next to the air conditioner) so I could work comfortably with my boys nearby.  I even had cold toes and needed my slippers!  As I thought about escaping the heat I began channeling cool Canadian lakes.  Of course I’m an American now, having spent my first Fourth of July as a citizen, but that doesn’t keep me from thinking about Canada.  It’s the only time of the year that I really miss my former home as I think about trips to Pinery Provincial Park and the shores of Lake Huron.  This thinking carried me through my ‘Father and Son’ piece, which features a mature birch tree and a sapling overlooking a cool lake.  It makes me think of the beautiful relationship and bond that’s developing between Jim and the boys, but that’s another blog post.  One of the new elements from this weaving is that the water has more sparkle, thanks to some silver cording I found at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago.  The three ply silver cord was too thick for incorporating into my canvas, but I was able to unravel it easily and use a single ply among the blue yarns to bring life to the water.  It contributes a brightness than I’ve ever used.  I found a lot of treasures at that yard sale, including some white lace, fabric scraps and a pink sweater that will translate nicely into sweater petals for fall shows.  To finish off the piece I combed through my rock collection and incorporated materials that had colors that work well with the piece.  I’m especially fond of horn coral for this kind of weaving because it has a large surface area that makes it easy to attach firmly.  I also like the texture it provides—it blends into the grassy lake shore better than smooth rocks. 

My other art news involves commissions and travel.  I’m ready to launch on my next big commission piece, due by the end of September.  I’m anxious to get started on a piece that’s tentatively called ‘Life’s Path’, which is a huge (45 by 25 inches) landscape orientation piece.  The path will be the focus through a forest background and the piece will present some new structural challenges for me.  I already have the frame, thanks to Tom Bertolacini, my frame-maker, so I’m ready to begin.  Traveling is also weighing on my consciousness.  My out-of-town summer art fair schedule begins this week.  I’ll travel to Madison, Wisconson, for the Art Fair on the Square this weekend—stop in if you’re in the area.  It’s supposed to be very hot for Madison (approaching 100 degrees), but it’s my best show of the year so I’m looking forward to it.  It’s also a chance to catch up with friends Wendy and Duane (and their dogs and new barn) outside of town in the quiet, cool countryside. 

The family news of the week was Jacob’s tenth birthday—hooray!  He kept a countdown of days to the big event, and he made himself some ‘happy birthday’ posters on the door next to his bed that he covered up so he could be surprised on the actual day.  We had a great day, beginning with a chocolate chip cookie cake and buttercream frosting for breakfast.  Yum!  We biked around town, visited the library and had lunch at the Village Deli.  Jacob had more decadent food when he ordered the strawberry shortcake.  I backed off my motherly responsibilities for a healthy diet, at least until dinner.  It was also the first day out of the hundred-degree range, so it was incredibly nice to be out biking and visiting the town.  I have a lot of friends that can bike in hot weather, but it isn’t me!  Here’s hoping we have a summer full of berries, bike rides and cool weather!

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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