The big news from my week involves completion of my large-format commission piece. YIPPEE! When I thought I was finished, I realized that the beige sides of my base were fighting visually with the path when the piece was viewed from side angles. I asked my second set of eyes, my son Tommie, what he thought. He looked at me because he knew the right answer and also what I wanted to hear. He finally said yep, it needs the green. I went back and needle felted the blue-green understory on the sides and that’s really what it needed. It now sits in my living room awaiting the big move to its new owner. Anyone who comes to visit, like our neighbor Katy, gets to visit with it for a while. Katy noticed that if you sit on the floor and look up into the trees you feel like you are deep in the forest. And it’s true!
With the Madison show, Art Fair on the Square looming, I’ve been working hard to bring together some new pieces in the next two weeks. I was scanning through some of the sketches I made last summer in Michigan and I found one I really liked. We’ve been having some crazy heat here in Bloomington, with several days in a row over one hundred degrees. That was probably the trigger that made me start channeling cool Canadian lakes.
Which reminds me—happy Canada Day! I may be an American citizen, but I can still channel all my good memories from Canada. Anyway, I showed the sketch to my family for approval and to get a name for the piece. It features a mature birch and a sapling next to a lake. Jacob thought it should be called “Father and Son,” a name that stuck with me. Jim suggested I avoid “Son of a Birch,” which eleven-year-old Tommie found surprisingly hilarious. I spent some time yesterday creating the branches for the trees. This story goes back to Katy again, who brought us some candy flowers on wire stems from her trip to Rome. Not her last one, the one before that—Katy travels a lot.
After we ate the candies I wrapped the wires in a charcoal-colored alpaca fur for the small branches. The alpaca comes from Cathy Crosson, who raises alpaca on a farm just outside of Bloomington. I saw her at the farmer’s market yesterday, and she just started dyeing the alpaca yarn. She had the most wonderful blue that happens to match our front door, our car and my bathing suit. Can you tell I like it? I’m going to use it for the sky in another piece I’m planning that will be called “Flower Parade.”
The really big news came last night, when we finally got some rain around three in the morning. There was lots of thunder and lighting to go with it, but not much in the way of damaging winds. There was enough water to get the creek flowing next to our driveway. This morning all that was left was wet ground and a puddle in the driveway, which thankfully the paper delivery person missed. I think all of our flowers are happy again.
On a sad note, my blueberry pie from last week is gone already. With two boys who like fruit pies they don’t last long. On the bright side, we bought way too many peaches to eat at the farmer’s market yesterday, thinking that they could go into the freezer for pies in the future. But now I’m thinking, hmmm, the first peach pie of the summer! The mornings are cool enough to use the oven, aren’t they Jim?
Until next week…