My past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride through a series of art and family events. My big commission piece, ‘Life’s Path,’ is now complete and hanging in its new location, the Like Law Group’s reception area. I just love how it looks against the orange background. A lot of long hours went into completing the piece, which makes it all the more satisfying to see it hanging on the wall.
I immediately launched into my next commission, which also features a path. This time the focus will be on the trees rather than the path. Because my patron wants to hang it in a hallway it will have to be a flatter piece. My trees can be a little feisty, and I don’t want them accosting anyone as they walk down the hall. The challenge will be rely more on color to help create the perception of depth. Of course the size of the objects in the piece conveys depth, so I’ll incorporate different sized elements such as crinoids to contribute to the depth aspect. Fortunately, I have an extensive collection of found objects, sorted by size, so I’m already working the fossils into my piece. As I’m moving this project forward, I’m also preparing for the next commissioned piece. This is the time of year when I can catch up on requests for pieces I’ve received through all the summer art fairs, so you’ll be seeing these pieces come together over the next few weeks.
Next up is a version of my ‘Some Like it Hot’ piece that featured dozens of peppers. The layout will be different, with the new piece a being narrower, taller version of the original. The patron requested that I include some purple peppers, so I stopped in to visit the pepper lady at the Bloomington Farmer’s market on Saturday. I bought a few purple peppers to get the color right. A couple of days later I visited Yarns Unlimited and found some Corriedale fleece that was just the perfect match to my peppers.
Along with the actual artwork, I’ve had several other projects to keep moving forward. I’ve been creating felted balls in the dryer to use for fruits and vegetables, such as the larger peppers and some lemons that will appear in another piece down the road. When the weather turned warm and clear, that was my signal to start finishing frames for the pieces. I need to have the temperature above and the humidity below certain thresholds to stain or paint. I need to get a bunch of frames painted before the cooler, wetter weather of fall blows in.
The big family news of the week was the visit of Grandma (Jim’s mom) for the long weekend. Friday was fall break for the school system and IU, so Grandma stopped by to play with us. She told us the story of her family having raspberry pie for New Year’s Day with fresh whipped cream when she was a child. While there are still raspberries around at the farmer’s market, we weren’t there early enough to claim a pie-worthy number. Luckily, Jim froze a batch for pie filling a few weeks back and he baked one on Sunday morning. Yum! We’re going to need to get up early on Saturday and scavenge enough for another wintertime pie.
Grandma went everywhere we did on the weekend, including out collecting fossils with the family. Tommie is working on an independent study project for his science class, where he wanted to collect geodes from two locations and compare the crystal structures inside. Of course it’s just a lot of fun to collect geodes and smash them open, so it doesn’t feel like work. The report is written and the powerpoint presentation is done, we’re told, with two weeks to spare. We’ll have to inspect it for grammar and completeness, but I’m delighted that he took the initiative and did it all on his own.
On the collecting trip, we all climbed down into the river bottoms, including Jim’s mom at (very close to) 80. She was a trouper, helping to find crinoids and small, opened geodes for Martina as Tommie did his thing. We fed her a nice fish dinner for her troubles. In fact, we ate pretty well while she was here!
Last, I wanted to mention a delightful adults-only date I had last Saturday. Jim and I went to the Uptown for a nice dinner with a bottle of wine. After the show we walked up Walnut to the Bloomington Playwright’s Project to see "Rx." The staging was really impressive (great job again, Chad!). Many of the actors were from Ivy Tech, so I even knew some of them. The best performer was the woman who played the drug company manager. She truly brought the character to life. In fact, I’m sure I met her at a scientific conference several years back when I was still a scientist. The whole evening was delightful.
The only bad news from the week was the realization that summer is giving way to fall. My first show comes up on November 9th, which is the Spinner’s and Weaver’s Guild show at the First United Church onThird Street - yup, it's a picture of my piece, Summer Salad in full colour!! The Déjà vu and Unitarian Universalist Bazaar shows can’t be far behind. Yikes! What did happen to summer!
Until next week…