Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Three weeks full of art excitement!

My life certainly has been full!  I’m afraid it has gotten in the way of blogging.  The good news is that I have three weeks chock full of art news to relate.  Two weekends ago we opened up our house for the Open Studios tour.  I hosted Talia Halliday as a guest artist and my two boys supported the operation as doormen and greeters.  Talia does beautiful work with recycled materials to create art books. 
She took over part of the living room and hallway, while I displayed my work in the dining area.  Anyone who wanted to see my studio came downstairs to see my latest loon piece at an early stage.  We had a few familiar faces come through, but there were a huge number of new faces among the eighty-six visitors on Saturday and fifty-six on Sunday.  I enjoyed showing them the space.  Generally new visitors are amazed at how much material I have stored downstairs.  I often use between fifty and one hundred different yarns in any given piece to get the intermediate tones I want for each element and the color gradients I use for the backgrounds.  I have boxes and boxes of raw materials I’ve purchased, inherited, traded, or recycled from one source or another.  Anyway, the show came off without a hitch.  People commented on my polite and well-dressed doormen.  On the slow times, Jacob and Talia even collaborated on a book, so the freshest art was always on display.

I currently have two elaborate pieces that I’m trying to bring together before my first summer art fairs.  The first will feature a loon on the water, which was in progress during the Open Studios Tour.  I have since finished the water and I’m well into the cattails.  I haven’t completely decided whether there will be one loon or two just yet.  Right now I’m leaning toward one and calling the piece ‘Where is She?’  I’ll have to see what feels right when I get farther into the first loon.  I’m also working on a large format piece featuring a trail through the woods.  It is similar to a commission I did last year that I really liked.  I hope to have it completed in time for the Des Moines show at the end of June, and I’d like to find it a home in Iowa!  
 Right now I’m working away on the large tree trunks, tree branches, and mountains of leaf clumps I need.  The leaf clumps I’ve been making out of the mountains of green yarn I dyed last month and blogged about.  I do have two and a half gallon bags of leaf clumps completed, but last time I remember I thought I had enough, but I seriously underestimated how clumps I needed.  The tree trunks I need are coming along nicely too.  I make these out of Grandpa’s old army blankets.  I cut up the blanket and wrap pieces (triangles, actually) around some used baling wire before stitching it all together.  Of course the blankets are wool, so I’ve been felting them by sending them through the washer and dryer.  Speaking of the washer, I’m on a pause right now because it isn’t spinning, leaving me with a load of clean but very wet clothes. 
The helpful fellow from Morrison’s Appliance should be here this morning to have a look at the beast for me.  Between the washer, the roof leaking again, and Jacob’s trips to the eye doctor after getting bashed with balls on two separate occasions (he’s fine!), my life has been pretty full—even hectic!  And just when I thought my art was on a good trajectory for my Des Moines show, I mentioned to an art friend (she owns the Hidden Closet) that I wasn’t doing any art shows until June.  She burst by bubble by pointing out that June is next month!  And only three weeks away!  A big flurry of art has to happen between now and then. 

Looking back over the last few weeks, there have been some great times and big rewards.  I’ve been up early to do Bollywood at nine most Saturdays, which cuts into Farmer’s Market time.  Last week I was up at seven and bounced downstairs, ready to go.  I persuaded my boys that we needed to go to the market and off we went.  The bad news was that it wasn’t officially opened at seven.  The good news is that they sold us strawberries and rhubarb anyway!  We initially bought two pounds (rhubarb) and two quarts (strawberries), but the berries were about a third gone (thanks to Tommie) before we got very far. 
We picked up two more quarts for shortcake and eating at home.  They didn’t last more than a day.  The rhubarb wasn’t enough for my big pie plate (lovingly made by Jan Arborgast), so Jim was forced to make a delightful strawberry-rhubarb pie .  Mmm, was that ever good!  Jim baked some biscuits for strawberry shortcake too (Jacob doesn’t like rhubarb-based pie), so everyone was happy.  Tommie then took over making biscuits, a new skill he learned in Home Ec class in middle school.  That’s the first useful skill he’s learned—I’m sorry, I can’t count making microwave brownies as a life skill!  The pie lasted until about Tuesday, and Sunday was Mother’s day, so of course we needed to fulfill the rhubarb-pie-on-Mother’s-Day tradition.  Jim got busy again, this time with three pounds of rhubarb (last Saturday’s trip to the Farmers Market).  This one was great too, but I think I prefer the one with strawberries mixed in.  It has a richer flavor, a little more color and some different textures.  But I’m not complaining!  I’ll take two pies in two weeks any time!  For Mother’s Day Tommie made some more fresh biscuits that we had with jam for breakfast (do you get the idea that I’ve been eating well lately?), Jacob made me a beautiful card, and Jim made me the pie.  Unfortunately, someone gave me a cold too, so I wasn’t at my top form.  Still, my loving family helped me through.  What more could I ask for?

Until next week,

Martina Celerin 

No comments:

Post a Comment