This time of year, signs of spring pop in and out of view all over town. On Monday, my ‘Portraits of Trees’ exhibition at City Hall is coming down. They have to hold on until the Farmer’s Market opens next Saturday for spring to reappear. If you missed the exhibition, on Tuesday the pieces will resurface at Meadowood Retirement Community for their peek into Summer.
Meadowood is on the north side of town, on Tamarack trail north of the Unitarian Universalist church. It will be on display in their gallery for a month, and I’ll be in attendance to enjoy an opening reception and dinner on Friday, April 5th.
My art focus hasn’t changed much—I’ve been beavering away at a very large format commission piece. It is a giant weaving featuring a spring path with flowers—hints and bursts of purple, yellow, gold and pink line the path.
I’m so ready for the full arrival of spring that I have thoroughly enjoyed imagining the grass turning to some shade of green and the colorful flowers to follow. I sifted through my stores and picked out all of my crunchy green yarns to combine into leaf clumps. I then dug through my dark brown fleeces to find one that I bought at the Fleece Fair a couple of years ago. I just washed it and it’s ready to needle felt. I love the contrast between the crunchy greens and the dark earth tones when I lay my materials out in the art studio.
The garden path and the tree trunk contain more of Grandpa’s old army blankets in them. I just cut into the last of the blankets, but I see it more as a rebirth than the end of an era. Grandpa’s old treasures that had meaning for him provide a different emotional connection to me as I create my art.
One aspect of the piece that I’m particularly pleased with is how the green background gradient turned out. I wanted to have the path fade into paleness in the distance, and you can see a hint of that in the background weave. The trees in the foreground and background will anchor the piece and bring dimensionality and depth. Right now I'm waiting for the custom frame to arrive so I can stretch the piece and start combining the dimensional elements.
Despite my best intentions to get back to a weekly blogging schedule, last week brought spring break and a trip to New Mexico to see Jim’s brother Tim and wife Bobi (and Lucy the dog). We had an awesome time, featuring a ride up the world’s longest tramway to an elevation of 10,378 feet on Sandia Peak.
It was an exciting ride up and even more dramatic coming down with forty mile an hour winds buffeting the tram on the last descent of the day when they deemed it too dangerous to keep transporting people. We feasted at the restaurant at the peak, watched the ravens take wild rides on the gusts, and enjoyed searching for fossils on the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, the peak is an old shallow seabed that became limestone, so we found the non-exotic crinoid and geode mix that we find all the time in our back yard. Rock hounding at the base was more interesting because the formation there is granite. I collected lots of interesting things at the bottom, including some pretty green travertine that will be moss-covered rocks along a forest path, and some bubbly, chocolate-y lava rocks that seem perfect for cross sections through dirt in some of my pieces.
In New Mexico they crunch up the lava rocks for winter traction on the mountain roads instead of sprinkling salt. Tommie discovered that some cacti have sharp thorns and can pierce leather shoes—ouch! The whole crew drove to Santa Fe for dinner and shopping—what an amazing place for pottery and jewelry! Grandma and I had a wonderful time poking around in shops looking at jewelry. I managed to find a delightful pair of very simple silver earrings. Most of the work is hugely ornate, which I appreciate but know that it isn’t my style.
When we returned home, my sister Edita visited for a longer weekend. That meant more dining, more shopping, more wine and chatting. It was a great spring break! I even got a tart cherry pie! It had been so long that I thought Jim forgot how to bake them! It was delightful, however. It was a little piece of summer to get me ready for trips to the Farmer’s Market this year.
Until next week,