Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween, Trees and Treats!

As anyone who lives in southern Indiana knows, this is a beautiful time of year. The reds, yellows, and oranges compete for our attention with the holdover greens of summer and the coming browns of winter. As every artist knows, no matter what the medium, you really have to become one with the part you’re playing to make it real. Since I’m working on an Autumn Aspens piece, among other fall projects, I decided that I had to become an autumn goddess, or perhaps a lesser wood nymph or sprite. You just don’t know until you get out your box of felt, which I did. I solicited the aid of my family to cut out leaves of every shape and color. They helped, but I ended up doing most of the cutting. Out came my old brown oversized mock turtleneck, two glue guns, and enthusiastic gluers. The felt leaves ranged from plums through reds and oranges to some yellows and even a few tasteful browns. I couldn’t have done a better job if I’d rolled in some Elmer’s glue and then rolled in the backyard carpet of leaves. For my crown I got out my straw sun hat and glued on the branches my son collected from the backyard. A few leaves went on the hat too, plus the acorns that Tommie decided should be on there too. I let the glue set, pulled on some old brown pants, and voila! I’m a formidable tree creature from the forest!

Tonight is Halloween, and I’m really looking forward to the festivities. My boys, at ages 7 and 9, are at the prime trick-or-treating ages. I have one red ninja and one fearsome phantom with a featureless face. Don’t be frightened if they come to your house! They’re polite, and they’re good at heart. I’m sending them out with the HoA (husband of artist) to keep them on the sidewalk and away from the curmudgeon’s house. Now he can be scary. I’ll be home in my leafy costume handing out the treeeets. Sorry! I couldn’t resist.

On other fronts, I’ve been diligently working in the art studio to finish my ‘Autumn Aspens’ commission. I had brought out all the grays, browns and purple yarns to create the background gradient. There are hints of green and yellow throughout to give the piece depth and continuity with the foreground trees, but the darker colors create the sense of the forest mystery under the bright yellow canopy. I then topped the weaving with some dense yellow foliage, mostly because I couldn’t resist getting out my bright yellows for some color at the top. I stretched out the piece in an oak frame that I stained to have a hint of yellow. I stitched the piece onto the frame using reeled silk, which I love to work with because it just kind of glides along your fingers when you work with it. It glides along your toes, too, if you don’t have enough hands for the job. The next step is to start embroidering the piece with all my different yellow yarns. My art studio will be glowing this week, and so will I. Plus, there should be enough leftover Halloween candy to keep everyone in the family buzzing all week long.

Until next week…

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