Sunday, February 20, 2011

Red and blue with a white stripe

It was a busy week of good things in Bloomington. First, I received the good news that my t-shirt design for the 35th annual Fourth Street Festival was selected by a close vote of the Fourth Street committee. The image is one of the abstract designs in the series that came from my vacation sketches last May on the Outer Banks. Along with the selection comes some responsibilities, and I have to choose the background color that best suits the design. I’m considering brick, soft yellow or a sky blue. If you like the image, pick up a t-shirt this Labor Day weekend!

Then, my Valentine pie wish came true—a warm cherry pie greeted me when I came back from Zumba on Monday morning. I didn’t even know we had cherries! I’ve had some delightful espresso and pie breakfasts this week. And for Valentine's dinner I baked two heart-shaped pizzas that were demolished in record time.

In the art studio I’ve been on fire. I completed the background for my Ratatouille piece. I posted an image of the piece in progress on Facebook and received a number of comments, including one from my friend Sonia. She thinks it looks rich and red, warm and inviting—and it reminds her of a womb. I even managed to stitch the background onto the second large frame from my personal frame builder and organic egg supplier, Tom Bertolacini. He nailed it again for me and I’m grateful for it. At the same time as I’ve been working on the background I managed to make progress on the foreground. I’ve come up with a way to create the vegetable slices that gives them crisp edges. For a fiber artist, that can be a challenge. I zipped all over town to consignment shops and resale stores picked up all the well-worn wool sweaters I could find. I felted them, then cut and stacked the pieces into multiple layers to make the zucchini and tomato slices and eggplant cubes needed for the design of the piece. I pulled out my long needles and stitched them all together, and I’ll complete them by felting the colors and veggie patterns on the surface. I’m excited because I have the proof-of-concept that my vegetable design will come together for the piece. I’m adding the skin to the first zucchini pieces and I’m pleased with the recycled-sweaters-as-veggie-art concept.

Friday turned out to be the day of six tests for my son Tommie. He and Jacob shared the last one, as they tested for their blue-with-a-white-stripe belts in Taekwondo. It’s the first step on the way to their brown belt, and they’re both doing very well at it. Their friend Jonathan came with us to the test and came out to Bucchetos for pizza with us afterward. That wasn’t the end to the week, though, as Saturday we got up and headed out for a combination bike ride (Tommie) skateboard ride (Jacob) and walk (Jim and I). We spent an hour and a half on the Clear Creek trail seeing the birds and horses along the trail. It was a winner of a trip, as judged by the fact that there were no injuries and Jim remembered to bring a snack for the halfway point.

The conclusion to the week came Saturday evening when we attended the ‘Day of Writing and Art’ at the Lodge downtown. I didn’t really know what it was about, but I was asked to contribute a piece for the show; I chose “Fruit Salad.” A group of local girls were participating in an ArtsWeek program called ‘Women Writing for a Change.’ A group of local artists contributed perhaps 25 art pieces to hang on the wall. As part of a much longer day of activities, a group of girls carefully viewed the pieces and wrote out what the pieces communicated to them. The process is called Ekphrasis, which roughly translates to ‘speak out’, or call an inanimate object by it’s name. We saw a parade of talented girls reading aloud their imagining of what the pieces might mean. The beautiful coda to the event was when the audience members took turns speaking out loud phrases or sentences from the poetry that touched them. It’s just like having a nice dessert after an elegant meal. It’s another reason that Bloomington is so great—I was again exposed to some unexpectedly wonderful art.

And the week finally ended with my sweet husband making a giant bowl of kluski for dinner Saturday night...yum!

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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