Monday, May 7, 2012

Bikes, beaches and strawberry shortcake…

My spring has been incredibly hectic on all fronts.  As I finished my Brain Extravaganza piece and completed the citizenship process, this week I found myself with five art pieces in various stages of progress.  That’s way more than I usually have, which left me with a frazzled feeling, as if I have the lids off too many boxes.  I needed to close a few so I got to work.  First off I finished assembling the piece called ‘A Home of My Own’.  This reveals a little about how I view my citizenship process, so it’s a pretty personal piece.  Then I completed my beach piece.  I originally planned to include a bonfire in the foreground, but then I heard about the motorcycle that washed up on a Canadian beach.  It was carried across the pacific from the Japanese tsunami, which seems incredible.  That story triggered memories of my childhood and my love for walking along beaches to see what would wash up.  I really liked collecting driftwood.   
The shapes can be as unique as clouds, so I would hold them in my hands and wonder what they were.  I remember using them to build little houses for the ladybugs on the beach!  Anyway, I pulled out my big box full of driftwood specimens and little bits of wood I save for weavings.  My piece now has a little structure in case any ladybugs come flying by, perhaps after a fire at home.  I also added some beach grasses, aka feathers and thin yarns as well as seashells.  To keep the shells in scale I needed some really teeny tiny ones.  Fortunately I have a few in my collection.  

The other big art news is that the art-idea fairy visited me one night around 2:30 am and left me with the vision I needed to complete a bicycle piece that has been on hold.  About three months ago I made a dozen bicycle wheels out of used bangles, with the vision of using them in a piece.  I just couldn’t find a composition I liked until the inspiration came to me that night.  The next morning I wove like crazy because I wanted to see the piece go to completion.  I finished weaving the background, which is a series of gradients that transition from one color to the next.  I developed that technique a little in “Sunrise at Goose Pond,” and it’s a very satisfying weaving experience.  
 I really have to pay attention to the colors and be thinking ahead about the transitions.  When I had the background completed, I laid down the bicycle wheels and some colorful felted balls to represent the pack of cyclists.  I’m really delighted with how it looks, and I’ll stretch it out in a frame in the next few days.  I still need to have the wheels and felted balls projecting forward form the surface at various heights.  I also need to finish sealing the frames, which means the humidity has to drop a bit.  I would like summer to go away just briefly so we could revisit spring!

In family news, Saturday morning brought us to the farmer’s market.  Jacob rode his bike with his friend Claire, so Tommie, Jim and I went for the hot chocolate at Le Petit Café and something tasty at Sweet Claire’s.  Along the way, I exercised my new powers as a registered voter to sign a few petitions.  Do you feel the world changing?  Then we discovered the bounty of strawberries on display and brought home three quarts.  One we ate the first day, and the next two went into strawberry shortcake.  I cut up the strawberries, Jim baked the biscuits and the family feasted on the breakfast of champions.  I wonder if they’ll have more strawberries next time?

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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