Sunday, November 30, 2014

Vegetables, pie, and excitement in the art studio!

I moved from project to project over the past few weeks.  I was still riding the high of a great artisan’s guild show two weeks ago when I took down the remaining pieces.  Five pieces found new homes and I took on a new commission as a result of the Convention Center exhibition, "Looking at Water", so I’m thrilled with the outcome.  Jumping ahead, I’ll hang the remaining pieces at the Bloomington Bagel Company (on Dunn Street) on Monday.  I think the smaller number of pieces will fit the space better at the BBC—talk about silver linings!

On the family scene, the next big event was a visit to Grandma in Michigan for Thanksgiving.  I wanted to share that on the trip North I managed to do some extended sketching for a team effort I recently signed on to.  I’m on the costume and prop committee for Sounds of South’s next performance (next Fall), which will be Beauty and the Beast.  It was wonderful to have quiet time to think and sketch without any pressure.  I needed to get down all the ideas that have been floating around in my head, along with the suggestions and ideas from other members of the group.  The process was somehow very cathartic.  I’m pleased with the first iteration of the costumes, but now I need to run everything past the rest of the committee and the director, so I can’t share any images yet...   
On a humorous note, I did read that one girl in the play had ‘sausage curls’, which I mistakenly took to mean that she was the ‘sausage girl’ who sold sausages.  I got right on making stage sausages from Gramma’s old nylons and rolled up deep red felt—we’ll see if they make it into the performance.

It’s always a little colder in Michigan, which leads people to wonder why I travel north for the holiday.  I always tell people that I really like my mother-in-law!  My best laid plans for an uneventful trip fell apart the Sunday night before we planned to leave.  A night of heavy rain overnight turned into a deluge in the wee hours.  Sometimes when that happens water enters my studio, uninvited, though my tiny art studio window.  
 It soaked my carpet and padding along the west wall, forcing me to move half the studio contents out of the room to manage the wetness.  Fortunately, all of the art was hanging on the walls so no pieces were injured.  Making the whole thing a bit more stressful was the fact that power went out around 6:15 a.m.  The good news is that the back-up sump pump kicked on, powered by the new battery.  Moving wet carpet and art materials is even less fun when the lights are out in a dark, cool basement, but we managed.   
The bad news is that the power stayed out until after two in the afternoon.  That’s about the time the battery gave out!  Jim was trying to figure out what to do in the dark when the power finally came back! 

We did have a delightful trip to Michigan, visiting with friends and family.  Dinner was grilled salmon, baked sweet and red potatoes, and steamed broccoli with cheese sauce.  For dessert Grandma made two pumpkin pies.  One was her traditional, while the second contained bourbon, cream and maple syrup.  It was more delicate and I preferred it, but I’ll eat just about any kind of pie.  On Black Friday we stopped in at the Oasis for the traditional deep-fried perch lunch.  Yum!  Then we headed out to see the new Penguins of Madagascar movie.  It was a fast paced movie in the tradition of the more recent James Bond movies, with non-stop action, impossible escapes, an evil villain, and lots of fun word play. 

On the trip home I finished many of the vegetable pieces I intended to finish in Michigan.  I finished all of the green onions and broccoli for the “Summer Salad” commission that I’ve been working on, then assembled the cucumbers.  I just need to finish the seeds for them, which I’ll do this week as I wait for the boys at their activities.  I should be able to assemble the entire piece this week and ship it off to its new home.  That means I’ll begin the sketches for the next commission, a large format piece featuring a river winding through the woods. 

My last news involves a workshop Saturday, December 6th from 1-4 p.m. to demonstrate how I make felted ornaments.  I need to check with Talia at Gather, where the workshop will be held, to see if there are enough people signed up to run the workshop.  It should be a lot of fun.  And of course I’ll be glued to the IU basketball games this week.  Tommie and I have been having a great time watching this year’s team come together. 

Until next week,

Martina Celerin 

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