Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summertime travel, with art packed in the crevices…

It has been a jam-packed month since I last posted.  This is likely to be the summer pattern until I make it through the summer art fair travel season.  On the bright side, my days have been filled with family time, enjoyable workshops, work on commissions and preparations for travel to art fairs.  First came the family time.  At the end of the school year we made our annual trek to Topsail Island in North Carolina.  I thoroughly love people and interacting with them to share ideas, but at some point I just need some down time with my wonderful family.  This year we opted to spend two wonderful weeks relaxing on the beach.  
 It was exactly what I needed to recuperate and regroup before my busy summer schedule begins.  We ate fresh ocean fish (grilled amberjack was a very nice surprise), walked in the surf, collected fossilized shark’s teeth and found seashells. Jim made three glorious pies while we were there.  One was a blueberry-strawberry pie from local fruit and two were peach pies, baked together when Jim realized he had way too much filling for the available pie plates.  The time off was just what I needed.

On the drive home from Topsail the boys dropped me off in Richmond Virginia for my workshop.  One of the organizers is a long-time Facebook friend, Elizabeth Woodford.  She met me in Richmond and brought me to Fredericksburg.  We had a fabulous hour-long drive where we finally got to talk one-on-one and bond.  I think we must have been sisters in a previous life.  She’s an amazing person and I’m so glad to have finally connected with her to share a big hug.  After dropping boxes of workshop supplies at the Artful Dimensions gallery, Elizabeth delivered me to my hosts, Barbara and Bobby Posey.   
What amazing people!  They were gracious, generous, fun and interesting.  I just can’t even come up with enough positive adjectives to describe them.  We had such wonderful conversations.  I’m just delighted to be part of their world. 

I arrived in Fredericksburg early enough to be a tourist for a day.  I had the opportunity to visit some interesting local sites, some historical and some artistic.  I was as struck by the cannonballs embedded in a church since the civil war as I was exploring the local galleries that featured contemporary artists.   
That includes some fiber artists using synthetic felt and heat guns to create sculptures and textures that almost looked aquatic.  I have stored away some ideas that I’m sure will influence future pieces of mine.  We walked and had a wonderful time, but I was jarred into some of the realities of the civil war era.  The slave auction block in downtown Fredericksburg stands in stark contrast to the quaint charm of the historic southern town. 

The next day, Monday, was the beginning of the workshop.  Fifteen participants arrived, bringing a very high level of enthusiasm.  Working with them was somewhat intimidating because most were accomplished artists in their own right.  
 They embraced my ideas of weaving outside of the conventional structured methodologies and incorporating non-conventional materials into the weave structures and the weavings.   
We all had fun pushing the envelope of creating art in unexplored areas.  I truly enjoyed seeing the pieces that were created at the workshop and the sharing of ideas among the participants.  
 I’m looking forward to seeing how their workshop experiences influence their subsequent pieces.

On Wednesday I flew home to Bloomington for a day and a half.  That was just long enough to do laundry and re-pack my suitcase for a trip to Michigan.   
At Grandma’s house in Kawkawlin we overlapped with Martha and Dave from Mississippi and Haley, Kris and Arya from New Mexico.  It was a full house, including one giant family dinner with the Gibsons from next door and Aunt Lois from Essexville.   
Dave and Kris each got to spend a day with Jim and Tommie on Saginaw bay fishing for walleyes.  This was the first venture of the new boat onto Michigan waters.  They were very pleased with the boat and the fishing, resulting in a delightful fish fry and a freezer full of walleyes to bring home. 

During all my early summer adventures I have been working on my commission piece, which involves needle felting of a large number of leaves.  I have a mountain of sweet pea leaves completed as well as leaves for a lily plant and a blueberry bush.  Now that I’m home I can start assembling the pieces I created on my travels.  I can’t rest for too long, though, because I’m scheduled to travel to the Des Moines Art Fair next weekend.  
 I picked up my weavings from my exhibit at the Bloomingon Bagel Company and I’m beginning to pack the rest of my weavings for the trip.  I’m looking forward to my first art fair, but there hasn’t been a pie for breakfast since North Carolina.  On the bright side, we caught the tart cherry pie season yesterday morning at the Farmer’s market and bought enough tart cherries for three pies later in the season.  Tart cherries make my favorite pie, so I know I’m in for some treats.   
When I get home I’m imagining that I might get a blueberry pie as a reward for a successful trip west to Iowa.  Bring on the art fair!   

Until next week, or sometime soon,

Martina Celerin