Sunday, December 2, 2018

Pine Cones, Painting, and Pie

The big news of the week:  "Sipping the Sweetness" is finished!  I began the week hibernating in my art studio with a huge pile of yummy green yarns and an empty loom. I ended the week with a finished weaving.  To be fair, I created the hummingbird and trumpet vine flowers and leaves a couple of months ago.  They sat patiently waiting for their backdrop, and I’m delighted with how all the elements of the piece came together! 

It was also a week where I completed my applications for next year’s tour of art fairs.  It’s always fun to think of the possibilities of places I can visit and share my art, especially in places I have never visited.  My fingers are crossed that the jurors will like my art without experiencing it in person—they will determine my summer schedule. 

This early winter period has been a crazy time of year, with the temperatures, winds and precipitation varieties fluctuating on the whims of nature.  Artists have to be prepared to seize the moment when opportunity presents itself, and when I noticed that the weather Friday was predicted to be perfect for frame finishing and painting I leapt at the chance.  I completed the finishing of five more frames so I’m ready to fill them over the winter months when it becomes too cold to sand or paint outside. 

I’m also continuing on my fun weekly dyeing adventures using natural materials.  Last week we visited Grandma in Michigan for Thanksgiving, and she is a meticulous caretaker of her yard.  The visit coincided with the appearance of a bumper crop of white pine cones, which didn’t make her happy because she has to clean them up.  However, it made me very happy because it gave me another chance to try more dyeing.  I recently dyed some fleece with a pot of spruce cones that I collected near the convention center in Bloomington, so I tried a true experiment.  
I used the same dye pot, the same materials and process, and fleece from the same batch for the new white pine cones (right side; fleece from spruce cones on the left).  They either yielded more dye, or it was better taken up by the fleece, so I ended up with a more intense product.

The visit to Grandma’s spurred me to finally spend some quality time with Photoshop.  She lamented that she didn’t have any cards from me in a while, and that was just the push I needed to create eleven new cards featuring some of my recent pieces.  
They are now available at By Hand Gallery in Bloomington and hopefully they will appear soon at Juniper Gallery in Spencer.  I’m meeting with the gallery director, Jaime Sweeney, this week to drop off some weavings and I’m excited to see her new space. 

Rounding out my week, I find that completing a piece drives me straight into the next weaving project, which I have already laid out for next week.  I have all my river rocks finished, and I really like how they look.  I need to weave the river bottom background.  Fortunately, Jacob will be teaching and training next week so I’ll have plenty of time to work on the salmon that will be swishing their tails over the rocks.  
And last, yippee skippee—you guessed it—pie!  The stars aligned and my wonderful husband surprised me with a deep dish blueberry pie, perfect for the season in my world. 

Until next week,

--> Martina Celerin

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