Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Walking Woodland Stones

'Walking Woodland Stones'
Natural dyed and printed silks and cottons
Threads of cotton and wool.

Running stitch
straight row upon row
Higgledy piggledy
Loose and lumpy
but running stitch all the same

Couching travelling the edge of stones.
Imagining the footsteps of insects and small critters
marking pathways across the stones.

The woodland canopy keeping the land beneath cool.

Touching the edges of rocks.
Can a rock speak of what it is feeling inside?

Monday, 19 June 2017

Feeling Stones

Touch is crucial to our experience here on earth.
I suppose some of us become more immersed in the sense of touch than others.
I surely am drawn to expressing myself with thread and cloth
simply because of the immediacy and honesty of touch.
After all, your eyes can deceive you
but touch confirms that which your eyes can't believe.

In his book 'The Senses of Touch'
Mark Paterson reminds us of the expression
"Seeing is believing, but feeling's the truth".
Interesting how nowadays we seem to have dropped the second part.

Touch also makes me think of intimacy and proximity.
Holding my loved ones in my arms
gathering those little grand-girls in a close embrace
and I am eagerly awaiting being able to do exactly that very soon!

But there is more than the immediacy of touch on the skin.
I have always felt that
"Art can and should be a touching experience."
And Paterson goes on to explains this further
"Standing in front of a painting, appreciating a sculpture, or walking through a building, even if we are not permitted to physically touch the work we should at least be touched by it."

Therefore we feel or have a haptic experience
not only through our skin
but internally because of our aesthetic ability
for feeling, sensing and being affected
by what we see.
"Haptic Aesthetics"

 As a teen, before I thought of stitching as an expressive art form,
I loved (for teens always love or hate don't they!) the paintings of Cezanne.
I never understood why
but reading this book I am trying to understand why.
"Cezanne himself rather boldly declares that talking about art is almost useless since the man of letters expresses himself in abstractions whereas a painter, by means of drawing and colour, gives concrete form to his sensations and perceptions."
I think it must have been his direct approach
his ability of creating an aesthetic haptic experience for me
because of his ability to translate depth, smoothness, softness, hardness and even smell into paint.

He was able to "paint the sensation".
I am still absorbing and thinking
trying to simplify Paterson's complex thoughts
and bring them into daily life in the studio.
Working towards stitching the sensation
Sometimes successfully
Sometimes not so
but somehow people like us are driven to try and try again.

I hope you have a haptic aesthetic experience today!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Summer Rocks!

Summer, precious Summer
When the sun is up before I rise
and seems to go to bed long after me.

When squawking hatchlings
of every kind
chase their patient mothers all over the garden
demanding to be fed the next bug or worm she finds.
I spied a A grackle being swarmed by no less than five babies
Babies that seemed so much bigger than her.
She must be exhausted.

when early morning shoreline fog
is soon burnt off by the heat of the sun.

when the weeds grow faster than I can keep up!

Summertime when
the Rusty Pups, Handy Hubby and I
look forward to hikes
on long sandy beaches
or rocky shorelines.

Precious days filled with bright specks of colour
from a myriad of flowering plants.

And the smells of summer
The salty sea breezes that cool us down
The welcoming scents from perennial flowerbeds
The mouthwatering smells of barbecues sizzling in the neighbourhood
the refreshing smell of newly cut grass
and of course enticing aroma of suntan lotion.

I love Summer Days
Hope your day is great

Monday, 5 June 2017

Seven Plain Stones Plus One

This past week found me retreating
like a snail or a turtle from the world.
Retreating not only to look backwards and mull over my feelings
about the five larger stoney pieces just completed....
(I will post their stories soon)

....but also to clear my mind and studio for new work.
Always an exciting but calm time of reflection.
A time to make sure I have a clear idea of
what I want to say
and how I want to accomplish that. 

"First comes thought; then organization of that thought, 
into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. 
The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination."
 Napoleon Hill

Sometimes what one sees is crystal clear
but becomes fuzzy when reproduced!

At the moment ideas
are coming fast and furious
like a bombardment.

I have to remember they can be fleeting!

In order to coax those ideas into clarity
I need to have my notebook handy at all times.
At a time like this I like to keep away from the computer as much as possible
because everything on the web is so seductive
and so easily muddies the clarity of one's voice.
I get tempted here there and everywhere!

Found this tiny little pebble among my mementoes.
In the sixties I painted stones
now I stitch them.

I hope 
Summer has arrived where you are
because she is certainly taking her time to get here!

Monday, 29 May 2017

Deciding on a Softer Touch

Another hag stone
A stone with a hole through it
A stone from Dorset.
This is how my cloth stone ended up
but it started like this.....

.....To me it looked heavy handed
so picked out all the stitching
and decided on a softer touch
or perhaps a more minimalist touch.

Speckled pebble
Found hanging out in my curio shelves
crammed full of precious things.
Just love it.
It's only an inch wide.

Mapping marks with one strand of DMC.

A gift of thread from Betsy
helped me decide on
how to interpret these smokey markings.

A speckled rock gift from Nancy
but the scrap of silk I chose was way too beautiful to cover over!

A wrapped stone gift from Nadine.
My goodness me I have received a lot of gifts this week!

Nadine lives down on the French shore
and five of us met at her place

where we ate mouthwatering lobster,
planned for our upcoming show
and played with photo manipulation.

Another gift of a stone from Nancy.
Thank you girls for all your gifts.
How lucky am I.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Moving on Like a Rolling Stone

Funny how some of us are
are bedecked and bejewelled
and beautiful

Some of us are plain janes
and beautiful

Some of us are a bit ruffled
and beautiful.
This rusched piece of silk
caught my eye
very textured and very floppy
but I wanted to make sure the edges were smooth
so stitched it to a light-weight background
pinned a strong linen on top
and performed reverse applique.

Some of us are blotched
and beautiful.
This photo doesn't give any hint of
the stone's pale shape
but it's there
and I took great pains to choose the tiny piece of silk!

Some of us bear scars
and are beautiful

Some of us like cake
and are beautiful

Some of us try to make ourselves into copies of others
....not so beautiful!
I haven't yet mastered those stones
with beautiful smokey  markings.
Perhaps next week.

Happy Victoria Day Canada!

Friday, 19 May 2017

Pups and Ducks

If there is a ball in the mouth
you know it is Rusty Pup Shandy

Every year a pair of black ducks nests across the pond.
We love observing them
They are quite comfortable with the Rusty Pups
Several times a day the male escorts the female onto our lawn
and stands guard as she feeds
two of them come and feed
on our very damp lawn.
This morning was different
the female just sat as still as she could 
in another part of the garden.
I was worried
didn't let the dogs out
but she eventually wandered back to the pond
so the RP's and I followed.

This morning she stayed on the pond
and the male was at the other end of the pond
This is different
So we assume she must have had her babies yesterday.
Now, when we get to close
she quacks at us
and if she is really worried
the male takes flight and circles overhead.
The babies must be close by.
soon they will be in the water and shepherded down the stream
past the beaver lodge and into the Annapolis Basin.
There they will grow up
and finally fly south when the days shorten.
I must say I would like to follow the sun too!

Rusty Pup Kayla 
will keep a close eye on them
but we often miss seeing the babies
float downstream huddled together like a raft.
The thing is their colouring really camouflages them
against the dappled brownish water.

That's enough wildlife for the day, Mom
Can we go in now?

Pleease let us in
it must surely be time for another meal.

spiralling energy
wishing those ducks safe travels.