Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Gift from the knitting group

Last meeting an old lady came, new member, keen sewer and crocheter, not sure what to make, so she started a little granny square. When I admired it she gave it to me, over protest. And I realized she'd made a scissor tag, at least that's how I could use it right away. I showed her my embroidery scissors with a chunk of yarn which has been waiting years to be replaced. And she promptly crocheted a chain, and attached it!  Lovely spontaneous gift.

The picture shows the creator, my new tag, and a bag she designed and made. Picture quality not very good, shot against the light, and she was ready to leave. But better than not seeing her work.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Playing with stamps and carving

A while back I talked about carving with wood.  And I did give it a try, whittling, and other carving.  But I found again that my hands just aren't up to it, and this didn't prosper.  So I took a break to think about this and get over it.  The same tools are equally good for other carving. And now I'm playing with carving again, but on a softer material.  It's fun to draw your design on large erasers, which make great blocks, and do a few stamping experiments. Over the years I've made a few carved stamps, and used them in artist books, and as part of bigger artworks, so this is a continuation of that strand.

I wanted to capitalize on my Chinese ink drawing from earlier, and drew a design with carpenter's pencil, to carve from.  I will do more of this, now that I've thought of combining the two forms.

Friday, June 1, 2018

June, white rabbits, and your assurance of privacy, read on

As you probably know, the EU GDP (General Data Protection) laws recently went into effect, and you have a right to know how and if they affect your participation in  my blogs.  Though the law applies only in the EU, it's important to know that my own policies have always respected personal information, and here's my assurance on that.

Your privacy is important to you,  so the statements below outline how I handle your personal information. First of all, thank you for visiting my blogs, following my blogs, and for leaving comments on my blog posts, all of which I so much appreciate.  
According to the new laws in effect regarding the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), there must be a disclaimer available on these blogs.  You have the right to know how your personal data is being processed, and particularly, that any information on you is handled respectfully and appropriately by me, as the only person with access to the navigation tools for these blogs. 

"Field and Fen" and "Art the Beautiful Metaphor" are independently operated blogs created, written and run by me (Liz Adams) and within which I share a range of subjects, including my creative work and process along with book reviews, art exhibit reviews, recipes of my own cooking, adventures with my character dolls, the Dollivers, and my forays into DIY, and my own photos of the work.  I am the owner, creator and only administrator of this blog. I do not have any advertising contracts for these blogs.

This blog is written by me and if I share a link to any other person's work/pictures/articles I clearly state the proper link to said work.  As you use the links, please respect the privacy and regulations of the websites you access.
My computer has a running up-to-date anti-virus program in place at all times.  Spam is detected and dealt with promptly and inappropriate comments are deleted. 
- if you leave a comment on the blog your email address could possibly be shared with me (and with me only) in order that I am able to respond to your comments.  
- it is possible that Google Analytics collects data, but those circumstances are beyond my control.
- Your email and name are never sold by me. I make no inappropriate use of your information.

 Anyone within the blogging community knows how much we love comments and feedback.  If you  leave a comment, it will  be visible to anyone who reads the comment section.   For that reason, please do not share any detailed personal information in your comments.  I do reserve the right to remove inappropriate comments.  You can delete, if you choose, any comments you have written. All comments are also covered by the Google Privacy Policy.
 Blogger uses cookies to allow you to access websites and blogs without re-entering your user name and password.  You can also disable their usage by searching that term on your browser and following the steps provided.  Please know that the use of cookies does NOT give me access to any personal information about you.
This blog is family friendly.  Even so, by law, if you are under 16 years of age, you must have parental permission before using this blog site.
My blogs are very small, friendly places, and I appreciate your knowing how I respect and care for your privacy. I don't photograph anyone without permission, I don't allow street names, auto plates, house numbers, etc to appear in my pix. Full names are only used when it's a writer, artist, ot other person who welcomes the exposure, not for private individuals.
So that's where we are!  Same as we always were, in fact.
Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Stamping with bleach

Little experiment, a couple of my carved stamps, bleach instead of color, on colored paper. A few greeting cards emerged.

The link ones are Little Town, the green ones Waterside, the dark green is just hello from the studio. This was created for one recipient.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Polar express arrives chez Dollivers

Today, while the rest of the world watched meghan and Harry wed, he crying throughout, hope that a good sign, I finished the polar bear and introduced him to the Dollivers.

 Right side mugshot

 Left side mugshot

 Spreading alarm and despondency among the Dollivers and dogs.  The noise is amazing.

She or he needs a name. Please bring your good ideas.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Polar opposites

So the bear continues.

Only remains to stitch and stuff and embroider features including fearsome claws.

Here are the parts, front, back, underside, ears. The great number of ends, some to be woven in, some saved for stitching, reflect the different stages of shaping, keeping live stitches on a spare needle, rejoining and so on. It's really an act of faith, knitting this sort of item, because it's not always clear why some steps are needed. I've learned not to argue, just plunge in.

When I was small,  a famous polar bear was born at the London zoo, named Brumas. Many mementoes, including my little Brumas soap which I remember using till he was the size of a raisin. Anyway, this bear needs a name, suggestions after he's complete, please.

After this species-specific bear from the Knit Your Own Zoo book by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne. I think I'll knit small toy bears, with clothes. Small amounts of yarn, using up bits of stash. They may become presents for future PINOAP, people in need of a present.

Monday, May 14, 2018

About this polar bear

The polar bear, legs completed yesterday, is now developing a body and with it, a personality.

The back legs have a right and left, and the front are a different shape, also with a right and left. And if I'd thought ahead I'd have labeled them.

This would have saved a bit of unpicking the backward leg and reknitting. But I noticed before too long. 

See how the head shape is starting to emerge? This bear may be a bit bicolor since there will be a mohair side, this being the smoother yarn. Not enough of either. But who's counting. This bear won't go extinct. And might be a feature for my Christmas setup. 

 I expect the Dolliver Kennels dogs will be on high alert.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Luxury, cashmere socks on a cool rainy day

Photo taken about five minutes after I finished the toe up socks. Knitted from leftover cashmere yarn after I'd made two scarves, gifts for friends in need of a present.

See the rolled mohair tops? I'm thinking of making the polar bear from the Knit Your Own Zoo book. Because I now have to finish the white fluffy yarn. It's a bit like the hot dog and rolls endless quest.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Embroiderers' Guild great stitch in

Wednesday was our stitch-in night, and we had a great turnout. Wonderful array of works in progress, as you see.  Everything from stumpwork, cross stitch, needlepoint, goldwork, huck, quilt design, it was all there.

This was especially good, since the next day chez Boud was adventures of a different sort, recounted in https://fieldfen.blogspot.com

Monday, May 7, 2018

Giveaway, the Big Reveal

Today Duncan made his selection from the names I'd faithfully written out on bits of paper for him to play with, careful to include everyone who'd asked to be in on the drawing for the little watercolor of the orchid.

We were a bit delayed, since he had decided to sleep instead. He's feeling his age, nearly 15, and the warm weather.  So I let him finish dreaming.

Once he woke up and got alert, and after he'd had a drink of water and a trot about, to get in good picking form, 

he consented to wander among the paper bits, playing, until finally his paw came to rest, and I rescued this slip

So, watch the mailbox, dogonart! too funny really.  But there were no rules about relatives and employees being ineligible to enter this valuable drawing.  Duncan got right onto it, wonder if he remembered doing this once before.  Thank you everyone for your interest, and the nice email comments I got.  This was fun.

Duncan is back on the sofa resting up after his exertions. Then, after the excitement abated, I got on with a bit of plain sewing I have been failing to do for ages.  

These are lovely linen jackets, name brand, but I'd rather have them as overshirts, so I'm shortening sleeves and the body.  They're too long for me, and I don't need the buttoned cuffs.

I did get the blue one finished, and looking much more useful. No need to get too rushed about this, tomorrow I'll do another. I get lovely linen items from the thriftie, probably because people just can't be bothered to press linen, beautiful as it may be.  I don't press it very often, either, but a bit crumpled is part of the look.

Some other summer stuff I have finally had to admit is way too big for me now, the opposite of the usual situation, I know, so there are several items for the Giveback Box now on the spare room bed waiting to be filled.  I appear to have settled on being permanently small, no point in keeping nice items other women could use.

Friday, May 4, 2018

May the Fourth be with you!! perpetual motion

So just for the silliness of it, a few little figures in motion

As you see, one on the nearest piece of paper, which is a decorative notebook thing

 People in the park

 Cats, dogs, mice, spiders, people

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

High time we had a giveaway, so here it is:

Long time since we had a giveaway, as a thank you for your faithful following and commenting and emailing and tweeting and chatting in person.

So here it is:

Watercolor, wet in wet, on Arches cold press paper, 8 x 5 inches, painting of my friend Helen's currently blooming orchid, her pride and joy!

To take part, please comment here, or in person, or by email, I'm open to all, and I'll put the names on slips of paper, and let kitty Duncan do his thing and pick one out.  He's pretty good at it, and I think it's more fun than software doing random choices.. 

I'll give it a few days to let you have the chance at it.  Please make sure I can reach you by email, so that I can notify you if you're the winner, and get an address from you to mail to.  If you're on Twitter, a dm will work, too.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

New adventures in art and poetry for you, thought of you right away

Recently I made a couple of great finds, via radio, and I really want you to know about them in case you didn't.

One is a wonderful documentary, A Change of World, Poetry and the Women's Movement,  narrated by  Meryl Streep

Do go and listen. I remember so much of this from the time, though I was not at all in the poetry world in any sense, but it was clearly a big wave of change, and very heartening.

Go here 

And the other adventure originated with Wisconsin Public Radio, which pretty much saved my sanity in that first long winter when we came here and were finding our feet.  This is a great one, part of TBOOK, To The Best of Our Knowledge, from Lynda Barry, yes, that one, the cartoonist, on  making art even when you don't think you can, and why it's important.  

This was a great adventure even for an ancient artist like moi, and I would love you to give it a try. Her ideas are great.

Go here

I tried a few of her prompts, and had a wonderful time.  Here are a couple of drawings I did with eyes closed, yes, really.  

And here's one I did eyes open

You can see that it's more coherent, but look at the difference in energy and life in the eyes shut ones. There's a lot more going on there.  It's a great thing to try.  And listen to Lynda when she explains why you need to avoid dismissing your efforts within two seconds of seeing them, this is important.  Drawing is not about copying something to look like something.  She understands this profoundly.

Anyway, there, a couple of gifts for you for Earth Day!  it's about celebrating all sorts of human energy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

New stitching adventure

What with one thing and another, the transparency of some of the antique quilts at a recent display for the embroiderers' guild, thanks, Lyna, and the transparent images I made a while ago from my own artwork printed on fine silk, and then some recent views of goldwork, thanks Evie...

It all came together in a rush, and here's my new stitching, set up and ready to work with.  

I have here a backing of a satiny sort of fabric with a sparkly fleck in it, with two transparent layers, one a photograph I printed on silk, the other a line drawing of a tree from the same trees in the photograph, but at a different season.

So I need to put in stay stitches first, to stabilize it for work.  Then I might rehoop it in a smaller hoop, I'll see.  My stitching will go through all three layers, so they need to lie well together.

I already did a choice of threads to use, maybe not all of them, but this range anyway. Silk, and some actual gold thread for goldwork, and other metallic threads.  Starting it at stitch-in this evening.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Easter, Passover, Spring in General wishes from the Dollivers

The Dollivers broke out the Easter eggs for 2018, and posed with them, plus the Dolliver Kennels denizens.  NameMe, the wrangler, preferred to pose with her dogs, since there were small cats in the display and she did not want a commotion.  This year's eggs are currently in the possession of the Dollivers, each of whom commandeered one.  There will be screams of rage when they find it's only a loan.

Three go to my cleaning crew, who tell me they're amassing a nice collection, one to Handsome Son, and one to Me. 

In the display you'll see a pink and a blue sort of sparkly pair of eggs. Gift from two little girls down the street last year! what a treat.  Their mother told me they were playing Easter Bunny.. The resident Boehm bunny failed to show up in time for the photoshoot. He's there now, but I declined to reshoot for latecomers.  He's probably been reading Alice in Wonderland, I'm late, I'm late..

And if you can spot the tiny blue and white Wedgwood teacup and saucer, you'll see in there some of dear cockatiel Emily Hope's  eggs, decorated and kept for years and years in her honor. 

Little display, packed with memories and fun stuff.  Hoping your weekend, whether it's Passover or Easter or just a nice restful secular weekend, will be the same.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Apron revisited and improved

Margaret, a stitcher friend, gave me this all-cotton apron a while back, white, ready for any decoration. I dyed it a while ago with turmeric, random dye, and finally today I got around to altering it to give it pockets.

Just turned up the hem, using fusible web to stitch the sides, added in two more inner seams to make three pockets, then played with stencils.  

A food related motif seemed about right, using marker. I may actually stitch those seams to reinforce them, too. 

Hanging in the kitchen, here, showing how the three pockets work.  Like a carpenter's apron.  But in use, they don't flop open. 


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Graphite study from Michelangelo head of a warrior

Today's golden rectangle drawing is from a golden age of drawing, a study I made this morning of Michelangelo's study of the head of a warrior.  

I think he used red conte, and the head is one of a number of small studies on a single page.  That's why it's facing left.  If it were the main subject, it would more probably face right.  But here it probably would be directing our attention to the center of the action.  If you want to study it for yourself, go here

It's great practice, to teeter valiantly on the shoulders of this particular giant, and explore how he modeled the face and how the tilted angle affects the shadows and proportions. See how that invisible eyebrow juts out? and how the lip turns? and the bony ridge above the eye shows as a light area?

It's a good idea now and then, not too often, to copy a master drawing.  It's like replaying a great chess match, where you can understand better the underpinnings, from having walked them yourself.  Your own drawing, or chess, really improves from doing this sort of practice. Better to do it only occasionally so you don't lose confidence in doing your own original work.

I did this in 4B graphite stick, and rubbed with my fingers to soften and model the shapes, then lifted out areas with a kneaded eraser.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Drawing again, dieffenbachia

Today's drawing is a golden rectangle 8 x 5 in, of a couple of dieffenbachia, done in graphite and charcoal, shapes lifted out with kneaded eraser.

This technique is fun to try, if you haven't before.  Just tape off the area of the drawing, then swipe your graphite stick or soft pencil back and forward to cover the entire area.  Then lift out shapes by using the corner of a kneaded eraser like a pencil, just draw the shapes you want.  Then a few touches of charcoal pencil to give a bit of definition here and there.  This is a bit like reductive monotype making, and that's fun, too.

And, as always, don't use a photograph.  That will guarantee any drawing will be dead on arrival.  Go from the actual model, in this case a giant dieffenbachia rescued years ago from the dumpster by a neighbor and brought to me, since he thinks I'm the local EMT for plants in distress.  I had to do radical surgery on the original, to result in three flourishing plants.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

More golden rectangle adventures, drawing this time

I taped up a few pages of my drawing paper with golden rectangles, 5 x 8, for a few drawings.  One drawing a day, not too ambitious.

Along the lines of just draw what's there, don't agonize over a subject, I drew the ficus and Chinese evergreen aglaonema, using a fine Pilot pen

and today used my 6B (very soft) carpenter's pencil for another corner of the living room.  

I sprayed this with hairspray to fix it, since it smudges instantly if you don't. 

Paper's white, but the ambient light affected the pix.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The CQteers made my day

After the excitement of the last few days of weather and other events, it was so great to find this in my mailbox today:

Total surprise, three wonderful art cards from the CQteers, the group in which I have honorary membership.  Largely because they meet about a thousand miles away from me.  It's the least labor intensive of all the artist groups I'm in, and as you see, they are great fiber and collage artists.

Such a treat.  I think I really have to frame this collection. But first I have to handle the pieces and look on the back for the good wishes as well as the front for the art. 

Thank you, Mary Ann, Sue, and Irene!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Plainsboro Artist Group meeting, show and tell

Big group for last evening's meeting of the Plainsboro Artist Group, and the usual wide range of art shown.  This is a knowledgeable group, and you never go home without learning a thing or two!
So here's a random showing of artists wearing their art, and showing it, too.  Works in progress, asking for feedback, completed works ready to enjoy, this is a lively group.  You'll see oils, pastels, charcoal, acrylic, poured work, knife painting, watercolor, collage and mixed media.

 They were not posing for pictures, but deep in discussion of techniques, advice, planning, and you can see their intensity!