Saturday, August 29, 2015

Out and about, hanging a new exhibit with the Collective

Today was the first time I hung work in a group show with the local Creative Collective, and a lot of fun it was.  If you want to know more about Creative Collective, and you're in this region, central NJ, go here.   
I took in two  stitched pieces, one Flyover and one Weed, and they took their places in a huge array of styles and artforms in the gallery/barn/wine tasting area of Terhune Orchard.

Organizing getting under way. Considering there were about twenty artists involved, it was not as chaotic as you might expect!
I found recently that in addition to all sorts of fruit and flower and vegetable crops, Terhune Orchards now a thriving vineyard.  So since my art is hung right where happy people will be tasting wine at various major events in the next few weeks, this sounds like an ideal pairing.  

And no, Pam Mount, one of the owners, and an old acquaintance from YW days, is not paying me to do this!  but it's a thank you from me personally for her hosting of our work.  Nice environment, happy atmosphere all around.  If you want to know more, and you're local in central NJ, go here

Here's a brief picture tour, but there's a lot more to the place than I can show you here! it's a family owned and run farm, everyone works, and their family animals get their full credit, too!  The old white house is the family home, and there are barns and the store, and pick your own apples, and zinnias, and it's a great place to visit.

 And the Collective is a great group to hang out with.  Good day today.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Drawing August, nearly complete

There was time today to do a little drawing, though.

The cedar gate on my patio

I'm going to collate the August drawings into an artist's book after the month is over.  But yes, I will continue to draw, Margaret!  I've been doing it for many years, no sign of stopping yet..

Art the Beautiful Goes on a Museum Trip

Very close to home, in fact, the Princeton University Art Museum, where it was almost the last day of a watercolor exhibit of holdings from the collection.

With the exception of a lovely Arthur Dove, a couple of Milton Avery pieces (vertiginous as expected with AD! though not the best I've seen of him) and a lovely John Marin, it was a pretty timid show.  Of historical rather than art value, I'd say.  Worth taking a look, mainly for the names I quoted, but not the sort of excitement I was hoping for. I made a side trip to the gallery where they have a Dove and an Avery on permanent display, just to pay my respects.

However, in the lobby of the museum there's a perfectly wonderful artwork, of a Nigerian based Ghanaian artist, El Anatsui, who uses tossed away items such as bottlecaps, flattened and attached, and with cloth passing behind here and there, to make a huge, draped and amazing work. It's like a giant golden fleece, or a extra terrestrial animal hide, just a great experience, and hung right where you see it as you come in.

It's a marvellous artwork and a social statement at the same time, but not like propaganda.  Go here for more information but alas a terrible picture, why oh why with their endowment not get a better image on their website, sigh.  Photos not allowed, so I can't give you a better shot at any of the exhibit items I liked.

This big piece may be responsible for my feeble reactions to the watercolors, too, since its energy took out all the oxygen! and it reminded me vividly of the months I spent on the Great Tin Quilt, and what an experience that was, too.  Editorial update: if you want to know more about this, go here

Outside there's an interesting foretaste of things to come

and a bronze sculpture, in the trees near Prospect Gardens about which I have mixed feelings, but I thought you should see it for yourselves.

And, dwarfing all the work of people, the sequoia outside Prospect Gardens, can't get it all in one shot, but I wanted to be sure you could see the trunk.  

This one's for you, Quinn!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Out of the studio to draw, back to the studio to muse and plan dyed linen piece

Early morning drawing of marigolds on the deck, for #drawingaugust.  I'll be sorry when this month long project is done, but I plan to create an artist's book from the portfolio of august drawings.

Then I was back in the studio, now that the heat has abated enough to be up there more than briefly, and I'm moving pieces around on the piece of linen I dyed with turmeric, shibori wrapped, to see what comes of the combination of Dorset buttons (may be more of them) and beaded fishlike shape, which may or may not stay, depending.  The yellow is much more pronounced and variegated in rl than my camera captures. None of these is stitched down yet, still at the moving about and throwing out stage.

Anyway, I thought you might like to see what's up, to date. There will be more foliage of some sort, or a net overlay, something or other of that nature.  I'm thinking another Vilene piece of netted stitching, maybe using a drawingaugust drawing for the template.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Drawing by the canal again

Meeting more and more congenial artists at our plein air meetings, which are really more like meet, greet, scatter, then come together briefly before leaving.

Today was hot and humid and in search of shade by the canal.  I think I drew evening primrose, at least that's what my wildflower book seems to confirm, and I'll post the drawing 

as well as the model

 in case knowledgeable blogistas can tell me for certain.  And there was a view down the path, couldn't resist putting in the rusty old iron handrail

  made evidently from plumbing parts.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Two drawings at the labyrinth

I walked the labyrinth for departed friends, including Florence L whose husband just left us, and her family.  Not long since HP's anniversary, too, so he was included, as well as Annie and Karen, all friends who've gone home before us.

I made two drawings after I walked, one a more focused, controlled contour image

What it looks like, and then what it feels like, a wilder one,  to enter the labyrinth in honor of dear folk who have left us

 Both black ink on hotpress paper.  Click to see better.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Drawingaugust goes on, though I am doing other items, too!

I have not deserted the world of stitching in favor of line drawings, in fact some of the drawings will be stitching templates.  But I'm doing a lot of Dorset buttons, which will look a lot more exciting once they're in place in their eventual home, so I'll wait on them.

Meanwhile, apple harvest today from a friend's tree, and the result, before I processed the apples for the freezer:

For an account of how this bushel basket got filled like this, go here

Enjoy.  I do this so you don't have to!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Drawing August, last rosebud

This is Rosie Golden's second bud, and I'm hoping for more flowers in the fall, right up to frost.  Black ink on watercolor paper. Sent to #drawingaugust.  

It's really happy to be finding new viewers on Twitter, as well as a new group of artists in Creative Collective. August has been very productive in many ways.

Once the month's drawings are done, I plan to assemble them into an artist book -- I have made a lot of a books, but forgot about the concept until another Twitter member showed her book from last year, and I decided, yessss, that's the one. 

I have to design one that will not entail piercing the drawings, though, in the binding, since some are to be framed as separate items to accompany embroidered pieces.  I'll see about that challenge when September comes.  And perhaps if I take part in Grow your Blog again next year, there will be a drawing in the, um, drawing!  for a giveaway, that is.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Plein Air with Me Mates

Another lovely plein air session with members of Creative Collective.  Hot but plenty of shade, and since I work fast anyway, plenty of time for me to make four drawings.

 Bridge over the canal

 Little blue flowers, grow all over under trees, name escapes me

 Wildflowers growing at the foot of a tree

 Elizabeth's watercolor setup -- fellow artist, and the chief encourager of me to join Creative Collective.

None of these drawings is destined to become an embroidery design, they're freestanding.  All small in scale, maybe 8 x 10, haven't measured.  A couple of them on the back of the cover from a Bristol pad, lovely rough texture, very pleasing to draw on, and I'm glad I didn't recycle it.  I kept the cardboard support for weaving.  Of course.

Part of the time I spent on the towpath of the Delaware and Raritan Canal, historic landmark sort of place, dating back to the Lenni Lenape Indians, then the Swedes in the 16th century, and later the Dutch, all of whom used it as a highway, though the Indians were probably on the parallel waterway, but same route, same reasons.

And I found that I have to be prepared for inquiries and chats on the towpath, because there's a lot of interest from passersby, on bikes and on foot.  But very welcome interest in my art anyway, if unusual for me, usually making art in solitude.

To see photographs of similar scenes from this morning, go here.

Monday, August 17, 2015

For a rapid drawing, pilot pen on bristol, of late petunias on the deck, for #drawingaugust, and to see the model they're drawn from, go here

 Still recovering energy from strep attack, so bear with this brief post!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

New August drawing

Little ink drawing of a view of Brainerd Lake in nearby Cranbury Township, drawn from the bench HP used to like to sit on when I drove him there in his later years.  Yesterday being his anniversary, this was in the nature of a little pilgrimage and acknowledgment.  I tweeted this, without the explanatory narrative, though, and got a nice reception.

If you go over to Field and Fen to see pix of this scene, you will notice the editing I did as the artist.  I brought the bridge much closer than in life, in order to compose the image and give it more emphasis, and to frame it better with the tree on the left, and the trees rising up behind it.  Grasses in the foreground anchor the land so as to give a sense of edge to the water.  Drawing's not about copying what you see -- it's about editing and interpreting what's there.  That's the fun part!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Vilene and drawing competing for attention

Another Vilene stitching, taken from my line drawing, is done and pinned here in a temporary place while I think about how these pieces will work best, and whether to make more. They may eventually be higher on the artwork, with supporting motifs below them.  Not sure yet.  Also, I want to keep them only lightly tacked on, so as to get the advantage of the shadows they cast. not applique them tightly all around.  I like the notion that they might be in a wind, or might fly off any time.

And drawing for #drawingaugust continues apace.  Today it's about food and peeling farm tomatoes, so they got their few minutes of fame here, while waiting for the water to boil for them.  

The drawings I've been posting on Twitter are getting some very kind responses.  And I'm seeing a lot of good art being produced daily up there.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Morning drawing spider plant hanging outside for the summer

My houseplants love their summer on the patio.  It's like going to camp.  They flourish, and there's a new problem in the fall, how to accommodate them, much bigger than back in June,  back in the house, but that's for September to figure out.

Meanwhile, the spider plant has put out a ton of new little spiders.  The drawing is selective, as drawing has to be when it's not meant to be a photographic rendition.  

I put this up on Twitter, and to my amazement, it went through.  Twitter has such masses of entries that I gather it takes a while for a new account to take hold, and my tweets have been working, but not my hashtag entries.  Something to do with selection at the sharp end, I think.  And possibly the ineptitude of the poster, no that can't be..

This is a drawingaugust entry, not intended as a template for embroidery, though.  Just a little standalone.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Thanks to Quinn Piper, I joined up with the #drawingaugust project on Twitter, and I'm doing a drawing a day to post there.  But I thought you'd enjoy it, too.  I believe you can see the whole entry on Twitter even without membership, many wonderful works from artists from all over the world, drawing daily.

Here's what happened when I decided to draw and Marigold decided I shouldn't. She inserted herself under my arm to sleep, dislodging my clipboard which stands in for a drawing board for small works.


 Then, outside after rain, the daisies posed obligingly for me

The drawings are all done in fine Pilot pen, black, on pure white smooth paper, good for drawing.  I'll also use a watercolor paper, and do some ink and wash pieces soon.

It was an exciting time trying to get Twitter to work for me, but thanks to patient tutoring from QP, I got there.  We found that several of the unsurmountable puzzles I encountered were the result of my doing this on a tablet, gah.  

I can only upload pix from my tablet, because that's where they originate, too cumbersome to do it from camera, email, and other pathways.  But I can only see all the functions of Twitter from my laptop.  However, the Twitter membership I organized on the tablet works fine on the laptop.  All this emboldened me to put the Twitter button on this blog for your viewing pleasure.  That was another learning curve, but nemmind..

Now that I know all this, major learning in the last day for me, I'm fine with it.  Evidently the tablet only has a kind of Cliff Notes version of it, okay for casual glancing, and reading updates, but not so much for seeing a panorama of entries.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Plein Air with New Friends

Great plein air session at a local park with members of the Creative Collective, which I just joined on Sunday, and clearly have become suddenly active in.  

Very friendly group of artists, generous and interesting, thanks so much for a good experience at my first plein air with you all, Michelle, Laura, Josephine, Elizabeth and Dave!

This is a weekly meeting at this location, here shown getting under way, so I have to put it on my calendar.  It fills several needs: getting out to work plein air, doing it in company, and meeting a new group of friends in art. Happy camper here.

My task today, drawing in black ink on Arches hot press paper, was to create several small line drawings for use partly as standalone drawings, but also as templates for embroidered motifs on a wall piece I'm stitching.  I've done a couple of these already and liked the results, so I'll do more.  

In search of a model

And here's today's output, posing with their models. Click to see better.

I'll be stitching them on net and Vilene with the threads I dyed this summer, then cutting out and appliqueing them.  Nice productive morning.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Art Openings of the Weekend, Ice Cream and Pearl Clutching

So a lucky email reminded me I had planned on going to an art opening Sunday and had neglected to put it on my calendar.  Lucky because at the opening I met several very interesting artists, made a couple of new friends, was invited on to another opening,and met another interesting artist there, too.  All in all, a great afternoon.

Here's the initial opening, Watercolorists Unlimited, a very high level group of serious watercolor artists.  A few shots of the 18-work exhibit -- in Plainsboro Library Gallery till late August, still time to get there if you love watercolors -- and of artists.  There are a lot of reflections in the pix, sorry, but doing my best.

 Lisa Walsh's Red Barn , Cranbury


Art Lee, himself a noted artist, though not in watercolor, discusses their works with left  E. Jean Dunham, the person and her  painting, Point of View, and, right, Beverly Nickel and her Waiting for the K Train.

 Here's Lisa Walsh in person, with her Hollyhocks.  Lisa is a muralist and decorative painter with a busy practice locally. You can find more about her at

Mary Kramarenko had two wonderful paintings in the show, do go and see.  Here's one of them

Then on to the Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury for a wildly assorted and exciting exhibit of the Creative Collective, where I found art of friends, and was encouraged to join the group.  Which I did later in the day, and now I'm signed up to draw plein air this week with a group, yay. 

This is who they are:

And here are some of the works in the current exhibit

 Elaine Rosenberg, a collage artist is here

 And here's the stonework art of  Janis Blayne Paul and her bio

Fans of Joy Kreves will spot this from across the room!  wonderful mixed media work, about the earth and antiquity and myth and origins.

Worth going to see this one.  The Gallery is in the Municipal Building in Cranbury, and the exhibit is up till late August.

And it just so happens that down the street is a great ice cream stop.  I stopped, butter pecan in case you're interested, and aside from a slight mishap which resulted in icecream on the lens of my camera, can't juggle a cone and a tablet, it was a great coda to the afternoon.

After which I had a pearl clutching moment when I realized I'd already tentatively arranged to go to another event, and it fell completely off my radar, sorry, stitchers.