Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Lancaster PA Painting Finished

Well, I can't decide on the name of this one, but the painting is finished.  Sharon had a few suggestions, and I had a few areas on which I wanted to work.  By the end of class, we agreed that it was done.

This is what I had posted yesterday.  The painting appears darker in this photo than it does in the final version, but that was merely the vagaries of my editing.

This is the finished version.

Now, if I could only figure out the title!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Lancaster PA- Painting

Much to my dismay, it appears that I have taken only one photo of my current painting although I have spent three days on it. I thought this subject would soothe my amour propre (a fancy way of saying "pride") after my disappointment with Splash!  If you remember, that was not a success, and my confidence took a hit.  So I really wanted to work on something that had a chance of turning out well.

Success does help!

Today was my third day of work on this one and that's because one - two hours is my limit for three reasons.  One, I try to work all over the surface and lay down an undercolor of pale color for the entire subject.  Second, once that is done, the surface is damp to down right wet and has to dry.  Third, it provides me with the time to look the work with a critical lens and really think about what comes next or what should be changed.

And writing this blog is also helpful.  I've always found that for me writing requires concentrated thought which results in an exploration of how I really think or feel.

It also helps to see my painting in this way and see things that aren't as I thought they were.  For examples, wow, that barn is RED!   The tree on the left?  Boring!  

And, and, and . . . .

Monday, July 16, 2018

Garden in Fog

Heat, garden, crazy quilt, laundry - you name it, it has come between me and writing entries.

Weariness after the above activities - is responsibly for my negligence.

Okay, maybe I should just have said, "You name it, and I've used it as an excuse not to write"

Actually, all would be correct.  I have been working in the garden, there are several other activities that keep me busy, and by the end of the day, I have been tired. 

I have started a new painting - a scene of Lancaster from a photograph I took from the bus on the quilt trip to Intercourse, PA.   Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photograph of it after the first day of painting, but I will take one tomorrow and write about it at that time.

Today in late afternoon, we had a sudden downpour (which meant I didn't have to water D's bonsai!).  Shortly after it stopped, I went out the front door to see if the plants semi-sheltered by the porch roof had gotten any benefit from the rain (they didn't).  While out on the porch, I happened to glance up and saw fog rapidly rolling down the street.  It was really beautiful!  

Of course, I quickly went inside to get my camera but found that the fog could move faster than I did.  Still, I went around to check out the garden and found some possibilities for a painting.  Maybe someday . . .

I'm not sure which one is my favorite because each one has its own charm.  They each also have their own challenge for a painter.  I'll have to wait and see if I take the challenge!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Moon is Finished!

Yesterday's blog didn't get written because I waited too long and was too sleepy.  That disappointed me because I actually had something to show.  

It's taken a while but the moon on the rug I'm hooking is finally finished.  I say "finally" in that it took me quite a long time since I kept taking parts of it out.  The decision to make it a golden harvest moon didn't change, but I didn't want to make it flat - meaning all one color - because everything else has more detail.  I toyed with the idea of making a man in the moon face, but didn't want to turn the rug into a cartoon.  I actually tried hooking an "oh-so-subtle" face using the craters to plot the 'face".  It really didn't work so all that was taken out. 

Finally I decided simply to hook the moon by randomly using different wools in the right yellow range.  Here's where fate took a hand. about three quarters of the way through, I noticed that in the top right side of the moon there appeared to be an eye. With a few slight changes, it became a subtle eye. That meant I could remove the completed area on the left and replace it with the same shape and colors as on the right.  Of course, that meant that the area around the "eye" would have to undergo some color changes so the eye would be more easily noticed even though "subtle".

After completing that I thought I could finish it quickly, but then I started thinking again.  This time, I thought, if the moon has eyes, shouldn't it have a smile? or a smiling mouth?  But the crow was in that space . . .  I mused.  A mouth could stretch to either side of the crow especially if it had a wide smile . . .


Can you see the eyes and the mouth?

Now I  have to put the rug hooking aside and finish my sister's crazy quilt block - that was the deal I made with myself.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Another Quilt on the Finished Pile - Almost

When tidying my studio last fall - winter, I came across an almost finished quilt with hand-pieced blocks.  In keeping with my determination to finish projects, early this summer I decided to look for the fabrics I knew I had somewhere and make the quilt one of the finished.  

Fabrics were found, borders cut and sewn on, binding made, and a quilting appointment kept.  Saturday, I picked up the quilted piece and brought it home.  Sunday the sleeve was made, the binding was machine sewn on one side, and Monday attached on the other.  Now all that is left to do is hand sew the bottom edge of the sleeve to the back which I'll work on this evening.

Here is a photo:

You may notice that the colors chose for this one is a departure from my usual choices.  Instead of bright, dynamic colors, this quilt features tonal pinks, greens, and browns - in some instances so pale that the quilt didn't photograph well.

Clearly the one thing I did not pay attention to was checking that it was squared up before giving it to the quilter!  Ah well, I'll have to make a note to myself to take care of that step in the future.

At least it's - almost - finished!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

More Garden Shots - Daylilies

It is in July that daylilies come into their own.  We are fortunate enough to have a 20 - 25 foot border of these lovely though fleeting flowers where we can enjoy them from our kitchen window.  

Then there are those in our main garden in our back yard.  These bloom a little later because every year the beech tree (also in the back yard) gets taller and shades part of this garden more and more every year.  But they are really coming along now.

This one has been a glory and a boon to my spirit for several years now and has an interesting history.  First, it was a gift from SiL A (actually both of the daylilies I am posting today are from her), and second, its name is Mary Todd.  That, which might have figured in the posts from previous years, is one daylily whose name I remember because Mary Todd Lincoln was an ancestress of my husband's (and, therefore, SiL A and SiL N).  It is a spectacular flower.

The second one, in deeper shade farther away from Mary Todd, is the first to flower of  those in that part of the garden.  I've been expecting those to bloom for over a week now - especially because of the brutally hot spell we just had - but they've kept us waiting.  This one has a softer color but a very beautiful form.

Before I took these photos, I cut many of our daylilies for bouquets in the house - enough for two tall vases.  While each flower lasts only one day, I cut stems that have several buds not yet open.  That way we continue to have new bud opening every day.  A veritable largesse of beauty!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

New Painting - Finished?

Today a painting that has frustrated me for at least two months is - as far as I am concerned - finished.  I think this is the 7th version of this subject I've attempted, and that should alert you to the fact that I found it a difficult one.  I also realize that when I take it in to my class, my teacher will have suggestions.  Before I tell you what I think she will say, here is "Splash!"

I know that my teacher will have something nice to say (maybe, "You finished it!" - that's a "tongue in chee" bit) before she tells me that it's overworked and then asks if I want to try it again.  She is very kind no matter what bad news she has to impart.  

Tomorrow I will go through my photos to a new subject.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


D won all kind of kudos for seeing the new wall hanging immediately when he walked into our bedroom. 

Then he garnered even more accolades when he stepped closer and saw the heart block (in the center) with the date of our wedding and our initials. 

He noticed the phrases on the fabric also. 

He was very pleased and even more so when I told him I had designed it to hang over our bed and not where it currently is (squooshed between a doorway and my dresser with mirror).  So I won kudos for not hanging there in the first place as I had promised not to hang items that require climbing on furniture or ladders (I have a reputation for falling off such things).

Definitely it made my week of frenzied work on the wall hanging more than merely "worthwhile".  It was a "labor of love" appreciated. What more can anyone ask for?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Garden Notes

Sometimes I feel that I really should bang my head against a wall because so often I overlook the obvious.  Last week I planned to sit down and write my "monthly" (meaning it isn't always done on a monthly basis) letter to my brothers.  As I do rather regularly, I dithered.

What should I write about?  I paint, I sew, I hook, I read, and at this time of year I play in the dirt.  What would my brothers find of interest in any of those activities?  Painting? No, to the best of my knowledge neither of them paint, draw, or sculpt. Sew?  No way!  I do hope they can sew on buttons if needed, but are they enthusiastic about sewing for any reason?  Again, no.  Rug hooking?  Equally ludicrous - not for males, but for the male members of my family.  Read?  Aha!  Now there's a real topic for letters that would engage both brothers.  Not the romantic suspense I enjoy; possibly not even the mysteries that are also a large part of my reading.  Non-fiction?  Quite possibly, but it isn't  the type of book I reach for often.  However, I know one brother enjoys historical fiction and both the science fiction and fantasy genres.  So there was my topic for him, at least.

Of course, once I had settled on that, you would think I would immediately take pen in hand and start writing immediately.  You would be wrong.  Since I had discovered a topic for one brother and had even come up with another topic for the other brother, I should have been able to get right to it.  Why not? you ask.  

What could I use for stationery?  I'm one of those who doesn't tear off a sheet of lined paper or grab a piece of computer paper for letters.  Stationery is important.  It sets the mood.  It lets the recipient know that this is a deliberate letter that took forethought (too much, in my case, of course) and that the recipient has been part of the particular paper, has been in the forefront of my mind.  

That's actually true, but honestly, a lot of the dithering was the result of procrastination, pure and simple.

Not finding anything I felt was worthy of this month's letter for either brother, I was about to pull out some paper that "would do".  Until . . . I thought of my garden photos.  Ta-dah!  Both brothers are or have been gardeners in their time, and both they and their wives might enjoy those photos.  

We now have a small collection of notepaper with pretty and cheerful garden photos.

Oh, yes, I did write the letters!