But there are a few other things happening in the great indoors this month. I love the first page of a new sketchbook- it always holds the promise of a new chapter of productivity in the studio! My first page has a quote that inspired me, "to be surprised after a day of anxious painting is a joy". Forgive me as I have forgotten the source!
The days here have been filled with rain and sloppy mud, a bit of warmer mornings, boiling sap, chopping ice, teaching classes, studio time, sewing and french lessons! ( I am visiting Paris soon!). Below are some images of a larger piece that is still evolving. It is feeling a bit more like a landscape than most of my usual compositions. I think I am just embracing the ever present color white this spring.
Many months back I came across a trailer for the film, Lost in Living. Today, the film is being streamed live in honor of International Women's Day. If you are a mom and an artist, writer, or maker you may find some solace in knowing that you are not alone. Celebrate your creative self and click on the link to watch the entire film today.
Looking up in winter is one of the few places to experience vibrant color outdoors. Some mornings are rewarded with the most intense red in the sky. Just five minutes after I took this photo, the sky reverted to a grey which persisted throughout the day. It was worth that early morning wake up from the dogs.
Hibernating away over the last couple of weeks in the snowy confines of Maine, I have pulled out my sewing machine and needles and thread for a bit of handwork. Sometimes coffee and piecework next to a fire or in front of a movie seem to be a better option than sitting on a hard stool surrounded by the smell of oil paints in a chilly studio.
A dress made from a red chambray, knocked off from one in a fancier fabric that I'd purchased last year. It was the first time that I'd ever copied a dress, and happily it worked out just right! I made the dress on the machine, but hand stitched the neckline and key hole at back.
This is an old treasure that I found in a thrift store years ago. It has served as inspiration for many a sewing project.
A throw-sized blanket pieced with old cashmere sweaters and backed with a beautiful voile print. Entirely hand sewn. L doesn't understand not using the machine to sew, but I find there is something very meditative about making every stitch by hand. Perfect for staying warm during the 'arctic vortex'!
Like some of you I'd love to see my artwork on a gallery wall, in someone's home or perhaps even favorably reviewed in a major publication. I am grateful for the accomplishments that I have achieved to date, but its not over yet. (why do we always want more?) There is longevity in my family gene pool and I plan to make good use of the years ahead!
In the meantime, while I await fame and fortune, I wanted to share more of my work with more people. So this year I am giving away 52 small works of art. One for every week of the year 2014. These are all small postcard-ish sized paintings done on paper by me. Each one is an original. Here's the fun part. I keep a few of these in my bag with me wherever I go and leave them in places I've traveled or visited- I don't get out of Maine too frequently, but I do have a year and a couple of big trips in the planning stages….
Maybe you will find one tucked away at your neighborhood coffee shop, art supply store, gallery, library or community bulletin board, and if you do, please come back here and let me know!
Thank you to the others who commented on my blog, all my best to you in the New Year!
Here in Maine we are waiting out another big chill and snows. I was hoping to dig my way to the studio today, but have just come in numb from digging my way to check on my chickens (they are fine despite the -7 temperature outside). So for now I will build a bigger fire and get out some knitting…
Christmas was a flurry of shopping, end of year events, stocking the kitchen, visiting, organizing, scheduling, meal planning, trips to the post office and running out of time. In an effort to do everything I so often feel like I get to enjoy less. So this year, I baked a few less cookies, we ate a few more leftovers instead of preparing elaborate meals ( I still overindulged), I wrapped a few less presents and tried to go on a few more walks. I thought about being present with the days and tried to enjoy the quiet moments in between the hustle of the season.
Today the sun is shining on fresh snow, the wind is kicking up and the temperature is rapidly dropping. As I reflect on the passing of another year, I am trying to gain footing in the studio again, trying to get enough fresh air and exercise despite the arctic front, and trying to eat a little cleaner (at least for a week or two). It is time to push the reset button on life for the New Year.
I put together a 2014 calendar as my gift to family members this year and I am giving one away in the next few days. If you'd like a chance to win one, please leave a comment on this blogpost and I will randomly draw a name on January 1st! These are on satin finish paper, 5x7" with a clip for hanging.