Friday, July 1, 2016

The Edges Continue - Off the Wall Friday

Its been a while since I've shown the slow progression of a Work in Progress.  Mostly that is because I don't think its that interesting unless there is something groundbreaking happening.  But obviously, I can't be trusted to get anything done in my studio unless I'm being held accountable - so thank you for your patience. 

I have learned that creativity is an ebb and flow kind of thing,  so I don't sweat times like this.  Still I do like to keep somewhat productive and I did manage to put in a few more hours into the piece this week.  One thing that I'm learning is that although I drafted out a nice detailed value drawing as well as a loose main pattern, I'm not really following them very well.  What I am doing is following the grey scale manipulation of the photo inspiration.  Not to mention letting the piece direct what goes next.  I mean, geesh, its always good to make visual decisions visually.

It definitely is becoming a study in edges - soft and hard - so I think I'll nickname it the Edges.

"I was born a copper. And I'll die one, I expect"

Ohhhh and  the suggestion of the week - if you're looking for something to watch on TV that will not rot your brain - the third season of Endeavour is playing this summer at a PBS station near you.

Endeavour, is the prequel for the long running UK series, Inspector Morse and is a period mystery set in 1960's Oxford.  Its part cop mystery - part - 60's period piece.  Its filled with plot twists rather than guns.

 I've been known to get a little obsessed with a good Masterpiece Theatre series and Endeavour is no different.  Not only is Shaun Evan's  dreamy blue eyes  perfect  for a summer crush, but his mentor Thursday, played by Robert Allum is a "Real Man's" man.

 Its the kind of series that you really need to watch each episode a few times to get all the nuances of the story.  Not to mention, it will have you googling exactly what all the English idioms mean. (Warning:  we always watch with the captions on!)

If you need to catch up on Season 3 - its online at   If you are looking for the first two  seasons of the show you can find them for rent on Amazon (or free on AmazonPrime).

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?? 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Picking Up the Pieces II - Off the Wall Friday

As  you could have guessed, picking up the pieces was harder than it looked.  Several times during the week,  I found my self puttering in my studio without making much progress.  First I had to track down the remnants of the piece.  Then I had to put them all in neat little piles.  Then I had to make sense of my value map.

Finally, with Thursday night looming, I managed to get a big hunk of time piecing.  Once I got back into the groove, I totally lost track of time.  One thing I noticed was that getting 7-8 hrs sleep really did wonders for sustaining me in my studio.  For the last few months I've been getting 5-6 and that's not just enough.

One of the biggest problems was picking up right where I left off in the value gradations.  This whole piece is based around subtle value gradations and a few hard edges.  I had to take out a few rows this week because they weren't quite right.  It was hard, but I kept reminding myself that they will most likely find another place in the piece.  The thing about my method of improved piecing is that its only partially improvisational.  I'm constantly checking value and color placements.  What looks random is only random to a certain degree.

Kinda like me.

So although I only finished up the top, I really feel like I'm over the hump of this slump!

Thank you for all the encouragement last week - it really does mean a lot.  I read the comments - SEVERAL times this week reminding myself that I like to create!

So What have been up Creatively?

Friday, June 17, 2016

PIcking Up the Pieces - Off the Wall Friday

Motherhood is not for wimps.  I know all you mothers out there, know exactly what I mean.  Children, even the best of them (like mine) can literally suck all your energy from you. That is,  if you let them.  And lately, I have been.  For the last 2 months, my life has literally revolved around my child.  First, her final musical, then  the prom, finals, graduation and finally her graduation party.  Enough!!!

Now that I have her finally settled nicely into her first job (at the university library) and driving on her own (got her license today!) - I can return to my studio and try to find my creative self!  But when I looked into my studio, I could barely find it!  And if I did find it, what did I want to do in there????

So while cleaning  - and CLEANING  some more  - I hatched a plan. Ohhh and you're going to help!!   I took out the abstract piece I was working on last fall and thought I would finish that up before Quilting by the Lake. I love where this piece is going and it seems like I have a good start on it.  Since I'm working home now, I have more time that I can dedicate to my studio - which I have not been doing (I blame Tessa - did I mention she can suck the energy from you?)

And what's your part???  I'm going to report back my progress every week until its completely done - yep quilting and binding and all.  Please feel free to give cheers of encouragement or raspberries of disappointment if I'm not living up to my end of the bargain.

So today, I cleaned my studio and there is where I'm at on my abstract!

I'll report next week how much I get done!

So What have you been up to creatively?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Off the Wall Friday

So Let's Connect!!

What have  you been up to creatively?

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Mystery of Transparency - Off the Wall Friday

With the hoop-la of Tessa's graduation almost behind me (still have the party next week), I can finally
 take a minute to think of this summer. I love summer.  With the Great Lakes bathed in sunshine, it gives me creative energy to get some of my bigger projects done.  One of which is my annual trek to Quilting by the Lake.  This year I'm taking my third class with the great Rosalie Dace - studying on Transparency and Layering.

I love the mystery the transparency and layering create in art.  What is hidden is nearly as interesting (or more even) than what is shown clearly.  Now with Rosalie, she has a habit of introducing the subject - pointing you in the right direction - and then letting you play with it.  That kind of approach always leads me to a kind of creative heaven. I mean,  you gotta love a supply list that reads like this:

A variety of sheer and translucent fabrics such as tulle netting (in colors of your choice but be sure to include black), organza, gauze, voile, cheese cloth....anything that is transparent or that you can see light through.

Sounds fun right?  She also wants us to start collecting inspirational pictures and looking at how other artists effectively use transparency in their pieces. Once you start looking you can see how artists use it to convey emotion, movement, mystery, time passage etc.

Its enough to make a girl's head spin!!

A big thank you goes out to all you well - wishers!  Its been fun playing the role of proud Momma for a while - especially since we got a bit surprise at graduation.... it was announced that Tessa was this year's McAuley Award Winner as the person who best exemplifies the Mercy Charism of service, justice, hospitality, compassionate presence and concern for the dignity of all persons.

Its such an honor and finally proves to my daughter that sometimes - just sometimes - the good guy finishes first!

So What Have Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Off the Wall Friday

So proud of my daughter Tessa!  
Graduating with Honors
She'll be continuing her education at Mercyhurst University studying Psychology.
She hopes to go into counseling and life coaching.

Not only did she win a 4 yr Mother M. Borgia Scholarship to Mercyhurst 
But also the Senior  Community Service Award & Spanish Awards
And was voted
"Most Likely to Brighten Your Day"

Which I can testify is VERY true!

Enough about me . . . .. 

What Have You've Been Up to Creatively?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Off the Wall Friday

Because we are knee deep in Tessa's high school graduation next week - I'll just host this week.  But leave you with these thoughts!

Ohhh and thank you for all the encouraging words from last week!!!  All the empathy really helped!

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?