28 June 2015

Return from the Cape

What is it about a vacation at the Cape that re-charges the creative juices once again? Is it the sunlight, the hot lazy afternoons? Perhaps it's the salt air and swimming in the ocean that cleanses the mind? 

Cape Beach

These are just a few shots from the Cape, which I love to fiddle with, digitally altering them to make them appear 'vintage-y' --  like some old photos you'd find stashed away in albums that your grandparents (or great-grandparents) had at one time --

Wynchmere Harbor, Harwich, MA

the ones where no one can recall who took the picture or when --  

View of Provincetown Harbor

That's something that bothers me about digital cameras -- it's so very ephemeral.  At least in the 'old' days, people had their photos printed, as it was the only way.  Now, how often do we actually print out the shots we've taken with our digital cameras and phones?  

Sure, we load them up onto our computers and then onto our blogs, tumblr, pinterest, instagram -- but then what?  What if the platforms and technologies change?  Does anyone backup their pics? 

Garden Lion, Provincetown

Ah, well . . . don't mind me.  I'm just griping, as I know that I'm as guilty as the next person.  I have good intentions, but they often go by the wayside with the excuse, "I'll wait for a rainy day . . . "  And then I move onto something else: work, taking care of the gardens, etc.  

This last image -- Garden Lion -- is a favorite.  I found him poking up from behind a mass of shrubs and flowers in a garden in Provincetown.  So very exotic, don't you think?  

18 May 2015

Star Magnolia

"Magnolia Light" by Kelly M.

long time coming --

pale stars of magnolia

erase all memory

of winter --

06 April 2015

And yet we still wait:

pastel and watercolor; 5"x7"

winds sink 
and scour new green --

whipping heads
so delicate,

wet, dirt-encrusted debris
revealed from under shrouds
of snow,

at my feet 
snow drops tremble --

is it not glorious?

01 March 2015


Today I bought bags of potting soil and re-potted all the indoor houseplants -- just so that I could smell and feel dirt, earth, that dark brown stuff buried under almost three feet of snow.

How desperate can you get?

Pretty desperate, I guess.

Continued working on some small collages, playing with old watercolor and acrylic paintings, bits of fabric, 'rip-n-tears' from vintage books and such . . . 

Just seems like a kind of limbo -- waiting and watching for more snow (coming down now as I write this), waiting and watching for signs of spring (amazing bird song yesterday while walking, which made me smile!).

"Dio" (6"x8", watercolor and acrylic painting remnants, batik scrap, and found paper)

Next week we turn the clocks ahead for Daylight Savings -- whoooheee! And then spring arrives two weeks later. Don't be surprised to find me on my knees, kissing the ground (if I can find it).

"Contents" (6"x6", fabric bits, found papers)

So now I'm off to the fireplace and my cosy chair in the corner nearby.  I am counting the hours to Daylight Savings, continuously crocheting, reading, dreaming of the garden and making notes on what has to be done.  Lots of work but I cannot wait.

One of my favorite roses -- the English rose, Sweet Juliet -- a light, fruity smell and so lovely!  I hope this warms your heart as it does mine (taken last summer) . . .

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all - 
Emily Dickinson

10 February 2015

Ode to Barbara Rae

Oh, this craving for color is driving me wild! We are inundated with about 2 feet of snow and ice here in New England, with two more storms coming through later this week. 

Ugh. And ugh, again. 

Last weekend I was poking through my baskets of quilt fabrics -- way too many for my health, I think -- and nothing seemed to strike me. I have piles of UFOs (unfinished objects) and WIPs (works in progress), but have not put all these random pieces together into something whole and complete. 

Another round of 'ughs,' please! 

And then just as I was about to abandon my workroom/studio for an afternoon by the fireplace, I looked over at my painting area and spotted this book about the Scottish artist, Barbara Rae, which I've had on my bookshelves for several years.

Every time I open it, I am astounded at the range of colors, textures and patterns she creates through the monoprint and stenciling processes she utilizes in her work. If you ever have a chance to buy or borrow this book, do so! 

I stood for a few minutes flipping through the pages, half my mind still on the waiting fireplace upstairs, when I opened to the two pages displaying "Carrowteige-Yellow Field."

"Carrowteige - Yellow Field" by Barbara Rae

I stopped and sighed. The rich purples and blacks, the striations and that powerful vivid red/pink rectangle made my skin tingle [this image I found on Google does not do the work justice, sadly]. I carried the book back over to my sewing table still filled with scraps and started to sort through, pulling colors and patterns that I thought would evoke Rae's own. 

I found myself selecting colors I might not normally choose -- dark, brooding, heavy except for the vibrancy of the red/pink shape. So this is what I created in the next hour -- my humble ode to Barbara Rae's 'Carrowteige-Yellow Field.'

Color Study I (hand-stitched, machine stitched, cotton batiks)

I think of this 8"x8" work as a color study for a future art quilt, possibly incorporating the other half of her work. But for now I plan to stitch this to a large piece of heavy watercolor paper and frame it.  I want to hang it in the living room by the fireplace so that I can rest my winter-weary eyes on it whenever I feel the need. Perhaps this will get me through February and March, nourishing my spirit? 

All I know is that just when I was about to give up and walk away, a vibrant piece of artwork shook me up and inspired me. 

A random moment, yet ever so welcome.