On September 7, 2015 I was at Lillian Smith Center for an artist residency and staying in Peeler Cottage. I wrote in my journal that day: "... a cluster of oak leaves caught my eye right before I got all the way up to Peeler--and when I picked it up and counted the leaves I found there were eight-so it seems to continue my Fibonnaci study--plus, the negative areas are quite interesting." I blogged about that residency and the painting I developed from those leaves here.
The next day after I'd completed the large, loose painting based on the leaves I wrote: "I like this oak leaf cluster pretty well.... I feel this one might serve as a tapestry design--large and chunky--with various whites and naturals in the background."
When I got home later in September I set up my 60" wide tapestry loom at full width for a tapestry to be based on that oak leaf painting. I wasn't able to do much with the warp until November when I began weaving on it. I wrote in my journal on November 2, "I've started with the large oak leaf tapestry today....I hope this can proceed quickly."
Well, my hope of proceeding quickly didn't quite turn out as I'd thought it would. But here I am, on September 1, 2016 with the tapestry that was "born" in my mind in September of last year hanging on my studio wall as a completed piece.
There were lots of stops and starts along the way during the weaving of this tapestry -- some for teaching, or travel, or family things. But it's done now and will be included in my show that's coming up later this month at the Smith-Williams Studio Gallery at Piedmont College, Demorest, Georgia. Delivery of the work is on the 15th and the show will hang from September 19-October 7. I'll speak to students, September 29 and on September 30 I'll be one of the participants in events scheduled for the Lillian Smith Day at Piedmont College, marking the 50th anniversary of Ms. Smith's death. A new anthology of Lillian Smith's work is A Lillian Smith Reader, published by the University of Georgia Press.
Here are a few of the details from the last few weeks with this piece.
Next up? I'll be at John Campbell Folk School in a few weeks to teach an intermediate level tapestry class. Residencies at Hambidge and later the Lillian Smith Center are on my schedule for the fall and I hope to find new ideas and images for future tapestries while I'm there!
Update: here's a photo from the following day after I wrote the post when I was able to have the tapestry photographed by the photo instructor at the university... he took this shot with my phone so I'd have a record of the scale of it. I'm really glad this piece is off the loom and ready to hang!