Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Still in NM ... Learning so much!

ATA retreat at St. John's College in Santa Fe is just great. More about it and photos when I return. Today's the last day; fly home tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Adventures ahead in New Mexico!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Home a week today after wonderful retreat at Lillian Smith Center

I can hardly believe a week has passed since I left the retreat at the Lillian Smith Center!  The evening before I left, the directors invited Martha (who was also at the retreat and in the cottage next door to mine) and I over.  A couple of photos show just a little of the extensive library of Lillian Smith:

Earlier in the day before I left I worked quite a bit on the kudzu leaf and seedpod tapestry... then got the loom prepared to put into the car.  It gets placed between sheets of foam insulation board so that the rest of the things can be loaded on top.   You can see that quite a lot of things get loaded on top!  Here's the car on Saturday morning as I was just about finished with packing it up...

I got back home on Saturday afternoon, unloaded things both at the studio and the house.  Laundry was the first thing to do--that took up most of the rest of the day.  I spent the next day unpacking, arranging studio things, and catching up on the missing days of the tapestry diary.

I wove strips of poster board into the missing weeks, three strips per week with half-hitches and a bit of weaving of scrap wool at the top of each week's section.  These strips will be pulled out at the end of the year.

I also started another daily weaving while I was at the retreat.  I had a frame loom with me that was already warped so on July 1 I decided to begin a month-long weaving although doing it a bit differently than the one I did in May of 2008.  I'm tempted to take that small loom with me to New Mexico next week when I go for ATA events--but will resist.  I'll deal with the missing days when I return on the small loom, probably in a different way than I'm doing for the year-long piece.

Here's the month of July tapestry on the 16th.

Back at home this week I'm working on finishing the earlier kudzu tapestry--I want to have it ready to take to Penland with me when I go there for my teaching stint next month: 

And I'm also progressing well on the kudzu leaves and seedpod tapestry that will be my donation to the Blue Ridge Fiber Show raffle.  I'd like to also have it with me at Penland, either as a completed piece or one I can use to demonstrate a finishing procedure:

I'm 3" from the top at the highest point, about 7 " at the lowest.  I should be weaving right now!  However,  I wanted to make my final posting about the Lillian Smith Center experience within a week of my return home.  What a magical time!  I hope I'll be there again before too many more years pass.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A few photos from July 8 at Lillian Smith Center

Didn't have time to post last night but here are a few photos taken yesterday.  I spent most of the day with the tapestry and will photograph it later today as I get ready to load it in the car.  Yes, this is my last day here--seems too short and I'm ready to return, even though I haven't even left yet!

So... until later with thoughts and photos from today...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 7 at Lillian Smith Center

Lots happening today... residents and other guests visited my studio this afternoon. I spend some of the morning getting ready for the guests... including unwrapping several tapestries I have with me from a previous exhibit. I usually don't travel with finished tapestries but the timing of my retreat here and the end of the exhibit made it possible that I have several works with me. This afternoon around 4 p.m. twelve people came to visit. Nancy Fichter, the Director of the Center, had prepared wonderful appetizers. And Martha Bishop provided the drinks. I was in my "school teacher" lecture mode while talking to the guests as I demonstrated at my tapestry loom... something I acknowledged to them as I realized my voice was louder than in normal conversation!

I didn't get any photos of the group... something I'd intended to do. But... here's the tapestry at the point they saw it today:
I've gotten several inches woven on this since I've been able to concentrate on the tapestry from last week on. I've got two more full days here at the retreat so I hope I'll get this about 3/4 of the way completed before I leave.
The work I have with me, that I'd picked up from my two-person exhibit in Asheville on June 17, I was able to show... here's the stack on my bed before the guests arrived:
Martha Bishop, who's in the cottage next to mine, was intrigued with my tapestry weaving when I met her at Hambidge Center a couple of years ago. I had my Archie Brennan-designed loom with me and she built one for herself after that. Since that, she's built another wooden loom that has a tension method and also this stand to hold it.
She's weaving while she's here--as well as composing music. She weaves out on the porch of her cottage when the light is good in the afternoon.
Now, other photos from the early morning walk... Here are holly berries.

This plant near the Lillian Smith memorial plaque may be galax...this is the last retreat I'm going to without my plant id books! The ones I checked out at the library in Clayton don't cover as much as I need.
Gills on the new mushroom I saw today.
It seems so calm on the outside to have such a beautiful underneath!
When I walked around the corner to see the red door this morning, this was what was there...
When I got closer I saw it was a musical score so I KNEW who'd place it there... Martha! She'd heard me talking to Robert about the red door photos!
It's appropriate that the pages of her composition she chose to post on the red door are given the direction to be played "rambunciously"... indeed, Martha's spirit!!
More of her notations about this score...

Back to today's photos... here I am again, shadow in the rhododendron...
Two more working days before I leave... hope to make the most of both of them!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 6 at Lillian Smith Center

The day began a bit later for me as it was around 9 a.m when I walked down the road. First thing I encountered was the red door and... I think Robert's messing with me now since I told him I was documenting the red door each day! Or maybe not... maybe this is the most convenient spot to put the wheel barrow on the way to the end of the road. I heard him moving it later today. I'll have to ask him about that tomorrow when they all visit my studio here at Peeler Cottage to see what I've been working on.
And... is no one home in the snail shells now?! I saw this shell on the side of the cottage... it's one I've been photographing for several days now with active snail inside. Seems empty now although I don't want to take it down and inspect it. I saw fewer shells on the wall today. Does this mean they've moved on??
The sun was the spotlight for many things morning. Here's one of them; dog hobble, I think.

As I walked down the road, the shadows of the rhododendron were so beautiful.
As I walked through the shadows I realized I was there, too.. so stopped to photograph myself in the shadows:
Lot's of "what is it" this morning:
This afternoon I saw several insects on the porch so though I'd draw them. One was still kicking, although very slowly. I put him back in the yard after I'd drawn him...
According to the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders this fellow is a Grapevine Beetle. Here's the photo of the beetle and my drawing of him...
Although I put him back into the yard after I'd drawn him I'm afraid it was a traumatic experience for him anyway. But he was still moving, although very slowly, several hours later.
I also found this moth on the porch this afternoon. I made a drawing of him but didn't find him in the book so I'm not sure what he/she is...
My drawing and comments about the moth...
A couple of days ago I'd drawn the portion of the yard I see when sitting on the porch:
And, then there's the yellow mushroom today:
Only a few more days here! So hard to believe. I want to get the most out of each and every day in this special place.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5 at Lillian Smith Center

Today I saw the forest and not the trees so much. I was out for the morning walk about 9 rather than around an hour earlier and the sunlight through the woods near the road kept my attention. A few close details of old friends are in the photos, as well... but mostly woods. My weaving progressed well although I didn't take a photo of it today. 

The other residents will visit my cottage on Wednesday so I want to get to a point that I don't have to think too much as I demonstrate how I weave for them! That means quite a few inches have to be done tomorrow and Wednesday. I've gotten to over the half-way point to finish the tapestry, however... that's great. I should be able to get it done in not too many more days after I return home... I know that it's impossible to complete while here.

Start the day with Bailey on the steps of the cottage in which Martha is staying... Robert came by as I was starting on the morning walk so we stopped to talk to Martha for a minute or two... with Bailey patiently waiting us out.
The woods were glorious with sunlight and shadows this morning. Like I said, I was out later than usual and the sun had time to creep over the ridge (or rather, the ridge had crept toward the sun a bit more). So most of the time this morning I spent looking into the woods and being grateful for being here to do so.
Another view from the road looking to the east/southeast.
With the sun still so low in the sky the tree tops were catching the spotlight...
... and now, this walk to the bend in the road that's become so familiar in the past two and a half weeks. It will be different not to see this every day at the morning walk. But I'm so happy to have a few more days to experience it.
Beautiful light and shadow on everything I saw this morning...
I've gotten ahead of myself above... first thing I did this morning was walk down the woods path to Robert's studio where I haven't gone before...
... and there I found this wonderful log with cut marks... guess it's held other things for being cutting. There were a few random nails there that obviously didn't serve their purpose but look beautiful on the cuts in the log.
I walked back up this path from Robert's studio to the gravel road to begin the morning walk. I just checked out the snails on the cottage but didn't photograph. But did observe the red door with wonderful later morning light...
It was this kind of light when I first noticed it two + weeks ago... around 9ish in the morning. The other photos mostly were taken earlier so the sun hadn't yet gotten over the adjacent mountain.
A few smaller things did catch my eye this morning... here's one:
And right next to the trunk with the skinned bark and moss was this bound tree.

Then I walked on back to the cottage to see what's up with the yellow mushroom:
And on back to Peeler Cottage, walking over these lovely shadows as I went...