Thursday, December 3, 2015

Red Yarn

I spun and dyed some wool with cochineal a few years back, without any particular project in mind for it. But this week it has come in handy twice! First, I used it for Little Red Riding Hood's cap in a painting and also it is great for making knitted toadstools.

I sewed and glued yarn, fabric and thread onto the canvas of the oil painting. It was really fun to use two of my favorite arts - painting and fibers -  together in one project.

The pattern for these knitted toadstools is free on Ravelry. I did the first one according to the directions, but it was bigger than I wanted, so I switched to smaller needles. I think they will make great christmas gifts, don't you?

Sunday, July 12, 2015


The Feverfew is in bloom in my herb garden. I planted it as a medicinal herb, but I've only ever used it as a cut flower - it lasts a long time in a vase!

In the foreground is the paperclay figure I'm working on a long with some natural color and plant dyed wool that seem to complement her. Not sure yet what direction she will take, but I think this is the color scheme.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Willow Catkin

 I finished this one a while ago, during the time I was neglecting my blog. But, now I'm resolved to do better.
   This sculpture is in ceramic clay on a wire and batting armature. The stand is wood. I spun the wool on the mother's dress to be a variety of widths for a natural and fluffy texture. Her willow bud crown and the robin's egg are made with Paperclay.

   I though now would be a good time to post it because of it's spring theme. I never start with a meaning in mind because I love to see how the piece will evolve if I let my subconscious lead the way. That is the power and mystery of art, to me. The process is the exciting part. This one started with an offhand sketch of a mother showing her toddler an egg. I sculpted the faces and hands, fired, then painted them.

   Next I started to think about the fibers. I looked at my wool stash and the spring green and white jumped out at me as 'right'. As I worked, it started to remind me of a pussy willow bud, so I made the little girl's dress like a bud and gave the mother a branch for a crown. Only later did I learn that pussy willow is used in some Easter and Ostara rituals, which seems in-line with the emerging theme. It needed visual anchoring on the bottom, so I used some nubbly brown wool in a nest-like pattern at the bottom of the mother's dress. So, there you have it... sort of visual meditation on Spring, rebirth and sharing nature's wonder with our little one's. It's not for sale, it looks to nice on my bedroom dresser :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

 Here are two recently finished paintings that I managed to do in between portrait commissions. Though I'm feeling Spring more than Autumn right now! They are both oil on canvas. The one above is 14x18 and the one below is 28x24, I think. It is fun to work on a larger canvas for a change - I can make big, broad paint strokes on the under-painting and refine the detail later.