Saturday, April 22, 2017

An Anniversary

A year ago, I was sitting in a Parisian hospital, sketching my husband recovering from a serious operation, an endarterectomy.

Today, Mr. M. is doing well, for which I am thankful. And so, I have been able to turn toward my own work with a lighter heart. I've been quilting the sky of the Pomegranate Tree.

The binding comes next and then I will hang it on the wall and stare at it for a few weeks to make sure it is finished.

In the meantime, I did a half-selfie and am wondering how to translate this onto fabric...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Repairing Old Quilts

My sketching buddy inherited a quilt made by her grandmother, a lovely double wedding ring quilt, thin and soft, much used and much loved.


However, apparently a mouse liked it, too, as it had a rather large, ragged hole close to the middle. Having great respect for old quilts, I offered to repair it. I replaced several patches, then added a bit of quilting. Now it's almost as good as new.

I'm thinking that I should get back to repairing my own quilts made by my grandmother. A number of years ago, I replaced a lot of the outline stitching on this Peter Pan quilt to restore the designs. 

Repairing is an activity that allows for reflexion and brings peace--a sort of meditation that connects one to past generations. It provides grounding in a world that seems topsy-turvy.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Out Occasionally

Over the last few months I've only managed small artwork. Whenever we go out grocery shopping, I sketch in my small purse notebook.

We've managed to eat out with friends several times.

They have been good sports about posing for me.

One evening, a violinist entertained us while we dined--very enjoyable.

Sometimes, I can only manage to catch a tree when out on an "expedition."

Even though we don't get out much, there's always plenty of entertainment at home. One day, we found Blanche, our intrepid Turkish Angora, high on the netting that forms a "roof" over our patio, taking in the breeze. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Coming up for Air...

...after being submerged by orchard work. Gasp, gasp...I did get help from Blanche. She is apparently a Turkish Angora (so soft and silky) who showed up one day at my doorstep, a starving and confused kitten, which was aggravated by the fact that she seems mostly deaf. Now that the other cats have adopted her, she's content. I still wonder how such a lovely cat got into my dusty corner of the's a mystery...

Now, I'm getting back into my artistic practice.
<--I stitched on my textile "book"... 
and enjoyed Spring's blossoms. The apple tree went wild...

<--and the apricot tree looked lovely.

New leaves on the pomegranate trees are looking pinky red just before the red blooms come out. (Background done first with ballpoint pen. Drawing done with Prismacolor pencils)
I drew my sketching buddy's doll at Sketch Club. 
Yup, I'm just an ol' Spring Chicken!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Sketch Club 2017, 1

It's still citrus season (lots of picking and crating), but, my sketching buddy and I manage to get together once a week.

Lately, we've been drawing from her extensive mug collection. 
This is my recycled sketchbook with cheap paper--anything goes...
My favorite is Oscar the Grouch.
But, then again Mickey Mouse brings back fond memories.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Spring has sprung!

Yes, the weather has turned warm in Tunisia and Spring has arrived. It's the high season for citrus fruit so I'm picking and crating oranges, mandarines, and lemons everyday. Not much time for stitching or sketching. Prismacolor pencils on a ball-point pen doodle that I did while doing homework with my grandkids on Skype.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"A-Drawing-A-Day," Week 3

Week 3 of Veronica Lawlor's class was about drawing with color. I used crayons and colored pencils while doodling on paper.   -->

Then I tried out crayons and Derwent Inktense pencils on white cotton fabric. No idea what I'll do with it...


The next assignment was drawing a subject with crayons using its "real" colors (left, I picked a rather colorful succulent) and then drawing it using everything but the colors in the first sketch.

More crayons and colored pencils: the clouds in a storm and at sunrise. Given the cold weather, I had to work from photos.

A "coloring book" lesson was fun: draw a bowl of fruit (mandarine oranges) in black felt pen, then use as many colors as possible.

To finish the week, sketches of a colorful area. Once again the cold weather kept me inside, so I used my photos of Tunis: the main street (top left), the Medina (lower left), and the Cathedral. I enjoyed using crayons, and will try out the possibilities on fabric later.

Friday, January 27, 2017

"A-Drawing-A-Day," Week 2

Week 2 was about making marks. I tried it on paper, then on fabric, using a Sharpie and permanent pens.
But of course, I had to slice into it-->

...and add some commercial fabric and some I painted with acrylics.

Then mark-making to draw an object-->

And mark making to form patterns.-->
This drawing made me realize the potential of Mr. M's ties (now collecting dust) for my series on retirement and aging. You may see them again.

Patterns I understand, however, this was a challenging way to form them--look at different marks and lines in magazines and put them together in new patterns. I'm particularly fond of the spaghetti.

Finally, a landscape using patterns made from mark-making. 
This is outside my kitchen door where lots of succulents grow.
An interesting week, despite the cold weather...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

"A-Drawing-A-Day", Week 1

While stitching the sky on the Pomegranate Tree, I'm also managing to keep up with Veronica Lawlor's on-line Sketchbook Skool class for January. 
Thick and thin lines.-->

<--Sinuous lines.

And lines that express emotion.-->

The cold, damp weather keeps me fairly housebound so it's easy to finish stuff inside. However, spring is right around the corner. The wildflowers and my apple tree's blossoms are ready to burst into bloom at the slightest increase in temperature. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Starting 2017 Gracefully, 4

My studio wraps itself around me and says "thank you for cleaning" every time I enter. This took awhile because my goal was to clean only one item a day, however, here we are half way through January and I can find everything in the drawing/art supplies half of the room                                                    -->           

<--and in the sewing side of the room.

On top of the chest of drawers is an antique Persian prayer rug, inherited from my grandmother.

Despite its threadbare state, the craftsmanship commands respect.

And I have no idea how my grandmother acquired it.

In the meantime, I attempted the first assignment for Veronica Lawlor's "A Drawing A Day" class in fabric after doing it on paper; a blind sketch of items on my (newly cleaned) desk.

Well, you know, a half-blind sketch. I had to look more often in order not to sew my fingers.

First, I sewed down some fabric pieces to help block out the composition of brushes, markers and pens 
The emphasis for the first week was on line--wild line! My little ol' Singer was (almost literally) smokin' by the time I finished--a very exhilarating way to draw!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Starting 2017 Gracefully, 3

D-e-e-p cleaning allows one to find things as well as get things organized. I have been following my "Finish it" rule into January. 

For example, I found an accordion sketchbook for which I had not yet made the covers. 

Now the covers are finished...

...which inspired me to prepare journaling pages for January using the same colors of Derwent Inktense pencils.

And I've got the Pomegranate Tree squared up--I am thankful for big square floor tiles. They made the job easier.