blue

2 May, 2010 at 11:05 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, life, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This is the current stage of the center of the piece I am working on, it is going slowly.

I’ve been off my groove lately, this has somehow been a very complicated year, and I’ve let things eat away at my work time – a dangerous trend especially since technical problems are also hindering productivity.

These last few days I’ve been re-inspired and mad to work, but found myself instead enjoying spending time and eating (a lot!) with family and friends. Saturday I ate each meal with different people (ending up in an incredibly atmospheric old building full of wandering passages for a delicious dinner), but after lunch today it was time to get serious and focus, which feels great and frustrating at the same time.

The first few hours in the studio I generally spend flailing, the longer I’ve been away the longer I spend lost and wandering before I find the path, but I even resisted the holiday parade going down my street this afternoon and am finally making some progress.

Tomorrow I’ll be getting my little flame thrower fired up, it’s time to layer encaustic.

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work

27 April, 2010 at 6:01 am (family, life, not so ancient devices, work) (, , , , , , , )

Instead of working on art I am being a dutiful child and scanning ancient family photos, which takes a lot of time but is interesting. I hadn’t seen steam-powered tractors before, I like how complicated this one looks. And what is flinging that hay, a haybuchet?

Apologies for the terrible joke, just one of a zillion things that go through the mind during hours of scan, label, file, repeat.

There is also time to think about how different my life is from theirs. Some years before these photos were taken some of the people in them walked 2400 km to a new life, then there was another big shift to another new life, the one I am looking at. I can’t even imagine co-ordinating walking entire families that far, through whatever weather, eating only bread, cider and sour milk offered by strangers along the road. And how to even find the right roads, without all the handy street signs we have today?

Besides a good map I think I’d want a series of serious foot massages.

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doorway

24 September, 2009 at 5:46 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, family, life, Uncategorized, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

doorway

For this I used the image of my mother’s doorway – sitting here I can smell the stone and plaster walls (unless my sister is cooking ratatouille, bread pudding with ginger toffee, or some other deliciousness). The house dates back to at least 1595, the records before that were lost when the town was sacked in 1576, and when she moved in the only plumbing was a sink underneath the window to the right of the door, all cooking had been done in the fire.

I love row houses because I love town noise, and my mom’s house is so accessible when someone drops by for a visit, but my dream house would be a ‘portland’, a row house with a long strip of garden behind.  I recently stayed in a beautiful example of that in a medieval town outside London while visiting relatives (including my most adored aunt and uncle who are fixing up a barge in the gorgeous port of Sandwich), the garden was 40+ feet wide and 630 feet long, on a south-facing slope with orchard, pond and nuttery.  Perfection.  An upscale version, built 70 years after the one I stayed in, is Rothe House in Kilkenny, which has been restored and opened as a museum.  It would be great to be part of a project like that, they did such a good job on the gardens and orchard, and next time I’ll definitely spend more time in their library.

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cashio

11 June, 2009 at 9:27 pm (art, blue-eyed crow, family, friends, life, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

cashiocrop2a

I’m excited because I’m getting ready for three months of travel, but I’m also mourning because I haven’t been able to work on assemblages lately, and I won’t be able to bring those materials on the road.  I will be restricted to working on pieces like this one (which I do love creating), plus a few fiber projects which pack easily.  It’s frustrating to want to be making things and not be able to get my hands on the bits and pieces, but at least I will be finding more in the four countries I’ll be travelling through to visit my family.

There are a few things I’m sharing from the garden before I leave – raspberries, boysenberries, figs, pads for nopales (with lentils, yum!), and this lone avocado, very buttery.  When I get back there may be a few strawberry and pineapple guavas left, then there will be pomegranates.  I’ll miss the peaches – heavenly when they’re ripe and the skin slides off in your fingers, also the ripening of the manzana bananas and thimbleberries.  My stubborn pineapples think they are just for show, all the other bromeliads bloom while they just sit there, but I am very happy because an ancient cycad that was damaged and seemed to die three years ago just produced a beautiful crown of leaves.

I love traveling, although I will miss a lot of close friends – three months is a long time between visits, but I will be staying with family and friends, some of whom I only see every few years, and there will be a new bébé when I get back.

avocado1a

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market

2 October, 2008 at 6:22 pm (family) (, , , , , , , , , )

Two shots of the market in my mom’s town, taken by a friend, Derek.  I was never really a dapple grey person, but I really like that horse.  My great-grandfather’s horses consistently took top awards, the ancient amulets I’ve seen from where our ancestors lived are suns or horses (or both), all my cousins had horses, but my mother is somehow immune to their charms (and that of any other animal).  I’ve been reading my great-grandmother’s journal where she writes about how she gets so absorbed by reading that she doesn’t want to eat or sleep until she finishes a good book, which I completely understand.  I have never read a book while riding a horse though.

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