Tag Archives: weaving

Book Work

I find myself unexpectedly weary today after a day of art making and eating and not much else. It was great fun to dive fully into book work but it is work. And work I love dearly.  I feel a bit more up to snuff in my sketchbook after today’s efforts so I’ll share a few more Antigua adventures with you here.

I’ve been really enjoying meeting the other artists here in Antigua and beyond. Rosemary has made many connections over the years between service trips for her speech pathology work and textile tours. Yesterday we had the pleasure of stopping in to see Lidia López who is a talented weaver among many other wonderful things (I’m keen to learn how to make Pepian sauce from her!).

Lidia was pregnant with her son and visiting friends in Panajachel, and I was a 7 year old kid living in Guatemala City when in 1976 tragedy struck this region in the form of an earthquake.  Thousands of lives were lost and it was indeed something one never forgets. But time passes, and as Lidia says, it was not our time then. We had more work to do.  And so we did.

It was lovely to chat with Lidia about the work she does and life in general. She patiently let us practice our Spanish on her, although her English is amazing. We talked to her about visiting again when we come for the travel sketch workshop next year which I hope comes to frution.

Our visit was over far too soon and I hope to stop in to say goodbye and share with her some of the work we have been up to in the mean time. Including a drawing I made of Lidia herself.

Later in the afternoon we went to sketch and photograph a lovely ruin…..

I was very happy to have my fancy camera this day as the structures and light at play in this old convent make for beautiful imagery.

But time was ticking and the ruins close fairly early to visitors.  We knew we had to get to work if we were to get a sketch in.

As the kids do often put it,

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Seems kids have been the same since time began….

We had 40 minutes to do a quick study and we opted for a fairly complicated stairwell.

While this is not a scaled architectural study, it’s not a bad painting to my eye.  Coming back to this drawing in my sketchbook in years to come,  I’ll remember the light in this stairwell, and church bells on the wind and quiet drawing time with a good friend.  The gifts of a well fed travel journal.

Today was a slower paced day in the way of touring. We had meals out of course but mostly we stayed home and caught up in our books. Little things here and there….

…like this creepy antique wooden baby Jesus spotted at a collectibles and antiques owned by a nice fella called Axel.

I also did a page spread in my book to try and learn a bit more about the weaving tradition here in this country.

Although it took me the better part of the day, I’m happy with the results.

I wanted to try to capture the beauty and variety of the indigo dyed corte or cuts of cloth we encountered the other day at the market in Panajachel. Each piece different, punctuated with the colorful seam stitching called randas.

The textiles in Guatemala are not something I can try to adequately comprehend in one go, but it’s been great fun to get a weaving 101 from Rosemary, Mari and Lidia.

Tomorrow there will be more and more drawing. And I hear tell of some hot chocolate which contains chili powder in it. Two days left in this captivating country. For this visit at least.

 

 

Woven

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Lately I am keenly aware of anything new we bring into the house.  Our youngest is off to college this upcoming autumn and with that will likely come some simplification to life here at home.  I want quality over quantity these days.  And yet, there are beautiful things to behold in this world, and it’s important to me to support my fellow artists.

Last year, I began to set aside some pennies here and there to engage in the purchasing of some bits art. Some of the finest supporters of local artists, myself included, are actually other artists. And I want to be a bigger part of that system.  I have often purchased small things in the past – greeting cards, little prints, bits of useful pottery, etc.  But I have shied away from anything more than that.  Until lately.

In 2014 my purchases included a ceramic work of art by Katie Swartz whom I know from art school. (Her new website can be found here)  I fell in love with this sweet Fox Jar in a local show and bought it that evening with the money I had set aside for such a thing.

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I love the animated feel of this fox and the arrows that seem to be helping him to find his way. Currently The Hub and I are using our magical little vessel as a wishing jar for all things house/home related as we contemplate a potential move to a smaller property.  Perhaps Mr. Fox and his arrows will lead the way to the perfect place…..

Also in 2014, I finally took the plunge and acquired an original work of art my dear and long time friend Cindy Matyi.  I am so sad to say that very shortly thereafter, Cindy lost her long-running battle with cancer and passed away, leaving a huge hole in our shared community of art as well as music.

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The painting I purchased was actually inspired by a moth that was found while Cindy and I were rooming together at music camp one year.  That was one influential moth, as not only was this painting born, but I now have a tattoo of her on my back!  I never knew the story behind this painting, nor the link it had to me and our shared memory of a big, beautiful, woodland moth, until it was the one I chose from those available in my price range.  A huge added gift of purchasing real art from real artists is the story that comes with the work.  I treasure this painting and think of Cindy everyday when I glance its way.

moths 1

And now it is 2015.  I began the year’s savings with a plan.  I decided to acquire a woven work of art from a weaver in England, whose work I found via an online posting by artist Rima Staines, who lives in the same neck of the woods.  And so, I struck up an online friendship with Eloise at These Isles whose lovely online presence and pictures spoke to my wild heart.

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Eloise weaves with only the finest materials and as a lover of all-things-fiber myself, I could appreciate much of the delicious descriptions of her woven wares.  While I enjoy knitting and crocheting, weaving is a magic I have never tried and so I marvel at the beautiful patterning that happens out of nothing but string.  These woves, evoke the very landscape in which they are created, and yet they seem to transcend them as well.  While in Taos this past January on residency, I attended some tribal dances at the Taos Pueblo.  Everyone wore differing blankets and shawls and wraps, no one quite like another.  I knew that when I was eventually able to get my These Isles shawl, it would fit right in among them next I visited the sacred Pueblo.

With some St. Patrick’s Day gig money set aside, I placed my order and waited patiently while my shawl was created.  There was much back and forth as to what colors I tend to wear and what my personal style might be carved of in the day to day.  I had to think about this a lot actually, as I don’t normally think about things like that.  We finally settled on heathery grays and greens; colors of the land on a misty day – whether in the British Isles, the desert of New Mexico, North Carolina mountains, or the coast of Maine.

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Depending upon the quality of the light, the colors of my shawl change.  Like some enchanted garment, it seems to ‘go’ nicely with anything I might put on.  Though it arrived on an unseasonably warm day, that weather has broken and we are graced with coolness again.  I wear it daily.  Thankfully, it’s warm, but not overly so, making it something you will likely see me in a lot during my upcoming travels.  Out of doors, and in….

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Eloise, being a creature after my own heart, is set to begin a mobile life in a house-on-wheels very soon.  She will be taking her loom with her, as well as her lurcher (aka ‘dog’) seeking inspiration for her weaving at every turn I am certain.  Do follow her work and adventures via her facebook page

As for me, I am for the time being, firmly rooted in the fertile soil of this Ohio River Valley.  (at least until I leave for Taos!!) Occasionally I curl up in my beloved shawl and work on my own little bits of fiber art…. most recently this little set of shoes slated to adorn the tiny toes of a baby due this summer somewhere in Wisconsin.

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