Friday, April 13, 2012


It's the time of year. It's the time of my life. I am on the move. There is a restlessness and yet always a flow. Weather flows, seasons flow, talents and interest flow. After a long and productive winter that saw a determined and contented purposefulness of awesome intensity, I am ready for a break. And yet never from new learning and experience. Already there a stack of projects that belong to spring and will be completed enough to show you next time. But something about this winter was like a final exam, or better yet, an entrance exam. And I have passed with flying colors. Two years ago I decided to attend the art school of life, and now it has become a reality. I am on that path for the long haul, and yet there is nothing about it that feels burdensome. I feel a true transition from "wanna be" to "am".

Every season has its red thing: a bike, a blower, a gas can, a snow shovel.

The artist I used to want to be was concerned with a career and success, but the artist I am becoming just wants to make art. So in the most essential way, I have made my blog title come true: I am at home and it is the place I want most to be.
A decorative sun waits to return to the garden.
 Ice skates: never used, canoe cushions: maybe soon.

On a beautiful but still cool early spring afternoon in March, I sat in my garage watching the return of life outside the open door, and looking about at the storage-dusty, debris littered stuff of an outdoor life, and felt a great affection for the color and line of the things we collect that connect us to the seasons. I pulled out the always present camera and began to record details of color and texture, juxtaposition of summer and winter, and thought about how much I was looking forward to my garden, to outdoor exercise, to bringing my indoor art to my outdoor world again.

The late-day-sunny, west facing front deck waits coffee breaks, wine hour, after dinner tea. A place to watch life go by, day turn to night.

Light and shadow, texture and mood. Suddenly I felt hungry to capture it all. There is nothing like seeing the world around you in cropped bits and pieces, snippets of moments, to really open your eyes to the exquisitely intense inspiration of even the most "mundane" bits. Whether it is catching the fleeting colors of the most beautiful of sunsets, or a puddled crack in the garage floor, there is a fascination at every turn. The Advanced Photo Silly class came at just this transitioning moment, and gave me the gift of really seeing my world for two intense weeks.

My best self portrait from Photo Silly class had to tell some of my story.
(I learned to use a tripod, the camera timer, and not blink.)

Learning to make an interesting image through intentional defocus.
My pilates instructor, captured during class, appears to be from another planet.

Another soft image captures the golden sunset and the "First Mow" of spring.

Learning about white balance and the ability of the photographer to intentionally choose an "off" color. "Six Flavors of Cherry"

This assignment involved taking quick snapshots and them restaging them to get a better photo.

"A Touch of Red" taught me how to shoot a protrait of an object floating in space.

"A Red Focus" was my Starbucks Saturday doodle paying tribute to a new red Focus.

At the same time I was completing all the final preparations for another exam of sorts, the wrap up of all my textile arts into one intense weekend of sharing at the String Along Quilt Guild Of Northwest Indiana biennial quilt show. Here I got to share my most recent quilts, sell my one of a kind experiments in attire and other handcrafted gift and jewelry items, be with friends, and best of all this year, have a little corner all to myself to corral visitors to a demo of the many inspirations and colors of my new textile art world.

My jacket, "Spring Weaving", was a big hit and inspired many of those who stopped to visit my demo table to think about trying new techniques with their quilt art.

My section of the guild boutique featured paper art boxes, homemade potpourri sachets, felted hot drink cup sleeves, polymer clay pens, and beaded jewelry.

Always a favorite vendor, Renee Tripp is a local breeder of Suri Alpacas, and brings her beautiful yarns and dyed roving to sell. I bought three skeins of gorgeous lace weight natural black yarn from her boy "Sam Houston." I see some fancy scarf knitting in my future.

Three years in the making, this beautiful group quilt by my pal Dotti Sparks, and the Designing Women, entitled "Where in the World Have the Designing Women Been?" My block in the center bottom features, where else, trips to Oregon.

Another very successful D.W. project was this display of portrait quilts of our respective family members. Mine, on the left, "Too Cool: 4 Daves," was featured on the embroidery blog, "Mr. X Stitch."

Here I am with two of my quilts, a needle felted hippo portrait called "Hitchin" A Ride," and the Judge's Choice Winner of the show (!!!) "Better With Age."

Taking a moment to enjoy all our successes, friends in creativity.

Within days of the show closing, my project-trashed house still somewhat out of order, I was moving on: The Bhavana project flags had arrived, three yards of Alabama Chanin organic cotton jersey waiting, tied with a jersey bow in a stenciled box, the shrine book, completed and waiting only for the polymer clay end caps to be fashioned, and the first lesson of Carla Sonheim's fantasy flower painting class about to begin.

The season outside had changed while I was too busy to really pay attention, but now I am ready to get in step with both the garden and the art. New skills, new colors and textures, new adventures: here I come.