Posts Tagged ‘seasons’

suddenly summer

June 18, 2015

It is seriously summer, already. The heat and humidity have apparently settled in. It has also suddenly become my mindset. Bubble thought: “Let it go…relax…play..”

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water of forgetfulness?

Yes, I will. Thank you very much.

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It’s work, but I love my work.

So, indigo and I will probably take a playful attitude.  It goes without saying, summer loves indigo and indigo loves summer.

morning's work

morning’s work

Mornings have been the best with the birds and chipmunks for company – sometimes a cicada or two. The color on the line is cooling and my eyes drink it in.

his lordship's curtains

his lordship’s curtains

My son asked for an over dye on curtains he brought home a few months ago.  At this point, it’s whatever works – it’s playtime. As long as there is pattern and indigo.

“feeding” the vat

A small something from the vat – a small gift to it and it gives back. I don’t usually do it on a daily basis, but beginning the day in that vein has appeal. And it’s summertime.

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Did we inspire…?

February 18, 2015

To pick up from my last entry…did we inspire her or what just happened? In truth, we know and we received our authentic taste of the season.

Gethin has discovered a new landscape.

Gethin has discovered a new landscape. He asked to go out & play in it many times during the day.

Everything was ice covered yesterday bringing our world to a stand-still. It also brought quiet, discovery and inspiration.

雪花 (yukibana) - snowflower came to mind, or maybe ice flower.

雪花 (yukibana) – snowflower comes to mind, or maybe ice flower.

some considerations

January 23, 2015

Back to it after some gloomy, damp winter weather and a bit of a respite. This week, for a few days, the weather turned spring like with welcome sunshine and milder temperatures. The idea of not dipping seemed like a missed opportunity. The vats had a bit of “revamping” with sunbeams to boot.

January dipping

January dipping

Truth be told, I’m preparing for an early February workshop celebrating wintery motifs – an emphasis on sekka/snowflakes and itajime/board clamping. More information can be found here but don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

Sekka/雪花

Sekka/雪花

This month I’ve needed a break, a breather. I’ve taken that point of view as I was “ordered” to do so after giving myself a mild concussion a few weeks back. It has seemed prudent to take things at a more measured pace. However, I’ve returned to old habits – too easy to do. Generally, it’s made me aware that some things need to change.

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a crop from a larger photo – early days in Kagoshima. I love the dress and am impressed that she’s wearing a hat!

Another thing occupying my thoughts and activities is a project centering on my mother who celebrates her 90th year in roughly a month. It has involved looking at old photos of her and what surfaces, on one level, is her sense of style. That aspect has carried through her long life.  She always presents herself well.
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Over the holidays I read Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible and enjoyed it thoroughly. Between the two, I’ve had many thoughts about my own clothing influences as well as simply considering my mother’s style in the context of her times and the culture in which she immersed herself. Sometimes I wonder “Who was she? What was she thinking?” The stories that come to mind…!

of a particular season

November 26, 2014

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“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” Henry David Thoreau

“Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard.” Walt Whitman [he might be thinking of apples, Kaki also fit.]

“On a bare branch a crow is perched – autumn evening” Matsuo Bashō

pampas grass, rabbit ears & indigo

October 2, 2014

Last weekend I spent a day with art students at Meredith College. They filled an old familiar dye studio and worked with various tools for shibori: needle & thread, string, small clamps and boards and plastic pipes. Then they dipped their pieces in the indigo vats and strung them on a line. It was a most refreshing and satisfying day – had a grand time.

at the vats

flying

flying

It’s also the season of viewing that certain nighttime orb – Clouds have obscured its view lately, but it was a golden-orange last night. It didn’t need to be full to make a statement.

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tsuki

Tsuki mi udon

Tsuki mi udon

Some of the symbols of the season are pampas grass, rabbits, the moon and other things autumnal. Gourds, dragonflies and autumn leaves…whatever makes the statement.

Pampass grasses

Pampas grasses at Meredith

This imagery is one thing being considered in my upcoming class at Pullen Arts Center. Describing this kind of imagery through nui shibori (stitched shibori) is the focus. Details are on my “Workshops” page. There are still a few openings…

月と

月と

In the meantime, I am breathing deep and contemplating the moon glow.

** a little “vocab”:

月・つき・tsuki = moon, tsuki mi = moon viewing, tsuki mi udon – moon viewing noodles (note the egg).

late summer haze

September 4, 2014

As my writings seem to be settling into a  Thursday to Thursday pattern, the week begins on Friday. Rather than a week ending, it’s a beginning. This week began with the opening reception of Matsuri/祭り at the NC Japan Center, where Yoshiko Sumikawa’s gentle but joyful watercolors illustrate aspects of the diverse matsuri (festivals) that take place in Japan throughout the seasons.

Matsuri!

Matsuri!

Typically, though, they are summertime high energy events full of color, music, dancing, food and fireworks. They’re also a reflection of tradition – something I am always attracted to.

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low hanging “kaki’ – tempting the deer?

The rest of the week? It feels like we’re in the dog days and I’ve been looking at what is surviving in these days of high heat and humidity.

the Argentine Sage is abundant

the Argentine Sage is abundant

The delivery date for the upcoming Threads exhibit (see the Events page) is coming soon, so focus has continued to be on the stitch.

it goes where & how it wants

the thread goes where & how it wants

Still enjoying it and the textures it creates.

continuing

continuing

Some threaded guidelines are disappearing as I complete the above. It’s nearly complete – a few more rows – perhaps today. I look forward to seeing it in the gallery.

other scenes

August 7, 2014
Rodin garden

Rodin garden – a welcome

Did someone say “Welcome to my world?”  Maybe… a “dip” in that incredibly refreshing environment was needed – a place that took me to another place, even if it was for a moment. I suspect that’s why it’s there.

Rodin2A

The lush bamboo greens, darting blue dragonflies (and a butterfly) hovering above the pink and salmon blooms, floating on a deep blue black reflecting pool brought some relief from the morning’s heat and humidity.

Garden1B

This week has mostly been devoted to prepping for upcoming workshops in West Jefferson (next week) and tending to some planning for next year. It has felt a bit non-stop, so the museum visit was a welcome break.

Ships in a Stormy Sea off a Coast - Ludholf Backhuysen - circa 1700-1705

Ships in a Stormy Sea off a Coast – Ludholf Backhuysen – circa 1700-1705 (NCMA collection)

A new source of inspiration was the museum library, so made a point of exploring the stacks, then moved on to the galleries where I explored 16th and 17th century painting by the Dutch. That was inspired by a recent book club read, Nathaniel’s Nutmeg by Giles Milton – sometimes challenging because of the vivid and brutally honest descriptions about events, personalities and their actions in the development of those early trade routes, particularly the Dutch & English East India Companies. I learned a good deal, it’s well-written, but more than my imagination needed at times. It doesn’t need saying that all too often history is glossed over or romanticized.  This was not romantic.

an iron trunk also in the NCMA collection

an iron trunk also in the NCMA collection

I’m reading a lot of history these days, following different paths, but it seems to be where the indigo is taking me, on different journeys – herbs, spices, dyes…they have their stories.

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Next week, as I mentioned earlier, Janine LeBlanc and I will be presenting indigo and shibori in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a few days. I’m looking forward to a different landscape – a different scene.

summer works

July 17, 2014

This month, more than the others, so far, seems to be the peak month for “projects”. At least it feels like the month for completing some of the more significant ones for events ahead.
CH-deer
Christine best described here some aspects of one I’ve been participating in since spring.  I mentioned it earlier, and as far as I know, my part is finally complete and turned in (last weekend). I can only say that I’m grateful for the experience, the ability to participate and learn from it – gifts from Cheryl. I also look forward to seeing it in its final form.

Kumo-banner

As I mentioned in my last entry, I was (and still am) working to complete a series of large banners. They’ve been my focus over this week and I’m working on the last one today. The size (roughly 55” x 144” (4 yds.) is definitely outside of my usual and there were some challenges.

sekka-det1

Those challenges are also why I take on projects like this.   I ask myself a lot of “why” and “how” questions – nothing like tickling the brain.  Also, this month and next are matsuri (festival) months – these are the colors and patterns that speak of summer – found in yukata – worn at matsuri.  It’s the season for this kind of work.

buffeted

Then, there are the results, seeing them on my clothesline, being carried on the wind like a kite – if there’s a good wind. There was, this week, with thunderstorms on the edge, threatening.

the spell

April 3, 2014
Sakura & Bee/桜と蜂

Sakura & Bee/桜と蜂

Mother Nature cast her spell this week. I think the show has peaked for this blossom, but I’ve relished every moment. I’ve been under the tree everyday, looking at it from different vantage points and taking pictures. I do this every year.

Mid-afternoons, the bumblebees do their work, so the tree has been thick with their humming and activity. It’s 花見 (hana mi/flower viewing) for all of us.

celebrating small

celebrating small

The moment within the season needed marking in some small way and I also needed to make a stitch sample – testing the cloth and my stitches.

Pattern work

Pattern

The sun finally came out, warming things up, making it possible to work outdoors – some dye work, some yard work. I’m thinking of possibilities not just in the cloth but also the garden.  The days aren’t quite long enough in this season.

seasonal considerations

March 27, 2014
Sakura

Sakura

The buds survived…obviously and are opening slowly. I’m savoring every minute of their bloom time.

Tsubaki springpattern1

Before their blooming though, there were (and still are) Tsubaki (椿) – camellia. I happened to catch a program on the topic on NHK  recently.   The discussion was not just about the different varieties and patterns on the flower, but the context in form (used in making desserts) and textile patterns.  It gave me pause to reflect on the patterns used in shibori and what manifests. This one (above) may not reflect that particular flower, but as I worked at the vat this week, the pattern emerged and saw some connections.

Vat time was brief this week due to cooler temps and rain again, so I focused instead on preparing cloth for an upcoming demo at Artspace (First Friday in April) – it’s listed on my Workshops page. If, by chance you happen to be in the area, don’t hesitate to come by.

At the same time, I’m working on a few seasonal items for the Herbfest in Cary (May).   It’s a day long event – outdoors and sunshine (we hope!).  More details about this can be found on my Events page.

Springpatterns2A spatterns3B pattrns4A

Warmer weather and sunshine are just around the corner, I know it – so much to look forward to. While I enjoy the indoor prep, I also look forward to further explorations in the dye studio (which will take me out into the garden), upcoming events (where I hope we will encounter) and workshops upcoming (again, hope to see you there!).


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