Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gifts for my peeps & sunshine

It was an exhausting work week in the corporate salt mines. I've been barely able to focus on anything creative. This does not make me happy. But good times with my squeeze and friends and the the warm weather and sunshine... these take away all of the blah.

Sketch for a new stitched watercolor project. Influenced by the sun?

Started this very beginning of a new stitched watercolor design.

For my dear friend Juline's birthday. Durham is her town!

Finished a badass Durham tank top for my badass friend Juline's birthday.

Crazy cute baby boy sporting 45-insert logo.

And received this lovely photo of a friend's son looking like a super hip baby in the 45-insert onesie I made for him. He looks like a mini Beastie Boy!

Even YouTube couldn't help me figure out how
to change the ribbon.

Retrieved this wonderful artifact from the past... a manual typewriter which I plan to use on my card catalog library cards for books I've made up. I have a couple of ideas for new books that I'm excited to explore, but I haven't had the space or energy to sit down to write them out. And I have no idea how to change the ribbon on this typewriter!

Peter Corcoran has been coming to my rescue for...
let's just say many years.

Off to see my Pops who used to work with typewriters 40 years ago. Pops to the rescue!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Poor, dead Edward Q

Stitched up my first fantasy library catalog card for a book that doesn't exist.

Edward Q, Seal Hunter (2014). Hand embroidery on a fantasy
library catalog for a book that doesn't exist. 

Poor Edward Qautsaulittuq, 1879-1919, Inuit seal hunter from Labrador, Canada, who fell in love with a seal.

She rejected him.

Who wouldn't want to read poetry about seal murder, ardor and the
frozen sea?

He spent several months roaming the shore, writing poetry, reeling from the sting of insufficient love. A happy ending was not in store for Edward Q. In his introduction, professor Jaques Niege-Neuf describes the poet's demise, found frozen on the ice with his verse against his chest, in a seal skin journal.

Stitched with 2 strand of DMC cotton.

Yes, I'm being playful.

My deck gargoyle is equally sick of Old Man Winter.

And now, for no good reason except the colors make me happy on this dreary, cold, gray winter day (not as bad as Edward Q's cold, but depressing enough for me) Look at Arturo, my art hound, with bright flowers and my artwork in the background. 

Arturo wags his tail!! 

Hurry up, spring time. I'm barely hanging on!

Monday, February 10, 2014

String Box 2 (for my squeeze)

Greens and blues. I’m using these colors more so far this year. I don’t know why.  Weeks of dreary, gray weather have me longing for green leaves and blue skies? For a verdant Spring? Maybe.

String Box 2, 2014. Watercolor paper, merino wool thread. 

I tried the string box design again, this time in a larger piece (8 “ x 8’) with softer, merino wool floss. (Instead of the tightly wound No. 8 pearl cotton.) And I like it better this time. The lines are more clearly defined. The squares firmer. Angles stronger.

The piece measurs 8 x 8 inches.

I made String Box 2 for my boyfriend.  For Valentine’s Day. The colors are deep, rich and complicated, like him. I added some playful reds and yellow threads. Those colors, in this context, remind me of his wicked, irreverent sense of humor.

WIP. I may wind up playing with more negative space.

His mother is a very talented, successful artist whose work I admire a great deal. He has several of her luminous paintings in his home, so it’s a little intimidating to give him a piece of my artwork. But I can’t be afraid to make what I make and to share it. That would not be me.
WIP. Pyramid.
These angles and lines… I can’t get enough of them. My sketchbook is filled with grids – some with curving lines. Some like circus tents. I want to paint them and stitch them. But  I only seem to have time to sketch them or muse upon in those liminal moments before I wake.

In the sun.
I can’t imagine being free from this longing for more time.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hiriam B.

Meet dour little Hiriam B.

"Hiriam B, 1919." Hand embroidery into a
post card,  2014.

I stitched him for my darling friend Erin on from a postcard of a photo called "Cotton Flax and Barley, 1919," by Louis Buhle, from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Detail of feather, fern and crossed fly stitches.

Hiriam B is a fantasy figure. I have no idea what the real boy's name was when he was photographed at the Children's Garden in the early 20th Century. I imagine that the borough ran a program for city children, teaching them about horticulture in the midst of their urban landscape.

Sketchbook scene.

My Hiriam B. didn't live into adulthood. Despite the photographer's efforts to coax out a smile, Hiriam refused.

My Hiriam B. smiled only when he was with his little brother Samuel, who did live into old age.

Hiriam B. made up surprisingly happy tunes for Samuel, which the two boys whistled together. Even as an elderly man, walking up and down the shoreline in Miami Beach in socks and sandals, Samuel never stopped missing his beloved older brother. And he kept whistling, even when he could no longer conjure Hiriam's compositions.

For Erin, with all of my love.

For 87 years, Samuel smiled enough for both of them.