Monday, August 10, 2015

Sweet Corn and Summer

Keeping busy on my end. We had the first ears of corn out of the garden last night and they were so tender that we ate them raw. One of my favorite garden treats.

Summer here is divine. No rain since May; I really miss the seasonal rains and thunder, but why wish for the moon when you have the stars?

My daughters have been visiting several times a week to paint with me. I love that. Usually, I work in the journal when they're here.

I also have a little project going on in the studio. Well, a big project, actually.
A canvas that's 45x60" that I'm adding to on a daily basis and then posting the results on Facebook. My plan is to see what happens in a month.

I'm 5 days into the project and the results so far are pictured above.
It's scary to go into the woods in public so to speak. Because nearly every painting has its awkward stages.

We've kept up the family hikes on Sundays.

Dont know what got into me on this one above. I tried to make it family friendly.
Almost didn't post it but then I know you all have a sense of the absurd along with me.

I've been practicing calligraphy too. I never got very good at it but love to shape the slow letters.

Mount Raung only 90 miles from Bali has been spewing all summer, forcing the airport to close and stranding tourists there. 
My comadre Kathie Vezzani has been watching nervously as she doesn't want to lead over a dozen of us into danger, ashfall or inconvenience. 
What a huge responsibility she has. 
Anyway, she finally made a decision to cancel our Bali trip that was scheduled for mid-September.

As a result of that, she and I are offering a 3 day class at her studio in Gig Harbor, Washington during the time we would have been in Bali. 
Please feel welcome to join us there as we explore indigo and enjoy each other's company. 
Kathie's given you all the details here and she will be preparing her fabulous meals for us ... swoon!

Thank you for stopping by. Stay well, stay connected, stay beautiful.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Recycling Old Paintings

This is my latest journal.
I just finished sewing it yesterday and thought I'd share my process to help spark ideas for you in the studio.
I know a lot of you, like me, generate works on paper that stack up in the studio. 
While the paintings may be beautiful, they aren't really enjoyed if they're languishing in a folder in the dark.

The painting above, 12x12" on 140# watercolor paper, was in a folder with a stack of other non representational paintings that I did over a year ago.

This one above was in the same folder. 
I used both of them on the cover and end sheets of my new journal.

Here is the cropped painting mounted on the back inner cover of the book.

For the outside of the back cover I gathered up smaller pieces of random scrap that I keep in a bin for collage.
Arranged and glued them, then painted gel over all for protection.

Some beads and a stenciled canvas spine completed the long stitch journal.

I love the way the raw materials of the old become folded into the new carrying history and memories with them.

It also makes me happy to use and enjoy something that I liked well enough to save. 

Back to my de-cluttering.

Monday, July 27, 2015

July Garden

Despite our drought, John's garden looks as beautiful as ever.

People keep asking if he's cutting back; making it smaller.
Well, the answer is no. It gets bigger each year if anything.

He's cut off the sugar peas that have stopped producing to save seed.
Meanwhile, there's a bean crop sprouting below that will utilize the trellis.

He plants flowers among the veggies, like the English.

And grows lots of peppers, like these jalapenos.

We got our first tomatoes in June. Stupice; short growing season and dependable.

Mystery perennial that came in with a load of chips. Some type of Rudbeckia.

And then there is this mystery flower with huge leaves like platters.
Both John and I have forgotten what it is.

Black Cayenne Peppers. A gorgeous plant.

Stupice again. Early and delicious.

Here are some of the other tomatoes. Lots of future salsa.

And look how tall the blueberry bushes have grown. 
We finally have all we can handle.

Canna lilies. I used to love to paint these in watercolor.
Maybe again some day.

More cayenne peppers.

And big, fat blackberries.

Corn. First crop.

While the second crop gets going in its little waffles that hold water in our drought.
This system we borrowed from Arizona and it works wonderfully.

Apples coming on for a fall ripening.

And the cucumber tower. Makes harvesting so much easier and the cucumbers dont get dirty.

Two varieties of plums on the same tree.

And this shot just for the diversity of the garden. 
I love how it attracts birds and beneficial insects.

We have figs galore. I made my popular Fig Newtons once already this summer.

John calls this his garden gnome.
It guards his mulberry tree.

Mulberries. Yum!

Blue hydrangeas. I love.

Yes, another jalapeno!

Watermelon. Coming right along.

Pineapple Lily.

Along the pretty walkway.

July sunshine. Sunflower-style.

Green beans. So good with potatoes and bacon.

Frost peaches. This one looks ready.

Flowers on the deck to cheer us as we sip our gin tonics. 
Sweet summer.

Lavender Dahlia.

Thank you dear Farmer John for the years of sweet beauty that you have rained down on our lives.

And thank you dear friends for wading through the longest garden post I think I've ever put up.
If I could I'd invite you to sit on the deck and share something cool and refreshing with us.

Carry on.