Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Red & the Black

Very Stendhal.  I have to leave the loom every 30 minutes or so to rest my eyes!

It puts me in mind of my new Sheila's Roses ribbon, in a very uncharacteristic red-and-black damask.  Where is all this leading?  Now I wonder if it influenced my choice of warp...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Color & Metaphor

Most of my color use in my weaving has been, admittedly, tied to a limited palette of landscape & architecture and fairly literal.  I won't say it is not inspired or even lyrical, as I often begin in my inspiration for work with the color that comes into my line of vision.  But it is dictated by some grounding in an exterior place.

My most recent work has been tied to an inner, metaphoric landscape of emotion that is linked to reality by a figurative silhouette and animated by bees, which have always been the animators of all of my landscapes.  In this time of pain I have found my bees to be the language of engagement that works for me.  Surrounded by bees when I am safely zipped inside a bee suit, the air is alive with their language and they crawl with great energy all over me.  This would be threatening without my protective clothing, but inside the suit I can enjoy their nearness and not worry about imminent pain. My woven bees are, similarly, simultaneously benign and threatening, my protectors and my adversaries. 

But the color now can be informed by an interior dialogue of emotion and metaphor.  So in winding warps last week for 4 new tapestries in the series, I thought, hmmm, what color?  I looked at the yarn shelves in my studio and intuiutively chose carmine reds and sulphur yellows.  Out of these will come these stories:

The Burning Barn ( I wove the study two weeks ago)
In My mind's Eye I am Fine
The Bees Always Swarmed When We Argued (working title)
and Breathing.

Here is the photo of the warps as threaded through the reeds.  More as it happens.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I am afraid my average photo skills simply can't capture the number of birds in the air.  Zoom on these, and you will have some idea.

Glory be.  When I stepped out of the cabin this morning, I heard a sound like a mighty wind, and looked up to see millions of black birds swirling through the clear blue sky sky.  The cabin is just a field away from the Wabash river, and 15 miles from the confluence of the Wabash and the Ohio, so it is on a flightpath which frequently provides waves of birds on their seasonal migrations.  The sight was thrilling and the sound was everywhere.  Each branch of every tree was articulated with a line of perching birds, then they would whoosh up again and off they would go to the next treeline.  I love to see flocks of birds head in waves in one direction, settle into the trees, then swirl up and off in an arc in the opposite direction.  It was a gift, I felt, of joy and fullness to savor throughout the rest of this cold December day.