Sunday

The ABC's of Patterns..... J



A little book I made...



J for Japanese Fret...



...cut-work fret design from my little book...



... used as background decoration for textiles, cloisonne, lacquered work, screens, and much more





... from Suggestions in Design, 1880 by John Leighton... amusingly, at the time Leighton's conception of Japanese decoration was held as old-fashioned... I wonder what they would be thought of as now... also makes me wonder why we have distinct ideas of how and where particular designs are appropriate...

... old fashioned things...or modern... both suit me... if they are designed well...



... details from Japanese instructional manuals..... taken from Grammar of Japanese Ornament, 1880 by Thomas W. Cutler, an architect, had a excellent understanding of the information required to design in the Japanese manner...

... these patterns although they appear quite complicated, are very simple, when basic steps are followed, layered and embellished...



The Japanese Fret is based on geometrical design and works well as a background... and once you start looking for it... its influence abounds...



...from my "ABC's of Patterns" book ... Click for the introduction of ABC designs....... the DEF designs ... and the GHI designs posts

approx. 6" x 7" x 1"... ...handbound...

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Friday

Just One More


Another beautiful September day... Out front the sunlight glistened on the tides of the Bay of Fundyr...



Out back the woodpile waited... it's been waiting for months now.. no ignoring it any longer especially with the threat of big rains coming...




The woodshed door has been propped... all ready for another days work...




The dogs are making good headway on their side of the shed... the wheelbarrow is almost empty...




John's been working hard to keep up with them ... You heard the expression Working like a Dog..... it's one of those dog days...




Just one more load... one more load... one more load...



... Just one more....




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Tuesday

The Studio... Part 3



This little old sign has been with me since 1993... Just painted on an old cedar shingle .. it hung outside on my last house in Springfield, New Brunswick, for 7 years before moving along with us when we came here. It hangs by my bead desk now.




Thing 1 hangs over the computer desk... I found him in a bag of toys we bought at a flea market for the dogs to play with... He is a tiny finger puppet and was just too cute to have his head ripped off by those rambunctious rascals... it is much safer here for him ... but he had to promise not to get into mischief !!




As boring as this picture is.. I have to tell you, that in it is one of my most favourite things in the studio.. the electric pencil sharpener.. Ahhh.. yes... It's still a baby... only 1 year old... so it gets special care and sits on my main desk...

I had a rotary model for 16 years and I still have it but nothing will compare to this... I absolutely love sharp pencils!!



This is the copper counter top we made for the sink... I don't worry about keeping it shiny with heavy polishing and cleansers... I mean I do keep it clean but not with harsh chemicals that alter the surface... I just let it develop its own patina... I think it tells a story of a sort and seems to become more beautiful with use... and copper is antibacterial, by the way...




Our son, Max, made this Map of Canada, 24" x 35", as a project several years ago when he was 10... he felt very good about his achievement and I thought he did a great job on it, so we hung it in a place of honour in the studio.

... Max collects all things science and nature so some of his butterflies and moths have come to light here... the Luna Moth is rather large... surprisingly it's bigger than Newfoundland!





Some of the books that I keep up in the studio... science.. art... jewelry... design... nature... geography... literature... history... fables... pop-ups...




Quite a few belong to Max but we all share....



.... art... design...calligraphy... rhymes... weaving... quilting... pattern making... even some cook books...



I liked the way the sun was shining in on these trays of colored beads... rather cheery...




A coal heart... a stone heart and a thick rusty metal heart... all found on the beaches of the Bay of Fundy... The Luna moth was found in a service station parking lot...



This post holds things that make me feel at home in my studio ... they inspire... and lead me here and there in my mind... I can come here to think and they are waiting for me... I am very grateful for this...

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Sunday

The Studio.... Part 2




Since I am on the topic of the Studio I thought I would share a few details from around my drawing desk that give me inspiration... past drawings, paintings, sketches, reproductions I have done....





...my Whale line drawings, inspired by the profusely illustrated pen and ink by Warren Chappel in the famous book, Moby Dick by Herman Melville...
... Duane Kaiser's a painting a day, "a dozen eggs"... my Picasso attempt... a gray scale... my watercolor attempt of a Francis Bacon Portrait by Lucian Freud.. the oil attempt is in the first photo... oh and our Simpsonized selves..




Oh ... I can't forget Leonard Cohen for his input into what comes from the paints and brushes





... some more play...a floral and an attempt at an acrylic of my son... coffee cans make great containers...





... idea search... I especially love the Annotated Mother Goose, describing the reasons for the rhymes.. better understanding now... and more profuse illustrations by Caldecott, Crane, Greenaway, Rackham, Parrish.. this is an amazing book that I recently found at a book fair held in the village this past summer... The local librarian, Betty, who is a sweet heart and I think she has read every book ever written, had some of her treasures for sale and she dearly sold this to me...




A beautiful poster that was put together for promotion of the cultural interests of St.Martins... featuring art and fine craft by artists of the village..... our Booktown, first one on the east coast of Canada.... the amazing landscape and the treasures from the beaches... on the back he drew a map of everything... Click image to enlarge...




More tidbits... color and nature... sand dollars.... on the right, a treasured postcard received in the mail... on the left, my attempt to do a small painting of a photograph by my blog friend Ruth ...



Well, just a little tour of my drawing/ink/and painting corner... I'll work my way around the room, slowly but surely... Thanks for coming along...

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Thursday

The Studio



When I finally had my first real studio, I couldn't believe how freeing it was... no stress about spreading out my work and leaving it, to think about the next move ... my work was always there, ready for me any time I got the urge or time... now no matter what, I will always keep a room for a studio...a place to be creative and think... ... it is not a selfish thing.... it is a necessary thing...


My Studio is on the second floor of the home we built 8 years ago... the beams are pretty ancient
and we used much, much, much salvaged and scrounged materials to make it happen, and that includes most all of the studio furniture....




... there are a few large gessoed canvas' hanging on our walls.. They are waiting for paint.. this makes a great place to store them...
Through the beamed doorway is the top of the stair landing... a section of Gothic railing from an old church near Fredericton, that we found at one of our favourite flea markets years ago...

I don't have to be fussy here..




... lots of light... collections of reference books to stimulate and inspire...  several work surfaces, tools...  and the computer spot... life link with the world...

I feel extremely lucky every day...




The best part of the whole studio is what is not in the studio... the view that looks out over the Bay of Fundy's dramatic tides, fog and sun... changing by the minutes...


...... I am here most of the time...

Sunday

3 Rhymes for a Rabbit


# 1

Out in the garden one fine day,
A little brown rabbit came out to play,
She wanted to do something unique and swell,
So this little rabbit tried hatching a shell!
But all in all.... it didn't go too well!!!





#2

It started as a stick of wood...
A sharpened knife did carve it good...
Appeared a rabbit... as it should
That hopped away as quick as it could.





...I also want to include a little tribute to Henry Gibson, American actor and songwriter... someone I loved from Rowan and Martin's "Laugh-In" where he played "the poet" and always did a little ditty where he would walk on stage, clasp his hands, bow, somberly tell a silly poem, bow again and leave without cracking a smile....

He did one about a "Robin" that for some reason has always stuck with me....
I decided to use it for my rabbit...



#3

"The Rabbit"

I saw a little Rabbit go Hop, Hop, Hop,
I said, little Rabbit, "Won't you Stop, Stop, Stop"....

...but he Wouldn't.





Back a couple lifetimes ago, I carved this little rabbit from a 2" x 2" x 4" piece of pine scrap. It was left over from lumber we were using to make simple square railings for a staircase banister in my first house.

To me it seemed precious ... free materials to create with... I used a hunting knife, as it was the only tool of that sort that I had at the time... it had a nice curve at it's tip... and kept a keen edge...

...so as shavings and sawdust fell away... this little rabbit decided to stay...





She is small and smooth... and feels good in a cupped hand... sort of like a worry stone... maybe I should have called her a "Worry Rabbit".

Monday

Zen... Woven in Metal




The Pendant... born of texture... heat... and the solidity of metals... of Copper and Sterling Silver




Detail of Pendant and an Earring on a lovely Herring Gull feather...
conjuring soaring and floating...




The Zen Earrings... over and under...
reticulation and patination...




Reverse detail of Pendant... a bit primitive ... that's the way I like it...





A Tumble of Jewelry


Thoughts of Zen.... and the slow and steady repetition of Hand-Weaving were the inspiration behind these pieces that I made back in July..
They have found a caring home with the artist Bill Evertson as a gift to his wife... who is a weaver... Please check out his blog...
His work is inspiring... intelligent... and original.





approx. sizes... Pendant... 1" x 1" with extending Sterling bars....... Earrings... 1" x ½" with extending bars on Sterling earwires...
Displayed on a woven runner I made long ago, on a Millville 4-harness floor loom in a Swedish Lace pattern in natural 2/8 cotton that had been washed repeatedly over a number of years..
I love the durability of this basic simple material.. long-lasting... satisfying... and a pleasure...

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