Wednesday 24 September 2014

Feeling woolly!

I am happily overloaded with bags of wool! I have loads of Cass Art bag-for-life bags (Cass Art is a great art supply chain in the UK that I visit every time I am in London) and they are great for holding skeins of wool and then hung from the end of the banister in the stairwell...

Though it is coming along slowly (still having pains in my wrist if I do too much at once) I am happy with the way my African Flower blanket is coming along. I realised that since I was going to introduce some new colours (wine/maroon, grey, sarasota orange, emerald green) I had to make some more flowers using those colours before continuing crocheting the flowers to the blanket. 

A closeup of some of the flowers I am working on.

I am also sorting the flowers according to their outside colour. The overall design of my blanket is that the petals are a specific red (it's a poppy-cadmium colour) and the joining colour is cream, but all the inner and outer colours are not repeated (so colours with the same outer colour never have the same inner colour and vice versa).

I have also started another blanket. The "Mile-a-Minute" blanket pattern uses three colours to create oblongs which are then sewn together. My main problem is trying to keep track of counting numbers as the pattern starts with chaining 206! So I have count that about six times...

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Fever Afterimages - painting!

After the past week of lovely weather and dealing with the damsons - picking & canning (jams & chutneys) - I have finally gotten a chance to get back to the studio. So, I have been working out the compositions of my three small paintings in the Fever Afterimages series.

 And have started to add some colour.

I have always liked the contrast between this chromium green and the purple/pink/blue combo. But this is just the start, so who knows what it will end up looking like!

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Damsons & Blackberries!

We had a fantastic summer and we continue to have a fantastic autumn! Last Sunday and the Sunday before we had gone for afternoon family strolls in the woods up the side of Bray Head with the express purpose of collecting blackberries. Now there are plenty of pie-sized blackberry packages in the freezer for future use, and I made my first blackberry-apple pie of the season. Delicious with cream...

My husband and daughter kept spotting all the different types of mushrooms...

We don't know which ones are edible, but hopefully will find out soon as my husband is going on an organised foraging walk this Sunday with the experts.

I love mushrooms, but certainly am no fool. Every time I see mushrooms in the wild I am reminded of the film The Beguiled (starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page) and the sorry ending Clint had...

Yesterday a rural friend invited my husband and I down to her place to enjoy the morning picking damsons. Her tree was the motherlode! My husband affixed a ladder to the tree and was wholeheartedly picking when our friend had a great idea...

...he could prune the tree and we could pick damsons at ground level!

We went home with a bushel of damsons and a few apples to complement blackberries in a soon-to-be-made pie. I've now got damsons stewing for jam, my husband has started several bottles of damson liqueur and is going to start some damson wine today. Oh halcyon days of autumn!

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Sept 3 1995 - RIP Dad

It's been 19 years since my Dad passed away. Where did that time go? Dad is a presence in my life, most especially obvious in my love of music. My Dad was a musician (double bass and guitar) and a carpenter. Though I don't play any instruments, music is an important part of my life and I have always loved making things -- painting being my prime focus.

In 1996 my double installation exhibition in The Basement Gallery (Dundalk) entitled "Pastures Green and Dreaming for Dad" was both a memorial to my Dad and a celebration of life. After passing through two large painted curtains of calla-lilies in the smaller room, one encountered a small icon diptych. The curtains were set away from the wall in such a way that the lighting cast a great shadow. The curtains are each 226 cm x 162.5 cm, acrylic on polyester net curtain.

Calla Lilies Icon (Dreaming for Dad), mixed media on handmade paper, 17.5 cm x 25 cm (diptych).

Recently I came across a reference to William Shatner meeting a "sawyer" at a desert diner and wondering what that was. Well I had never heard the word in terms of someone who played the saw musically, but that was how it was explained to Bill...It reminded me, however, of my Dad and the day he bought me a lovely saw and then pulled out his bass bow and showed me that the saw could be played to produce an eerie sound.

Dad, mixed media on wood, 23 cm x 15.5 cm, 2009, collection of Tallie Whelan, Ireland.