Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Inner Landscapes and the Holly Wreath

I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future - the timelessness of the rocks and the hills - all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.                         
~Andrew Wyeth

backyard thicket of  redwoods, pines, firs and surprisingly--- holly!

Landscapes have been on my mind.   There are the landscapes one finds in Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth and Ivan Doig's English Creek  (and recently read, Hannah Kent's Burial Rites)---harsh, brutal reality of living with the land and how its raw beauty seeps into one's heart---giving it a meaning and memory worth fighting to keep.  Of  sorrow, of place and yes, even desire and want.  There are the measured and layered urban landscapes of  Wayne Thiebaud's paintings, the contrasts of light and shadow in Ansel Adam's photographs and even the contemporary, visually delight of David Hockney's IPad sketches.  Then there are the more private landscapes of one's own thoughts and hearth.
big green mat for visiting grand-dog, Flynn, who is having  a grand time outside

my brave and oldest son trimmed a holly tree for us

and made a beautiful wreath

My son wanted to add more holly to my wreath, but I liked the wonky twiggy look.  He made a fuller one for his own house and family.  I thought every one was outside when I took these photos, but I spied a pair of zorii at the foot of the loft ladder.   My oldest grandson, who towers over me, was up in the loft.  He peeked over the railing and in his quiet way said that he liked this house very much.


In the meanwhile,  100 cups  have sold through, as well as a few wall pieces and two sculptural pieces---large blackbirds. I am finishing up some wall boxes---just for fun and the Tiny Show opening in January.  The above is #2: Soaking Shore Birds

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Chanterelles and Shore Birds

After the rains last week,  I went out to forage for some mushrooms on our property.  I was so delighted to find chanterelles were up in abundance---YUM!  We have white and the golden ones.  We have quite a few edible mushrooms---boletes, honey, candycaps (and oysters sometimes on the old, dying alders.)  We sauteed the chanterelles in a bit of butter and ate them as a snack.  If it wasn't so cold I would have done some outdoor sketches. In the meanwhile,  I have some sculptural work I need to start now that all the cups were tagged and shipped out. 

making tags
Below is a quick video of my favorite cup (that I kept) from the one hundred that I did finished.  What I like about this piece is the faux soda flashing on it---which is hard to see in this video---it is more rusty satiny in person.  The terra sig I used has soda ash so maybe with the other pieces a bit of flashing happened. (There's small magic happening in that kiln.) Currently, I am using earthenware cups to paint my interpretation of shore birds that I see daily.  The earthenware cups are bisqued with a thin layer of terra sigillata.  With some sumi-e brushes I quickly paint in the bird and whatever else that comes to mind.  Sometimes I can scratch through the black engobe.  No transparent glaze necessary.  Fired to cone 6.


This is a godwit with its upward curved beak holding an olive branch.  Peace.

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