When life seems to be handing me more than my share of disappointments, color will always cheer me up. And we seemed to have more than our share of grey days this past winter (even for the Pacific Northwet!) A little blue-violet, a little fuschia, and I was on the road to a sunnier disposition! And who can resist that face!
Today is Easter Sunday, and here on Whidbey Island we were blessed with beautiful blue skies, soft warm breezes, and lots of birds visiting the yard. I went out early to take some pictures of the floral offerings gracing our yard. My favorite of the bunch is the brilliant red rhododendron in our front yard, that always seems to bloom earlier than any of the others, and today some of the buds have burst forth. I love the juxtaposition of the fluffy, soft blooms and the hard, waxy leaves. Even the colors are opposite one another on the color wheel – a true study in contrasts. I see some red and green art in my future. Meanwhile, enjoy the flowers, and be well, my little chickadees!
Greetings, and Happy Spring!
I don’t know what you do to get through the winter, but I have been making beaded dolls. (Okay, enough from the peanut gallery about having a second childhood!) Most of the dolls are very small, and would nestle comfortably in the palm of your hand. But some are larger, and today I would like you to meet Hildegard, The Herbalist.
I found her wonderful ceramic face at a bead show while I was on the road a couple of years ago, and it has just been hanging around waiting for the right project. If I could just remember who the vendor was, I’d order some more. This getting-older business is sometimes quite irritating!
There are more pictures at my newly updated website: http://www.larkinart.com/hildegard and if you haven’t visited in awhile, you might want to look around at some of the new work. So far, Hildegard is the only doll to get to the website, as the others are being made for an exhibit and will be kept under wraps for awhile.
Hope you are finding renewed energy and creative urges as the weather gets a little more friendly!
Be well, my little chickadees!
Welcome back, my little chickadees! Here are the other six pieces being offered for sale at this time. All the details can be found in the previous post, but remember that 20% of the price ($100 each, plus $10 shipping for up to six pieces) will go to the non-profit organization that you choose from the list (Habitat For Humanity, Doctors Without Borders, and The Grunewald Guild).
For now, these twelve pieces are only being shown here. Once the overhaul of my website is completed (hopefully early next year), they will go into the Small Treasures gallery.
I look forward to sending these little pieces out into the world.
Okay, I admit it: I love art supply stores! Even though I am not a painter or sculptor or even a scrapbooker, there’s something about all those interesting tools and materials that intrigues me. Also, I think there is something in the air conditioning system that induces me to bring home things I have no idea what I will do with! Such is the case with some stretched canvases I bought in an unusual size (4″ x 12″), and which have been hanging around for quite some time.
It also happens that I like to write checks at the end of the year to help support a few non-profit organizations that I believe in. And so, I have designed a dozen very small fabric collages to fit on the 4×12 canvases, and will donate 20% of the price ($100 plus $10 shipping), to Habitat For Humanity, Doctors Without Borders, and The Grunewald Guild. And I will let the purchaser choose which of these three organizations will get the money from their purchase. (I am going to assume that most of you have heard of Habitat and Doctors, but may not have heard of the Grunewald Guild. They are an arts organization that seeks to make the connection between art and faith. More info at: http://www.grunewaldguild.com)
So, here’s how it works: the first six pieces are shown here, and the other six will be in the next post, which will go up shortly. If you are interested in purchasing one (or six!), drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org . Payment will be via PayPal, and in the comments section, please tell me which organization should receive your donation. The $10 shipping fee applies for up to six pieces in one box.
Thanks for looking, my little chickadees! I look forward to sending these lovely little pieces out to new homes and doing a little good in the world.
Today I have the pleasure to unveil an artwork that I created for an exhibit called “Rituals”, which is curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison, both very talented ladies, which will open at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, California this summer, and then travel to the International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston, Texas in the fall. As part of the production, they are featuring short profiles of participating artists at their blog, http://dinnerateightartists.blogspot.com/ Let me just say that I am honored to be in such august company, and I urge you to wander on over to read about the other artists in this exhibit.
When I received the invitation to create something to submit for jurying into the show, I had some immediate ideas about various rituals to work with. A close reading of the rules, however, eliminated most of them from consideration, as religious themes were not permitted. I can understand that, from a curator’s perspective. What remained was a theme I had long thought about pursuing, so I set about assembling materials.
The title of this piece is “Solvitur Ambulando”, which is a Latin phrase that translates to “It is solved by walking.” which is cited as a quote from St. Augustine. And I have found the truth of this sentiment in my own life. When there is a question to be answered, a problem to be solved, some serious thinking to do, or just some stress to be worked out, I head down to the beach for a walk in the sand. There is something very meditative about wandering down the beach – the soft crunch underfoot, the sound of the waves, the breeze in my face – that makes it easy to get lost in thought and turn over in my mind whatever it is that is needing my attention.
Though I do not walk a prescribed labyrinth as such, I chose that as the symbol for my walking meditation. Labyrinths have been used by many cultures in many different formats, for millennia. While a maze is designed to confuse and trick the walker, in a labyrinth, you will always be led in and out without confusion. Knowing that, it is easy to forget the actual path, and just keep moving while you think, much like my walks on the beach. When my feet get wet, it’s time to pay attention to the path again!
As curators, Jamie and Leslie have put a lot of work into this exhibit, and it will continue to be a lot of work as it travels. They have been fortunate in finding sponsors to help with the financial aspects of getting the show up, and I am happy to give them a thank you shout-out: in Long Beach – Moore’s Sewing Centers, and in Houston – Havel’s Sewing. Having seen the list of participants, I know it will be well worth it to go see the exhibit, and I encourage you all to do so.
Be well, my little chickadees!
Back in January, I was scheduled to travel to Huntsville, Texas for the opening reception for the Deep Spaces exhibit at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, and to teach a beading class for a lovely group of ladies in Conroe. Well, Mother Nature had other plans, and sent a short blizzard our way, closing the airport and clogging the roads, and generally creating the type of chaos that only she can inflict. After much fussing and fuming, it was finally arranged for me to travel to Huntsville to see the exhibit on its last day in mid-March. The class was rescheduled, and everything was timed so that it was part of a longer trip that included teaching for the Glendale Quilt Show in Beautiful Downtown Burbank. (More on that later.)
I was very impressed with the museum in Huntsville, and even more so when I walked into the gallery space where the exhibit was hung. They have a large, spacious room, and it felt like the exhibit was hung “in the round”, making it easy to get both a view from some distance and some up-close-and-personal inspection of the work.
My hostess for this portion of the trip was Bobbe Nolan, one of the artists with work in the exhibit, and the woman who first suggested that this might be a good space to hang the show. Bobbe and Patrick, her dear late husband, were very involved in getting the show into the museum and providing such a wonderful opportunity for all the artists.
Accompanying us on my viewing of the show was Hope Wilmarth, another artist with work in the show, whom I had met at dinner on a previous evening. Her studio was so neat and tidy compared to mine, which really ought to have a sign on the door that says: Hurricane Larkin was here!
Listening to these ladies talk about not only their work, but the rest of the show was fascinating, and an interesting look into their thought processes, likes and dislikes.
I also got to meet Casey Roon and Megan Buro, who were responsible for getting the show up and looking beautiful, and with whom I had been working out all the details via email over the past several months. I would love to have been able to bottle some of their enthusiasm for the show to share with you!
Bobbe also took me on a tour of Huntsville (which was having a rain storm while I was there, which was a good thing considering the drought conditions over the past year), and a Bead Orgy in Spring, TX. Three bead shops in one day – almost too much to take in!
Then it was off to Burbank to teach for some very lovely ladies at the Glendale Quilt Show. Apart from the airline losing track of my suitcase full of teaching materials for 24 hours, this was a very fun event: quilts, vendors, classes, all in the Marriott convention center. I had wonderful students, and felt well cared for by Corinne and Rasa and everyone from the organizing committee. And once again, it was raining and blowing like crazy while I was there. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the storm was following me!
But Spring has officially arrived, which in this corner of the world means: if you don’t like the weather, wait 20 minutes!
Be well, my little chickadees, and create with reckless abandon!
Several months ago, I was invited to participate in a challenge for a magazine called “Bead Design Studio”. I agreed, even though my major beef with the current flock of beading magazines is that they tend to be “all jewelry all the time”. But the timing was right, and a challenge from time to time is a good thing that forces me to think in different ways about my materials and processes.
The magazine is now on the newsstands, so I can finally post pictures. We were each provided with a ceramic “cabochon” and four coordinating “lentils” as the start of our project. The “cabochon” had two holes in it, which made it possible to use it as a pendant, and the four “lentils” had good sized holes the length of the bead rather than through the depth of the bead at one edge, which is what I have come to expect from “lentils”. As I said, a good challenge.
Since this was for a magazine mostly about jewelry, I decided to make a box to keep the jewelry in, allowing me to use my fabric collage, free motion quilting, and embellishment skills to decorate the sides of the box, while devoting my bead embroidery to the lid.
The colors and flowers on the “cabochon” felt like a breath of spring, when in fact, it was raining and blowing all the leaves off the trees right outside my window. I decided that a walk in the spring woods would feel good right about then, when the first of the crocus and snowdrops were coming up.
I had a great time creating this jewelry box for the challenge, but I have to admit that I initially had my doubts. The pale blue, cream and yellow color scheme is not one I would normally work with. (That’s why they call it a challenge!!) But I gradually warmed up to it.
And what happened to those four “lentils”, you ask? Take another look at the first picture. I decided to use them as the feet for the box.
Even if you don’t usually participate in challenges, I encourage you to do one from time to time. It will freshen up your outlook, force you to re-evaluate whatever is “normal” in your studio work, and may surprise you by being a joy to work on.
Be well, my little chickadees!
I am on my way to Tillamook, Oregon to take down the first part of the Deep Spaces exhibit. Part Two is currently hanging at the Edmonds (Washington) Conference Center, where it is getting a lot of traffic as various groups hold meetings in the building. The artworks are hung in the hallways, up the stairways, and all around the entry. I had to miss the first opening (there are two) as I was in Fort Worth to teach. But Van was able to attend with his camera, and I wanted to get these pictures up before I left town again. The first one is the view up the stairway.
This next one is Sherri Spangler standing in front of her quilt “Other Worlds”, with David Jones, the local poet who wrote about her quilt. More on the poets in a moment.
This is as good a picture as Van could get from his vantage point at the poetry reading at the opening. The poets were in a conference room and a photo of the quilt they were reading about was projected during the reading. The poet is Terry Johnson, and the quilt is “Eighteen Moons” by Linda McLaughlin.
About six weeks before the opening, I sent a disk with photos of the 22 quilts that were to be hung at the Edmonds location to the poets, so they had plenty of time to write. With any luck at all, we will be able to entice them back for a repeat performance at the second opening reception for the November 17th art walk in downtown Edmonds.
Be well, and stay warm, my little chickadees!
Unless you live in a hut on a mountaintop with no satellite access, you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the world has turned pink. Runs and fundraisers abound, and the Komen Foundation logo is everywhere. In connection with Raven Rocks Gallery here on the island, we decided on a slightly different approach. I made up a bunch of these little bracelets, complete with a pink ribbon bead and magnetic clasp (no cheesy stretch elastic for me!), and we are selling them at the gallery for $15.00.
All the money we raise from this little endeavor will go to a local organization – Friends for Friends Medical Assistance Fund. These good folks help low income, uninsured women pay for their mammograms, in addition to a wide range of other assistance.
Until I run out of the pink ribbon beads, I am offering these bracelets here as well. Just send me $17 via PayPal (that extra $2 will cover PayPal fees and shipping costs) using my email address: email@example.com In the body of the message, include your wrist measurement. Wrap a measuring tape around your wrist – snug, but not tight. The addition of the clasp will provide the ease for comfortable wear.
If we manage to sell all 50 bracelets, we’ll be able to send a nice $750 check to the fund. Not bad for a little place like Whidbey Island!
Be well, my little chickadees!