early spring

I had a thought the other day when we started getting these warm temps that spring isn't green in the desert, it's yellow. Our desert is green all year... not that Kelly green crayon box green, but chartreuse, sage, silver, avocado, & army greens. Spring in the desert, I thought to myself, is really yellow. Yellow prickly pear blooms, yellow palo verde blooms, yellow creosote blooms, yellow cassia blooms, yellow fiddleneck blooms, yellow desert marigold blooms, yellow brittlebush blooms, & even more plants with yellow blooms that I cannot think of just now, none of which are really blooming just yet, but which will soon if the warm weather continues.

It is early spring.

It feels like early summer with the 80 degree temps we've been having. This is the desert, but even that is unseasonably warm for this time of year. I am not complaining in the least, it feels fabulous compared to the highs in the 30s we experienced while visiting my parents in Illinois during the family reunion to celebrate their 50th anniversary. It is quite cruel to force desert dwellers to visit locations with those kinds of conditions!

Here's a photo of all of us gathered together after a wonderful anniversary meal at one of my parents' favorite restaurants, Zapatas. I am usually skeptical of Mexican food outside of the Southwest (it tends to be what I think of as Amerxican). Not bad for Illinois, not bad at all. There are 6 of us offspring (I am the oldest, there is a 12 year span between myself & my youngest brother) & we all attended along with most of our respective spouses/children. Two old & dear friends of my parents, whom they met when they were stationed in Cheyenne, WY together, were also able to join us. This is the only family photo from that experience I will subject you to & I'm not even going to say who's who in it. If you are dying to see more, which unfortunately includes the strange gringo habit of drinking margaritas & donning sombreros, visit this set on Flickr.

Today, however, as I meandered about outside enjoying the sun, I started really noticing things, like waking up from a fog. And I noticed more than yellow, although yellow was first-- the photo at the beginning of this post is of the eensy-tineensy electric chartreuse flowers on a zig-zag cactus.

Here are others...

A diaphanous purple vinca bloom

Pink tinged newly unfurled pomegranate leaves, sunlit & glowing against a blue blue sky

Chinese star jasmine buds; slender, rosy, & soon to burst into little twinkles of white that will fill the air with their divinely sweet, heavy scent

My hot orange kalanchoe kettle

The always sudden & astonishing beauty of fuchsia pincushion buds... one day it's just a little cactus, the next, a tiny jewel box

Plump indigo purple velvety Texas Laurel blooms that smell exactly like sweet sweet grape Koolaid & make me think of hot sticky summer days of childhood

And Roger & Mo on lizard watch & wondering why I am crawling around on the ground with that little metal square box pointing it at things.

canyon night is still underway, you can actually start seeing the forest for the trees. If my cartoon looks odd, in case you missed an earlier post-- I decided to create & use what I've dubbed an "X-ray cartoon", a black & white color inverted version of the original that allows me to see the detail in the trees much easier than tracing them onto vellum would ever have done. The IWC Fiber Celebrated deadline is a little over two weeks away... will I make it? Weave, weave, weave...


rejected, but not dejected &... accepted!

Yes, I also received my "Dear Artist," letter on Tuesday from ATA. Thanks to Kathy Spoering's subliminal post, I was prepared. It is only my second rejection since I've been exhibiting, so I feel fortunate. I also knew that it is notoriously difficult to be accepted into ATA's juried exhibits, whether you are a master or novice weaver. At least this letter was tempered by Kathy's wonderful handwritten message... thank you, Kathy, I know that must be taking quite a bit of effort!

My first rejection was several months ago after I submitted several works to a gallery in Tempe for a Contemporary Craft exhibit. Guess I was either not contemporary enough or crafty enough, but I wan't dejected about that rejection either. However, I did become quite irritated when the same gallery quickly started inundating me with requests to support them (as one of their artists!) with monetary donations. Let's just say I communicated to said gallery my desire to stop receiving those solicitations in as an adult way as possible.
Yesterday I received another letter from another exhibit I had submittted work to. Uh oh, the envelope felt awfully thin, so I steeled myself for another Dear Artist letter. But, instead it told me they had accepted one of the three tapestries I had submitted, my monochrome macro: agave, one of my first tapestries. The exhibit is "Of The Earth" & is being held at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, Missouri which happens to be very close to where my parents are living in Illinois & where I am headed next week to attend a family reunion that I put together to celebrate my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, the exhibit won't be up until March, so I won't get to visit it in person, but I am very happy that they selected this tapestry to be included since it is one of my favorites.

I am fresh from a weekend in Bisbee which I spent with Shirley & Lynn, two of my first students who are now special friends, helping them to stay on track with their tapestry weaving. Lynn was getting back into weaving her impressionistic wetlands & Shirley was learning to use her new Mirrix & starting a tapestry of a sunset on a special "friendship beach" near where she lives in Alaska most of the year. What could possibly be better than a weekend of weaving, friends, & wine? I was so involved with helping them that I forgot to take photos with my own camera, but luckily Shirley shared hers with me...

Work continues on canyon night, although the trees are still looking a bit ambiguous at this point. I am planning to submit it to IWC's Fiber Celebrated exhibit & it will now have a companion, as I think Kathy's suggestion to consider submitting my recently rejected painted hills to the same exhibit is most excellent! Great idea, Kathy, & if they are both accepted I will get to see them in person since Janie Hoffman & I will be attending together & taking Kathe Todd-Hooker's "Color & Tapestry" workshop she's teaching there. Anyone I know planning to attend?