retreat ahead


Spring is in full bloom & I am in the midst of preparations to once again journey to Janie Hoffman’s place on the Blue River in the White Mountains of AZ. Janie & I have organized a tapestry weaving retreat… there will be 7 of us attending, hanging out together in the mountain spring weather, weaving, soaking in the sights & sounds of nature, & talking about all things under the sun that could possibly interest any fiber artist!

I finally completed canyon night. It was difficult to finish, it felt as if all motivation I had to weave suddenly dried up and blew away. The lack of fanfare with its completion is a direct reflection of the ambivalence & dissatisfaction I have been feeling about my design process. I did submit it & painted hills for IWC’s Fiber Celebrated, but I am not sure they will be accepted, especially with my poor batting average as of late. Yet another rejection notice today, received from the Tucson Museum of Art for their Biennial exhibit.

I am not upset in the least by these rejections, they are just confirming what I’ve been feeling… my artistic soul is experiencing a period of fallowness. With the exception of IWC & the upcoming Tohono Chul fiber art postcard exhibit, I have decided to stop trying to exhibit right now. Sometimes we need that thwack on the head to wake up & say, “Yeah, I knew that.”

Time to renew, regroup, reinvent, rethink. I have begun that process, it is in the rumination stages. I am researching new design methods, I hope to greatly improve upon my weaving skills by taking Kathe Todd-Hooker’s tapestry workshop at IWC this summer, & I have registered for a couple of other non-tapestry workshops that I hope will allow for deeper design & creativity explorations. I plan to make major changes to my blog & website. I am ready to dig deep to find my true artistic vision… it’s in there & just needs encouragement to rise to the surface.

I am viewing this upcoming retreat as a door opening to a new & exciting place. While I am there I will be reading about design methods used by collage & journal artists, & I have a new camera, a Nikon P80, that I have started experimenting with & I will take it with me… some of the first images I have taken with it are below. I am preparing a cartoon so I can work on a very small piece while I am there, it will be a postcard for the Tohono Chul exhibit, & it is a depiction of one of our bobcat kittens from a previous year. This particular bobcat mama would leave her kitten in our courtyard lemon tree while she went about her business for the day. We discovered this when one day, as Dennis went out to water, he looked up & was startled by this tiny bit of fluff staring at him with amber eyes through the bright green leaves. Below is my design sketch, just started, using watercolor crayons & pencils. I am working from a cropped version of the photo Dennis managed to take & also getting inspiration for stylized versions of lemon leaves from a Frida Kahlo painting I admire.




Now I am off to continue preparing for the retreat… I will keep a diary of my time there & will look forward to posting about it all upon my return!