Anticipation…

Beach Rose

Just that.

I’m waiting…or as Rex and Rocky Horror would say…SHIVERING…with anticipation.

This scraggly corner of the garden is supposed to be all abloom with beach roses…

scraggly

That three week behind thing is messing with my head.

But Celeste appeared outside my easel window last night, right on cue, to cheer me up…

celeste

The dear one is taking on the mighty task of helping me to weed. Love that bunny.

OK…PAINT !!!


A fine morning to carve…

As the heatwave nestles into the valley I was disuaded from my early morning weeding by the ever watchful apprentice who decided that we should heed the air quality warnings and head inside to the cooler chambers of the studio.

So I’m getting an early start on the frame carving…

It’s been a while since I have done one of these and I’m loving the chance to get out the woodworking tools and make some tiny shavings. I mentioned earlier that the first painting, “All this and more”…

was based on an NC Wyeth quote and so that’s what is being carved into its frame. I spent all day yesterday getting the words onto the wood. Years ago I created a digital alphabet by first drawing out each letter on graph paper and then scanning it into Publisher and then laboriously cutting and pasting separate files for each letter. That allowed me to open a new file and cut and paste the letters as needed to form the words in each quote. Then I size them to the frame, print out and transfer with graphite paper to the wood itself.

A large part of the morning yesterday was spent trying to FIND that file which was buried on my old harddrive. Ugh. But once I got it on the new computer it worked like a breeze. Still laborious but way easier than the way I did it before, drawing it all out by hand several times until I got the spacing right. Difference of hours vs. days.

But I have to back up a step…the frame really starts with a trip to the local lumber yard…where my trusty assistant volunteered to let the poplar boards rest on her lap rather than on top of the roof for the ride home.

I didn’t get a photo of him but the next step is hauling the boards up to the frame shop, Artworks in Mechanicsburg, PA,( my heros),  and back to John Weist, my super hero. He chops the moulding and the poplar boards at the same time and then joins them seperately so I can work on it assembled which makes it much easier to design.

What I end up with is this…

Then I cut out the words, lay them out on the boards, tape them down and use the graphite paper to transfer lines to the boards.

Clean up the lines…

and break out the tools…

Raking light is essential to see where the cuts need to be trimmed and refined…

and then it’s all about the fun and challenge of removing the wood that doesn’t want to be there.

I’m headed back to the tools now… but first…

for those who are here to see today’s painting…

a happy little number and one of my favorites…

#5- Beach Rose  14″ x 20″ 

Stay cool out there now…

 


Coming up Roses

Yesterday was one of those days when absolutely NOTHING worked as planned. I had at least fifteen meltdowns and that was before noon. The stalled storm front which dumped steady rain for three days was causing my vertigo to flare up, and watching the creek steadily rising in the background was like having one of those CNN crawls constantly going across the screen inside my eyeballs screaming flood warning. But even with all this anxiety raging there was absolutely NOTHING going on that was worthy of the whining energy I was giving my angst. At the end of the day, with a glass of wine in hand sitting on the porch swing, Pat was able to talk me down off the ledge and that, and a good night’s sleep, has this day dawning a whole lot brighter.

With the countdown looming for the summer show at the Granary, I decided to have some fun painting smaller pieces inspired by my gardens. And this week it’s all about the roses.

Don’t look at the weeding in progress beyond the foreground…but this is the view from my easel window. I have Gulliver’s windchime hanging just over my shoulder so she can keep an eye on me and the first summer after she died this rose bush began to bloom. It now climbs up the chime’s support and reaches out of the dark corner into her light. I noticed this morning that another branch is peeking up over the window sill. Leave it to Gully to know how to cheer me up.

Yesterday I brought this beach rose in and played all day with a still life set up. (Responsible for about half of the meltdowns it was.) This morning that flower is flat out and the studio smells wonderful.

And here’s the first pass which was done last night. With roses behind me and roses before me I am ready to face whatever this day has to offer.

With the promise of a bit of Shiraz and Herself waiting for me at the other end…I can manage anything !