Postcards from the Ledge – 16

In this corner of the planet Fridays are trash pickup days.
The trucks roll before dawn so Thursday is officially Trash Day.

In this state of lockdown, with time whipping by like the wicked witch in Dorothy’s Kansas tornado, when Herself starts the day by saying, “It’s trash day” I feel like there are two thursdays in each week.

Today is trash day…again.

That’s all I have to say about that, except it explains why I thought it had been only a week since I last posted. Calendar says 10 days. I’ll just leave that there.

I spent my lunch hour on this Thursday watching my pal David Wallis on my phone.

He’s a fellow artist who not only shares wall space with my work at the Granary Gallery, he also manages it and he’s pretty darn good at both.

Oar Luck  –  Oil on Panel available at the Granary Gallery

So the Granary is getting into the online gig with something they are calling

Notice the Thursday theme running along here.

pARTicipate at home with Artist David Wallis

As pART of our artist series, we present David Wallis leading a demonstration in watercolors. Today, he will take us through the basics of color and how to compose a fantastic watercolor of your own. All levels are encouraged to join!1:30 pm DemoThis is a prerecorded demo (the internet connection in David's studio is poor). 2:10 pm Join David LIVE for a Q&A on ZOOM ZOOMhttps://zoom.us/j/3120891796?pwd=dDdXckQvWWN6cllJNGFMSXdFTDNRZz09Meeting ID: 312 089 1796Password: 542847See more of David's work at:https://granarygallery.com/search-works.php?keyword=david+wallis

Posted by Granary Gallery on Thursday, May 21, 2020

If I did that right you should see a link to their FB page above…where you can also have lunch with David while he performs his Intro to Color Theory ala Watercolors Demo.

It was fun to watch from my studio kitchen and this old dog even learned a new trick.

Another new thing I am learning to do is to comb wool.

I mentioned in an earlier post that my pillow cases are restocked with new fleece and with that I set out to upgrade my fiber prep.

Behold…the Viking combs.

I think the rake on the right is jealous of the craftsmanship as she photobombed the new gals in town.

Basically you load the wool onto the stationary comb and bring thecomb in your free hand through the locks in series of perpendicular passes until the fiber is loaded up on that comb. Two or three passes is all it takes. What you see pictured below is the second pass where already the fibers are beautifully lined up and open.

Then you load it onto the larger blending hackle…

and THEN you pull it off into this light and fulffy nest like length of roving…

with…A Diz…

It’s traditionally a concave disc, I’ve seen them made from whale bone, wood and plastic…but when you are also a spoon carver and you have a bag of unfinished spoons..well you pick out one that feels right and drill a hole in it and add some decoration and Bob’s your uncle you have a Diz.

I’ve never seen one with a handle…here’s one for sale at The Woolery store

but for me the handle is a bonus and makes it easy for my right hand to grasp while pulling the fiber through the tiny hole with the left hand. I needed one more hand to hold the camera in order to show you that but Herself was busy so maybe later.

This new skill and method is fabulous and fun to learn. Soooo much easier on my hands than other carders and the resulting roving is an absolute dream to spin. Not sure why it took 40 years for me to try this, possible the terrifying sharpness of all those tines… but there’s no looking back.

I’m experimenting with yarn thickness hoping to produce some thinner yarn than I usually make and so far I have five skeins…

the one on the far left was the first one out of the fleece and done before I started using the viking combs. Much less uniform. The combs do a much better job of aligning the fibers which results in a “Woolen” rather than “Worsted” spun yarn. There’s your fun fact for today…

which is a Thursday.

Now I’m off to take the trash out before getting around to my actual day job.

I suppose you can look for me to be doing one of those pARTicipate at home gigs in the future. It’ll be hard to beat Dave’s smooth delivery.

Stay tuned and stay frosty out there…

Here’s a couple sheep…just outstanding in their field…

The Flock 2019

And we have arrived at the end…
only to start at the beginning.

I owe everything Vineyard to my friend Lynn.
She brought me here for the first time.

We would throw a box of spaghetti and some brownie mix
into her car and drive from our shared apartment in Somerville
out to the ferry and over to her beloved island.

It was ten years or more before I even knew there were towns
other than Chilmark.

We drove straight from boat to bluff
and left only briefly for the annual lobster from Larsen’s
…and regular visits to Chilmark Chocolate.

Lynn had the biggest heart I’ve ever known
and its core and depths were chiseled out of those cliffs.

Her honest and joyful humor was wedged in between
every one of the giant stones she tended along her wall.

Her kindness and overflowing generosity
live on in the daffodils that now soak up her spring sunshine.

Her friendship and her family have given me
the closest thing to a home that I have ever known.

The monarch is for her.
Actually it may BE her.

For me
they always will be.

On the day I captured this light
there was a very short window
of this calm after the storm
just enough time
for the sheep to make their way
across the field to where I stood
and as the sun began to set
she flew behind me
and landed on this bend of grass
and stayed until I turned around.

Her smile was exactly as I remembered it
with that laughter and love
come to share the moment
which I had been searching for
all those years
as we had made a ritual of stopping
at this turnout each time we left her camp
to see if the sheep were there
and the muses might be too.

After four decades …
and with a wink and a nod
from one happy dancing angel
they did.

Thank you dear sweet soul.


Granary Gallery Season 2014

The exhibition of summer shows at the Granary Gallery opens tomorrow night…and I’m sending all manner of good art vibes to my pals who will start the season off with a bang…

Ken Vincent – Morning Has Broken  24 x 8 Oil on Panel

David Wallis  –  Morgan Whaleboat  28 x 39  Watercolor

Alison Shaw  –  Whaleboat, Gannon & Benjamin Boat Yard 2013

Dan West  –  Kingfisher  12×10 x 7 Sculpture

And a nod to our fellow art night pal John Hagen whose work is on display at the Granary and who will hopefully be ready to show new work very soon…

John Hagen  –  Plein Air Path to Edgartown Light  14 x 11 Oil on Canvas