Sunday, August 28, 2005

Poem for Melody

Although I had sent it to Melody, realized the poem wasn't on my own blog. The poem just came to me after I read her post on Aug. 10 about how different her Summer turned out to be and how much her husband was enjoying the new red car. It reminded me of how my husband and I discovered how plans can blow away like dandelion fluff on a gentle Summer day and it's the shared moments that count most of all. Here it is:

Red Car Won

The plans I made like petals fell
When moments blossomed new
And all the planned tomorrows
Were nothing but 'to do.'

I saw with sharing, love and care
Joy truly filled the while--
As friends and family brightened days,
And red car caused a smile.

We each can find a treasure
In moments seeming small,
Like diamonds shine our givings...
Reminding, "Love Is All."

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Still Life Challenge 1: Original

This is the original version I used. Enjoyed this challenge immensely and am looking forward to turning the images which were printed onto fabric today into finished little quilts. I'll show those when they're done. I'd originally planned to just play in Photoshop, but then found the printing fabric and decided to take the next step after all. For this challenge deadline, enjoy the variations and abstractions which follow...unfortunately the process appears backwards here but you'll see how one led to another after viewing the complete string of entries.

SLC 1: Tranferred onto Fabric

This one I transferred onto a silk blouse which had gone to the fabric pile. I have already cut out the image and am now selecting border fabrics.

It doesn't show well on this photo in the blog, but there is purple resin on the iron tip where it accidentally touched the already transferred landscape photo while I was ironing the second transfer (which shows images on the backing paper because originally it was put through the printer wrong side up. Oh well, might use them to try the method where you put acrylic gloss medium on the image, lift it from the paper when dry and adhere it to another surface. This second set of transfers I placed on the back of a cotton dress shirt which also found it's way to the fabric pile.

This photo shows the four pictures which were printed on purchased 'prepared for printing' fabric sheets. The colors came out very vibrant. Have already ironed on the Wonder Under backing and selected two fabrics as possible borders. The collage on the right was a sampler I'd put together of my photo's and paintings to check color accuracy and saturation on a previous occassion. Now that it's printed on fabric, I will cut them up into individual little squares and use them for cards.

This is to show that some of the ink does come off after ironing. By wetting and ironing again, the colors are now set in the fabric. Yes, those leaves are also one of my early versions of the Still Life Challenge.

SLC 1: Crop and Abstract Again

Since this was so much fun, I then took a smaller leaf section, combined it and played with distorting it into a totally different image, but since it ended up a ball, one can see the derivation from the original :-)

These are the pieces and the wild new painting.

Still Life Abstracts

Went back to leaf elements, changed the colors and softened the edges for a more painterly effect.

SLC 1: Tiled

So far you've seen 'some' of the colorations of the original photo and then how I cropped to the leaf section and made a pattern. Next I tried multiplying the pattern into an overall design using the leaf elements. Then I went back in and change the colors (Peekaboo examples) or applied a filter that totally distorted the original (black version), then did one with the leaves and ball idea combined (Foundation).

Friday, August 26, 2005

More Still Life Variations

Believe it or not, in my dreams last night I could still see the computer screen on which I'd been playing in Photoshop, further coloring and reshaping previous samples prepared for the Still Life Challenge. Body went to sleep, spirit kept creating. Got up this morning and tried two of the ideas; one worked, the other proved useless but worth trying. Now the question remains whether any of these variations can be turned into a fabric version by challenge post date. May have to stay with the prints for this one, but I love how this exercise rekindled exploration of the ENDLESS variations one can create with the computer and then brought me back to consider which picture to shape into a quilt. We shall see...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Still Life Challenge 1: Color Variations

Looking forward to seeing the variations on the Still Life Challenge. Had a few done already in Photoshop, but decided to play further last night and had so much fun that continued this morning. It's endless! My experience has been with experimenting with textures or coloring my photo's and my own paintings/designs but haven't tried working with a grid before or slicing through a picture and coloring various sections. It's fascinating! Thank you ladies of the quilt-art circle for your inspiration.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Then Sings My Soul...

God definitely has a sense of humor. I spent the weekend vocalising, reading, writing and going for long walks in the park. Awkward time to sing since the throat has been a bit sore with swollen glands for a week now, so I didn't talk between warm-up sessions. By the way, I found a book of Sacred Songs which I'd bought last year for a class and it had "How Great Thou Art" so there was no need to go to the library for the music. The illustration next to the page with the hymn was a b&w woodcut of a stand of pines during a thunderstorm with lightening streaking the sky. I found that just an hour or so before our thunderstorm hit the neighborhood! ( cue twilight zone music)

I got up early to meditate and warm up the voice before heading out to the church a few towns up. Without a minute to spare and nerves starting to tingle with anticipation, I ran to the car, opened the door, sat down and yelped as I quickly got out again. The back of my dress was now wet in the few spots that made full contact with the seat before I jumped out. The sunroof was open an inch or so...and had been during the second storm Sunday night, so the front seats were completely sopping wet and the little tray between the seats was a pool of water. Oh no! I started to laugh and realized this was so surprising that now I couldn't be nervous about the funeral. Ran back in and found a large black plastic garbage bag. Ran back to the car, put it on the front seat and sat down. Not a good feeling. Had to touch the surface under me a few times to be sure it was solid plastic between me and the watery seat. It felt cold and wet anyway.

The church was closed despite the fact that the organist told me to be there an hour early so we can go over the music together. Doors opened 25 minutes before start time. He was already inside. The air conditioning was set at freezing and the blower was over the choir loft. Not good. I had on a black and white sleeveless sundress, with little black sandles. Not very warm. I had brought a mug of hot tea with me, but that was cold within 10 minutes of opening the top. I went back to the car and got the thin, white, cotton cardigan I'd brought "just in case." Then he told me the parish priest didn't allow the "Our Father" to be sung in church apart from its place in the service. What next? After much discussion (persuasion) and a sing-through, the organist said, "Let's just do it and if they didn't want it played they can tell me afterward." Worked for me.

The funeral began on time, but we were freezing in the choir loft It is such a joy to feel the voice arc over the space and fill the church with music. I was worried every time I had to clear my throat between songs, and praying the voice would come out despite the chill. When the organist told me he was going to sing a hymn while the priest said final prayers by the coffin (before I sang the exit song), I smiled and prepared to listen. He started out ok, with just a little frog in his throat. By the third line he was coughing. Sang a few more notes and coughed some more. People started looking up behind them to see what was going on. I took a step further back and hugged myself to stay warm for the last piece. He coughed, lost his voice, and finished by just playing the organ. There but for the grace of God, was my fate. Thankfully, the finale was great. Hearts soared. The funeral was over. My friend and her family were very grateful. My fingernails were blue with cold, my throat scratcy, my car seat still wet and I had to rush back to work at the office to resume my other identity, but it was a good day. As each song was sung, the music soothed us all. At least for the moment....

Friday, August 12, 2005

Off Roller Coaster...Into Storm

Spent several hours last Saturday and Sunday coloring the “Simple Still Life” challenge photo and got so excited decided to join the fun. Requested the link, it arrived and nothing more got done with that, as the roller-coaster of daily activities took off in various directions. It occurred to me that even the wildest roller-coaster comes to a regular stop---the important part is to enjoy the ride, but remember to get off or it just keeps looping over and over. So…it’s Friday…it’s stopped…I'm getting off ....

The peaceful weekend started with a HUGE thunderstorm that tore through the area like a hurricane and cut off electrical power from Friday evening to Saturday late afternoon. It was incredible, beautiful and frightening.

I was watching TV and reading during commercials, when it became obvious that the sky had gotten dark gray and rain was falling heavily. When I heard thunder in the distance, decided to turn off the TV and unplug the computer in the studio. The sky was totally gray and the rain was pouring, as lightening streaks increased and the thunder got louder. The trees outside were being whipped around by the wind and the driveway outside the window was streaming with rainwater.

It looked so fascinating that I opened the front door to try to watch from there. Big mistake. The wind threw the door open out of my hand and the rain washed over me like a bucket of water. I was so shocked both at being instantly soaked and at my stupidity, that I burst out laughing and struggled to shut the door against the wind and rain. Couldn't believe a scene out of an old b&w movie when a stranger knocks at the front door during the midnight storm and the loner on the heath is allowed in soaking wet, as the rain and wind try to follow. Wished I had a fireplace...

I moved the wingback chair by the large living room window, pulled back the sheers and opened the shades for a full view of the storm. Living theater. Knelt on the chair seat with arms resting on the back and watched as the sky lit up, constantly flashing with a brilliant light that regularly blinded me and I had to look away. By now the rain was a solid sheet of water and you couldn't see the trees through it---and they were right there on the other side of the yard! Only a faint gray outline in a few spots witnessed their presence. The lightening was like a strobe, bright, sharp and constantly flicking on and off. It was hard to believe the world could light up, on and off, so quickly.

The power went out within the first half hour so I was in pitch black darkness, making the lightening flashes even more awesome as they lit up the entire living room in a cold white flicker. The thunder shook the house. You could hear the crack of breaking tree branches, but you couldn't see where they fell. I thought of watching lightening storms in Tuscon Arizona, years ago, as we'd sat on the porch eating dinner, four of us in a row so everyone could see the lightening sizzle down across the desert. This was better. I thought of being at my sister's in the Catskills, where thunderstorms rumble through the whole valley. This was louder. I remembered that you're not supposed to sit near a window during a lightening storm, but I was mesmerized. It lasted a very long time...I was praying. Finally the thunder's rumbles grew fainter, the wind settled and the rain remembered how to shower down gently. Awesome.

Noticed candles appearing in neighboring windows. Decided to go upstairs by flashlight and simply go to bed. My nerves and senses were on overdrive. A short meditation and then sleep. Thank God it was over. It wasn't until late the next afternoon, after the power returned that I ventured out of the house and drove around the area and discovered all the torn trees and branches tossed onto cars and houses. Beautiful huge oaks and maple snapped like toothpicks. Debris everywhere. God definitely pruned his garden this time.