Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And then the next plant began!

And in the image below I was delighted to see that I am not
the only appreciator of these amazing creations of Nature!

HOW did that get there? Further poppy musings.

8.30am May 25th:
How did that pod "petal" get there?
As I slept the neighboring poppy made a transforming move!
I wonder if there was any sound? And exactly how did it get on top
of the blossom's petals? Hmmm.

At 11am it remains on the top of the blossom ... at
what moment will it be cast aside to become compost?

Meantime the original blossom looks increasingly like
crushed silk and its interior black center is beginning to appear
as light raindrops fall.

7pm viewing, May 24th ... further amazement!



Monday, May 24, 2010

A little more sun is all it took!

Obsession is a word I have heard applied to many different situations, but not a word I usually think of as a personal trait! However I have to confess I have become a little obsessed with watching these poppies in our garden as they unfold.  Finally there is one which has shed all of the confining green "petals" protecting the budding blossom inside.  The image at the bottom shows the petals of the blossom now ready to open out.  Just have to hope we don't get another wild storm.  Poppies get a lot of attention for various reasons:  their beauty is one of them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Stair stepping Trio

Arranged in stair-stepped order, as though posing for my lens ... and in spite of the almost monsoon-like rain, and wild winds, of the last few days the majesty of nature continues to unfold in our garden.  A different poppy plant in the garden, not yet ready to bloom, holds water drops in its "whiskers" while beside it the last blossom from our Japanese iris hangs before becoming compost in the garden below.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Third Thursday in Tacoma

It is Art Walk in Tacoma and we took the opportunity to visit three galleries tonight.  At Peter MacDonald's Brick House Gallery on Fawcett Street longtime local artist Bill Colby was showing a broad range of his work. I was fascinated by a wood block print, with the carved block mounted on the wall above, made by Bill in 1960! This exhibition focuses on Bills' printmaking.
Seeing artists who have continued to evolve and grow in their work is mighty encouraging and Bill Colby is an inspiration to us all. In the accompanying photo he and Peter greet a guest.
You can visit the Brick House Gallery at 1123 Fawcett Avenue on Third Thursdays or by appointment at (253) 627 0426.

Photographer Boyd White has spent the past four years documenting homelessness in the Northwest, as well as in other areas of the country. At Tacoma Art Place nineteen of Boyd's evocative black and white photos are showing.
They are thoughtful, beautifully composed images of a part of life about which no one community seems to have an answer.  The world over, homelessness is an issue and many ideas are put forward but the challenges continue.  Do stop by Tacoma Art Place, consider buying one of their new t-shirts promoting TAP and see Boyd's images.

Tacoma Art Place is a completely volunteer-run non-profit. Our financial survival depends on your contributions and memberships. Please help us start the year off right by making a contribution. You can do so by visiting TAP or online via PayPal. Your contributions are tax deductible and absolutely essential to keep the sort of art access that TAP offers in your community.

 Seated in the window of the Fulcrum Gallery on Martin Luther King Way were three young women who are very active in the arts community in Tacoma. Megan, Heidi and Ellen good naturedly allowed me to take their photo with Jeremy Mangan (the featured artist at the gallery) in the red shirt behind them.  The clouds, trees and my reflection in the window are NOT part of the artwork - but they do make for an interesting image.  However the life sized painting of the famed horse of Troy is part of the exhibition and that and the other works in the show make it worthwhile a visit. Jeremy will give a talk about his work at the gallery on June 17th - 6-9pm. See the gallery website for details.

Walking into the Fulcrum Gallery  I was wowed by artist Elaine Vogel's fabulous coat.  Created by Lynn Di Nino (well known Northwest artist who seems to be able to do just about anything when it comes to art !) it is made from Goodwill sweaters and other garments she has paired to great effect, AND to great compliments from the viewing audience!

Gathering skies with fantastic shades of grey and black seemed like a good idea for us to think about making our way someplace to eat.
Dashing through a torrential downpour, water was careening off the sides of buildings like huge waterfalls. Leaping across the overflowing gutters we made our way to LeLe Restaurant, ate our fill of #54 (THE eggplant dish) and a wonderful curry while we dried out.

Great Art and great food ARE available in Tacoma, WA!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

An unfolding

In the few moments before a wild, windy, hail-laden, storm struck the house this afternoon, I ventured outside to gaze upon this amazing poppy, planted at the edge of the garden, and observe the first unfolding of this year.  I almost felt as though I was intruding on a private occasion!
Showing her pink folded petals, for the first time this spring, I stood in awe (again) at the magic of spring and rebirth that greets us at this time of year.  My hope is that the wild winds whipping around our house at this minute won't damage this unfolding.
I am easily imaging waking tomorrow to this pink wonder, fully opened, in the garden.

Friday, May 14, 2010

How do they do that?

Have you ever stood in front of a piece of art work and wondered "How do they do that?"  I feel very fortunate to have some  highly talented artist friends.  And while their work is certainly visible in the art world ... I wanted to post some of their work in case you, the reader, are not familiar with their creations.

At the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham last weekend, I was delighted to watch this woman come across my friend Marita Dingus' installation in the current exhibition Show of Hands: Northwest Women Artists 1880-2010.
The woman was chattering quietly with a friend when she stopped in front of Marita's piece and was immediately silenced: she remained there for a very long time, solitarily engaged with this wonderful creation titled 200 Women of African Descent.  The whole exhibition is certainly worth a visit.
Marita is represented by Francine Seders Gallery, in Seattle.  Another delight was to see the work of Diem Chau ( with whom I had taken a class at Pratt some years ago ...  "before" she was famous!) in three of her beautifully detailed pieces.
When my friend Alicia Tormey invited me to her studio to take some images for her to use, I had my first experience of watching the process of encaustic painting happen ... before my very eyes ( as the over used expression goes!). I had no idea of the complexity of laying down all those layers of paint, wax and shellac ... and then taking a torch to it!!!  EEK!  The painting didn't incinerate, the studio didn't catch on fire, I didn't catch on fire
and the effects are stunning. But not done yet, said Alicia!  Looking at the images later I found myself intrigued by the process images as much as the "almost completed" works.  Alicia's work can been seen currently in a show at the Alexis Hotel in Seattle, Pacini Lubel Gallery - Seattle, and Gillman Contemporary in Ketchum, Idaho.

 Each month my friend Colleen Maloney and I volunteer in the Open Art Studio at the Tacoma Art Museum. When the chores of maintaining the studio are completed ... we "play".  One of Colleen's many talents ( she first identifies as a graphic designer) is as a paper/book artist and yesterday I watched her assemble a book from the stunning pile of paste papers she had created.  Her sense of color always amazed me and when a book is completed, the manner in which those colorful papers are assembled - is simply stunning.  How does she do that?  Surrounded by so many talented people, one just hopes some of it rubs off!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sparkles and Polka Dots Seattle Style

Last Saturday must have been a Prom Night somewhere near the Pike Street Market in Seattle .  Walking to dinner at the Pink Door in Post Alley( always a wonderful meal, great service AND on this glorious late afternoon we shared our first outside dining of the spring with good friends Rick and Francie) this foursome passed us on their way to a prom.
The clothing styles were what caught our attention: one in strapless tuille with sparkles carrying her very high heeled black shoes in her hand. In her hair was an extravagant rhinestone creation.  Miss Polka Dots looked like a 50's matron: big white sunglasses and a bow completed her outfit. The third young woman (hidden in front of the young woman in polka dots) was covered by a black coat and all that designated her as going to a party was her very fancy patent leather flats.  Black and white tennis shoes decorated the feet of the solo male ... they looked perfect with his rumpled tuxedo. It was hard work to catch them still ... but then the traffic light turned red.  Hope they had a great evening.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A single bloom can change your day!


 Driving down the hill of my friend Sally's driveway this morning about 9am I braked! WHAT was that on top of a tall stem that I could see at the edge of her garden? It was this amazing, crimson, parrot tulip: breathtaking in its solitary stance in the morning sun.
No matter how many images I took, it really doesn't  capture the magnificence of this flower.
Just below the crimson beauty, lying languidly on the greenery below it, the light was radiantly shining through the petals of another parrot tulip: this one golden yellow with red accents.  The second image of the golden tulip shows its underside - equally beautiful.  Mother nature did herself proud when she dressed this morning!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tapestry ... ancient skills newly interpreted.

Tapestry weaving is an ancient art and samples of Greek tapestry have been found preserved by the desert climate of northwestern China dating from the 3rd Century B.C.  My daughter lived in the city of Tournai, Belgium ( as an exchange student): famous as a center of tapestry weaving in the Middle Ages. Many ancient cultures used woven tapestries as shrouds in which to bury their dead.
Yesterday I watched 9 months of intensive work, of tapestry weaving, by my friend Cecilia end up in a pile on the floor!  It was an experience unlike any I have previously had.   It was the cutting down of a tapestry she has been weaving for the past nine months in her home studio. Commissioned by the Washington State Arts Commission, this work is to hang in the school of a small community in Eastern Washington, called Moxee - just east of Yakima.  Among her many  beautiful creations Cecilia recently worked for two years, with a small group of weavers, on a set of tapestries being made for Stirling Castle in Scotland.  The Scottish tapestries are based on the famed Unicorn Tapestries and are amazing medieval images.
No medieval images in this tapestry: the images are Cecilia's interpretation of the countryside of this small town in the middle of a huge hops growing area: it is spectacular. The images below are of the process of cutting it down ... and if I can get Blogger to place the photos where I want them they will show Cecilia's water color painting of her suggestions for the art work (immediately accepted without any changes!), the tapestry on the loom when we all arrived, the actual cutting down, the tapestry laying on the driveway of Cecilia's home, tying off the ends and Cecilia in front of the tapestry answering questions.  And if I can't manage to place this many images successfully, I'm sure you will work it out - which is which!

The finishing processes will take about a month and in early June the town of Moxee will have this amazing creation hanging in the school there.  What a special treat to be included in this unique experience.  Thanks for including us Cecilia.