Before I return to Florida and then discuss some new work, I wanted to show you a picture of our feeders in our back yard. In the late fall flocks of gold finches come swarming in on their migration. They come down from the Sierra and have already started going green from their breeding bright yellow. We have a lot who hang out with us as I put out a lot of Niger thistle see for them which is their all time favorite food. Usually, as their plumage starts to turn bright yellow, they migrate on so we seldom see them in their resplendent colors. Here you see them just before I left for Florida just turning yellow.
When I returned home, I found that almost all the finches had flown off. We have two pair that seem to be hanging around. And we finally get to see the male in all his glory along with his mate.
I spent an entire day at the wildlife refuge at Merritt Island while I was in Florida. Following are a few of the pictures I took while there...I am not sure what kind of bird this is, I haven't had time to look it up yet...just one of many
and of course, a snowy egret
and an egret
an alligator I almost didn't see in the dark pond where I was about ten feet away...got two pictures and then backed up quickly!
and palmetto bark which will probably end up in some art about Florida...like in the woods Florida!
trees which help make up the woods
This is my dye studio at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. I am on a side porch of the painting studio. Behind the building to the left are two more tables which everyone used for mixing dyes, discharging, etc. By being on the side I could stay out of everyone's way. You see the table will layers of plastic...I would put a piece of plastic down, lay down a soda ash soaked piece of cotton or silk, add the concentrated dyes, cover with another piece of plastic and repeat the process until I have about 10-12 yards of fabric being dyed.
I was working on dyeing some fabric to use in my commission pieces for the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, one of which needs to be finished shortly after I return home. You can see the sketch that was given the ok to do for a piece that is 36" x50" along with a pile of some of the fabrics. I dyed cotton, silk habotai, charmuse, and silk chiffon. Beautiful colors! Deep, rich, intense.
And here is the final pile of fabrics ready to be packed up into my suitcase for the trip home. My suitcase only weighed 16 pounds over the limit, both coming and going. I had figured that using up the dye and auxiliary chemicals would have reduced the weight...but I guess I found more things to put in there. In hindsight, it would have been better to ship all my stuff the ACA and just carry on a bag of my clothing since Delta now charges for just checking one bag...I would have saved me a ton on money...now I know better!
This is the image in the sketchbook, the proceeding page has images of two other pieces that are part of the commission.
Once I got home it was time to get to work. This piece uses dyed fabrics I did in Florida plus some painted fabrics. This is before quilting. It is now quilted, trimmed, has a facing which I am half way done hand sewing.
I also did a couple of drapes for my church so the two weeks before Easter have been really busy. My Better Art by Design class started up a week ago so I spent today doing critiques of work from the first lesson. Several of this class's students are from other countries, three from Switzerland...I don't think there will be anyone for me to teach when I finally get there next year!
I am also finishing up three larger pieces from In the Woods for my show in May in Galesburg. They have a show right now, a juried art show called Galex and one of my pieces was accepted and is the only fiber piece in the show.