Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wednesday and days seem to meld together in harmony...

It seems that the moments seem to flow into another moment of creation. I am collecting several long 4 to 5 yards panels of hand dyed fabric for my installation. No this is not to say each piece comes out exactly like I assumed they would be with the ability to over dye and hand paint the fabrics again ...there is a chance to manipulate the final images. I have been adding another hand painted layer of colors into the bark of my trees..slowly and painstakingly one brushstroke at a time. Do you ever find your self lost in a simple process of painting and lose track of all time? I know myself enough to begin with a dry brushing technique and then a wash of colors...they will penetrate into the fibers and appear on both sides of the cloth when they are installed into the tree tops. That is my plan for intuitive way of applying the dyes is always a surprise but as I check on several blogs I realize we are all exploring personal avenues for making our marks. I am working for an impressionistic, fluid approach in my color placements so it does take a leap of faith and patience in waiting to cure the batch of fabrics. most of my reference books give advice and recipes for dyeing 1/4 of a yard and up to a full yard. I am working with intensity to get the dyes to flow onto large, moving wind sculptures. That is where "Whispers in the Trees" sort of floated into my subconscious. My journey is one brushstroke at a time with the mixture of pure , bright colors at a time.

Last night we studied "Life on, in and under a log" ...a continuation of exploration of life in our Dawes Arboretum. Hopefully many will attend the activities and opportunities to see and discover the many chapters of the life inside Dawes. Next week is the Easter Egg hunt scheduled in the courtyard so I am praying for the continued Spring weather warm temperatures. I need to complete the candy eggs this weekend. I finished and delivered the wedding invitations to Kari Ann and Brent ...hopefully they were very pleased as I did think they ended up being an elegant, simple invitation for their upcoming nuptials. They are ready and have the envelopes addressed and were able to stuff them and had them in the mail today. I came home and decided to just go to is just a s important as good nutrition when I attempt to complete this large commission.

I have four washes to do tonight and dry them in a very hot dryer before tomorrow morning. I found some leaf skeletons on my meditation walk today. I saw the snake friend Mr. Squiggles again today but he was too fast for little Justin to capture him once again. I gave his mother Abby a copy of Seth Apter's new book...she is on the verge of recognizing that she had everything she needs be the artist in her life now. I went to pick up a couple extras at Michael's arts and crafts on my way home and took Roxie in to meet the crew. She peed through the shopping cart....whoops that is one place we have not worked on for her housebreaking lessons.

It is time to do my next load of ART!!!!! I hope you enjoy the photos! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart
We had a quick spaghetti dinner and Ken worked on his school assignments.

Monday, March 26, 2012

taking a break to just immerse myself into my process...

Last Friday I received a challenge to walk away from the computer, emails, texts (well I do not do that any way) and twitter....again I do not participate on my old phone. I worked all day on Saturday with the NPR radio in the background..we had been invited to a Pancake Breakfast with the best homemade maple syrup from this years harvest of our very own maple trees!!! Ken and I had a great start of our day and I work in solitude with a big smile on my face. I came home 6 1/2hours later and fell into a deep sleep. On Sunday I went to a bridal shower for Kari Ann and made the final preparations for her wedding invitations so we could print them and I could add the vellum and ribbon finishing touches ...they will have them to finish and put into the mail this weekend! I had not been to a wedding shower in a long time...probably Amber Rose's was the last event in our family. There is something sweet and affirming about three generations uniting to surround a young bride with pure support, laughter and family love.

On Friday Laura came and picked me up on the golf cart to go and see something special...a controlled burn. From this ritual burning of the dry brush and growth will come up from the ashes to refurbish and promote new growth. The sky was clear blue, the winds was up but these professionals were capable and caring in their desire to rebuild this area of the arboretum through the controlled burn. It is a thrilling experience. Laura and I then went over to the horticulture building and areas... where volunteers were building raised beds for the next early planting in the next couple of weeks. The young volunteers were working in the hot sunshine and mid 80's ...they were generous enough to offer me an iced cold bottle of water. Gratitude ...for being able to witness this daily evolution of holy ground.

Today I washed some beautiful velvety blue and purple 4 yard lengths of the cotton twill. These large hand dyed fabrics are quite a feat to complete but when it works it is a pure joy to reveal the luscious outcomes of my timing, layers of dyes and patience not to wash them too soon. I think they are going to be spectacular when they are high in the green trees of early summer in June. I also returned to adding a hand painted layer of accent dyes into the early, greening trees of our Spring. The temperatures were much cooler today and tonight we have the high chance of a killer frost. The magnolia trees are already shedding their beautiful blossoms and the daffodils are beginning to fade...I do not have any tulips but I say on the news that the tulips are way too early at Churchill Downs...the Derby will have a totally different feel this year in May. The warm temperatures and very early Spring may have some devastating effects on the gardens around here. I tested my next three dye is a light green that I over dyed and added a subtle blue accent to the surface. I have another dye bath with a trio effect cooking ...timing is so important to get the rich results I am desiring. The last project was my butterfly..or shall I say the impression of a fleeting butterfly in deep reds and blues. I began adding some Jacquard shimmer paints that I will continue adding the layers of reflective light exposed on the wings of this exquisite transforming fluttering of light. I added another hand painted layer of a graphite black gray onto my bark on the greening trees. I can hardly wait until tomorrow to go in to see my results.

Tomorrow morning Good Morning Columbus is taping at Dawes for their live morning show. Laura Appleman, Peter and Shane with Jenny will all be interviewed on live camera to promote the exciting happenings at Dawes this next couple of months. I am hoping to tape their wisdom for my inspiration as I join their family of appreciation! I am so grateful to have this opportunity to create in such sacred ground with my love for the earth. Two wonderful retired volunteers came in to see how I was working ...they gave me an interesting window of a chapter of this community artist who is a veteran returning from the wars has created some wonderful drawings of the mushrooms and wild flowers in her studies. I am hoping to make screens ...if she will allow me so we can screen print onto fabric for volunteers to add colors with fabric paints. No one succeeds alone!!! I hope you will enjoy the process with the photos and your continued input means so much to me.

Tonight my friend Cyd called and she is coming the first of June to assist me and play with the colors. She now lives in Tucson so we will have a great time just being together. Thank you Cyd!!! I can hardly wait to show you my process and have your esteemed critique ...of what's next??? I love you Cyd!!! Have a great week in the studios and be sure to watch Fox News Morning show ...if you are able! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart