Saturday, January 28, 2023

things I love

arrived in the yukon in the thick of winter a few days ago

out for a walk at twilight the next evening,  crunching snow under foot, we walked the streets of my childhood
  snow sparkling under the streetlights as if a hand had strewn a thousand tiny diamonds across the surface

i hadn't forgotten the crunching snow but the sparkling snow i had

what a delight to see that again

a friend who lives here still has always sent me photos from her daily walks - the two below were taken last November
she graciously allows me to crop and edit them and use them in my work if and as i choose but mostly i just edit them to zero in on the qualities of the landscape of my heart

rocks and water were a first love - the image below is of the yukon river shore as it winds it's way through the city

below, a cropped version, zeroing in on those rocks and their ice formations

next is the view from the same point as above but looking across the river instead of alongside it

the clay cliffs that run the length of the downtown area, a silent sentinel, the backdrop of the city

seeing green plant-life in November here, north of 60, is unheard of

a cropped version below - focusing in on the water

I do love the water here, the lakes and rivers - the ever-changing colours that i can't choose a favourite from

i do plan to centre some of my creative time here on the landscape, especially the wildflowers, but these two images will also play a part

i also brought a few other things to work on whilst i'm here

i've a hankering to do some small stitcheries with little animals, along the lines of this small bird embroidery i did a few years ago using a painting from the book 'A Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady"

there's an owl, a fox and a rabbit that caught me eye that i'll use as a jumping off point

as well, i want to make more tags similar to these from a couple of years ago

same size and shape but perhaps not as "fussy"

 a small handful of scraps and some strands of embroidery thread left over from previous work for whatever comes to mind

small things, easy to pick up and put down

a stitch or two here and there as time allows

i'm here for a couple of months i think but looking after my little grand-daughter as her mama returns to work so the days will be busy, busy but in the best possible way

Saturday, January 14, 2023


usually the title of a blog post comes to me first and the narrative builds from there

seems to be the other way around today... so the writing will unfold and the title will appear somewhere along the way

the new year began with me working on a large project for a friend so there has been no time at all really for my own creative pursuits other than a few small colour trials and some looking back at colour explorations a few years ago

"twilight" is still much on my mind and below are three of the colour trials I've done

still considering ruskin's description of "blue turning into gold" and inspired by the cover of the book I'm reading on the same subject, this first is with indigo ink and a fine gold metallic thread stitched in a flattened detached fly stitch to emulate ripples on water

 dark lines reminiscent of tree trunks

 next is a misty grey/mauve, another colour of twilight, gold threads again though straight this time, and a stitched tree - it's too literal for my taste so there's more to do on it

the last is smoky-plum, same straight lines for the metallic and also straight lines for the trees

a good beginning but as usual, not exactly what I want though I've been given a new idea to investigate which I think is very promising

this work, along with an email from a friend about her intended colour study pursuits with accompanying reading list sent me off to add to my amazon wish list where I was reminded of a book that was published in May of 2021:

taking the colours and corresponding information from the book "Werner's Nomenclature of Colours", this new book includes over 1000 illustrations of the plants, animals and minerals Werner referenced

and what a book it is

the day it arrived I parked myself in an armchair for an hour poring over it, page by page, each more beautiful than the last

as I was looking at the colours and it's inspiration I was reminded of a colour study I began a few years back, when I first discovered Werner's delightful book

I wanted a reference based on my "tools": fabric, paint, thread and embellishments, so I devised a document on my computer I could print out and work on

below is the first iteration of that idea

Werner's book is based on colours of things: birds, animals, shells, rocks etc. but there are also things of the natural world that aren't in it such as fog, dusk, storms, etc. and those were the kind of colours that interested me the most

as I worked on this colour study I realized something was missing - my perceptions of the colours and the feelings they invoked were as important to me as the colours themselves so I created another template to include them and added headers to the columns 

I can't find it just now but it was laid out so that across the page it would be:

name, paint, thread, fabric, embellishment, perception

I think I want to re-visit that idea so will begin with a fresh list of words to think about in terms of colour and explore from there 

I can't think of a better way of discovering what my colour palette is