Spring Flowers and some new paintings

The Hellobores are starting to bloom.  It’s a very slow spring and very dry, so it’s nice to see these lovely pink flowers.

I’m still painting inside, as the weather outside is cold, dank, and drizzly.  So I’m putting my yearning for  color and brightness onto the canvas.

“Walk at Little Island” 16×20 oil on canvas

 

“Moon over Nobska at sunset”; oil on canvas, 12×16

I’ve started knitting a new sweater; purple stripes!  I’m making it up as I go, so I hope it will turn out well.  I’ll post some photos as soon as there is enough to show.  I’ve had a year off from knitting due to tendonitis, so I’m hoping that my hands are well enough for my favorite activity!

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No spring here yet….

This has been a late and cold month so far here on Cape Cod.  I am just itching to get outside to do some plein air painting, but the cool (and sometimes very cold) temperatures and the wind have made it hard to be out long enough to really paint successfully.  After a very warm February, we have had January weather in March!

This is the first day of spring and the sun is bright.  It has been nice and light inside for painting, so below are a couple of recent depictions of the Cape in more temperate weather.

“Painting at Little Island” Oil on Board 12×16

“Golden Hour at Sandy Neck” 12×16 Oil on canvas

Music and Art

I love to combine my love of painting with my love of music.  I got the chance over the past few weeks when a friend and teacher of cello shared a photo of her and one of her students.  I was so taken by the light in the photo, that I asked permission to do a painting.  This is not my normal subject matter (I usually paint landscapes and nature subjects), but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to try this very special subject. The painting is almost done, and I’m really happy with the results.  The first photo is the beginning mock up with shapes and colors (done after several drawings).  The second photo is of the almost finished painting.  I’m still looking at it in the studio and making minor tweaks…..

nikki-and-clara-oil

clara-and-nikki-final-oil

                                   “Nikki and Clara” Oil on Board 12×16

Holiday Crafts

I haven’t posted in a while; sorry, sorry, sorry!  I did a lot of plein air painting over the summer with the Falmouth Art Center group, Monday Painters.  Then this fall I started working on some crafts for the Holiday Market at the art center (a major fund raiser for the center), and now I’m working on some tree ornaments to give to friends we visit over the holidays.

For the Holiday Market I made some origami wall hangings and some small origami flowers in vases.  A good many of those have sold.  I also read about making photo tiles, cementing photos to 4×4 tiles and coating with a waterproof coating and gluing cork to the bottom to make coasters.  I put 32 in the market and all but 8 have sold to this point. Our matted photo prints haven’t sold as well as most years but I did sell an oil painting of Ice House Pond in the fall; I loved the painting and was so delighted that someone else liked it too!!!

Here are the origami branches and vases that I made for the Market as well as the photo coasters:

origami-at-the-arts-market   photo-coasters

A friend gave me some branches of the “Walking Stick Plant”, a shrub that is a relative of hazelnut and which has coiled and gnarled branches.  I decorated two of them for the tables and made an origami bonsai wall hanging with the third.  The plant is just amazing; I want one for my yard!

walking-stick-tree-large walking-stick-tree walking-stick-origami

Here are some of the paper ornaments I’ve been making for friends.  I found the template on line, but I’ve used Word to make different patterns on the template before printing them out and assembling them.

tree-decorations

Lastly here are two photos, one is of two origami wall hangings that were in the Fall Show at the Art Center.  The second is a photo of the oil painting of “Ice House Pond” that sold at the market this year.  Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you have been having as much fun with crafts as I have been!

origami-in-art-show ice-house-pond-painting

 

Aran Sweater progress + some painting

Aran Sweater progress + some painting

My progress on the Aran lace sweater is creeping along.  I have found that the non repeating lace pattern in the front panel is hard to keep track of.  The back panel is a much easier repeat and I soon found that I didn’t need to use the chart.  But the front panel required the chart the whole way up the front, although I did begin to have a sense of what was going to happen in the alternate rows.  I’ve finished the front including the shaping for the neck and shoulders, and now am working on the back. The pattern calls for identical shaping for the neck and shoulder on the back, something I’m not sure I want to do (I usually have a higher neck at the back of the sweater).  Right now I’m thinking of ways I can alter the pattern to avoid that dip in the back.

After I knit the shoulders together (three needle bindoff), I will pick up stitches around the arm edges for the arms.  There’s some complicated short row shaping for the arm at that point (which I feel confident that I can do), but I may eliminate some of the decreases down the arm, as I want a little more ease in the arm.  It’s interesting that the pattern designer elected to use plain stockinette stitch in the arms, rather than the moss stitch of the body.  Fine with me, as the moss stitch is more complicated knitting; there is a band of aran lace that travels down the top of the arm.

Aran Sweater front

Sweater Front

Aran Sweater back

Sweater back, working on shoulder decreases

Monday Studio Painters group has more people coming each week.  Lots of the group are from the Monday Plein Air group that paints in the summer.  We were talking yesterday about the value of continuing to paint, even though it’s still too cold for plein air. I’ve also joined the Palette Knife group at the Art Center, so I have two paintings to share from the past week:

Tower Hill Pond

Sweater Front

Winter on the Marsh Racing Beach

“Winter on the Marsh” Oil on Board 16×20

Winter is knitting and painting time!

My summer plein air painting group is so enthusiastic that they have organized to get together on Monday’s at the art center to continue to paint.  (The art center has a Monday  afternoon  open painting time for members.)  I really enjoy painting with others and profit from the good feedback from others as I paint!  Here’s a previous week’s painting (which I’m going to put into the next art center show).  I plan to be there painting this afternoon.

Fall at Sandy Neck Oil

Autumn at Sandy Neck, 12×16 oil on canvas board

Two years ago I knitted a white handspun nordic sweater for my husband.  He liked it so much and has worn it so much, that he asked for another one!

White Nordic Sweater

White Nordic Sweater, natural white handspun

The patterns are involved and tricky to do, but I said yes!  I’ve been working on the new sweater since before Christmas and am working on the second sleeve now, with the front and back finished.  I decided to use the purple/brown handspun that I’ve pictured here previously as I was spinning it; I had two pounds and I thought that would be plenty until I started knitting.  It became clear that two pounds just wouldn’t be enough and I had no way of getting more of the exact multicolored fleece that I had spun.  We decided that interspersing a coordinated gray handspun in the top half of the sweater might work, so that is what I’ve done.  The photo makes the purple more intense than it is in person.  I’ll have to post the finished sweater here in a few weeks.  Below is a photo of the fronts, backs, and sleeves.  The front and back have to be bound together at the top and the neck band then will be knitted. Then I’ll sew in the sleeves and finally do the sleeve and side seams.  Here’s the work in progress:

Walters Nordic Sweater ipad photo

It may be spring, but the weather hasn’t heard about it!

Still a foot of snow on the ground and temperatures more typical of February than late March.  I guess the positive side is that I’m happily inside working on various projects.  I’m catching up on a lot of spinning.  I have a huge stash of wool and am finally making some inroads into it.  I have enough spun now to think about making a couple of sweaters.  It’s really satisfying to be using some of this wool that has been sitting around for far too long.

Spun grey silk-merino

Grey silk-merino mix (1.5 pounds)

Spun Sage Wool

Sage Green Merino (1 pound)

Maroon merino

Maroon merino (.5 pounds)

 

Maroon merino singles on wheel

Maroon merino singles on the wheel

 

I’ve also been doing quite a bit of painting, local scenes from here on Cape Cod as well as some scenes from northern VT.  I can’t wait for some sunny warm weather so I can get outside to paint, but until then the regular practice is very good for my painting technique.  I have two paintings ready to go into the “Contrasts” show at the Art Center tomorrow and two more ready for the following show which has the theme “Flora and Fauna”.

Into the Cedar Swamp

Into the Cedar Swamp Oil on Board 12×16

 

Murkwood Marsh

Murkwood Marsh Oil on Board 16×20

 

Sunset view of Woods Hole

Sunset view of Woods Hole Oil on Board 12×16

 

View of Eel Pond

View of Eel Pond Oil on Board 18×24

 

Woods Hole Street Painting

Captain Kidd Oil on Board 16×20

 

Cape Turkey painting

Cape Cod Turkey Oil on Board 12×16

 

Race Point underpainting

Underpainting for a painting of Race Point Light. I just started this one today.

 

And of course, I’m playing my cello almost every day.  Learning Popper etudes (I’m working on #16) stretches me, but I learn something new every day I work on them.  I have the Allemande and the Bourees from the 3rd suite memorized and am starting to feel more comfortable playing them from memory.  Bach is NOT easy to memorize, his music is so complex.  I’m starting to learn Faure’s Elegy; what a lovely beautiful piece of music.  It’s difficult, but well worth the effort.

Now, let’s see that snow melt and some greenery in the yard.  I’m ready for spring!!!