Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Different kind of wildlife

Wildlife on the Trail
The wildlife along the trail isn't all that wild, there are ducks and geese and even spring warblers, but there are also these two pigeons. There are people who feed the wildlife and so they are not so wild.
Most people don't feed them white bread anymore, everyone has gotten the message that is bad for any life. However feeding encourages scavengers to compete for light and nesting space.
Salt Creek Trail combines urban scenes and stressed natural areas, and a challenge to people who care about the environment.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A different Kind of spring

A Different Kind of Spring
Spring is different along the trail. It is not like spring in my garden, there are no pinks or purples, no bursting blooms. There are no feathery limbs or blankets of lawn. It is greener much greener the creek is green, the trees shrubs and fields are green, green is everywhere.
Oh there are flowers.
There are flowers, but you have to hunt for them, underneath the leaves and the shrubs. They are not pink or purple nor are they red. They are white or yellow, they are subtle understated and protected not showy, or loud. 
It's a rest for the eyes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring on Salt Creek Trail

Spring has burst onto Salt Creek Trail this year, it seems one day it was cold, bare and frozen, and the very next day a warm breeze blew the spring into the trees in a kalidascope of varigated greens. I am so distracted, as each breeze tugs at me, each new sound, each scent pulls me this way and that, begging for my attention "pick me! pick me!" I don't know which way to turn!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stitching Practice

Practice Makes Perfect 
I have been practicing stitched tree trunks for my Salt creek in the Snow piece. The practice piece has distant and closer trees with the creek in the background and dried grasses in the foreground. I can tell already that the final piece will need a more closely woven, more tightly hooped fabric, to hold the tight zigzag stitch I used on the distant trees.
The different types of trees were created by using darker and lighter threads in the bobbin and top of the machiene and distance was created by varying the width and placement of the trees realitive to one another. 
Here is a closer look at the thread variations on my practice piece you can also see the pulling.
I will need a stablizer on my final finished piece.
For closer tree trunks I will use a strait stitch in varying tones from light to dark to suggest roundness and closer detail. I will also paint in a light blue shadow on the ground to suggest the way the light is shining.
You can see the shadows painted in on this practice piece. Some of my silk painting bled on this piece so I am using it for practice. I did not yet stabilize and I can see pulling in the zigzag stitched trees.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The birds are back on Salt Creek Trail

                                                           Spring arrives on Salt Creek Trail 
      Well at least the birds have arrived! Canadian Geese trolling the banks of Salt Creek for secluded nesting sites, Mallards, and Wood Ducks scooping out nests in the remaining fall leaves and Robins well, the Robins have a secret. They say the early bird gets the worm but the really early Robin gets the best nesting site, the best mate, and a early start on reproduction with possibly two clutches of eggs and hatchlings. The Robins around here have secretly been wintering in the woods along Salt Creek Trail and had a head start on nesting spots in the neighborhoods this year. I've been seeing them in the woods all winter. They were in the yards as early as end of February. I don't have any close up pics of robins.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ice and Deer on the Salt Creek Trail

 The Frozen Trail 
It is cold, the kind that bites you when it greets you coming out the front door.
The creek is nearly frozen, with cracks and bumps and snow dusted over but, in places you can still see the dark water rushing benieth. 
I watched a herd of deer crossing it gingerly the morning I took this picture, slowly following one another, then lunging quickly up the bank on the other side. Then they picked their way slowly almost delicately through the forest on the other side.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thread glorious Thread

In my art thread is not just a tool. It is my inspiration.
I love the color, texture, sheen, and incredible variety of thread available to me as a fiber artist.
I go into the fabric shop and lust after more colors of thread. I await with impatience for the coupon or sale that will let me buy more thread.
I really do use all this wonderful thread in my art. really!
I have to get just the right color, and a lighter shade,
and a darker shade for shadows. I need the right kind of thread cotton for a matte finish, polyester for top stitching, silk threads for silk applique then there's the bobbin... you get the picture.
Well, no, really I do use the thread!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snow on Salt Creek Trail

It is quiet, snow has fallen in the night, and all the sounds are smaller and thinner.
The quiet surrounds me and all I can hear is my muffeled footsteps as I walk down the trail.
Salt creek is in the background muttering to it self as it wanders along drinking up the snow.
The birds are quiet too waiting for the snow to stop, and the squirrels are out performing their arial accrobatics but there are no leaves to rustle and give them away as they dance over my head, from one side of the trail to the other.
I am out here taking photographs to inspire my creations. I love the quiet and the transformation of the Trail by the snow.
I can see where the deer have come down to the creek already this morning to drink, and nibble on the bark and small straw colored plants along the creek.

I can also see where other eairlier treckers have gone before me already this morning.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Indoors making monoprints

Today is a day to stay inside and make art
so I began some mono-prints. The thread painted piece,
is stitched over recycled teabags.
I have tea every morning,
I noticed the designs left on the dried teabags looked interesting,
why not see if they would make a good background?
This is what they look like as a background for stitch.
I used glue to adhere them to painted paper, 
then layered them with rust dyed fabric and wool batting.
Then  stitched the design of a frost altered thistle. 
This is a contender for January.

The journey begins

Bright sunshine, and sharp long shadows, the earth has moved
and the sun is low in the sky even at noon. 

I can see far back into the woods with the trees bare and 
the undergrowth laid low by the hard freeze.
I can see the architecture of the land.
This land dips and weaves buckles and folds
as it tumbles toward salt creek.