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Vacation in St. Louis

Hello, I’m back home after a spring break trip to St. Louis. While I’ve done a bit of knitting, I am way behind on the 100-day project. My knitting will be detailed on Monday. For now, I’d like to share a bit of what I saw at the St. Louis Museum of Art.

Fortunately for me, the museum has a very liberal policy on photography. And while it is not huge (we easily viewed nearly all of it in a 2-hour span, despite the presence of a 4-year-old in our group) it has a very nice collection. Lots of it is American art. I was able to photograph a handful of works that impressed me. Here are some examples.

In the American gallery, 19th and 20th century paintings:

Loved the depiction of light on the water in this gorgeous oil painting.

Georgia O’Keefe – my perennial favorite painter.

Moving on to sculpture – first, an ancient Chinese stone carving of Buddha

Next, an 800-year-old carving of Christ.

This sculpture was commissioned by the museum and fabricated from local limestone.

And finally, as fiber artist, I couldn’t leave until I had seen some examples from the collection.

I have a lot of free time in the up-coming week and so expect to re-double my efforts to make art. Check this space in a few days for the next installment of 100 days of art inspired by Bill’s photographs.

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Inspired by Photographs: A Collaboration

My imagination was captured by the 100 Day Project Challenge. The idea is simple: choose a creative project, do it every single day for 100 days, and share your process on your social accounts using the hashtag #The100DayProject.

After thinking about aspects of my work that I want to improve, I hit upon the idea of collaborating with my husband, Bill. He is a dedicated photographer who carries his Canon with telephoto lens everywhere he goes. Consequently, he has an immense library of images. So here is what I suggested to him:

Process: From his library of photographs, he will curate several dozen into collections with prompts generated by me. From that point, I will create artwork based on the images, working daily for 100 days.

Guidelines: There are almost none. Back and forth consultations between photographer and artist are encouraged. I agreed to publish his photographs only if they are stamped with his mark.

Here are the prompts I provided to Bill:

  • Atmosphere
  • Best of the Birds
  • Creatures Great and Small
  • Faces
  • Gardens
  • Kids’ Stuff
  • Light Effects
  • Mineral
  • Photographer’s Choice
  • Rural America
  • Seasons
  • Transportation
  • Urban Architecture
  • Vacation Favorites
  • Waterscape

My plan is to work daily, but post on this site only once a week. I have no idea how many paintings, drawings, sketches, quilt blocks or knitted swatches will be made, so it seems easier just to group them.

And here are the images I have chosen for study the first week of the challenge.

Photographs by Bill Riley, reuse by permission only.

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Floriferous Solstice

What better way is there to welcome summer than with an abundance of flowers? (and one vegetable?)

Snowy Shasta Daisies
Purple echinacea with columbine seedheads
A group shot including pink Rose of Sharon in the background
Rudbeckias in the prairie bed
A beet root swelling

I hope you are enjoying your summer!

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Solstice Gifts from the Garden

I can’t let December pass by without writing about the garden produce I harvested this month. I like to think of these as gifts from Mother Nature to me.

The first image you see is a bunch of French Breakfast radishes from seeds sown in October. They were ready to eat in early December. I’ve been pulling a handful every week this month. Shredded and sliced they give a fresh crunch to salads. I even made a carrot and radish coleslaw dressed with a light vinaigrette.

There are a few interesting things to note about winter grown radishes. As you can imagine, they grow more slowly than they did in the spring. But they also remain ready to eat in the ground for weeks and don’t get woody. The hot peppery taste is much reduced.

I plant spinach nearly every October, typically at the same time that I plant garlic. Usually it germinates, makes a few leaves and then goes dormant until spring, at which time it explodes with growth. This year, it continues to make new leaves. I cut enough spinach for two salads in the last two weeks. The texture is velvety and the flavor is mild.

This Italian parsley was planted from transplants in early summer. Parsley is a bi-ennial. I usually get lots of leaves the year it germinates. Going into the next year, it produces leaves until the heat sets in, when it blooms, sets seed and dies.

This year I was unable to harvest any of parsleys during summer and fall because of the black swallowtail butterflies. They kept laying their eggs on it. The crop of caterpillers ate everything except a couple of stems. But lo and behold, come late fall the plants all produced nice umbrellas of leaves. I’ve been taking cuttings for the past two months pretty regularly. I’m wondering how these plants will behave next year.

This week the temperatures have dropped back into the twenties at night. So, the curtain may now be descending on the final produce production of 2021.