Category Archives: art project

5/7 May-be

Dear Mom,
I hope you are having a good time on your cruise to Alaska.  Thank you so much for the use IMG_4460of your home for my “crafty ladies retreat” day.  The weather was incredible and so we were able to be out on your deck making a mess!

Sarah painted some gingko leaves with glue for a batik and Sandy, Deanna and I got busy making Sharpie tie-dye IMG_4470scarves with the silk I ordered.  It was a blast and so easy!

We’ll have to schedule a day like that when you are home because I know you would love to IMG_4463join right in.

See you soon, Amelia

silk three

opening to something new

grunewald library loftMy home for the rest of this week is at the Grunewald Guild in Leavenworth, WA.  I’m taking a class in encaustics, thanks to a gift certificate from my church. I’m also getting lots of time to write and take pictures.

This morning we began our day with the founder of this guild, Richard Caemmerer, sharing his vision of how to engage the creative process and maintain it as a spiritual practice as well.  I have a lot of his words in my head right now and I need to write them down and see how they unfold.

There are two classes running at this time: Encaustics and Acrylics.  These are the morning workshops.  Then the afternoons are open for more studio practice or whatever you want to do.  There are also “secret classes.” These are offerings that aren’t advertised but are put together depending on offerings by staff or volunteers with expertise.  I’m going to be doing one on doodling – right up my alley.  That will be tomorrow.

This morning was all about learning some basics of the encaustic materials and techniques and beginning a practice piece which will also be sort of our test block for the rest of the week.  I don’t have a photo of it yet.  They had us start with collage encaustics because it is the easiest.  I found a lot of what I do with fabric transfered to this work today.  We’ll be learning harder techniques as the week progresses and I will see how my “craftiness” applies as I become involved in those.

So thanks to all who made it possible to be here!



weekend to weekend
what an amazing amount of life happens between weekends

one Saturday
I am surrounded by mothers and daughters
celebrating all their wonderful body parts with pictures and paint and words

the next Saturday
I am contemplating a memorial of flowers
left at the crash site of a young woman
I watched grow up at church
Sunday to Sunday
weekend to weekend
year after year after year

 for all that is fair and lovely
and all that is unfair and lost
you’ve been on my mind
this weekend

a slice of a weekend project: (it might take time to load up but I hope you enjoy my slide show -powerpoint) –  I am wonderfully made

the stuff of dreams

ccms 1My brother and his family are about to embark on a two month journey to New Zealand.  A trip like this has long been a dream of theirs and with my brother being self employed now and their daughters being 8 and 10, it is a good time in their lives to just do it – and go.

Just do it… Go….

How often do those words whisper in your ear?  How often do you respond with action?  For me, not often enough…..

Another dream has also been birthed in my brother’s family.  A few years ago, my young nieces were trying to understand why the youngest sister had a birthday that came first in the year.  Their mother, my sister-in-law, began to sketch a circular calendar to explain the passing of months in a year.  She began to dream of creating this calendar with illustrations and a spinning center.  Communications began with a young artist from the area and her idea slowly developed into a reality.

Her Child’s Calendar of Months and Seasons arrived from the printers this week.  But, her dream of creating and selling this art has collided with her family’s dream of traveling to New Zealand.  Luckily this creation is a perpetural calendar and more like a memory book than a Daytimer.  (One new grandmother bought one to record her grandchild’s first year -how sweet!) Carolyn will be able to sell them when she returns at the end of January.

In the meantime – I’ve got one – and I’ve got a few more to sell if you are interested!  They are truly beautiful works of art thanks to the delightful illustrations by Phoebe Wahl.  (16 x 20, $30 + tax)

ccms 2 ccms 3 ccms 4  ccms 5

it was long ago, but the telling brought tears to her eyes

a memory of long ago….

Our church had just expanded with the addition of a new sanctuary, one that was airy and light and full of new spaces to decorate.  A friend and I became a team to design and paint large panels of gauzy fabric that would hang during the Lenten season. She and I worked on the panels in her art room at the middle school.  It was a delightful time.  We sketched a design, figured out how to outline it on the sheer fabric and experimented to find the right shades of paint.  We talked about our children, similar in age, and our careers as teachers.  We talked about our beliefs and our passions.  It was a spiritual experience both of us will never forget.

The panels hung that year and we heard whispers of disappointment from others in the congregation.  The following year, additions had been made to the panels totally changing their appearance. We were both hurt and withdrew from being active artists in the church setting.

Until now.  It has been a long time but we are stepping forward again.

There is art that is a spiritual experience for those viewing it.  And there is art that becomes a spiritual experience for those creating it. Does it have to be both just because it hangs in a church?

Saying more would be saying less.

writers conference

So tell me, how is it going? 

Well I have some ideas but they are the really dense kind.

What do you mean by that?

The ideas that have come to me in the past few days have a lot of emotions attached to them and while I know what sparked them is significant and I want to pay attention by writing, I haven’t been able to sift and sort through all that has been caught up with the initial thought. “Trolling” through life over the past week has snagged a bunch of good stuff, I just need to haul it on board and figure out what to throw and what to keep.

Tell me about something you’ve caught in your net.

Well I went to a meeting on Sunday with a group of artists in our church.  Some of them are professional artists, some are like me – dabblers.  Both kinds of artists have produced work for our church and we ended up having an interesting discussion that I would like to process by writing about it.

Why is that important to you?

Because there were interesting perspectives shared.  Because I had an emotional response.  Because I want to figure out more about what I think and feel about the topic.

So start there, start with an outline with each of those statements and tease them out. 

Good idea, maybe I’ll find out what to keep and throw from my net.

One Pilgrim’s Process – March SOL #18

sols_6I watched her play on her ipad at the mother-daughter retreat, creating art with her fingers, taking pictures and manipulating them, sliding from page to page to show and tell.  I was in awe at her willingness to play, create, and share her work in the moment with such pride.    I also marveled at how the ipad was such a tool for her to exercise creativity.  I hugged my closed pad under my armpit, wondering if I could do what she was doing with such ease.

Guess what!! I am having fun trying!                                           (following created with flowpaper app)

IMG_0391  IMG_0397  IMG_0363    IMG_0399

One Pilgrim’s Process – March SOL #10

This entry is a follow up to the notice I posted yesterday, and to a post made at the end of January.


This fabric art piece will be viewed by candlelight.  I wish I could have gotten a better picture of what it will look like in a darkened room with only the glow below it.  The Station of the Cross will be the fourth out of twelve,  Matthew 26: 64-75, the denial of Jesus by Peter three times before the cock crowed. Hence the name of this piece is The Darkness of Denial.

Now I’ve got to finish my other piece before our candlelight “dress” rehearsal, Friday, March 22nd. sols_6

One Pilgrim’s Process – March SOL #9

sols_6“To journey and to be transformed
by the journey
is to be a pilgrim.”
by Mark Nepo

I find myself doing a lot of processing when I am creating an art piece so I often wonder about the “inside scoop” behind the work of other artists.  This month I have been working on two pieces for a vigil taking place at our church on Good Friday.  There are 6 of us creating works for 12 stations of the cross.   The mediums are varied and we are all coming to this project from very different places.

I am charged with writing an invitation to this vigil.  I have spent the evening perusing Luci Shaw’s book, Breath for the Bones,  Art, Imagination and Spirit: Reflections on Creativity and Faith for quotations to describe the experience our working artist group is hoping to engage.  I think I found it in these words:

“But true art neither moralizes nor preaches: its primary goal is not the spread of a doctrine or “message.”  No, art is in a different category.  It is a qualitatively distinctive activity.  Existing for the delight and illumination (through imagination as well as intelligence) of both artist and audience, it stands on its own – primary, independent, unique.”

Ms. Shaw goes on to write in another chapter: “Often, however, art is veiled – couched in clues and symbols, a shadow that touches reality, that gives us a glimpse of the indescribable, that invites us farther up and farther in.  It will not always show all of itself or the whole truth at one viewing, nor will it preach a four-point sermon.  but if we are willing to give it our attention, art will begin to open our inner eyes.”

Tomorrow I will share the art piece I have finished.  I’ll share the “inside scoop” at some point too but I think it’s important for viewers to come to their own inner truth first before I reveal all the thinking that went into its creation.

journey by candlelight

IMG_6347 I’ve never been invited as an “artist” to create a work of art on a particular topic.  Usually I choose the themes for my works and I voluntarily display stuff I’ve made when I’m pleased with how it turned out.   But last month I was approached along with other  artists from our church to create a piece for a contemplative service using passages from the Bible on Good Friday.  I want this project to be successful so I said yes.  Everything will be on display with candlelight only.  It is an interesting challenge – in more ways than one.

I started my piece this weekend and almost quit.  But then I turned off the lights, lit a candle and looked at it again.  Yup, the little glimpse gave me the courage to get back at it.

We always talk about “shedding light” on things to better see them but maybe it’s a good idea to occasionally look at things with a softer light.  What do we see in shadow that bright light washes out with its harshness?  How does the intensity of needing to peer closely at something help us discern a message more clearly?

I am eager to see the works of my artist friends although I am more than a bit nervous about my own contribution to the effort.  I’m thinking candlelight might be just  right  for this first journey to a new place for me.