The Fabric of Friendship

Real friendship protects intimacy and is sustained over distance. Real art is like a bolt of fabric – a creative, continuous process over time. My art is to write about the creation of art.

My blog was started to write about retirement, but has expanded to include travel, art and anything else that amuses me – such as how much time I’ve been spending with fabric. At the first of several post-retirement workshops (three of which were dedicated to fabric) I made this painted silk scarf and promptly gave it to a friend. It reminds me of the many old friends I have, near and far, who have stayed close to my heart.

My second fabric workshop was also silk painting, but using slightly difference tools and techniques. This time I travelled across the country to meet with three new friends that I’d met in Molokai. We bonded further over several hours of creating these beautiful ocean hued treasures on the drying rack.

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Modernism Week – No Sitting On The Bed

Daylight Savings began this morning. I stayed up past my bedtime and woke up too early. Now I’m stupefied. Here is another good reason for procrastinating on my writing goals. Several interviews done and zero drafts completed this year. I must remind myself of how and why I  write.  There is no deadline and I’m not getting paid. This blog is about my crazy retirement adventures, not just promoting art. In honor of that philosophy and not getting enough sleep, take a look at these fantastic “keep you up all night” bedrooms from Modernism Week in the Palm Springs area last month. Continue reading

No Bull, This Art Sparks Joy!

What does The Houston Rodeo and Marie Kondo’s Netflix show have in common? Nothing, but that’s not how my mind works. I can lasso a tangent faster than you can process my last sentence. Even though I read her book a couple of years ago, I’m still dealing with clutter and still wonder what brings me the most joy. I didn’t find the expression “spark joy” helpful when dealing with things like pots and pans, or cleaning supplies and many other things that I need and use. It doesn’t help when curating art work, either, because I just want more! Continue reading

A Bias for Street Art

“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.” 

From “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

Last month I spent a week in Molokai, Hawaii at a women’s retreat called The Life Reimagined. Some of our workshop guidance on interaction was inspired by this poem. One of the rules was to get to know and support each other without talking about our “back-stories,” one of which is what one does for a living. Recently retired, I found not being able to talk about careers pretty challenging.  “What do you like most about your job, without telling me what it is? “What would you be doing more of if you got paid for it?” “What were you doing before you arrived here?” With some adjustment, my open-ended questions started to reveal the dreams and passions of my fellow retreat-mates. Continue reading

Artist on a Tear – Jacqueline Stubbs

Day light savings has ended and I have more time to write….or rearrange furniture because what I’m feeling is “ants-in-my-pants” instead of creativity. I was furniture shopping on-line yesterday. I imagined how a white leather sofa could brighten things up. How would my eclectic taste for Danish and Japanese furnishings, accented by large-scale cat castles, do with a high-tech, low profile leather sofa injected into it? Then I glanced up at one of my favorite paintings and started thinking of my Mom. She was a master at mixing things up; artwork, interior design, colors…I’ve been meaning to write more artist features. Why not start by covering my own Mom? This feature is about her. Continue reading

Frame Job – Vintage Framing

IMG_6411 (2) Mom and Me.jpg

Along with the love of art and photography comes my obsession with framing. Vintage framing. Growing up, I always had a large collection of frames in which placed photos of friends and family. I preferred antique or vintage frames, but any frame would do. In part, this was due to my military brat upbringing and the longing to hold on to memories of friends after multiple moves or family I rarely saw (and in some cases never knew.) But I also think I got this from my Mother,  Artist Jacqueline Stubbs. She was the same way. Every time I moved, one of her contributions to my unpacking would be the creation of a family wall. Here is one of her with me as an infant, on my current family wall. In this case the frame and the photo are vintage!! Continue reading

The Art of Trees – Orcas Island Madronas

I love trees and artful expression of trees. If I’ve had no recent revelations to blog about, I can always express myself through the art of trees. I was recently travelling with these arty folks again. We all love photography, painting and looking at art. Per chance, we rented a house on East Sound, right next door to Leo Lambiel’s home and art museum.

We arrived in time to experience our first sunset on the pines and madronas on our bluff. Even though my Mom’s family is from and still lives in Washington, I don’t recall noticing madronas on earlier visits. I wasn’t familiar with their curvy branches and stunningly red bark. They always look like the sun is setting on them. Here on Orcas Island, we were constantly reminded of their presence in natural settings as well as in the community’s artwork. Continue reading

Pottery on Orcas Island

 

 

IMG_5582 (1) berry bowls

I took one of these home.

I missed a prime whale photo op because I was looking at pottery. Berry bowls. I was taking pictures of berry bowls while Mark was watching a whale off Orcas Island, WA. When I planned my trip to Orcas Island, I dreamed of daily trail hikes to the beach and ocean kayaking amongst the whales. It was quite cool and windy = cold as heck, plus the whales aren’t too happy with humans right now. We decided to go look at pottery one day instead. Continue reading

Grieving is Unfinished Work

IMG_5395 (1) Man and baby

Water color portrait by Jacqueline Stubbs

Sometimes I have to write something for myself – about my Mom. I’ve been thinking a lot about her lately. Not that I don’t think about her throughout each day, because I do. I’m talking about the thoughts and questions that bring me to tears. The kind of boiling tears that make you walk around the house carrying tissues and not daring to put on mascara or go out because you’ll look like hell and start crying all over again when anyone asks how your day is going. Continue reading

Architecture, Fashion and a Rabbit Hole of Research

 

IMG_5202 (1) black dress

Cloak by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino in the Saint Guilhem Cloister

During my recent trip to NYC, I was able to enjoy Fort Tryon Park on a daily basis. One of those days, I visited The Cloisters embedded in the park and managed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I noticed the sampling of architecture throughout and learned it was constructed using bits and pieces of Romanesque and Gothic structures from France and Italy. Each piece has its own elaborate history.  In addition, a portion of the Met’s feature exhibit “Heavenly Bodies” was integrated into it. Continue reading