Revisits: Grief

I did some illustrations for an event at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine specializing in short stories. It’s called “Revisits”. In it, the magazine revisits “the best of the back catalog”, as editor Laura Black says. Every two weeks through August, a different theme will be explored.

Look here for the first post, Love, which also offers an overview of the parameters of the art aspects of this project.

Today, May 22, the theme is Grief. Here’s the image:

Image 7 blog

In earlier projects for Fictive Dream, as you know, I made a couple of images for each story. I followed that trend with the earlier Love and Abuse and Growing Up. At this point in the process, though, I was feeling more confident of the direction of my work in general, as far as interpreting themes, and for this theme, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do. I figured I’d give it a try, show it to Fictive Dream editor Laura Black, and see what she thought. If it didn’t work, our discussion would give me direction and I’d just take things from there.

I took my inspiration from several things. First, as far as the color scheme, I wanted to reflect the emotion in grays, browns, and dark blues – a sere, devastated kind of landscape with an overcast sky.

The shape of the tree needed to reflect the emotion as well – I felt downward reaching branches would give the right feeling. When people grieve, shoulders slump, the head is down, they draw into themselves and the feeling, and that’s what I wanted the tree to portray.

I had two visual sources I worked from. One was the recurrent motif of the willow tree, with its downward flowing branches, found in mourning samplers from the 1800’s (look here for an example). I have had an interest in needlework throughout my life and have learned a little about the symbolism and history of mourning embroidery.

The other source was a photo I took some years back. It’s a tree standing in front of a local elementary school. I found the branch patterns dramatic. I entered it in a camera club competition and it won a prize, so I kept the image and was able to refer to it.

Schoolyard Tree small

With these pictures in mind, I created the representation of the tree. When I showed it to Laura, she liked it, and so, the image for Grief was done!

Thanks for reading! And take a look at the stories:  here at Fictive Dream.

Tile Festival Last Weekend – A Few Photos

We were at the Moravian Tile Works in Doylestown, PA, last weekend for the annual Tile Fest. Held on the grounds of the Tile Works with Fonthill, the home of founder Henry Mercer, a few hundred yards away, the festival is an annual event featuring only tiles.

It takes place in two large tents. Attendees can see all kinds of tiles, from traditional work reminiscent of  Mercer’s tiles to contemporary work (like mine).

I like this show for the interesting crowd that attends and the pleasant and easy atmosphere of the show. The organizers even give the exhibitors a dinner on Saturday night. We sit outside and have a chance to talk with our fellow tile-makers. I’ve been doing this show for about ten years and by now I know many of the vendors. I really enjoy the social aspects of the show as much or more as the exhibiting of my work, and I am grateful to the Bucks County parks department and the Tile Works for how welcome they always make me feel.

Some photos.

Here I am on Saturday morning. I am wearing a T-shirt brought back for me by two friends who visited Tasmania – as the words outlining the animal say, it’s my token devil T-shirt! I have a tiny superstition for clothes I wear to shows – I like to choose something that has good associations for me or that I particularly like wearing, for good luck and happy feelings no matter how the show goes.

Tile Fest 2019 (2)

The inside of the tent. The last photo shows my table set-up and features my husband talking to a shopper.

And here is a little of the outside, showing the courtyard of the Tile Works building and of course, the very necessary funnel cake/sausage/fair food pit stop.

I’ve done several posts discussing this show and the Mercer complex of museums in Doylestown. You can search under “tile festival” on this blog or for last year’s event, look here and scroll down through the post until you see the info.

For information on the museums and/or Henry Chapman, look here. If you are ever in the area, I strongly urge a visit to all three sites – they are very close to one another (Fonthill and Tile Works are on the same grounds, the Mercer Museum a couple of miles away) and totally unique.

Tell It Like It Is and In Color

You’ve seen several versions of paint brochures and my augmentations to them with a pen. Up to now it’s been pictures only. (Look here if you want to see an example, or you can search this blog with the term “paint brochure”).

Well, I’ve gotten interested in lettering (I think it is an outgrowth of my handwriting re-education project from a couple of years ago – look here if you wonder what I mean).

My goodness, what a lot of looking I’m asking you to do. So I’ll get to the looking part of this post in particular. I used some TV-watching time to do this work set out below.

From sofa art to sofa lettering. Where can the paint brochures and I go next?

This version is a couple of pages pulled from a larger brochure. I did it in March, 2019. Hey, it’s fun.

Paint Card with color titles 3-193

How About Looking at Four Cat Tiles?

My favorite subject, along with trees, maybe.

These tiles were made in January 2019 from lowfire clay fired at cone 06 and colored with Velvet underglazes.