Monday, November 24, 2014

Kirigami Snowflake - Cat and Cupcake

 As you may remember, I like to cut paper. I like the challenge of cutting paper, mostly without drawing a design ahead of time, and I like the tactile feel of sharp scissors on good paper.  So, I taught my students a little Kirigami recently, using some math (naturally) to show them how to fold their paper into a cone shape with a couple of folds that create the 60 degree angles needed for a true 6-pointed snowflake.  Then, I show them how to turn anything into a snowflake!  Here are a couple of designs I came up with.... reclining cat, and a cupcake. I have included the original design for each, and the unfolded "snowflake", both the patterned side and the white side.  Personally, I like the cat a lot better... I'll be making a few more cupcakes before I hit the final design... will post the new design, and instructions shortly.

 Have any ideas for a snowflake motif?  Let me know and I'll give it a shot. As always, thanks for looking.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

"One Fine Day" oil 9 x 12

While we were staying on Monhegan Island last summer, two of our friends visited with their Moms.  The four of them stayed at the Island Inn, and we spent a morning painting up on Lighthouse Hill.  I came away from our few hours together so grateful for connections, time together, and reminded that everyone's story is fascinating.  We met on Lighthouse Hill on a blustery, gray morning, with mild temperatures.  I met Mary and Ellen, my friends' moms.. both octogenarians, both artists who raised families, and who had interesting stories of from their pasts, including Ellen's working with Dean Cornwell for a time when he was rendering his murals (I believe in the New England Telephone building, though I need to check the locale with her.)  A Ellen said, she was rendering the projected mural designs, and Cornwell was adamant that the drawing be done with a very specific type of straight line which he instructed her in and monitored closely.  Fascinating.

I had a wonderful time on Lighthouse Hill that morning, discussing painting, jerry-rigging an arrangement for turps, and a makeshift palette, enjoying lunch and more conversation together.  Time. When on Monhegan, there is time for conversation with new friends, with strangers, with old friends.. we make the time. It is precious time. It was "one fine day" among many fine days.  I feel blessed for these connections and time together. As always, thank you for your thoughts.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

"Hannah's Pumpkin" oil 6 x 12 and the Baobob Tree

variety of pumpkins from a few years ago
 Autumn is here, and as in the last few years has come in fits and starts, changing its mind a few times.   With the arrival of Halloween, and a Nor'easter forecast for the next couple of days, autumn is certainly here.  Halloween: We live on a street where no one trick or treats.. but just down the road is a neighborhood filled with activity every Halloween.  Worked out just right for us while raising our daughter.. we could both head out with her when she was small, and leave a bowl of candy on our porch just in case. 
My pumpkin with animals among the baobob trees
When she was older we spent the evening with friends, carving pumpkins and then heading out for a spooky walk just to be among the hubbub and festivity.  I added a few photos of some of our carvings from these fun evenings.  including a pumpkin I carved with jungle animals amid the baobob trees.  Truth is, I don't know much about baobob trees except that in a back corner of my brain, I knew their system of branches and roots might serve to support the roof of my pumpkin and...  "The Little Prince" mentions them in his famed book by Antoine de Saint Exupery, which I read in French in 6th grade (needless to say, some of the subtleties escaped me), and again as an adult, in English, when some of the subtleties revealed themselves to me.  On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. ("One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.")
 So, this month's theme for Girls Just Wanna Paint is "neighbor" which got me thinking about the variety of neighborhoods within a stone's throw, and the Little Prince's neighborhood as well.  My painting for this month is "Hannah's Pumpkin", a quiet moment on a street in our "just down the street" neighborhood before it erupts in Halloween merriment.  Take a look at the rest of Girls Just Wanna Paint entries, very interesting interpretations on the theme.
 As always, thanks for looking and for reading this month's musings.