Monday, October 31, 2011

A Winding Journey - The Start of a Long Term Project

Labyrinths are ancient; labyrinths have been found all over the world dating from the earliest antiquity. Their origins are lost in the mists of time. The labyrinth was a central feature in many of the European Roman Catholic churches in the middle ages and many of these still exist today. The most famous of these remaining labyrinths is at Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France. The labyrinth at Chartres was built around 1200 and is a classic 11-course form. It was walked as a pilgrimage and/or for repentance.

I've had a long term fascination with labyrinths - it's pretty easy to see where the inspiration for
"Palm Up/Palm Down" came from!

Grand Hotel has a beautiful labyrinth tucked away in their gardens; it's a wonderfully peaceful experience to walk it's twisting path.

Awhile back, I purchased this canvas mat, printed with a depiction of the labyrinth at Chartres. It's just been sitting around - one of those "what was I thinking?" kind of things.

Every beader knows that all projects result in unused beads: random bits and bobs, too much to discard, but not really enough to use - except for bead soup and I sure don't need anymore of that!

So here's my thought: at the conclusion of each project, all those "leftovers" will be stitched to the canvas, slowly wending their way to the center in non-planned steps of color.

The end result is unknown, as is the time frame for completion - years, I suspect!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Walk in the Woods

A combination of many personal commitments and windy/wet weather have kept me out of the woods, but I made it yesterday afternoon - and I was so happy to be there!

Peak color is , of course, past, but bright color can still be seen here and there. The real interest is on the forest floor:

This guy thought they were pretty interesting too:

I saw dozens of squirrel, all scurrying about, fattening up for winter. The birds are equally busy, with chickadees and juncos the most active in late afternoon. I was fortunate enough to spot a pileated woodpecker; they're one of my favorites, looking somewhat prehistoric as they glide from tree to tree:

Late fall beauty is subtle, depending more on texture and form then color:

And if Spring is all about the wildflowers, Fall is all about the fungus - equally beautiful, but frequently overlooked:

To appreciate this time of year, you need to slow down, look a little closer, study the details - like this tiny puddle, held in the cup of a fallen leaf:

Or this lovely little autumnal vignette, arranged by nature itself:

Or this little "forest" of moss and lichen:

Fall is my favorite time of year and yesterday's walk was splendid, the colors, the forms, the light, the scent of the fallen leaves and the sounds those leaves make as you move along the paths - make time to slow down and enjoy the season!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Puddle Jumping

Temperature: 45 degrees F

Precipitation: Pouring rain (all day)

Wind Gusts: 45 MPH

Fleece Jacket: Check
Rain Pants: Check
Rain Boots: Check
Rain Jacket: Check
Rain Hat: Check
Gloves: Check

Jump on the bike and off to work - gotta love living on Mackinac!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Roadtrip 2011 - ArtPrize

ArtPrize - what an incredible experience!!!

It's over for 2011, but I can't wait for next year - ArtPrize is about art obviously, but it's also an experiment designed to engage every aspect of society in participating in art - as an artist, as a viewer, as a critic, as a participant.

Grand Rapids, Michigan is the location for venues as diverse as the Grand Rapids Art Museum to a beauty salon, a great location for this painting of Barbie

Some pieces require viewer participation, like this one that can be viewed as is or through hanging prisms:

This one is literally a puzzle:

Here, you are building the exhibit:

Some artists have a statement to share, whether regarding the environment, such as this piece constructed of discarded junk:

The whale leaping from a sea of plastic bottles was quite impressive!

As, was this field of sunflowers, which represents a mere 4.5 seconds of plastic water bottles usage in the US:

These gigantic birds, formed of tires picked up off the highway, were visually stunning - both in their forms and material.

Many artists chose to work with unusual materials - how about Post-it notes?

Or drywall?

Or Lego's?

Some pieces just make you smile!

Some make you think or wonder:

The most unique part of ArtPrize is the method of choosing the winners - we, the public, decide.

And the top prize is $250, 000!!!

We spent two full days and while we saw close to 1,000 pieces, we missed nearly 600. We saw work that made us think, made us smile, made us laugh out loud - and as a result we definitely plan on attending next year. I hope you do too!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Indian Summer on Mackinac

I would have loved to have spent most every afternoon for the last week or so just lounging in the sun - we've been having some spectacular weather lately!

There's just been so much to see and enjoy - seeds are flying:

and a few butterflies are still flitting about:

The geese flocks definitely like to stop and take a break here as the head south:

We've had some fog, but that's good too:

It just makes the bright colors even more outstanding:

A few road apples are just to be expected:

(Sorry!!!!! Bad Mackinac humor)

The woods are at near peak color:

And the views seem to go one forever:

The seasonal employees are heading off, to winter pastures:

It's fall on Mackinac!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Round the Bend - Part 2

Just a quick update: I finished the bracelet!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Roadtrip 2011 - Bread and Butter Farm

Our road trip agenda included some family visits and that meant going to the farm - Bread and Butter Farm.

I was quite jealous of the abundant greens, due to my ongoing war with the rabbits:

The cows are quite content out in the pasture:

and cows mean milk:

But the farm store has much more than milk:

Fresh picked vegetables:

and BREAD!

Eggs, and pastured raised meat, and did I mention the BREAD!!!!

It's probably good we don't live too close, I'd weigh a bazillion pounds due to my love affair with the bread!

We had a great visit, enjoyed incredibly fresh delicious food and hope it won't be too long before we can visit again.