At the Edge of the Earth

 

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Frothy beach at the churning Pacific Ocean

Unable to sleep. It’s around 11pm and I’m laying in bed hearing the raging wind and torrents of rain pounding on the roof. But, it’s not the storm that’s keeping me up.

The family is out on the Olympic peninsula for a family trip. I’ve been to this “resort” before with a friend, although it was during a calmer and sunnier season. This was where I saw the most glorious sunsets anywhere. Even better than Hawaii, I have to admit. I was speechless with the sunsets; it literally felt as if I was standing at the edge of the world. The Pacific Ocean went on forever disappearing into the distance, and the blazing sun sank into what seemed like the earth surface because the horizon appeared to be ground level. Yes, it was breathtaking obviously because I still remember it with such awe.

This time, our family shows up and the ocean waves are raging and roaring and crashing into the beach and rock cliffs. And the Pacific is hidden by the thick haze of clouds that don’t look like they’re going away any time soon. There is no way to see sky or ocean, let alone a setting sun.

We hurriedly unpacked the car and hunkered down in the cabin. We were all feeling the fatigue of the four plus hours of driving and weren’t terribly motivated to venture out and about on the beach.

It was an evening of board games, kids and their Dad, and crocheting for me. I’m working on a shawl from a book, Making Winter. I’m using a hank from my stash but it’s not enough to finish so I’ll probably continue with another hank from my old stash. I want to use up the yarn I have. It makes buying more yarn less of a guilty pleasure.

 

Adding to the crafting pile

Fun things from the local yarn and fabric store

I had finally went to checkout the local yarn and fabric store, DownTown Knits, in Apex. It’s a small independently owned store right along S Salem St. with several other neat stores and restaurants.

It has been a while since I’ve sewn anything fun, such as an outfit for myself, so I was thrilled to find the Wiksten shift dress pattern. A while ago I had bought a punchneedle to make something like a pillow, and yet didn’t have all the materials. So I also got some precut monk’s cloth. Here’s to new projects! Now to get to it!

Still lifes and Saucers

It’s getting toasty around here. The PNW has been waiting for its days of continuous sun and warmer temperatures for months now. The weather with its on off of the clear skies with chilly sunlight and moody overcast clouds and buckets of rain was on the verge of being called bi-polar.

The kids have one more day of school and then they are free from school. I always like to tease them that there’ll be Mom-homework during the summer because i know how much they’ll miss it. The kids can’t get on with summer soon enough in their minds. Especially my daughter. This school year was a real challenge; for her and for me. So, in some sense I’m ready for summer too.

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Saucer and napkin sketch…what’s missing??

 

Speaking about education. I started taking an oil painting class at the local art center. We’ve met twice now, and I have to admit, it’s so nice to get out among real people with similar interests. I’m somewhat a shy person and hesitant with taking that first initial step into doing something new by myself. But, I knew I was lacking the comrade-like connection with other artists when I’m at home trying to do art. So this mom/artist has art homework just as my kids are freed from it.

I gave myself a drawing assignment: a circlular object seen at an angle and keeping it proportional. As I was drawing my still life set up for oil painting class, and then drawing this it really made me slow down. I’ve forgotten how observing something to draw really requires you to remain focused. (I can’t tell you how many times I was easily distracted with having to check things on my phone) The sun moved quickly and the temperatures got too heated for me to add the mug – yes, a mug – of tea where the shadow on the saucer falls. Oh well, it was a good start.

Moving slowly from sketch to final piece

The sun is showing itself a little more frequently the past week. Which means good and bad things for me. Good in that I’m so ready for sun and warmer temperatures. Flowers and trees are budding and it’s refreshing to see colors other than grey, dark grey, and more grey. The downside it means it’ll become more difficult for me to focus on my stationary indoor activities, specifically studio time, and I’m fighting the urge to buy up every single plant in the nurseries.

Distractions are so, well, distracting. Especially when one is terrible with keeping on task. I’m trying to manage my time better and be more purposeful and productive. Because, well, because I have an ultimate goal I want to achieve. (Maybe I’ll tell what my goal is soon. When I’m ready to declare it to the world and not feel like a fool, maybe.)

So my current project I’m working on is a small one. It’s from a sketch I did a few weeks ago. I finally got around to feeling motivated enough to carry it through as a finished project. However, it’s taking me a while to complete because it’s spring break and the family has been out doing activities. (Makes me a little panicky about summers.) Yes, the “balancing” of family life and artist life is very difficult, and I’ve not figured out how to do it. It seems either my family life lags or my artist life suffers, which makes for a very unhappy mom/artist person.


Anyways, turns out I didn’t center it like I thought I had and so I’m wondering how to remedy that. Along the way I felt the border was rather boring so I spent a little bit of time doodling out border patterns. As you can see I ended up with mussel-like shapes growing off the border and tiny barnacles. How it turns out will be fun to see.

How Do You Start Your Day?

Here is photo manipulation of handlettering and some flower “branches” from our hedge out in front. The firey vibrant colors make me think of flames.  Which in turn made me think of the fire in our hearts, our passions, drive or motives as we set about through the day. When people view your art are they drawn to the Great Creator, Jesus Christ, who created them, created you, created everything? Whatever I make I want the joy of God glows through me to the final product, bringing glory back to Him. Thus, I must mindfully start my days with God in the forefront of my life so He can fill my heart with His Joy. This will be a challenge for me; for the human heart is easily drawn to darkness and daily living has many distractions. 

“You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.”  Psalm 16:11