Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Some of My Favorites

These are just a few of those magical spots that I love because they just happen. Reminder to self: be sure when you cut the piece for construction to take care in these areas. Just one word of warning about this style of construction. It has to travel flat or everything gets over where it is supposed to be under and if rolled at all warps like crazy. Just love learning new obstacles to tackle. Posted by Picasa

Finished Peltex

Another morning awaking at 5 am today. What does one do at that hour? After a diet coke with lime, I couldn't resist finishing painting the larger piece of Peltex so I can start cutting and constructing when this trip is over. Also included a few photos of some of my favorite sections where that magic occurs without my help.
Update on yesterday session with Eric: Moving to large canvas...enough of the small work even though quite a bit of it is done, solid while others are still experimental. He feels from the gestural point that I am working I need to work larger. Now we are talking serious stuff here dear readers. Naturally I agreed and of course, I will do it but there is a teeny weeny little voice shouting as loud as it can...what have you gotten yourself into?

Thanks so much for all the comments on the paintings. Coming from all y'all it means more than you can know. Will try tp drop each one of you a line when I get home but the rest of today is spent packing clothes, teaching materials, and dvd's.
On occasion I ask myself why don't I just stop and stay in the studio and then I have a great group of students that inspire me with their ideas...the exchange of energy, creative and spiritual, is not one I am ready to off to the wilds of South Texas I go. Will post some pictures as soon as the festivities start. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What a Posting Fool I am Today

For those of you who are following the progress, I have posted a few new images on my painting blog. Some old, you may have seen before; a few new. Hope you enjoy.

Better View

After seeing the first post of the new fabric, decided to try one more time to capture the colorwork on the peltex. Hope this gives you a better feel for what's happening. Posted by Picasa

New Pelxtex in the First Stages

Woke up at 5:30 a.m. with the studio on my mind. Have been wanting to do another peltex, electric cable construction so adhered a much larger piece of peltex to the water color canvas and got to work. This piece is so large that I have to paint it in when this section dries the bottom portion will be painted. I can already see some technical problems. Where I got the peltex really wet it is coming off the canvas...but hey, I am not above a little glue here and there. Felt so good to get something done.
As much as I love teaching, when my schedule is this busy I have a hard time getting into the flow or even getting into the studio. However, this was a good start for when I come home.
I really missed all y'all with no internet on board ship...well, there was but it was way expensive. This week at the Hill Country Retreat we will have connections in our rooms so I will be staying in touch. Hope you haven't forgotten about me.
On another note, did any of you get to see the great piece Debra wrote for BlogHer about my work with Eric. Thanks made my day. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday Feb 21 Morning Me

Accepting myself in the morning is a difficult task. I clean up really well; but I wake up badly. The bags, the sags, the don't make me do this attitude. Since we are exposing all of our selves, morning me is hard to reveal and yet somewhere in there is a better day. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tomorrow to Sea

As the sun sets in Ft. Lauderdale, I am anxious to board for my first cruise. It was wonderful beyond words....and I would yack more but still a little tired...have to leave 25 Feb for next trip and , of course, theever present producing dvd's and more painting for Eric before our next session on the 22nd. However, I promise to do SPT this week and will tell more tall sea tales later. Good to be home. Posted by Picasa

Nighty Nite

With the ocean rocking me to sleep every night, slept like a log. I loved the soft pillows but they weren't a favorite with everyone. Posted by Picasa

Life of Luxury

My cabin, balcony on the other side of the curtains. Our cabin steward was perfect, leaving us sweets each night or attending to anything we might diet coke. Posted by Picasa

Tram Ride

More like a large ski lift but worth every minute. I won't bore you by waxing picture etc. Posted by Picasa

Storms Coming

We had some bad weather at Half Moon Cay so yours truly did not get to parasail....drat. The one excursion I was eager to do....can you imagine the view from a parasail...oh, well, maybe next time. Posted by Picasa

View From my Balcony

Is there anything more beautiful than the sunrising over the ocean? A perfect horizon with that wonderful green from the water. This was truly a moment of clarity at how beautiful our planet really is. Posted by Picasa

Quilting at Sea

A Happy group of reverse applique students...even though the seas were putting on a show with 7 ' swells they worked through it like champs. I thank you all for making my first cruise one I will never forget...we laughed, ate, stuck our fingers with pins and needles, ate some of the major activities...eating/ Posted by Picasa

Docked at Nassau

This is one big ship....but there were four others docked next to us...kinda like a parking lot for large cruise ships. Posted by Picasa

Lunch on the Verandah

Laura, Sue and I at lunch...wonderful seafood and great comversation. We are on our way to the Straw Market to spend mad money....and we did a good me. Posted by Picasa

Entering Nassau

Our last port of call Nassau, just as you would imagine everything is in brillant color...wonderful quaint architecture and people trying to sell you something at every turn. Posted by Picasa

Home Away from Home

Returning to our ship from a hard day of shopping and eating in Nassau...will the torture ever end. Posted by Picasa

Last Dinner Onboard

Sue Nickles and Faye Doyle, cruise director, discussing how much we will miss sailing the seas. Posted by Picasa

Your Wandering Quilter Returns

Just before sunrise we dock at Ft. Lauderdale to disembark and fly home to a very cold DFW about a shock from the beautiful warmth of the islands. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Open Seas

Okay so I had the long beautifully written post and blogger went kaput on the condensed version is: Shipped my first distributor order, caught up on most not all of my paperwork..still own many of you replies...sorry, bad blogger buddy. What's left: still packing, can you believe it, all teaching stuff in order but it is the clothes. We are only going to be at sea seven days but we have to change for dinner which includes formal and informal...sheesh....then there have to be matching shoes and jewelry. What is a girl to do?
Update on sessions with Eric: Our Tuesday session was very productive and shocking...either that or I have this man really fooled. He definately agrees with me on the working in two media and not using the paintings as studies for quilts. They must stand alone separate. To that end, he asked me to create a blog for the paintings and then we constructed a form email that I will send to gallery owners in Texas for them to view the work. It is still slightly under construction...need to add size and media...but if you would like to take a look it can be found at:
This will be a reality check for sure...hopefully someone will respond or might be no response at all...nothing ventured etc.
Final duties before sailing into the sunset, groceries for sweet Ronnie.....hopefully after February I will return to a bit of quiltmaking...what a novel idea.
Sidebar: Thanks Gerrie, correction now in place.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday 7 February

January was so busy that I fell off the wagon for Self Portrait Tuesday. Going to try getting back into the rhythm because this topic "your whole self" appeals to me so much. We take for granted when we are young that we will always have the look we want mostly because we are sold it by society. My first whole self is the bottom of my feet. My feet were once smooth and soft, my toes weren't bent and were free of callouses. Now they tell the story of my dirty floors, going bare foot enought to build callouses and how all my toes are going in different directions. Yet, for me feet represent understanding...pun intended. These feet have been lots of places and plan on going they aren't pretty any more but they do the job and tell of a life well walked. Posted by Picasa

Too Many Time Zones

Did you think I had gotten on the wrong plane to like Singapore? Won't go through the sordid details of what was for me a 21 hour flight (glad you got home safe Robbi and thanks for the comments on the Melbourne tour). To say the least, I was toast when I got home. Adjusted fairly quickly to the daytime but want to sleep at about 5 p.m. CST.....which means I am painting at 1 a.m.....and it shows.
Ten days out of the studio can really mess with your flow so what am I about to do...go on a 7 day quilting cruise to the Bahamas. Some day I will make quilts again. I feel as if I am just packing, unpacking, washing clothes, packing again.
However, I am still working with Eric and want to get the most out of it I can so here is the work I did last night at 1 a.m. Our session is tomorrow at noon....yikes. Oh well, it's is our job to work through this harried time. On top of everything else, I got my first distributor order for dvd's so am printing and packaging like mad in "my spare time."
I may have mentioned this before but it struck me like a lightening bolt in Melbourne that an artist really needs to consider working in more than one media. For some odd reason, I think I brings more strength to both. Not to compare myself to anyone but look at all DaVinci did, Michaelangelo. I wonder if I have been limiting myself by working exclusively in fiber? Thoughts to ponder another day.
Glad you all enjoyed Melbourne. I would soooo live there. Will take camera on cruise but might be off line for awhile not sure if I can find wi-fi and then there are all those cords to pack which might get in the way of shoes. Missed you all...glad to be home if only until Friday. Posted by Picasa