Two Months (almost) since my last post! Oh no!

Time flies, doesn't it?  Between the rigors of the pandemic, the holidays, my surgery last November, my attempts to get fit, and the election and inauguration, I haven't been terribly focused on art.  Or, certainly, on my blog.  But there has been a lot happening.

First of all, autumn of 2020, which generally arrives in North Texas at Thanksgiving, was beautiful.  Almost like it was compensating us for our horrible, hot, confined summer.  Brian and I have filled our yard with Japanese maples, and they definitely stole the show:

Christmas came and went, involving decorations inside and out:
On Christmas Day, one of my quilts, Descending, was featured in the Dallas Morning News Guide section, promoting the exhibit "Round, Square, Angled: Geometry in Quilts" at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas. The best Christmas surprise of all!:
After nearly two months hiatus from quilting, I stepped back into the studio.  With great trepidation.  I decided to warm up with a few mixed media collages.  I ended up filling a sketchbook with the pieces:
I am still rather obsessed with mixed media collage.  It is so delightfully messy!  And I love painting, drawing, stamping, stenciling, glueing, tearing, and cutting up the pages.  I'll show more in a separate blog post.  

I did take two classes from Maria Shell.  Full disclosure, Maria is a good friend and we met in a Nancy Crow class 11 or so years ago.  In December I took her new class, Big Botany.  Maria guided us in taking a botanical photograph and turning it into an abstract composition.  It was so much fun!  My piece was based on this photo:
And this is the finished top.  Not quilted yet.  And something like 30" x 50":
I had so much fun in Maria's class that I decided to take another.  Artful Oven Mitts during the Road to California virtual quilt show.  I have always meant to make mitts using her pattern, but never made the time to do it.  So I took the class and made two.  Here they are, front and reverse views:
They are made with home decorator fabric, of which I owned precisely none.  So I ordered two kits from Maria.  I would like to mention that I no longer have a shortage of home dec fabric.  I bought a ton of it on Etsy.  Some of you may be getting mitts for Christmas.....

It snowed!  Shocking occurrence for North Texas.  It had been several years:
Brian and I have been walking every evening, part of my fitness routine.  It was fun during the Christmas season.  Our neighborhood goes crazy for Christmas lights.  And there was also the convergence of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21.  We watched them draw closer for days, before they finally "kissed" and moved apart:
And we saw a bit of wildlife.  Considering we are just south of downtown Fort Worth, our neighborhood has an abundance of wild animals.  Foxes, possums, coyotes, hawks, owls.  Some desirable, some not.  The other day we saw a barred owl.  Have you heard their call?  It sounds like "Hoo Hoo Who Cooks for You?"  They are very vocal:
I have been trying to focus on my health and fitness.  The pandemic seemed an ideal time to make a change.  So far I have lost 57 pounds.  Here is a quick "before" and "after".  Or, more accurately, "during".  I'm not through yet:
And, by the way, my pandemic haircut is courtesy of my husband, Brian.  He has discovered a previously undetected talent for chopping my hair off.

I have had a few pieces in exhibitions during the "slow time"/pandemic.  Recently, I had two quilts accepted into two SAQA Global exhibitions.  

And I have made a few actual art quilts.  I think I'll save those for another post!  


jeanne Marklin said…
Thanks for the catch up post! I love your Japanese maples - one of my favorite trees. I didn’t know they could grow in TX, nor that you had Fall color. Congratulations on losing so much weight! I admire your discipline. You look great, and Brian could take over from your hairdresser. Excellent haircut and it looks good on you.
piecefulwendy said…
Well, first, you look fantastic! I need to lose weight too, and I'm not doing so well with it (thanks to Covid - that's my excuse). You're the second blogpost I've read that has talked about workshops from Maria, so I definitely need to check that out. I love the cooking mitts, but really like the leaf improv. We've had a barred owl in our backyard too; they are vocal and loud!