Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You Put Your Whole Self In

Lots going on this week.  More the next, and the week after that.  Whew!

Art of School

My drawing class began on Monday.  The first class was syllabus and materials discussion, but today we got to begin.  The class learned how to stand, move and we started with some warm up drawings.  These were just squiggly lines and experiments with thick and thin lines.  We used charcoal to draw with, which I've never used before.  It has an intense quality too it.  Charcoal is capable of soft shades of gray or harsh black.

I love my instructor.  She has a gentleness about her in her presence in class.  Don't get me wrong though, she gets it done.  She believes in full body contact art.  We didn't perch on stools at the easels.  We stood, moved, and were told to draw from our shoulders, not wrists.  After the warm ups, she had us do what essentially is yoga breathing and stretches.  It felt good and made me realize how much I miss yoga.  Note to self: get back into yoga practice.  After stretching and breathing, my body felt better and my monkey mind was ready to focus.  We had two hours of drawing.  Physical drawing.

We made a still life out of our backpacks, umbrellas, coats, and other assorted things as a class.  Then we looked, and looked and looked.  We then had many series of exercises of drawing.  Two minute drawings, one minute drawings and then back to two minute drawings.  We were assured that what we produced was good and right on target.  I've never taken a drawing class before.  My elementary and middle school art class experiences weren't good ones.  Yet, I found myself completely on board and believing that I could do everything that was asked of us.  I'm all in; that's what it's all about.

Here are two sample photos from my easel.


On the Needles

I'm still knitting projects, though I haven't talked about them in a while.  My Live Oak Shawlette is coming along nicely.  I'm doing a second repeat of the lace chart A to have a larger shawl.  It doesn't look like much right now, but I promise there are lace leaves in there.

Socks are on standby for a bit.  There just isn't enough time in the day.

A Loom with a View

Still working on weaving my shawl/scarf.  I had a minor operator and equipment error.  I pull the whole thing apart, I've started again.  I'm really enjoying the process of weaving.  It is very rhythmic.  Up shed, toss shuttle through, beat.  Down shed, toss shuttle through, beat.  Repeat.  Repeat. Repeat.

What's a shed and shuttle?  

The shed is the triangular shaped gap created when half of the warp threads (long threads) are raised, and half are lowered.  In this case the raising and lowering is done with the use of a rigid heddle (plastic comb like thing seen in the picture).  The shuttle is the stick which has the yarn supply wrapped around and is used to create weft threads (side to side yarn).  The shuttle is pictured here in the shed (solid gray yarn).

My warp was created using my grey handpsun (Winona fleece) and white commercial yarn.  My weft is more of the grey handspun.  It measures about 16" wide by about 72" long.  I still have a bit to go, but wow does weaving go quickly.

I have a lot of projects in the works that I hope to be able to share with you soon. Rumor has it there might be a contest coming soon.  Hope everyone has a great rest of the week.

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