When Cape Breton is gorgeous, it is like a piece of heaven, and I feel so grateful to spend time in this beautiful place. Yesterday was one of those days and kayaking with two good friends made it a perfect summer afternoon. We had fun with Mary Ann’s dog, Becca, who was determined to keep up with us even though she doesn’t like to swim. In our adventures in the North River Estuary, we startled a young moose which had no trouble swimming to shore and then ran into the woods. Not sure who was more surprised, the moose or Sue who came upon it first!
The drawing group who gathered the past four Fridays for studio sessions finished up last week. They worked so hard during the four weeks and look what great drawings they produced! Thanks to all who joined in!
Having left the back porch light on during night time since the bears visited a while back, I wake in the morning these days to find moths on the outside of the screen door. The other morning, I found this huge Cecropia Moth with a wingspan around 5″ just clinging to the screen, opening and closing its wings. It stayed there all day and flew away when it got dark again. What a gorgeous visitor! I love its furry body and check out those antennae! Cecropia moths are the largest moth in North America and are related to the Luna Moth, both in the Saturniid family. In a quick search on the internet, I learned that these moths in caterpillar stage (large, light green and voracious eaters) can give a nasty sting from their spines if touched. The next day I saw an large Luna Moth when on a hike on the Red Island Trail – it was startled out of the bushes and flew away into a nearby tree.
The sample tea towel for the Toronto store turned out really well. The huck weave worked so well! When it is on the loom it looks quite square but when it has been washed, dried and pressed, it forms a lovely rounded shape. The cottolin yarn is soft and slightly shiny and has a beautiful “hand” (feel). Another warp is now on the loom. We’ll see how the next set turn out.
Eweknit, the wonderful yarn shop in Toronto where I have been teaching tapestry, has requested a tea towel as a sample for their new floor loom weaving program. They supplied me with beautiful cotton/linen yarns. I wove a sample out of my own cotton yarns, and started the main piece today. I love the cottolin yarn – it handles so nicely and will make a great tea towel. I think the Huck weave (which you can see in the third picture – woven after the stripes) works well for the towel.
It’s been a busy day in the studio on this hot and humid final day of spring. Now that the folks managing the St. Ann’s bay website (www.theshoresofstanns.ca) have kindly posted a page for Meadowbrook Studio, I thought I better get the studio ready for visitors, just in case any brave people decide to drop in. So, signs got painted and hung, textile displays got set up, and some watercolour paintings are on the easel and on the tack board.
While I don’t have regular studio hours, I do hope to spend the better part of Tuesday to Saturday working in the studio for the summer months. This feels like a big step!
An enthusiastic group of 8-9 artists are gathering at my studio every Friday morning this month. We had session #3 today. They diligently performed the exercises I suggested and then spent the last hour working on one drawing incorporating the learning from this week’s practice. Some of these folks have almost no experience drawing while others have been at it a while. Today’s focus was on value, that is, light and darks, working in pencil, charcoal, conte, and some other media in some cases. Bear in mind that they didn’t have enough time to finish. Nevertheless, the results so far are exciting. Everyone brought a vibrant energy. Lovely to have the studio buzzing with chatter, laughter and activity. Altogether, an inspiring experience! Can’t wait till next week!