Monday, August 31, 2009

Artists and Friends

Saturday was such a pretty day. The late summer sun was a little bit low on the horizon making dappled shadows everywhere. We were eleven artists showing our work in my studio and garden and in my neighbor Jennifer's studio and garden. Many wonderful friends dropped by to enjoy blackberry, rosemary lemonade, home made cookies and art. Thanks to everyone who brought food and wine. Thanks to my amazing artist friends for sharing their time and work. It was such a lovely day.

Susan displayed her paintings on the patio.

The nicest and most talented artists in the world!

My friend Bobby took some great pictures and posted them on her blog. Make sure you scroll around and see her other great work here.

Jennifer has also posted her impressions of the day here.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Open Studio on Saturday

I am opening my studio doors on Saturday and sharing the space with ten friends and their art. My neighbor, Jennifer, is also opening her studio. We are having an art festival in the back alley! Drop by 1618 - 10 Avenue West in Seattle between 2 and 6 pm. See you there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August Breaks My Heart

My cat, Huckleberry, sleeps beside me in my studio as ripe blackberries scent the warm sunshine and hummingbirds squeak outside my open door. There is so much bounty and beauty in August - warmth, food, color, parties, children home from school. But August also signals the end of all these things. Soon it will be fall and I will hunker down once more indoors in the quiet of my home. Maybe it is my Scottish roots that detect grief in the happiest of seasons. Maybe growing up in Maritime Canada taught me that winter is never far away.

This painting embraces August's ambivalence and shows a wistfulness for a simpler season - maybe for spring when joy is unbounded and mortality doesn't enter our thoughts.

This painting measures 8"x10" and is oil on panel.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dyeing to Knit

To start the knitting season some friends and I got together to dye wool.

Mahonia (Oregon grape) bark.

The bark boils on the stove. We also tried onion skin, blueberries, carrot leaves, blackberries, red cabbage and beets.

Mahonia dyed wool dries in the late summer sun.

Barbie with her wonderful colors.

Sandra's bright yellow comes from carrot leaves.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Colour from the Garden

My garden is full of colour and to capture this I usually like to make paintings of the plants and flowers. But another way to preserve the colours of summer is to use plants as dyes for wool. Here are some I have been playing with. Mostly blackberry and Oregon Grape bark.

A pot full of red zinnia petals produced a disappointing pale yellow dye but it looked pretty while I cooked it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Summertime can be a tangle of activities in the midst of which a nap is often welcome. These bunnies are happy in each other's company in their flowery bower - safe from the tangle of the world.

The painting is oil on panel and measures 11"x14".

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Playing With Bunnies

I have been playing with hand painted fabric designs though the summer and am enjoying the look of these fuzzy bunnies. I paint on wet fabric and allow the paint to spread and soften so that there is a nice furry look. I have made some cushions and think that it would be fun to try clothing too. So many ideas. So little time. I may sell some of these cushions at my upcoming open studio, on 29 Aug. I'd better get to work.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Many people around here curse the invasive Himalayan Blackberry bushes that take over gardens like thorny bullies. The upside though is having lots of delicious food growing for free in my back alley. Thanks to my mum who was visiting recently for encouraging the kids to pick and to Jenny who made warm berry compote for our morning pancakes. I am even planning to use some of the berries to dye wool for winter knitting projects.

Summer is pretty nice, isn't it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shadows and Sun

The weather has been so hot that we have all been spending time in the shade. The pumpkin vines are enjoying the heat and their leaves are providing shade for more tender plants.

I love fountain grass, pennisetum, even though it isn't hardy and I have to buy it each year.

The sun shining through the pony tail grass takes my breath away. With a little wind it sways in the most beautiful way. When I walk past I can trail my fingers through it and it feels soft, like a large dog's fur. Much softer than a pony's tail.