Sunday, August 13, 2017

Peace Rocks for a Peaceful End

My last post was about my mother-in-law and her garden. We are heading out to Seattle to celebrate her life and her passing. I felt the need to make something to bring. There are a lot of positive words that one can associate with Lyn, but peace really isn't one of them. She was a dynamo. I like to think that as dementia took over and her life slowly drew to a close, she was able to experience a sense of peace that had eluded her. I made these rocks for her, for her caregivers who helped her gain that state of grace, and for her family as we gather.

I used a Speedball C-4 nib and Dr. Martin's Bleedproof White.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

In Memory of Lyn and Her Garden

Lyn Gaylord 

It’s hard to think of Lyn without thinking of her garden. It was the manifestation of her creative vision, her relentless work ethic, and her indomitable spirit. It was her last thought as she drifted off to sleep at night and her first thought on waking in the morning. Her day began at or before dawn with a walk through the garden. 

Lyn’s garden marked the seasons and became the rhythm of her life. Spring was ushered in with yellow magnolia blossoms, hellebores, trillium, snowdrops, a vibrant display of tulips, and pots of pansies that beckoned passersby. In June roses burst forth—reds, pinks, and whites, mixed with deep purple clematis and lacy white elder. Summer ripened with magenta phlox, orange day lilies, and stands of yellow coreopsis. Fall’s presence was felt with the deepened rose color of the oak leaf hydrangea flowers and late winter brought the vivid yellow blossoms on her exuberant witch hazel. 

Lyn kept notes, wrote lists, and made schedules. Days were set aside for pruning, starting seeds, planting bulbs, and transplanting.  Her garden reflected her boundless curiosity. She raised beds, made berms, and built fences. She was always on the lookout for new plants and techniques. She kept bees. For a while, she had a bog. She learned from books and magazines, classes and workshops, and garden visits and conversations. She shared her knowledge teaching classes in her garden and beyond. 

Her garden was a gift to the neighborhood and a gift to herself. It was the place where she could connect with her best memories of childhood—picking and eating warm juicy tomatoes that had been sprinkled with salt stored in a fencepost with her Pop. It was the place where she could channel her prodigious energy and will, where the difficulties of a woman making her way in a man’s world held no ground. It was the place that offered her tranquility while she staked her “intense personal claim.” Her life was made richer by her garden as our lives have been made richer by her presence. 

My mother-in-law Lyn Gaylord passed away on August 7, 2017 in Seattle, Wa. Her garden was in Jamaica Plain, MA where it lives on with new owners. Martha Brookes Hutcheson, quoted above, was the designer of the formal garden at Maudslay State Park, a favorite spot for us to visit with Lyn here in Newburyport.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Lammas 2017

Delicacy and strength
hints of autumn in the summer fullness
reminding us of the complexity of life
and leading us to grace and joy

Lammas, the first day of autumn on the Celtic calendar. The word “lammas” was written  on a petunia blossom while it was outside in the window box. The flower was then photographed in the studio on pieces of Harry Lauder's walking stick. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Studio Sunday-Ed Karr

I've written about Ed Karr before. He was a calligrapher from Boston who had a studio on Boylston Street. Thanks to Tom Costello, I am lucky to be able to spend some time with Ed's work before it goes out to the Letterform Archive in San Francisco. I thought I'd share some samples with you as well as a few photographs.

Ed at work

Ed in his Boylston Street studio

Ed with Gudrun and Hermann Zapf

 Completely hand-lettered book of hymns

 Logo for restaurant in Quincy Market

Getting samples of one's work has always been a struggle

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Studio Sunday-Spirit Book #94 Underway

I was gifted a couple of pieces of Harry Lauder's Walking Stick by Gay Tracy, an artist at the Brush Gallery in Lowell, when I had a small exhibition of Spirit Books there in the spring. I've started a new piece. Spirals are my favorite pattern to stitch and here they seem to echo the twists and turns of the wood. The gray handmade paper is from Paszkowski Paper from the Ukraine. The thread is DMC floss (2 strands) and DMC metallic gold (one strand).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Paula Estey Gallery

It has been such a pleasure and honor to be part of the current show Pretty As A Picture with Karen Tusinki and Jan Roy at the warm and welcoming Paula Estey Gallery in Newburyport, MA. I have four Spirit Books and two framed originals from the Words For Our Time series on display until July 29.

The gallery is made up of several small rooms. Every nook and cranny holds another surprise. The experience is one of discovery. You walk up a couple of steps and enter the main gallery room. Here's some of my work. I especially like the way the Words pieces look on the brick wall.

You then go down a few steps to the Sitting Gallery. Two of the Spirit Books are in the sculpture nook under a painting by Karen Tusinski.

There is a winding hallway filled with art,

leading to more work in the Vault,

and even art on the walls of the bathroom.

Paula is warm, open, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. Her gallery is always joy to visit and it has been wonderful to work with her. She believes in the power of art to enrich lives and her passion is palpable. In a blog post, she has written eloquently about her journey to gallerist and curator.

I bring my artist's soul to Paula Estey Gallery; to her artists and patrons and visitors. I know what my artists go through to create. I know what they hope for, dream about and desire.  And I know now from experience that there are many people who collect art! 

I have absolutely no qualms about selling art now and no real idea if I will return to creating full time. I seek only to spread art's beauty on the walls of your homes. I understand both sides now, and there's nothing that brings me more pleasure than to complete this circle of creativity in my own life.

Pretty As A Picture continues until July 29
th. A show of Brooklyn artists is up next. Visit if you can!

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