15 Dec 2012

Creative absence

 Hello again folks!

It's been a while!
Hope everybody is happy and well!

I've been hard at my day job :) But there's only so much one can take of creative absence!

Last week, we escaped to San Jose for a couple of days, and I treated myself to some gorgeous new art materials.

Among other things...  a small selection of Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolors in tubes, and a set of 48 Steadtler karat aquarell pencils. It sure is difficult to find quality materials in this country!

Well, now for the hard part.
 Hoping for inspiration.

Climbing back into the saddle.

Don't know what species she is - will update as determined - but she is native to the Osa Peninsula.

My plan is to paint at least one small thing each week. 
But we all know how those kinds of plans usually turn out ;) 

I am also investing in a Wacom Intuos5 large graphics tablet, and they're not cheap! It's my way of making sure I keep going. 
Those who know me out there in blogland, know that I've spent more time in recent years playing with cloth. I haven't painted properly in years. But I have a dream... to combine my passions...
 Paintings + graphics + textiles. 
So, here are some tentative steps in that direction.

Latest love... Terreriums! Such a sense of freshness!
This is one I created yesterday, using only native plants.

19 May 2012

Rock Pools

Walking in the rock pools with Nilo.
Some are like clay.
Some encrusted.
Some embedded.
And some covered with all kinds of life.
 I have no idea what this strange creature might be, but surely it's a relative of the Trilobite?
About 3 inches long... and yes, alive!

I'm tired of only having the camera on my phone. 
I'm tired. Full stop.

12 May 2012


Heliconia leaves.
I wonder if a mould or an insect made these gorgeous patterns?

Crab galaxies.

5 May 2012

Catching up

I started off the week with an if-I-only-could kind of feeling.
A sense of increasing desperation over professional issues.

But it became impossible to keep that up for long, because this arrived...

Thank you Morna for this exquisite gift!

"If it were not for hope, the heart would break"
The English Proverb printed on her magic cards.

Patching a heart, regained hope!

With everything that's going on here, I quite forgot to mention anything about my son Eben's recent visit (he left Costa Rica 4 years ago to study, is now at Cardiff University, and we see each other for a couple of days once a year). This year he was traveling with his friend Alex. We decided to offer them a day on the Golfo Dulce in our new boat. And what a day that turned out to be!

We had a fine morning swimming off a small island in Los Mogos.
 Then moored the boat at Rincon, where you literally cross the street and there's a little seafood cafe.
I took this image just as we were to set out again. The water was like glass. But then half way out of this little bay (2 minutes later) a massive storm hit. Wind and torrential rain. The tide was coming in, and it was one of the highest tides of the year (10 meters). I didn't know whether the best option was to stay in the boat, or throw myself over the side!

Needless to say, I didn't manage to get any images at that point. My other son, Nilo, life jacket on, was bundled under black plastic on the floor of the boat, as we got tossed to and fro for a nearly an hour trying to get ahead of the storm.

This is our captain (my man, Fanier) with one of his reassuring smiles, as he finally steers us out of it.

This is what we left behind us.

And here we are after the ordeal.
Alex (left) who was not once afraid.
Eben (right) and I (center) still looking shaken up.
Nilo (at the stern) amused, just carries on eating :)

That was one month ago, and I haven't been back on the water since then.

Fanier, on the other hand, bent on making us a living at being a fisherman, sets out shortly after midnight most days.
Sometimes, I am afraid for him.

"Pargo seda" - related to Red Snapper.

27 Apr 2012

21 Apr 2012

Light & Movement

Following on from yesterday's post... 
At home today. 
I uncovered a secret. 
The way that the shadows move around in my house.
Bold. Repeating.
Origins. A screen window, with a wooden lattice.
Sometimes the shadows and sunlight match to enhance the checkerboard, and sometimes they don't.
Sunlight stretched.
Diamond becoming elipse. Square becoming circle.
Light becoming lace.
The faux-lace cuff of a blouse. This last image is for Neki.

And I think this post is somehow related to this ???

20 Apr 2012

Finding diamonds

I did just a few more rows.
 I will keep going with this. But am not going to show it again until it's done.
Which could be sometime!
Just to say that - so far - it doesn't look as though the pattern will be lost because of the stitches.
The first sunbeams this morning casting shadows on the kitchen wall.
I love the pattern, the tones, and the simplicity.
I've been finding diamonds today.
I loved Susan's post. 
And I was reminded of an earlier experiment.

17 Apr 2012

Pattern beneath the stitches

Deep breath ... here I go!
Thanks to sweet friends who left thoughtful comments on the previous post, I am en-heartened to try!
It may be overly simple [?]... the idea of just rows of all-over stitching. But this is an experiment to see what happens to a bold design when you ignore that it's there for a moment. 
I'm expecting it to soften. But what I don't know is whether it will be lost altogether [?]
Perhaps not, because of the frayed edges.

I couldn't work more on this over the weekend. I spent the rest of it stooped over with a severe migraine. 
Stress about work. 

Yesterday evening, we had some family fun-time with the photobooth application. This one made me think of being held beneath stitches too.

14 Apr 2012

Hamadryas - Progressing

Neki had the idea that this design could be printed and then stitched on top. That's what I think too. A silk screen print. A stamp even. Unfortunately, neither of those methods are options currently. 
So it had to be the hard way... cutting out each individual form... and building up the colors by layer! 

It's not like I either have a large stash of cloths to choose from. I found some scraps which were kind of the colors that I had in mind, but are not the easiest for this kind of work. Some thin linens, a heavier linen, and a poly-cotton mix, all of which refused to pass with grace through the blades of the scissors, [admittedly, this might have been easier had I not been using my scissors to cut branches recently!] the grain shreading off in all directions, giving everything a very un-uniform edge. But I decided not to let that put me off, and kept at it. Perhaps it will be more interesting because of that?

Now, I have a massive headache, and the first piece ready to be stitched in months. 

But will I?

Here it is under construction... layer-by-layer!

What do you think?

Strange new symbol

I rushed home at the end of work, determined to use the couple of free hours I knew I was going to have - Nilo is spending the weekend with his father, and the man was fishing - doing something creative. I had been thinking all day about the wings from my previous post.
I blew up some very small sections of different parts of the image. Above is just one example of these. This one really captured my imagination. Very rapidly, and before any notions of perfection could establish, [that happens alot to me, it cripples creativity, does that happen to you too?], I scratched out what I saw as the essence of the form.
Inventing a strange new symbol.
  Nothing fussy. A scrap of tracing paper. and a broken fine line pen, to scratch out a possible repeat pattern.
Dragged into Photoshop with some block color added. The lines from my sketch were not strong enough for the paint can tool to distinguish the seperate fields, so it limited the areas where I could vary the color. Which maybe helped to stop me from over-complicating the whole thing! I was really pleased with this as the start of something . Feels like something that I can call mine. Fits with earlier efforts, that might be described as bold. Has a rawness about it that I find pleasing. 
What is this strange new symbol? 
And can I translate it into cloth and stitch?...
I think this was possible today because Morna has a big heart!

13 Apr 2012

Blue & Beige

Blue & Beige. A powerful combination.
Hamadryas. "Starry night". 
Can't remember which species. But it's one of my favorites.
Male ♂
Female ♀
Male ♂+ Female♀

Bad night. Dogs barking and 100 mile per hour thoughts. Not a good combination.

11 Apr 2012

Pink & Red

Pink and red. 
I probably wouldn't think of putting these two together. But nature did it to great effect!

10 Apr 2012

Tababuia Chrysantha

Possibly the last of the dry season blossoms. Tababuia chrysantha.
The rains are coming.

I couldn't choose which image I liked best. I added them extra large for full impact!

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