Maria Wulf Full Moon Fiber Art

Something Old, Something New. Visiting The Clark Museum With Emily

“These are two of my favorites,” Emily said.  We were standing in front of John Singer Sargent’s paintings, A Street In Venice, and Smoke of Ambergris.  They are also two of the paintings I always visit when I’m at The Clark Museum.

I get lost in the white robe and background of the woman in Smoke of Ambergris.  I feel like I could look at that painting all day, taking in all the colors that make up the white in it.  I’m also drawn to the subtle texture of the brushstrokes, how they meet, one color pushing against the other so the line distinguishing them is lost.

Smoke of Ambergris by John Singer Sargent

Not surprisingly, Emily’s and my taste in art overlapped more often than not.  We both liked the collage-like look of the modernist Japanese Woodcuts.  And we breezed through the Renior gallery only stopping at a still life of apples.

But when Emily made her way to the gallery filled with porcelain, I was doubtful.   Honestly, I don’t believe I ever looked at the small ceramic cups, plates, and teapots before.

But her enthusiasm sucked me in.  For the first time, I was actually seeing the delicate cups and saucers and experiencing their beauty in a way I had either missed or just never noticed before. The dinner plate painted with moths was obviously something I’d like, but it was the small teacup with the tiny woman’s head poking up from the handle that really caught my attention.  It was so strange and made me wonder about not only the person who made it, but who would have drunk from it from 300 years ago.

It was when I got home and was walking in the woods that I realized I walk through museums much the same way I walk in the woods.

In terms of how I “see” anyway.  In the woods, I also visit certain trees or places,  just as I visit certain paintings or sculptures in museums I know well.  But I don’t limit myself to those pieces, I’m always also looking for something new.  Whether it’s never been in the museum or woods before or it’s been there all along and I just didn’t see it.

Of course, the woods are constantly changing while museums can be somewhat more static.  But I visit the Old Shagbark Hickory the same way I visit the Sargent paintings at The Clark.  I expect them to be there.

Today’s Porceline Gallery in the woods came at the end of my walk when I scared the ducks out of the marsh and watched as they flew away.  That made me stop long enough to see the footprints in the snow-covered ice on the pond.

The triangular duck feet, some with drag marks linking the shapes together and others, individual marks that mimicked the duck’s waddle. And then there were the giant chicken feet.  That was my first thought, but it only took me a moment to realize they were the tracks of a heron.

All the footprints headed in the same direction, making their way over the ice from one small circle of water to the other. Not only did the marks make a lovely drawing in snow, but they told a story too.  And one easier to understand than the small head on the porcelain cup.

Emily and I agreed we’d be going to another museum soon or maybe we’ll take a snowshoe in the woods.  Either way, we’re sure to see things we both appreciate or discover something new.

Duck and Heron footprints on the ice.

 

Going To The Clark Museum

Merricat

Merricat nibbled on my coat this morning letting me know it was time to eat and I should stop hanging around.  But I couldn’t help myself it’s warm, in the low twenties and I was enjoying just being with the sheep and donkeys. Lulu even let me rub her ears and Fanny presented me with her butt to scratch.

I won’t be going to my studio today. Emily and I are going to the Clark Museum in Williamstown MA.  I’m not sure what the temporary exhibits are, but they do have a very good permanent collection.  It’s a small enough museum that you can get close to the paintings and sculptures.  I haven’t been to a museum in a couple of years so I’m really hungry to see some art in person.

It will be fun to go with Emily too.  I’m interested to see which are her favorite pieces in the museum.

We’ll be wearing masks of course and will have to show proof of vaccination.  They also only let a certain amount of people in at a time.  But I doubt it will be crowded anyway this time of year on a Tuesday.

I’ll write about it all when I get home.

Hens In The Barn

When the hens come out of the coop these days, they spend most of their time under the birdfeeder catching the seeds that birds knock to the ground. When the sun’s out, under the feeder,  which is on the south side of my studio,  is one of the warmer places on the farm.

But sometimes, the hens hang out in the barn.  They’re don’t lay eggs on these short winter days, but I expect in the spring we’ll have between two and four eggs a day.

A Good Day Working On My Shibori Hankie Quilt

 

I got some good work done on my Shibori Hankie Quilt today.  The color is off in the photo above, those corner pieces look yellow in this picture, but they’re more blue than that.

When I look at the photo below, (with more accurate colors) I think that I added some “snow.”  That’s what it looks like to me. Or maybe frost patterns on the morning window.

When I got to the top piece I couldn’t figure out the left corner. But I know I’ll get there.

Part of the creativity in the way I work is that when I run out of a certain fabric there’s no getting more.  So then I have to find something else that works. That process is also what makes me put colors and patterns together that I might not have otherwise.

I still have a way to go to finish the quilt, but I feel like I’ve got the momentum now and the rest will come quickly.

Owl Woman Postcards For Sale

Owl Woman Postcards for sale here. 

I haven’t made Potholders since last year.  I think that may be the longest stretch without making them.  I had been making them every week since September at least.  I’m getting the itch again, but I guess I needed a break.

I do still have some potholders for sale in my Etsy Shop. And a few more of my Dirty Dishes magnets along with the rest of my magnets all made from my fiber paintings.  Except for my Dirty Dishes magnets, my magnets are all on sale for $1 each.

And I have new Owl Woman Postcards.  You can read all about my Owl Woman here.  From when I first started creating her to making her into postcards.  The postcards are 4×6″ and a pack of 6 is $12 including shipping.

I’ll be putting a Thank you- Owl Woman postcard in with each order from my Etsy Shop. 

Below are some of the pieces I have for sale in my Etsy Shop, just click here to see them close up and/or buy them.

My art for sale in my Ets y Shop

Making Space For A New Way Of Eating

Where the microwave used to be.

When Jon decided to change the way he eats to be healthier and lose weight, I thought it a great idea.  What I didn’t know was how much I would get into this new way of eating too.

Jon signed up with the Mayo Clinic and there we found some recipes that we both found appealing.  Our favorites are salads and stir-frys with lots of veggies chopped up with barley or quinoa, or other grains or brown rice. They suggested some sauces we’d never tried before, like Hoysen and I added some of my own flavors like cilantro and fresh ginger.

We mix the veggies and grains up with tuna, crab meat, chicken or tofu.  We eat some hot and some as a cold salad.

The strange part for me is that I’m helping Jon with the shopping and the cooking and I’m enjoying it for the first time.

I love having a fridge full of fresh vegetables to choose from when making dinner or making a hummus or turkey wrap for lunch.   I’ve always liked cutting up fruits and vegetables, I’m not sure why, but there is something very satisfying about it. And Jon does the mixing and cooking and usually the dishes too.

I know part of the joy I get from making our meals with Jon is knowing that we’re eating so well.  But the other part is that the meals we’re making are easy and quick.  We even came up with a vegetable soup with rice noodles that only took about 15 minutes to make.

I think that’s the other part.  We got a basic idea from the Mayo Clinic’s recipes, but then we make our own variations of them. So it’s more creative than just following a recipe.

And since we started eating differently, with Jon making smoothies and cooking more rice and oats, I took some time today to rearrange our kitchen.

I went through the cabinets and got rid of the things, like pasta,  that we’re no longer eating.  And since our kitchen is small with very limited counter space, I got rid of the microwave that we rarely use.  It was so big it took up one whole countertop and I was able to replace it with the blender, rice cooker, and electric teapot.  That freed up another countertop for me to have more room for my chopping.

Getting rid of the food we’re no longer eating and making space for the appliances we use every day, not only makes it easier to cook, but it feels like we’re making even more of a commitment to this new way of eating.

Beautiful Old Bones


When my father was dying,
the skin around his eye turned purple
just from the slight pressure of it leaning on the hospital pillow.

I wondered at it
and thought of the purple shell
its broken edges worn smooth by the sea
I had found at the ocean that winter.

Yesterday
my mother called and told me her feet were turning colors.
Red, purple, blue, black, and red again.

I saw an octopus dreaming.

Then felt  the horror
of what all those colors might mean
for my mother’s 92-year-old feet.

This morning as I put hay in the feeder
the mountains were a haze of pink.

They turn colors too.

Yesterday
instead of a flat outline
the snow and bare trees made the mountains three-dimensional.

I could finally see the waves of hills that they really are.

Laid bare by the cold
and lit by the morning sun
I could see their beautiful old bones.

Full Moon Fiber Art