Last week, we actually had half a day to take a ride out to Marietta and follow the Ohio River back down into Parkersburg. When I was a kid, we used to come down to Athens to visit my grandparents, and each trip included a ride in the country. I didn’t get it at the time, and spent most of those rides with my nose buried in a book. But time (and glasses!) happened, and now I love to go out and see the verdant hillsides when they are in full summer bloom.
Here’s Izzy, balancing on a piece of driftwood at the banks of the Ohio.
We took some bread for the geese. Here they are figuring out what’s going on.
The white geese were really persistent.
Marty was watching the boats on the river. We also saw several fish leaping out of the river. I have never seen that before, and found it really cool.
Sometimes when we are riding out in the country, I imagine what the insides of the old farmhouses are like. (Pilot Precise pen and Inktense pencil in Moleskine sketchbook).
And what the wildlife thinks.
And then I design pieces incorporating the colors, textures and feelings of those trips.
And finally, I go into the studio and create my own “ride in the country”:
“Safe Harbor” 15.5” x 15.5” Reverse applique, fusible bias tape, hand beaded, machine quilted.
“Midnight Snack” 16” x 18” (measurements approximate) Reverse applique, machine embroidery, machine quilted, fusible bias tape, hand beading.
“Summer Joy” 20” x 16” Reverse applique, fusible bias tape, fusing (in black circles), machine quilting, hand beading.
The progression of inspiration isn’t always this obvious to me, but each piece holds something of a place I have experienced, even if it is just a color that reminds me of the sky over Mound Road by my grandparents’ homes, or an object, such as a colander or water tower, that I remember loving since I was a small child. It’s always a surprise to have these flashes of memory in the middle of the long production process.
What shows up in your work without you realizing it?