Thursday, December 29, 2011

Family Art Show at the Plum Gallery

I had a great Christmas.   My daughters Louisa and Jenifer were both in my house for a few days, as well as my brother Jeff, my son-in-law Peter, and my grandchildren Griffin and Sophia.  It was a full house, and we enjoyed our time together.

On Christmas Day, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary (my step-daughters) and their mother Jane joined us....and also Matt and John, plus many grandchildren and a Japanese exchange student.   We had the usual over-the-top feast, stockings so full of special gifts that it was almost too much to take in, and traditional festivities....but we added something new!  It was a family art show in the Plum Gallery.  It was great fun because it was a "pop up" show.  We had no idea what would be shown....until we started putting it up.

There was a wonderful series of drawings by Jane Rondthaler called "The Bernie Packer Series."   Above is a shot of some admirers (Catherine Rondthaler, Matt Jolley, Elizabeth Jolley, and Louisa Reynolds) of Jane's work.  Helen Jolley is in the background.  Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary remember when Jane would do this kind of drawings to include in letters.  They were glad to see how many were saved.  Here's a sample drawing:

Elizabeth showed two types of art.  One was a hat knitted for her mother "many years ago":

The other was illustrated recipes...very creative, I'd say, especially since there were copies of the recipes to take home:

Mary (Howard's youngest daughter) showed a series of drawings from art school:

My daughter Jenifer entered an interpretation of "The Scream" that she had done a few years ago:

Granddaughter Rebecca also had some entries:  

Grandaughter Caroline contributed an origami and light creation she had made for her brother.  It was in the Plum Gallery, but we brought it upstairs and photographed it draped on a chair.  I used the slightly blurry image because it really plays up the lights:

Grandchildren Sophia and Griffin contributed some of their art, too:

There was more.  Catherine and John brought some great pieces...and my photo was too blurry to use.  I hope to add those in another post...assuming someone else got a picture.

I had some art in the show, too....several labyrinth paintings were up when we first started.  I took those down to make room for the show, but left a small labyrinth and a rubbing of a finger labyrinth.

It was fun!  We need to do it again!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dragonfly chimes From Patty

My friend Patty gave me a beautiful chime with three dragonflies and a bell.  I only painted two of the dragonflies.  I call the bell a Gary Snyder Bell.  Patty and I both enjoy poetry and so Gary Snyder, as a Pulitzer Prize winner and a former Portlander, is a favorite.  I use this kind of bell to reminded me to stay in the moment--that's what I learned from Gary.  Thanks, Patty, for the reminder, and for something beautiful that I have hung in my entry hall.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A beautiful scarf from Nancy

From this picture, you can't really tell that it is a scarf.....this is just one part of it.  The ball fringe goes all around the edge.  It is reversible, so I turned back the edge a little bit to show the other side....a little darker.  The design is very intricate, but I simplified it.  I love how this turned out and may use it as a card.  To me, it is abstract and fun at the same time.  If I hadn't explained what it might have your own interpretation!

The scarf itself is a triangle, so I think the best way to wear it is around the shoulders, with a knot in the front. Nancy's last name is Hugg---this scarf feels like a hug when I wear it that way.  

It was an early Christmas present.  My pleasure in receiving gifts, documenting them in a thank-you note, posting it here, and mailing the thank you to the giver continues.   It has been so much fun that I might continue it in 2012.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Moravian Cookies!

Christmas is soon and the Moravian cookies are here.   I get them in the mail every year from Howard's sister.  A little family history is necessary here.  Catharine was younger than Howard.  When their mother was pregnant, Howard was told a baby was coming.  He always pronounced it "bobby" and called her Bobby when she was born--others took it up, and she is still Bobby today..especially in the family.  Howard and Bobby grew up in Clemmons, North Carolina. The Moravian cookies are made by hand in Clemmons by Mrs. Travis Hanes, and her crew of workers.  They are very thin, crispy, and ginger-y, and they come in a wonderful bright red tin with a plastic resealable strip.  There is nothing quite like them!

In Clemmons, nearly everyone is a Moravian.  Moravia was once a part of Czechoslovakia, and the Moravians are an old Protestant denomination. They predate the Reformation.   The Moravian faith was originally formed by John Hus whose protests and teachings caused him to die a martyr's death at the stake on July 6, 1415.  His followers formed the first fully organized Protestant church in 1457, which they called the Unity of Brethren.  They were persecuted, driven from their homes, and imprisoned.  They migrated to Germany and were protected there by Count Zinzendorf, who was interested in their beliefs.  While in Germany they were referred to as "that religious group from Moravia" and so they became known as Moravians.  When they came to American and settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina they were proud to be called Moravians.  Clemmons is near Winston-Salem.

I thought a painting of a red round cookie tin might be a little "ho-hum," so I rested a Moravian star ornament on the tin and included that in the painting.  The Moravian star is three dimensional and usually illuminated.  It is used in holiday festivities connected to the Advent season.  This is a good time to make a little painting of my humble version of it.