Thinking of the balance of light/dark and positive/negative space drives the design of a stencil.Read More
The ice started to go out of the little lake about a week ago.
Have you ever noticed how the wind etches a large scale water-like pattern on the icy surface of a pond? You can see this when the winter is short on snow, as this one has been.
I'm seeing water everywhere.
For several years now I've wanted to make a naturalistic repeating water pattern. I finally got down to it. This will repeat horizontally. It was very tricky to register. I had so much trouble so rather than drive myself crazy I decided to allow the pattern to drift about 1/4" upwards to the right with each "print," which will make it look more naturalistic anyway. To accommodate my imprecision, I made sure the shapes at top and bottom of stencil have no straight edges.
This week I painted a little table that belonged to my grandmother. It had been serving as a neglected yet useful platform for the dog food container in the basement, until it dawned on me that I should paint it. I would guess it's a 1940's era piece - drop leaved, long legged and compact. One small drawer put together with a dovetail joint. I painted it an earthy barn red, not wanting to strip and re-varnish it.
This attention to furniture led me to dust the rest of the surfaces in the house - a task that I have always enjoyed. I'm still inching through the book, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, I found this poetic (yet very dated) passage:
"Objects that are cherished in this way really are born of an intimate light, and they attain to a higher degree of reality than indifferent objects, or those that are defined by geometric reality ... The housewife awakens furniture that was asleep." And, "A house that shines from the care it receives appears to have been rebuilt from the inside; it is as though it were new inside. In the intimate harmony of walls and furniture, it may be said that we become conscious of a house that is built by women, since men only know how to build a house from the outside, and they know little or nothing of the "wax" of civilization."
I spent the afternoon completing a stencil that I'll be using in a wall piece (a variation on a previous piece) about my sister's house, which interprets a view from the woods above the house. I've designed this stencil a repeat on the horizontal dimension.