30 March 2017

The words remain





 

I do wish I could get myself better organized to record the process/progress in the studio with some regularity, but the endless amount of the work itself continues to take precedence! The pull to tell the story of it all is still present, though; I enjoyand missthis aspect of the studio. When I recently glanced through my Olivetti entries from the last several weeks (my daily practice for 2017, described in this post), I realized that many of the "captured" thoughts had been inspired by this year's cache of paperwhite bulbs. A sort of thread began to emerge, so I thought I'd bring together some words and images here.

*


I don't always know which variety of narcissus will bloom from the earth-scented bag handed to me by the plant vendor—only that their heavenly perfume will soon fill the studio. In any case, it's always wonderful to watch the shoots growing noticeably taller each day, and then the blooms escaping their spathes, one tiny flower at a time. The centers of this year's flowers were yellow, with a pronounced bowl shape—almost daffodil-like...

All that remains are the paper-y petals (shown in the image at the top of the post), now brittle and faded, but lovely all the same. Still, there will always be the memory of their promise of springwhich, indeed, did arrive!—and of course the words they inspired on the Olivetti.

(Plus a handful of photos...)









*
 
Here are a couple of the entries about the paperwhites...




 

*

Despite the daily ritual of typing up a few lines on the Olivetti each day, the pile of paper scraps with practically illegible thoughts/notes scattered across them has continued to growsince I am not always able sit down to the typewriter straight away, this is often still the way that I remember what will ultimately be typed. The diverse collection of scraps, with the many sizes, shapes and paper color/types has a beauty of its own...







 *

The Olivetti awaiting today's lines, followed by a photo of the original box (I just love the details, and how it has survived six decades, in who knows how many homes)...




 *

The bulbs when they first arrived in the studio...




 

 

...And the last typewritten entry about the paperwhites of 2017...





 

Happy spring to everyone in the northern hemisphere...and may those of you south of the equator enjoy all of the beauties of fall...

16 February 2017

Getting to know the Kuretake watercolors



Last fall I gave my daughter a set of Kuretake watercolors, which I have been wanting to try out ever since. After spending a few happy days with them recently, I offered to make a trade of sorts—I would keep the box of Kuretakes and treat her to a trip to the belle arti store, where she could assemble her own custom set of watercolors. That was her original intention, but I had ordered her the Kuretakes as a surprise before realizing this. Even though she was gracious about the gift, I can relate to the excitement of composing a personal palette, and figured my proposal would be a happy solution.




So I have been "getting to know" my inherited watercolors, which come in a delightful green box (shown further down the post). Since many of them appear so much darker in their pans I have been creating a reference guide, with the corresponding numbers...




 


I love the packaging: a beautiful green box, with metallic Japanese characters...



 

Last fall I began working on an invitation suite designed around a leaf theme, but had to hit pause when I got caught up with the launching of Studio Milledisegni. In the meanwhile, I have grown so fond of the repetitive action of painting leaves that it's become somewhat of a meditation. Below are some of my leaf-covered sheets... Stay tuned for the card designs, which are quite different from these all-over patterns!



 

I hope those of you currently in winter are surviving what can often be the hardest weeks. Seeing the paperwhite bulb shoots growing taller by the day (above) is certainly making the days more enjoyable in my studio! And if you are still in the middle of summer, may it linger a while longer...


19 January 2017

A new daily practice for 2017


I'm really enjoying my daily practice for 2017. As a way to capture those thoughts that always seem to be getting away, I decided to commit a few lines to paper via my Olivetti Lettera 22 each day. Even though my random thoughts do usually manage to get written down somehowon scraps of paper, in the corners of already well-filled sketch book pages or even on my phone—it feels good to have found a way to start collecting some of them.

The easy part is writing—I "write" in my head all day long!—but I've realized how used to erasers, auto-correct and spell-check I have become...not to mention simply having the ability to edit. Rarely do my words tumble out as a true expression of exactly what I mean to say, or how I think it should best be said. The time spent with the typewriter is helping me to learn how to better define a thought in my mind first (though when I read back over them later I am finding that I often leave out letters, or even key words). I imagine the process will get easier as the weeks progress, and I hope the writing will become less clumsy/more elegant. In any case, I do look forward to sitting before the typewriter each day, hearing/feeling the metal type bouncing off the paper, watching the letters make words and the lines beginning to transform the previously empty space... It is these physical aspects that I appreciate as much as the words themselves.



 
A handful of entries...


 

{Incidentally, the name of the narrow street outside the studio window is
"Sdrucciolo de' Pitti" (since it leads out of Piazza Pitti). I had lived here for a while
before a local corrected my pronunciation of sdrucciolo (accent on the first syllable)
 truly delightful when said by an Italian, hence the pleasure of hearing it!}

 


And a few more...


*


Another thing I'm excited about this year is painting this wall's-worth of canvases; there are nine in total, each just 40x50 cm. I prefer to work on much bigger canvases, but there's too much going on in our apartment to accommodate the activity of painting at such a scale (or to display the paintings when they're done!). I don't know when I'll get started, but for now I am enjoying their promisemy private installation to "Possibility"...



I hope that 2017 is still feeling full of promise and possibility for others as well...I don't know about you, but I wish I could hang on to that "New Year" feeling all year long! Here's to as much creativity and beauty as we can find...

01 January 2017

Happy 2017 all around the world!




I had such a wonderful time designing cards for Studio Milledisegni's preview collectionit was hard to choose just one to share my New Year's wishes! I opted for some sparkle—why not ring in 2017 with a hint of shimmer and shine (and bright hopes)? Originally designed as an invitation, this design was inspired by the fabulous chandeliers that mesmerize me every time I visit Venice...

Happy New Year!


31 December 2016

Daily Measures XII





We've had a beautiful last day of 2016 in Florence, and the studio was full of sunshine this afternoon. I thought I would share an image I posted to Instagram today since it shows where my "Daily Measures" project has ended up.

As the year progressed, I realized that (as simple as my daily practice was) the monthly making/setting up of the booklet had become an impediment; if I began the month without preparing the pages, the strips would accumulate with nowhere to go. By the time summer arrived, with family visiting & traveling, I had gotten off-track. Saving papers to use for each daily "story line" had become second nature, though, so I came up with the idea of weaving them. First in the orderly fashion of some of my past paper weavings, but once the busy summer was over the concept started to reflect the pre-launch period for Studio Milledisegni (which was insanely crazy for me), the weavings became looser/less orderly...

Then, as I was completing my series of paper designs for Studio Milledisegni, I got the idea to use a month's-worth of strips to create a small-scale paper chain for our little lemon balm "tree" (shown in the image above). At the beginning of December it was still covered with fresh leaves, but they began to fall part way through the month, slowly making way for the ever-growing chain. 

I love the shadows (and the "chaos" they create on the wall), though this does make it somewhat hard to differentiate between the branches/twigs and the shadows they cast. On the note of chaos, this is probably the word that best defines 2016 for me. Likely for that reason, a sense of "calm" has been my quest as I take a break over the holidays. And this is what inspired our Christmas tree this year. After removing the copper leaves with the words my daughter & I had chosen last Christmas (described partway through this post, and which we will hang on the olive tree at the rose garden), we decorated the LED-lit branches with clear glass balls + crystal chandelier bits & pieces. Its mingling of simplicity & exuberance brings me joy every time I look at it. And I love how the sunshine mixes with the crystals, scattering "rainbows" everywhere during the hours of light...






I wish you a lovely last day of 2016 
...and may your 2017 begin in joy!






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...