Step by Step

::: By Hand and On Foot :::

Category: Art in General (page 2 of 6)

One week in

It’s difficult to write about a pilgrimage. Every day you get up and walk.  That’s it. Nothing happens, and yet everything happens.  

The world slows down.  You see the flowers and the bees.  You hear the constant birdsong that happens in the Spanish countryside. The clouds sail by. You feel the warmth of the sun on your back. You hear the crunch of your boots on the gravel.

And the world slows down and opens up and presents itself to you with the possibility of finding your best self. You have the chance to give and receive kindness. You listen to stories and share your own. You have the opportunity for stillness.

It is a gift for which I am extremely grateful.

The Adventures Begin

Greetings from Burgos, a lovely city on the meseta, Spain’s high northern plain. 

Our adventures began before we even left home. By ‘we’ I mean me and Janice, my old college roommate who agreed to join me for the first two weeks of this trip to Spain.  We had wanted to start our walk in Logrono, but found that it was completo, totally full.  So we have a Burgos rest day even before we begin, then take the local bus back to Logrono, where we did find a room for tonight.

Speaking of buses, we had an adventure there, too.  We had bought our tickets ahead of time, with plenty of time allowed to get through customs and pick up our bags.  However, we didn’t allow enough time for Jan’s plane’s 2-hour flight delay.  The bus company clerk sent us to Madrid main bus terminal, where we got new tickets with credit given for our old ones.  Plus we met another pilgrim who had been on that plane and was also going to Burgos.  The small world of pereginos. 😀

Now we’re off for some cafe con leche.  Hasta pronto!

Photos from top: the Arco de Santa Maria; Burgos cathedral; the altar of Iglesia San Nicolas.

Today’s walk

Was another Manresa to Sunset excursion, and back again.

Each walk seems to have a theme, and today it was jellyfish.  This is one of the larger ones I encountered, shown with the nifty rock I found.  Does it count as exercise bonus points that I found said rock at the furthest point of my walk, and hauled it all the way back again?
I think it does.

Rearranging the Furniture

I realize I haven’t written a blog post in a long time – not because I haven’t been doing anything, but rather that I’ve been doing so much that I tire myself out and don’t have the energy to write.

But here’s a quick post!

It’s been about a year since I set up my studio in the new house. And now that I’ve been using it for a while, it’s time to do a bit of fine-tuning.

This week, I got rid of my orange shelves (actually just moved them to the bedroom) and put in large industrial shelving instead.

You can see the old orange shelves in the background of this picture of me at my press. They fit against a little jog in the wall, but still stick out a bit and make it a close fit to get around the press bed.
Me at my press, orange shelves in the background

Orange shelves, gone!
The shelves are gone

Industrial shelving, up!
New shelves in place

And now full of stuff!
Lots of stuff on my new shelves

Next project: all that stuff on the new shelves? Get it organized!
(It is currently entirely randomly placed, mainly to keep the cats off…)

A Banner Day

The problem with big prints, for me, is how to hang them in a show. Custom frames cost an arm and a leg, and I need to keep mine, thank you just the same. So for my upcoming solo show at the Napa County Library, I decided to print La Penitente on cloth and hang her like a banner.

Sarah-Hope had purchased a large hunk of white muslin for curtains, but we decided against them, so that’s what I used for my prints. Here’s something rarely seen: me ironing.
Ironing the fabric

While the studio is mostly set up and ready for me to work, it still has miscellaneous boxes and debris sitting around, so for large-scale inking I set up work tables in the driveway.
Inking up in the driveway

I’ve been thinking about doing some prints on fabric for a while now, along the lines of prayer flags, and had done some test prints back in the old house. I am surprised how easy it is to print on fabric; the ink comes out nice and clear, and you don’t have to worry about too much embossing. Here is the first print done and pulled back from the block.
La Penitente on the press

The block just barely fits on the press – that is the rollers just reach head to toe on her. To make sure the top and bottom came out clearly, I did some hand-rubbing with my apothecary’s pestle. If you look closely you can see the block below the fabric.
Fabric with pestle and embossing

A close-up of the embossment around the face.
The face embossed

I like how the texture of the fabric comes through, and, as seen here, how it complements the texture of La Penitente’s wrap.
Fabric texture detail

One small problem: I haven’t set up my drying system yet. I ended up draping the prints around the house.
Drying the prints in the bathroom

After a few days letting the prints dry, I will try to persuade Sarah-Hope to sew hems and loops for hanging with dowels. And then off to the library we go!
La Penitente drying on the press

My work will be on display at the main branch of the Napa County Library from May 31 through June 28. The library is located at 580 Coombs Street in downtown Napa. There will be a reception and artist’s talk on Friday, June 13, 6 – 7:30 pm.

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