About this time last year, I was holed up in our little cabin on the next hill over from where we currently live… I wrote about it in Cabin Fever.
That winter was brutal. The cabin is off-grid with only solar power to provide our electricity needs. But as the days got shorter, and the sunlight scarce, I frequently had to run a portable generator to charge our batteries (the cabin has an array of 16 batteries charged by the solar panels – or in emergencies, by a generator – these are what the house power is run off of). Eventually the pipes froze and I was forced to leave, to stay with Don at his place in Rochester where he stays during the week to work there.
At the end of February, I managed a small escape to Florida to see my daughter Audrey. It was pure bliss. I wrote about it in Ocean Inspired.
Meanwhile, construction at the new place carried on. Our friend Jack was in charge of the construction and he hired extra guys as needed to keep the work going. Still, it took a long time. It was windy and even more cold in our new location and the pipes with new never-used well and septic froze almost immediately. Argh. One frustration after another. I wrote about that in “A Small Update…“.
Ha! In reading that post just now, I see that all sorts of plans for handmade cabinet knobs and what-not have yet to come to pass. Too much to do, so we settled on commercially made hardware. Oh well.
Somehow, through it all, bead making and other art continued apace… I like to keep the creative juices flowing. I managed to get a little drawing time too – using new digital art tools…
Once we got moved into the new place, I continued building on work I had begun in the cabin, some based on sketches I had done over a year previous (summer of 2013), and even managed to get a little pottery done. I covered some of this work, such as my “Woodland Camping” theme in a post back in 2013, Autumn (2013) at the Cabin, and in a later post in May 2014, “Crazy for Clay“. Throughout the last two years, I continued to develop my core woodland themes with wood textures, tree and limb concepts, and all manner of birds and owls.
And so life went on… and I turned to new ideas, bird and owl totems, with symbols in their bellies, loosely inspired by indigenous american art. I wrote about this in Musings on Creativity.
I carried this theme into a new motif based on Bear (which happens to be my personal totem).
I also explored Crow in more detail… covered in this post, “Crow“, and in bead strands I later assembled.
Looking forward, I have begun working on a couple of new series: one based on quilt motifs and stitched elements… here is some preliminary work for that…
And another is a series based on stars, constellation, and celestial navigation. This is in part an homage to my father, a career Air Force Navigator, who used celestial navigation in his work to plot the courses of planes he flew (this was in the days before computer and satellite navigation), and to my own love of astronomy (I’m a total space geek).
Here are a few bead “sketches”, works in progress, and inspiration images… much more to come!
|My dad, explaining the use of a periscopic sextant for celestial navigation on airplanes.|