exuberant distractions

How can I resist these colors? Why am I sitting in front of computer instead of grazing idly through the parkscapes gathering up the color? Fall beckons. Make haste to the outdoors.

Hardy Ageratum and Henry's Garnet Sweetspire.

Hardy Ageratum and Henry's Garnet Sweetspire.

I will continue the hand stitching on this piece (The grass was greener) outside, in the lingering spectacle.

The grass was greener, detail, Paula Kovarik, 2015

A potential stitch pattern? Hyacinth Bean vine takes over the back deck.

awestruck

Our yard is bursting with azaleas, irises, bluebells, salvia, hostas, lilies and mint.

But we don't have any peonies. So I slipped over to the neighbors yard and snipped a couple of buds from their prolific bush. Don't tell anyone.

Hard to imagine how this species decided to put so many stamens in one pocket. Looks like a party going on.

moving on

That rock and reflection in the middle of this photo reminds me of a four square patch.

Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas is a magical place. It harbors family memories, exposes changes in nature to our wondering eyes and instills a sense of miracles and beauty every time we visit. This year was no exception. Though the weather was cold and wet we were able to hike our favorite waterfall trail, one we have hiked many times. My children grew up exploring these woods and climbing these rocks. Now my grandchildren do the same. Every four years our friends join us there in an election year pilgrimage to share food, tell stories of our lives, lick our wounds if our candidates lost and rejoice with hope if our candidates win the opportunity to make our government work. I hope the tradition lingers into old age.

The photo below is a composite of the same trees taken 10 years apart. The tree on the left (shown in the middle image at the far left) has a healed over hollow and some new sprouts. The tree on the right still carries the heart shaped rock I admired ten years ago. I love the stubbornness of nature … the slow build that growth and adversity uses to form life. 

Two trees, ten years apart.

momentum

Holidays break the momentum of projects. I hate to stop working on something while I have a clear focus of the direction it is going in. It just takes so long to get back on the road. This poor abused cactus in the studio reminded me of that. Sometimes you go strong in one direction only to drop and weaken as the piece grows. Then you have to put your thoughts in order, reach into a new support system and try again. Check out those little feet this guy has created to forge ahead!

cactus resurgence

Last week, while spending time with the family,  I found new textures to imitate…

I had some time to practice hand stitching…

and found inspiring things to think about…

The road back to the studio is filled with new energy.