Monday, June 13, 2011

Tapestries & Carpets

One of my fondest memories was lying on my grandmother's carpet and tracing with my fingers the intricate design as well as looking closely at her hanging tapestry...finding and following all the color changes. Everything seemed old and mysterious and I was entertained for the longest time. These particular memories came to mind when I was considering the beauty of the Alhambra. Do you have first memories of connecting to art or design?

Tapestry 0170-8, 20"x20" Rives BFK, acrylic, collage, sepia crayons, tissue paper and wax thread.


  1. So beautiful, I'd love to feel the waxy texture. I'm often inspired from early memories.

  2. Beautiful. My fondest childhood memories of art are with my Nana. She'd take the granddaughters out to plays and galleries. For presents she'd gather snips of paper and wool, pads of paper, wax, buttons or whatever she thought would inspire us.

  3. I love the threadbare edge and little thready spot. Very nice.

  4. I love how you have created the feel and texture of fabric with paint on paper. An early memory for me of pattern and colour is a design of large red poppies scattered over a black background on my grandmother's full skirt. I was also fascinated by a brightly coloured Mexican picnic basket that she kept stored in the back of her clothes closet.

  5. I love the layers, textures and weave of color...I also immensely enjoyed my image of you as a little girl on the floor, being enraptured with the tapestry...

  6. Hi Mary Ann,

    I just remember the new sketchbook and colour pencils, every birthday my one and only wish! And then, when I was about 13 years, my first mixed media experience: it was a hanging work of leather and metal, I remember that I was struck with its beauty, a work like this was never seen before in those days,in the little counry village where we lived
    Btw: I am so happy that your blog is 'alife' again,

  7. I remember a small painting hanging on the wall, landscape, and so often in childhood I would wander down the little path, and find something exciting just over the hill... beautiful image!

  8. love the colors and texture, feels sculptural; memories like that show how YOU are able to entertain yourself entranced in the design of life. i know that feeling, and memory from childhood is rich and alive and opens like a room full of smell texture light taste emotion, all of it.

    hope your summer treats you with love.

  9. your color sense knocks me out at usual :)

  10. this is a stunning piece... the edging is wonderful...

    Leonardo's prints in my grandmothers house and florentine trays and wood furniture... : )

  11. wonderful colors. love your story. hmm, I'd have to ponder your question. never thought about that.

  12. Ro Bruhn, Thank you...inspiration from early memories is a treasure.

    Carole, You had a wonderful Nana...!

    Tess, That shredded stuff is from the bag that holds the lemons at the grocery store!

    louciao,Thank you...I was going for a feel of textile. I can just imagine that wonderful Mexican picnic basket! wow

    Deena, Yes, on the layers and glazes and wrong turns and right turns!
    Inspiration at my Grandmother's house for sure...inside and out!

    Regina, How wonderful to have such a great birthday gift!
    Glad to be back too!

    annell, I loved traveling into pictures on the wall too! Childhood held many imaginative mysteries.

  13. this is fabulous piece, Mary Ann. I can "see" the emotion in it, and to me it feels almost like a diary or letter, with the delicate designs/markings on the colored backgrounds...

  14. Mary Ann, gorgeous colors, rich and so like fabric...the rug you speak of. Fabrics were in my childhood--quilt squares, colored petticoats, handmade by my grandmother. She a tapestry which was fading. She invited us to had color it with Venus Paradise colored pencils to bring up the color.

  15. mansuetude, Wonderful memories, textures, colors and yes, smells. Coffee has never tasted as good as the aroma of coffee brewing in my grandmother's kitchen!

    Jeane, Thank you...I'm big on glazes.

    LDV, I can just imagine these beautiful sights from your childhood.

    Suki, So many stories of grandmother...her home, her cooking and her treasures were a big influence on me as a little girl.

    Sharmon, Thank memories of her were ended by the time I was 10 but to this day still vivid, still important.

    Maggie, Yes, colored petticoats! What a wonderful treat to re-color her tapestry!

  16. This is wonderful. I love the colors and the integration of elements.
    Also, you are being so productive that I am outright jealous. do you attribute it to a coach or have you gotten on the wing of inspiration?

  17. The textures and colors are wonderful and the feel of antiquity does bring memories of other times. This is a wonderful piece! It's odd I was just thinking of a picture that my grandmother had over her kitchen table. It was a copy of some old master's painting of peaches. I was totally fascinated wondering how the artist made the peaches look so real and wondered if I could do that. It may have been my first art inspiration.

  18. Great weaving of memory and pallette!
    My first memories of art are laced with the sacred objects around my grandmother's house and the little church she cleaned while I wandered around looking at everything. My favorite was the large Nino de Atoche in the foyer. Funny how Grandma's and art go together!

  19. What a stunning creation. I am loving the colors, texture, and feel of this piece!!

  20. You have put into words so beautifully how it feels to be a wondrous child, immersed in a mysterious time from the past. And how you put all these feelings together into your painting is completely stunning. Have a wonderful sunday today, and a week of dreams that combine the past with the present.

  21. Carol, Thank you and thank you for stopping by!

    Pat, The work seems to be moving fast because of the focus on writing and the views of Alhambra. My critique is in July...seems far away!

    Eva, How wonderful peaches for first art inspiration and again another Grandmother story!

    Marie, A wonderful story of you and your grandmother in the small church...having all the sacred images for just the two of you.

    Seth, Thank you so much for stopping by and your good words!

    Roxanne, Your words have me dancing around the studio...happy dance!

  22. Here's the link to that rhubarb cake you were wondering about: