Waiting on the moon

I pulled a poncho over my PJ’s and walked beyond my town tonight, out to where the houses gave way to sweet smelling, new mown fields. I kicked my way across the hay and stood on the edge of the horizon in the cool night air, said ‘good night’ to the sun, and waited on the moon.

waiting001

Over the Moon

I recently learned a new skill!  I have a very inspiring artist friend in his early 80’s who offered to teach me lino cutting some time ago.  Alan is a world traveler and worked as an architect & interior designer all of his working life.   He continues to explore in various artistic media.

I found a crescent moon design and went to his very well organized studio for a few hours last Friday.  He explained the process, let me practice on a scrap of lino and left me to it.

Sometimes, when I learn something new, I hang back and wait until the moment to begin when I am absolutely certain that it will come out perfectly the first time.  Which means that sometimes, I don’t try anything new.

Alan knows me as a fibre artist and knows that I put a lot of time and care into my art work.  He was gently encouraging.  I felt confident to try this new thing and aware that he had made time in his busy schedule to meet with me.  So I picked up my lino cutter and went for it.  I am not going to give a tutorial on the process, but I did learn that the next time I will make sure I have a good light source and I will probably draw my design with a Sharpie pen (rather than pencil).  Oh yeah, and wear my reading glasses!

I found it a very cerebral and controlled process.  I liked the planning – I cut my design in ‘reverse’ so that the print will be the right way – and when I do others, I will think about different colours of ink and about breaking up my design into three or more different blocks and about which order I will print them.

I kept my first one very simple.   On just one block, so I’ll do my prints in one go in one colour of ink.

This print was done in water based ink.  A trial run to check it out.  I removed a bit more of the lino where necessary and identified a couple of places that I will ink in with a brush after the print is made.

over the moon001

I went out and bought a pack of different coloured card stock and am going back on  Monday to make a run of prints using oil based ink.

I’m also thinking about other, larger and more complex designs to do.  I love German Expressionist woodcuts and think that my Little Red Stick story would lend itself especially well to this medium.

grandmothers-1

Besides being over the moon about learning how to do printmaking, I am really stoked that my first response to what I made was, ‘Wow!  Look at what I made.’  Not feeling apologetic and pointing out the mistakes, but feeling very proud of myself.  That mindset is 180º from where I used to be in the not so distant past.

The Moon of the Winding Fish

Full March Moon tonight.

To Colonial Americans: The Fish Moon; to the Cherokee and some Celts: The Windy Moon, or Moon of Wind;
to this Muscogee (Creek) Indian woman:

The Moon of the Winding Fish,
who swims sometimes with the current,
sometimes against the flow,
lazily spins in eddies,
dives deep into limpid pools,
finding answers,
posing questions.

Tonight, after making my bed, The Forest of Dreams, with 500 thread count, sateen weave, Supima cotton sheets and placing the River of Dreams quilt over it, my bed feels complete.  By the way, I just looked this up and apparently, Supima cotton is ‘Superior Pima’.

“Supima cotton will have superior strength to a product made of
upland cottonor upland/Pima blended cottons,
which will improve the durability and
increase the lifespan of the textile and apparel products.
Because of the fineness of Supima cotton,
more fibers can be spun into a yarn of a given count,
which will enhance the feel and softness,
drapeability and brilliance of color of a fabric.”

That explains the visual and tactile sheen they give off. And they’re a beautiful soft shade of mushroom brown, or mouse fur, or certain very smooth stones or summer sun-dried river mud.  And it’s from the American Southwest, just like me!

This morning, I washed the grime and bird poo off of the headboard and fastened the quilt back into place on it.  I pushed the bed into it’s place, in the corner of our salon near the windows which face south and from where we can chart nearly the full course of the sun and the moon’s journeys across the sky, from rise to set.

Anyhow, I just went into the salon to check and see how my bed is doing while the yarg was melting on my baked potato. The rising moon is shining through the window onto the two fish swimming down the River of Dreams. Yes, there are two fish.  Some of you know that a pair of fish wind their way into many of my art quilts.

It’s tricky to photograph by moonlight, but I captured the way the light falls through the window panes onto the diamond shapes of the forest floor and across the sinuous river.


I’ve always loved to camp near a river. Steve’s away tonight. Perhaps I’ll sleep in the Forest of Dreams and flow with the River of Dreams.

Moon Maiden

On this Full March Moon of the Winding Fish