Thursday, March 17, 2011

ode to te

oil pastel and watercolors on traditional gesso and silk

this post is about a package that i got from te willans not long after my last post. i traded a few of my small paintings for one of te's handmade books. or i thought that's what i was trading for! te sent me a package that was packed to the brim with wondrousness - a LOT of fabulous, dyed with natural dyes wondrousness...

this is what the box looked like when i first opened it - there were two of these wool and silk coasters...

after i'd thoroughly dug around... everything is dyed with natural dyes and made by te. here you can see thread, samples of silk and cotton - some ready to paint on with traditional gesso and some without for stitching, and a stitched cloth.

this wool was full of te's ceramic buttons...

this is the stitched cloth - it's so much more gorgeous than this pic shows, but you can see how happy the crystals are on it...

oil pastel, colored pencil, and watercolor on traditional gesso and heavy cotton

this piece and the one at the top of the post are done on two of the sample pieces she sent. one is traditional (rabbit skin glue) gesso on silk, and the other is on heavy cotton. traditional gesso feels completely different to me than acrylic gesso. the energy of everything that te sent is very earthy, and, well, very real.

so the book, yes the book! she sent me an exquisite one! i'm mostly saving it to work in when i go back east in a couple of weeks, but i've been experimenting in it to figure out what i want to do so i know what to take with me. even though i've worked in a lot of muslin books, this is the first time i've worked in a book that has fabric pages without anything on them, as well as ones with gesso on them.

oil pastel, watercolors, and casein paint on traditonal gesso and silk

a poor pic of the first page (and look how beautiful the inside cover is!). basically i've decided that oil pastels, casein paint, and watercolors work best on the gesso pages...

the second and third pages... i used plaster cloth on the second page but decided that was more than i wanted to fool with, so for the rest of the book i'll just stick stuff on the backs of the gessoed pages. i could paint on them, but i don't want it to run through to the other side, and i don't want to put gel medium on to prevent that from happening.

the page on the right is a cotton page (some are silk and some are cotton). i stamped a face i carved on it, colored it in with oil pastels, and then sewed some sari ribbon along the outside edge. i LOVE the idea of mixing up the kinds of pages - some for stitching and some for painting.

another stamped face, but this time i stitched some color in...

stamped face on paper that i stitched to the back of a page.

i've safety pinned pieces of muslin with faces stamped on them to the back so i'll have them when i'm gone.

i think i have a good idea of what i want to do in the book now, so i've wrapped it up and it's ready to travel...

thank you so much, te, for everything...

on another note entirely, i have not come to any earth shaking conclusions re: blogging in the last month. my main impression was that life felt more *spacious* without it. i do know that i'll keep doing it until i absolutely don't feel like doing it anymore. whatever feels right as the days unfold...

and finally...

* * *

Dear friends in Japan,

As we contemplate the great number of people who have died in this tragedy, we may feel very strongly that we ourselves, in some part or manner, also have died.

The pain of one part of humankind is the pain of the whole of humankind. And the human species and the planet Earth are one body. What happens to one part of the body happens to the whole body.

An event such as this reminds us of the impermanent nature of our lives. It helps us remember that what’s most important is to love each other, to be there for each other, and to treasure each moment we have that we are alive. This is the best that we can do for those who have died: we can live in such a way that they continue, beautifully, in us.

Here in France and at our practice centers all over the world, our brothers and sisters will continue to chant for you, sending you the energy of peace, healing and protection. Our prayers are with you.

~Thich Nhat Hanh, via tumblr



  1. lovely to see you back and again experience your rich life of treasures! Looks like you are having a wonderful time. An occasional peek is better than no peek at all!

    you remind us of how rich and full life can be if we're willing to dive in and live it fully!

  2. Oh wonderful posts!

    I love your treasures! Again, you make me want to find my muslin and tear at it among other things. I just found my large brown tags and painted/collaged them and will post soon! Thanks for resurfacing!

  3. ...a most LOVELY LOVING post ever...thank you!

  4. I just recently discovered your blog and then discovered you wanted to take a break from blogging -- I completely understand but selfishly was saddened not to be able read your lovely posts.
    What treasures you received & how neat to read about your process of working with them and getting them ready for travel.
    And then -of course- the Thich Nhat Hanh quote certainly speaks to all of our sadness and hope for the Japanese people.
    Have fun on your journey and I hope to see your posts and artwork again soon.

  5. Just the right note to send me on my way to the other side of the world tomorrow! Thank you, dear friend. It's so lovely to see you so comfortable on your new path. See you in April.

  6. What wonderful treasures!!!! i can imagine your joy and surprise opening that package.

    and thank you for the wonderful letter from Thich Nhat Hanh. It said more than i possibly could.

  7. glorious post dear lynne, love all your wonderful treasures from te and your stamped face is marvelous...
    yes, love the hanh letter and saw it somewhere else too, yes I celebreate the impermanence of life, it makes it so very precious...
    like you and your art...xo

  8. Lynne, this post is example of why i have missed you so very much. Blessings - you are one to me, sus

  9. what a lovley gift.
    also the Thich Nhat Hanh, which I am so grateful for you finding! Thank you.


  10. What a wonderous bounty from your friend...I love the natural dyeing and look forward to seeing what you do in your new book when you travel East.
    We've missed your posts, your wonderful faces, animals, creativity.
    Your stamped face that you stitched some colour into is my absolute favourite!
    Thank you for the lovely quote for the people of Japan...such a sad time.

    Jacky xox

  11. Those words about Japan are so moving-and puts very difficult to express feelings into words so well.
    Your book is so lovely-it is frustrating to just have pictures as it looks like such interesting textures so I want to touch it. I am interested to read about the genuine gesso and how it is different. Sometimes the old ways to do things are the best. I must follow your link to Te. Her book is lovely and the whole parcel looks intriguing.

  12. first; i felt joy in seeing that you had posted...
    next you know I support you honoring what feels right...
    next: you and Te are a marvelous combination!
    next: I hope you share what you do in your marvelous book.
    I loved every bit you shared with us.
    wishing you a lovely journey, now tomorrow your trip and all ways

  13. I have missed you and your inspiration...What a terrific package full of beauty..The book is going to be fun and wonderful..
    I am still behind on mailing things..LOL>
    Hugs and Wishes.

  14. Nice to have a visit from you. What a treasure trove your received. And your additions to the gifts make it even more wonderful!

  15. Beautiful beyond words--your work, Te's, Thich Naht Hahn's.

  16. such richness, in spite of doubt, tragedy, pain. richness, yes!

  17. Oh Lynne, the letter to Japan is filled with such sadness and beauty, words we feel in our deepest hearts.
    And your new treasures seem as if they come right from the earth, surfaces and tools for your own artistic magic.
    The stamped face is what I keep going back to. I just love it!
    thank you, and I am so glad to see you back and sharing your stories before your trip.

  18. just have to share that your faces have inspired play

    that and much that I read here.

  19. Lynn what a wonderful post filled with prayers for our brothers and sisters in Japan. I enjoy your travel dreams and sketches . Thank you for sharing your intimate works. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  20. Just fantastic Lynne... all of it. Was over at Soenearth where I was reading her post on this.. loved that parcel!!!!


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