Sunday, December 30, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
late 15th century
GEERTGEN tot Sint Jansabout 1455/65 - about 1485/95
NG4081. Bought, 1925.
This is one of the most engaging and convincing early treatments of the Nativity as a night scene. The brilliant light in the foreground comes from the Christ Child in the crib. It illuminates the figure of the Virgin, who bends forward, hands joined in prayer, Saint Joseph in the background, and the figures of the delighted small angels to the left.The radiance of the angel announcing the birth to the shepherds on the distant hillside provides another contrast between darkness and divine light. A third and lesser source of light comes from the shepherds' fire.The idea of the infant Christ illuminating the Nativity scene comes from the writings of the 14th-century Saint Bridget of Sweden. She wrote that in her visions the light of the new-born child was so bright 'that the sun was not comparable to it'. A century later, the interest of artists such as Geertgen in depicting naturalistically the contrasts of extreme light and shade served to heighten the sense of the miraculous birth.
Oil on oak34 x 25.3 cm.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN, England
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/ http://www.nationalgallery.co.uk/ "
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
After our snow and cold, the past 2 days have been sunnier and warmer. I got some lovely sunset cloud colors on my camera this evening from the parking lot of the Hastings book and media store in Canon City where I had been picking up books for grandchildren. The moon is even visible in some of them; the color was more in the south and east since there were no clouds on the mountain skyline to the west.
I haven't had time or energy to do any quiltmaking but have gone back to my long time sanity saver, needlepoint. I can do this in the evenings while watching TV with Joe. Christmas time always gets me into stitching more ornaments. I'm finishing some pieces that I started last year; I finished the green stitching on a tree and filled in the empty bars with gold yarn. There is also a photo of a Christmas tree that I stitched and beaded last year; the colored bugle beads make good tree ornaments. I'm also putting the background stitches around an angel, which is shown in the photo with another angel that I stitched last year. I finish these with a felt backing that covers a layer of thin batting.
When we moved to Florence from Deer Trail 20 years ago I managed to lose my large collection of needlepoint beaded ornaments that I had made, so each year I try to add a few ornaments to my recreated collection. I've also made ornaments for the kids through the years. The one piece I was sorriest to lose was a tree top angel that a male friend made for me when I lived in Boulder. Jack was fascinated when I began to needlepoint in the early 70s and had to figure out how to do it backwards, since he was lefthanded. Later, he actually found a book on needlepointing for lefties.
I love to make quilts, but I do not find it relaxing, and I wear out quickly. The rhythmic hand stitching of needlepoint has always been a very relaxing activity for me in a way that nothing else is. I am so thankful that I can still hold and manipulate the tapestry needles, which are larger than the quilting needles that I am no longer able to use.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Today Steve and I went to visit the banks, Post Office, Fowler Tribune, and City Hall, as well as picking up a few more items from the house for Mom's new home. Driving home from Fowler this evening this is part of the sunset I enjoyed. These photos were taken East of Pueblo.
Looking North toward Pikes Peak.
You definitely need to click on these to enlarge them.
Looking west toward the Spanish Peaks (Huahatolla) left, and Wet Mountains to the right. The highest peak in the Wet Mountains is Greenhorn Peak (Cuerno Verde).
Looking Northwest over Pueblo toward the Wet Mountains.
West toward Spanish Peaks and Wet Mountains a little later. La Veta, where Ricky Timms lives, has his gallery, and films The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson is in an unbelievably beautiful valley as the foot of the Spanish Peaks.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Wouldn't you know, with all the stress, I have fallen prey to a miserable chest cold. When I try to talk I croak. I'm on antibiotics because my sick lungs are susceptible to pneumonia. It's been a couple of years since I last had a cold and I had forgotten how rotten "the common cold" makes you feel.
I decided that today had to be a relaxing and resting day, and since it was a beautiful morning and early afternoon I rode with Joe to a nearby Penrose alpaca farm. I have a weakness for alpacas and their soft, luxurious wool. While Joe worked on Robin's dishwasher, Gary to me for a tour of his place and introduced me to his 60 alpacas. Their Australian shepherd, with one blue and one brown eye, and the white Great Pyrenees accompanied us, as did a sleek black and white cat (I never met a herd cat before). I am in love and am going to have to drive by occassionally to admire these wonderful animals.
After the tour, Robin showed me the treasures made from alpaca wool that she sells in her small store. Robin is an artist as well as alpaca farmer, and I was delighted to see a needle felted alpaca with blanket that she had made. They have their wool processed by a place in Kansas and have several natural colors of yarn, with photos of the alpaca who donated the wool on each label. I really admired the hand knitted socks and sweaters and the sheer woven scarves looked almost like silk. I hope one of the kids asks me what I want for Christmas, because I have my eye on a hand embroidered black scarf.
I also want to share my newest treasure with you. My 11 year old granddaughter Rachel, from Salt Lake City, gave me a drawing for a quilt design, and someday I hope to use it to make a quilt for her.
Tomorrow we will start moving Mom to Canon City. Mom and Dad have lived in Fowler for 57 years, and in their home for around 40. It is so hard! I don't want to do this; I don't want to play this game anymore, it's not fun. I just want things to go back to the way they were. My reaction to losing Dad is nothing like what I expected. I don't feel sad, it hurts too bad to be just sad. I literally hurt physically, my whole body, with a hole in my middle. I feel like something is horribly wrong with my world, something like anxiety, but not just sadness. I told Joe that death isn't just the loss of someone, it is the loss of an entire lifestyle. "This too will pass." For the last 40 years this has been one of those common sayings that help me to keep putting one foot in front of the other, whatever happens. Thank God, humans are so adaptable.