Sunday, November 30, 2008

A weekend in Berlin

Brandenburg Landscape on the way to Berlin
A dull and grey day in Berlin: Our arrival by bus. We went to see my husband's cousin and his Japanese wife and my husband's closest friends.
View down to the river Havel near Spandau
From East Berlin to Potsdam Square, still reminding of the time when this street was Stalinallee

Berlin is so exiting because you can still read a lot of its history. In Hamburg, all the traces of the past have been eliminated. In Berlin, there is so much they just can't cope too soon.
We slept in our cousin's beautiful 1900 flat under high ceilings with Art Nouveau plaster decoration.
Breakfast "outdoors" -- in a foil tent with a gas heater outside a crowded café. Taking breakfast in a café on sundays is so popular that you hardly find a free seat.
A visit on the flea market, bought a coffee mug for $0,80. There was an artist offering his prints: Very interesting! A short goodbye -- and we're on the way back home.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Some progress

Painted and quilted: Small patches on "Joseph's coat", acrylic paint on cotton, and a small piece of fur which "refurs" to: 1. The lie of Joseph's brothers about him being killed by a wild beast, 2. Jacob (Joseph's father) had betrayed his father by stealing his brother's blessing.
And in order to carry out this cheat, his mother Rebecca had wrapped goat fur around his wrists and neck in order to pretend he was his hairy brother.
A lesson on Karma.
The patches are painted by coincidence. Then I looked at them and found landscapes, which I cut out and fixed them on the background.

And how far did we get with the painting?
Unfortunately the photo is very dark, the flashlight pic was worse. This picture is going very slowly, different from the first and second version. I colour the patches with a painting knife and acrylics; then I look at them to find landscapes and faces in them and work these out in oils.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Going up the country

Went to my parents-in-law over the weekend (prostrating before the ancestors, as we call it). We went by train, because snow was forecast. It is a real journey. We had to change to the bus, because the train ended 10 km outside the town.
Then we were at the station, freezing. No bus. Father picked us up. Thank God.

The fish in the pond were standing still like frozen, too. During the night, the pond was covered by a thin ice layer. Last roses before the snow seemed even more beautiful, almost transparent.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The insect survived a frosty night, and the painting grows slowly

On the picture of yesterday's posting there was this drone fly -- she (he?) survived and came back this morning to visit my last flowers. This fly won't give up until she gets killed by the frost. We should do so.

Work on Joseph's Colourful Coat goes very slowly. But it has to. Coincidence is the real painter. I wait until faces and landscapes appear, and make them more distinct. I have to be careful so the spectators will see more and more faces and landscapes in the squares, the more they look at them.

Another version will be a piece of fiber art. I started creating the base out of my husband's old clothes, and while sewing I pricked my finger and so had the first traces of blood on the cloth. Hope it's not gonna get more weird, after all I will use acrylic paint and not real blood.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Between Summer and Winter

Last bits of summer: There are still insects coming to my chrysanthemums on the balcony. Yesterday I took these photos...

... and today fell the first snow.
There is more to come over the weekend, says the forecast.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Steaming carnation

This parcel arrived yesterday: Wool from old German Democratic Republic stocks. The label says "VEB" (people's own factory) "Wollgarnfabrik - Karl-Marx-Stadt". It is fine machine knitting wool, a big skein of 100g, very good to be used for weaving or as crewel wool -- just tried it -- and I bought it for less than 1 $. I started a crewel embroidery: A fresh blue-dyed and still hot and steaming carnation.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Birds, trees, and romantic style

This is what happens when I think of creating something modern. It looks like a 19th century lithograph-illustrated book on tropical fauna. Okay, I'll surrender, I won't keep trying to create a hommage to the classics of modern painting.
The Birds in their brown and red tree are finished. Now I'm thinking about how to use it, as a cushion top?
I'll definitely not frame it and hang it on the wall. If I need a picture, I paint it. I wrote something like "form follows function" in a Germany forum of embroiderers; I guess the community were not amused. I didn't mean to make them angry, just thought about the counted stitch pictures they keep producing and framing and then posting to each other: how cute! and I think to myself, how square is this? Well, how square is what I am doing?
Okay, lets do it a little more square.
I have to say that I'm not a quilter at all, though I have always admired this art. Probably I never had the patience to work precisely, so I just don't have the courage to try a quilting project. But now I had to in order to use this embroidered piece. I found some beautiful indonesian print cloth I wore to pieces, and some printed vintage viscose with a generous flower print, and I used this to frame the embroidery. There are tiny golden stars on part of the background, not finished yet.
The birch is covered with golden sparkles before the dark clouds.