and still crawling

Though i haven’t got far with this, i know already it’s time to edit the plans.


There’s too much background on this. While it’s important to me that the sub-text has meaning, sometimes there can be too much back there. You end up filling space, just because there’s space to fill.

I still have two more of the “surrounds” to make. There’s more to the centre than appears here also, tiny details and completions to get the effect and meaning.

space b

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Posted by on July 2, 2015 in A Birth of Silence, in progress


eye did it

Mother of the RiverShe’s less scarey, more caring now.

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Posted by on July 1, 2015 in in progress, Jam Days


finishing more of the UFO pile

origin face 2012Original painting/sketch above, from 2012.

I haven’t touched it since March of last year.

unnamed face embroidery_arlee barr


Another session of stitching last night–it’s back to a normal temperature range, thank goodness– and she’s just about done. I keep seeing small areas that need something! I’m not one to fill every inch anymore: i firmly believe is some void areas to let the eye rest, and to let the story have room, but there seems to be a bit more to this than i originally thought. Still un-named though. And i have figured out a way to change those scarey eyes so they are not so overpowering, but should i maybe leave them alone?



Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Faces, Jam Days



Honestly, i am not getting a lot of stoodio time, or having the inclination to do much in there–it’s been unseasonably hot here and the garden demands all my attention! It’s been in the mid to upper 30’s (Celsius), and the stoodio faces south so you can guess the temp in there! I’ve also moved some of the stoodio jungle out under the apple tree, so the light is blinding as well. Fortunately it’s cooler and we expect rain this week–but please NO HAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve mostly been pulling weeds, thinning seedlings (great in salads, from beet greens and bok choy to quinoa and kale) and moving the remainder of the “yard of dirt”. My digging leg and hip are killing me, my hands are sore from gripping the shovel and my shoulders are sunburnt. I’m not complaining though–part and parcel of summer and wanting a decent food garden!

I feel the need to be doing something during the downtime though, and pulled out the “circle a day” project (started last year, shame on me…)  The first two here are scraps of indigo dyed nylon lace from an old shower curtain i scored at the local “Emporium”:



Of course, they’re not really circles anymore, but still are within the 4″ size i set myself.

The third was a sample i did in the “Girl” days. I stitched around the edges, started some running stitch and laced running stitch and hated it. Boring, uninspired, not really me anymore. What do you do when a sketch displeases you and you’re frustrated with it? Scribble on it, X it out. Garbage. But now i like the not liking.


Small things right now are better than just thinking. I have two shows to do that for, and the ol’ vasty head is taking its time.





Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Jam Days, media experiments


a little local flavour

I’m still working on things to do with the indigo dips, hoping to get that colour shift with the chemical reaction between ecoprint and the Ph of the vat. My Carolina Cranesbill self seeded last year and i find it everywhere now, much more luscious and large leaved than ever before. The scentless chamomile too is volunteering in odd places, usually to be pulled out as it’s invasive. Soft and airy as it is, i don’t want it in the turnips!

On cotton:

cranesbill and scentless chamomile ecoprint cotton

And on silk:

cranesbill and scentless chamomile ecoprint silk

While i work internally on the pieces shown with text and crawler, i’m also thinking of wings again. These experiments hopefully will work out in the end for that.

If you are interested in more information, i posted about these in more detail on my gardening blog, Dangerous Mouth of the Rose.


Posted by on June 24, 2015 in hand dyes and ecoprints


pulling a thing together

I work exceedingly slowly these days. After each “success”–whether it be a completion of a project, an acceptance into an exhibit, or a Personal Best–there is a time of blankness, blank on the surface at least, with swimming things underneath……….or maybe better, letting things be fallow for awhile.

Fallow is a colour also, browns, a mood i never cared for in earlier years, but with the use of natural dyes, ecoprinting and rust processes, a warm entry into the subconscious i didn’t act on in those early years. When i remember back to childhood, i was out in the fields, no matter the season, and browns featured greatly, earth, rock, tree, root, deep pond.

And chocolate. Coffee. Hands in the soil.

And blue, didn’t much care for that either, but again: sky, water, shadow and dusk, the fields after supper.

Eyes. Mood. Music. Midnight on the prairie, in the mountains.


blue and brown



Pulling ideas together, i often look back to previous work.





 “i hear an owl mousing

in the cold indigo of a dusk meadow.

where apple bloom ices the night,

time is a feather dropped in the grass.” a. barr 1976



a quantity of words

finding the vocabulary c

finding the vocabulary

finding the vocabularyd

I still have 42 words to create, and then i will decide how to use them with these:

honeycomb crawlers

on this:

big expanse

Immersed, and buried, acquiesced.





cell bone

box of wordswork is slow, slow work, slow ideas and slower realizations, but working


Posted by on June 22, 2015 in A Birth of Silence, in progress


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