Art on Vacation…

I’m totally off schedule now on blogging. I downloaded about a million pictures this morning, but can’t get my head around most of them yet, so let’s keep it simple. I did artsy stuff while traveling. I drew all but two nights, mostly in campgrounds. Which is a cold and dark thing to do, let me tell you. But easier to see than trying to embroider in the dark on black fabric.

So the drawings…the first night, we drove from San Diego all the way to Zion National Park. We stayed about 25 minutes outside the park, but my first night was obviously influenced by driving in and seeing the rocks…brought tears to my eyes when we drove into Zion. The skirts that the rocks make, the sedimentary lines…I’d been seeing them all day. The moon was almost full.

And we saw our first of many deer that evening.

The second drawing was after a full day of approximately 14 miles of hiking in Zion. I don’t fall asleep easily, but the man does. So I sat and embroidered in the semi-dark (and then drew myself embroidering, which is just weird) while he slept…hands over head because the neighbors had their TV on too loud.

That was pretty realistic…except the room had no rugs…just cold concrete floors. Rugs, people!

Then the next night, we were freezing our asses off in a campground near Bryce National Park…there were lows in the mid-30s. The man made a fire behind me, and I drew the hoodoos I’d seen while we went to all the overlooks.

The next night was still cold, although it didn’t seem AS cold, probably because we were smart and put on three layers of all the warm things before we even started dinner. I had a glove on the non-drawing hand. I apparently can’t draw with a glove on. We’d spent the day hiking down into the canyon (which is an amphitheater, not a canyon at all)…and then around the rim, for a total of 9 1/2 miles or so…this time, the hoodoos were above me and there were twisty trees everywhere.

One of the weirder ones. The next day, we drove to Arches National Park, to a slightly warmer, but much rockier campground inside the park, and no wood or alcohol (should plan ahead in Utah, people, or drink beer and burn your clothes…whichever works for you). How beer and Mikes Hard Lemonade are acceptable drinks to the lord, and wine is not, I will never understand. Don’t even argue alcohol percentages with me.

Anyway, that night, sans fire, I drew this, a conglomerate of everything we saw that day, driving through Capitol Reef National Park and Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument, plus over some pass with aspens and snow.

The last night in Arches we went from dinner straight into the tent, completely exhausted after over 11 miles of hiking in the heat, plus a rainstorm that had wind and lightning, but held that far enough away that we didn’t have to sleep in the car. So I didn’t draw.

The next night was after the most glorious shower ever (after two days of hiking hot and no shower facilities)…and after that, I drew this…

The whole trip on my mind…trees, rain, water, deer, rocks, tent, hoodoos, lightning, Balanced Rock from Arches. Plus an idiotic president and political party that don’t see the importance of our park system. Fuck them. The park staff are doing their best, but they are understaffed and underfunded, and it’s obvious. If I win the lottery, I’m giving a big chunk to the National Park system. You should too.

I didn’t draw the last night we were out. Too tired.

OK, then the embroidery. My patterns are being sold on the Global Artisans page, and soon there will be kits as well. As part of that, I need to stitch all of them. So that was one thing I did in the car…not while driving…

I had already started the Space Mother at home, but continued in the car on the first day…

I thought I might run out of the gray, so I did all of it first…then I went on to the blue…

Mostly I’m using backstitch, but I like the additional thickness of chain stitch and an occasional pile of French knots. This is the 2nd night in the bunkhouse near Zion…

She’s getting closer to done. This was right before I drew the picture of this exact scene. And this is how far I got before we left Zion.

Almost done…on the way to Bryce, I finished her…

All the fussy little bits…although I thought she was done here and then…

I decided to fill in Earth…

And her eyes. There she is sitting in the campsite while I wait to set up the tent…

She still needs to be rinsed out and ironed…then she can go on the pattern cover. So that was the first night in Bryce. She took about 10 1/2 hours to embroider.

While dinner was cooking, I traced the next one, Earth Mother with Wavy Hair, using Saral transfer paper.

With her, I was worried about running out of the flesh color. In the kits, you only get one bobbin of each color, so I have to be sure what I’m doing will allow for enough thread. Honestly, I’d probably use 20 different colors if I weren’t limited to 5.

Transferred before dinner boiled over…

This transfer paper is not the most ideal stuff. Still looking for a better option on these. I started trying to stitch that night, but black fabric made it almost impossible to do at night in camp light. So the next evening, while the man was cooking, I did some stitching.

All the flesh first…then when we left Bryce, there was so much too look at that I don’t think I stitched at all. Although there’s rainclouds…so maybe this is on the way out of Capitol Reef? Not sure.

I know I stitched in Arches though…

Yup. Eating, because blood sugar had crashed. This might have been in the morning actually…yes. Waiting for tea water to boil. Always waiting for that. Goldfish are a perfectly reasonable breakfast food. Shut up.

I didn’t get much done in Arches. Rain and all. But here’s on the drive out of Arches toward Tuba City, Arizona…

I got a lot done that day…and then retraced the lines, because they were fading, in the hotel…

Before…and after…

Still looking for a better option…

I didn’t stitch going into the Grand Canyon…I was too damn tired. And then in the canyon, didn’t stitch. This is on the way out, toward Phoenix.

I got a lot done on that afternoon. And then nothing done that night.

Driving back home, I drove the first three hours or so, but eventually traded the steering wheel for stitching. This is the hill up toward my house. Home!

Damn stuff is already starting to fade. I have the flowers on her arm to do, the bronchial tubes in the lungs, her eyes, the things on her face, half her hair, the jellyfish and other fish, her fingernails, her watch, and the trees on her head. That sounds like a lot. I guess it’s a lot.

I did a little last night too…trying to do a little bit at a time. So hopefully she’ll be done in the next week. I have some transfer pens coming that might help, and an idea for a better transfer paper. We’ll see.

The only other art-related thing that happened is that we stopped to see the exhibit I’m in, Things That Matter, in St. George, UT, through July. There’s a catalog available of all the pieces…

It’s a really nice space…my face is so happy to be out of the car and walking around…

That’s a big quilt y’all.

OK, and I’m currently working on a new piece that I can’t show yet…but I did get it fully drawn and numbered the night before we left…it’s only 924 pieces…

There’s part of piece 133.

And when we got home yesterday, I spent about 3 1/2 hours last night tracing the first 300 pieces…

I’m hoping to do the same tonight. I guess all you will see are extreme closeups of things that make no sense. I’m OK with that.

Anyway, tomorrow, I’ll try to work on some posts of the other cool stuff we saw…because we did go to see mostly rocks and what rocks do. Which is also cool. Plus we hiked a lot. Also cool.

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