Category Archives: Discussion

Polishing Memories

After a welcome vacation, I am back to my routine. When I sat down to write and consider images for this post, it suddenly occurred to me that I took very few photos and spent even less time drawing while away.

We were visiting two favorite places, San Francisco and Kailua, Oahu, easily the cream-of-the-crop of the numerous locales my husband and I have called home during our life together. For once, I didn’t feel any particular need to record what I was seeing, and for the most part I just let the sights and experiences be enough. It was surprisingly liberating.

Teotihuacan Bowl

An intricately decorated bowl from the De Young Museum’s exhibit “Teotihuacan”

On my way to the De Young Museum to see the exhibit “Teotihuacan”, cherry trees, fuchsia, and vinca bloomed in the bright and warm sunshine of Golden Gate Park — a welcome change after leaving Vermont in the midst of a chilly snowstorm the day before. And as the day came to an end, a ribbon of hot pink progressing to fiery orange hovered over the thinnest strip of deep blue horizon, lightly resting on the Pacific Ocean like a technicolor meringue. No photo or drawing can compare to being fully in those moments.

Ko'olaus

Perhaps counterintuitively, I had my back turned to Mokoli’i, a popular scenic spot on the windward side of Oahu, choosing to  take this shot of the Ko’olaus instead. The deep furrows in this mountain range  remind me of the pleats created in the process of Arashi Shibori.

A couple of days later, we sped along the H3 Highway from the Honolulu airport to Kailua. The lush green of the Ko’olau Mountains, deeply engraved by threads of waterfalls that have trickled down their sides for centuries, paired with the scent of humidity and tropical flora, brought in a sweep of memories formed at a time before iPhones and when I was way too busy with little ones to spend more than a few cursory moments here and there drawing.

Byodo-In Temple

The Byodo-In Temple on Oahu is one of the loveliest places I can think of. We visited frequently when we lived on the island, and make a point of going back each time we return. The following photos are all from the temple.

There’s nothing like a full sensory experience for facilitating re-entry into a bubble of remembrance. For whatever reason, the image of a snow globe popped into my head, and it occurred to me that what I was experiencing could be equated to looking into one of those little enclosed worlds while reawakening it with a good shake. Although, like memory, there’s no way to physically (re)enter the environment it confines, an emotional magic resurfaces from somewhere deep within to be felt and enjoyed once again.

Amida Buddha

Which brings me to this: five years ago author Jonathan Safran Foer gave the commencement address at my son’s college graduation. Unlike the speaker at my own commencement — of whose talk I remember exactly zero — Foer’s message has stayed with me. In a nutshell, he was observing that the world can be divided into two camps: archivists, who take full advantage of technology to document life’s both great and small events, and eye-witnesses, who record nothing physically but rather rely on memory alone.

Raked Gravel

Short-lived moments are precious, which dictates the desire to capture them in photos or on video. Yet human memory involves emotion in a more direct way than technology. The point of Foer’s speech was that being more fully present allows us to hold onto our experiences more closely. He wasn’t saying one approach was better than the other, only that striking a balance between the two is perhaps the wisest course.

Koi

I don’t think I could ever give up my camera. And as I have often expressed, the act of drawing allows me to more fully notice and record details that I might otherwise miss, in some ways strengthening a memory of time and place. But it isn’t the same as basking in a fleeting experience without any buffers or intervening devices. This time around I was happy to let go of the tools and to enjoy both the restfulness and the exhilaration of immersing myself in a change of environment without them.

On a Different Note_________________________________________________________________________________________

My mother-in-law has a great eye and a wonderful collection of art books that are always a treat to peruse whenever we visit her. She is often ahead of the curve in ferreting out interesting artists and reading material about them. She requested a subscription to Juxtapoz magazine a while ago, so this trip I had an opportunity to sift through several she has saved. I was very impressed — feeling it has a fresher and less “establishment” approach than ARTnews or other like publications. The interviews of highlighted artists are smart and well-written, going into the depths of practice without being oppressively long. I think you might find it worth checking out.

 

Partners

The series of shibori-dyed and embroidered pieces I’ve been making for the past year are all tightly connected. Ideas that crop up in the midst of working on one usually find their way to actualization in the next. As such, all the works are related and in many ways companions. Yet these two peonies, the first pieces I’ve completed in 2018, are more tightly paired than all the rest.

Crescendo

Crescendo      ©2018 Elizabeth Fram, 14 x 11 in., Stitched-resist dye and embroidery on silk.                                                                                                   This piece is now framed and has been sold to a  collector who has very generously agreed to delay shipment until after my upcoming show is finished. Follow the progression of its creation

As interpretations of a couple of sketches made two days apart last July, (note the progression of the blossom opening), they will be viewed side-by-side in my upcoming exhibit Drawing Threads: Conversations Between Line & StitchVariations in tone and scale are slight enough to leave no question that they were conceived together, yet subtle differences allow each to carry its own voice.

Pesante

Pesante      ©2018 Elizabeth Fram, 14 x 11 in., Stitched-resist dye and embroidery on silk.                                                                                                         Finding the right title is often challenging. I wanted to find names that would match the feeling of these pieces. The full opening of a peony is glorious, and the word Crescendo perfectly matched the anticipation and build-up to a peony at its peak. Pesante, also a musical term, means “in a heavy manner”. It seems to fit the nature of the flowerhead in this image perfectly.

I dyed the silk for both of them at the same time, but with attention to maintaining some differentiation. Crescendo’s background is deeper and more saturated, begging for the strength and pop of the bold magenta threads. Powerful color allows the stitching to maintain authority amid the surrounding intensity of dye, while also providing a means of grounding the more open and fluttery petals.

Crescendo, detail

Crescendo, detail     ©2018 Elizabeth Fram

The flowerhead of Pesante, heavier and more compact than that of Crescendo, works in tandem with its more muted background dye tones and the dustier colors of thread used to describe it. Its visual weight allows Pesante to hold its own against its showier sister.

Pesante, Detail

Pesante, detail     ©2018 Elizabeth Fram

Both images explore the same vase and table surface, yet it became apparent that each had to be approached differently…another fruitful learning experience.

These pieces are not a diptych, although they will be displayed together for the duration of the exhibit. They are independent of each other but they are still partners, which reminds me of a line from Kahlil Gibran’s poem On Marriage

“Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.”

On a different note:_________________________________________________________________________________________

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that this book by David Remfry looks absolutely charming.  Parka Blogs has more info.

Searching Through Line

There is a light covering of snow on everything today, making the fields look like fresh sheets of paper.

Scott

Scott, detail     ©2018 Elizabeth Fram, 24 x 18 inches, Graphite on paper

One of the many gifts our dog Quinn has bestowed upon me is being an insistent impetus for stopping whatever else is in the works at 2:30pm to make sure I get outside to enjoy the day. As she runs and sniffs on the new snow, her tracks break through the smooth surface leaving a chaotic trail telling of her excitement as she follows – here, there, and everywhere – the scattered scents of the various critters that share our hill. It reminds me of Bill Keane’s comic strip Family Circus that occasionally displayed a wandering dotted line showing the vast amount of ground covered by 7-year old Billy as he distractedly went from point A to point B.

When I look at my life drawings I see a comparable trail of graphite. The lines are searching and sometimes scattered, marking my numerous attempts to grasp just the right angle or shape while leaving behind a recording of the full experience.

Lost in Thought

Lost in Thought   ©2018 Elizabeth Fram, 24 x 18 inches, Graphite on paper

I don’t begrudge myself these explorations because without them I’ll never improve. In fact, it is a similar probing quality that attracts me to master drawings. Unlike a polished rendering, an amended line speaks to the presence of the artist and his journey through his drawing, leaving tracks for the rest of us to follow and to learn from. Needless to say, it’s also reassuring to see that even the best don’t always get it right on the first stab.

Take a look at Charley Parker’s blog Lines and Colors. Not only does it promise a wealth of interesting and far-reaching information, but this post about Whistler’s drypoint etching of Joanna Hiffernan is particularly pertinent to this discussion about a searching line. Even better, the ghost face of a previously begun etching, that Whistler didn’t bother to conceal before starting over with this particular drawing, is a wonderful example of a “map” left behind for the rest of us to discover and to enjoy.

Pulling it all Together

The countdown is on.
This is the first I’ve mentioned it here, but I am in the midst of preparing for a solo show that will run for 6 weeks at the Emile A. Gruppe Gallery starting in late March. It’s exciting to be in the organizational phase of pulling together everything that I have been working on for the past year. Every opportunity I have to show my work reflects the privilege I feel at being able to share my interpretations and insights, and with that comes responsibility.

Cozy

Cozy      ©2017 Elizabeth Fram, 11 x 8.5 inches, Ink on Paper

As you well know, it’s not at all unusual for tendencies toward creativity to be squelched at an early age by rewarding only those who are able to render a realistic likeness or by shaming those who color outside the lines, both literally and figuratively. It’s so important to encourage all young people, as I was fortunate to have been, rather than deterring them in their creative explorations.

Years ago, when volunteering for an art project in my daughter’s second grade class (they were making cornucopia placemats in anticipation of Thanksgiving) I was surprised when her teacher insisted that they paste the cut-out fruits and vegetables in a specific way, and then appalled at witnessing her anger upon discovering some were ad-libbing the prescribed process. This was an art project, for heaven’s sake, to make placemats for their upcoming classroom Thanksgiving party!  It was even more upsetting to me when she proceeded to single out one child as “the artist” in the classroom, announcing that that person was completing the project correctly and her example should be followed. How demoralizing! This must surely have sent the message that creativity wasn’t valued and that the artist “slot” had already been filled.

The next month all parents were invited to sign up to come into the same classroom to share a family holiday tradition. Our family used to make gift wrap by stamping craft paper with sponges lightly dipped into acrylic paint, covering the paper with colorful images. I brought in supplies for everyone and we rolled up our sleeves to get to work. It distressed me how many children in that classroom were concerned that they were “doing it right”. In fact, they almost seemed fearful they might make a misstep. Remembering the Thanksgiving placemats, I felt it was my duty to assure them that there was no right or wrong way to make art…that was the beauty of it. I wanted them to hear from another adult that they were fully in charge of their own work; it was meant to be fun. Period.

Stack

Stack      ©2018 Elizabeth Fram, 8.5 x 11 inches, Ink on Paper

Which brings me back to responsibility. For those of us who have found our way to spending our time making things and expressing our ideas creatively, I truly feel it is our job to pay close attention to the world around us and then to share what we’ve learned with others via that work. This opens a door not only to connection, but also to varying perspectives. What we make may or may not resonate with anyone else, but it’s important to bring it out into the open. It is powerfully rewarding when someone approaches me to say they have found a personal connection between their own life experience and what they see in my work. As Degas said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”.

My upcoming exhibit will include both Shibori stitched pieces and drawings from my daily sketch practice. The basis is to show how each discipline has influenced the other and to honor the “every day”. These works are not political per se, yet my goal is to highlight that the quiet moments of our lives are just as important as the outwardly momentous ones, and perhaps more so in times of uncertainty and upheaval.

Having decided on a title, I feel I have checked off one of the more challenging preparatory elements of any show (aside from making the work itself). Also, I want to share the many resources that have made this organizational phase much easier to navigate. Alyson Stanfield has a terrific customizable exhibition checklist that is well-worth bookmarking. For more helpful resources, check my posts Behind the Scenes and It’s Not Just About the Art.

In the weeks ahead, as I continue to pull everything together, I expect to return from time to time with other behind-the-scenes aspects of preparation. But in the meantime, I hope you will put Drawing Threads: Conversations Between Line & Stitch on your calendar. It will open March 22, 2018, with an artist reception on Sunday, March 25th.

Unwrapping the Intangible

I am especially aware at this time of year that creativity doesn’t live only in the studio, it spreads into all corners of our lives. To name but a few examples, gardens, kitchens, music, etc. are a glorious extension of our fundamental appreciation for not only color and form, but for all the other senses as well — taste, sound, scent, and touch.

Trident Cafe

Trident Cafe      ©2017 Elizabeth Fram, 8.25 x 5.75, Pen in Fabriano sketchbook.         I have come to really enjoy sketching in restaurants. It’s a great way to pass the time while waiting for the food to arrive and to get my mind off how hungry I may be. Breakfast is the best because lighting is never an issue and then I can move on with whatever else may be on the agenda, happily knowing I have begun the day with a sketch under my belt.

And “artists” surely don’t have a corner on the market. Creativity is undeniably present in everyone we know. Many don’t make claim to any formal artistry per se, but beyond any doubt it is present – often in intangible form, in the way they move through and live in the world. Brilliance is shared, often without even realizing it.

Thorton's

Thorton’s     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram, 8.25 x 5.75, Pen in Fabriano sketchbook

This week I am thinking about and grateful for the many gifts others have given me in the way they see the world, making it a more beautiful, thought-provoking and richer place to be.

My wish for you this holiday season is these next days be exactly as you would like: festive and filled with the bustle of family and friends; reflective, restorative and quiet; or a mixture of the two.

Tap 25

Tap 25     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram, 8.25 x 5.75, Pen in Fabriano sketchbook

But above all, may you have an eye for the beauty and moments that make your life brighter, beyond the holidays and throughout the rest of the year.
…And may you find all the art supplies you hoped for under the tree!

Don’t Forget to Check Your Rearview

Well here we are again, sandwiched between the holidays with December promising to be just as hectic as usual, but definitely in a good way. My plan for the next three weeks, in addition to trying to wrap up unfinished work, is to set aside a serious chunk of time, albeit in small segments, to map out my studio goals for 2018 and to reassess the ups and downs of 2017.

AQS Article

One of my goals for 2017 was to reach a wider audience through further publication. While the avenues that I actively approached didn’t pan out, this particular opportunity tapped me on the shoulder unexpectedly. It goes to show you never know.  You can read the full feature on my website.

In past years there has been no lack of objectives to reach for, but I know my efforts will be so much more efficient moving forward if I thoughtfully map out a plan now rather than, as has been my habit, hurriedly cobbling together a fuzzy outline of goals during the first week of January.

Every six weeks or so I meet up with three other artists for an informal discussion group. Our topics vary widely but usually hinge on an issue that is relative to all, yet which one of us is grappling with specifically. Because of the variety of experience we each bring to the table, the resulting conversation satisfyingly tends to be wider-reaching than might be expected and is fruitful for each of us in separate ways.

AQS Cover

For those of you who may be interested in seeing more, Art Quilting Studio is a semi-annual compendium of visual inspiration. It can be purchased on newsstands, via their website, or even from Amazon.

Appropriately enough, our most recent conversation surrounded productivity in terms of goals and scheduling — on both a micro and a macro level. One aspect that was interesting to discover, although the way we do it differs by individual, is each of us has a system in place for tracking accomplishments throughout the year.

It is so easy to become swept up in the next big project once the previous venture is finished. Unless one makes an effort to record it, that victory can get lost in the shuffle. And celebrating our wins is important fuel for propelling us forward, don’t you think?

AQS Detail

Quiet Moment, detail, magazine image      ©2017 Elizabeth Fram

Art Biz Coach Alyson Stanfield is a huge advocate of setting aside time to close-out each year by reviewing the ups and downs of the previous twelve months. Doing so makes the road ahead both clearer and more directed. Her blog post from the end of 2016 is a great place to start; she poses some of the hard questions we should all be asking ourselves each December in order to make the most of the following  January and beyond.

Now is the time to revisit and acknowledge all you’ve accomplished this past year and to decide how you will mark your achievements in 2018.
…And don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for your hard work!

Follow Up__________________________________________________________________________________________________

After last week’s discussion I cleaned my drawing/fountain pens following these easy instructions. I hadn’t noticed any problems before doing this, but I can tell now that it was a worthwhile tune-up.

Sustaining Creativity

One aspect of art that feels like an ‘ace up the sleeve’ is the fact that it is truly a lifetime activity.

Clogs 1

Clogs,1     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram, Pen & ink

While many pursuits are curtailed with the vagaries of age, the desire and ability to bring ideas into physical form can remain undaunted despite advancing years (e.g. Louise Bourgeois, Mary Delany, David Hockney, Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe) and even disability (Chuck Close, Frida Kahlo, Henri Matisse).

For inspiration on the subject, check out Paul Stankard’s op/ed “Artistic Risk and the Ticking Clock” from the latest issue of American Craft, in which he discusses the scary prospect of leaving his successful comfort zone for new horizons in his work. It is a wonderful testament to the longevity of artistic growth and the strength of the creative flame.

Clogs 2

Clogs 2,      ©2017 Elizabeth Fram, Pen & ink

Last February I recommended Stankard’s book Studio Craft as Career: A Guide to Achieving Excellence in Art Making. As in that book, this latest essay maintains the same unflinching acceptance of reality while accentuating Stankard’s propensity for mentorship as he reaches to pull others up alongside himself, encouraging an unflagging drive for achievement via the pushing of boundaries.

A quick search on the subject of the resilience of creativity into elder years unearthed this NPR interview with Nicholas Delbanco discussing his book Lastingness: The Creative Art of Growing Old which “examines artists who either maintained or advanced their work past the age of 70”. Despite the somewhat mixed reviews, I’m looking forward to borrowing a copy from my library.

Oboz

Oboz,      ©2017 Elizabeth Fram, Pen & ink

I have encountered numerous individuals whose creativity bolstered them in their later years, and I bet you have as well. It makes the future look bright, don’t you think?

On a Different Note______________________________________________________________________________

For a special treat, add the Shelburne Museum’s current exhibit Sweet Tooth: The Art of Dessert to your list of shows to see this winter. Clever and enticing, it’s a calorie-free confection that will leave you smiling. It remains on view through February 18, 2018.

Sugaring 1

Miniature Sugaring Scene, Artist and Origin Unknown                          This carved wooden sugaring scene is part of the museum’s permanent collection.

Sugaring 2

Miniature Sugaring Scene,                                                                                                                     I found its enchanting details irresistible. Note the dog’s posture, the sugar on snow to the right, and the squirrel climbing up the corner of the sugarhouse.

A Confection

A Confection  ©2014  Dirk Staschke,  Ceramic                                                  “Tightly stacked like stones in a wall, the cakes and other baked goods featured in A Confection become metaphors for consumer excess”

Lemon Meringue Wedges

Lemon Meringue Wedges, ©2017 Chris Campbell, Shoe Bakery, mixed media             Shoe Bakery’s ready-to-wear lines of footwear are whimsical dessert-themed shoes described as “sweet treats for your feet”.

Too Far or Not Far Enough?

This week has brought with it an unusually large number of deadlines — 4 to be exact. So I have been scrambling to get everything done, and as a result this post gets a bit of short shrift in terms of content and execution. It’s a bonus that I can kill two birds with one stone by writing about one of the other projects I’ve been racing to finish.

Picasso

Green Man,     12x12in., ©2017 Elizabeth Fram

The latest prompt for our Journal Project group is “Picasso”. Without all the Instagram tributes last week that marked the 136th anniversary of his birth (October 25th), I wouldn’t have realized how appropriate  the timing was.

Last year I read Life with Picasso by Françoise Gilot, and while it was an interesting read in terms of learning more about how Picasso approached his work, it really soured me on the man himself. He may have been a creative genius, but reading Gilot’s recounting of their life together completely affected my thoughts about him as a person. However, personal failings aside, Maria Popova’s excellent Brain Pickings article “Picasso on Intuition, How Creativity Works, and Where Ideas Come From” steers attention back to the profound gifts he shared in terms of his work and his artistic wisdom.

Picasso

Green Man, detail     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram

I’ve had fun working on this piece, exploring and pushing the limits of color by playing back and forth between the dye and the thread. The biggest challenge has been to convey a complete image while seeing how much I could leave out — a task I might not have undertaken if time weren’t so short with so much already on my plate. I need to let it be for a bit to decide whether I’ve gone far enough or too far — and also to think about how I might explore this approach in future work. The experience brings to mind and illustrates one of Picasso’s many quotes:

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.”

For a bit of trivia to round out what you may already know about the master, enjoy this list.

 

On a Different Note________________________________________________________________________________________

I owe a huge thank you to the Essex Art League for inviting me to speak at their monthly meeting this week. They are a wonderfully warm and engaging group of artists who made it a true pleasure to get out of the studio on a rainy day in order to share a taste of the many layers of process my work has progressed through since I first started working with textiles some 25 years (+/-) ago!

Need a Nudge?

October = Inktober…the perfect time for anyone to dive in and follow through on a goal to draw more regularly.

Table Scape

Table-scape     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram                                                                                                 The path of least resistance is my saving grace. I often finish breakfast and then draw whatever’s in front of me on the dining room table. It’s proven to be a wonderful no-brainer for getting a daily drawing under my belt before the rest of the day begins. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective) this surface is rarely entirely clear of stuff… so source material is plentiful. And with a few adjustments, there is a never-exhausted supply of still lifes at the ready.

Created in 2009 by illustrator Jake Parker as a way to jump-start his own drawing habit, Inktober is a challenge to artists everywhere to pull out their pens and commit to making a drawing every day this month. It’s also a powerful nudge for getting a drawing habit underway.

Orchid

Orchid     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram                                                                   We are lucky in VT that our public TV often has shows highlighting Vermont artists. This wonderful quote is from a recent program featuring Peter Huntoon. ” A quick snapshot gives you nothing but facts, but sketching gives you an experience that doesn’t go away; it’s a memory that’s imprinted. It’s the difference between a glance and a warm embrace.”

This short YouTube video gives the skinny on how to get started. And if you fear you’ll struggle with what to draw each day for 31 days in a row, Parker has provided a list of 31 prompts. For those who don’t like the list this year, previous years’ lists with additional ideas are a short Google search away.

3 Houses

3 Houses     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram                                                                   I am a sucker for little houses. Last spring I took advantage of a sale at a local gardening center to buy these three ceramic houses that can also serve as votives. They have become regulars in my daily sketches.

The public-minded can upload their drawings to Instagram with the hashtags #inktober and #inktober2017. Prefer not to work on such a public scale? It’s just as easy to follow those hashtags to lurk in private for inspiration. Regardless, there is still a lot to be gained by taking the challenge independently, or even better, with a couple of close artist buddies.

Silver Pitcher

Silver Pitcher     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram                                                           A treasured hand-me-down offers great shapes and reflections, off-set by the stripes of placemats and the slats in the chair behind it.

I see that JetPens has a special offer through October 15th in honor of Inktober. Their site is a lot of fun to visit for the sheer volume of all-things-pen-and-ink they offer — even if you decide not to take them up on their Inktober special.

Hydrangeas

Hydrangea     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram                                                                                                     I have a lot yet to learn in portraying this lovely mass of blooms from a friend’s garden. I’m grateful they are such long-lasting flowers so I have time to keep trying before they fade.

And for further support, check out my post “Seasonal Change as Incentive” from last May, which discusses in detail Charles Duhigg’s wonderful book The Power of Habit and an enlightening video by Ingrid Sundberg that provides a step-by-step outline of how to begin a creative habit.

Good luck!

Flowers

Flowers     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram                                                                   Let’s end this on a colorful note…

Marking the Change

As we move into September the days are becoming noticeably shorter and our evening temps here in Vermont have already dipped into the 40’s, making for great sleeping weather.

Olive Oil

Olive Oil     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram

I know that many bemoan the last days of August, perhaps more so than the end of any other season, but I am happy for the change. I find comfort, not just in the reminder of natural rhythms and cycles beyond my control, but also in welcoming the chance to get back to activities I enjoy without the guilt of feeling I ought to be outside taking advantage of summer’s fleeting sun and warmth.

Garden

It’s time to bring in the harvest in earnest and to start putting some of the bounty up for winter enjoyment. It’s been a great year in my garden for garlic, blueberries, carrots, beans, herbs, and greens. My tomatoes, on the other hand, are slow to ripen and have had a relatively weak showing — a result, I’m sure, of all the rain and relatively cool days we’ve had on our hill this year. I’ve come to accept the fluctuation between what does well from one year to the next, and look to that variation as an opportunity to explore new recipes and to evade any sense of being caught in a rut.

Bookended tools

Bookended     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram

When summer arrives, I’m ready for a break from the kitchen and try to avoid too much time cooking. But when we begin to see signs that the transition to fall is taking hold, it feels good to pull out my pots for “putting food by” and to get back in the swing of creating with food. It doesn’t hurt that there are endless opportunities for happenstance still-lives along the way, making sketching just another gratifying perk of the job.

Balanced

Balanced     ©2017 Elizabeth Fram

These drawings mark the beans that were blanched, the batches of pesto mixed up, the turkey broth simmered & flavored with fresh herbs, carrots, and garlic…and of course the resulting piles of dishes, before and after washing.

Years ago my mother gave me a copy of the book Putting Food By. It’s a keeper; a trusty resource that never goes out of date. This link is to the most recent edition.

Also, for a bit of meaty reading, artist Anne Sherwood Pundyk recently contributed an essay entitled The Beholder’s Share to the online magazine artcritical. Pundyk discusses the neuroscience of abstraction and figuration, drawing on personal and professional experience in conjunction with consideration of two books on recent scientific findings: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor (2006) and Reductionism in Art and Brain Science: Bridging the Two Cultures by Eric R. Kandel (2016). Fascinating! …I found it particularly resonating bearing in mind my ongoing interest in straddling a line between the two (abstraction and figuration) through composition and values.

Finally, a bit of gratifying news and shameless self-promotion: my piece “It Isn’t That Simple” was picked-up and used by the Surface Design Association to illustrate their Friday Fibers Roundup blog last week.