A Very Good Four Days

I am feeling more like getting to work on a new project. Mainly because there was an hour and a half facetime call with friends in Australia Friday night. They are the ones that I shared a house with after my workshops there in the Grampians of Victoria. The work they did the previous week in class was so inspiring. Especially the Chinese Dragon Scale Book. I think I will make a very long drawing/painting of my river walks and use it for the turning scales. This book is worth a look online to see some of the complexities. We also are thinking of our project for the coming year. It has to do with picking a color….mine will be the browns. This way as we touch base through the year we can see how we are doing with our focus work. They are such a group of inspiring makers….and I needed that call. I have not met many artists here in my new area.

But I did have a member of my old art group here with his wife three days ago. He brought along some of his collaged sheets of interesting juxtapositions of imagery and objects. Fun to see him still making me smile. His wife brought me a book from the ones donated to her library. It is wonderful pop up from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I will show some of the pictures here.

Some of the illustrations are cutout windows and the others are cut forms mounted to pages to create shadows. Very clever and reminded me of my own cutout books, like the Covid one.

I also had a bit of time to do some pages in the Gathering Book for basket makers in Australia. It makes me feel like I am with them when they get together with materials and laughter.

I colored the wine in the glass with my own red wine.

Then there was the walk to the river that is inspiring the Dragon Scale Book.

And the native dogwood by the river that is just a bit ahead of the one in my yard with its blooms coming out.

I took a picture of my four autobiographical sculptures of right and left brain activities just to remind myself that all I need to do is just get busy!

Now I am off to meet friends for lunch and need to tidy up a bit.

Til later….

Website Changes

I have spent the last few days working with my website manager on updating my page. It is now up to date with the much needed addition of a gallery page. It looks very good and shows work that is not otherwise seen on the website. I was thinking that I have not been doing much since shortly before Covid and Lee’s dementia, but the addition of this new section on the website shows otherwise. Next I will attempt to learn how to add videos of narrative artist books to my you tube site under Sandy Webster-artist. So far only the Expedition to Elsewhere video is there.

And last night we shared his wonderful deep dish pizza with more talk of websites and the news in our lives.

Two days ago a walk to the river and just one photo of a downed tree.

And this morning’s walk up the hill to have coffee on the corner.

The yard men are here today putting down fresh mulch and weeding. Seems Spring might have arrived after all.

It was so much fun searching for images of work to put on the website. I will post some of the images here that lifted my spirits and brought back good memories. I feel inspired to just keep going.


This evening at about six o’clock my friends from Australia will call to show me what they have been working on. We keep in touch during the year but this is the time I used to be with them in the house we rented together after the fibre conference. I love how we can still find a way to be together to share our work. I shall pour a big glass of Aussie red.

Earlier this week another friend face-timed me as she was going into the classroom of a basket maker teaching at the conference. What fun to see him again and all the students burying themselves in vines. Thank you, Helen, for your thoughtfulness.

My friend, Marla, is soon to land in Melbourne for a tour with a group of six. She will likely be exhausted but I told her not to waste one minute of breathing in the country and seeing as much as possible in her two and a half weeks. Melbourne, Alice Springs, Cairns, and Sydney before coming back home. She promised to send pictures of Eucalyptus trees.

Better go and check on the yardmen.

Here is a tip from my son…if your porch shades clang and bang against the metal framing of your screened porch, simply stick on the felted pads for chair feet at each end of the shade and the banging becomes a hushed whisper in the breeze. Brilliant!

Til later….

A Catch Up Post

Dilly is keeping an eye on me. I am going to try too get a walk to the river in this afternoon. Yesterday and today I have been going through photos of artwork to add to a gallery section of my website. It seems a good idea since the only way I post images of new work is through my blog.

The website was never for marketing but more about what I do as an artist and writer. Now it will have more images to look through and I hope it is as much fun as I have had these past few days sorting through them.

A few days ago I did get to the river here. Spring is not coming as soon as I wanted, but there are signs.

And I did a couple more pages in the Meadow Book.

These wild onions are all over the meadow walk.

So now I need to go for that walk and when I come back, check the minor adjustments made to my website.

One more thing…I almost talked myself out of going to the student art show last evening at Young Harris College. But so glad I went. I met up with one of my favorites from the old art group and he and his wife are coming for dinner Saturday. They will try to get another old member of the group to come along. Then I saw the head of the gallery who had the pigments exhibition that was so wonderful a few weeks ago. She and I are getting together as soon as term ends in mid May. She wants to come over to see how I have used pigments in my work. And I got to chat with the head of the art department about his graduate work being done for the same program where I got my MFA. It was such a pleasure being around students and faculty enthusiastic about their work!

The next senior show is in a couple of weeks and I don’t want to miss it.

Til later….


Working on Books

It is cold outside again today. The bright sun is deceiving. If the wind lets up I can walk to the river today. The paths through the meadow are filling up with violets. But I so miss walking through the trees. The trail at my old place was so inviting with the branches overhead and varying barks and leaves. Here it is the continual screams of killdeer as they fly over grasses in wide open spaces. I think they are a nervous bird by nature. By the time I make it to the trees along the river, we both have calmed down.

I went back out to dinner last night and took a soon-to-be ninety year old neighbor with me. It was quite pleasant having company this time, but in two weeks I will return alone just to get away from my own cooking. Baking spinach, onion, ham and cheese scones and those delicious brown sugar oatmeal cookies.

I shove as much spinach as I can get to stick to the dough before shaping and cutting.

I take the suggestion of adding one half cup of chopped pecans for more crunch and flavor….and cooking longer to get them crispier with dark edges. Then I put them all in the freezer. Scones for a lunch and a cookie for whenever.

The Australian basket makers have been on my mind. So I went back to the Gathering Book and did some stitching. They do as much patching and sewing as they do baskets. I think some of these scraps of work would make very interesting abstract paintings. Something about the colors and design.

Here I used a torn up wood block print on the left and on the right some botanical print piece I made in Australia using an overdose of iron in the pot. The deep rust colored scraps I bought in Alice Springs a very long time ago.  The gauzier cloth was chemically colored using Adele Outteridge’s method of coloring cloth and paper using caustic soda, ferrous sulfate and very black tea.

And I tried to stay away from the Sticks and Stones book. But the cold wind yesterday had me back in my own imaginary woods.

Those fold down pockets kept bothering me, so I dropped down the first one and thought “how about sheltering those rocks that are so easily thrown.

The letters that will appear on the reverse side of this concertina book will also be done in graphite.

It is getting on toward lunch time…spinach scone. Then my yard man, Eddie, comes by this afternoon to see how his plantings fared over the winter. Some look quite brown to me, but he will tell me how brown.

Violets need to be painted in the Meadow Book. Wildflowers want to fill more pages in that six way book that is going to take forever to fill. Why did I make so many thin kozo folios and brush each with gesso to prevent bleeding of watercolor? I had such high aspirations for myself and that book. Now I feel duty bound to at least try to fill that book. I owe it to myself, Gian, who taught me how to make it, and my kids who will end up with all these sketchbooks. My god, there are so MANY!!!

I am glad that several years ago so many of the artist books done for exhibition have been given to my under graduate school.  I do wonder what older artists have done with their work saved over the years. I am not talking about the artists who market their work but those who produce for exhibition and have an inability to stop doing it. There is not likely to be another burial as I have managed to keep the work smaller as I get older.

But who knows? When it is warm enough to use the garage I have some large canvases there waiting to be noticed and unpacked.

Til later….lunch time.