While I'm not an artist, I deeply appreciate art and beauty--just ask anyone who's had the "good fortune" to meander through an art museum or craft fair with me! ;-)
One sunny June day Lauren and I attended the Western Loudon Artists Studio Tour. After narrowing our selection from about 30 choices, we drove around the county, visiting various studios and galleries. Artists were present with their works, and many offered demonstrations.
Of course we saw several photographers! :-) Lauren especially enjoyed speaking with a woman who manipulates images and transfers them to wood, plaster, and other materials. Her work is creative, and she was generously open with my art student, discussing techniques and favorite programs.
In addition to images, I enjoy the beauty of glass, pottery, jewelry, and textiles. We visited Katy Stidley who made glass beads while we watched. (I prefer her simpler designs to the bumpier beads shown in the link.)
Our last stop was the Round Hill Art Center, which was showing a bit of everything that day. The area claimed by the Waterford Weavers Guild grabbed my attention. Have I mentioned how much I like textiles? (If I didn't despise sewing I would so be a quilter by now!) Anyway, there was a rectangular silk shawl hand-dyed in gorgeous colors that looked as though it had been made for me--aqua and pale green for my eyes and a coppery shade for my hair. I was smitten but of course never considered buying such a luxury.
My artsy afternoon was over, but Lauren hasn't slowed down this summer. She's been to the Corcoran, Artomatic 2009 (both in DC), and the Lorton Arts Center, which is where she saw the shawl again. Talk about serendipity! The galleries are probably an hour apart, so those weavers sure seem to get around.
Last night we celebrated three August/September birthdays with my in-laws, and I was flabbergasted to pull some crumpled tissue out of a gift bag and find my shawl inside! Lauren and her boyfriend had gone back to Lorton the night before and found that one-of-a-kind piece still there.
I'm still amazed (and extremely pleased...).
Here are some pictures. Most of them don't look right to me--the colors seem washed out, and I'm not sure if it's due to the settings on our new monitor or my (lack of) picture-taking skills. The piece is called "Clear Water" (River Series Shawl) by Marilyn Harrington. You may be able to see the elongated diamond pattern of neutral thread (the weft?) above and below. It reminds me of moving water or river grasses.
Ms. Harrington certainly paid attention to details. Even the fringes are lovingly twisted and knotted instead of being left shaggy.Again, the photos look pale to me, but maybe you can get an idea of how well suited the colors are to me:MANY THANKS again to my loving family (and clever daughter) for one of the best, most unexpected presents EVER!