Showing posts with label artisans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label artisans. Show all posts

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Get on Board

A Blog Tour

 I opened my email last week and found an invitation to join a Blog Tour. Now, since I don’t get out much, I didn’t see how I could participate in any sort of a tour—then it hit me—a BLOG tour.  I can do that! Maybe.

So I went to to see what this is all about.  

Well, I found my answer—it’s about writing, and that’s the main thing I’m doing these days. And it’s a blog post, which I may remember how to do—and there are only four questions!

Question 1:  What Are You Working on Now?

I’m nearing the end of editing The Burying Ground, a story of greed and chicanery involving an old cemetery and it’s secrets. Occasionally, I review a few chapters of Sarah, a historical novel that sets the stage for the happenings in The Burying Ground, 140 years later. Maggie, the third and final story in this series, is only a draft, and needs a great amount of thought. Occasionally, I try my hand at writing a query, a troublesome little one-page piece of writing that is the first step in submitting anything to publishers for consideration. Although I’ve been urged to self publish, I ‘m not sure I want all the responsibility that involves. August Heat, a third novel, has been has been sitting in a file for over a year, waiting for me to take time to take this final step.

Question 2:  How Does My Work Differ from Others of its Genre?

I find it difficult to fit The Burying Ground into any genre I’m familiar with. It moves between mystery, danger, romance and a fight to save a primeval forest, while touching the lives of people similar to those we all have known.  Today I found my niche—realistic fiction Sarah, set in the post-Civil war period, fits into the historical genre, but has an unexpected twist as our heroine struggles to break loose from the Victorian role for women. I had hoped August Heat would fall into a specific genre; after all, it’s setting is a Texas ranch, and that should mean “Western,” right? Well it seems that title belongs to stories of the Old West, and August Heat is thoroughly modern, although it does have a fair maiden in distress (actually, she’s a brunette).

Question 3:  Why Do I Write What I do?

I’ve written non-fiction for years, and enjoyed collecting information and creating articles about anything that caught my attention. Never, never did I plan to write fiction—but it happened, and I’m hooked. I enjoy weaving in memories of the places I’ve visited, and the people I’ve known. I enjoy the unplanned twists my stories take when my sub-conscious takes over and take me to unexpected places. And I love to write about Texas—its history, its people, and its scenery.

Question 4:  How Does My Writing Process Work?

 I start with an idea and one character. As I move on, more characters get on board, and all begin to work at carrying out my idea. At times they differ with me, and do as they wish, often leading me into predicaments I don’t know how to solve. Although I visualize the setting as clearly as if I were actually there, my characters’ personality and appearance develop as the story progresses.  

 I had reached the end of three novels before I faced the consequences of writing without an outline.  

Will I change? Probably not.


That’s my stop-over on this Blog Tour. Be sure to visit  Gina at 

It's a great spot for readers.

I hope to see you soon for a bit of  Rocking with Dannie, and  another visit to the farm.

Watch for next week’s Blog Tour contribution from my friend, blogger and  author, Kathryn Reid at

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Doss and Illusions

I’m sitting here, with a cup of hot coffee, making a quick visit via FaceBook, and it occurs to me that despite all the frustrating, maddening news of each day, the opportunity to see messages from friends across the nation (world) is  terrific way to start a morning.

Yesterday,with a daughter,we braved the heat and visited the Doss Heritage Center to see the new Illusions exhibit. As we walked down the long loggia  leading from the handicapped parking.(my strength is still rather limited), I could not help but admire the architecture itself and appreciate the building and its setting..

This is not a museum with long halls of permanent exhibits of  scenes from the past  or of  unusual archeological findings… someday there may be space for such, for I am sure there is an abundance of both among the county’s residents. Perhaps, instead, they will be grouped under a common theme, making them even more interesting.  

At present, a beautiful stage coach, built by the late Jay Brown of Parker County, dominates the large entry room and many small antique artifacts related to Parker County’s history are displayed nearby.

There is also a room devoted to Weatherford’s beloved Mary Martin. It is filled with mementos of her life  and that of her son Larry Hagman, probably best remembered for his J.R. role in Dallas.

The Center’s recent exhibits have been nothing less than awesome. The Connecting Threads exhibit featuring tapestries by Sherri Woodard Coffey and Masks by Pat Souder remains on view but a exhibits of paintings  and sculptures has replaced the impressive needlework exhibit of the last few months.

Walk in the entrance to this exhibit and your first thought may be “Where are the paintings?” The walls are lined with a variety of hangings some appearing to be interesting arrangements of wooden blocks, some appearing as framed needlework.
What you are seeing is neither! All are indeed paintings and fully express the exhibit’s title, Truth in Illusion featuring the works of Michael Bane and Pamela Stern.

Take a closer look the  sculptures may hold a few surprises and the wall’s displays definitely will. All are definitely paintings of the most amazing type. One,a small piece, appears to be a be a photograph of a thread of mohair attractively arranged in a circle. It is instead, a painting with each fine bit of fuzz so accurately portrayed that you can almost feel its softness and if you’re one of those who are allergic to mohair you may expect your nose to begin to tickle.

One of the first pieces on view is a large matted and framed picture of the Last Supper. Each detail was reproduced by tiny brush strokes or perhaps more accurately, brush touches. Every facial feature, each article of clothing, every shadow and a 3-dimensional effect is achieved with a variety of minute touches of what must have been tiny brushes so delicate that the work had to be done with magnifying help.

The “mat” which appeared to be of linen, was painted, each inch of its entire length showing linen’s distinctive weave…all done in paint. To so accurately reproduce with paint, several yards of  woven fabric is an amazing feat. The same applies to the “wooden” frame…all done with paint. The artist stated that the work took him thirteen months, which is also amazing. I would have guessed several years.

Across the room were hangings of interesting arrangements of wooden strips and blocks some joined by tiny screws.  Closer examination shows no wood exists, only paint with every varying grain of wood accurately created with paint and the screws’ appearance so accurate that one feels the urge to test their tiny slot and turn it a wee bit.

These are only a few of the outstanding works of these artists.

If seeing is believing, this Truth in Illusions exhibit is well worth seeing but it remains almost unbelievable.

My coffee is cold!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Exibit at the Doss Heritage and Cultural Center

Connecting Threads: Tapestries and Masks
Sherri Woodard Coffey and Pat Souder

Purple Haze, one of my favorites
Today I had a second opportunity to visit my daughter’s exhibit at the Doss and was given permission to photograph her display to share here. I didn’t have permission to take pictures of Pat’s masks, but will tell you that they are outstanding and constructed of many ever-day items that can be found in our “can’t throw that away yet” box.

The walls of the huge exhibit room were lined with Sherri’s wall hanging alternating with Pat’s masks for an outstanding display. 
This display demonstrates the many detailed steps involved in working out a design. 

Badlands,another favorite

Elemental Vision
These photos were taken with my cell phone and the colors are probably not exact.  I also took notebook and pen in order to enter each piece's title but failed to do so.

In an adjoining room was a fabulous display of needlework, a special cove showing a cozy needle-working corner. Glass enclosed displays of small items and beadwork added to the interest.
     The needle work ranged from an intricately quilted square, to framed reproductions of old paintings; from delicately formed fabric flowers to metallic flowers and vines. All types of stitches in every conceivable design were shown in this “eat your heart out” display of the work of some very talented needle workers.

Visit this Connecting Threads  exhibit (both rooms) and see the items displayed of some very talented artisans!