Lioness WIP

Drawing is my greatest nemesis that causes uncomfortable brain challenges, but pastels might prove to be a way in overcoming the pain. I’ve become glued to several YouTube channels over the past few months with one being a UK pastel artist who gives incredible tutorials. Since I’ve been floating around in the art world not feeling connected with any one particular medium, I decided to make a side step back into the world of drawing with the help of pastels.

I stepped into a charcoal drawing, initially thinking playing in black and white values would suit my brain, but the colors started jumping on the page.

The lioness model is from a photo I took one morning in Kenya. The group of sisters were snoozing under cover of a bunch of shrubby trees. Such a beautiful bunch of cats! I think there was a family of Black Backed Jackals skirting round the lioness group, looking for food scraps. This drawing is my first attempt with pastels and hopefully the image will be mounted on an 8″x 8″ block for a fundraiser at The Arts Center of Corvallis. Hopefully….. I still have plenty of time to screw it up.

Thanks for your interest! Pastels are Faber-Castell soft sticks and pencils. Paper is Sommerset. Hours more fun to come!

You can always find me on Instagram where I post more images than the blog.

Instagram: #gale.everett.studio

Oh, and there’s also a felted goat in process. It still needs a coat, but he/she is looking pretty fine for the first attempt!

Creating Cloth: A new experiment

The art studio is a total mess. I can barely walk into the space without stumbling over something or an overwhelming feeling of claustrophobia. Yes, the clutter and bins of wool have become too much! Ok, part of the problem stems from still trying to finish off the downstairs. Mudding, sanding and eventually texturing is a horrible job and one not to be doing when the weather isn’t great. We seem to finally be warming up again and venting to the outdoors is a possibility. As the house projects continue to bind down my space with the extras, I’ve jumped to another project that can be accomplished outside the studio. The art of weaving on a table loom has commenced!

I’ve never woven anything except little grade school projects. With all the wool around the house, I knew it was only time before a loom arrived in hopes of utilizing handspun yarn. This loom, a Nilus/Leclerc 4 shaft table loom, is on loan from a friend. Rather than jumping right into using my wool, I purchased cotton 5/2 string at the Eugene Textile Center last fall. To learn weaving (thank you YouTubers), I jumped in with a specific project for a niece who was married last fall. Maybe experimenting with a new artform isn’t the best idea for a wedding gift, but things are actually going quite well. They chose colors of blue, green and gray and I chose to create a table runner for their new home.

Thread on the warping board

First decision, after the colors, was how long of a project I wanted to create. I picked 3 yards total for the warping board. Next choice was how much to wind on: between the thread diameter and the heddles available, I determined it would be 360 threads total. Wowza! That’s quite a few to wrap and eventually string through all the heddles and reed! The full process took me about a week of work from start to finish. I had to re-sley the reed about 3 times before everything was correct. Now it’s just down to creating the fabric.

Below are some photos of the process. It’s a bit much to explain everything, but you can at least see some of the process. I’ll post the finished product once off the loom and washed.

metal heddles waiting to accept the warp thread
Pulling the warp onto the back
Attaching threads through heddles and tying a slip knot in each 1 inch bundle
the clean shed (space between the sets of threads)
Spacer yarn and the start of the first true weaving.
Weaving in process.

Thanks for spending a little time with me. More projects to come…. whatever they might be! I’m already figuring how to create waffle weave towels and loads of other designs.

Getting Around

Black Butte and Mt Jefferson in snow

This month has certainly been filled with more activity. We took a mini-vacation to Bend, OR. It was our last visit with my sister-in-law before her move to Colorado. She and my brother never married but we love her dearly and I totally consider her part of our family. This was the first time our dogs traveled to central Oregon and stayed in a motel. With that said, it wasn’t the most relaxing trip due to the dogs anxieties, but we all survived. They even made a new friend with Amee’s little pup Willie. She’s so darn adorable!

The Three Sisters
Mt Washington
Tumalo Creek, Shevlin Park, Bend OR
Willie!
Tumalo Creek with the Willie, Hazel, Moby & Dave

Saturday we went to Eugene for a little belated birthday party for my brother Tom. He grilled meat, we brought chips/dip/fruit salad, cake & ice cream to finish it off. People in Eugene have been more challenged with securing vaccinations. Tom hasn’t managed to get one so Sunday morning I signed him up for a Pfizer vaccination in Albany. Tomorrow he will get his first shot plus a nice road trip to Albany and back. I’ll be putting in a few hundred miles driving, but that’s fine with me. I just want him protected!

Today is Monday and I’ll be picking up the giant cow head. She’s spent her time at the gallery and received much love, plus the People’s Choice Award. Not sure where she will live as the studio space is crazy right now!

I think that’s about all for the moment. We have multiple house and yard projects in various states of being. Hopefully I’ll be able to show both beginning and COMPLETED photos soon. Completed is the state I want everything to reach, which means I need to pull myself away from the computer and get busy.

Thanks for checking in. The next blog posting should host completed artwork!

Community Love

Last night the awards were announced for the Howland Community Open. Red received enough votes to win the People’s Choice Award! Woo hoo! She’s thrilled and is looking forward to her remaining days at The Arts Center. I’ll actually be visiting tomorrow to talk about how she was created with a young fan and her mother. It should be a fun afternoon. I’ll bring along some tools and wool to demo the process. Maybe we can get another person hooked on the fun of felting!

So that’s the exciting news for the week. Red will return home to the quite studio after the 17th and eventually be joined by a tiger….

Fingers crossed that the cats won’t decide to destroy her!

Thanks for checking in!

On a different slant

Oregon just opened up vaccination for more people! WooHoo! I lucked out by checking with one of the local county health departments Tuesday afternoon and was placed into the queue for the following day! They processed 2900 shots that day! Yes, I had a sore arm and was completely wiped out for 36 hours, but today I feel back to normal. First one down, second one scheduled for mid April.

Wool work has slowed down this past week. I did have a wonderful order for 12 Easter eggs in natural colors. They went off to California and are already getting love. The eggs are about 3.5″ long and 2.5″ wide.

Oh, there were a couple of Owls created for friends. This was the small one that measured 5″ long.

Happy Ewes and Lambs!
This ewe had triplets, but one went off to be bottle-fed at another home. The lambs were 2 days old when we visited.

On the first day of Spring we visited our favorite farm near Philomath, OR. This is where I get my wool. Carol and Harry are amazing people and we helped celebrate Carol’s birthday. Plus there were lots of lambs. On a different day I visited my friend Heather’s farm (about 4 miles from home). No lambs there, but she has a flock of 6 Jacob sheep and a llama named Mo. Maybe someday a sheep or two will follow me home….

A new something has started on the design board. This project, which could potentially have multiple components, uses a new technique I’ve been wanting to learn for years: soldering! I’m currently limping along with YouTube videos as a teaching source but have a built-in teacher onsite! Yes, my husband is an excellent solder worker. He has a background in electrical and mechanical engineering, plus countless hours of building and refurbishing/fixing boards and other electronics for his profession. Now I can finally tap into his knowledge for an art project. Right now I’m just learning how best to approach what I want and not even trying to create the actual work. The final goal is to have several works accepted into an upcoming show focusing on Climate Change and “What Will Nature Do?” through our local arts center. I’ll try to keep some sort of weekly postings as things progress.

Anyway, I think that’s it for now. I hope everyone is doing well as we move into Spring or Fall depending on your hemisphere. Thanks for checking in!

Completed Cow and Genetic Dogs

Happy March!

My brain is already running crazy with the recent test results from our two dogs. I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s step backwards to the cow completion:

Completed Lunar Ox project
side view of the lovely cow
On display at The Arts Center of Corvallis Oregon

Here she is complete with a pink tongue sticking out. The stand is cedar with a round of gold leaf. Cow is 94% Oregon wool, 4.5% wool from Italy, 1% foam, 0.5% wire. The Italian wool/fur is so amazing! She turned out pretty close to what I envisioned. Working so large has been quite a challenge and I’ve learned so much for the next project (starting very soon!).

During the cow creation, I took a small break and made a quail head for my girlfriend’s birthday. Hopefully I’ll start dedicating more time to bird head explorations in wool. It was very fun to create.

Now, on to the dogs!

I finally turned in Hazel and Moby’s cheek swabs to the Embark company. After several weeks of waiting the results are in and a total surprise! First dog is Hazel:

Hazel’s mothers line is total Mini Schnauzer and her father is the mixed terrier line. The Supermutt has traces of Manchester toy terrier, Chow, and Australian Cattle dog. Such a total surprise!

Now Moby:

Are we surprised by the GWP? No, but 100% was a shock! He’s still a wacky dog and I think it’s time to get his brain back into Nosework. He would really appreciate having some fun with life again.

Ok, I think that’s it for now. Artwork, Artwork, Dog, Dog.

Oh, and I’m starting a new sculpture for an upcoming show at The Arts Center! Right now it’s just a bag of carded wool that will turn into something related to science and climate change…

More adventures to come! Including a 700 mile challenge!

Thanks for checking in! Stay safe and healthy out there.

Mooo-ving Forward

Last week I started a post talking about the amazing snow that we were having. Talk about short lived! Oh well, that’s winter in the Willamette Valley! It’s still possible to receive some more during the month of February.

Chickadee and warbler on the feeder

In honor of the upcoming Lunar New Year, I’ve been working on a cow/ox head sculpture. Yes, year of the ox is almost upon us. Last year I started the new tradition of creating a zodiac head just before the new year. Since felting seems to be my current muse, I jumped into this head with gusto! Below are a few images as it’s grown.

started with an interior of foam
I’m using wool from my friends sheep.
The head is growing!
Getting the horns on was a big step and made it start to feel like a real cow.
size comparison against me!
Snout work!
Figuring out eye placement and eyelids.

Tuesday I chose a specific breed : American Milking Devon. This is a heritage breed and boy is it RED! I’m in love with their color! They are a versatile variety that can cover about everything a farmer wants. However, their coat color is going to be an interesting blend which I stressed over. Rather than ordering from my usual Texas supplier, I went to a specialty shop in Maryland. For over a year, I’ve wanted to order from this group. I actually emailed them for recommendations on what fiber to purchase because I wasn’t familiar with the blends. The order has been placed and fiber should arrive early next week? The due date for this piece is Feb 16th.

One of the reasons I chose this breed is the color. The color red symbolizes prosperity for the new year. Red Ox for the New Year!

More to come!

Materials used: Local Oregon Wool, 18g wire, foam

You can also follow along on Instagram @gale.everett.studio

Thanks!

First of the flock out the door

It felt good this morning to have an order waiting on my computer for a sheep (with hats). This gal is heading about 45 miles south to live in Eugene. She will be well loved!

I’ve been a bit turned off of ETSY for many years, but right now it seems like a safe way to market and sell art. It’s nice to start the year on a positive and I’ll leave it at that!

Now the shop is empty and I need photos to restock. Marketing is not my strong point and I totally recognize that fact. Sometimes I wish my husband would handle that part of the business. Maybe when he retires in 5+ years! Maybe by then I’ll be selling at art fairs…. certainly something to work towards!

The day is beautiful and more work is calling before a dog walk…. sigh….

Onwards!

you can find my shop at

www.etsy.com/shop/galeeverett

Gathering energy in the new year

The light is returning! Happy New Year!

The new year has started slowly as I figure out my focus for 2021. Last year I created 100 laundry dryer balls and I already have two orders for the new year. I think this might be a good product to continue making on a serious level in order to fund my other projects. With wool felting taking up more space on my work bench, I’ve had to rearrange things yet again so drawing and felting can co-exist. Yes, drawing is part of my 2021 focus areas. I want to finally complete numerous images waiting in the file drawers. First back on the table is a drawing from last spring of Remy the Black Labrador. I’ve loosened up my colors, thanks to the blue sheep of 2020, and have shifted Remy into the blue/purple zones. I’m working with Prismacolor colored pencils on a very soft printmaking paper. Below is her current stage of development:

She has lots more to go before the image is complete, but I feel confident on the course its taking. There’s also several more colorful sheep in the works too.

On the sculpture table: Barney the Basset mix is slowly coming together! He belonged to my bro-in-law who lives in Austin TX. He was a sweetheart and a total slobbery mess. Oh, the drool! As a memorial, I’m creating a felted version (without drool) of the sweetie. Below is his current stage of development (and I can already see areas I need to fix!):

On a sad note: The end of December were the last days with our old cat MeMe. Her struggles with kidney disease culminated with euthanasia on December 31. She was 17-18 years old. What a way to end 2020! The amount of energy & care keeping her going ended and I was exhausted for days after that. However, there is a collective sigh of relief having passed through the life of MeMe. Now on the other side, the animals are all more relaxed, not having to be on the lookout for where she might be. She struck fear into both dogs and cats. Everyone was on edge when she came upstairs to drink water. I had to be on constant vigil for everyone’s safety. With that intense energy gone, the house feels empty but those remaining are starting to change. After years of not touching the litter boxes, the dogs are snarfing kitty-roca again. EEEEW! I had forgotten about those bad habits and didn’t want them to return! Her presence near the cat boxes kept the dogs away, but now are fair game. The other cats are relaxing into life not under the rule of “the old lady”. Fiona is blossoming with affection and becoming my new studio cat. Pippin continually causes chaos and gets locked out of my zone. Home life will be better in 2021!

Fiona and Pippin, the new studio buddies

Long live Queen MeMe’s memory. She will be missed greatly.

Thanks for checking in. More dog sculpture/image progress reports to come.

Happy 2021!

Mid December Push

Carl the gnome. 10.5 inches tall

I’m not sure what brought about the current flurry of activity, but I’ve actually settled into the studio for work. What’s been created? Well, numerous wool laundry ball orders have been finished and sent (sparking a focus on how to package the product plus labeling). Seven long legged felted gnome sculptures were also created and two found homes. Sheep seem to be a theme over the past several months, so I dove into learning to create a more realistic sheep sculpture, but not quite achieving anywhere close to a real phase yet. Three were constructed but not pushed onto the sales table yet. I also needed a drawing to finish off the sheep ball label, which pushed a totally different sheep image and quite colorful! Yarn production and wool dying has slowed for now, but that’s alright. I also normally create a holiday card, but that just hasn’t grabbed my attention this year. Chock it up to the strange world of 2020

Here are some images of the creations:

example of 3 laundry sheep balls
cotton sewn bag that fits 3 laundry balls
Santa Party Sheep.
Blue Sheep, colored pencil

I still have a few more wool balls to create for another couple of orders. The Blue Sheep sparked interest from different people, so I’m contemplating drawing a few more wild sheep and making cards or something. Then there’s a loom waiting for attention. I purchased three beautiful spools of thread to make plain woven kitchen towels. Warping the loom is a bit daunting as a newbie, but eventually I’ll jump in and go. Can’t be too hard.

I will be pulling up my etsy page into a true sales spot. www.etsy.com/shop/galeeverett is coming back to life.

If I don’t write again before year’s end, Merry Christmas and have a wonderful end to 2020!