I ask you…

We enjoyed beautiful, Indian summer weather this past weekend, and I took a photo break Sunday afternoon to capture some images of my bucolic little town where I work and live: Stow, Massachusetts.

When mishaps from the Big Dig aren’t backing things up (which is kind of a rare event these days), Stow is a mere forty-minute ride from Boston.  You’d never guess it’s so close by the looks of it. We’re one of Boston’s best kept secrets.  (Pictures below taken at “Little Farm.”)

Stow’s home to a state forest, a river, two traffic lights, five golf courses, a handful of farm stands, a couple of cool magazines, and three apple orchards.

On weekends, our streets are teeming with motorcycles and minivans as friends and families hail from New Hampshire to New Haven to come apple picking. Just listen to the names of some of the locally grown varieties: Russett, Golden Delicious, Vista Bella, Red Rome, Early Mac, Paula Red, Jonagold, Macoun, Ginger Gold, Red Delicious, Crab, Empire, Northern Spy, Winesap.

Meet Luther, a fifteen-year-old Golden who keeps busy as the “watch dog” at Carver Hill Orchards.

On Sunday, my husband and I stopped at Carver for a small basket of Cortlands and a bag of fresh peaches. When we returned home I brought some art supplies outside to our garden table, promptly plucked four apples from the basket, and sliced them in half—not for eating but for art-ing, of course.

Do you remember making apple prints as a kid? I do! That afternoon I spent a fun- and sun-filled hour transfer-dyeing and hand-dyeing apple prints onto Lutradur, muslin, Lokta paper, paper towels, and coffee filters. (The image below is a transfer-dyed coffee filter that I later stitched .)

Symmetrical, tart, curvaceous, ancient, crisp, and rich with meaning, the apple presents itself as a wonderful form to celebrate with paint and stitch (and I’ll certainly be exploring and playing with it while I’m cooped up during the winter months).

I ask you: Is there an image, symbol, motif, or theme  that has you running for your sketchpad and/or needle?  Have you created a series? Would love to hear about what you’ve done and if you have a link, please share.

Soon I’ll be posting a prelimimary schedule for the workshops for Make it University in Houston this fall.  (And I’ll be teaching a sampler workshop where we’ll be playing with a variety of coloring agents, papers, stabilizers, and stamping with what else? You guessed it!)