Beth Markel

WordHerding…and other projects

Posted on February 25, 2014 by Beth Markel

I haven’t written a blog for a couple of weeks, as I’ve been travelling and working diligently on inspiration pieces for my new Art Journal.  My sketchbook often changes as the seasons change, and I’ve taken up the task of editing numerous journals, sketches, photographs, pen and ink drawings, watercolors, and even WordHerding pages.  This isn’t a new task, but it is one that has been lurking on the back-burner for a while.  “Collecting” words every day since the beginning of January has put upon my artist’s spirit a desire to share the words, share the inspiration, and share the joy of making art.

Art takes many forms.  These Lego sculptures come from Naples Botanical Gardens in Naples, Florida.  The Hummingbird is probably 6′ in the air at it’s belly, and the Lego Buffalo is just slightly smaller than life-size.  The Lego sculptures inspired me, as some of them were made with more than 30,000 pieces.  Would I ever quilt if I started counting how many pieces of fabric go into a piece?  Would any of us?

Giant Lego Hummingbird, Naples Botanical Gardens

Giant Lego Hummingbird, Naples Botanical Gardens

Lego Bison & calf, along with the bird on it's back

Lego Bison & calf, along with the bird on it’s back

I am tentatively using my expanding WordHerd in a project for SAQA, Mapping Memories: Michigan.  Challenges, for me, are a great way to push the creative envelope and move outside my comfort zone.  Since 2 very important men in my life were born here in Michigan, I thought that would be my jumping off point.  Dad (a MAJOR gear-head) was born in June, 1925 in Jackson, Michigan, and my husband in February, 1964.  My recent trip was to Florida, where there was much relaxing, lots of naps for John while I worked on my journal, long walks on the beach, sunsets, photographs, visits to quilt stores, more fabric, and more inspiration.  It was a real challenge to be without my sewing machine, so all of my work time was spent on journaling.



The Memories project started with muslin and quite literally an out-lined map of the Michigan Mitten & UP (say ‘Yooper’).  Michigan is a beautiful state.  First I used blue-gel glue and traced the state and our islands, then hand-dyed the project.  This is where I am so far, and I’m loving the endless possibilities!  I’ve been collecting things to put on this piece for weeks now… so I’ll keep you posted.

Mapping Memories, step 1

Mapping Memories, step 1

Art is endless possibilities.

Make art.

Look around you.



Happy making,





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