Beth Markel

Art Adventures

Posted on July 31, 2015 by Beth Markel

I haven’t posted for a bit because I’ve been focused on finishing 2 large pieces, roughly 80” x 80” for a deadline, or teaching classes.  When I have taken a break, I’m dragging my camera with me everywhere I go, looking for “art adventures,” or photos which inspire me and I can turn into small pieces.  If I like the outcome, the smaller pieces become templates for larger pieces.  Not exact copies, but inspiration for a larger piece.

When I need a creative boost, I go on an “art adventure” which for me begins with looking for things that are alphabetical, and then photographing.  For instance, last week I dragged my camera on errands…A was for asparagus, growing wild.  B was beans, freshly picked.  C was cantaloupe, warm in the sunshine…

Hibiscus, or “Hot Biscuits” as my grandmother Day called them for “H”…

Gram's Hot Biscuits

Iris for the letter “I”…

An Iris blooming

Iris in Black/White

Iris in Black/White

And steel (at a steel yard in Detroit) for “S”SteelYard1

Detroit Steelyard

I think these might make gorgeous prints for my studio.

What am I working on?  As a gardener, it’s easy to become distracted this time of year, so I’ve limited myself to gardening in the morning for an hour or so, then back to sewing my restructured series:


Each Summer “block” is roughly 12” w x 13” h, and each of these is 2 blocks sewn together, so about 24″ x 13″ h.  This is part of the 4-season-series I’ve been working on for more than 18 months, and it still excites me every day!  As someone who can be easily distracted (SQUIRREL!) this might be a new record.

I’ve also started “winter” but so far it’s pretty monotone.  Taking the above art adventure photos to Black/White was partly to keep me focused on shades of white, gray and blue, all of which are colors of snow here in Michigan.  Shadows on the snow usually read blue, in case you haven’t seen it or are lucky enough to live in a warm climate!

Look for your own art adventure in the everyday, and if you get stuck, take a walk and sing the alphabet song!

Happy making~




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