From The Summer Hills
is a sequence of original folk tales explores
and celebrates the world of color and its energetic vibrations. Many are
actually stories within stories. Here, are honored the arts in many forms:
weaving & dyeing, metalcraft, herbal craft, even falconry.
And here, "the quintessence..."
Characters and scenes in these stories originally appeared within colorful
hand-dyed marblings. The images took on lives of their own and the hills
and hollow came alive.
More on the tales.
on the "Summer
The marbled illustrations for these stories preceded the writings. Each
original is handmarbled (some on handmade paper) then clarified with pen
and ink. Marbling involves a mix of paints or dyes floating on a gelatinous
surface, pushed and swirled into patterns. Characters and scenes appeared
and enlivened each one. These marblings became my "go-to" backdrops for
creating the Summer Hills. Five have been included in art exhibits.*
Yarntalk, -You Do What With Our Wool?
SnoBelle desperately wants a shawl,
handwoven, hand-dyed, and hand spun, like the ones she sees SHE-Curly
making from across the fence. SnoBelle's family of ewes and lambs, including
ornery Uncle PupEye, ignore her. Except for Gramma Filene, who offers
a little help now and then. But SnoBelle, independent and stubborn, follows
her own adventures, each one offering insights and more questions into
the process. Can a lamb make her own shawl? Follow SnoBelle through lost
woodsy trails, or sudden break-aways into the house, and a slippery rescue
in a hurricane.
In process, this illustratecd chapter book includes
steps in fiber arts processing, and an appendix of continued activities
for kids to try their hand at spinning, dyeing, and weaving.
for each double-page color layout began with photos of the sheep. The
sheep family has descended from many cross-breeds, and the book characters
reflect their many colors and textures for varied spinning, weaving, and
The appendix offers more info on sheep, on natural dyes, and continued
fiberart activities for kids.
an artist and teacher,
I know from the many folkarts
festivals I've participated in
that storytelling is one of the most
highly featured and well-attended events.
Truth or fiction,
we are hungry for old legends,
fairytales, and narratives that
provide insight and transport us
to another time and place.
Read them quietly to yourself,
outside with nature, or share with
others in a cozy corner.
And follow a little more
about the stories' progress,
or the live sheep and actual processes
that inspired them in the blog.
The energy of a color
Each character or tail,
each chapter in a lamb's
progress, illustrates this principle.
Color is depicted in many shades,
Certainly, pale ice blue pulses
a different rhythm than
Veridian gives a far different
impression than jade,
just as a soft blush
varies from cerise.
Each has its place.
The Summer Hills:
1. The Jujubee Tree (marbled colors, transformation)
Story within: Jujubee Tree
2. Wilbro's Coat Of Many Faces (whirled purples, force & form)
3. Jason's Goose, Hannah (peach & amber, reflections)
4. Justin's Dream (rainbows, fantasy)
Legend Of The Grand Hill Giant (reds, courage)
Story within: Grand Hill Giant
6. Joscelyn's Golden Basket (yellows, mindset)
Story within: Tarreljeff, the elf
The Emerald Basin (greens, growth)
8. The Falcon's Silver Necklace (blues, peace)
Story within: Azure, the falcon
1. Gramma's Yarns (colors?)
2. What's A Shawl? (yellows)
3. The Rules (greens)
4.Weavers Weave (oranges)
5. Spinners Spin (purples)
6. PupEye Arrives (browns, ash)
7. PupEye Does (browns, ash)
8. Blue Sheep (blues)
9. Hurricane (reds)
10. Wool and a Party (whites)
11. Mr. Shears (rainbows)