about the artist

Archive for January, 2007

More Winter Color

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007


I had a glitch uploading photos to Flickr and some of them didn’t make it. So, here is a new link to my winter color photos. The above photo is for Dee. Notice that this is a Doppelganger Coneflower!!

The Color of Winter

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Today is Mr C’s birthday. We celebrated with the family last night at a local Italian restaurant. I forgot my camera. It was loads of fun. Mia entertained us with descriptions of The Muppet Show which she has recently discovered on DVD.

today, Mark, Jayme, Mr C and I headed out to Silverton to visit the The Oregon Garden and
The Gordon House. The Oregon Garden consists of 20 specialty gardens and, for my landscape designing son, was a real treat. I was amazed at the beautiful color of plants in the dead of winter. The Gordon House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and once stood along the Willamette River. It was destined for demolition and was saved, dismantled and moved to Silverton on the grounds of The Oregon Garden.

Here are a few shots from the day to whet your appetite. To see all the glorious color, go to my Flickr set.




Here is The Gordon House. We missed the last chance to get inside, but I took some photos outside. The second one is through the window with a peek at the kitchen.




Red was Frank Lloyd Wright’s favorite color. So here are my shoes with fallen leaves on the steps.


It was a beautiful day. We had a wonderful view of Mt. Hood gleaming in the distance on our drive home — a rare sight in January. I tried to get a photo, but Mr C was driving too fast.

Here is Mr C with his birthday present which dutifully arrived this morning, after being ordered 6 weeks ago for a Christmas present! It is a black leather ottoman. The top comes off, flips over and doubles as a small coffee table — a great place to store my knitting which I generally do when I am in his office watching the High Def TV.



The Sun’s So Bright

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

…I don’t need my happy light, today. I’m emerging for a little blogging to let you know what I have been doing.

On Thursday, I awoke with a really obnoxious sinusitis. I usually have a cold or have allergies that cause an attack. This time it was brought on by exposing myself to below freezing temperatures. Before the last snow arrived, I was walking every day in the below freezing weather — not a good idea for me with the impaired sinuses.

Thursday night, Jayme and Mark (my son) arrived for a long week-end. We took them out to dinner and yesterday, Steve took them downtown while I stayed home and did hand quilting and rested. Last night, I made pasta for the whole family. Miles and Mia love playing rough house with Uncle Mark.

Today, everyone has gone out to the Columbia Gorge to go hiking. I took Maggie on a long walk. The snow on the sidewalks has mostly melted and is not so treacherous. Last night, the temp didn’t go below 32° for the first time in over a week. It was beautiful. The sun was shining and I didn’t even wear a hat.

I have been busy trying to get two pieces done to enter in shows. I have a lot of machine quilting to do on the Fragments piece. I also want to do some embellishment of some kind. I spent some time cutting the organza over the copper fabric.


I have a piece that I started at AQT that I have renamed "A Thin Place." A thin place is a Celtic term for a place where the veil is lifted and we get a glimpse of the divine — a kind of aha moment. Here is the piece at Tahoe:


It has hand dyed silk for the base and hand painted silk organza cut in pieces and laid over the top. I am having the best time doing hand stitching with pearl cotton and pearl silk. I am doing different little stitches on each rectangle of organza. I am really loving this piece.


I must run out and do some errands and prepare to feed the troops again. Tomorrow night we will go out for Mr. C’s birthday. I’ll be back early  next week.

Elisabeth Congdon, Artist

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

…born on this date, January 17.  She was always an aspiring artist.  Here she is pretending to be Andy Warhol.


In honor of her birthday, I would like to present a retrospective of her art, that resides in my home. Here are some examples of her early textile work. First, a self portrait on muslin and second, a self portrait batik piece.



Over the years, I have been the recipient of many artistic gifts. Twenty years ago, she made this needlepoint sampler for me.


In 1991, I received this water color with an Alice Walker quote.


The quote is:

…guided by my heritage of a love of beauty and a respect for strength — in search of my mother’s garden, I found my own. — Alice Walker

In 2002, She made this collage for me. It says "A day patched with quilting seldom unravels."


The next year, with this collage, you can see the mixed media artist really emerging.


The poem is by Raymond Carver.

And did you get what you wanted from this life even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.

This painting which is a self-portrait, painted from a photograph is among our favorite gifts from Lisa.


I also just love these mod birds. These are an original design which took some engineering to get them to stand on those little wire legs.


This patchwork pillow is one of the first of many that she had made and sold through her blog.


This  final piece is from here latest mixed media work. I love her pieces that have birds on a wire.


So there you have it. I’d like to close with this little gem that I found. It was probably written by Lisa when she was 7 or 8 years old. It sums up what she has meant to me over the years – a loving, compassionate and very hugable daughter.


(I will help you get better and I hope you can help yourself)

Studio Tour

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

I finally did it! I got my studio all organized, and I have no excuses left. I can do surface design and quilt design and even do my morning calisthenics!! I hung quilts on the walls, and it has made it feel so festive.

First, I want to show you the latest additions to my surface design corner. Mr C built two tables for me that are on casters. One is padded and covered with the silver Teflon ironing stuff and that is where I do my ironing and pressing and fusing. The other table is for screen printing. I went to a carpet store and asked if they had any padding remnants for sale. They gave me a very large piece. I cut it to fit the top of the table. It has plastic underneath.


I then added batting and stapled white felt over the top. This makes a great surface for doing screenprinting.


My other acquisition is this rack for drying screens or painted/dyed fabric. I am using the top as storage for some of my supplies. This used to reside in at June’s, but since she has turned her garage into a painting studio, there was nor room and not as much need for this. It is also on casters so that it can be rolled around. The racks have aluminum screen to facilitate drying.


Here are some views of the studio. This is the studio bar, sometimes the art bar for the grandkids. On the other side of the bar is a small kitchenette with a sink and counter and storage for dyes and paints.


On the left side of the back wall, I have black felt. You can also see the ironing table.


The other side of the back wall has gray felt. This is my main design wall. You can also see my bookshelves which hold my design and inspiration and how to books and journals and magazines.


The window wall is my fabric storage wall. I have some IKEA storage units.


The cabinet on the left hold fabric that reads as a solid sorted by color family. The cabinet next to it has assorted geometrics and polka dots and stripes. The bottom cabinets hold large pieces for backs and pfd silk and cotton waiting to be dyed or painted.


This cabinet has batiks sorted by color family and the storage unit next to it has my exotic silks and unusual fabrics.


The other window wall has my sewing area.


This is a unique feature in my studio. The fireplace with the blazing TV.


In the center of the room is my cutting table and this colorful storage from Target. I have my hand-dyes stored here, by color family. I also have several small drawer storage units for miscellaneous supplies.



Next door is my office/workspace/grandchildren’s playroom. This corner has my computer. This is the most difficult place for me to keep neat.


Here is my very comfy sofa where I do handwork. The quilt over it was a gift from Deb Roby.


Here is one of my Walls of Fame – art quilts that I have purchased or that were given to me. The credenza holds my Thermofax screen maker on the left and an old Canon Copier on the right. There are several fiber postcards on the wainscot shelf.


Here is the other Wall of Fame. Below is the grandkids toy storage and the electronic keyboard.


Now, I must get a good night’s sleep and get up and go to work in this wonderful place.