Sunday, June 10, 2007

Flowers, and then some. . .

I was fortunate to be able to attend a two day workshop in Salt Lake on Expressive Arts in Psychotherapy. I'm clinically licensed, so I can do independent practice, but I haven't. Up until a year or so ago, my administrative jobs kept me too busy and tired to even want to think about doing more. And, during my time in social work, I've become increasingly disenchanted with talk therapy- I doubt if it does much good most of the time.

But art with therapy, now that's a different story. I know what my art meant to me that transitional year from the fall of 2004 until probably the end of 2005. I know what it continues to mean, so the idea of private practice incorporating art is intriguing. And I learned lots here to put to use. We played with paints, did a mask-- it was all wonderful. I got some resources to follow up on, and a connection for when I'm ready to get serious.

Tuesday night I was able to go to Red Butte Gardens, which is up above the University of Utah. While I mostly missed the spring bulb spectacular, there is still plenty there. I got loads of flower pictures. It also pointed up something I've known for awhile- that desert flowers, with the possible exception of cactus flowers, aren't that big. I know it has a lot to do with the scarcity of water- but if you are into re-creating flowers in fabric, it's not easy to do when the flowers are smaller than your fingernail. Witness these--

Or these--

Beautiful, but hard to do except in an impressionistic kind of way.

The gardens are large, and you can get quite a walk in. This pond is in an Oriental themed area--

It was full of koi, happily swimming with the ducks.

This one just fascinated me- a rose grown not for its flowers, but for the thorns. I think it is called a red wing thorned rose.

As I was leaving, I saw these gloriously colored coleus- at least, that's what I think they are. There are signs posted, but not on every planting bed- so sometimes I had to guess.

This weekend, I got Marly's birthday present done. It's a larger version of the bird of paradise that I did on the postcards. I was told by both Sean and Shannon that the background should be yellow, so that's what I ran with; it's one of the yellow hand-dyes I did last weekend. It is done, mounted on foam core, and ready to mail. I'll also order a shadowbox frame for it. My thanks to Pat Dolan, who posted on her blog how she mounts fabric pieces to foam core and then frames them. She even mentioned the Dakota frames, which I was able to find with Google. Anyway, here's the finished product. I drew outlines of bird of paradise leaves and used those for my quilting designs.

Now I can get back to my journal quilt.
Enough for now, need to figure out what last minute chores should get done before the work week starts again.

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