I made a new journal today. The cover is a sweet potato chip bag, and this is the first page. I pulled over on the side of Swannanoa River Road on my way home from BookWorks, where I had sewed in the journal pages, to make these two drawings. Both are of patterns that I admire around Asheville. When I was in France in May, I very much enjoyed the patterns that dominate French gardens, roadside plantings, hedges, woodpiles, etc. I get happy when I find a pattern around Asheville, and finally decided to just pull over and make the drawings. The top one is a row of evergreen trees that curve around the outer perimeter of a golf course; the bottom one is a spectacular arrangement of some kind of ornamental grasses, tall, maybe pampass grass, that covers a berm along the freeway.
When I got home I right away had to draw the pretty spool of thread that a friend gave me today. It's a giant spool, industrial strength and industrial size, perfect for sewing the recycled-material bags and wallets that my friend Fran and I make in our tiny business (www.weRpiecework.blogspot.com). I use an old treadle machine to sew, and my large spool of thread is almost empty. This is recycled parachute thread, so it's perfect. My friend Maria found it at an estate sale for a dollar. She was going to give me some of it, as it is so large she thought she would never use it all. Then she decided to keep a bit of it for herself and give me the rest of the spool in exchange for my needle awl that she had been using today to draw lines made of punched holes. A perfect trade!
On the right side of the page are patches of clay paint that I made from clay that had washed out of the path in the woods in all the rain. I was slogging along the trail this afternoon and there it was in the center of a section of trail, the most lush orangey red possible. I scooped up a finger full to try out. When I got home, all I did was mix the clay with a little gum Arabic and water-- no sifting, no cleaning, no levigating-- the most lovely paint ever. I imagine the sand and other impurities washed out in the deluge. Tomorrow I'm bringing a plastic bag and a trowel with me to get a good amount of it.
And at the bottom is Jesse. He was lying under the car watching me draw him.
And today's final drawing, a bunch of gladioli that were bent over and broken in the garden after last night's windy downpour.