found stains

found_stain

About to throw out this dirty stained strip of paper, I looked closer and became quite intrigued by the marks which look as if made by a brush in an artist’s hand. About 5.5 x 27.5 cm (2″ x 11″), it’s too wide to show well here, so I’ve cropped some details to show below.

found_stain_detail_left

I may be strange, but I think these are beautiful! Hmm, how might I use them?

found_stain_detail_rt

variations

July’s long heatwave (often up to 35c with the humidity) has made me lazy
watering the garden mornings and evenings
much reading of books, from very good to some disappointing
a cooler weekend with a bit of rain restored some energy
and an urge to play a little more with a favourite image

HandWithMagnoliaLeaf_invert2

here are a couple of variations on the black and white hand with magnolia leaf

HandWithMagnoliaLeaf_invert3

now it’s back to hot weather and laziness and more books
sorry for being so quiet here – I’m on vacation time
hope you are all having a great summer!

Hand with Magnolia Leaf

Rathje_HandWithMagnoliaLeaf

Hand with Magnolia Leaf
archival inkjet print
20.3 x 15.25 cm. (8″ x 6″)

I have forgotten to post this image of a print edition I did some time ago. Some readers may recognize this as a smaller black and white variant of this larger full colour one.

If you are new to my work, you may see more of the Hands series at the Hands link on the left side under Printworks, or visit the Gallery (still a work in progress that has stalled while awaiting a new site in WordPress).

another heterocera

moth_top_3July14

Once again I find a tiny dead moth in my studio, wings perched as if ready to fly, as if still alive. Its rich colours, patterns and textures reveal themselves in their full glory in the scanner. Above is the top view, below the underside.

moth_under_3July14

How come butterflies never come visit my studio, or even the solarium where the flowers are? They must be smarter knowing they may never find their way out again.

radical Canada Day

RedCurrantsCanadaDay14

Happy Canada Day! Happy 147th Birthday, Canada!

I love my adopted country. But I weep for the way it is being degraded.

Thus David Suzuki’s profound message about Canada today speaks for me. Please read.

curdles

curdles

transformation of liquid to semi-solid
a little disturbing yet fascinating
a scientist would love it
to me it is art

Midsummer 2014

Husband, youngest duaghter and I enjoyed a wonderful Midsummer Fest at the Scandinavian Center today. This time we caught the raising of the Midsummer Pole, a delightful Swedish tradition.

MidsummerPoleDecor

Beautiful Swedish women in their ethnic dresses march around the field to music, carrying the long rope of birch leaves and large rings decorated with birch leaves and flowers.

MidsummerPoleCarryIn

Hearty strong Swedish men carry forth the birch-twined long and very heavy pole.

MisummerPoleSetting

This man is preparing the hole for setting the pole. Gorgeous Swedish outfit! Meanwhile the women are placing the decorations on the top of the pole.

MidsummerPoleRaising

Up, up, up it goes!

Of course we enjoyed the many displays by each Nordic country. The highlight is always the extremely well-organized Viking Village that is built and inhabited by Reik FĂ©lag, a Norse Culture Recreation Society. (Here are some photos of it taken in a visit in 2009.)

It is interesting to read how differently countries around the world celebrate the solstice.

Happy Summer Solstice, Midsummer and Hauskaa Juhannusta!

read these

collagraphCard

Instead of words from me, here are some suggested readings, both related to textiles, which inspired me this week:

- On Thursday June 12th Charllotte Kwon, owner of Maiwa Handprints and founder of the Maiwa Foundation, received an honorary doctorate from the University of the Fraser Valley for her work empowering artisans from developing nations and battling poverty by providing a market for their traditional crafts. Read her wonderful address to the audience.

- A rare, 2000-year-old funeral shroud went on display at a museum in Lima, Peru. The pre-Incan, fragile textile is part of Paracas textiles that Sweden is returning to Peru. Stunningly gorgeous work that has preserved for so very long. Do check out all the links in this article to see some of the work. Many thanks to Susan for sending this to me!

Image above: A section from a collagraph test print which I later made into a card.

scapes

GarlicScapes2

GarlicScapes

For the first time ever, I am growing garlic. Today, I harvested the scapes or flowers (though they don’t actually bloom). I’m going to saute them in butter for tonight’s supper!

These are reminding me of our visit last fall to Sointula. It was there that I bought several huge organic garlic bulbs at a little untended roadside stand, with a little box for coin payments. Some time later at home I took one of those bulbs, separated the cloves, planted them and crossed my fingers. Now I am patiently waiting for the new bulbs to mature!

In the meantime, I’ve taken pleasure in scanning these lovely shapes of scapes and adding them to a series of kitchen art, such as stinking rose and more purple.

purple

BirthdayOrchid14

This phalaenopsis was a birthday gift from my husband (about four months ago) and is just now dropping a couple of its blossoms. I love how long-lived the blooms are which is why he enjoys giving them to me instead of cut flowers.

It’s become a habit for me to scan the fallen yet still beautiful blooms for posterity. Some scanned phals from the archives: translucent, fallen phal, papery, freshly fallen