January doldrums

My piece for the (re)shift exhibit at Shift Gallery is finished, framed and delivered.  The show opens next week and I'm looking forward to seeing how the other artists interpreted the theme.  Here's my take:

Tending and Mending
Woodblock Print
2 blocks, 9 colors, 13 passes
When I considered the word ‘shift’ I couldn’t help but think of the shift dresses my mother made for my sisters and me when we were growing up.  A shift dress is a simple, above-the-knee dress, fitted with darts and a straight cut skirt.  Over the years, my mother made many of these dresses for my sisters and me, (along with sundresses, pinafores, prom dresses and bridal gowns).  Through this act she demonstrated her creativity as well as her love for us.  Due to her advancing age, my mother can no longer create beautiful dresses and gowns as she can no longer master the gears and gadgets of her sewing machine. Her legacy of beautifully sewn dresses now lives in faded photographs and memories.  And the lives of my siblings and me have shifted from being cared for, to taking care of our dear mother.

The reality of the above weighed on me as I worked on this piece.  And our little winter, with its scenic snow and ice (viewed comfortably from indoors) has ended and been replaced with the usual gray sky and blustery wind and rain. It's all left me feeling a little blue. Yesterday was another day of cold temperatures and intermittent sprinkles, but I took a walk anyway.  Happily, this little dog, in his jaunty jumper, cheered me up:  

And here's a sketch for the week...more tangles.


  1. Your piece "Tending and mending" is fabulous. Along with the story...oh I know so well. I wore shift dresses too, all through high school.
    My mom and grandmother would make them is all assorted colors.

  2. Thanks Frannie. I'm thinking about pulling out my sewing machine and making the shift dress in the picture. Let's bring back the shift dress!

  3. Beautiful. And poignant. I know that shift. Not the dress, but the shift from 'cared for' to 'caring for.' I like the fade on the mother's dress, and the curve of the world under her feet. A lovely print.

  4. Thank you Annie. Your kind words mean a lot to me.