January 30th, 2013
I know, I know, it’s been ages since I’ve poked my head up and written. My dear friend, Terry, just wrote to remind me of that yesterday (Thanks, Terry for getting me back to the computer). Frankly, I haven’t been doing or seeing much art since my move out to sunny California. Since I had a fairly good rhythm of making and seeing art in Chicago, post ideas were obvious. Now, not so much. So, the focus of the blog will change along with my life. Your guess is as good as mine whether the transition will be sucessful.
Though we have been settled in our house for about 8 months now, life still feels very transitional. Much of that has been intentional. Very good in some ways, in others, much more challenging. I have never had a period in my life where I felt so stretched, at least for so sustained a period of time. Ken and I are actively talking and planning for a very big life change; his transition out of corporate life and our eventual, permanent move further north and out of Silicon Valley. It’s hardly around the corner, but requires lots of decisions to be made now to make it happen. Life has involved a ton of planning. Exciting and scary at the same time. I guess this is my/our version of a midlife crisis:-)
My creative energies have been spent looking for land up north and designing a house and site plan. I have also been trying to get a basic infrastructure planned, bid out and built. The learning curve has been steep, but really exciting. All of which I feel a bit protective of sharing on the internet. In general, I feel a bit odd sharing about my personal life here. This blog was always about art and now it feels like it needs to take a more personal, vulnerable focus. I’m not sure I know how to do that dance or even if I care to. I guess I’ll have to stew on that one.
Lucy is completely unimpressed with my midlife crisis
More to come. Soon……..
February 28th, 2012
One of my favorite fiber artists, Jeanne Beck, had a beautiful post this morning about creativity. Beside her own commentary, it includes 2 short videos made by John Coffeen featuring artist John Frame and his creative process. The videos have one of the most beautifully articulated explanations of the making and meaning of art and the artistic process that I’ve heard. Very, very inspiring. Thanks, Jeanne!
Take a look here
February 10th, 2012
I can’t seem to maintain any sort of posting schedule since moving. I feel stretched in too many directions. I did finally upload a bunch of pictures from my phone. I’ll try to translate them into some more regular posts!
I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Sonoma since moving. There is a lovely complex there called Cornerstone, which has some really beautiful, creative stores and galleries. It also has a wine tasting room (of course!) It has show gardens from various landscape architects. Definitely worth the trip, if you’re ever in the area.
Here are some of the show gardens. I wish I’d noted the landscape architects and artists, but I’m afraid I didn’t
More Beautiful Gardens
Creative Vegetable Gardens
More fun with veges
Beautiful blend of garden and art
More vege beauty
Garden Decor from Potter Green
Garden Decor from Artefact Design and Salvage
and more fun stuff from Artefact. They have TONS of things. Some have been made into finished pieces; both furniture and art pieces and some are raw materials. Love this place!
Ornate trough from Artefact Design and Salvage
More pictures to come!
November 30th, 2011
I am back. Our move out to California has had a much longer settle in time than I would ever have imagined possible. My life was pretty much in a holding pattern for the first 3 1/2 months out here. Among other challenges, I was never able to fully unpack and my dyeing workspace never materialized. I don’t want to dwell on the drama of it, but we have moved for a second time. We are now in a great place, my work areas are functional and I am ready to get on with living and making some art.
I had been working on cave pieces prior to all of this life upheaval, but am feeling very drawn to making things with nature images right now. Making things that reconnect me to a feeling of peace seem just right. I am busy screening pieces with vat dye and will steam my pieces at the end of the week.
Maine Pond (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart
I have been spending time at a great local studio: A Work of Heart and took a resin class. I’ll be experimenting with using this new resin to incorporate mixed media into my pieces. I’ll post pictures.
Dragonfly (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart
Thanks for sticking with me!
October 7th, 2011
One of the really neat things about California are all of the gardening possibilities. We are a zone 9 or 10 out here and that means you can grow just about anything. I am particularly intrigued by all of the xeriscape or low water gardens out here. Water is definitely scarce and it is the responsible thing to do. I am inspired by how beautiful they can be!
Here are some gardens that my pooches and I pass by on our daily walks:
I love this one. This is about as low water use as you can get!
This one is really nice as well:
This one is at the other end of the water use spectrum, though probably less water use than a traditional lawn. Really beautiful:
I have been working on my vege garden as well. Beds are set up, landscape fabric is laid and I put down straw for mulch betweeen the beds. The soil comes Tuesday. The straw is a big hit with Lucy:
Lucy makes herself comfortable
September 28th, 2011
Well, by my lack of posts, you can probably guess who’s been winning this one. I finally got the pictures off my phone, but found I had oodles of other pictures on there like movie promo stills and headlines off the BBC. Weird. Anyway, when I tried to delete them, I ended up copying them endlessly. I tried to make a folder with the photos I’d actually taken and deleting the rest, but ended up deleting some of the photos I meant to keep. I did manage to save some, so here goes.
I had a wonderful lunch recently with Margie Trembley from the Needle Arts Guild in Chicago. She was out for a wedding in San Jose. Beside being an artist herself, Margie and her husband, Glenn have a great gallery in Springfield, NE called Springfield Artworks.
Margie introduced me to fiber/bead artist, Shirley Cook. I took some pictures of Shirley’s beautiful work:
Felted Vessel (C) By Shirley Cook
I took these at the restaurant table with my phone camera, so excuse the backgrounds:
Felted Vessel (C) By Shirley Cook
This one turned out a bit blurry:
Felted Vessel (C) By Shirley Cook
I’m sad to say I managed to delete the other photos I had of Shirley’s work.
I am setting up my raised bed vege garden this week. I’ll post pictures, provided that my phone cooperates:-)
September 10th, 2011
It’s been a whirlwind couple of months! I left Chicago on August 4th with my 2 dogs and drove about 2200 miles over the next 3 days to reach San Jose. We spent the next 9 days living with a bed and plastic utensils and paper plates. The movers delivered our stuff on August 15th. Since then, I have managed to get mostly unpacked, but we are still waiting for our garage to be built before we can unpack all of the stuff that we had in the basement of out old place. I am hoping that will go up in the next week or so.
My sewing room is set up, but I don’t yet have a place to dye or paint fabric, so I haven’t really started any new work. I also can’t find a regular sized USB cord, so can’t upload all the pictures I’ve been taking with my phone. I am going out to buy one this week!
I did manage to take a class at a great art studio in my neighborhood- A Work of Heart It’s got equipment/classes for everything from stamping to dyeing fabric, to precious metal clay, including a class I signed up for in cyanotype printing on fabric The place has a great vibe and really nice people. I am sure to be a regular there.
I also joined the Contemporary Quilters Fiber Artists group. This is a group of extremely talented people that do lots of surface design techniques. I am sure to learn a ton from them.
To top it off, I went to the regional meeting of the Surface Design Association today as well. It met at artist Judith Content’s home, which is a work of art in itself. This is a group working and teaching in all aspects of surface design. Applications include anything from weaving to designing fabric, to felt vessels. You name it. Very inspiring!
I learned about a really cool company today as well called Spoonflower. Seems like everyone but me knows about this. For what I think is a pretty good price, you can upload an image and they will custom print it onto fabric. Amazing! Like inkjet printing you do at home, but on a much larger scale.
More later and I’ll have pictures!!!!
July 31st, 2011
Welcome to Box World. I had grand intentions of taking you through my moving saga. Sadly, I have been crazy busy actually living the saga. Besides, it hasn’t been all that exciting.
The movers have finished the first day of packing and managed to pack most of the things I had put aside to make breakfast for myself this week. Luckily, Starbucks has oatmeal. I had a flash of feeling like this is part of what it might feel like to be in a hoarder’s house. I feel I am navigating a maze and can’t see around the high stacks of boxes.
My dogs are getting panicky about all the changes and my Great Dane, Lucy the Wonder Dog, has started chewing up anything she can get that gigantic mouth on in protest to all of this upheaval. Yesterday it was disposable razors and deoderant. She just chewed the wrappers and was not injured. The poor old girl is a bit of a mess right now.
An Extremely Stressed Out Lucy
I have a day of relative peace today (thank you!) and the packers are back tomorrow, at which point I will lose my electronics. Tuesday and Wednesday they load the truck and Thursday I hit the road with the dogs to make the trek cross country. Nothing like 2000+ miles/3 days in a car with 2 dogs. My husband joins me after the first day of the drive in Lincoln, NE. It should be interesting. I have packed audiobooks and (I hope) my sense of humor and adventure.
Thanks to all those people who purchased work from me this last month. I sold 7 pieces! I sincerely appreciate your support of my work.
See you in California!
July 1st, 2011
Well, I have sold my longarm and am in negotiations to sell our house, I’ve found a great place to live in San Jose. Things are rolling along, but are taking a ton of time and energy. I haven’t managed to create a sale page for my work, as I’d hoped. For one thing, I can’t figure out how to get the Paypal buttons into the body of my blog post. I will not have time to get a proper sale page up for another week.
I actually have about 6 or 7 pieces that aren’t up on the site yet. Theyare experiments with mixing images on plexiglass and quilted material. Half are framed cave images and half are very small tree pieces that sit on the table. I’ll try to get those posted over the next few days.
In the meantime, if you are interested in a piece of my work, email me and I will tell you the regular price and the sale price. I basically price my work at $1.50 per square inch, so sale price will be $.75 per square inch. Pieces with metal are priced higher. Everything I’m selling will be discounted 50% until I move to California (August 4th). There are a few pieces I’m not selling at this time: Herons, Cave Series Horses and Lascaux Bulls. Anything else is 50% off+shipping. Buy more than 1 piece and I will throw in domestic shipping. Images can be found here.
I have higher resolution and detail shots of all my pieces. I am happy to send them upon request.
"Evening Meditation" (C) 2006 By Tracy McCabe Stewart
and a detail shot:
"Evening Meditation" (C) 2006 By Tracy McCabe Stewart
Regular Price: $3900.00 Sale Price: $1945.00
Hand Dyed Silks and commercial cottons Machine Quilted.
June 20th, 2011
We locked down a new place to live in San Jose today. I had gone out on a house hunting trip last weekend with the intention of finding a wonderful place for us to spend the next couple of years and getting a lease signed. Nothin that the relocation person assigned to me came up with really thrilled me and I was convinced that we would have to settle for something that we really didn’t love or didn’t work logistically for this next chapter in our lives. I literally stumbled on the for rent sign for this house while driving around killing time. It wasn’t currently listed on the web, but had a homemade sign on the fence.
It has a half an acre fence yard for my pooches to run and me to plant veges, and a completely remodeled home to boot. The master bedroom has windows on three sides and feels like being in a treehouse. It’s two blocks off the town center, so we can walk to restaurants and it’s a doable commute for my husband. It is so much more than I ever imagined that I would find in a rental, especially in San Jose. Such is the power of intention. I am incredibly grateful.
I will now put my intention superpowers toward selling my house!