Felted Campsite

January 8, 2009


Trail-Mix Campground

Trail-Mix Campground

Eighteen summers ago I was a self supporting artist. Once the school year was dismissed my son and I would pack my art-wares, and camping gear into a 1979 Toyota Celica hatchback. All items had to be carefully placed like a jigsaw puzzle or the doors would not shut. Our journey always led us to art fairs with nearby vacation sites, (i.e. mountains, oceans) naturally it was not as spontaneous or as simple as I am describing but it more of an adventure.

Our favorite destination was Colorado. On one trip we camped beside the Arkansas River and what a lovely way to drift off to sleep with rumbling mountain water just meters away. The next morning I sat staring at the mountains while drinking high octane coffee, I exclaimed, “What does the camp site looked like from on top of that adjacent mountain?” I trotted off to the camp office to inquire about possible hiking trails up the mountain but none that were known. I decided that is not going to stop us, after all how difficult could it be? It is just a big hill laced with a combination of rock and shrubs.

We packed water, snacks, camera, binoculars, and walking sticks and headed upwards. Since there was no path just over grown shrubs and trees, we meandered upwards; it was exciting, adventurous and physically taxing. Now, you must visualize this was not a 10K mountain but a mere foothill nonetheless, an out of the ordinary activity for us.

Once at the top, out of breath, it was glorious to see what we had accomplished. Since I had never hiked, I was pleased to have shared this mountain with my son. We explored the top, and we discovered a few signs that we were not the first, as there were snack cake wrappers, a soda cans and other evidence of human activity. Totally exhausted I rested my bones while my son romped around the rocks, and shrubs. Over the edge we could see the speck of our campsite at our feet. Oh! It was a fun memory to peer through the binoculars where we had just eaten breakfast. This abstracted felted piece marks time of that exhilarating morning.

This felted piece is forming into an abstraction of that mountain top memory. Still in progress!!!!  I discovered the mixing of colors fibers(kind of combing by pulling apart multiple times) produced much more interesting colors.  I needle felted  in some details. I did not like the texture it created on the back, so I placed it back onto the screening and bubble wrap, soaped it up and proceeded with the massage.  Thus the topical stitching is still necessary to  give this rhythm,  simplification and cohesiveness.

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