art retreats, Cannon Beach, fiber art, Oregon, Pacific beaches, tapestry, weaving

So fresh was the air, like a breath taken from the stars

On Sunday, I took a walk on the beach with my camera in tow. I nearly wore it out. I learned that the greyish green circular blobs blossomed into sea anemones. The starfish were celebrating in their party clothes. The sea gulls were really, um, mean to each other.

Linda Weghorst showed us her portfolio and photos of her work. Her figurative work inspired me to try my hand at it. She is the current president of Tapestry Weavers South, and as such she has connected me with the local tapestry weavers in my region. Plus, we hit it off like gangbusters and I am quite happy that she only lives two hours away!

Both Pam Patrie and Linda are professional tapestry artists who have woven very large commissions, and they provided a wealth of information about that process. I myself am not interested in doing any commission work but it was very enlightening to hear stories from the business end of being a tapestry artist.

Steve Karakashian showed us his progress in sampling for a large project – to reproduce an Egyptian shawl that belonged to his mother. Here is his sample for a border design:

I love this tapestry of Mount Rainier in progress by Ashli Tyre. She is weaving this design sideways. I use this same type of small loom and it is great for travel. Ashli is an accomplished Navajo rug weaver and she is trying tapestry as a less rigid approach to weaving design. She spins and dyes her yarn as well.

Jeanne Bates was a familiar name to me from the Internet world because she started a website about tapestry way back around I first started my own website, before I started blogging! She was a worker bee, making sure that we were all comfortable and fed and provisioned with the weaving supplies we needed. I was in awe of Jeanne. She hardly ever sat down! She brought along some of her tapestry samples as well, which you can see at her website.

Pam and Steve left for the day to attend a service in Portland, and Shirley Anne, a talented artist in many media, and I checked into our rooms at the Wave Crest Inn, within walking distance in Cannon Beach. It is a fascinating older place filled with antiques, artwork, and a quirky sense of humor. Jenny drove us around Cannon Beach so we could fantasize about buying a house there, and we briefly went to Seaside for a quick grocery trip. Safeway and Costco were the ONLY stores I went into during my entire trip! Guess it is obvious that I am not a shopper.

Then Jenny Heard and I got down to weaving our tapestries on the back porch (see top photo), where it was chilly but humming with the surf of the Pacific Ocean and the cries of gulls. Guess what? NO BUGS. Just some cute chipmunks running around. I could hang out with Jenny for days, I think. I tried to get her to hire me as an assistant, but she is happy with the one that she has.

Jan was the Divine who gave us rides to and from town. I hope to see her on my next trip because I didn’t get a chance to get to know her, and I’d like to.

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