Monday, September 16, 2013

Seeing Squam

Squam Sketch_1_092013

I'm back from another trip to Squam Lake, this time for the Squam Art Workshops Taproot Gathering. 

Squam Sketch_6_092013

I promised myself I'd make more time for sketching during this visit. I wanted to just be present without obsessively documenting every moment with a camera. So I only took pictures now and then, with my iPad mini. 


Green Colors from Red Onion Skins

Twice at dawn I walked to Needle Point, far down at the bottom of the Rockywold side of the camps. There are big slabs of rock at the water's edge where you can sit comfortably gazing out at the lake and sky. It's usually quiet and serene, my Squam "secret place."

Needle Point at Dawn

The lady slippers I saw at Needle Point last June were still there:

September Ladyslippers at Needle Point

Here's how they looked when I last saw them:

At Needle Point

We had rain on a couple of days, but I didn't let it stop my dawn walks and sketching; I just drew from covered porches. I am forever grateful to the kind soul in Greenwood Lodge whose steps I heard behind me on creaking wood floors while I drew early one morning. Whoever you were, thank you for not coming out on the porch to chat! You can always set down your knitting and pick it up again, but with drawing, when a moment is lost, it's gone forever.

Squam Sketch_5_092013

Squam Sketch_4_2013

This Squam, I learned about the history of knitting and practiced several ergonomically friendly ways of knitting in a "Tricks of the Trade" class with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. And I dyed yarn with natural materials in a class called "Forage and Ferment" with Rachel Bingham.

Dye Color Wheel

Of the skeins I dyed, my favorite is this Bluefaced Leicester fingering weight that I dipped in the Osage orange pot just until it was a pale gold, then moved to the cochineal pot.

Cochineal-dyed yarn

Maybe I'll design a lace shawl or scarf for spring with it. What do you think?

Here's some more yarn—the green was dyed with red onion skins, the pinkish color with madder. (The lovely Squam Lake map necklace was made by my cabin mate Kristine Lingle, who sold her Squamscapes, handmade books, and necklaces at the art fair.)

Squam Lake Necklace by Kristine Lingle

I'm so glad I made it to Amy Lou Stein's indigo and eco dyeing demo on Saturday. Talk about magic!

Indigo Dyeing Demo with Amy Lou Stein

Indigo Dyeing Demo with Amy Lou Stein

Removing Leaves from Eco Dyed Cloth

Unwrapped Eco Dyed Cloth

I liked being at the Rockywold-Deephaven Camps at the very end of the season. There were echoes of summer all around, but also a slower tempo and quieter atmosphere, as if the woods were letting out a deep sigh as the humans took their leave. 

End of Summer, Rockywold Deephaven Camps

When you leave Squam, you brush the pine needles off your car and brush a tear from your eye. You try to memorize forever the sound of calling loons. When you turn and look at your cabin one last time, you don't say "good-bye." You say "until next time."

Squam Sketch_3_092013

Thank you, Elizabeth; thank you to the folks at Taproot; thank you, everybody at RDC; thank you to all the terrific teachers; and above all, thank you to my friendly and funny cabin mates in Summit (to whom I can only say, "Chips Ahoy!").


annette said...

Love all your beautiful sketches, especially that last one.

Leigh said...

Ahoy Bonnie! Love the photos, your drawings are so lovely...keep it up!

Bonnie said...

Thanks, Leigh. BTW, I'm glad to have discovered "a butterfly in my hair" - thanks for telling me about it!

Lindsay MacDougall said...

Lovely post Bonnie! yes, your little book of sketches was amazing!

Sara Lamichane said...

Amazing sketches, Bonnie! It was such an amazing experience. So lovely to see it documented in this way.



Bonnie said...

Thanks, Lindsay and Sara. In honor of our cabin, I had some red wine in my Taproot sippy cup the other evening. I may never use a wine glass again! ;-)


Your drawings are so gorgeous! are you going to sheep n wool? thanks for taking such beautiful pictures. xo amylou

Bonnie said...

Hi Amy Lou. Do you mean Rhinebeck? I am scheduled to teach a class that Saturday, could go on Sunday. But it's bit of a drive. Are you going?

nicole said...

thank you for sharing these beautiful snapshots of squam. I especially love your drawing of the dragonfly! Gorgeous lines.