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  • Writer's pictureJ Susan Aitken

Easel Exchange

For the better part of this week I exchanged my easel for my sewing machine!

And yes, I do know how to use it, thanks to my mother, who is a wonderful seamstress. She sewed all of our clothes when I was growing up and ensured my sisters and I knew how to sew. We each had a sewing machine, and in college, I remember sewing all the clothes I needed for student teaching. As a young mother, I sewed some special occasion clothes for my kids (had particular fun with Halloween costumes), but then kind of fizzled out - got busy, it didn't seem cost effective, and I just sewed here and there. I'm sure many of you can relate. So, when the call-to-arms came to sew masks for local hospitals, I thought it was something I could do; I'd join in and make some. After a rocky start with the wrong fabric and a pattern I ended up not liking, I finally got going. I'm hoping they help a few people get through this time more safely.

Oil painting by J. Susan Aitken

As to art, I haven't entirely put up my paint brushes. You may recall that I have been challenging myself to learn new painting techniques and apply them to portraiture. My first portrait, which I showed you in a previous blogpost, was of my daughter-in-law, Emily. This second one is of my daughter Abigail. I'm not sure if it is entirely done yet. I've put it aside for now and I'm going to decide later if it needs some more work.

Currently on the easel, I have completed the underpainting of another daughter, Elizabeth, establishing the values in the painting before painting it in color. I am excited to begin that today.

As far as exhibiting, the current displays up at the Huron Valley Council for the Arts Gallery and Brighton's Wooden Spoon are suspended indefinitely due to the fact that they are both closed to the public. The group show at the Livonia City Hall scheduled for April, unfortunately, has been cancelled. Hopefully, as the epidemic recedes and venues begin to open to the public, I will be able to announce new exhibits!

On a more personal note, for some odd reason (like many others apparently, given the flour and yeast shortage), I have been captivated by the world of breads, scones, pan breads - I even bought a cast iron pan! That being said I tried a recipe that claimed to be as good as the Panera orange scone. It definitely delivered - it was super good! Now, if I could only get a hold of some more flour...

That's it for now! I hope that, despite this whole state of affairs we are presently in, you get an opportunity to be with some family, whether in person, FaceTime, Zoom - whatever - and celebrate this weekend! Happy Passover & Easter!!!


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