here and flax

a mild but windy stretch
of winter
has really assisted my barn 
in falling apart.
so weird to see the raw inside timbers outside.
the sky
when clear
has had odd clouds
sometimes just hanging out
little bits of rainbows.
trying to beat fiber with sticks
and the giant mallets at zone 4--
my hands hurt so much after using them
i ordered these lovely
apple and maple ones
the last bit of my personal paper intensive
has been all about flax.
linen rag papers
below are off cuts from new painter's canvas
i pull lovely little samples
that are business card size.
driving one morning an owl watched as i 
stopped the car,
rummaged through all my stuff in a big basket
finally finding the camera,
and finally aiming, 
owl said, enough, and flew off.
(i think it was a barred owl)
always have your camera ready to grab when you're driving!
so here's the linum usitatissimum stash
(there are about 60 more large tan sheets in the drying stack at Z4) 
dark = linen canvas cloth
tan = cut flax fiber from belguim
white = one small tablecloth, minus decorative edges
(largest sheets are about 13 x 18)
flax and linen rag paper has a fierceness about it,
it's lovely to pull
makes a delicious scent in the vat
but dries tight and cockles easily
turning the edges into potato chips 
something to understand.
i like that it's not easy.
this little sheet below
is maybe my favorite paper from this winter
sits on nigel peake's drawn grid
holding pebbles from maine.