Friday, December 12, 2014

Louise Ternay; Wife, Mother, Artist, Agent, And Adventurer.

This past Saturday marked the seventh year anniversary of my wife Louise's death.

Louise was one of those "left-brain-right-brain" people who prided herself on her work ethic, and her ability to "Get the job done!" She did that as a Business person, and as an Artist.This is a water color I did of her
when she was doing her co-op at the Fabric Workshop, in Philadelphia. Here she is cleaning a silk screen,
part of the very involved process of printing images on fabric.

She explained the whole process to me one day, so I decided to do this illustration, based on her description. So many steps that must be done right.

Here is one of the many more "free form" hangings she loved doing.

As I've mentioned in other posts, going to the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine in the early seventies changed our family's lives forever. Louise expressed her love of crafts by taking classes in many mediums. Here she experimented in paper making, embedding leaves in the wedded layers of  paper.

In this instance she put delicate natural fibers in the mix of wet paper, creating a subtle surface texture.

On three different occasions Louise spent a month at "Arcosanti," the experimental desert living community
envisioned by Paolo Solari, seventy miles above Phoenix, Arizona.. While there she became a stone mason, building walls and fireplaces (Count Rumford) from rock she cut and gathered in the surrounding desert and canyons. It is here where the famous "Solari Bells" are made. This is a cartoon showing Louise "Before and After" her adventures...of which she had many.

In this ceramic tile her design reflects the architecture and graphics she saw while at Arcosanti.

A few years before she died, Louise took another class at Haystack. This time it was woodworking.
She decided to build a rustic four-poster mortice and tenon cedar bed for our cabin.
The eight poles cost us fifteen bucks at the local saw mill, and the two-week course at Haystack cost at least
fifteen hundred bucks. She stripped each log, carefully cut and joined each section, and when assembled in
our cabin bedroom, proudly carved "Made By Louise Kates Ternay," on the rail at the foot of the bed.



  1. I love the way you honor Louise with your posts, and the way you honored her while she was alive with your wonderful art. It is very nice for those who loved her too to remember with you through your art and hers.

  2. Thank you so much for the above, my dear friend. We all had some wonderful moments together.

  3. Wonderful blog, Bill. I didn't realize Louise took paper making. Was Bernie Vinzani the Professor? I have taken several workshops with him @UMM, & i know he has done sessions down there.

  4. I had no idea. Her artwork is superb. LOVE that very rich watercolor you did of Louise cleaning screens! Lovely tribute Bill.

  5. Yes, each of you had the pleasure of lmowing Louise.