Thursday, December 3, 2009
An idea is brewing. If I wrestle with it I can only move it along so far. It wants to bite back and then we get locked in a struggle; me pulling and squeezing and it planting it's heels in deep.
I've learned in these instances to release and move on to something else.
Idea has landed.
Hey, don't question creativity.
It usually happens when we're not looking.
Sometimes it feels like we've been pushed off the high-diving board into the deep end.
Others it's simply as if we're floating - body and water are one.
We turn around and things are both the same and different.
We've changed but we're the same.
We've let life in.
Now we get to live it.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Let me collect my thoughts;
small stones, driftwood, bent and rusted pieces of metal -
beads and silk.
I've no need for memories.
I'm interested in the moment as a gathering up of space
so that time can pass gently through it.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A big move. A culture change. A new relationship. A shared space. A shift in context. Letting go of almost everything, yet trusting that the letting go will bring what is meant to be next. Anxieties that come in when you least expect them and bite you on the ass. Let them wash over......
Slowly but surely things begin to settle. The space simply takes work --one project at a time. The relationship takes patience and communication and the ability to remember how to play. Love needs trust to build the foundation and time to build the trust. A new rhythm shifts the dance from one done alone to one with a partner, even if sometimes you're both stepping on each other's toes!
My own work continues to grow even in the midst of upheaval. What appears does so because it needs to be. It can stay still and silent for only so long and then needs to speak, to sing, to dance, to play. I speak and sing and dance, and play along, too.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
It must be written.
I need to be licked, or lightly bitten.
To bed to bed,
Clean sheets, naughty mind.
A partner between them,
We're two of a kind.
Roll me over in the clover.
Stroke me. Make me sigh.
Spring is near.
My heart is clear,
And so is my upper thigh.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Let your experience change you. Let it move in and shift the atmosphere, it's rising tide washing away debris that has collected randomly over a lifetime.
Let it scare the hell out of you.
Let it scare the hell out of everyone who thinks they know you.
You're not here anymore.
Thoughts come now - quickly I must write.
"Rachel Getting Married" - the movie on board flight.
It filled my head with wonder at the grace that must befall,
such a simple human heartbeat while one's back's against the wall.
We find our way through step by step,
As each heart beat sets it's pace.
A spark, a bud, a trickle - there really is no race.
So take your 'practiced powers' as Rilke writes with skill.
It's more than human wisdom.
More than mind at will.
Align yourself with God, my dear,
for life is very short.
Then joy will come to life, my dear,
to practice, like your art.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
This morning as I was sitting and writing, a squirrel caught my eye. She was perched on the edge of a rooftop, across the street, clearly getting ready to jump onto a nearby branch. She had a direction in mind and needed to go that way -- now.
I could tell she was rapidly choosing between two options: A very sturdy, leafless branch; and about six feet to its left, a slightly less solid landing on a narrow, leafy, pliable one.
Now, normally, squirrels simply leap and go, so it was the hesitation that caused me to observe a little more closely. She was so ready to jump and yet knew that the jump was risky because both landings were further away than your everyday playful branch scurry.
She finally chose the leafy option, and when she leapt from the roof her entire body was thrown into the process. She hurled herself with every intention of reaching her destination. Each muscle strained towards the branch while she was in mid air.
I saw her land safely and go her merry way. Little did she know how her own jump held my lesson for the day.
We all have a destination and sometimes the next step looks a little bit risky. We simply, however, must go. We must take a deep breath and a leap.
Branch 'talisman': Adelaide Shalhope (Found branch, wool yarn, silk, cotton batting, seed beads, thread, citrine)
Photographs: Veselin Cuparic
Sunday, February 1, 2009
A new friend of the blog wrote that she picked up on a 'new-Victoriana' vibe to my work. This really isn't intentional, but she's right.
Although I'm not making any kind of political statement in my designs, I am acknowledging our connection to the past.......
.....and honoring those women who came before us and 'created the thread' that allows us to speak with our own voices clearly and strongly.
Necklace: 19th c. black lace and jet beads, silk chiffon. Obi: cotton, silk charmeuse, 19th c. jet beads
Photographs: Veselin Cuparic
So what do you do when you've just spent entirely too much time and entirely too much effort trying to draw something a little different, a little out of your comfort zone and all that happens is that it sticks it's tongue out at you?
Put on your best "I'm really a 4 year old" attitude.....
....take out a sharpie marker, and GO!
Sometimes a little rip and a tear and a sharpie marker and some 'devil may care' can do just the trick.
Ettore Sottsass has written about how he and his friends started the Memphis group - as an experiment, playing with colors and materials. They wanted to see how they could communicate how they were feeling.
He believes that we should experience the world more like children - through the senses rather than the mind. "What's truly important is to have an open mind and no borders. Then you can do almost anything."
Sounds good to me.
It's a silent walk in the woods or a peaceful stroll along the shore. It's seeing a beach stone or a bird in a tree. Something catches my eye. I'm connected.
It's a piece of my fabric sitting on the table, or a random group of beads in a bowl, waiting to 'become'........
photos: Veselin Cuparic
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The difference, for me, in the process of drawing, as oppposed to creating textile pieces, is that I have NO IDEA what I'm going to draw before I begin. I don't plan anything out. I don't think "Hey, I'm gonna draw some kind of flower-type thing, man." I simply put pencil and pastel to paper. The pencil makes the first line --the first line takes me to the next and the next, and shapes take form and color emerges, and at a certain point I know I'm done with a drawing.
There's an enormous amount of Trust in this process, and I write Trust with a capitol T because I feel like it's the Big Trust. It's the Trust in one's self, in one's own process, in one's own heart opening up to what it needs to express.
That Trust happens in the first step, and then the next and the next. It certainly doesn't mean that we don't plan. Of course we do, but as John Steinbeck wrote in Of Mice and Men "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."
Perhaps if we paid a little more attention to what is actually happening as the plan emerges, other than simply sticking strictly to the plan itself, we'd fine we were less 'awry.'
Who knows where we would end up, eh?
Sunday, January 25, 2009
We live in complex times. We want more than we have and we have more than we often need. Yet we think that having more and wanting more will make us, somehow, better.
If we simply slow down and look and listen to what is emerging from simplicity, we'll find that we have all we truly need, and that there is really nothing to want.
'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
Many of you may have noticed that the musical arrangement of this Shaker poem was played at President Obama's inauguration. I think it is the perfect sentiment to move into this new era.
May we all continue to find ourselves in the place just right.
Drawing: Adelaide Shalhope - pastel and charcoal, 19x24"
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
This pendant was my first, recent, attempt at working with silver -- a very different medium for me as a fabric artist. I've found that recently, however, I've been 'following the silver thread', which for me means subtly putting myself out of my own comfort zone to explore what I might not otherwise explore, and in turn, unearthing those parts of myself that have been waiting patiently to awaken.
As an artist, designer, and generally 'tuned in' person of a large amount of sensitivity, I often times get 'directives', subtle phrases or images that inspire a particular design idea or simply cause me to pause and think on a subtle, yet deeper level. "Follow the silver thread" was a phrase that literally popped in my mind randomly one morning as I was sitting quietly. Hmm, I thought, how interesting, and what does it mean?
Silver, apparently is symbolic of a number of things:
Single-ness of Purpose
It's a subtle strength because it can withstand all sorts of abuse, including weathering and even heat, yet it can still be molded into desired forms.
I like the message that we ourselves can be flexible enough to be molded into something better, but strong enough to keep our core integrity in tact.
So, I'm following the silver thread of my own life, and this blog is part of that thread. I hope that the postings and photos you see here will somehow inspire you to follow your own silver thread.
photo: Veselin Cuparic
Monday, January 19, 2009
I've recently begun to 'recycle' old cashmere sweaters. Picture the above as a long sleeved, simple turtleneck sweater worn so much that there were holes under the arm. Throw it out? Give it to Goodwill? How silly. Cut off the sleeves. Cut up the middle, and sew small ties of black silk charmeuse, which can be un-tied if you wish.
Now imagine cutting the sleeve to the elbow, cutting it up the front, and sewing the scraps on to the front to create 'ruffles'.
Oh, and don't forget the back.......
Okay, now we're getting a little tricky. Two cashmere sweaters. One very heavy ribbed Banana Republic turtleneck and the other a wrap around. Wash and dry them and ask them to dance together......
photos: Veselin Cuparic
I never met a tree branch I didn't like......
Images to inspire during a cold and snowy New England winter. Pastel, oil pastel, walnut ink, and graphite...and a little bit of love :)
Sunday, January 18, 2009
So, go to the places you love. Wander and listen.
photo: Veselin Cuparic
photos: Veselin Cuparic