Monday, January 16, 2012

Connecting with the Mystery

Linen, silk, vintage seed pearls. Hand and machine stitched 

Like many artists, I keep a handwritten journal. Daily entries help me to gently uncover personal insights, encourage creative musings, and placate general frustrations. I rarely actually re-read my journal, but every once in a while I feel the desire to revisit 'myself' so I flip through past entries. I often discover interesting threads - ideas that I've been nurturing for years - that provide helpful information for my ever growing textile projects.

Small daily creations often serve the same purpose for me. Like a journal, they allow thoughts and musings to manifest, and each time I look back at them I see a little part of myself -- a part that is continuing to grow and reveal itself in unexpected ways.

This small linen and silk piece was done several years ago and I always appreciate its presence because it brings me back to why I create textile art in the first place. It is a simple labour of love that silently connects me (and hopefully those who see it) with this mysterious journey we call life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Out With the New In With the Done

In reflecting upon 2011 I feel pretty good that I began a fair number of projects. I taught myself several new techniques and experimented in ways that were, for the most part, more successful than not in their incarnations.

I now, however, find myself sitting in my studio at the beginning of 2012 looking at this fair number of uncompleted projects and they, in turn, are sitting and looking back at me -- and some of them are starting to pointedly grumble that they're not done.

For some reason, I find the experimental stage of the process so much easier than the completion stage -- and I'm sure I'm not alone. Something about the letting go-ness of things maybe? Or perhaps it's that I have to accept that they are what they are as they are and must let the world see them too?  I'm not quite sure, but lest I continue to self psychoanalyze in this public setting, I will simply say that I'm going to finish these lovely bits of work this year.

Maybe with each project I complete it will become easier and easier.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beginners Mind

One of the wonderful things about the New Year is that I often have the feeling that I can begin anew. That old year is behind me and the new one is spread out like a large piece of cloth waiting to be embellished.

I don't know what the year will bring but my 'resolution'  is to be open to what comes with a beginner's mind. I'm trusting that this will open up new ways of working creatively and will allow some patience along the way.

Before the holidays I discovered how to freehand embroider on my sewing machine -- I don't know why it took me so long given the years of sewing I've done, but there you have it. Eureka! It is thrilling to be working with a new technique, but I also find that this is where beginner's mind needs to kick in. I immediately want mastery and it is quite humbling to see that I must continue to practice, practice, practice, in order to feel more comfortable (being uncomfortable) with a new way of working -- a new way of seeing.

It's following the silver thread of the unknown and enjoying the surprises that happen along the way.

When you think about it, it's all really a surprise anyway -- isn't it?