Monday, May 13, 2013

Busy Hands

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. Mine was awesome and restorative.  I wanted it to last forever!!

I've been wanting to stitch in the evenings as I relax from my day. But sometimes, after a full day, I just don't have the energy for working on official "pieces". So I've started a simple back-stitching piece as a way of relaxing, working on muslin with whatever threads I have available.  It's quite gratifying and keeps me from feeling lazy when I'm not working on "Work".

Meanwhile, I did make some progress on this piece.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Return of the French Knot

Man, I used to love the french knot.  But then we went through a period of time where I just wasn't feeling it, with its tendency to sometimes suck and pull through the work or to be hard on my fingers.  French knots can also loosen and sag over time if you're not careful.  I am not always careful.

But the french knot beckoned.

I think we're back in love.

It's a brilliant stitch.  (Is it a stitch?  Embellishment?)  The sculptural qualities add depth.  The effects can be dramatic or adorable, depending on their context. And really, who doesn't love dots?

They give the work that certain Je ne sais quois, non?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Process Pictures

I'm working on a few pieces at once right now, exploring related ideas in a few different ways.

The backside.

Another piece, near and far.

I love looking at the stitches up close, sort of removed from their context.  I'm thinking about how to imbue this quality into the work as a whole, to make the entire piece seem like a close-up.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

On Dreaming and Practice

I have many dreams. It's just part of who I am: I dream. I imagine whole lives for myself in an instant based on the smallest thing. It's a wonderful skill, and yet sometimes I struggle to truly be in the present. The possible always beckons. And the more amazing these dreams are, the more the present pales.

As I get older (40 looms), I begin to understand more fully that the present is where I live; I must truly inhabit the now. These days, I have taken up some practices I hope will ground me more fully in the present--even as I continue to embrace this habit of dreaming, a habit I know is a core element of me.

Connecting with the physical present has been the most life-changing so far. I've "done yoga" for years, but only lately have I embraced a rigorous practice. In the past, yoga has helped me calm my mind, ease stress and connect with my body. For the first time, now, I feel it opening up other possibilities. I begin to understand that I can do more than I think I can. The dreams, I think they have had a stronger purpose all along.

The dreams are not meant as diversion; they are instructions. They are a call to arms. Create this world, they say. Do not sit by and wish it. Do not dwell in the fantasy: create it.  I'm searching for the courage to do just that.