A while back I talked about a project we are working on at the non-profit where I work. Volunteers had gone into the local jail to work with the inmates on creating art and writing. We asked community artists to choose one of their pieces and create a response, a companion, to it. The completed works will be exhibited side by side in our gallery in a few weeks.
I had chosen a writing from an inmate who had found a crumpled brown leaf in their cell. They remarked at how odd it was to find a piece of nature in their hi-tech, sanitary environment. I couldn't help but ponder how I might manage if I were far removed from nature.
This was my response.
I would have to hold nature inside me, somehow.
If I were denied it, if I were contained, I would still contain it inside me.
Needle-felted wool inside an old wood cigar box.
For those of you in the area, do not miss this exhibit.
It opens Thur, Sep 25th at 8:30 in the Q Gallery in Brainerd, MN and runs through October 11th.
Someone recently asked me if I sketch out the designs on my stone first, or if I had a concept of what they would look like.
The short answer is no.
The longer answer is that my art is an organic thing. I value the process as much as the end result. So when I sit down with a stone, pick some colors, and start to stitch, I do it without an idea of where the stitches are leading me.
Sometimes I find out pretty soon into a stone but some, like this one, take longer before I know where I'm going with it.
I began by capturing a small stone under stitches, a technique that signifies an embracing of something precious. Knots and beads started to surround the stone and then some thin green plants appeared. Next came small circles, then a line, then another. Soon I knew where I was going. I added more plants, the hint of movement, and ripples at the surface and what I had was a skipping stone.
A small stone skimming the surface of water, leaving bubbles in its wake, a view of the watery landscape beneath it.
It will settle at the bottom after its wild ride. After losing momentum. But not until then.
Leaving my stitching behind on this overcast Monday morning to greet the week.
Work, workshop (with the amazing Naomi Schliesman), meetings, school shopping, chauffeuring, stitching...and some planned fun, an intermission of sorts, though I don't know quite what that will be yet.
I was very flattered to be featured in the new issue of Her Voice magazine, a seasonal insert in our local paper. Her Voice is a magazine by women, for women, about women and it's always fun to look through and see what other women in our community are up to. The article about me was written by Kathy Krueger, a freelance writer who I've gotten to know in the past few months through my job at The Crossing Arts Alliance, and she did a wonderful job. She made me sound much more interesting than I actually am.
I was photographed by Joey Halvorson, another new friend from The Crossing. Only for her would I pose with wool birds on my head. Only for Joey.
In the article I talk about how much it meant to me to find the creative souls in our community (my peeps) and to be able to find a job working with so many of them. I'm lucky in so many ways, friends. Though my days are long and life is not always easy, I *am* so lucky to have found my peeps both in town and here in this blog.