Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Fine Line - an Exhibit by Fibre Art Voices

This week was the opening for the Fibre Art Voices exhibits, A Fine Line, and Indigo, at the Old Schoolhouse Gallery in Qualicum Beach. The photos I am sharing here have already been posted to Facebook, but I would thought I would like to tell you a little about the pieces we made for the portion of the exhibit entitled A Fine Line.
We began by challenging each other to interpret this theme however we chose, making a large piece no wider than 40", and two companion pieces, each 10" X 10". The interpretations were widely disparate, as is evident here, but held together by a line, definite or implied, that carried through each of the works and onto the next grouping of three.
 "One for Sorrow, Two for Mirth", by Gayle Lobban, interprets a familiar nursery rhyme.
 "DNA - Hidden Discoveries", by Margaret Kelly, is the story of her connecting with her birth family.
 "It's the Journey", by Karrie Phelps, gives voice to the importance of what happens as we travel through life.
 "Endangered", by Gail Tellett, shows the life cycle of the nearly extinct Taylor's Checkerspot Butterfly.
 "Escaping Gridlock", by June Boyle, speaks to the balance she aims for between commitments and time management, and leisure time.
 "Where Heaven Meets the Earth", my entry, pictures Lesotho, also known as the Kingdom in the Sky, at dawn.
 "A Fine Line", by Hennie Aikman, speaks to the balance needed in caring for the oceans.
"The Power of Friends", by Gladys Love, is about loss and recovery, and the important part friends play in this process.
It has been such a good experience to be part of this group as we worked towards our exhibit, and one  through which we've learned a great deal. To be able to share what we've created in such a terrific venue is quite an honour. The process of making the pieces, critiquing each other's work, and encouraging one another when we got stuck was invaluable. Now the question is, what next?

Monday, January 8, 2018

This is Your One and Only Life

One of my favourite folk singers is Susan Crowe.  One of her songs has a chorus that goes like this - "This is your one and only life, what will you do?" A favourite poet - Mary Oliver - puts it this way - "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your wild and precious life?". Both women capture something of the wonder of just being alive, and ask a vital question that comes out of that recognition. Their words come to mind often. So I ask myself each morning - what will you do today? It's what others call mindfulness or living with intention.
My decision to take on the 100-day challenge was brought about, at least in part, in response to that question, that reflection. Each day of the year so far, I have woken up deciding that I will make some new thing. More specifically, a new 5" x 7" leaf or forest-related something, using the fabrics that sing out to me that morning. Here are the results so far:

The leaves are cut free-form, so no two are exactly alike. And I choose the fabrics each morning according to what catches my eye, and then look for good companion fabrics, limiting myself to using the fabrics I have set aside for this project, and any I see in my scrap-basket that seem to suit. Today (the last photo) was definitely a day when I was feeling the lack of sunshine - an example of how it is that I bring who I am to what I make. As I sit and do the hand-stitching, I think about the rest of the day to come, and people I will see and what I will choose to do. So the making of this small work, is a meditation of sorts. Some would call it a prayer. And that is how I'm answering the question for now - because this IS my one and only life.

Monday, January 1, 2018

A New Year - A New Commitment

Over the last year or so, I've heard a number of people talk about 100-day challenges. The idea is to make something - you set the parameters - every day for 100 days. Then while in New Zealand I saw the results of such a challenge at the Tuatare Gallery and in Lisa Call's studio. So when the call went out from the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery to join theirs, running from Jan. 1/18 to April 10/18, I took the plunge (so to speak) and registered.
I decided on a size (5" x 7") and selected hand-dyes and some prints to start me off. I will be working improvisationally and piecing by machine. The subject matter will be trees and leaves. Once I've added a little hand-stitching, I will mount them on prepared canvases.
So . . . today's blogpost is going to be extra short, so I can get busy and make my first of 100 small works. I want to wish all of you a creative New Year, with lots of spaces in it for noticing the small wonders of the world we live in, and good friends to accompany you on your journey through the days ahead. Thanks to all of you who take the time to join me on my own journey, and especially those who take extra time to write their comments. Maybe you would like to tell the rest of us about a new project you've taken on for the coming year. I know I love to hear what others are up to.