An Artist's Quest

The View from Above

Russian River Valley. Looking east. iPad drawing printed large and free-motion stitched

Russian River Valley. Looking east. iPad drawing printed large and free-motion stitched

As some of you remember I have been working on some aerial view art quilts. I’m using photo images taken from a plane to create iPad drawings then having those drawings printed large on fabric then quilting. (see these links to past posts Flying High & A Stitch’n Week). I have completed a couple more of these art quilts and I’m ready to share. I was pondering what to say this morning on a chilly early morning hike. As I wandered along the trail, in and out of trees and into clearings it struck me that these aerial views are of the same place I’m walking but seen from a different perspective. In that same vein I’ve been pondering my family relationships – specifically my relationship to my demi-adult son and my eighty-something parents. I am finding that navigating the parent/demi-adult relationship is harder than I was expecting. How to support him and love him but let him go and make mistakes and find his own way. So my experience as the parent of a young adult has made me reflect on my own young adulthood and my relationship to my parents. I have new empathy and insight into what I put them through, how I wrestled and struggled with my self-definition and sometimes let them in but often not. So in these landscapes I am experiencing and translating the same place that I have walked through and painted again and again but from a different point of view where I can experience it anew. As I climb higher, I can now see the river carving through the valley and the hills sculpted low against the mountain and the row of trees reaching up and out. This landscape is like my own life- carving, sculpting, reaching up and out; connecting to the journey but separate from my son’s journey and likewise connecting to but separate from my parents’ journey. Here I am like a hawk on the wing, riding air current of my life in this unique space between beginning and end seeing each from a new point of view and grateful to catch a glimpse now and then of where I’m going and where I’ve been.

Detail of stitch

Detail of stitch

I have a couple more quilts ready I’ll show you soon in another post.


5 responses

  1. Janelle

    What a beautiful piece, both in art and in writing. I think you are sharing what so many of us feel in that “in between” space with our older parents needing us more and our young adults still needing us but in different ways as they grow and stretch. Thank you for sharing! xox Janelle

    November 11, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    • This sandwich time of life in between young adult children and aging parents is more interesting and challenging than I thought it would be- I’m glad to know others like you are on the path too- Lisa

      November 14, 2015 at 8:41 am

  2. molmsteado

    These quilts are extraordinary! You are flying just right

    November 11, 2015 at 5:21 pm

  3. Shelley Ritchie

    Really lovely!


    November 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm

  4. Bonnie

    Your expression in both words and image are remarkable, Lisa. The metaphor of hawk is powerful and mapping of “the journey” in fabric, color, and stitchery so lovely. “Free motion quilting” has new meaning, too!

    November 11, 2015 at 8:42 pm

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