Artist & Teacher

Posts tagged “slowing time

Slow stitch: a lesson in leisure

3 primary panels

For those of you who have followed for a while you know that I’m am a wandering artist. Trying this technique and then that teaching what I learn along the way. Sometimes I lament that I’m not a Monet type, you know, painting my metaphorical lily pond every day. But I’m really more of a Picasso (not the boorish, misogynist part), just when my audience knows what they like about my work I change it. Lately I’ve been doing more stitch in my mixed media work, you’ve seen that in my most recent posts. When I first started art quilting, I was all about the machine stitch…. don’t slow me down just get it done. But increasingly I’ve been drawn back to hand stitch. A participant in a workshop gave me some feedback that having a hand stitch option for a workshop would be attractive to some people, so I set about making some examples to satisfy that request. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it would be also attractive to me, that in sitting down with needle and thread in a comfy chair with a podcast or music or friends that I would find a quiet beauty in the doing. Something different than the feeling of accomplishment at finishing quickly…. sometimes in my life I have measured my success by how quickly and efficiently I could complete a piece of work or art to my satisfaction. The act of slow stitching does not check off that box. I let my stitches be improvisational and move where they want to go, sometimes sparse and sometimes dense, complicated or simple; each section of the piece tells me what it needs. Adding this leisure and slowness to my work has added a richness, a texture and a fullness that was not achieved by the machine and by speed. The hand at work is evident, the art was clearly held, nurtured into existence.

I hope you can find your leisure in the doing. Perhaps its baking something special to bring to a friend’s house or maybe taking time to prune the roses in your yard of faded blooms, maybe even slowing down your power walk to hear the birds and watch the breeze sway in the trees.

Whatever it is be well, take care.


PS. I’m teaching a workshop about this Fabric Cut out technique in October – contact me if you want more information.

Rainy Days & Sundays

Uke and Blue Birds, drawn this Sunday on my iPad in my jammies on the couch next to my dog Lucky!

Uke and Blue Birds, drawn this Sunday on my iPad in my jammies on the couch next to my dog Lucky!

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks – a studio sale weekend before last that went very well (thanks to all who made the trek!), an extended visit with my folks full of industry from dragging brush, making apple butter, driving to appointments and a bit of Christmas shopping elf work, and of course a lovely Thanksgiving at my brother’s house with extended family and the requisite abundance of food. Busy, bustling weeks behind and busy, bustling weeks ahead – so when we got to our getaway house in the redwoods this weekend we were relived to find rain forecast for the entire weekend! Nothing to do but sit by the wood stove read, draw, listen to music, eat, chat, draw some more. A basic blogging theme of mine is how time flies and leaves me reeling muttering, “How can it already be (fill in the month) 1st?” So here I am again but today I feel renewed and recharged. Three days of staying in jammies till noon drinking coffee and eating a yummy breakfast were the only things on the to-do list. We turned on our favorite pod-casts and stretched out in the living room watching the rain through the redwoods. Time slowed – even with the constant ticking of my grandma’s cuckoo clock and the yellow bird reminded us with an resolute “coo-coo, coo-coo, coo-coo” how crazy we are to worry about time and industry, and that sometimes there is nothing more important that watching the light and the rain pass by the window, nothing more pressing than turning on kettle for a cup of tea and listing to the tick of the clock, the drip of the rain and creak of the wood stove. Here’s hoping you find some ways to turn down time to a low simmer in the coming weeks of busy and bustle – make time to slow time.

Don’t for get you can mark time for 2015 with my art calendar here is a link 2015 CALENDAR