The birds are full of ideas. I watched pair of sparrows with straw in their beaks searching for a perfect nesting spot today. The bees as I walked down the wisteria laden arbor here at the Bishop’s Ranch are also full of ideas. Their busyness got me full of ideas as well. I’ve been admiring the Cala lilies along the Ranch house walk for a few weeks and realized I better get busy if I was going to catch them before they start to fad. So I snapped a bunch of pictures on my phone and wandered off wondering what next. So like the birds and the bees I got a creative idea too! I printed about 12 of my Cala lily photos onto printable cotton and with a bit of inspiration from the early photo collage work of David Hockney got to work on this fabric collage of Cala Lilies at The Bishop’s Ranch (if you look closely you can see the Chapel of St. George in the back).
Don’t delay follow those creative ideas buzzing around in your head let inspiration take over, you’ll be glad you let it rule the day!
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.
I have a couple more quilts ready I’ll show you soon in another post.
I had a little time in my studio yesterday, which sadly I haven’t had a lot of time in the past couple of months. So yesterday when I found that I had finished my Christmas gift list, prepped food, and made soup, packaged spiced nuts, wrote notes, and generally got business done a little miracle happen for one small afternoon there was nothing on my list, every item that could be done had a red line through it (I love the red line). With a wide open mind I walked over to my studio. It is a rare thing for me to have no agenda, no class to prep or make samples for, no article I’m working on, no sale to make merch for just my tiny cluttered studio and 3 hours to play. I had been thinking for awhile about experimenting with alcohol inks to marble fabric. It seemed to me that the inks would float on the water then perhaps would work like other marbleizing mediums but dry faster less fuss. It turns out the ink does float but when it hits the water it kind of seizes up I laid the fabric on and got some interesting marks and the colors are bright but nothing fabulous. So now what? I decided to cut them into strips and see if that got me inspired. On the ironing board were pieces of denim from another fabric dyeing experiment that didn’t pan out so why not mash it up and see what happens? So a few hours later I walked out of my studio with these 3 little ditties, charming I think. And what a lovely time I had just to wander and wonder and create. I hope you can find time to do the same in this busy season in whatever way gives your heart and mind a little space to sing.
PS. I am teaching a weekend Encaustic Collage Workshop here at the Bishop’s Ranch in early January that I would like to invite you to. It is 2 night, meals, housing, workshop and all materials included. Start your new year off with a little creative retreat here is the link to the workshop registration