The week begins... it is almost September here along the Klamath River.
I have another group of beautiful responses to my question, "What is the thread that weaves through your art?" I begin with Shari Daniels, as it makes a perfect introduction to this post.
I warmly smiled as I read through all these artists responses to what their thread is. Ralph Fletcher, a writer, tells writers to review their writers notebooks searching for the "golden thread". That piece of gold that is just too delicious to leave in the notebook. Lift it out and keep writing about it to see where it takes you. Many times, we do not know where the thread will take us. That is the beauty of creativity. This thread is a mystery. It takes us to the unknown.
Dear Roxanne, I hadn't thought of connecting threads until you brought it up!When I look back at all I was doing over many years I realized that indeed there was a connection. From the time I was small I was constantly creating .The list is long - mini hats in grade school ,drawing, stitching, knitting, crochet,basketry, rag doll making and most recently , collage! I see three main threads: the joy of learning, the pleasure of meeting so many fun and talented people along the way and the happiness of being able to do all those things with my two hands! Thanks for asking ! Thinking about it has made me even more grateful for these hands!
Dear Roxanne,What a wonderful idea for a book! I've been giving this a lot of thought over the last few days.Thinking way back I would say the 3 most obvious threads that weave through my work are my love of nature and African art and my passion for gathering things. Thanks for asking :-) I've just read your latest post and feel inspired. I hope you write a book!
The Thread that Weaves through my art would definitely have to be colour, it's such a vitalpart of my life. My paintings, journals, jewellery and surroundings reflect my love of colour.I appreciate black and white but it doesn't make my heart jump like a burst of purple, blueor magenta, I have no real favourite, (blue may just have the edge), all colours sing to me.
OK- A common thread that binds my art is evolution... even to the point of overriding my preferences for layering, blending or whatever process strikes my fancy. The catch is that evolution itself is change; the thread then becomes uncommon. The viewer will experience a less static experience as my work evolves - making it unapparent where the typical is hidden.
What a lovely idea. I thought often about what I wanted from my art but I guess I came to the conclusion it is what art wants of me that dictates my path. I don't know if this makes sense to anyone, but it does for me, so here is the thread that weaves when it comes to me and my ways :)
I always return from walks with all sorts of treasures in my "traveling bag": shells, stones, leaves and small twigs, driftwood and odd shaped things, sea glass and feathers, all sorts of them, delicate ferns and insect wings, old maps, vintage photographs, old keys and treasures from the past. I see and I collect. Then I reuse and reinvent them in my journals, my greeting cards, organic displays which link the visual and physical parts of my universe. It soothes and connects me.
Some are used right away, some linger and amount. I never carry them as weight, more as privilege - the privilege to hear them around me in conversation, a sort of song of yesterday's findings and today's treasures. The possibility of tomorrow's art at the studio, new life at someone else's hands.
After years of trying to find my art voice, striving to be original, having an idea and finding it 'already done' and so I quit. I have found the voice within! Yahoo! Through giving in! letting go! And getting out of my own way. Allowing, listening, and believing. I quit trying to 'be an artist'. I let the artist emerge. And now I find myself dancing and singing a whole new tune. Painting from my intuition. Writing from the only place I know. My true self.
It is always challenging for me to put into words what my art means to me Roxanne, because in so many ways it has been my saviour. Trying to keep moving forward and finding beauty come up for me again and again. After my world crashed in 1999 with the death of our 16 year old son, it took a long time for me to be able to begin to find my way again. I thought my creative days were finished. Focusing on gratitude and the beauty of life are a big part of my healing journey as this hole in my heart will never heal in just one lifetime.... At a local and now closed stamp store they were offering a velvet embossing class. That and reading Somerset magazines gave me hope and propelled me on a new creative journey of mixed media.
My grandmother was a prolific seamstress and craftswoman -- her threads run through several quilts and afghans that I still use and enjoy, through dolls that smile from chairs and shelves in my house, and even through hand-embroidered dishtowels used in my kitchen. Some of my earliest drawings were made as patterns she used in her work. Her threads bring comfort and warmth to me. I am a book artist, so quite literally, there are 4-ply waxed linen threads weaving through almost every piece I create. However, more than that, my art springs from memories and legend. I weave these into my books whenever I can in the form of photographs and treasures, and I hope that they will also endure when I am gone.The thread that weaves through my work is always my spirituality. This has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with how I view the world and the people who share the planet with me. It has to do with protecting children, empowering women, and sharing what I know.
For me it is the constant exploration of the unexpected – the desire to create out of whatever I have on hand. It is nature – often real bits of nature, joined together with my interpretation of it through paint, pencil or photography – and always the colour that nature provides. As I age it is seeing the beauty of nature not only in its prime but as it moves closer to an end of its cycle, readying itself for a new beginning. It is layering of bits and pieces. It is used tea bags and botanical bits. It is earth tones and bits of rusty metal. It is the feel of something in my hand as much as the seeing with my eyes. The thread is nearly always joy and peace and lately healing, as this is what creating gives back to me.
May you all have a safe and smoke free week.