Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ferns + Feathers Revisited

Several months ago I put this quilted piece up on my blog asking for suggestions as to how to proceed. It looked (and still does) like wallpaper to me and I want to create a dramatic focal point. I had placed various objects, mostly more/larger feathers and ferns, on the top but nothing satisfied me or anyone else, for that matter.

Recently I've brought the piece back out of hiding and have simply allowed it to be at the outer edges of my environment as I am healing from surgery. I love the colors and the quilting in the piece, but it needs a strong focal point, a sense of design and composition... With those things in mind, I decided something colorful like parrots, parakeets, etc. might serve my purposes. After exploring the web for awhile, I came across several photos of Australian Rainbow Lorikeets and decided they would potentially be a very dramatic addition to this work.

Here are some of my preliminary sketches:

I like the flying Lorikeet best - and I like the possiblity of the bird flying off the top of the quilt. I can't imagine how the composition will balance out, at the moment, but at least I'm having fun considering options.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Returning to Life at Last

Spring is here and I'm wallowing in her warmth even while wishing for more rain to nourish the thirsty earth. The past few weeks have been a time of reflection and appreciation. One quote that is floating through my mind is the following from the little book LET EVENING COME: REFLECTIONS ON AGING by Mary C. Morrison. She quotes another writer, Olga Lamkert as saying: "We do not live life; life lives us." That's an interesting perspective - and I can readily see where events and circumstances in my life have often formed my life rather than me forming the circumstances and events to my choice or will... She goes on to say, "Childhood lives us; maturity lives us, old age lives us." Indeed. Yet we still have free will and the ability to choose the perspective from which we view life.

Morrison concludes the chapter by writing, "Pay attention to what you do so you can find out who you are; and try to say goodbye to the old self that wants to make the world meet its demands. For those who will do this work, a new way of being, a new 'me,' is accessible, and available - one that becomes at home in the world, and more and more the old, lost me of childhood."

"Pay attention to what you do wo you can find out who you are..." For the artist, this is especially relevant, but it is so for all. When I gaze about the studio, presently rather tidy, I see evidence of who am I and who I have been. Now I'm wondering - what is next? what will I begin to create? who am I becoming? Life is an adventure in self-discovery, is it not? Saying goodbye to the old self that tries to control outcomes and experimenting with the self that explores, wanders, dallies over the wild and the mundane - that seems to me to be an adventure worth pursuing.