Here it is! An answer to the question I shared on October 9 of this year: What possesses me? I visited my son recently and discovered the answer in a piece of my own art, “Waiting for the Rain.” When Joe first saw the piece, he studied it and then turned to me with the comment, “You are consistent.”
“In what way?” I asked. His response was that I was consistently good, which was thrilling to me. But he added, “There is hope in all your work.” And I was humbled.
I have believed for a very long time that one of my central messages is hope. I would like to be more expressive about love, but it is hope that pervades my work. I guess it possesses me. Perhaps that is why Advent remains my favorite liturgical season.
Parched land, dry and cracked. Thirst. Waiting. Waiting for the rain.
I like being in that place between work and play. It is not a blurry, ill-defined place for me. It is where my imagination is happy, and often, productive. I create games that make my work more playful. And I have a new one.
It is called “I own it; I use it.” It is less than a week old, but I like what it is doing for me. I received an inquiry for burgundy and gold Christmas stockings. I have suitable fabric in my stash. There is a vegetable soup simmering in my kitchen, created from what was in the refrigerator and the pantry. There is nothing new about what I am doing. What is new is the focus. And my attitude.
If I am simply using up what I have, I can miss the pull of another shopping experience. When I am playing my game, I feel empowered by my choices. I have collected these materials and equipment and today I am choosing to use them for what is required now. The game is not about stuff. It is about my attitude. I believe it is part of my journey to discovering my own “enough.”
Do you want to play? What have you used today that has delighted you?
The nip in the air here in Virginia is becoming a frost warning for tonight. I enjoy seasonal change. It is a reason to change the menus, my walking schedule, and wardrobes. I have happy toes in wool socks right now.
This week I stitched up three pillow covers from upcycled and sun painted fabric. Each has a folded flap end secured with a button and wrapped cord closure. The sofa likes a wardrobe change, too.
What do you for the change in the seasons? Do you appeal to the senses? What delights you?
I was thinking about Miss Alice this morning. She was my mother’s mother and an expert in frugal living. She made patchwork quilts and rag rugs from used clothes and household linens. Her handiwork was colorful and serviceable. At lunch time, she opened the doors to the pantry and the refrigerator to survey what was at hand. In the summer, the garden was also inventoried. Then the chopping and the mixing began. As I child I was intrigued and a bit wary on days when the dish was named a “mess of vegetables.” In later years when I was a Marine Corps spouse, I learned about the mess hall and the food application of that word. But fabric or food, Miss Alice was in her element when she was chopping and mixing the things she had at hand.
This morning I surveyed the stack of silk screens, the tub of paint, and the mound of fabric on the sofa. These were the materials at hand. They beckoned me. Miss Alice whispered, “Times’s a wasting.” I put on my apron, another work habit from Miss Alice, and got busy. I had planned to go shopping this morning. The paint is drying and I am snacking on cherry tomatoes from the garden. The tomatoes please me, as does the fruit of my hands.
I have worked under my name for more than 40 years. And it never really satisfied me.
I am doing things differently now. I am working in Studio Three 17.
Studio because I am a life-long learner. A place with books, paper, computer, fabric, thread, paint, tools, and space to use them is a place I joyfully call home.
Numbers pervade my work and I have attached significance to them always. Some of it is like a personal mythology. I am always looking for threes, and there are many to be found. Spiritually, I am a Trinitarian. Finally, 17 is my personal number for abundance. It is a place from which I like to work. I was born on the 17th day of the month.
One reason I chose Studio Three 17 is because I wanted to leave room for company. Often I like to work alone, but I wither without dialogue. So tell me about your numbers.
Do you have numbers that are signifiers for you? If you were to name your creative space, what would you call it?