Saturday, October 21, 2006

more art and soul

It wouldn't seem quite right for me not to share some of what i made in the classes i took, so i will. but to be honest, i don't attend the classes with the expectation of completing something - i go to soak up the material, the energy of the teacher, the energy in the room. having something to show for it is icing on the cake.
I do my best work alone so i don't expect great things coming out of a class where i'm learning. now that i'm home, i can't wait to dig in and play with the techniques i learned. The companionship i share with artists at these events is what feeds my soul. that said, i'll show you a few things i played at. here is the blackbird tea cozy i made in nina's class - of course mine doesn't have a blackbird on it but that's the whole idea - letting my original voice come out, my interpretation of the project.
I chose to use collages and paintings i had done and printed them out on muslin. they were the walls on my house, embellished with buttons, mesh, and such. my posts were colorful chopsticks i've had for a couple years and just knew they were meant for something - i just hadn't figured out what.i think they worked out perfectly and I was pleased with this piece. Like so many of us, I'm so attracted to the house shape, it represents security, solace, and happiness to me.
I also enrolled in Nina's From the Ground Up: Building your Own Spirit House class which was on Sunday. Unfortunately, I was only able to stay for an hour of it, as I wasn't feeling well that day. I had been fighting a cold that week, and had expended a lot of energy the day before getting ready for vendor night, and I was feeling too fragile to be around people. I just needed a day of quiet and rest - I'm such an introvert, it just annoys me to no end sometimes. I can only take so much activity and then I need to bask in quiet for a bit. Unfortunately, they are always friends I want to visit with until the wee hours of the night, interesting places to visit (like Fabric Depot), and it's easy to forget to eat. I did stay long enough to get all the directions from Nina on how to put the house together so I WILL be making one, and I'll post it when i do to prove it!
Here are a piece I did in Juliana Coles class. We worked in our journals and I intend to work on them more, they aren't finished. I like Juliana, she feels very authentic and I felt comfortable with her style of teaching. I'm someone that longs to be pushed out of my comfort zone, sometimes it's the only way I'll ever get there! Juliana has a gift for doing that.
And last but certainly not least was my class with DJ Pettitt, Layering in Luxury. I was SO excited to get into her class I can't even tell you. I've known DJ online for a couple years, but we'd never met in person. As so many others, I'm a huge fan of her work and her spirit. She was exactly as I had imagined her to be; warm, genuine, such a sweetheart. Her class was fantastic - she is generous with her knowledge and her materials, and if she ever gets rattled you would never know it. She teaches with a peaceful poise that permeates everything and everyone in the room, and creates an atmosphere conducive to tapping into our peaceful natures. And if that weren't enough, I had the amazing good fortune to share a table with my online friend Belinda Schneider, what a sweetheart she is! I have always admired her artwork and it was such a treat to spend time with her and get to know her a bit. Over the course of the day, I watched her create her book and I must admit, I was in awe, such beauty and originality. The pieces I made in DJ's class are very raw and the one on the right isn't even finished. I admit, i was much more interested in talking with Belinda, and walking around seeing what other folks were creating than working on my pieces. i was absorbing everything the information and the creative energy around me but not feeling the need to be 'productive'. My new friends, New York Madelline, and Lisa Call were also in DJ's class, and it was a pleasure to spend time with them both!
There are several other people I want to mention and I will do that when I post tomorrow. Also I will share thoughts and photos of the the wonderful adventure DJ and I shared on Tuesday when we set out for the Hawthorne district of Portland with our cameras - FUN!!!!
I'm going to leave you with a beautiful poem that was read at my sister's commitment ceremony last Saturday in Minneapolis.
So Much Happiness

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.It doesn't need you to hold it down.
It doesn't need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records...
Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

------- Naomi Shihab Nye


Pilar said...

I can completely empathize with your descriptions of art retreats. Like you, I find it is to be in the presence of the artist and the communing of such energy. I rarely finish a project in class; sometimes, to the dismay of the instructor. I need the time to process the creativity I has stood in and digest the techniques I have learned. I can not wait to see how the techniques you have learned at art and soul manifest in your art. :D

Erika Tysse said...

Wow, these projects are beautiful! What I would give to just attend one of these retreats! You are very lucky and a very gifted artist!

belinda said...

wow, you finished another page! it's beautiful and the layers underneath peek through. when i first started attending art retreats, i didn't matter to me whether i finished something or not. but now i have so many unfinished accumulated projects that i really try to make an effort and finish when i get home. so for the first time i did more or less good. only my fabric book is less than half done, but you don't see it since it's closed. i think printing your faces directly onto fabric is the easiest way! water inkjet has a more dreamy look. aren't we lucky to know so many transfer techniques, one for every need. wow, another table, you must be busy. have a wonderful time. i did a felting demo last friday and will teach a class this friday. i guess we enjoy it too much!