Mason modelling the Chilly Bones hat and fingerless mittens set.
The Chilly Bones hat is bad to the bone with a skull and cross-bones motif. Both the hat and fingerless mittens are knit in hand dyed lamb's wool and silk yarn and then lined with a soft silk and cotton blended yarn.
These are the squishiest, softest, most comfortable mittens I have ever knit!
"What you are is a complicated girl with simple needs. You need your books and time to read, and you need a few friends and you need someone-not to take care of you, but to care for you. If you have all those things, you'll always be alright."
Yesterday I created this cozy reading nook, from an ill used corner of my house, with the best of intentions- read more.
Over the past several years I have gone back to school, gone back to work and committed to eating clean and daily exercise. As a homeschooling mom/artist/art teacher I have long since mastered the art of time management. I'm good at multi tasking and working...all the time. What I'm not so good at is relaxing. This year my intention is to take time, slow down and read some damn good books. This cozy reading nook overlooks my hydrangea garden and veggie patch. Summer sunlight streams in through the windows and overhead skylight. In the winter, a cozy fireplace is just around the corner. There is no reason not to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea and to simply sit and gaze out the windows. Heck, I may even lay my head back and close my eyes. SShhh. Mom's napping.
24" x 24" mixed media on paper mounted on wood cradle.
Over the past several months I have indeed been on an artistic journey away from home; away from the portraiture and figurative work I fiercely love. I got lost and scared. I got lonely. I knew all along I would need to come home.
When I look at this piece I can see the markings from my struggle shining through the façade. This is the sixth and final piece from this experiment: The Never Ending Painting. Every painting along the way, whether I saw it as a success of a failure, was instrumental in creating the depth and meaning created in this final piece.
Here, in order, are the 6 paintings; each one painted on top of the previous one.
Freedom has a way of destroying things. Or at least that's how I felt earlier this week when this painting went through some rough transformations; most notably, the "red version".
"All Hope is Lost"
The red version here is sanded down in preparation for moving forward. I hated this painting so much! I felt all hope was lost for this painting because I had wrecked it beyond repair.
But then I received these kind and inspiring words:
you haven't wrecked your painting you aren't pushing hard enough, or risking,
or growing. So.....you must be doing all of that right now. Your painting
practise is just like your life practise and as you let go of control, things
will turn to chaos and feel awful for awhile because they are different.....and
then something magical happens out of that chaos and you find an opening for
yourself to be more free."
It gave me the encouragement to forge ahead; to resolve what was dissonant; to reach for harmony.
I have stood before more than one abstract painting in my life and thought WTF. I rarely get it. And worse, I don't even know what I'm supposed to BE getting. But hey, have you ever tried to create it? It's a lot harder than it looks. And it's almost impossible create the really good stuff; the kind that makes your pulse quicken, your breath weaken and your heart emotional. There's just something about it that stays with you. I'm lucky enough to have a friend who is quite brilliant at doing just this. She recently set me a new painting challenge. And has it ever been challenging!
For two decades I have been painting representational portraits. I usually know exactly where I am going with a painting. I also have a really bad habit of becoming attached to my paintings; probably because I'm often attached to the subject. My friend Cheryl suggested I work on a project called the "Never Ending Painting" as an exercise in letting go. The idea is to start a painting. Every two weeks, alter it so it looks like a completely new painting. Do this 6 times. It was hard. It was hard to fall in love with parts that I had to let go of. It was hard to work on something I presently hated parts of. Mostly, it was exhausting to be in constant dialogue with a piece.
So far I have created the first two paintings in this process. I know they are not very good. But I'm learning to let go of that and to allow myself to be swept up in the process instead.
#1 The "OMG I love it so much, please don't make me paint over it" painting.
#2 The "Ugh, I'm trying too hard and I suck at this!" painting.
This weekend I plan on painting the third layer. I'll keep you posted.