“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” – Buddha
The word “work” often evokes negative emotions. So many of us associate work with sitting behind a desk for 8 hours, putting in time, being told by a supervisor or manager how to utilize our time and meet specific expectations.
Work for me is associated with joy! I can experiment, explore, try something new and dare I say it? I can play! When we work/play we grow and that doesn’t just hold true for artists. The earliest memory of play goes back to our childhood, at a certain time our parents decided that we are too old to play – what a mistake! Why did we/they have to change play to work? It is high time to embrace play once more to ensure personal growth. If you are following this blog already you are probably soemone who embraces opportunities to play and experiment. If you are new to the concept grant yourself permission to play.
Play takes on many forms, speaking from a textile artist’s point of view, just open the closet to your fabric stash, pull out a few pieces that catch your eye right away? Pin them up on the design wall, fold them, scrunch them, overlap them and take a photo of them. Download that image and view it on the computer: Are new ideas coming to mind? Write them down, ponder them and if you have the time, cut some of that fabric and sew it together. What else were you going to do with it? How long has it been in your stash and why were you drawn to it in the first place? Go to it: Play and discover endless possibilities!
The image featured in today’s post is titled “Aglow” – it evolved out of play. I had an eye catching piece of hand-dyed fabric that mesmerized and intimidated me at the same time. I didn’t want to destroy it, so I just cut where the color changes occurred, made a whole cloth quilt as back ground and created smaller “mini” quilts to attach these in sequence to the background quilt in different heights. “Aglow” emerged, slowly and playfully I added layers of sheer and stitch – a whole lot of stitch by hand and machine! “Aglow” won the Grand Prize at the Grand National Quilt Show in 2011.
“Aglow” was just selected to be part of an exhibition showcasing Canadian Quilt Artists at the 18th Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork in the Alsace area of France in September. The organizers have allocated the guest country, Canada, a large church as an exhibition space. I was contacted via email by the curator, Sandra Reford of Toronto. Someone had told her about my particular piece and after I sent her images she accepted it for this prestigious exhibition.You can read about her experiences over the past couple of days on her blog post from January 18th.
I will just have to continue to give myself to my work! Thanks for letting me share the great news!