In hopes that the above picture will grant me your forgiveness I decided to post this as it might explain my long absence from the blog. The image is from Soley Cove, a magical beach I have now visited three times over the past month and each time it captures my imagination. Here are a few more images:
But, life has not been all beach excursions and relaxation. After overcoming from an accidental eye injury scouting out a new course for our weekly hiking group I was slowed down for a week due to trips to emergency, a follow up appointment with the optometrist (which revealed vision loss), a fitting for glasses and trying to overcome this unexpected obstacle, I have been spending a fair amount of time in the studio.
I continue to actively facilitate the Virtual Creative Cluster which moved into its second month at the beginning of April. The group spans from coast to coast and has really bonded. Our common theme right now is the in-depth study of an artist (each participant has selected one artist). At the moment we are wrapping up a look at each artist’s influences from contemporaries, political situations or their own situations trying to find deeper meaning in and the messages they wanted to convey. It has been truly fascinating to facilitate the weekly gatherings. Each time I marvel at the information and insights shared with one another.
A couple weeks ago I came across the following essay and I realized that it is something that needs to be shared with the Creative Cluster participants as well as the readers of my blog. I believe it helps us and the broader public to understand better how the creative thinker sees and experiences the world…
…it may even explain why I cannot resist one more rock on the beach despite my pockets bulging to the point of nearly bursting!
Studio time has not been exclusively on the computer with ZOOM. I have also been working toward my upcoming exhibition in June. Time just flies when there are so many wonderful distractions at my finger tips. Here are a couple close ups of a piece I just finished last night. I am not sure of the title yet, all I can share is that it was heavily influenced by my new environment and was inspired by the tides in the Bay of Fundy as well as the diverse geological formations I have discovered.
Before I headed to bed at midnight yesterday I pulled some hand-dyed pieces from my stash. I have done this countless times now and each time I end up folding them lovingly and replacing them into the stash cupboard… These are my “special pieces” I set aside for a “special” project. Truth be told, I have had trouble cutting into the large pieces in the past but with these I felt completely overwhelmed and without courage to just “go for it.” Well, last night I told myself “What am I waiting for?” The special time is now, just cut into the cloth – you can always dye more…” Great advice to myself. As soon as I cut the first piece into sections and rearranged them somewhat on the design wall my hesitation fell away. Some Dupione silks on the cutting table that were part of the previous piece literally jumped into my hand and I just had to pin them to the design wall. I was so excited I had to pull myself away or I would have worked through the night.
This is what is beckoning from the design wall to my right… and as soon as I am finished with this blog post I will tackle the new composition. It feels good to create again without having to worry about property showings, keeping studio and house tidy to present a great first impression. which was part of our lives for the past four years in Saskatchewan. That life is behind us and we are settling in nicely. The only drawback as a new artist friend stated: “I have not had this kind of social life in a very long time. One needs to be aware and stay focused.” My plan to aim for balancing work with social life: I have to keep a detailed calendar and schedule everything. I did it before when I ran our business in Calgary while studying art and preparing for an exhibition. It can become rigid at times which may impact my creative outlook but I will give it my best shot. As an artist we learn to go with the ebb and flow that presents itself to us. I just have to rebuild that “staying organized without getting overwhelmed” muscle…
Balancing creating new work with upcoming online workshops is a major challenge. I was booked over a year ago to present my “Layers of Intrigue” workshop to the Kitchener-Waterloo District Quilters Guild. With Covid the decision was reached to move to online presentations. As I shared last time, the presentation went well and I have had a fair amount of positive feedback. This helped me in moving forward in translating the workshop into an online format. I am putting the finishing touches on at the moment which hopefully will lead to additional workshops in the future. I am completely redesigning the handout to ensure all information is included. I am rephotographing the samples, adding step by step embellishment info and it has demanded much time and energy… not to mention the frustration when one morning all the images had disappeared from my saved document from the day before. Computers… they do have a mind of their own! The countless number of hours of time invested in changing an in-person workshop to the online version is not insignificant. I am still not fully convinced that the teaching experience will be as rewarding. I am one facilitator who watches for body language and anticipates when participants need a little input without having to raise their hand and ask for it. Let’s hope I can still find ways to connect with workshop participants in a way that frustration and struggles can be avoided. My workshop will be delivered on May 1st and 8th via ZOOM.
Wishing all of you a wonderful day to honour the Earth. Happy Earth Day from one of Canada’s most awe inspiring places!