Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Growing Pains--and Joy

Close up of the surface of my painting table--Inspiration Everywhere!

She asked me how old do I feel…the typical question. For the first time in my life, I feel my age, 67, not 35, not 18. But I’m trying not to harbor any pre-conceived ideas about how I Should feel at 67. This process of growing into the present phase of my life, the Now, is full of pain and joy…or appreciating all the hard lessons I have learned over my years and struggles with my relationships with the world, its people and demands, and being over and over drawn back to the work that gives me the most joy, is endlessly fascinating…working with Art…

Self Portrait, Phase 2, after messing it up
Self Portrait, Phase 1

I am tempted to escape into quilting, arranging pretty colors and patterns, and that does support my eye and my habit and gives me products that others can enjoy and that will keep them—and me--warm, a practical application of my skills and energy. I am finally having a quilt made from a top of bright colors and fruits, a cover of pieced fabric with a history as a tablecloth for a Mexican-themed Thanksgiving, and cloth gathered from when I was a teacher at International Quilt Festival, the patterns reflect my various life incarnations…and I am giving to myself, to have it made up, so I can USE it, not try to sell it…in the summer nights here.

Use the Good Stuff--a block for another personal quilt

Quilts are Visible Histories. When I was a child, the Depression was as real to me as my mother’s memories and stories. My grandmother taught me to sew, and my mother’s friends gave me scraps of the fabric from their dress making…that was still a real part of women’s lives when I was a child. Now slave labor in distant countries makes it un-economical to create our own clothing. Most mothers must have regular jobs in addition to mothering now, 

Icon inspired by Picasso

I continue to find myself tempted to spread in many directions, join a group of Surface Design artists, a city committee to plan the waterfront…I was very involved when the project first started, painting to music at the Juan de Fuca Festival. I taste--I pull back. The long drafting table in my bedroom calls with more Graphic Grannie Commix ideas. I did indulge myself in playing with the Miro show at the Seattle Art Museum, even though I haven’t seen it in person yet…a portrait of him from a photo in his own Miroesque style, but probably not the Artist Trust GAP grant application, since I already have the supplies for years of potential future work…Stay open, Stay Loose, Go Deep.

My portrait of Miro, based on his style

See more of my art projects on my three Facebook Pages and my other blog: Come join me this weekend, making fabric journals at Quilted Strait, 3/22/14

Fabric Journal with Button grandmother on the cover


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