Art Thee Purple.

"Purple - I See Your Other Side"
“Purple – I See Your Other Side”

Hastily searching for a sketchbook last week, I found a 4×6 booklet behind my leopard fabric covered chair where I sit and draw. Leafing through it, I found some fun sketches I did in February 2016. With few art tools and being winter house-bound I turned to sketching between stitching to keep my mind open. Little did I know that my purple pen drawings would be found around the same time as the passing of Prince.

Prince left us in the spring of 2016. I’m lamenting the loss of this talented artist for several reasons. He and I were of the same generation. His talent and kind nature are legendary and I admire him. His legacy will continue. Enjoy the sketches!

 

Seed of Peace

 Peace: for all, for animals, for us. This work contains seed of peace–tucked in the details–safely swaddled and with a bold headdress.

I started regularly asking for peace about five years ago. It eludes me still. Maybe I don’t know in what form peace can enter my life. Until it becomes clear, I’ll make peace in my art. The reflection of peace in the art can shine it’s reflection boldly back out into the world.

Hearts in linen

Valentine’s Day 2016.

hearts in linen
  
This day marks the time when my love for making art results in the Spirit Cloths that are in my hands most days. 

Several hours daily are going to embroidery and hand stitching. The machine comes in to do some laborious tasks. There is less quiet time, but the movement of my hands is slow and there is a zen to it nonetheless. 

Once the embroidery was completed, the batting and backing attached, the machine quilting is being completed.

at the bernina 820
  
top down view at the machine
  
side view show depth of quilting
  
front view
  
up next
  
center completed
  

Listening

As a visual artist I see. Everything. Upon entering a new indoor space I want to see everything. I catch myself furtively peering but trying not to look as though I’m not looking. At. Everything. I feel it may not be polite.  In spaces I visit often, the same spaces, it’s easy to get lost in observation of additions and changes. I’m not terribly interested in looking at people. It’s the shape, space and color that stimulate me, causing brain chatter.  In 2014, I visited the home of a new friend in Coopersburg. She designed and built her home with her husband. She invited me to spend time looking…saying something like I imagine you want to look at things, please feel free to do that and we will talk later. What a gift. I didn’t ask her if it was obvious that my eyes wandered even though I tried so hard to focus on getting to know her. She has an easy kindness that I’ve come to appreciate. I enjoyed wandering about her home and I looked with an open heart.

 

spiral in stitch

With slowing time to make art, and limiting my focus on few colors and no intentional noise–no music–no voices–I hear. Everything.

Today. Rattling. Windows. West Wind. Sweeping through this end of the valley it rolls over the open cornfields. Lower Macungie is the windiest place I’ve ever lived. The house faces south and the bedrooms are like a bulwark to the west. I often wonder if this is what it’s like on the Yorkshire dales and moors.

 

blue fields

Rory barks from his post on the balcony. I get up to see what he thinks needs attention. The squealing of the postal truck as it pulls around the bend out of view is all.

The wind is blowing and whipping,  sweeping the snow across the pavement in undulating patterns. Rory stands guarding, his long coat blowing with the gusts, he turns to come inside. As he brushes past I feel the chill still in his fur. The wind pulls at the door as I let it close.

Needle back in hand my thoughts are back to the movement of the stitches, how placing the needle through and over a single thread in the weave can change the angle of a stitch slightly. Does it matter if I correct the angle. When will I stitch in a way that doesn’t matter which direction the threads go. Should I create a piece like that? What would it look like….there go my thoughts…bring them back to focus on this piece. This needle. This brown thread. The seed stitch.

There are moments I think this might be a madness, to slow time and stitch by hand when I could make a quilt in day as promised by the popular book series. No. Not madness. But it is a desire to live more fully and be mindful of what I’m doing now. Not in the past thinking of loves lost and regrets or concerns for the future.

My fingers feel fatigue, I stretch them and change projects for a bit. I pick up a larger crewel needle and perle cotton to fill in a small square in deep gold.

 

hand and machine work

 

Where does it begin

where does it begin.

lost in the thought
of movement
needle rocks through cloth.

pulling perle cotton over
strands of colored floss and yarn.

textile. machine fingers wove the linen I am tasked with working my threads into.

Jonas. 2016 Artstorm.
  
—– stay in the moment.
watch yet

don’t look. long crewel needle stabs into my hand.
no blood. small punctures. they happen. often. 

the small pain I feel takes me tumbling down cobbled paths of wondering whose labor made these items in my lap.

woman. child. Machine.

bring me back to purpose. stay with the beginning. waiting for the end.

foundation.
 

what is my desire for speed doing here!
! slow !

it down. relax fingers. stretch. back. go again. not so tight.

relax. lost in the motion again.

building my web.