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Yes, I am Listening

As I have said before, creating art is never a straight line for me. For starters, I incorporate textiles that I, originally, might have woven as far back as 30 years, with its purpose as a shawl or pillow covering. The inspirations for my art have varied from surprising quotes from my young grandchildren to meditations of Biblical texts. I don’t plan for how bits and pieces will come together, but I have grown to savor the processes and directions more and more. The writer, Madeleine L’Engle puts it this way, “…when the words mean even more than the writer knew they meant, then the writer has been listening. And sometimes when we listen, we are led into places we do not expect, into adventures we do not always understand.” (Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, 1980).

Yes, I have grown to listen. I will let one path lead to another even when I am not sure where it is heading. And as I follow a new lead, I usually find that much of it is familiar because it loops back into the past in some ways. My illustrations for my Jake the Deer-Hearted picture book were 8”x10” and included embroidery. Working small and in multiples was quite satisfying and I now understand how that is what led me into my 70 Stones of Thanksgiving. Most recently I incorporated some gifted Japanese Ise Momen and Shibori cloth into 3 small works in homage to the Japanese artist, Sadao Watanabe. Six additional small works followed in homage to other artists that have influenced my teaching and my life in different ways.

And now as I write, I can’t wait to begin even more small “homages” as well as larger, sculptural rock-like forms! I must conclude with another quote of L’Engle’s, “It is a joy to be allowed to be the servant of the work. And it is a humbling and exciting thing to know that my work knows more than I do.”  


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