Hello Again

Most artists I know cycle around and around — to themes that lead them and also sometimes hide and elude them.

If we are fortunate enough to have the time and energy to pause in our work, we cycle around to asking, over and over: what will our art BE and what is it FOR?

We seek meaning and synthesis that’s always evolving. One day we’re on fire with an idea; then somehow, this fire evaporates. You cannot pretend to be on fire when you’re not. And you cannot be on fire all the time. You need time to cool down, reflect, reconsider the direction of your work.

I’m not a particularly materialistic person; and yet, I make things. THINGS. These objects may be art forms, but they are still… stuff. I’m grateful to those who love these things I craft, because these folks keep my studio stocked with beautiful supplies and also affirm that there’s a kinship — a connection between whatever it is my muse is leading me to create and a receiver who by some miracle perceives my intention when I send this “thing” out into the world, an ambassador of my creative spirit.

I do wax poetic and sacred when I talk about artmaking, because it’s an endeavor of the soul. It’s a ministry that gives each artist the opportunity and challenge to speak beyond words: to soothe and comfort, to warn and harangue, to celebrate and exalt, to offer humble thanksgiving, to question and plead.

And art is also a business, which is a helpful tether at times and a real bother at other times. I love to teach feltmaking, and this aspect of the business of art doesn’t feel like business. Teaching feltmaking, and also donating my art to silent auction events to raise money for local non-profits feel like my “ministry.” Making feltd cards that, hopefully, help people slow down and look — and look again — with messages that speak from my heart, is a kind of ministry.

So often, I feel more like a farmer than an artist in my work: patient, coaxing, hoping for something useful and good to come out of my effort. I LOVE the edge-y fashion that’s being created by so many felters who are dynamically expanding the boundaries of felting; and the eco-printing and natural dyeing that is such a natural celebration of the sustainable, mindful and nurturing heart of the craft. Lately, I’ve done more teaching than felting on my own. It feels like helping to start small fires within others, and of course, fire is not diminished when it’s shared.

I haven’t written a post for a long time. For those who have touched base with me to let me know you’re out there, thank you for your patience. Enjoy the glorious felting going on all over the world! In ways large and small, celebrate your own creative spirit, even for ten minutes. Look, and look again…

Published in: on September 26, 2013 at 6:17 pm  Leave a Comment