I've been playing with more brains - working in both new size formats and with some new imagery. My most recent work was very inspired by The Buddha's Brain - which you can browse through at the link below:
And here are the first two pieces in the Mindful Alchemist Series. Fabric collaged brains with improvised embroidery, surrounded by colorful paint. A depiction of the power of our minds to change our thoughts! I'm always working on how to live with the power of positive thinking and both reading the book and working on these pieces were great reminders.
July is almost gone and here I am just sitting down to write for the first time this month. Where is the summer flying off to?
Things started off with a BANG! on the 4th of July weekend with the three day Berkshires Art Festival which is held annually in Great Barrington, MA on the slopes of Ski Butternut.
It was my first time at the show and I just loved being part of it. In the few moments when I had some help (shout out to my fabulous friends: Jill of Material Rebellion and Salena!!) it was a pleasure to walk around the show and marvel at the mix of talent and the variety of work that was available. Many artists came from far away - North Carolina, Virginia, and British Columbia to name a few - and I felt grateful that it was only an hour drive for me. I made some great connections, new friends and got to teach my neighbor's 8 year old a few embroidery stitches during the one rainy day.
The next weekend I helped out some friends at the fabulous Green River Festival AND got to listen to some stellar music and dance to some Zydeco too. A great time was had by all, despite the 80 degree humid weather. I was happy to run around and take photos of all the Artisans of Western Mass members that I knew. I am proud as ever to be a member of this fantastic local group.
During June and July I had the greatest pleasure to be working on a commissioned embroidered painting that I have now completed. A personal and poignant story that my customer shared with me spurred me on to a new place in my work. Incorporating collaged fabrics on a base of artist's canvas, I then hand embroidered and beaded intricate details into the structure of the right hemisphere of the brain. Finally I stretched the canvas onto stretcher bars and very carefully painted around the fiber work, adding a night sky to the background. She loved it and I loved working on it!
This is the 3rd neuro painting in a series and I have a feeling I am just getting started. More pieces are floating around in my brain and the next one has already been started. See my blog post from October for the beginning of this series.
I find the creative process simply amazing and baffling. I don't understand where my own ideas come from, let alone anyone else's. Reading this Huffington Post article by Scott Barry Kaufman helped somewhat - The Real Neuroscience of Creativity, but it didn't lead me to the source of inspiration which was what I was after.
This week I had an idea flash that felt somehow akin to those pesky hot flashes that women of a certain age (that's me!) are prone to. It literally came out of nowhere and I couldn't get it out of my head, and yet I knew it would also be gone soon if I didn't write it down or do it or somehow capture that moment. And, unlike the pesky hot flash it wasn't something I wanted to go away!
And that is how the buckle closure cuff was born. Made just like my fabric collaged belts but only long enough to go around your wrist. I haven't produced these for market yet but I have posted to my instagram account and received some lovely instant feedback. Social media is wonderful for those of us who like immediate results. :)
After rushing into the studio, I got to thinking about the very many ideas I have had over time and which ones have panned out and which have fallen flat. I get especially frustrated about the ideas that somehow are not as good in real life as they are in my head. Or, maybe they don't pan out because I'm off chasing the next idea instead of try, try, trying again to get it perfect. And, this last thought led me to this ADD spoof: 76 Seconds In The Brain Of Someone With ADD at which point I had to just stop and laugh at myself.
I do enjoy the journey even when I sometimes don't know where I will land. June finds me continuing to pursue the embroidered brain. I have one new commission that I'm VERY excited to get started on (insert massive amounts of gratitude here!!) and I have plans for another new piece as well that I hope to submit to an exhibition in California.
It's all good and I love what I do. Thanks for reading and for being part of my journey!
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