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.
I'm heading off next week to New Jersey to teach the Zen of Embroidery at - The Art School at Old Church - one of my favorite places to be! Can't wait!!
As I gather thread, hoops, fabric, needles and make my handouts and power point presentation (yes - I do that!) - I find myself immersed in the subject and ruminating on what I love about hand stitching and what I've learned all these years.
I realize that there are a lot of life lessons inherent in the medium:
- Working too fast creates tangled threads
- Starting over can be the best way forward
- Mistakes can take you to the best places
And, my favorite:
For daily ruminations and photos of my work and life, follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Help yourself to my workshop handout available below - full of links to some of my favorite sites:
Where are your roots located and how strong is the pull to go home? I love the below quote from one of my favorite authors and it's exactly how I feel about my upcoming return to The Art School at Old Church in New Jersey, as a workshop instructor this time around.
An accidental encounter during a walk in the woods close to my home is how I found the job as Executive Director back in 1999. I thought I was happily employed for a documentary film company in NYC at the time, but... when my neighbor told me the local art school was looking for someone I thought, "what the heck" and threw my hat in the ring. The next six years would be my happiest at work, outside of my studio.
I had joined a community of passionate creatives with a small staff, an army of volunteers, an active board of directors, and a devoted artist/founder, the potter Mikhail Zakin. For a real treat, watch this video about Mikhail's journey and the beginnings of the Art School at Old Church!
A side benefit of the job was that I got to take studio art classes, and I really took advantage of that! During my six years I would take over 20 classes at the school, from studying handbuilding with Mikhail herself to painting, collage, jewelry making and more, I was endlessly fascinated and learned so much!
All of it has helped inform my current path and I know I would not be here, working as an artist, had it not been for those years. I will be forever grateful for that accidental encounter in the woods.
Feeling very grateful for friends and fans of my work.
As I reflect on the last year I can share that it's been a wonderful year full of exploration and energy.
I've tried a lot of new things - some of them worked - like my deep dive into fiber art collage and my new belts (LOVE IT!!) and some haven't - like my experimentation with wearable fiber art (sadly, the cuffs are going away now).
I've connected with more people online especially on instagram and on pinterest.
And, I've taken on a Board position with the fabulous Artisans of Western Mass.
I'm looking forward to making more local connections even as I expand my online presence.
Wishing everyone who reads this PEACE, LOVE, JOY & HOPE.
Stay tuned - 2016 promises to be a fabulous year!!
with gratitude - #ilovewhatido
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