Friday, October 02, 2009

everything has to begin somewhere

slow cloth. soul food. spirit cloth. of late, i'm drawn to the notion of art journaling in fiber. i love to sew and quilt and create things with fabric and fibers. but sometimes, before a beautiful piece of material, i find myself paralyzed, unable to cut into it, afraid i won't do it justice. but a week or so ago, i did a bit of doodling in my art planning journal (as opposed to my art journal, which is something else, as is my journal journal, but i digress). i planned a mini-quilt that will be an art journal of sorts of where i am right now. taking off on the fabulous stacey's writing is the new praying which has become my new life philosophy.

and yesterday, when i was feeling moody blue and despairing of ever being able to produce anything even close to as creative and thoughtful as the women of the links above, i decided it was time to get brave and move from scribbles in a journal to cloth. so i took a large piece of cream linen and made it into a large 9-patch to give myself 9 squares in which to work. i could have left the fabric whole but it felt right to cut it and sew it back together to define the squares.  i haven't yet delved into the meaning of those defined squares, as at the moment, i'm making an effort to operate on instinct and not analyze too much.

the one that felt right to begin with was a velvety turquoise heart, which i embroidered onto the linen with a beautiful yarn that moves through the colors of the rainbow, or at least the colors of my rainbow, which involve lots of shades of turquoise and green and eventually reds and oranges. as i began to sew it on, thinking of how the blue heart had something to do with love being the cornerstone of my world and it being blue symbolized husband, i realized that the black strand twisted with the blue also had some echo of husband in that it was both masculine and somehow reflected his salt and pepper hair (ok, i realize, i'm over-analyzing here and i promised i wouldn't, but as i was stitching, these were the thoughts that popped into my head and i wanted to record them).

it's interesting how reaching for certain fabrics and fibers on instinct, by listening to something deeper, brings thoughts you didn't know were there to the surface. and what i think i get from the women i linked to above is that the process is really the important part. that it's what gets you in touch with something deeper, something you didn't consciously know was there. so, while the 9 things i want to work onto this cloth came to me very quickly, i think that their meanings will reveal themselves to me only as i work on them.

i can feel myself (at last) assimilating the inspiration i've found in elizabeth's thoughtful soul food embroideries and jude hill's rather dark, but intricate layered cloths. i can tell already that my result will be more more me - maybe in that it will be a more vibrant turquoise, less muted and perhaps a bit messy rather than simple and clean. when i started out, i feared that i wouldn't be able to make it my own. that i didn't really know what to do with the inspiration i found myself drawn back to again and again, but that fear is leaving me. all it really takes is to begin.

what will you begin this weekend?

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note to those who were interested: the recipe for those preserved veggies is up on domestic sensualist!


Unknown said...

I'm already looking forward to seeing where this goes.
What will I start this weekend? I'm actually going back to my art journaling, as I haven't had time to work on it for a looong time, so I'm starting a new page!

Tessa said...

How wonderful that you have invited us to witness this work in progress right from the very beginning of its creation! Oh, and I do so love the colours of your rainbow.

What will I begin this weekend? I shall probably attempt to sort the wheat from the chaff as we prepare to move house, which means I shall get horribly side-tracked reading old letters, remember why I started a particular painting, giggling at old photographs and dithering over what to throw away and what to keep.

d smith kaich jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

You started, joepie!!!

Enjoy yourself, no matter what bear you meet and how knows you may end up saying: Sewing is the new praying.

Have a fabulous, creative weekend.

Your embroidery friend.

Wanda said...

Beautiful close shots!

christina said...

This is lovely, my friend. I can't wait to see where this doodling takes you.
I am teaching a simple cooking class, in my home this weekend. It's a beginning.

Char said...

no beginnings planned but maybe I need to finish a few things to be able to begin again

Michelle said...

Lovely - you may be interested in Myrna Harris' felted wool landscapes... prairie landscapes to be specific! I'm in love with these, but just don't know which one to buy....

thanks for showing your lovely work!

urbaNiche said...

i wish i could start on something...there are doodles in my head that need to be translated somehow...waiting for that one moment of inspiration that will sweep me off!
till then i think i ll work on giving more life to my born again blog and my photography...

you know i read somewhere just teh other day
"Just start something in your life … you will have a happier life, you will feel more confident, and that's what it's all about." happy for your new beginning and good luck...cant wait to see where it takes you

Ju said...

Nice start, the chosen colors are great as usual.
I always start but don't usually finish: paintings, drawings, craft stuff. But this post has inspired me. I'm totally going back to my drawings. Thanks.

Molly said...

inspiring, thought-provoking and very gorgeous - thanks julie!

jane said...

what a wonderful idea. you´re right- the hardest part is usually just getting started... besos-jane

I_am_Tulsa said...

Waaaa, gorgeous heart...I just love what you do.
I have been away from cyber space for a tad bit but you have sooooo many interesting things posted I don't know where to begin!
Aha! That's one thing I have to begin!
Maybe I will also "begin" finishing my Inspiration Board!
Thank you for sharing your motivation and inspiration!

Stacey Childs said...

I admire you! I wish I had the attention span to stick our sewing, but even then it wouldn't be anywhere near ass cool as what you make. Sigh. So how is the writing as the new praying going?