I'm reading The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life Into a Work of Art by Erwin Raphael McManus. The author encourages each of us to reclaim our creative essence and to celebrate the spiritual process of self discovery. He's talking about the daily processes we go through and how to see them with increased enjoyment and richness. It's so easy to dismiss the repetitive things we do each day, or the things that we are good at doing, as of little importance because they are familiar or easy.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life.
For years, I either lived in the future hoping for something that had not yet appeared or lived in the past regurgitating scenarios that could never be changed. What's past is past and there are no guarantees of what's to come. Life can change in a blink and the only real moment is now. Although it's important to have dreams and goals and things we're aiming toward, since that realization I've attempted to live more in the now.
One thing I can negate is my work. It's the accumulation of forty years of experience and rather than noting its failures, I need to not only celebrate forty years of learning and growing but also celebrate the quality of the work I produce. It was good for me to take the little girl coats to the Design Outside the Lines retreat and get the feedback of the other women. I worried that they might think I was showing off when really what I wanted was to share the kind of work I do. In the end, their words about how my work impacted them supported and encouraged me. I'm glad I took the pieces.
Miles Frode is an artist, poet, and Diane Ericson's son. The Miles and Myrna coat started with a piece of his painted canvas that was delightful to work with. Because of the child-like imagery, I decided to make one of the little girl twirl coats. My goal was to create a cohesive piece that pushed my skills in the area of painted details, collars, and closures which were my focus at this year's retreat.
There was a limited amount of the painted canvas - enough for the center fronts, center back, and the two sleeves. For the side front and side back pieces, I used stamps and pens to create another painted canvas that went with Miles' piece. I wanted not to match it but to compliment it.
I tried five or six different finishes for center front and in the end, it wanted a simple zipper. Because of the busyness and detail of the rest of the piece, the line of the cream zipper bordered by blue bias strips adds a resting space and leads the eye upward toward the face.
For the collar, I challenged myself to use a triangle shaped scrap of the canvas in order to get started and to avoid over-thinking which - LOL – I’m so very good at. I attached the collar four different ways until I was happy with this one and trialed three different edge finishes before deciding it needed finishing as opposed to raw or rolled edges to be cohesive. The bias trim around the collar connects it to the rest of the piece as does the turquoise top-stitching on the unpainted canvas.
I’m really pleased with this piece and it has generated a lot of ideas for Myrna size garments which, I think, is the great benefit of this way of playing.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - more comfort with painting and stamping
Happiness sneaks in through a door you didn't know you'd left open.
- John Barrymore