Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Visions



This mixed media piece, wool, wood, barbed wire and pyrography, there a number of these in the series so far, and I thought I'd really keep rolling with it, but something about the process just kind of sent me into hiatus. 

It felt like a punctuation mark on my felting journey.  Not a complete stop, but the end of a paragraph.  There was so much passion, intensity, obsessive detail work in this when I finished it this earlier this year I just didn't even want to look at wool for awhile. 

It's interesting to note that in the interim, exploring water color painting, I've been able to adapt the same methods, processes and visual approach that are in this piece, but am able to do it in a matter of minutes, as opposed to the month it took to make this felted "vision" piece. 

I've NEVER been able to draw or paint, and have tried to acquire the skill many times in my life, but I think maybe all the years of staring at the three dimensional images I've worked with in needle felting have had an effect on my ability to "see" and translate that.  This piece pictured here is a conscious invocation of "inner vision" as hinted at by the rusted barbed wire in the eyes, but the lack of obstructions at the third eye.

I'll post a few watercolor paintings later that share the meandering "flows" and random patterns I like to create in my felting, but for now, a couple more pictures of this as yet "untitled" piece:
 




























Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Saddest Tear

Wow, I haven't updated this blog since January!  It's actually been a pretty productive year, creatively, an expanding roster of yoga and meditation classes and several larger felting projects completed or in process. 

It's interesting that before I discovered the magic of wool and soft sculpture I didn't believe I had any talent as a visual artist at all.  However, part of my process with the wool pieces has occasionally included rudimentary sketches of ideas, and lately, as I've continued working more with wet felting and mixed media sculptures, I've started using watercolors to create drafts of things I plan to felt, and in so doing, have actually fallen in love with watercolors, the process of working with them, the way the colors flow across the paper.  AND, for any of you who work with needle felting, you will understand when I say I LOVE that I can complete something beautiful in just a few minutes with watercolor, whereas even something cute and simple, like the Teardrop featured in this post, can take me several hours.  And the more elaborate pieces can take up to a month or more worth of free time.

In thinking about which new piece to share here first, I went with the teardrop because it speaks to something I've been experiencing this year.  While here and there in my life, as all people do, I've had brief periods where I felt down, these down-moods only ever lasted a few days, and certainly weren't something I considered "depression." 

And since this blog is a place where I overshare my personal emotional processes along with my work, I have to say, that what I'm experiencing doesn't feel like depression either.  Even though I'm not catholic, I recognize the emotional darkness I find myself in is essentially what St. John of the Cross describes as "The Dark Night of the Soul."  It is a place of despair, and a sense of everything in life being drained of meaning.  And it has gone on for months so far.

I am not going to lie.  Art doesn't really help that much, and feels as meaningless as everything else right now, but it has still provided a place to explore the experience, to be present with the emotion and learn what it has to teach..  It's my understanding that this "Dark Night" is part of a spiritual growth process, and I attempt to feel gratitude for "Pain as Teacher" but there are times, just like the characters in The Matrix, where I think "Why, oh why didn't I take the Blue Pill?"  I.E., why did I embark on this pursuit of authenticity rather than remain in my comfortable, slightly numb, superficial but relatively pleasant life?  I only hope that when or if I come through the other side of this it will be worth it.  Apparently, Mother Teresa, in all of her years in spiritual service to the world, remained in the "dark night" for over 50 years.  Ouch!

If by chance you are interested in the idea that what you feel as depression might actually be a process of deeper personal transformation and growth, I found the following article really helpful: 
"A Dark Night of the Soul and the Discovery of Meaning."

Friday, January 8, 2016

Sushumna

Most recent mixed media tapestry, initiated December 25, 2015. . .and finally got the snake vertebrae sewed on yesterday.   Merino wool, glass bead, snake vertebrae.