For quite a while, my art practice was drifting. I didn’t quite know what the next phase was going to be about and I felt like I was just repeating myself–doing the same piece over and over without moving forward.
Last year, I worked on a piece that was inspired by some photos a friend sent us of the hibiscus she grew on her patio when she was living in California. It started as just another piece and I set it aside because, again, I felt like it was just another piece in different colors. But, I picked it up again and began playing with the shaping. And, it became this…
The piece originally made me think of the happy glow I would feel thinking about the Pacific Coast, but I had to put it aside a second time during the terrible wildfires there because it was too painful to think about the destruction and devastation. When I finished it, I realized that it had become a symbol for me of the two sides of nature–the peace and beauty side and the destructive power side. I have named it Coastal Glow. We can love the beauty of nature but we must never lose sight of her power.
When I returned to work on the piece, I began to see a new avenue for my work. I have always focused my process and designs on positive energies, beauty and grace which are still very important to me in my work. Now, I have added a new element, a new focus to the work: I realized that it is necessary to not only balance the many negative energies in the world with art that focuses on positive energies, I need to add my voice to the work necessary to advocate for change.
About this time, I happened upon a message from Doris Florig about a five year traveling fiber art exhibition to create global awareness about the degradation and destruction of coral reefs and other ocean ecosystems. I joined the Save the Reef team and I am creating a lionfish for the project.
This has been the most challenging piece I have ever worked on. The raw cordage you see sticking out along the edges will become the ribs of the fins of the lionfish. There are still several technical issues to overcome and I am not sure how I will solve them, but I will.
I am really excited about this new direction in my work. I know I have been radio silent for quite a while, mostly because I was in this internal struggle about the lack of direction I was feeling and I have had continued health challenges that interfere with my productivity. I keep moving forward little by little, knowing I will eventually get there.
Many years ago, I came up with a phrase: Patience plus persistence equals perseverance. The patience is hard to come by some days but I am persistent. And, the work, though slow, keeps me sane and brings me joy.
I hope that your work and life bring you some joy today!