Sunday, March 10, 2013


It's always a risk, showing one's work to friends.  In the case of friends who don't do what you do (such as work with textiles in any way), there's the risk that they'll be so blown away by your stuff that they won't be honest with you; rather, they'll think it's all wonderful.  Alternatively, there's the risk they'll be so inexperienced in seeing your kind of work that they won't understand it or find anything good to say about it because it's simply beyond their ken.

If you're lucky, however, they will be thoughtful and intelligent people who will be both honest and not unduly harsh if they find something to criticize.

This was my experience last week with D & S, the long-time friends who purchased "Prairie Autumn".  In going through the selection of miniatures I'd brought simply to show them what I'd been doing, S came upon "Ski-doo Tracks Under the Arch" and said, "This one I don't understand".  While D took him to task for this and called upon me to give him the name of the piece so he'd 'get it'...deep inside I knew that unwittingly, S had hit upon 'the rub' -- the problem I'd been having with this piece, the sense it wouldn't go over or appeal to a viewing audience.  He affirmed what I already suspected: something had to be done with that piece.

With nowhere to go, I had to either add to it or consign it to the waste-basket.

For some time before S made his comment, I'd been thinking about adding actual snow-mobiles to the piece, but I had very little confidence in my ability to do so.  I thought about it, mulled it over, said a little prayer...and went for a jog.  That was yesterday afternoon.  Lo and behold, for the first time in weeks, as I came 'round the corner to the field that was the inspiration for that piece, there were young people on a snowmobile riding the field!

When I got home I made some sketches, and today I took the plunge. Asking myself, "What have you got to lose?  A little fabric and some time...?",  I turned this:

Ski-doo Tracks Under the Arch

Into this:

Snowmobiles Under the Arch

And here's a wee detail, accomplished with Pitt Pen (R), embroidery floss and beads:

Snowmobiles Under the Arch (C) 2013

Now isn't that more fun?


Unknown said...

Fabulous!! It is amazing how these three little details add to the soul of your piece!!

Danih03 said...

Oh yes! Very fun. Those teeny little snowmobilers look like they are having a blast!

Judy Warner said...

Great addition, Margaret!

Kitchener Quilter said...

Brilliant solution. Makes your piece really jump to life. Isn't it amazing how these comments can make us and our art grow, as innocent and painful as they might be? You have had some growth, Margaret, in your recent trip to Calgary, and it sounds all good.

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

Great addition to this piece!

arlee said...

brilliant solution :)

Wil said...

Oh yes, much more lively now.

Darlene said...

Fantastic :-)

Lesley Turner said...

What a spark of life you have added to your work. If you wait and watch, the inspiration will come.