Friday, June 03, 2016

A Bit Much of a Muchness*

*That's how my mother used to describe something that was over the top.  It's the perfect description of my last three weeks -- from the wedding shower trip to Edmonton, to securing a venue for the debut of my installation, Mark on the Body, to the whirlwind trip to Stratford, ON and the Opening of My Corner of the World's twin exhibits, to the day at Ailsa Craig with the art of the Latvian quilters and weavers, to two days of stitching with Monika Kinner-Whalen -- her "From Sketch to Stitch" class -- at Fibre Potpourri, held at Olds College, Olds, Alberta.

Each event, taken separately, was delightful, fun, and interesting.  Each was a blessing.  Each was full of surprise, colour, fabulous food, and friendly faces.
There were many hugs and some tears and lots more laughter.

Therein lies the rub...or at least, the challenge.  It's tough to articulate, but as much as I tried to find a way to decompress, each event was so full and rich that I couldn't fully process it before moving into the next one.

I didn't know where to put it all -- especially the attention I'd received about Mark on the Body, and at the Opening, which spilled over into the Fibre Potpourri weekend.   Suddenly I was being recognized, even sought out -- to talk about myself and my work -- an experience hitherto totally foreign to me, and completely against my upbringing.  My mother loved us and was proud of us, I'm sure, but spent much of her parenting time drilling into us that we had to put others before ourselves at all times and in all places, lest "your halo pinch your ears".

By Monday evening of this week, I was ready to explode -- and I did!

Blessedly, I was alone, and it was dark and rainy, which suited my mood down to the ground.  I can even tell you what set me off.  I was gathering packages of yarn to put in the car for the Annual Yard Sale at my church.  They began to slip and slide and eventually I dropped one on my way to the car (in the garage).

That's it.

Just that little thing.

But it was enough to bring out of me yells, screams, rants, raves.  I picked up the errant package, stuffed everything into the back seat of the car, and beetled back into the house -- where I continued my hissy fit for a good long time...

Until, at last, a bit out of breath, I was empty.

Empty of anger, empty of fear (of success).  Rid of those over-loaded emotions.

I went to bed.  And Tuesday was a new day.

Now, for you, Gentle Readers, a few of my favourite photos from the MCOTW exhibits.  (If you want to see them all, visit the SAQA website for the slideshows or better yet, try to see the exhibit when/if it travels near you in the next two years.)

My colleague, Jaynie Himsl of
Weyburn, Saskatchewan,
with her piece, Poplar Point

Looking Down - Janet Scruggs, Calgary, Alberta

Time Passes Over the Earth - Judy Martin,
 Manitoulin Island, Ontario

Tradition is Growing on Me - Hilary Rice,
Stirling, Ontario

You've Got Mail - 
Susan Tilsley Manley - Westville, Nova Scotia
Concerning the gradual demise of the rural
Post Office in Canada

Barbara Schneider - Illinois, USA
Line Dance, Tree Ring Patterns,Var. 13

Me - showing off Jenny Lyon's
Prairie Afternoon
Born and raised on the US grasslands,
Jenny now lives in California

Me - showing off Gwyned Trefethen's
Deconstructed Sunrise #3
I didn't realize the size of it when I was
following Gywned's process on her blog!
Gwyned resides in Wisconsin, USA

Laura Wasilowski - Illinois, USA
Blue Chair in the Library
with a Candlestick

Before I head out to mow the back lawn and plant my tomatoes...I'll leave you with this question:  have you ever had an experience (maybe more than once) such as I described?  If so...what did you do?  How did you respond?

Okay; that's three questions...But I'm curious.  Any fear of success in any of you, Gentle Readers?

Linking this up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday...and wishing you a wonderful weekend!


Giddings Art said...

Absolutely! I would never be comfortable in the limelight and I have always found excuses to stop before I start. I think the fear of success is a common feeling among artists. For some reason we feel unworthy or maybe it is the feeling that we will loose the sheer joy of creating if we become successful and then are put on the spot to create. Whatever it is, you are not alone dear friend. I think you handled it very well!! Much better to get it all out than let it build. I prefer to throw dishes though. LOL 😊

Sha said...

HI - first off - the feeling of too much at once - I have never forgotten the experience of having to write 5 university finals in 3 days - literally back to front - plus finish an essay - I was not good at prepping beforehand so was a zombie by the end - cannot remember how long it took to 'come down". It forced me to literally focus on A, write exam and let go - completely - allowing the results to be what they were so I could turn completely to focus on B and so on thru to E.
Success - Humm - I am gradually shifting to the realization that I define what is a success - not anyone else. My tendency has been to allow others to judge if I have been successful or not, and to lean on them to tell me what to do. As you might guess, that has not done much to allow my inner artist and muse to expand and grow. I tend to feel shy and uncertain when singled out for attention - but with this new awareness - I know when something is good - and I can be open to others who are perhaps intrigued by the art piece and curious as to how or why I did something - I can shift into 'helper' / supporter or even big sister mode in response. I do think that there is a perceived or assumed weight that others (and we) can put on ourselves when singled out as a publicly acknowledged success - I guess, I will need to be clear whether or not, I want to pick up and carry that basket of goodies or just travel on as is with a 'Thank you' to those who speak to me.

elle said...

I haven't experienced as much 'muchness' as you but I am rethinking my small experience and perhaps I just withdrawn from the whole experince. Interesting!

Gwyned Trefethen said...

You captured perfectly what it is like to be a working artist, Margaret. Opportunities and experiences have a way of coming together and feeling overwhelming. If I recall you were a runner. I tend to put myself in runner mode when life gets hectic. In other words, start at the beginning - lacing the sneakers/trainers. That is all I have to do. Then just take one step at a time.

Thanks for sharing the picture of you standing beside my quilt at My Corner of the World. You certainly look like someone in her element at the exhibit.

~ Gwyned

Anonymous said...

I understand how you were feeling. It's like a pop bottle with a small leak. If you don't take a moment to release the pressure and it keeps building explodes. Even a lot of good things can be overwhelming when they're on top of each other like you've had.