Saturday, December 08, 2018

Starts and Stops

A couple of weeks ago I wrote in a bit of a panic, about all the Christmas knitting I had on my needles.  Well!  I'm here to tell you that progress has been made!

I've turned the heel on the second of these socks, and am well on my way down the foot.  The finger-less mittens are finished and in the mail.

My nephew's scarf is in the mail (sorry; I forgot to take a photo!)  And...the long hooded cardigan is farther along.  There's only 6 1/2" left to knit to get to the top of the hood!

And what of those boxer shorts?  Well...not yet.  But their construction is on Monday's 'do now!' list.  Really!

I've set aside work on the On Ringo Lake mystery quilt to play with some of the painted paper I made recently, and have come up with a piece that emulates the work of the wonderful Deborah Boschert.  In her article entitled "Developing Meaning and Exploring Shapes" (See Quilting Arts magazine for Oct/Nov 2018), she states that part of her process involves "incorporating personal symbols" into her pieces.

Up to now, I've not given serious thought to what personal symbols I might have in my life.  That said, I realize much of my work incorporates moons and trees, hills, roads and fence posts -- aspects of my environment, in addition to that wide sky I love so much.  In my Scotland series I explored echoing archways found in the ruins of an ancient abbey in Melrose.

Abbey Echoes I (C) 2018

Abbey Echoes II (C) 2018

But I've not thought of any of these as personal symbols -- despite the fact I love everything about them.

One of the symbols that's important to Deborah is the bowl -- and she's made several pieces incorporating simple bowl shapes.

And that's the shape I explored this time 'round -- inspired in part by Deborah's work, yes, but mainly by the words of Canadian singer-song-writer, Steve Bell, in the first book of his Pilgrim Year  series, the one that delves into the Christian season of Advent.  It's a season of preparation, of waiting for the arrival of God Incarnate, the miracle of the arrival of God in human form as a vulnerable wee baby, at Christmas.

In his essay for the First Week of Advent, Mr. Bell writes, "So when we consider the Christian season of Advent, what is the content of our waiting?  How are we to prepare?...How do we ready our lives to receive the gift of Christ...?" (emphasis mine).

The words echoed in my mind: '...the content of our waiting'.  The idea of 'waiting' as a vessel that contains our prayers, thoughts, feelings, spiritual preparations.  And what kind of vessel?

A bowl.

Content of Our Waiting  (C) 2018
Under construction!

Partially quilted, it's on my design wall, waiting itself for the rest of the quilting and then, I think, some hand stitch.  And ya know, when I look at this piece, I see the hint of some of those elements I mentioned above: tree/grass/crop shapes, rolling land shapes, fence post shapes and natural colours -- green, muddy grey-brown and rusty brown, white-off-white (we have snow here).  There's a certain horizontal symmetry to it too, despite the fact that this piece is a rectangle in "portrait" orientation.  

Maybe -- just maybe -- my personal symbol is the prairie landscape.   

While I chew on that idea for a while, I'll leave you to link up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday, and wish you a warm and happy rest of the weekend!


Bethany Garner said...

Deborah is a great inspiration and her blogs and tutorials very supportive of design play essentials and an artist I admire a lot. Her bowl's series was a favorite for long periods, but your bowl speaks to me - it says welcome and 'come to me', and the earth colours and the posts are, yes, evocative of prairie symbols. Well done!

teri said...

LOL, still haven't even started cutting the fabric for Ringo Lake and I'm wanting to pull fabrics for this year's mystery!! With trying to get my new place move-in ready (I'm hoping for no later than the end of February) I haven't even started clearing stuff out to get to my sewing machine. Well, I HAVE only been in FL for 2 weeks tomorrow. I just want to SEW.

Have one scarf done and another nearly done then two quick hats for my girls and I'm set. The rest of the Christmas gifts were wrapped and shipped or delivered before Thanksgiving (US). Not too shabby. Probably should get on those Christmas cards, tho....dang.

Really loving that cardigan. I don't seem to have the attention span for a project that large.

Hugs to you!!! Miss you!

elle said...

I do like the direction and progress you are doi g/making in your art, Margaret!

Sha said...

I agree that it is a privilege to watch the various stages or steps in your journey as an artist. Many of us have similar experience, albeit not in the same order. Each pathway supports our expressing the fullness of the artist we are.

Some time ago, someone told me that they could easily pick out my work for a group of pieces. I was rather surprised - thinking it was all sort of neutral - they said no - I used specific types of colour and shapes and out of the box construction methods, and so on. There is something freeing to knowing we have personal symbols, techniques and visions - we can confidently acknowledge these and just get on with the fun of creation.

Judy Warner said...

Fascinated that you are speaking of paper in your projects. I have a piece that I am gradually moving towards construction that I am considering using paper combined with fabric to create. :)