This canvas has taken on such a deep meaning to me. I didn’t know where it was going when I started- it originally looked a bit cloud-scape and I could see it leaning towards an Emily Jeffords-inspired direction. It ended up leaning far more celestial. I remember painting the starscape on a particularly troubling night, feeling angry and bereft and a bit at a loss for words, and how calming it was to bring that vision of stars to life. And then the woman arrived, a total surprise, as I tend to lean more towards abstract collage. The shape of her and the way she was hugging her arms to herself suggested loss and fragility; the snippet of verse came quite soon on her heels. When I finished over-painting the drawing, it still didn’t feel finished to me- in need of more texture. I borrowed from my Poobah Jocelyn an embellishment technique with hand-stitching- and then- it was just right. I’m so pleased with the final product. It really took me out of my comfort zone in many ways, but I kept following the thread of the story, and am better for it. As odd as this sounds, I needed to prove to myself I could commit to the long haul of doing it for the process and showing up. Start to finish, this canvas took me six months.
Speaking of doing it for the process, Emily has started a wonderful new Instagram account that I have absolutely been loving, called none other than… @DoItForTheProcess. Go follow! It is full of lovely inspiration.
It really is my fault, Josiah’s sudden and unusual admission to the hospital. I did decide to pull out the knitting basket and evaluate the state of things. It was only natural for the universe to take notice and land me in a situation that the only possible thing I could do was knit. Right?
I therefore finished a tidy little pile of half-done and set aside washcloths in the basket during that long stretch of time, and also practiced a bit of increasing and decreasing. There’s a sweater I’d really like to make but I keep goofing on the increase, getting too many stitches on the needle. I still haven’t quite conquered it yet.
I haven’t been able to read for a few months- just been the state of things. What little time I’ve had I’ve devoted to spiritually enriching fare- currently The Trial of Job by Patrick Henry Reardon and the book of Jeremiah. I’ve found a bit more reading time in the pockets of the day and have started in on The Children’s Book, by A.S. Byatt. It came to me from a friend who was curious what I thought of it. So far I am slightly bemused at the story’s ability to suck me in and yet perplex me at the same time. The writing itself is quite gorgeous and so chock full of imagery; it feels a feast.
There’s another layer on the canvas. I was really surprised when the woman appeared. Usually my layers tend towards abstract-ness, and yet, here she is. She’s definitely not finished yet…I wasn’t sure at first. She needs more detail. Overpainting. We’ll see.
When I started this canvas I had no idea how introspective it would become…these are all mysterious journeys to me. What I think I’m making in the beginning is never what I end up with, and that’s half the fun. But this one? This has a story emerging. Something I needed to tell myself, I think. I feel the pull to get back to it and get another layer going, which usually doesn’t happen. Most of the time I’m just playing with things, a smidge of a minute here, fifteen minutes there. This one though…I need to make some big time very soon.
I’m often listening to a playlist of my own design lately, if I’m not catching up on my love affair with all things British (Downton, Who, Broadchurch, Sherlock). And before you ask, yes and yes to the last season of Downton (sigh!) and the second season of Broadchurch, and absolutely NOT to Who, and a very qualified frustrated don’t bother to the Abominable Bride. I usually love BBC Sherlock. I wanted to throw something at the screen for this one. I’m sure others loved it. Anyways. (Sorry, tucking the fan girl back under!) The whole point of this was to say that this particular song of Josh Garrells has been heavy in the rotation. The whole Home album is excellent. But this one? Something about it.
It appears I’m struck by all things celestial these days. After finishing the stars, I immediately knew what the next layer of the canvas was. I was painting this while catching up on Doctor Who, so I’m pretty sure the TARDIS had something to say about the color. Don’t get me started on this season. BLEH. Thank goodness there are nearly fifty years of re-runs to enjoy. I have no idea where this canvas is going- I never do. It’s the journey to the finished project that I’m interested in.
There was a tiny bit of elving for Christmas this year. I wanted to make something to give back to some dear, dear friends who have walked this dark journey with us, a little token of our love. I happened to find these stars at Micheal’s while looking for some school supplies, and an idea was quickly born. A bit of gesso to even out their rough surface, and then I layered on celestial colors until I found the bluest, deepest royal purple that I was looking for. Each one is unique- each has a slightly different mix of colors- gold, crimson, and silver. What I love about them is that from a distance, they look mostly normal, but the closer you to get to them, and the more the light hits them, the more they glow. They couldn’t have come out more perfectly. I sent them out into the world, the boxes filled with all the love they could hold, and it was so much fun to see them pop as they made their way across the states, each a surprise.