Sunday, January 18, 2015

Studio Sunday-Forcing the Issue & Then Letting Go

It's like when you buy that dress that you knew deep down you shouldn't. You spent a lot of time in the dressing room. You wanted it to be the perfect dress for you. And it was—almost. And then you got it home, went to put it on to go out, and realized that it just wasn't. Or maybe you did wear it that one time and came home and knew it had to go.

Well, this time it wasn't a dress, it was the pages for a new Spirit Book. There were early signs that it wasn't going to work but I liked the page design (3 tiny twigs with buds from our Cornus Kousa) so much I didn't want to let it go.

If I had been able to make a hole in each twig to stitch the twig onto the paper, it would have worked. Unfortunately the twigs were too thin. I did what seemed like the next best thing and sewed around each twig but I couldn't get the stitching tight enough so I had to add some glue under each one. I should have given up when I had to re-glue a few twigs but I continued, stitching on all the twigs and beads and adding the chain-stitch borders to about half the pages. When one of the buds snapped off its twig, I had to admit that this was an idea to abandon.

I'm pleased to say that I did so with a twinge of sadness but no sense of frustration or wasted time. I loved those hours stitching whether they resulted in a final product or not. It's always nice to be able to take your own advice to heart. In Art Lessons, I wrote:

We need to acknowledge that no time spent in creative activity is ever wasted. Sometimes we see it in specific ways. Bits and pieces of the past have a way of creeping into the work of the present. What was left behind as a tangent can become the basis of new work five years later. Sometimes the value is purely in the time spent with intention. Every time we become deeply immersed in our work, we break through the barrier of time into a sacred space where we lose ourselves in the creative process and gain strength, resilience, and patience.

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