Friday, March 14, 2008
Madonna of the Blues, Probably Finished
(Click on image to enlarge.)
In the beginning of January, I posted a photo of Madonna of the Blues. She's going to be part of my "Blues Chapel" exhibition. It was a "work in progress". Later in the month came "Part Two". She'd turned into a big appliqué and I was thinking about the next steps to take...whether to create a quilt or frame the work. The comments I received gave me much to think about. Pat suggested "silver" and used the word "icon". Rosalind mentioned a "gilded arch window". Both Dianne and Lynda suggested framing. I considered all of this...especially the idea of an "icon" in an architectural setting. When I happened across a liturgical fabric with a silver thread running through it, everything came together.
The fabric and two layers of unbleached muslin were pulled very tightly over stretcher bars and stapled. I started framing....creating the look of an arched window with a curtain...and then came all the stitching, lots and lots of it...and beads. I think she's done. Of course, the obsessive-compulsive tendencies in me see "blank" areas and wonder....should I add more?
The size is down 50" x 44". It weighs A LOT! To photograph it, I leaned it against the side of the house. My cat Shadow helped!
I really do thank everyone for their comments. They mean the world to me and have influenced my thinking and approaches greatly. I've used my blog to record my artistic journey, generally sharing only the positive. When I've complained or "ranted", I've generally regretted doing so. Yet, keeping anything "negative" to myself only presents a skewed view...and isn't totally honest. Life, even a creative life, isn't always wonderful. There are at least as many "downs" as there are "ups".
Yesterday, I reread Chapter Eight: Recovering a Sense of Strength in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. (This should be a title on my profile...I'll have to add it...It's likely been the most influential reading I've ever experienced artistically.) Chapter Eight is about "time" and "acknowledging ones losses" and making positive changes. The whole book is very powerful reading....and, yes, I write "Morning Pages" at least five or six times a week.
Anyway, putting the above two paragraphs together, I've made a decision to share a few things...the "good and the bad"...honestly...acknowledging my pain and my joy...serious and silly.
Yesterday, I got a letter from Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, North Carolina. Months ago I applied for an exhibition...The Blues Chapel...for their upcoming year. It's a fabulous setting. I was secretly very hopeful...building up my expectations. I'd received one letter stating I was still being considered....but no longer. They're not extending an invitation. I shouldn't be unhappy; I know all artists get rejection letters; I'm sad anyway.
Earlier in the week, however, I was accepted for a smaller display of "Blues Chapel" at the Discovery Center in Edgefield, South Carolina. There'll be a reception and everything. I should be so excited, but I'm letting one rejection spoil it. Silly, I know. Maybe by typing this out, I'll be able to "fix" my emotional state.
My emotional state has been raw all month. I learned that I'd been accepted for a six week residency only a few days after one of the worst in my life. That week, it felt like my life had gone bi-polar...and I was just along for the ride.
At the same time, I've been so excited about CYBER FYBER...all sorts of trades with fiber artists in 21 countries and 36 States in the USA. In truth, its been my salvation...my escape. Tonight, when I go to bed, my younger son won't be here. The last time he slept under our roof would have been exactly four weeks ago. There was a fight; it was horrible; he left. Alex is seventeen.
On-line, I've been "pretending" everything is all rosy and wonderful. It isn't....and yet a lot of it is. Every "end" is a new "beginning". My Madonna of the Blues mourns with me as she sparkles in beauty. My installation, Decisions, reflects hours of heart-felt contemplation..every wrapped, rusted nail symbolizes both sacrifice and unity....bittersweet. I've been pouring myself into my art and into my CYBER FYBER project. I've been feeding on the energy and positive feedback.
Thus, I really owe each and every fiber artist who has left a comment recently and/or traded with me at CYBER FYBER a sincere "THANK YOU". Mere words cannot adequately express my gratitude.
To this end, I'm going to DO SOMETHING POSITIVE...TAKE ACTION...and cut up the older piece pictured below. By May, there will be another round of trading at CYBER FYBER for everyone who hasn't yet participated. Truly, doing something beautiful is the best way to metabolize pain into promise.
Posted by Susan Lenz at 10:33 AM