Where I Sit…

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You might enjoy meandering over to my drawing/art blog to read about an amaryllis that’s been blooming above me on the piano. It certainly speaks of knitting too!

Click Here to read it!

Have an Artful Day!

Where I Sit…

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From where I sit, here in my studio sunroom, an amaryllis blooms above me. It sits on the piano grinning broadly at me while I knit, draw, write. It has been there a while, maybe a month or more. For the longest time, an inch of green shoot sat nestled in the loam. I watched impatiently, expecting the little green shoot to sprout up immediately upon watering. It took forever, it seemed, for the stalk and four leaves to reach its current two-foot height, unfurl the three red flags and drape them over so gracefully over the tippy top, to smile at me for days on end.

But now, the cadmium red flags are flagging, folding up their withered smiles one by one. Only a single face remains open, sharing its beauty with me.  If this amaryllis could speak of what it’s seen in the relatively short span of its life, it would tell you of page after page of writing, numerous drawings (many of amaryllis herself) and countless stitches in various colors and forms. It has enjoyed beautiful music by my son’s piano hands, sweet conversations with my husband and daughters, sunshine and snow falling all around the windowed room.

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Amaryllis has witnessed the ever-changing world of an artist and a family, just as I have witnessed the phases of its life. I recently watched Shall We Dance in which Susan Sarandon’s character says,

”We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness’.”

It struck me as a profound statement of not just marriage, but of friendship and parenting too. In our various communities, whether it be through church, school, work, or a yarn shop, we get to bear witness to others that we see them, acknowledge that they exist, encourage and support the beauty we see blooming in them.

Every word on the page bears witness to all we have seen and heard…this here is worth remembering.

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Every stitch loops around a moment in time, gathering in the days as a permanent testament to the stitcher having seen, heard, lived the duration of that particular project.

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Every line drawn records all that we experience around us as a witness to the beauty of every day details…the who, what, when, where, why of the phases of a life.

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And so I draw Amaryllis, and knit with its colors, and write of all I’ve witnessed through the phases of its brief life. This is artful living:  to declare in all our creating, “Your life (whether it be a flower, a place, a person) will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.”

I am grateful for this Artful Life. (*there is an entire category of this subject, Artful Life, if you care to read more on the subject. Look for the category in the right hand margin.The most recent  posts are listed first, so scroll down to read earlier ones.)

**I’ve been camping out over on my Knitterly Arts blog…drawing yes, but doing lots of looping around the moments! Join me there too if you like!

An Artful Life

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As each day marches on beyond the health ordeal I’ve recently gone through, I begin to see some of the shake down or repercussions of it all. It might be described as having experienced a sifting of sorts, and what remains in the sifter is the pure wheat. It’s an ongoing process though, and I’m just sharing with you as I go along.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever told you about my achilles heel: an inner drive to have a career in Art. I call it my “achilles heel” because it has plagued me for many years now: An overarching desire and longing to have an established career as an Artist in a particular creative path. The thing is, as much as you may not believe it, this career in Art has always eluded me. My definition of “career” has a lot to do with being gainfully employed by a full-time endeavor. I have chased down numerous paths (portrait artist, knit & crochet designer, exhibiting/gallery artist, art & yarn teacher, etc.) and none of them have really “taken off”, or at least met the expectations I have in my  mind for what a career in that vein would look like. I do realize the flaws in this type of thinking, but there it is, for better or for worse…I have wanted (and if I’m honest with you, I still do want) an Art Career.

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But it has become clear to me in these days following sickness and surgery, that what I truly want far more than a career in art, is a life of art! And though it may not seem to be too different, there are significant differences in how I think about the two. I won’t type it all out here. I’ll let you read through my poorly photographed list I made in my writing journal. Some of these might resonate with you. Some may not. It has been good to put the two “focuses” side by side and see the difference.  They seem huge to me. I think the one that most excites me about having an artful life, as opposed to a narrowly focused career, is that I am free to hop in and out of all the things I love to make whether it’s drawings and paintings, or knit & crochet designs, or Genevieve illustrations, etc.

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The freedom of this makes me giddy! And whenever the siren song of “must have career” begins to play in my head, I recall that my artful life allows me to be who I am, creative ADD and all! In fact, an Artful Life is really what I’ve had for many years yet couldn’t see it because of my drive to establish a career. Perhaps now I can let go of the career-path dictums, and just enjoy what I have.

I’ll be posting on this topic, An Artful Life, as I continue to flesh out what it means (for me) to live Artfully. I do not in any way mean to say that if you have an Art Career you can’t have an Artful Life! Or vice-versa! But I’m just exploring, for my own benefit, the differences as I have attempted for many years to establish a career in a particular “art”. It has seemed that I ran into roadblocks so many times, or that I had to choose only one art to focus my marketing and selling energies.

**So…do you have this affliction? This drive to establish yourself as capital A Artist in a particular area of the arts? Does it plague you? How do you deal with it? Do you find freedom from having to have an Art career and if so, in what way? I’d love to hear… 🙂 Or, if you do have a career in the arts, do you feel you are also able to have an artful life? Please leave your thoughts in the comments…I might quote you in upcoming posts.;)