Yesterday I worked on my Stonehenge piece, which I am liking more and more each day for very different reasons. Funny how art can be like that. It is so not-like anything I've done before and has inspired a backlog of new ideas just waiting for execution. I completed the embellishment step for a few places on the piece, then tried to do the same for a too-regular fabric flower shape that for some reason I thought would look good there when I was collaging it. With my process, once a collaged element is quilted in there, it can't come out. I have eight shapes I am not too pleased with, and have to figure out how to make them work. The first attempt at beading it looked bad, so I ripped it out. As did the second and third. I took a nap as the storm howled around my upstairs bedroom. Gave it a fourth shot last night, and got it to work just fine. The shape did belong there, it just needed the right surface. Iridescent glass chips did the trick, so today between sniffles I will try to finish the other seven. Getting there!
I went to bed listening to Istanbul by Thomas Madden. I fell asleep during the medieval period and awoke to the sacking of Constantinople in 1452 by Mehmet the Conqueror. What a mean dude. Somehow I missed the Black Death, so will have to go back and re-listen. That city is alive with history and this book is doing it justice.
What a wonderful thing it is to be an artist and get to make things...the dialogue that occurs between the artist and the work is something non-artists might not be able to understand. It is a special language, a relationship. That never ends. No matter what is going on on the "day-to-day" world, the art object waits patiently for decisions that either work or don't, that live or get recycled. What is the spark that differentiates? When the piece is done and I think of all the little decisions that went into creating it, one at a time, following guidance from a really unknown source. I think "Yes, that is how it should look." But why?
I put more fresh walnuts on my porch railing for my little outdoor pet, my squirrel. He/she has already visited the spot this morning as there were little footprints in the traces of snow that were left after I cleaned the porch last night. Makes me so happy to have this little visitor and know he is surviving the bitter cold, and isn't too shy to come ask for help. He started coming around last spring and I've seen him almost every day since then. He looks me in the eye as he picks up his treasures and nibbles at them. Waves his little front paws like he's trying to tell me something. Yesterday he visited four times -- once shivering and covered in snow. He must be very, very hungry and the walnuts will give him the energy he needs to stay warm. Sorry, pal, got up late today. If I make birdie muffins later I'll give you one of those, too.
Enjoy the day, enjoy the Dayquil.