What If

LeafLike I said, moving messes with creativity. I spent part of Sunday afternoon searching through three closets, a large cupboard in the garage, two filing cabinets and the long kitchen pantry before I discovered the “perfect” place I’d stored some fall leaf templates several months ago. All because I wanted to re-purpose a less than stellar watercolor and charcoal piece created with leftover paint, after an art class at the senior center. Now I know five spots where they are not…

But poking around in all those closets, cupboards, filing cabinets and pantries stirs up a mess of creative possibilities as I come across “old friends” in strange places. A few weeks ago I re-engaged my creativity by beginning with what I know. Now all that moving messiness, rather than being endlessly frustrating, has encouraged the “I wonder what if…” aspect of art making.

One of the biggest hurdles in recovering my creativity was sorting my art supplies into some kind of manageable mess. It required combining the art supplies from the midtown studio I shared with my art partner Lee, the assorted art examples and supplies from six years at the Lighthouse, and the boxes and bins of art supplies stored ready for workshops and retreats.  Yet I persevered and on a spectacularly warm autumn morning I spread out too long packed away art supplies all over the patio table on the screen porch. Tearing paper and gluing to my heart’s content, I made a mess creating page after page of 12 x 12 complex collage paper.

Having recently finished the vibrant yellow stars and stripes quilt, I wondered what if I combined paper and fabric in a similar pattern. Well, I’ve suitably dulled a rotary cutter blade and a sewing machine needle exploring this “what if” and learned a few things about combining these papers with light, medium and dark valued neutral fabrics. And how to finish off a mixed media quilt wall hanging without a traditional fabric binding. Entitled Will the Stars Ever Shine Again?, itStars speaks on one level to the messiness of moving and re-engaging in the creative process…and begs the uneasy in-the-back-of-my-mind question… what if I can’t find my way through all of this mess?

Beginning with what’s familiar and combining it with the new and never tried, this wall hanging represents the “what if” aspects of our move across the country as well as a transition in my creative process, one of the many benefits of a move that’s messed with my creativity.

If you’ve lived through a major move, what was the most frustrating bit of messiness you encountered? What did you learn in the midst of the messiness? What new what ifs did you explore? How have they been significant to your journey?

3 comments to What If

  • Linda young

    Will the stars ever shine again? Feeling a bit like they won’t. And discovering the beauty in the process is my challenge. The muted colors of this piece reflect my feelings. The stars represent promise to me even though they are gently muted. The art work is beautiful and so encourages me to see the loveliness of the moment and the hope of tomorrow.

    The vibrant colors of the yellow star quilt are a sure sign of the hope that is in me. Moving from place to place in my mind and sorting out the messiness isn’t easy and there is certainly much to discover along the way. The journey sometimes brings me to discouragement, disappointment, and even dismay and yet always rounds on hope! The stars always shine again.

  • Linda young

    Will the stars ever shine again? Feeling a bit like they won’t. And discovering the beauty in the process is my challenge. The muted colors of this piece reflect my feelings. The stars represent promise to me even though they are gently muted. The art work is beautiful and so encourages me to see the loveliness of the moment and the hope of tomorrow.

    The vibrant colors of the yellow star quilt are a sure sign of the hope that is in me. Moving from place to place in my mind and sorting out the messiness isn’t easy and there is certainly much to discover along the way. The journey sometimes brings me to discouragement, disappointment, and even dismay and yet always rounds on hope! The stars always shine again.

  • Deanna Bowling

    Well, it’s been 40 years last month since I moved to Ventura County. And I am in transition again. This time GOD is with me, instead of my trying to transition on my own.

    I have lots of friends, and lots of data, to help me in this process. And yet I have again moved away from family, this time my church family of 23 years. I have moved away from a smallish church family to a somewhat “mega” church, at least as I have experienced mega church.

    I know that there are reasons for me to be in transition again, but I haven’t discovered all of them as yet. It is an interesting and yet stressful time.

    Just know, Lynne, that GOD has you on this journey, and that HE will provide for you as you walk with HIM.

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