For the Everyday Ordinary...

"Normal Day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all in the world, for your return." ~ Mary Jean Iron

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mixed Media Needlefelting

 I call it "Mixed Media Needlefelting":
This piece was for a class I taught a few years ago:
 "Crow" (real original name, I
 "Watercolor" (this was the first one I made and it was for a watercolor 4x4 challenge, thus the name)
I feel a call back to my "roots".  When I first stepped into my art room in 2006, I made a heavy collage painting called Neptune's Daughter:

To this day, she is my favorite painting and she hangs in my art room and I will never, ever get rid of her.  She opened a door inside me and I'm so grateful for that!

Shortly after that, I discovered needlefelting.  I ordered me a wee starter kit and the moment I held the roving, I fell in love and knew that this was "IT" (click on the photo to see the other kits available).

I began making little folk, sailing ships, traveling mice - I was blissfully creating!

Sometime after that, I began to feel like I should be painting if I wanted to be an "artist" (silly, I know that now.  But at the time I wanted very much to be a "real" artist).  So, I began painting again.  However, I began to believe I was doing it all wrong.  This began several years of taking one painting and portrait class after another.

While I enjoyed the classes very much, the act of painting never really struck the chord deep within me that fiber arts did (needlefelting, embroidering, making fiber jewelry, etc.)  I even taught a few needlefelting classes during that time and had a blast, but felt I "should" (don't you just LOVE that word?!) focus on my painting if I was going to be taken seriously.

When I needlefelt, the object tells me a story and I just bring it out of the wool.  When I paint, I never hear a thing.  I can paint my stories, or I can recreate a story, but the art rarely ever tells me a story.  Does that make sense?
I can paint and sketch a pretty good face - but they were silent faces, or they were recreations of my own stories, which isn't bad, of course.

 But because of that, there was just some fundamental "thing" missing from what I was doing.  It lacked the joy that I experienced in working with fibers.  It actually made me sad.

I think that that is one reason I lost my artsy way.  This post made me think even harder about that - it was like an ah-ha moment.

This stuff might be very apparent to most people, but for me it was a real struggle.

So, I've decided to go back to my first love - and I am honestly having a blast with it!  I'm so glad that I explored other things because I learned so, so much!  Mainly that my heart lies in needlefelting and fiber arts.  I'm giving myself permission to go back to that - "real" artist or not. =)  The funny thing is that I personally see fiber artists as REAL artists...I just think I did not see myself that way.  It is time to change the way I view myself.

Have you ever struggled in the same (or a similar) way?  Do share!  I'd love to start a discussion about this sort of thing.

Keep it Joyful, Donna

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