Hi, remember me? I’ve been gone for so long. Off in the land of the living. Busier than imaginable. Traveling, healing, and enjoying summer in the Berkshires. And now I have begun going back to my studio. As always, as I pant my way up three flights of stairs, thighs burning by the time I reach the top, unlock the door and then close it behind me, I find myself lost in another world. The creative world of my inner Self.
My last post, so long ago –April 13 — mentioned the death of my mother and pieces I’d begun to make to commemorate her life and her loss. I’ve spent the past months working on healing. I think it is a process without end for me. But now I’d like to share with you the first piece I made, a celebration of her life. It is, appropriately, called “My Mother”. 🙂
I think I’ll show you the finished, framed piece first, then take you through the steps of my process.
My mother was an alive, active, vibrant person. Full of life and love, & righteous indignation at the wrongs she saw in the world around her. She was generous, intelligent, thoughtful, wise. We spent lots of time laughing together. In this piece I tried to express it all, as well as the sparkles of joy she spread.
I started off by choosing a scarf and a handkerchief of hers. I wanted personal belongings of hers incorporated into the piece. I knew I wanted the piece to be bright and colorful. (She loved color). So here is a picture of how I laid out the image initially.
Once I had the basic design I lifted all the fabric pieces and layed down lots of colorful wool. Then I replaced the design.
Too much empty space. Mom’s life was never empty – always quite full, up to the day before she was taken to the hospital. It needed something more. And it needed ….balance. I added a little bit more of the bright sparkling material from my stash.
Just one more stream and it looked good to me, so I felted it.
I knew I needed to do something with the very white, right-hand section. It had been my intention all along to use couching on the “L” that was already embroidered on the handkerchief. “L” for Laurette, which was my mother’s name. I wanted to make that “L” stand out, as well as bring more color into that corner. I found the perfect silk yarn in my stash. Yarn I had hand-dyed many years ago. Here you see a close up of the couching.
And yet another.
I just love the way the ruching (scrunching and wrinkling) of the fabric and the swirl of the couched letter look together. And the whole bright and colorful piece. Here it is again. A tribute to my most wonderful mother.
Life seems a whole lot less without her.
At the beginning of the summer I made 2 promises to myself. One was to spend as much time as possible outside engaging in the activities I love: gardening, biking, kayaking. The other was to finish (stitch and bead) and frame as many of the 25 felted pieces that are hanging on my studio walls as I could. I have been doing both. I’ll post again soon with 2 more completed pieces. In the meantime, I am going for a bike ride.