Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Success and Epiphany

So the new year is off to a roaring start. So much is happening all at the same time, I have given up trying to stay ahead - I'll settle for barely keeping up.

My first success of the year is the Wings Over the Platte Art show at Stuhr Museum. I entered 2 pieces, and they both won 'Merit Awards' in their respective categories. This is a needle felted picture on hand dyed wool fabric. It was quite impressive in the gallery with the lighting - although a bit deceiving, as it looked like it was back lit. (Pardon the picture, my mate was kind of in a hurry to get the picture, as we thought the batteries were dying in the camera).

This is the 3-D piece - a 12" sculpture of Sandhill cranes.

The opening reception was fun also - chocolate fountain, flvored hot chocolate, and cousin Carla too.

That over, I'm now back at work. Three paint jobs lined up. Income taxes waiting for Kansas papers to arrive. Classes for girl scouts and 4-Hers lined up for March. One special order filled, another on the slate.

Meanwhile, in the sheep fold, Don is hoping to start shearing tomorrow. That is, if they are dry. The recent snow, mud, and more rain has made us postpone a couple of days already. Time to get with it, as lambing is fast approaching. Of course I'm anxious to get a look at this years larger crop of covered fleeces and get some on the market.

So today I finished up a special order for 12 pairs of sock yarns. Customer specified what color combinations she wanted, and I had no qualms about being about to produce them. So yesterday, while I began the first round, I was a little surprised to realize I was unusually irritated with the process I normally find much pleasure in. On the third batch, I stood there in the shop with turkey baster in purple gloved hands, and had an epiphany. I am an artist - not a chemist!

I realized that the tedious process of keeping 'recipies' of the dyes I was using, trying to keep careful records of it all so I could 'match' it again if desired, was pushing all my buttons. The wrong ones. I realized it had to be the artist in me. If I am not free to 'paint' as I choose, and feel in the moment, its just no fun. And call me selfish if you like, but I have worked too long not to claim my fought for freedom of expression. I shall not be held captive by a color code!

Life is too short not to live it vibrantly. Paint your own reality. Gray is the color of fog. I prefer to surround myself with the colors of life. Saint Teresa of Avila had it right. Let me live green.

And green life soon will be again. The receding snow on brown grass is already showing hints of green. The other day, I heard birds sing. And even by the calendar, Spring is only a few weeks away.

But first, we must shear sheep. And I will live to dye again.