Friday, November 21, 2008

Inspire Me Thursday- Albert Einstein

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science." - Albert Einstein

Not being a science person(although I do have a passing fancy about metaphysics and physics in general) I didn't think I would find a quote of Albert Einstein's to inspire me. Well knock me down with a mysterious feather, this one caught my eye.

What is art but the mysterious brought into creation? Everyone can look at the same object but see something different in it. And usually the reason behind it is somewhat mysterious. The mystery of the human mind and the idea that art and interpretation comes from it.

I'm also not a photographer but I have many photographer friends and every time I look at one of their interesting and beautiful photographs I am caught again by the idea that you could put a group of photographers in a room and each of them would focus on something different. It is much the same with knitters and a ball of yarn and a couple of needles, tell them all to knit a scarf and because of differing levels of expertise, different likes and dislikes, different sizes. Well I think you get the point all very mysterious.

In my own work I find it hard sometimes to explain where my inspirations come from. When I first joined the coop a few years ago I was driving home and the hand embroidered piece named "hope" came to me in the car. I quickly stopped and drew a rather primitive black hole with a hand coming out of it. A few months later Hope was born. The first member show in the coop was a black and white show and there was "hope". Very mysterious.(If you are interested you can see "hope" at my flicker site)

I find when I follow the mysterious the results are sometimes so much better then I ever imagined. I guess maybe that in the end is the lesson of Albert Einstein.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Passion. The art of doing work that you love and what there is about it that makes you passionate about it. The piece above is called Heart in My Hand. It is hand embroidered using beautiful variations of green with a heart of beautiful variations of red. First let me say that as an artist I feel that love begins in our hands and our hearts. Yes some of it comes from our head but once you get going on a piece your head kind of disappears and your heart or your hands take over.

Heart in My Hand combines some elements of my work I am passionate about. I love to hand embroider hands. So many nooks and crannies to embroider into and putting a life to a simple hand is extraordinary. I guess my passion for hand embroidery and how my hands work to make each stitch different adds to my fascination of hands.

Another element of my work that I am passionate about is trees. Trees are a wonderful symbol of life. Each one significant and unique. I love the simplicity and great detail of a pine, the gnarly vacant tree or a beautiful tree all bedecked in leaves of green or many extraordinary colors. To this day my biggest joy in every day life is looking out my window and seeing a tree with news buds on it. A tree or a plant gives us so much nourishment too, whether it be fruit, or syrup, a delightful scent,shelter from the storm or paper.

The thread. A simple thread that can be twisted and turned and stitched into something new and wonderful. You can change the whole look of a piece by just adding one strand of thread in the right location. The idea that you have to look for that one special thread makes it all the more interesting. As I've mentioned before my favorite thing in the world is to take a jumbled up mess of embroidery thread (the kind you usually throw out because it is too hard to untangle) and find the perfect color for just the right spot. Kind of random and planned at the same time.

The needle. Whoever invented the needle was a genius. Such a tiny little implement or a couple of large pointy ones to knit on or the delicacy of a steel hook crochet hook made to embroider bedspreads and table clothes for our loved ones. Needlework is such a long process that every stitch is imbued with the love we have for our needles and our work and the people we do this for.

Finally color. What would our world be without color? Be it the hundreds of different greens and blues and reds and purples. It is a miracle of colors, shapes and hues which warm the soul. Be it a tree changing color or a beautiful blue ocean.

I am also working on a piece at the moment called passion. It is what inspired this love of hand embroidery that I am sharing. I'll share it as soon as I have finished it.

Thanks for reading about my passion see you soon. Keep on stitching.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Light Within Inspire Me Thursday

This is an open thread on Inspire Me Thursday so I thought I would share one of my latest pieces. It is called The Light Within. It's another one of those pieces that just popped into my head. It seems like a good time to remember the light within with the exciting news and the idea of optimism that a President Elect Barack Obama brings. The last few years and especially the last few months have been a little dark but a new president especially with one with the message of change is fresh and exciting and light. Perhaps he will be able to turn our collective ship around.

The Light Within is a hand embroidered piece, starting with varying degrees of yellow on the inside, then varying degrees of orange and then varying degrees of red. My work shines the light within no matter how dark the outside is. My life is abuzz in changes. My son is looking at colleges and he got his driver's license. One of the galleries that showed my work has closed and with the economy in the shape it is in my work is not selling as much as I would like it to. But with my work the joy is in creating it not selling it so I guess the idea would be to just keep creating and let God take care of the rest. It's kind of a new beginning for me also. Soon my son will have his own car and his own life and then I must forge a life of my own. I thought of getting a real job but I simply don't want one. It would take too much time out of my work. Of course if the perfect job drops in my lap I will gladly take it, but until then it is time for me to work. Time to put the political away for another 4 years and move on in my own direction. I must admit it's a little scary to surrender your life to something that is not profitable, but it does bring me joy so whereever my work and I are meant to plop so be it.

Once again you can purchase my work at the Katbird Shop in Schenectady, Silver Birch Gallery in Albany, and the Albany Shaker Museum in Albany and of course you can email me privately. All three venues are packed to the gills with beautiful gift items so if you are in the neighborhood it will be worth a trip to find a little sunshine and light on these gloomy autumn days even if you don't purchase my work.

Be happy and remember the light within even on those gloomy dark days.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

Well my life has been a whirlwind since last we met. I have been busy getting ready for the Albany Shaker Christmas Craft Fair. If you are in the neighborhood you can stop by and see some of beautiful wares made by myself and hundreds of others. It's an annual event and you can find beautiful handmade gifts in every price range. It is now open and it will continue until December 21st. The hours are 10 to 4 Monday thru Saturday(the hours may be different on Saturday check with the museum). It is closed on Sunday.

I am still showing my work at the Katbird Shop in Schnectady and also Silver Birch Trading in Albany NY. Email me if you wish more information.

Kismet Gallery has closed. It was a remarkably young and vibrant gallery and was very disappointed to see it close. A true pleasure to do business with and I know that before long the talented owners will open another beautiful outlet for artists and their wares. I was so excited to be part of it.

The election and the wonderful news is yes we could. So excited about the prospect of a President Barack Obama and the change in policy and outlook for our wonderful country.

Oh well have to get back to work. Hope to see you soon.