Have you ever heard the term, "madder than a March Hare"? Rabbits are known to go a little bonkers this time of year as Spring calls to them, stronger than it does to most animals. The normally shy and fearful rabbit becomes wild and excitable, reminding us to work through our fears with humility. I thought I might work through some shyness and fears of my own this past week, as I asked a dear friend to photograph me, wearing of course a rabbit printed dress I had recently sewn during the mad month of March.
Photo credits: Jenna Davis.
Trusty sidekick: Echo, rat terrier extraordinaire.
Fabric designer: Kobayashi, Rabbits and Mushrooms
Dress sewing pattern: McCalls 6696, sewn in cotton/linen canvas
Bloomers sewing pattern: Plinka Pants by Tina Givens, sewn in 100% linen.
Sweater knitting pattern: Linney Cardigan by Amy Christoffers, knit in cotton/linen.
About a year ago I began exploring the power and beauty of vulnerability through a series of paintings that involved the technique of excavating layers; from the skin down to the background. I wanted to show that encounters tinted with despair and powerlessness required the awesome courage of vulnerability to navigate with; that our experiences with being emotionally hurt will leave beautiful scars on our souls. Out of our vulnerabilities, will come our strength.
In "Tame" (Vulnerability I), we see an increased and tentative awareness to a state of anxiousness.
"Tame" Vulnerability I
By the time we view "Little Bird", we can see that anxiety is inhabiting the subject in an unsettling way, but that the subject is also experiencing a clarity of vision.
"Little Bird" Vulnerability II
The octopus is the ultimate symbol for adaptability, intelligence and insight. In "Insight" Vulnerability III, the subject is experiencing the very courageous act of self acceptance.
My dad is a carpenter, a farmer, a breaker of horses, a dog lover, a mechanic, an artisan, a father. A lasting impression I have of my father is of how large his hands are. Family legend has it, that as a baby and small toddler I could sit in the palm of my father's hand.
When I was a small child, those large hands lifted me up onto my first horse. Years later, when I was a teenager, those large hands drew ball point pen "tattoos" down my arms; snakes wrapped around daggers were my favorite and his specialty. Together we rode horses, lifted hay bales, and attended to the piglets. I often think of my dad's hands when I am watching my own hands make things. My hands are tiny in comparison, but they bear a resemblance; calloused and worn they are working hands. This Christmas I knit my dad a pair of fingerless mittens; made from tough Peruvian wool twisted alongside sock yarns, they are mittens that will work as hard as he does.
There's no such thing as too much art. I own over 110 pieces of original art that I have traded for, been gifted, and even on occasion, purchased for myself. This doesn't even include my growing collection of artisan mugs. The only thing I have more of in my home are books. The larger pieces of art are hung tastefully throughout my home on larger feature walls (and I ran out of those a long time ago). That left my growing collection of small and tiny art without a lot of space to be hung in. I chose to hang these salon style. Salon style uses clusters of paintings grouped together and can very easily incorporate an eclectic mix of styles and frames. My walls are a constant work in progress, as well as a source of inspiration, as I add new pieces throughout the year.
A grouping of smaller paintings can read as one large one.
Okay. okay, I know. I have over achieved on this one (as usual). I like to think that this wall has transcended salon style into full on "inspiration wall". I do spend an awful lot of time staring at it though, and that is the point.
Don't be afraid to become an avid art collector. Pick a wall and go for it!