I made this quilt thirty-three years ago now, and it's been in use ever since. Daily. Every time I look at it, I think of my grandmother, who taught me most of the things I value doing in life, and also taught me the value of kindness. The "doing" things included her teaching me to read around age 3, to knit, crochet, sew, even to rug hook. She was a "maker," and I've inherited the same tendency.
[Now I am very focused on what she taught me about the value of kindness. What is life without kindness? But I digress...]
Art in all its forms is inspirational, but I particularly love functional art. I like to knit socks and wear them. To make rugs and walk on them. To make a quilt and sleep under it. You get the picture.
Recently I've been teaching myself to draw. This has been a long-standing interest, but until very recently I had little time to practice. And as we all know, any form of art takes a lot of practice. Several years ago I took the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain workshop at Omega in New York State with talented teacher Lynda Greenberg. Truly a transformative experience, and highly recommended. I was astounded by my progress in the five day workshop. But I didn't practice when I got home--lack of time.
It's all about practice. No matter what the art. I am hoping that now that I have left the full-time work world, and plan to work only part-time, I will be able to discipline myself to practice. Here's the thing: I want to rug hook, quilt, bead, write, draw, and practice and teach Zentangle. And I want to work part-time. Oh, and downsize and neaten up my house...
Clearly none of this will happen unless I prioritize and focus. Much like the rest of life.
And I know I will enjoy whatever I do most of all if I am fully present when I do it--not thinking about other projects, or bills, or watching tv. Just doing what I am doing, and focusing on that.
Much like the rest of life.
Our own lives are the ultimate functional art, yes? And we miss them when we don't stay with them, fully present from moment to moment.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society