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Lost your creative mojo? Painter's block, writer's block....designer's lethargy.....artist's woes. So many words for the ...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Let the Stitches Show....

I love van Gogh ....gazing intently at his self portrait...one can see each individual brush stroke.
It is a thing of  earnest detail, intensity and beauty.

So, why do some artists insist on doing their art in such a way as to pretend that all their minute
and very detailed work is invisible? Why do some consider it so brutally important to hide the raw materials of their work?

My song is : Let the brush strokes show, let the stitches show....let the yarn ends show in all their ugly glory....because you're being honest about all the different threads that make up your work of art.

Seamstresses do their best to hide the ends of threads so that no one can see when/where they started or finished their work.

Knitters  or folks who crochet seem to have each their own little tricks and customs to be able to
deftly hide the tail ends of each piece of yarn/wool they weave into their masterpieces.

Perhaps I hit my head too many times water skiing as a kid....but I seem to fall on the
 OPPOSITE side of the fence on this one.

I believe in letting it all show. Let your stitches show. Let the tail ends show in an awkward knotted lump in the middle of a knit hat. Why should I pretend as if such an earnest work of my own hands was magically woven together with only one magical piece of thread whose beginnings and ends are never to be seen again? Why should I pretend that the works of my hands are perfect?....when a certain amount of rustic playful rawness has a certain attractive quality all it's own.

To give a financial example of this idea...permit me to mention the film that is based on a true story entitled "The pursuit of Happyness" that starred Will Smith. It showed the gritty underbelly of what it took for a single dad down-on-his-luck to start from nothing and make it into the upper reaches of success on Wall Street. The film was not "soaring violyn solos playing gently on Prozac breeze..." but it had a certain charm none the less. Honesty can be a beautiful thing in certain doses.

It's like walking on the beach in bare feet after the waves have cooled the sand.....simply incomparable....and doesn't have a dollar figure either...if you don't mind me saying so.

Perhaps it is because i am not always the most dainty gal....I prefer to work with "less than dainty" chunky yarns and some of the fattest chrome metal circular knitting needles that I can find. I prefer to use tapestry needles too ...which are metal needles with eyes so wide, that they barely qualify for the term "needle". My muscley fingers work well with them.

 I get irritated with my cell phone keyboard because the keys are simply too "dainty" for my non-dainty piano hands.

I have a store bought knit poncho that shows the stitches in all their glory up and down the seam. I proudly wear it..... and call it my "Harvest Sweater". It probably would look more suitable for a long walk on a dirt country road, than on a slick city street...but I wear it proudly none the less.



Perhaps it's because i see a symbolic gesture in these customary artistic preferences.
How honest can we be with the work that we do? Can we show, visibly and publicly, like van Gogh
how much work it takes to make the art we make?

Do we pretend that the works of our hands flow effortlessly from our beings like ghosts in a fog?
Or can we "let it all hang out" so to speak..... and be forthright about what it really takes to make what we make?

They have said for the past 10 years in the business community that the "new" trend is toward
TRANSPARENCY..... So....my friends, what does that mean to all us artists and crafters?

Can we be a little more frank about the time, materials and sheer gritty hard work that it takes to make the things we brag about and try to sell for thousands of bucks?

You may be surprised how folks will react to your bold display of frankness. Instead of showing contempt for a visible reminder of your own raw materials... you may find that folks find it endearing and personally empowering. Baring your own humanity and scruffiness may encourage other humans
to stop hiding their own vulnerability ....and feel good about it.

van Gogh is applauded as a a MASTER, a genius and one to be emulated. He laid it all out there in all it's raw and "ugly" obvious splendor. But we do not call his works of art "ugly".

We call them ..........spectacular.

Peacefully productive,
C.






Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Nobody Cares What You Think?

I was once told "Nobody Cares What You Think!" by an elder in my former church....yes
.... I kid you not.

And no, I never got an apology....but hey there's still eternity....perhaps i'll hear it in the beautiful blue beyond.

 And yes, for the record....I did "get over it".....and when/if I see that gent again, I will greet him politely with a smile...just in case you're worried that I will make a scene...again.

Which brings me to the reason for my blog post today. I want to remind every church going christian today to realize that the future and present state of the modern church is in their own hands. The doctrines that will be taught to our children's children and on and on will depend on what we,
 that means YOU AND ME... choose to preserve and protect and what we dispose of.

I recall, in my childhood, growing up in a quite religious home, that the doctrinal books that supported my parent's church denomination were held very high....so high in fact, that few of my peers even dared to open them. It seemed to be that the doctrinal books that had been published by that particular denomination were regarded as being " on the same level" as the Holy Bible itself.

In my childhood, I never met anyone, not even once, who acknowledged that these doctrinal books were written by mere men/women.  It was inferred that said books were therefore infallible and beyond requiring "editing", beyond needing improvement, and beyond and far above us
mere church goers. It was many many years later that I came into a sense of my own voice and the desperate need that there was for my wee voice to be heard along with the voices of all of my generation. There was a keen sense that our voices were ready to be heard....but there was an uncertainty as to whether they would be respected.

You see....it is certain that religious "Traditions" just do not carry the weight that they once did.
I am in my late 40's and I feel how important it is for Christians to acknowledge that "how we do the "thing" called "Church"" over the next decades, is up to us.....and it isn't written in stone. It is malleable. It is vulnerable. It will change. We will decide how scriptures are interpreted and how they are taught and applied to our modern living situations. Our decisions will have a lasting effect on several generations to come.

It is a very scary thing indeed to become awake to the power and incredible responsibility that we  hold. It is not something to be touted as a puffed up arrogant person might, but rather as an awesome opportunity to take what we know and love about God and His Word and incorporate "that" into our daily living. It is a creative process to decide how we do "church".

Doctrinal books have to taken from their dusty shelves and "updated" even if we still feel very under qualified. We need, as a generation of christian believers, to continue to educate ourselves in the foundations of our faith.....the history of the bible and why we believe what we believe. Theology is not a scary or "untouchable" realm. Doctrine matters... It is important and vital and current.

....Doctrinal books are constant "works in progress" and they need to be "updated and upgraded" often enough to reflect our current thoughts on worship and christian living. To neglect doctrinal books because we are afraid of offending other christians is not a good enough excuse. We are called to fill the earth and subdue it. We are called to make these books "ours" ....to claim them for our generation. so that we our faiths become truly "ours". Our children must feel empowered in today's churches, so that their faiths become truly theirs.

And so in closing.....so I don't belabor the point.....I want to state for the record...... just in case someone in authority ever said "Nobody Cares What You Think" to you in a church setting, permit me to set you straight:
   I do solemnly declare that "God Himself cares deeply about what you think. Lovers of Jesus all around the world care deeply what you think......and lastly....little ole me cares what you think."
You are important. Your voice is important.  It is Your thoughts and Your actions that will shape the modern church that goes beyond us into the future.

Now what are you going to do with your powerful voice?

In peaceful productivity,

C.