Thursday, January 15, 2009

January Baby

I don’t know why I hate the cold so much. I was born in January, I am supposedly a winter baby. But I do dislike the cold.
Yesterday I called my mom to wish her a happy birthday. It was 80 degrees in Southern Cal. They had all the windows open and were trying to let the breeze in. I instantly had a childhood memory and remembered the smell of that warm southern California air in winter. The skies are really blue and you can see the snow capped mountains up at Big Bear. If you stood on the roof of their house I bet you could see to the beach that is only 10 miles away. I remember as a teenager we would ditch school on days like this and go down to the beach. No one would be there and for miles you would see nothing but white sand. In the summer these same beaches were so full with sweaty bodies you couldn’t find a place to lay your beach towel.

I just got a call from The Quilt Show's producer, Angel. I’m going to be on their show later this year. I am doing my taping for the show in March. First thing she asked me was "what is the temperature there?" I said “what?” she said it was 14 degrees in Chicago and snowing. She needed to live vicariously through me for just a moment. Aren’t you in California? What a baby I am. It will warm up to a nice 60 degrees today here in Northern California. Maybe even 63. So OK! I may be a winter baby, my birthday is coming soon, which I would like to forget. And I hate the cold. I still can’t figure that one out. I’m pretty sure the lesson here is about learning to be content with where you are who you are and at how old you are going to be.
I have added some pictures of my January garden and the colors are quite beautiful. You couldn’t get these colors if it was hot. And I wouldn’t have the wisdom I have if I weren’t another year older.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It’s a New Year!

It’s a New Year. I am so grateful for the chance to live another year doing what I love. To create.
2009 is going to be a year of travel, teaching and trying new techniques. I am off to Phoenix at the end of the month for Quilting In the Desert. Then back to Asilomar in February for Empty Spools Seminars.

I truly love to teach and the art of teaching is everchanging and constantly pushing me in new directions. I recently had a student not sure she wanted to take my class. She wasn’t sure she wanted to do flowers or raw edge appliqué and she wants to work in black and white. I know, why is she taking my class? It made me think. As an artist why do we take classes? Ask yourself that. Why did Mary Cassette hang out with Monet? Why did Van Gogh hang with Gauguin? Think about it!

Could it be to learn?

How can you learn when you come to a class wanting to do your own thing? How can you grow as an artist if you don’t want to glean something from the teacher and those around you? I don’t get it. When you stop learning you might as well just die. You know it all. How sad it that?

Art is a never ending process. It’s not who finishes what or what awards you receive. Creativity is playing, making mistakes, trying new ways and solving the problems. It is never about finishing. Because there is always something new to figure out. Completing a project is your reward for solving the creative problems. Then you take what you learn from that project and move on to the next, one hopefully more challenging and difficult.

I have been playing around with computer art for the last few months, trying digital fabric printing and manipulation. It has been great fun and challenging. I love my computer, it is such a great artist’s tool. My husband had no idea what he was doing when he taught me how to work the computer years ago and now I am just as nerdy as him, except when it crashes. Then my sweet man gets the frantic wife call from me at work. Picture him sitting in his PG&E truck working in the hood, giving me tech support over the phone. He is still the top nerd.
Here is my first computer art piece. It’s called “A Boy and His Yace”.

My son’s security blanket was a lace placemat we had gotten as a wedding present. He went through all 4 placemats before the age of 4. That’s one a year. I added the last bits of the lace I had saved to the quilt. He is 3 in this picture and very serious. The beads around his body are little sayings that he said as a child. The numbers in the background represent his love of numbers at an early age (he was doing math at 3). The butterflies are him leaving the nest and spreading his wings.

So this year let’s try to learn from those around us and try new things and see what happens along the way.

God bless you in the New Year.