Thursday, March 13, 2014

the sun is a low, west-slung sun.  6 pm. i'm at home.  tom is playing guitar.  stella is in front of the fire.  there is too much snow for march. and too much cold.  
i cleaned the studio last week.  changed it around a little and organized fabric and treasures. readying it for the coming season of work, i suppose.  it took a couple of days and when i was ready to work again, i just stood and looked around.  i had killed the chaos and chewed up a bit of the energy with it.  i couldn't find where to begin.  there were no tangled piles of fabric.  nothing half finished and flung over a chair.  for most of the day i was more than a little displaced.  eventually i sunk into auto-drive, nothing inspired or even fun, but the blank fog of work found me a direction.  and I've had a great week of work since then. 
i've begun to gaze at vintage quilts.  absorb them in a new way. they slip into me now and engage parts of me that i had allowed to drop into a darkened and forgotten place.  this week a quilt brought the painter to the surface again.  i do most things in a painterly way, for that is how i work, what i know, who i am. and the real painter comes up for air now and then too.  but this time i found myself lost in the motifs that at one time would drive me to fill wall sized canvas.  and from that tickle, the same spot that used to birth paintings, i made a quilt.  a quilt of crosses. i often see cross quilts.  but the motif, the shape, the idea hit me differently. i had to make a quilt that would dream along beside me as i fashioned it.  red and black crosses. strong and knightly.  yet soft and grandmotherly.  speaking in contrasts.  

so, i've broken through a self imposed barrier. i won't have this type of experience with every quilt i make, but it's worth something to know it's possible.  


  1. Hi Annette, it's like that isn't grow and to inspire us we need to clean the slate to be able to head into new directions...not that we want to leave the old ways they are part of us, but to engage our artist selves one must bring the old into the new and allow ourselves the space and the time to dream, to experiment and to do something outside of the box. I love how you say 'strong and knightly'...what a great description of this quilt. It is a gem. Beautiful!

    1. Sally, it's true. The stillness and the change brings new perspective. I can't bring about change too often....but when I do I'm usually glad.

  2. I love the painter in you. It is the you I met first. I have to show this new (and wonderful) quilt to Jesse. He will love it. I love to think of you there with Tom playing guitar and the fire going- beautiful!