We've had a fairly quiet week; my son fiance and dogs visited for Christmas and left a day early due to an impending storm. I was not at my best having had the arthroscopic knee surgery the week before and still struggling with disc pain but I managed to enjoy the visit. I roasted a small turkey on Christmas
Eve for the first time in several years and I really enjoyed all the leftovers and especially making soup from the bones..
Yesterday, I woke up to an exciting email informing me that my latest piece, Into the Heart of Birches, has been juried into the SAQA Canadian show My Corner of the World which is opening in Stratford, Ontario, in May.
With the new year starting, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the direction I want to take with my art. I came to the conclusion that I will continue on my path, photographing and expressing my love for the natural world using fiber and paint because it continues to be what I need to do even though I'm working at a slower pace while dealing with health issues. It is me and it is what has kept me sane over the past number of years since leaving work. It reminds me of the fable about the tortoise and the hare. I think I'm the turtle this year. I'm slow, but persistent and there are rewards along the way and in the end.
It isn't the just excitement of being selected for a show that encourages me onward, although it is a really lovely affirmation, but it is my way of expressing myself and connecting to others that keeps me going. I simply cannot help noticing all the wonderful things in my world. The more I photograph, sketch, paint and stitch, the more I notice the little details and the beautiful world around me.
The process acts as a wonderful and sometimes healing distraction for me when I'm in pain. I could hardly move my legs this morning and after putting away the tree ornaments, and watching some of the Rose Bowl, all I felt like doing was curling up with my current book, The Goldfinch which I highly recommend. The sun was shining and the temperature was right and so I pushed myself to dress and head out to the trail because I knew that I would regret it if I didn't.
I parked right beside the trail and only needed to walk a few hundred meters to feel the suns rays, to breathe the fresh air and to start relaxing. Oh the things to see! This is where I stopped and turned around.
I stopped and fed the very eager chickadees along the way.
I can hardly snow shoe a few feet without my eye being caught by one of a myriad of little patterns against the snow and background greys formed by the dried up flowers and seed heads of wildflowers and bushes. Though our winter colors are nothing like the fresh brights of spring and summer, they are no less stunning with the bright bits etched against the soft backgrounds of greys and beiges and snow whites topped by the blue sky with wisps of clouds and the early afternoon pastels coloring the horizon.
These will act as references and inspiration for future work. There is so much to see, my mind is filled with colors and patterns and there is never enough time to express them all in my artwork.
I've been thinking about a word for the year too and all week I've drawn a blank. Upon awakening and thinking while I drank my tea in bed this morning, the word 'acceptance' came to me. I don't mean acceptance in the sense of being resigned. I mean that I must try not to fight so hard against what I cannot do. I must do what I can. When I do that, even though it does take some resolve to move my body, once out, I am always awed by the beauty in my small corner of the world.
I may walk this route a hundred times, camera in hand; there will always be something new that attracts my eye. I love the soft curve of these dried wilrflowers and the shadows they cast on the snow.
And then I also checked on the little nest that I saw a few weeks ago before the snow when I was out gathering branches.
Happy New Year to all! I';d love to hear some of your 'survivor' stories.