Friday, January 1, 2016

A SAQA juried show, My New Year's word - 'acceptance", my animal - turtle.

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.

 The way back.

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.

Closed for winter.

Happy New Year to all! I';d love to hear some of your 'survivor' stories.


rtquilter said...

Congratulations, Holly and Happy New Year!

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

Congratulations on being juried into the show! It is a great little piece.

I think that in winter all of nature is so much more vivid in design to us because we aren't distracted by the volume of color that we have in the other seasons. Neutral colors and wonderful shapes in nature all winter.

Jo Vandermey said...

Congratulations on your piece. I love the birch trees. It reminds me of our cottage here in Ontario.
I look forward to seeing in person. I live about an hour away. My friend Al's piece was accepted too.
I too am on a journey of dealing with the physical realities of my body and my mind that wants to go at full speed. Trying to adapt to the reality of just what is , is not always easy.
I love reading about your journey as it is different than mine but love the attitude you take.
Enjoy your acceptance!


Mereknits said...

Your post touched me deeply my friend Holly. You are an inspiration on how you see the world, how you share it with us no matter how much in pain you are. I love that your art gives you peace, and believe me it brings us all joy to see you work with something from start to finish and then to see the beautiful results. Congrats on such an honor, you deserve it.

I wish you all the best in 2016!

Mystic Quilter said...

Congratulation on Heart of Birches being accepted into the SAQA Canadian show!
Wonderful snow scenes Holly, always like snow posts - hope you make more progress after your knee surgery.

elle said...

Happy New Year and congratulations. It sounds like you have a good plan and small steps do add up!

Watercolour and Textile Artist, Eileen Gidman said...

Acceptance. Sounds good--forging ahead with what our abilities/energies allow. I like that idea Holly.
Congrats on the 'acceptance' into the SAQA show!

Selfsewn said...

Hello word of the year buddy! Acceptance is the way to inner happiness they say, wishing you a happy and healthier 2016 x

Jo Ferguson said...

Congrats on being accepted in the SAQA show. It's a well deserved honour. Thank you for such an inspiring and lovely post. I especially loved the photos of my favourite little chickadees.