Sunday, March 27, 2016

Gratitude for Abundance

Planning sketch for Gratitude for Abundance

I have been feeling blessed lately, which is, in itself, a blessing at this time of year.  The sun is out, the weather is warming, and Spring has arrived, for once, in time for Spring.

Do you remember the weather at this time last year? Blech.

Gratitude for Abundance in Progress

A year has passed since we made the difficult decision to sell the house and free ourselves (and our capital) for deeper living. Now, the structure of our days, the things we focus on, and even the way we spend our money makes so much more sense. We are having fun.

Sometimes you need to leave a situation and get some distance on it before you can see it clearly.

Gratitude for Abundance in progress

So...I have been feeling grateful for the gifts that life has given me and I wanted to express that gratitude in my work.

Gratitude for Abundance suggested itself to me as a title first. I liked the name and wanted to use it to make something more personal than what I've done so far.  One of my goals this year is to create more expressive, more interpretive work.  How to infuse a piece with joy? With ebullience?

Gratitude for Abundance detail

I spent some time meditating on subject matter, picking through my brain for things that I consider joyful. Winding vines with blossoms, birds, butterflies, and tree of life themes have always been the natural joyful expression of my soul. And I'm not alone. Wallpaper, textiles, and artwork all intersect here. Fascinating.

Gratitude for Abundance detail

So I had a theme to explore. Add to that my other goal this year to learn more about the effects of colour. I have assigned myself the task of working a piece in each of the different colour harmonies - monochromatic, analogous, complementary, triad, split complementary, and so on.  Gratitude for Abundance is worked in an analogous blue - green - yellow colour scheme.

Gratitude for Abundance, Wool and Beeswax on Masonite, 60 cm x 122 cm

The colour scheme then suggested the specifics. Originally, I wanted to depict an espaliered lemon tree, but lemons don't grow locally here and goldfinches do and I really wanted to work in some goldfinches. I have always loved the heavy symbolism of apple trees (as well as the real thing) but apples didn't fit the colour scheme...unless they were green!

Gratitude for Abundance detail

And so you have it.

I also made a conscious decision to depart from reality in this piece. I'm no expert but I doubt you'd find an apple tree in blossom and heavy fruit at the same time. Who cares? This is my tree and my expression of joy and abundance.

Have I mentioned the additional joy of working a bigger piece? I enjoy the opportunity for detail and the effect of sheer size.

I could go on and on. This piece was fun. This piece was hard. This piece is done!

Gratitude for Abundance, Wool and Beeswax on Masonite, 60 cm x 122 cm

PS: I had one more motivation behind Gratitude for Abundance and that was to enter a piece into the Idea Exchange's biennial juried Fibreworks exhibition. I met the deadline, made my entry and we'll see what happens.