Life in a Knot?

I have been creating with yarn almost my whole life. I can remember 1984 when my grandma came to visit for the holidays. She taught me that winter how to make my very first winter hat. Of course hers looked incredible while mine was un even, but it was my first creation and I have never looked back since then. One of the many things I love about art is how closely it resembles life. For example, how often does life go exactly the way you planned? For me art pieces are similar. Along the way there are both expected and unexpected bumps along the road.

It is these hurdles, these difficult times, these knots that pop up in the middle of your project or in the middle of your life that help shape who you are and who you will become. For me one of the most difficult seasons on my life was when my brother, mom, and then sister, and died within a 3 year time frame. My father was the only person who remained from my family of origin. As fate would have it, he was the same man who was an alcoholic and oblivious to the decades of pain he had caused my entire family.

In the midst of this knot, in the midst of this pain, I learned JOY. It is easy to be joyful when everything is going my way, but it is much harder to be filled with joy when life knocks you out. It was during this season that much of my art was completed in grays, black, and whites. The vibrant color of my life had been knocked out of my soul.

Now, I am in a very different season of life. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my family every day. I still cry from time to time when I think about them. But the over arching theme of my life is joy. Joy because, I have another day to live, another day to breathe, another day to experience the loved ones that ares till here with me.

My art work has since taken off and I make more money on one piece of art than I used to make in a years worth of work in the past. But it isn’t about the money, it is about the impact and the lives I get to influence as a result of my success.

Last week I had a major water link in my yard. Apparently one of the pipes that ran underneath my lawn had cracked and so every time the sprinklers where supposed to turn on water just ran out of the pipe and flooded my yard. I called Mj’s lawn care, a local lawn care services to come over and fix the problem. The crew was professional and it was a hot day, so I offered them water. At first they declined the offer. Another hour went by and so I offered them again, and they shyly accepted the cups of water. As I spoke with them, they told me I was only the 3rd person to ever offer them water when working. Now I don’t expect people to provide food and water for vendors servicing their home, but it reminded me the influence we can have with a genuine smile and a simple act of kindness.

For me, it was these acts of kindness that brought me out of the gray seasons of life and more consistently into a vibrant life.

Colors – Vibrant Life

Lately I have loved using vibrant colors in my work. Something about this season and the vibrant bright colors that seems to match my spirit and my outlook on life. This may just be a season. After all there was a season where I loved using as many grey’s as possible, but right now I am all about the bright vibrant colors that are available to me.

The boldness of colors can make or break a piece. I have recently been exploring with the brightest version of the rainbow. Below I created with crayons. The piece is so simple yet so bold. The colors can hold my attention for minutes while I ponder life and the meaning of each color.

Another piece I created at my house was on a wall of an empty room. I took bright paint and created simple smooth lines on the wall. This time instead of having the colors run together I have white space in between them. That way each color stands on its own but also come be working with the other colors near by.

In this season I am drawn towards these bright vibrant colors. But creativity is a response to life. Not every season is easy, fun, or bright. Some seasons of life and much harder, darker, more complicated. Either way, I am enjoying this season of vibrant life and I am holding onto this season as long as I can. I know it will change at some point, but I am glad that day is not today.

Creativity

What I love about my work is the freedom to be creative. I can recreate the same piece but with different colors or I can constantly create a brand new piece. I am in control. I can experiment. I can explore. I can create.

Oftentimes people ask me where I get my inspiration for the various pieces and spin. My most common answer is from every day life and constant practice. For every piece, or pattern I create that is loved by others there might be 10 that were just blah. But what many new people don’t realize is that it is the blah pieces that even you don’t enjoy that help you get to the truly creative, exciting, transcendent pieces.

Art is art. It does not always operate on a specific timeline. It isn’t always a linear process. More often than not it can feel like going around the same mountain for the umpteenth time. But it changes. Slowly subtly, until you realize you have stumbled upon a new pattern. A new project. So my encouragement is to keep exploring. Keep creating. When we learn to enjoy the process and not just the result we will reach the desired result more often.