Studio Update: A New Direction

2021 was an interesting year. I went back to work in construction management and moved across country from the humid and salty southeast to the dry and joyously hot southwest. This shift impacted my studio schedule in dramatic fashion — I only completed two textured fiber art paintings last year.

(c) 2021, Hilary Clark, “Tree of Life”, Fiber & Acrylic Paint

But I’m okay with that.

Over the course of the last two years – pandemic time – I learned more about myself and what I want out of life. What I want is to live with joy and ease and, for me, that means releasing the pressure to turn any of my creative endeavors into full time work.

Would I like to sell my art? Of course I would. I’d love to see it hanging in someone’s home or in a gallery or in a museum.

Is that necessary for my happiness?

Turns out the answer is no.

And what a blessing it was to discover that truth.

By releasing myself from those expectations, I’ve discovered I’m free to create whatever I want, whenever I want, as frequently or rarely as I want. I create for the joy of it, not the marketing or image or perceived consumer desirability of it. I create for me and if others enjoy what I create, that’s a true delight.

With this release, I decided to take my art in a new direction. My second piece of 2021 included hand painted aspects on a fabric background. I found this to be a truly pleasurable and satisfying addition to my work. It turns out painting is an art form I can do.

(c) 2022, Hilary Clark, “Abstract 2”, Digital Painting

I always told myself I wasn’t a painter. It was fun to change that story and make it false — all of life, all we perceive, is just stories we tell ourselves about what we think, feel, and experience. We’re free to change the story whenever we want.

So I changed mine.

For 2022, I’m adding paint to my work. Using acrylics, I’m painting abstract designs on commercially printed fabric to create the canvas. To that canvas, I’m fusing additional fabric that enhances or contributes to the painting. From there, I’ll stitch my work in the dense style I’ve adopted. That’s part of my voice, after all, the dense stitching.

I’ve begun my first work in this style. I’m calling it “Cosmos”. As soon as my Bernina is back from its time in the shop for a good cleaning and tune up, I’ll start stitching. I’m thinking a spiral design will be just perfect.

(c) 2022, Hilary Clark, detail view of “Cosmos”, acrylic paint and raw edged fused material on fabric, work in progress

With joy and ease…

I’m loving this new way of creating my art. I’m loving exploring new styles, techniques, and abstractions. I’ve loving this direction I’m going.

My 2022 is starting off with joy. I hope yours is too.


Interested in my art, my writing, my poetry, or learning more about bringing consistent joy and ease into your life? Then let’s talk!

Contact me to schedule:
* A virtual coffee
* A private (virtual) art show of my art
* A commissioning conversation to discuss hiring me to create a textured fiber painting uniquely yours

If you enjoyed this essay, and it feels aligned, please share on social media or via email. If you liked it, someone you know will probably like it too!

Author: Hilary Clark

Artist, Writer, Poet. Joy & Ease Believer. Aiming for modern renaissance woman. Will likely miss.

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