Back to the Studio…Barely

I have a studio again!

In the month since I last wrote, we’ve unpacked the house and put everything away, with the exception of hanging art and photos on the walls. This includes getting my studio space organized and ready for art making.

But have I made any art?

Just barely.

Walk in closet studio storage! Every artist’s dream!

My art making intentions have been solid. However, the last time we moved – in March 2020 – I was working for myself so I was able to set aside my work to spend a week focused on unpacking and settling in. This go around, I’m back to work full time outside the home. That schedule really impacts the amount of time available to unpack AND make art.

I’d forgotten that bit about working for someone else. My schedule is no longer my own and this particular project requires long days. I’m not complaining – I’m truly enjoying the job. But I do miss my studio time.

Which is why I’m so pleased to have the space organized and ready to go.

Everything in its place.

Before we relocated from the East Coast to the Southwest, I’d begun work on a Tree of Life textured fiber painting, a departure from my Feelings work. I’d created the canvas, a landscape suitable for an arching tree. And that’s where I’d paused to get ready to move.

Now that all our things are put away and we’re settled into our new home, I’ve finally been able to create the time in my weekend schedule to design the tree to sweep across that canvas.

This piece took an interested twist with the tree. Following my usual design method, I laid curving strips of fabric on the canvas to create the trunk, the branches. And it didn’t look right. So I tried other strips of fabric. Then I tried ribbon and pipe cleaners and felted wool. Nothing produced the vision of the tree I had in my head.

Then I remembered I had paint, acrylic and fabric. So I took a deep breath and embraced the opportunity to experiment with painting on fabric to create my tree.

Thankfully, my experiment worked. I love how the design came out. There’s a tiny hint of it in the photo below. I’m saving the rest for when I’ve completed this art piece, so be patient please!

Hinting at the tree

The other exciting thing about being back in my studio, besides the success of my experiment, is the amount of space I have in the room. For the first time ever, I’m able to open my cutting table to it’s full length. It’s a drop leaf construction and in the almost 20 years I’ve owned this sewing furniture, I’ve only ever been able to raise one leaf. Now I can raise both and have the full 75-80” to work on! I’m ridiculously pleased. The ability to spread out all on the same surface is delightful. As shown in the photos above, I also have a walk-in closet to store my supplies.

It’s a wonderful studio and I’m grateful to have it.

Sewing cabinet, closed until I’m ready to stitch.
Ok, so I hung one thing. My studio always feels complete when my kite is hung.

With joy and ease…

I’m excited to begin stitching on my Tree of Life piece, slowly and as I create the time. I’ve accepted making 8-10 pieces a year may no longer be possible (each takes quite a while due to the dense stitching I use in my designs) so I’m embracing this opportunity to slow down my making.

If I only make a few pieces this year, I’m still creating, I’m still making art, I’m still an artist. And I believe that is what’s most important — experiencing the joy and ease that comes from being a creator.

In next month’s update, I’ll share a progress update and photos of some of the stitching. Until then, keep creating with joy and ease!

xo


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!

Move In Day! Can Art Making Be Far Behind?

If you’re reading this on Monday, May 10th, it’s move in day! Can art making be far behind?

This was move OUT day. Move IN pictures may appear some other time.

For the past two months, we’ve lived in spare rooms and a hotel. While there’s certainly joy to be found in a temporary living situation, as well as remarkable ease (you quickly discover how little stuff you really need), we are so ready to sleep in our own bed!

During this transitional stage, we’ve been out exploring the surrounding area. We’ve found several craft breweries with delicious offerings, a great food scene, and friendly people. But the thing we’re finding most enjoyable is the sunset.

AZ sunsets are gorgeous, even through a dirty windshield

While beer and food and people and sunsets are wonderful, I’ve missed my art making. With the delivery of our household goods, I’m looking forward to a return to my art practice. I can’t wait to pick up where I left off with my Tree of Life textured fiber painting because making art feeds my soul in a way even Arizona sunsets can’t do.

Tree of Life progress shot

With joy and ease…

Keeping this short and sweet to focus on move-in. Stay tuned for next month’s essay – I’m determined it will be a progress update on my latest art piece!

xo


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!

Creating a Tree of Life

When I’m creating feelings out of fiber, the feeling I want to create next always rises up while I’m working on another feeling. This is why I’ve been able to create feeling after feeling for the past 3-½ years. But something weird happened when I was making Joy. No new feeling arose. Instead, I felt the call to create something completely different.

(c) 2021, Hilary Clark, “Joy”, Fiber, 34-1/2″ x 24″ ~ $1800

My feelings series includes twenty-one different pieces, ranging from Depression to Joy, Anguish to Serenity. While I don’t believe I’m done creating feelings out of fiber, I do believe my intuition when it suggests it might be fun to create something different.

A couple weeks ago, I posted several images on my social media accounts and asked people to vote on the piece I’d make next. In an unanimous sweep, a Tree of Life was the popular vote.

Tree of Life graphic found as a free download

The other images included a Wheel of the Year and Planet Earth. Apparently, I’m drawn to making something circular.

The image shown above is the concept I’m going to follow as I create my version of a Tree of Life in my bright, bold, abstract style. I’ve barely begun the work on this piece but I can see it taking shape in my mind’s eye. I’m looking forward to watching it become tangible. This is the template for the canvas and then the canvas itself.

With joy and ease…

As I usually do, I’ll post a progress update at some point, so I hope you’ll continue to follow along with me. Until then, may your days be filled with joy and ease and lots of bright, bold color.

xo


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!

(Feeling) Joy – New Work!

(Feeling) Joy – New work completed!

I began working on this piece in mid-November. It doesn’t usually take me 2-½ months to create one of my textured fiber paintings; however, in order to really savor Joy, I slowed myself and my process, focused on #15minutesatatime. It worked. Joy is still my primary emotion.

I hope you enjoy my expression of Joy as a tangible piece of art, brightly colored and vibrant with light.

(As I always do, I’ve written a poem that goes with this piece. To read it, please visit my poetry website – www.piningforpoetry.com.)

© 2021, Hilary Clark, “Joy”, Fiber, 34-½” x 24”

I write a lot about joy and ease in my essays. I believe joy is our birthright. I believe living a life filled with joy and ease is the true purpose of our human experience. I believe sharing our joy, through compassion, generosity, gratitude, and love, is a spiritual imperative. This textured fiber painting is my way of showing you how Joy feels to me.

Joy lives in your heart, lit up in technicolor glory, vibrant, radiant, bouncy, like Tigger, already, always present if you only allow yourself to feel it. I hope you choose joy in your life.


Joy is available for purchase for $1800 and would look fantastic on the wall of your home or office (or home office 🙂 ). If you’d like to own this piece, you have two options:

1) Contact me directly and let me know you’d like to buy Joy.
2) Visit my Etsy shop and purchase it there.

xo


Interested specifically in my art? Want a piece in your home? 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!

Joy – A Progress Update

It occurred to me I haven’t shared a progress update on any of my textured fiber paintings in a while. 2020 was the year of focusing on being an entrepreneur. Now I’ve set that aside, I can get back to sharing more pictures of my art, including the progress! Everyone likes pretty pictures, right? 🙂

Joy, a canvas

The canvas…

Alright, I’ll admit this first photo isn’t the prettiest of the bunch but I’m sharing it anyway. This is the canvas for (Feeling) Joy. When I think of Joy, I think of bright color. When I FEEL Joy, I SEE bright color, specifically fuchsia. Just as I call my depressive episodes my grey space, joyful living is my fuchsia space. The energy within this vibrant pink raises my vibration every time I see it. So of course fuchsia is the color for the canvas.

It’s a little wonky, the layout of those fabric pieces that create the canvas whole, and that’s perfectly imperfect and okay. The canvas is there to provide background for the other colors used in the design. All feelings are a little wonky when you stop to think about it. Since I take the intangible and abstract – feelings – and make them tangible (and still abstract) through fiber, it’s fitting the wonkiness should carry through.

Joy, with the mono filter

Mono vision…

Ordinarily, I consider mono vision to be a detriment. Looking at only one side of an issue never gives you the full picture. We live in a world of duality, created so our human minds can more easily process what we experience and learn. We cannot experience Joy without also experiencing Sorrow. We don’t know one without the other.

But when I’m designing my art, mono vision is actually an important step. Specifically, the mono filter I use on the photo I take of my art once I’ve created the design. In this instance, mono vision allows me to study what I’ve designed for contrast, balance, and use of color value. These elements are critical components to making good art.

And I like to believe I make good art.

Progress…

The stitching phase always takes the most time for each of my textured fiber paintings. I make my art little by little, #15minutesatatime. No rush, no deadline, just an opportunity to play with color, to observe the feeling I’m creating out of fiber, and to contemplate how that feeling enters into my life through the meditative act of stitching.

The photos above are samples of that stitching meditation, an attempt to capture the deep satisfaction and contentment I feel as I feed my art under the needle of my sewing machine, watching those lines of thread fill the empty fabric to bring texture and life to the feeling.

Because feelings aren’t just wonky like I said earlier. They’re also textural, with warp and weft, smooth moments and rocky cliffhangers.

If you really want to get in touch with your feelings, turn them into art.

With joy and ease…

I hope you enjoyed this little photo gallery of progress for (Feeling) Joy. I’ll be back next week with another essay on anything from living life with joy and ease to creating feelings out of fiber (my textured fiber paintings) to finding the absurd in the ordinary. Until then, may you make your own progress on whatever you’re creating.

xo


If you’re ready for a private (virtual) showing of my art, you can schedule an appointment here.

To discuss commissioning me to make a textured fiber painting specifically for you or someone you love, please schedule an exploratory commissioning conversation and we’ll see what we can create together.

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!