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!

The Past Builds the Future

My younger stepson, Z, formerly Hockey Boy, graduated from college this past weekend.  His entire family is devoutly proud of him.  He studied civil engineering with an emphasis in construction management and a minor in structures, played college level hockey for the first two years, and worked as a cook in a campus bar for the last two.

We watched Z grow from a teenager obsessed with hockey (he was the State Championship goalie his senior year in high school) into a man who is committed to his girlfriend, his future career, and his family.  He works at all the important things and he works hard.

Z grew in college, stepping away from hockey.  When younger, the thought of not playing was devastating, however, midway through school, he informed us he was not going to continue with hockey in order to focus on classes and work.  We asked if he was certain; his response conveyed a practicality and maturity not often seen in college juniors.  He went on to finish his last two years with a full class load, two jobs, and visits to his girlfriend at her university, maintaining a GPA above 3.0 throughout it all.  He also included lots of fun in his schedule – that is part of what college is for after all. 🙂

Earlier this year, he accepted an offer with a local design/build construction firm where he will be a project manager, overseeing design and construction on the projects to which he is assigned.  He starts later this summer.

From playing hockey, Z learned time management.  He learned dedication.  He learned commitment.  And he learned loyalty.  These skills will help him to succeed in the construction industry.  His past will build his future.

Z’s future is infinite.  We can’t wait to see what he does with it.

Made with so much love, pride, and joy…

The Past Builds the Future

The Past Builds the Future - Full

The Past Builds the Future - Detail 01

The Past Builds the Future - Detail 02

The Past Builds the Future - Label

Next up: The second in my work to create feelings in fiber…

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Airport Layout Plan: Houston Hobby

I build airports for a living.  My day job, since the 1990s, has been in aviation construction management, working in the finance side for massive construction programs.  My first art quilt was the airport layout plan for Austin-Bergstrom.

Austin-Berstrom Airport
Airport Layout Plan: Austin-Bergstrom and what I think construction plans should look like

I’ve hung that piece in every office I’ve had.  I’m on my 3rd airport construction program (these things run for years!) and, when I re-embraced my inner artist, I knew I would make art quilts depicting the airports on which I’ve worked.  Houston Hobby was my second stop, where we built a new concourse for Southwest Airlines.  I’ve always thought the building looked like a stealth bomber.

This is my colorful, abstract take on Houston’s smaller airport.  It’s not my best composition, but it’s still fun!

Constructive criticism and comments are always welcome.  Please share your thoughts!

Airport Layout Plan: Houston Hobby (link to poem)

ALP: Houston Hobby (c)

ALP: Houston Hobby - Detail 01

ALP: Houston Hobby - Detail 02

ALP: Houston Hobby - Poetry Label

I owe you a post about the glorious fabric stash a co-worker brought me from India and pictures of my new studio.  I haven’t forgotten.  Promise.  I’ll get it up eventually.

One of these days, I’ll get around to creating my 3rd airport – O’Hare International but until then…

Next up: I’m on a mission to find my voice.  I’m going to make what I’m calling a cloud series.  Stay tuned.

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Iron (Hot Cross Eight)

I took a short break from the studio over the Christmas holidays, but as soon as we rolled into 2017, I was right back at my Hot Cross series with Iron Cross.

For Iron Cross, I wanted layers.  Not just the traditional top, batting, back layers.  I wanted more.  I wanted depth.  So I created mini quilts to stack on mini quilts to stack on the primary cross, using felt for batting.  Each of the minis was stitched to the next largest after quilting until the full piece was completed.

This piece rounds out the Hot Cross series and is meant to represent inclusion through use of all the colors in the spectrum.

To see all of the pieces in the series, please go to my Gallery page.  The first four in the series were a standard 18″ h x 12″ w.  The second four were completed in the cross shape with full pillowcase facings to finish and run a bit larger in size.

I really enjoyed working with shapes; I intend to fully incorporate “non-traditional” shapes into my art practice, which could be interesting as some things won’t lend themselves to a non-rectangular or non-square shape.  However, I always have to rebel against something, so I’ll rebel against “square”.  🙂

Constructive criticism and comments are always welcome.  Please share your thoughts!

Iron Cross (link to poem)

Iron Cross (Hot Cross 8)

Iron Cross (Hot Cross 8) - Detail 01

Iron Cross (Hot Cross 8) - Detail 02

Iron Cross (Hot Cross 8) - Poem

 

In other exciting news, a co-worker made his bi-annual trip home to India to visit family and he brought back a TON of fabric for me.  Silks and cottons, prints and solids.  It’s a glorious stash of art making material.  I’ll share photos in a future blog post.

In other even more exciting news, I’m getting a dedicated studio!  I’ve been using our dining room table, with supplies stored in the basement and both boys’ bedrooms.  In essence, the whole house has been my studio but we’re finally consolidating.  I can’t wait!!  Once I’m all set up, I’ll post about that too.

Next up: Airport Layout – Houston Hobby

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Coptic (Hot Cross Seven)

When I was out visiting my parents last February, I took some of my art with me so they could see the pieces in real life, including several of the crosses from my Hot Cross series.  My Dad suggested I include a Coptic cross, based on a small collection of Coptic crosses they have had hanging on the wall of their home for 50 years.

Coptic Crosses
These were a gift sent from Ethiopia and the inspiration for this piece.

So I took the photo above and added it to my design file.

While planning my art piece, I knew I wanted to incorporate all of the crosses mounted to that piece of green velvet but I also knew I wanted to include them as part of a larger piece.  I did a quick image search for Coptic Crosses on the internet to find the traditional shape – as soon as I saw it, I knew how this piece would come together.  There was a lot of fine cutting to create the smaller crosses and their design elements before fusing them all to the larger cross background.  One color component from each of the small crosses was also used in a second smaller cross, integrating the colors throughout.  To pull in the brass from the original metal pieces and the gold from the frame, I used gold and copper metallic threads in the quilting.

In hindsight, I do wish I had finished this piece with zig zag stitches to bind the top, batting, and back.  Instead, I used my usual pillowcase facing.  It took some effort to turn the piece right side out through the narrow leg of the cross; however, that effort does not outweigh my satisfaction with the overall piece.

Constructive criticism and comments are always welcome.  Please share your thoughts!

Coptic (link to poem)

Coptic Cross

Coptic No. 1

Coptic No. 2

Coptic No. 3

Coptic No. 4

Coptic - Poem

Next up: Hot Cross 8 – Iron

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