(Feeling) Impulsive

The final piece of the year is complete.

This has been a year of slow and contemplative art making.  I’ve been focused on building a business as a job satisfaction coach and, while I’ve spent some time most days of every week in my studio, production has slowed.  My annual intention is to create 12 art pieces.  This year, there are only 4.  However, they are 4 pieces of art that please me tremendously.  As I continue to create feelings out of fiber, my voice grows in definition and clarity.  And that brings me joy.

(Feeling) Impulsive is an excellent way to close out this year’s art creation.  Vibrant color placed with wild abandon aligns with impulse.

How could you be more impulsive in your life?

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

Impulsive (link to poem)

Impulsive-Full(c)

(c) 2018, Hilary Clark, Impulsive, Fiber, 17″ x 24-1/2″

Impulsive-Detail 2

Impulsive-Detail 1

Impulsive-Detail 3

Next up: A short hiatus for the remainder of the year from creating feelings out of fiber.  Time spent in my studio during this season will be focused on experiments like paint on fabric, fabric dyeing, and ways to hang my Feelings series as stand-alone pieces rather than attached to a painter’s canvas.  I’ll post about whatever experiments I undertake.  As soon as 2019 begins, I intend to dive right back into my Feelings.  Enjoy the remainder of 2018.  May peace and joy be with you.


Info about my Feelings series: I interpret my random abstract doodles as emotions.  The guiding point is the outer boundary of the doodle.  The boundary evokes the feeling.  From there, I contemplate how to bring that particular feeling alive in fiber. 

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(Feeling) Fear

Three and a half months of slow and steady progress – (Feeling) Fear is finally complete!

As this year’s production has slowed, creating these fiber art pieces has become an opportunity to be more contemplative, contributing to my personal growth as I construct each one.  I seem to choose the feeling to create that I most need to understand and process in the moments it takes to make my art.  To state that more clearly, every time I step into my studio to work on the fiber feeling, I give mental focus to the actual feeling and how it impacts me and my life.  As a result, I discover the ways the feeling is serving me and where it is holding me back from achieving my goals.

Through my art making process, I am learning to find solutions within my feelings.  What more could one want from their creative life?

What have you learned from your creative efforts?

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

Fear (link to poem)

(Feeling) Fear - Full

Fear-Detail 3

Fear-Detail 2

Next up: (Feeling) Impulsive


Info about my Feelings series: I interpret my random abstract doodles as emotions.  The guiding point is the outer boundary of the doodle.  The boundary evokes the feeling.  From there, I contemplate how to bring that particular feeling alive in fiber. 

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(Feeling) Serene

Production is slow this year.  I’m building a business as a Corporate Change Coach, which, as you might guess, takes a lot of time.  However, I always make time for the studio – but not as much as I’d like!

There is a great deal of stitching in my Feeling series, which also takes time.  Each individual piece is stitched in a corresponding thread, each stitch line 1/4″ away from the next.  The outline shape calls to mind a happy, fat, little Buddha while the blue and green evoke a feeling of serenity for me, much as sitting on the beach, gazing out at the ocean.

Time is a theme in my life lately.  It takes time to build a business.  It takes time to make big changes.  It takes time to make art.  And yet, even in the midst of tight scheduling and priority juggling, I can always find moments of serenity.  How do you find serenity in your life?

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

Serene (link to poem)

Serene ~ May 2018 ~24"x17-1/2"

Serene ~ May 2018 ~24″x17-1/2″

Serene - Detail 1

Serene - Detail 2

Next up: (Feeling) Scared


Info about my Feelings series: I interpret my random abstract doodles as emotions.  The guiding point is the outer boundary of the doodle.  The boundary evokes the feeling.  From there, I contemplate how to bring that particular feeling alive in fiber. 

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Inquisitive

I’ve been working on this piece since early May and just finished as June was winding down.  It doesn’t usually take almost two months for me to complete an art quilt; that makes me feel like I’m slacking off.

However, in my own defense to myself, I have been a bit busy — a couple of out-of-town business trips (a new thing, not sure I like it), a son’s college graduation, assorted beer fests and summer parties.  Before I knew it, all the weekends were booked solid and the weekdays didn’t allow much in the way of available studio time either.  I’m not complaining; we had lots of fun, but I do miss my studio time.  It’s one of my favorite things to do and places to be.

This is the second in my Feelings work.  If you’ll recall, I am interpreting my random abstract doodles as emotions.  The guiding point is the outer boundary of the doodle.  The boundary evokes the feeling.  From there, I contemplate how to bring that particular feeling alive in fabric.  This process is quite enjoyable and seems to flow, which I take to mean I’m on the right track.

We peer through keyholes (or we did in the old days when one could see through locks), we use magnifying glasses or microscopes, we ask questions.  The “why” of the child never really leaves us.  Curiosity – inquisitiveness – is an excellent trait to have.  It’s part of how we learn and we should never stop.

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

Inquisitive (link to poem)

Inquisitive - Finished

Inquisitive - Detail

Inquisitive - Poetry Label

Inquisitive - Orig. Sketch

Original doodle

Next up: The next feeling is underway.  Stay tuned!

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Inflamed

I’ve spent the last couple years trying to find my artistic voice.  Ultimately, this is a lifelong journey – an artist finds her voice, people recognize her work without having to read a sign or look for a signature on a piece and then, somewhere down the line, just like happens when people grow from childhood into our teens, the voice alters.  If she’s lucky, elements of the “known” voice remain and people still recognize her art as Her.  Or in this case, Me.

Finding one’s voice is tricky.  It’s not like looking for Easter eggs behind the shrubs and among the high grass.  It’s not even like looking for your keys when you just know you put them right here.  The eggs have color working in their favor and keys always seem to turn up, even if in the most unlikely place.  The artistic voice is illusive.  The more you search, the quieter the voice becomes.

And that is downright frustrating.

If you were to look through my gallery (click the link in the menu), you would likely say, yeah, she’s right, her work is all over the place.  There’s no unifying element of design or color or theme (the crosses were part of the voice search – a start but ultimately just a theme, not my voice).  On one hand, I’m okay with this disparate body of work.  I’m still new to my artistic career and I’ve only earned a small chunk of the 10,000 hours needed to become an “expert”.  I’m also okay with always learning.  In fact, I think “expert” is like “perfect” – a ridiculous notion, both of them.  A little humility and imperfection is better for the soul.

But on the other hand, I’m an impatient woman.  I want what I want and I want it NOW.  The universe laughed at me for that.  Loudly.

So, I researched and read and asked other artists how one finds their voice.  And this is what they said:

Narrow the focus.  Limit the technique and the size and the color and whatever else it takes to have as close to a singular focus for your work as is humanly possible.

This too was difficult.  I have a series of sketches, all abstract, odd shapes.  Doodles, really, but fun shapes for my art.  I rebel against square, don’t forget.  I planned to take those sketches – clouds, I thought – and create my next series.  Within the outer boundary line of each sketch, I drew a circle, a spiral, three stripes, and one other shape.  I thought, “This!  This is my narrow focus!”  And then I created a piece with all those elements and it was a crashing disaster.  It did not work.  At all.  Horrible composition when I took it off the page and into the studio.  A lesson from the genius that is my muse.  I paid attention and learned, which is really the best outcome when something for which you had high hopes goes sideways.

Back to the drawing board I went (the one in my head).  I muddled and pondered and grimaced and grouched and begged the spirit that sends me ideas to help me figure out just what the heck those sketches were, just how the heck I was supposed to narrow them down into something that might just turn out to be my voice.

The artistic spirit who hangs around me stepped up (it took a few days…the universe is always trying to teach me patience).  I was reading a book on my lunch hour.  I don’t know what the passage said.  I don’t know what triggered the revelation, but suddenly, exactly like the proverbial spark of inspiration, I realized I was not drawing clouds in those little sketches.  I was drawing FEELINGS!!!

A light went on.  And I knew how to proceed.

The sketch became “Inflamed”, a feeling of passion, of ire, of pain, of pleasure.  The tight, narrow focus to my work now is the feeling each sketch evokes.

Finding my voice might be closer than I think.  It’s certainly closer today than it was a month ago.

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

Inflamed (link to poem)

Inflamed - Copyright

Inflamed - Detail 03

No. 01 Orig Sketch

The original sketch, for comparison

There’s no poem for this piece.  To me, the piece IS the poem because feelings are always poetry to me.

Next up: I’m working on the design for the next feeling in my sketch pile, but first, I have a stepson graduating from college.  He needs a gift.

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