Portals 1: Cosmos

Well, that took a hot seven months.

Introducing Portals, a new series.

This is Cosmos:

(c) 2022, Hilary Clark, “Portals 1: Cosmos”, Fiber & Paint, 23″ x 23″, $750

Portals 1: Cosmos
Hand painted with acrylic paint on commercial fabric, raw edge fused applique, densely machine stitched.

This new direction I’m going — painting on fabric, adding my fused applique bits, continuing with my signature dense machine stitching — is really enjoyable. Even if this piece took many months to create.

To be clear, it was the stitching that took a while, not the design. The design piece is always something that comes together in a short period of time for me.

I’m not complaining about how long Cosmos took to finish. I’ve released timelines and deadlines and expectations. I’ve relaxed into my opportunities to create because I’ve let go of the need to be creative all.the.time.

And in the letting go, I find my Light is freed up to better listen to my intuition and follow it where it leads.

With joy and ease…

I’ll continue to create, as it calls me, following this new direction. I think the next Portal will be filled with bright color. I’ll share it as it comes alive.

xo

As always, I sign my art with a poem. Read “Portals 1: Cosmos” here.


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 art piece and the 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!

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.

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!

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!

Studio Update: January 2020

I’m going to start the year with a post summarizing the textured fiber paintings I made in 2019.  But before I get to that, I’m currently working on my first piece for 2020 – (Feeling) Grief.  I knew I’d need to create Grief at some point; I guess that time is now.  Here are a few progress photos:

(Feeling) Grief – the template for the canvas

The canvas

The final design, photographed in black and white to show contrast.

Come back next month to see the completed work!

In 2019, I made 6 textured fiber paintings, which was my goal.  Feelings ran the spectrum from Woe to Dynamism.  (If you’re interested, I have the same goal this year.  Considering the amount of stitching I do on these pieces, 6 seems reasonable as I don’t make art full time.)  I’ve included photos below, with links to each piece’s article if you’d like a bit more information about a piece.  All of this work is for sale.  If you’re interested, please visit my Gallery page or contact me through this website.

Woeful - Full(c)
Woeful ~ March 2019 ~ 33-1/2″”x22″ ~ $2500

Passionate ~ May 2019 ~ 37 x 21-1/2″” ~ $2500

Crushed ~ July 2019 ~ 35″ x 22-1/2″ ~ $2500

Hopeful ~ September 2019 ~ 36″ x 23″ ~ $2500

Perplexed ~ October 2019 ~ 36″ x 23″ ~ $2500

Dynamic ~ December 2019 ~ 36″ x 22″ ~ $2500

Next up: I’ll continue work on Grief.  Full reveal expected in February.

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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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My art and my work go hand in hand.  I’m a Leadership Development Trainer & Coach, working with stressed, frantic, frazzled professionals who struggle to lead, experience self-sabotage, have difficulty communicating, and can’t break through persistent red tape.  What they want is to innovate, achieve consistent results, and come together as a team, so their employers call on me for leadership development training and coaching.  I’m an expert at shedding the stress, designing solutions, and building cohesive, consistent high-achieving teams.  My clients go from crisis mode to working in harmony, saving time, money, and energy, finally getting their shit together.  If you’re interested in leadership development training and coaching, please join me over at Harmony Coaching.

~

The majority of my work is for sale.  Please visit my Gallery for available work.

Thanks for visiting my studio!

 

Studio Update: October 2019

In my last studio update (August 2019), I mentioned it typically takes me at least two months to complete a textured fiber painting.  I finished my most recent painting, (Feeling) Hopeful, in late September, so the two month thing is on track.

The reason it takes me about two months per piece is because my goal has been to spend at least 3 hours in my studio each week.  This goal goes back to when I was working corporate and was not self-employed.

In the 6 months I’ve been working for myself, I’ve learned a few things.  While building a business takes work, it also allows for way more flexibility in schedule.  This means I can increase my studio time if I choose.

I did choose and am now shooting for 6 hours in the studio every week.  I schedule one hour of studio time per day on my agenda, after I’ve completed my coach work.  I usually leave Friday open, no studio time, which gives me float and an extra day if I’ve fallen behind with my commitment to my art earlier in the week.

I’ve only been doing this for a couple weeks, but I’m already seeing the creative practice speed up.

I don’t know what this will ultimately mean for a production schedule, other than it’s certain I’ll finish a piece in less than 2 months.  The ultimate aim is to produce one new textured fiber painting per month.

My current work in progress, (Feeling) Perplexed, is almost complete.  In fact, since October has five weeks, it will be finished by Halloween/Samhain.  I started it the last week in September, so it looks like I’ll hit that one month goal!  Full reveal will happen in November, combined with that month’s studio update.

For now, I hope you enjoy Perplexed’s progress photos.

What goal do you have that could be adjusted to create a bigger impact for you?

(Feeling) Perplexed – the template

Color layout in the design phase

The stitching begins…

And the stitching progresses…this phase takes the most time, however, is also the most satisfying.

~

My art and my work go hand in hand.  I’m a Performance Mindset Coach, helping stressed out, frantic, frazzled professionals slow down and reconnect to their intuition so they can get their shit together.  I’ve walked the road my clients are on.  My method to slow down was through development of a creative practice, which helped me regain my voice and led me to want to serve others in the same way.  If you’re interested in developing (or expanding on) a creative practice as a means to reconnect to your intuition, lose your stress, and improve your professional performance, please join me over at Harmony Coaching.

~

The majority of my work is for sale.  Please visit my Gallery for available work.

Thanks for visiting my studio!

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