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What's Next?

As days grow bright with holiday lights and hands are turned to gift giving and making memories at family gatherings, I am grateful for the new year unfolding. This January, I will be celebrating my upcoming solo show at the University of South Carolina, Beaufort. I'd like to invite you to join me if you can.

I’ve measured the gallery, built a model, and watched a story unfold as I position each work in its intended place.

At this stage of planning, I have only a few items to check off my to-do list. With final touches on work to complete and the necessary administrative tasks in order, I am using this space between to stitch tiny tapestries with shimmering silk thread to keep my hands moving and my spirit calm. A couple will appear as elements in the ‘Acts of Nature’ installation of my exhibit, and then are destined for another venue, (which I will tell you more about in my next post.)

I feel like the USCB show has brought closure to another chapter of hand stitching and something new awaits.

My thoughts turn to ‘what’s next?’ I remind myself that the art of good practice takes comfort in the unknown.

A vague fog or blur is the threshold to inspiration.

In the Meantime: I visit museums, looking closely at lines drawn in the sand-smoothed gesso, painted raw-edge and scribed with a needle’s point. I connect with texture built of granulated soils, blended with oil or wax on surfaces that transport me to ancient ochre pits then back to my own worktable where I attempt to recreate that conversation with pigments. I can feel the artist’s hand moving mine.

I walk in the woods, gathering plants and clinging vines without knowing exactly why. What will the gathering reveal? What will these fronds become?

I practice hard-earned skills, hands in warm water, turned cold over days as I dredge paper from its depths. What surprises does it present? What new shapes form in the paper and my mind? What colors will I blend from my pigment shelf into the slurry.

Most importantly, I check in with my tribe which feeds my spirit with practical advice, critique and love.

I work on small circles of possibility and then ruminate and write in the quiet.

And so it goes until my next conversations with nature.

I would love to hear how you decide “what’s next?” Please comment.

Happy Holidays!


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