Session 2: The Nature of Repetition
Option 1: Linking
Readings: Artists Use Nature as Inspiration
Musing on Nature’s Mysteries as a Pathway to Mindfulness
Trees Talk to Each Other
In lesson two, we focus on the things we can learn from nature: its cycles, its beginnings, and endings of which there is continuous repetition. I use the metaphor of the seed to express the potential of what is available to us from without and within.
In the quiet of the meditative stitch clues and cues will emerge. They will be present to the curious eye, taking nothing for granted, even the simplest or most mundane occurrence. Dreams, words, the spotting of a pattern in nature are all worthy of our attention.
It takes practice. Practice listening, noticing and especially recording our discoveries so they don’t slip away.
Practice requires commitment over a period of time. Practice allows nature’s course to unfold with our attention sharply focused, our thoughts and ideas routinely documented.
Once again we will be examining language, words, and groups of words, in and out of context. We will also be listening and looking for patterns in nature as inspiration. Listening to the heartbeat and breath within you. Listening to intuition and conscience.
Noticing requires that we take nothing for granted. Even the most inconsequential of ideas and objects should hold our attention long enough to be grateful for the moment.
In this exercise, you will be creating a literal ‘thread’ in a series of work over a designated period of time. You can work on this project for a minimum of five days this week or extend it beyond. Time gives our ideas a place to evolve. The longer the ‘thread,’ the greater the learning. Work this into your own schedule.
You will be deliberately using something you notice in your work, to inspire the next piece of work through this process. Committing to the effort creates intention. Intention to start, to move forward, to follow through, to complete.
You must attend this practice for at least five days this week. You can choose to continue for 50 days if you like.
A journal in which to take notes.
You will need a backing surface such as paper or 5 pieces of background cloth or scraps of cloth assembled to the size of your background.* You will need batting or flannel to stabilize the background for stitching. I use a white flannel.
Note: if you are working on heavier paper, you probably won’t need a stabilizer layer.
You also need anything you might want to bring to the piece, more cloth, buttons, paint, ink, beads, seeds, markers, glue, needle, and thread, twigs, etc. There are no rules about what to use. You can simply use thread against the background if you prefer. I tend to create landscapes (instinctively; it just happens that way for me.) out of my materials, with layers of fabric.
Decide how small you want to make your project. You can work 4 by 4” or 4 x 6,” depending on whether you like the square or rectangular format. You can alternate the format if you like. On the first day, the world is your creative oyster. Gather any four or five materials, plus a background* that fits your format. Lay the background on top of the backing surface (a piece of muslin will do) and audition your gathered pieces against the background. Just react intuitively to your materials and start assembling. Stitch or glue the elements into place.
When you are finished assembling the piece, find a place on the back to mark the “day” in your series. A five-day series: 1,2,3,4,5… and so on.
On the days that follow, take a look at the piece from the prior day. Assess and "define" the “material elements” you used to create the piece.
For example thread, blue thread, blue and white fabric, white lace scrap, blue scrap, doorway, doormat, shrubbery, arch, curve, ink. For each word you identify, describe it further in all its elements. You can also list design elements like color, scale, texture as descriptors. This will allow you to have a greater choice of things to include in the piece that follows. For example, an arch can also be referred to as a curve, semi-circle, brick, bend.
Use one element from your list and carry it over to the next day’s piece. You may use more than one, but you must use at least 1.
Continue this linking for a minimum of five days this week. Post and comment each day in the ‘Work in Progress’ section of the Forum.
Try to keep it simple so you can complete one each day.
Allow your imagination and the story to evolve as you review the pieces as a series. Take notes.
Copyright Roxanne Lasky 2019 Please do not reproduce.