This past weekend I got to be praised about my artwork, which is something I don't mind one little bit. Every year, I enter five artworks in the open show at our local art gallery -I like to create and it's a good opportunity and all that. They hang your artwork and bring in adjudicators to tell you what you did well and how you can improve. The first couple years I entered some pencil crayon drawings and paintings, but starting up New Leaf has given me a new perspective on making art and I've wandered into the fabric scene. For the open show over Christmas, I entered these wall hangings:
I've always been drawn to layers of texture. I love building up layers with paint or paper and now I've discovered the beauty of working with fabric to create touchable texture. During the summer of 2010 my eyes were drawn to the varying shades of greens on the side of the roads, along with the bright contrasting yellows. So that's how these hangings came to be.
I had about a month's notice for this past open show, so in May I was busily trying to create my five pieces. Thankfully, inspiration was not lacking. Spring brings out a vibrancy of different greens in the pastures around my farm. I wanted to capture the repetition as well as the subtle changes in the hills, grasses and plants. Summer is such a fleeting season in Saskatchewan and the bright greens of June and July are quickly forgotten under the snow. I want to create a reminder of lush and rainy seasons and to expose understated beauty in unexpected places.
I wasn't expecting much from the adjudication on the weekend, because I had been to the art gallery about a month ago and hadn't seen my artworks. I thought maybe they'd disliked them and decided not to hang them. I showed up a little early to my appointment, surprised to see no one else there but the gallery's receptionist. Apparently my artwork was hanging in a different gallery, and of course, this is where the adjudications were taking place. I raced over just in time and was treated with a wonderfully positive talk with the artist-adjudicator. He told me my work is unique and focused, consistent and well-designed, an excellent personal interpretation. I left glowing with delight, which was a nice change from the somewhat cranky state I'd arrived in. I feel like I've found a medium that I love to work with, and it's gratifying to have others appreciate it and encourage me along. Thanks for the inspiration, New Leaf.
Maria & Cecelia
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