Monday, November 8, 2010

The "Way" It Began, Part II

When you have banished the negative voice whispering all the reasons you can't become an artist (or a teacher, or a lawyer, or a travel writer), you begin the process of finding a direction in which to go. In a big connected world like this one has become, where choices get expanded every day through Internet travel, we can see that the possibilities are probably limitless.

Another early aspect of Julia's program (if this makes no sense, please see my previous blog entry) lies in the concept of being open to accepting the possible. The idea that when you ask, there will be an answer and when you seek, you will find. The term she uses, synchronicity, was first conceived by the psychologist, Carl Jung in the 1920's. Whether or not you believe in a higher power, or the answered prayers of organized religion, the concept is intriguing, and, for myself, has had a great amount of confirmation in reality over the years.

There were two synchronous events that happened for me at this juncture. At the very moment of making the decision to follow The Artist's Way, two casual friends from my quilt guild decided to form a small private club that would be dedicated to exploring textile surface design and embellishment techniques. Additionally, withing months of the group's formation, a new magazine, Belle Armoire, dedicated to the same topic, would premiere and serve as a kind of textbook for us.

A meeting was scheduled for that December (as I was beginning my morning pages process) and in January, 2001, Designing Women, met for the first time, and became my creative support system. 

I came to consider them my "sacred circle". This is the artist's close community whose job it is to behave as the spiritual support of her path and work, who will consider "any gathering of artists be in the spirit of a sacred trust." (AW, pg. 205)

I became the group scribe and detailed our meetings and projects for "posterity"
Our first project:
Collaged Fabric

Early surface techniques: Foiling
The photo shows several pillows with foiled leaf motifs inspired by the print of the chair

Into the third year: Needle and Wet Felting Hats 

For ten years now we have taught each other and learned and experimented together, laughed and shared our highs and lows both artistic and personal. We have held and nourished the creative force in each of us to the degree we are able, and that each has sought, and I probably wouldn't have gotten to telling this story without them. Thank you, girlfriends, artists in spirit.

Just this summer: Revisiting Rust and Tea Dyeing

We meet at the December holidays for lunch and exchange of handmade gifts each year.
Mine to the others that year were polymer clay letter openers in hippo bags.


  1. what a lovely post. great to have supportive and FUN friends, isn't it?

  2. I'm enjoying your beginning posts. It's kind of a review of "Artist's Way". I think we're on parallel paths! That book saved my (artistic) life and I go back to it occasionally and "do" it. I agree that the blog is a way of charting progress and getting beyond "morning pages". You're very lucky to have a supportive group of friends. It's difficult to find like-minded people in my corner of the world, but blogging has opened things up. Glad I found you!
    best, nadia