This has been a pretty tough couple of years for me in terms getting myself to weave, which is, paradoxically, the activity most central to my identity as an artist. Weaving is the calming, centering, intellectual and creative activity that allows me to make things that I feel are profoundly expressive. All other creative activities — design, sewing, crafting little things — are fun, make money, but are peripheral to the core.
A bit like writer’s block, I hit a bad snag in my creative flow a couple of years ago and just stopped working. I questioned the value of making art at all. It seemed to be piling up here, the economy was making it nearly impossible to sell it, I had to turn to more intensive textile design work to get by. And once I broke the continuum, it has been terribly difficult to raise up the faith to get back to work. But I have begun. I finished my studio sale, and the local Christmas fair the week before, sold a lot of pretty little things I had made, (even sold a real tapestry!), and then I sat down, sighed in relief, and decided it is time to lay off the little stuff and make more important things. I began a new piece based on a photo I took earlier in the fall while driving through southern Illinois. I made myself a sign to keep me on task. And I finished hemming the tapestry this afternoon.
|Illinois Field, 2013, 24″ x 27″, wool with cotton & metallic Laura Foster Nicholson|
Oh boy do I understand this. Thanks for posting this… and it encourages me to look back to the loom… even though the little things are the things that make money (or seem to).
I, too, have struggled over this year to stay focused on tapestry weaving and feel re-invigorated to try again, having read your post. And also to re-commence my blog I set up a while back but didn’t activate. I love your piece Illinois Fields- deceptively simple and subtle.
The weaving is so beautiful Laura. I love the light you have achieved in the piece. I miss those broad landscapes and big sky. keep weaving and inspiring all of us. Bhakti